7 Quick Takes about parenting fails, Evernote socks, and fruitcake (again)

September 27, 2013 | 55 comments

— 1 —

Personality theme songs! That ended up being the best subject ever. I’m glad that there are clever people out there like Delena who think up these kinds of things.

If you haven’t read the comments on that topic, treat yourself to a quick scan. I loved The Scientist by Coldplay as the INFP anthem, and Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid for ENFP and ENFJ. And then we had the INTJs, who had me laughing out loud with their responses, which were so wonderfully true to form:

“INTJ here — wait, music? Who has time for that when you can be listening to podcasts and absorbing/integrating information?” – Erika

“As an INTJ, I would more likely to write my own song rather than being constrained by something already written…(It’s a curse, really.)” –Christine

“I’m an INTJ, and I was going to agree with the earlier comment suggesting we write our own song because no song in existence is likely to be truly accurate. (Gotta come up with the perfect solution, right?)” – Emily

Stay awesome, INTJs.

— 2 —

Who knew that fruitcake was such a hotbutton topic? When I wrote last week’s post I figured that the personality type theme song question would get a lot of responses, but I had no idea that my passing comment about Joe’s distaste for fruitcake would garner so much feedback. My email inbox has been flooded with fruitcake recipes that promise to convert even the most hardened fruitcake skeptic.

I forwarded one such recipe to Joe, thinking that he might be curious. The following exchange resulted:

From: “Joe Fulwiler”
Date: Sep 21, 2013 7:56 AM
Subject: Re: This fruitcake recipe actually looks pretty good – maybe we should try it sometime?
To: “Jennifer Fulwiler”

That could make sense as a cultural experience. Kind of like eating monkey brain while visiting a remote tribe. But not something I’d desire to repeat at home.

— 3 —

I ran into Kathryn Whitaker at the Dominican Sisters‘ wonderful convent-warming party this weekend. Five minutes into our conversation, a lady came up to Kathryn and said she loves her blog and wants to know how she does it, which is what I perceive happens pretty much every time she leaves the house.


Fall in central Texas. It’s WINDY.

A while later, my seven-year-old started hobbling around and saying that she couldn’t walk because of her shoes. Mother of the Century over here didn’t notice that my daughter had walked out of the house in stiff dress shoes with no socks, which is not exactly ideal for an event where you’re going to be on your feet for hours in the heat. I was standing there throwing my hands to the heavens, wondering whatever we would do, when Kathryn walked up and said, “I have an extra pair of girls shoes in the car that should fit her. Size 1, right?” I very gratefully said yes, and she handed the keys to her sons and told them precisely where they could find this pair of shoes in her (evidently super-organized) car.

They turned out to be wonderfully comfortable boots, complete with the Texas A&M logo to give a little shout-out for the Aggies at the event. As I carried the new footwear back to my daughter, I passed the lady who had asked Kathryn how she does it. I wanted to run up to her, grab her by the shoulders, and say, “You have chosen the right sensei, woman. Kathryn Whitaker is competent enough for all of us.”

— 4 —

The blogger behind the uber-popular Cake Wrecks site recently did an extended internet fast, and she wrote a great post about what she learned on her personal blog. All of her insights are excellent, but my favorite was the one titled, “I need to accomplish physical, tangible goals to be happy.” She wrote:

When I stopped crafting and making things with my hands in order to crank out more writing online, everything went out of whack. I lost focus. I lost my drive. The work was paying off, because Epbot was the most successful it had ever been when I hit that wall, but I reached a point where I couldn’t remember what I was working so hard for anymore.

During my Sabbatical John and I did both a major home remodel (which you’ll see soon) and our costume projects, so every morning I got up with a physical goal in mind. THAT was what got me out of bed. Once I accomplished something tangible – from painting a room to carving a leather bracer – it was so much easier to sit at the laptop and dive back into my virtual head space.

(I found this through another blog, but now I can’t remember which one. Whoever recently linked to this, thanks!)

— 5 —

One evening last weekend, my crazy two-year-old (the Shaun the Sheep fan) took a great interest in what Joe and I were drinking. I said that it was “wine, ” forced myself to make a very-unnatural-feeling “yuck!” face, and offered her a milk sippy cup. (Okay, it was a bottle. My two-year-old still has bottles sometimes, because that’s how I deal with life around here.) Anyway, she indicated that she would prefer the red liquid in my glass by smacking the milk bottle out of my hand and trying to climb onto the table, then trying to climb on top of me to get to the glass.

In a moment of parenting brilliance, I decided to fight fire with fire and let her see what it tastes like. I did the “wine! yuck!” thing again, and tipped the glass so that a drop would touch her lips. She paused for a moment, and I waited for the smug feelings of self-satisfaction that would arrive when I saw her twist her face in disgust. Alas, instead, her eyes lit up and she lunged for my glass shouting “MORE WINE!”

I thought the worst of it was over after we got her to bed that night (sans her much-requested glass of Sonoma cab), but I realized the full consequences of my parenting fail the next day, when I took her to the grocery store. When I rolled the cart past the beer and wine section, she jumped up, pointed a chubby finger at some bottles of merlot on display, and began shouting “WINE!!! WANT WINE!!!!!!” at the top of her lungs. As I tried to wrangle her back into a sitting position, her demands for wine only got louder and more emphatic, which attracted the attention of pretty much all the other people in the store, who were undoubtedly quite curious about how this two-year-old a) knows what wine is, and b) knows that she really, really likes it.

— 6 —

Let me guess: you were just sitting there thinking,  Evernote is so amazing. There is nothing — NOTHING — that it could do to improve my life that it hasn’t already!

You’re wrong. Because Evernote now sells socks.

Your dreams have come true.

Your dreams have come true.

And they’re not just any socks. They’re like the mullet of socks, but in a good way. You know how the mullet haircut motto is “business in the front, party in the back”? Well, Evernote has taken that principle to a new, glorious level by creating socks that are “party on the bottom, business on the top” — funky, striped colors cover the foot, while the part that shows above the shoe is basic black.

Thank you to the people of Evernote for making the world a better place.

— 7 —

You did read Heather’s post called I’m No Theologian, right? Okay, good. Just wanted to check.



  1. Beth Anne

    HAHA I’m an INTJ too but I just couldn’t think of a good theme song for me. I’m too indecisive…and I’m DEF. way too lazy to write my own song….is there a song about indecisiveness??

    • Word Lily

      Another INTJ here. My response when I read that take last week was along the lines of, I’d have to know all the songs in existence before I could pick the right one, so I didn’t even comment, let alone take a stab at the challenge.

      • Christina

        I’m an INTJ and I had the same response. No way us could pick a song without knowing them all or writing my own and there’s no way either will happen, so I’ve settled on never having a song.

        • Karen M

          This is all so true. Analysis Paralysis is the name of the INTJ’s game.

        • Lady Cygnus

          wow – I wasn’t the only one. I thought it was a cool idea, but had no idea what songs are even out there – so I gave up.

          INTJ is supposed to be the least common – esp for women; yet it seems that quite a few women who read this blog have this type. OK Jen, do a survey – what are the personality types of those who read your blog? I switch between INTJ and ISTJ depending on mood and time of day – but am more solidly INTJ. We need to analyze this!

          • Carolyn @ 4life4life

            I feel like it would be likely that more INTJ-ers would find and read Jen’s blog. She’s coming from an atheist’s background and has thought her way into Catholicism, her wording is this ironic/semi-sarcastic/hilarious mood while still energetic and joyful– I feel like it’s a great recipe to draw INTJ-ers out and get them to laugh. Which keeps us coming back because it’s got to be really good to be funny 🙂

    • Sharon

      Di am an INTJ and a composer. Go figure.

  2. Kendra

    I love Jen from Cake Wrecks and Epbot, her blogs are super fun. I linked to that post in my quick takes last week, and Hallie linked to in in her 5 Favorites this week, so it was all over!

    My toddlers have all liked wine. And unsweetened tea. And everything else I’ve ever been drinking that I told them they wouldn’t like.

  3. Rosie

    I once found my 2-year-old clutching my husband’s nearly-full glass of beer telling me, “I dwinked it carefully! I WIKE beer!”

    And then a few days ago she and my 4-year-old were playing “Store” (well, they were playing “Wegman’s”) and they kept buying sangria. For only 40 cents, so I suppose I should be impressed by their bargain hunting skills?

    Parent of the year here, too 😛

    • Elissande

      It only makes sense that children want to copy their parents 🙂 My 2 year old is mad about coffee. I highly doubt that she enjoys the taste of it, but she likes being part of a grown-up ritual.

      I’ve always found that it doens’t make sense at all to tell you children that something tastes bad when you are actually clearly enjoying it yourself. They don’t get fooled so easily. Hehe.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      LOL! Tell them I’ll shop at their store any time. 🙂

  4. Kleejo86

    I’m an ISFP, and I breathe this song: Jem – Down To Earth

    “Friends I have to tell you
    They sent me on a mission down to earth
    To watch and to observe life
    And gather information ’bout your birth

    But what I mostly see is misery
    And it makes me sad

    So capable of love yet, too scared to open up and
    Just wanna be accepted, but can’t show that you care
    Creating problems daily, no wonder some go crazy
    So special and so gifted, but most don’t know, it’s there

    Friends I have to ask you
    Surrounded by the beauty of this place
    Why do you make it so hard
    For all the things you want to come your way

    Well I don’t think you see your destiny
    And it makes me sad

    So capable of love yet, too scared to open up and
    Just wanna be accepted, but can’t show that you care
    Creating problems daily, no wonder some go crazy
    So special and so gifted, but most don’t know, it’s there

    Do it, just let it all out
    Express emotion
    Say how you’re feeling
    It’s liberating
    Nothing can hurt you
    You can be happy
    But you must believe it (believe it)

    Well I don’t think you see your destiny
    And it makes me sad

    So capable of love yet, too scared to open up and
    Just wanna be accepted, but can’t show that you care
    Creating problems daily, no wonder some go crazy
    So special and so gifted, but most don’t know, it’s there
    So capable of love yet, too scared to open up and
    Just wanna be accepted
    Creating problems daily, no wonder some go crazy
    So special and so gifted, but most don’t know, it’s there

    Won’t you let me take you down to earth”

  5. Ele

    ISFP here (not too sure about the S part, as I value intuition too… and not too sure about the F as well as I can be fairly analytical :-))
    However, the song that has always resonated true with me (especially when I was younger than 25… but it can still apply) is What’s up from Four non blondes.
    And you made me laugh with the wine story! Great post as always Jen 🙂

    25 years and my life is still
    Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
    For a destination

    I realized quickly when I knew I should
    That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
    For whatever that means

    And so I cry sometimes when I’m lying in bed
    Just to get it all out, what’s in my head
    And I, I am feeling a little peculiar

    And so I wake in the morning and I step outside
    And I take deep breath and I get real high
    And I scream from the top of my lungs
    What’s goin’ on?

    And I say hey, hey
    I said hey, what’s goin’ on?
    And I say hey, hey
    I said hey, what’s goin’ on?

    And I try, oh my God do I try
    I try all the time
    In this institution

    And I pray, oh my God do I pray
    I pray every single day
    For a revolution

  6. Kathleen Basi

    All I have to say about #5 is…HA!

  7. Kathleen

    My mom had no qualms about giving us tastes of wine or beer as toddlers when we asked for it, because we always disliked it and stopped asking for it, until she reached my youngest sister, who would take that first sip and rather than making a face, went back in for more!

  8. Jessica

    Ohhhhh, Jen. Why did I, being married to an Italian, not think to warn you about giving a “sip of wine” to your daughter? Sadly, there is no cure for this affliction. Our three year-old son does the same thing when he sees anything resembling a bottle of wine, no matter where we are. He recently yanked open our friends’ beverage cooler, shouting, “Mamma, dammi del vino! MAMMA, VINO!” (“Give me the wine, Mom!”)

    At least that’s what I think he said. My husband wasn’t there to translate. 😉

  9. Kathryn

    Oh Jen, you crack me up. So great to see you on Saturday. And, I’m still sticking with Joe’s original fruitcake opinion. We have wine lovers at our house, too. Scott always let’s them dip a fingertip in the glass and that seems to solve the wine addiction problem 😉

  10. Kristin

    Great read. Thank you!

  11. Lynne

    The screaming for wine made me laugh. It reminds me of a time my (then) 2 yo (now 23) was misbehaving in Target. I gave him a swat on the bottom (discreet ly and gently, of course) and he began to scream, “Don’t spank my p#nis!” Repeat that ten times in a screaming voice in the middle of Target sometime and notice how the world seems to be whirling in a collapsing vortex with you at the center. My mother’s wise words to me? “That’s what you get for teaching him that word!”

    • LPatter

      oh I love this story!!!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Repeat that ten times in a screaming voice in the middle of Target sometime and notice how the world seems to be whirling in a collapsing vortex with you at the center.

      I am *crying* laughing. Oh my gosh. That is so funny. And totally something that would happen to me.

    • Heather/MamaKnows

      This is one of the funniest stories I have ever heard!!! Hilarious!

  12. Veronica


    I absolutely love your blog! You make me laugh out loud on a regular basis!
    The wine story had me chuckling, but the mullet/sock description took it to the level of being afraid to spray my coffee onto the screen! (I am sure you could have done without that description, but it is true 🙂 Thanks again for another entertaining read!


  13. Alexandra

    Ha! I’m an INTJ and I loved last week’s idea of theme songs, but after much thought could not come up with an accurate one. Good to see I’m not alone with that!

  14. Janet

    One time, when my cousin was a toddler, she was “racing” in the yard with her dad and did a horrible face-plant– black eye, big raspberry on the side of her face, the works. To try and get her to calm down afterward, he said (among other things), “Well, you won– I couldn’t beat you.” It took almost a week to heal up, and until then, if anybody asked her what happened, she would proudly say, “Daddy no beat me!”

  15. Kit

    I’m an INTJ and my immediate reaction to the theme-song idea last week was, “Here I go Again” by Whitesnake. But I like these “who has time” and “write your own” answers even better!

    I love your blog, always fun and also thought-provoking 🙂

  16. Anne

    I so appreciate the socks!!! It’s fun to look down at your patterned socks, but sometimes, you do need that business casual feel for the visible part of your leg. That’s win-win!

  17. Jen

    HAHA. I’ll be sure to keep the wine away from my son (15 months old), then….thanks for the tip! 😉

    As a fellow INTJ, I’ve always thought my theme song is Matthew West’s “Out of My Hands”. Not a very well-known song, but it’s one of my faves (even got the name of my blog from it)!

  18. Hannah

    When we went camping last and I brought the toddler to the grocery store, he suggested we get wine 2x. As in “Mamama you forgot wine.” He also went over the wine case and started picking up bottles and examining them like a connoisseur. “Nope, not that one.”

    And he figured out how to use the Keurig but luckily he knows you need to use a cup underneath and we keep playing 3 card monte with the cups so there hasn’t be an successful brew cycle yet…

  19. Theresa in Alberta

    More wine please!! laughing…… Go and buy some inexpensive wine glasses at your local thrift store, pour apple juice (white wine) or cranberry or grape or any dark juice (red wine) into them when your toddler wants more wine ;p

  20. Beadgirl

    Funny how the sip of wine backfired, huh? A few years ago Mr. Beadgirl and I took the family to a micro-brewery restaurant, where Mr. Beadgirl ordered a beer sampler with a bunch of little glasses. Beadboy2 had a lot of fun sticking his finger into the different foams, until Mr. Beadgirl took the sampler away. Beadboy2 stood up in his chair and started yelling at the top of his lungs, “I want my beer back! Give me my beer, Daddy!” He and I just about died laughing, surrounded by a roomful of patrons and staff staring at us. Beadboy1 ignored the whole thing and polished off the chips and guacamole.

  21. LPatter

    did the wine thing with coffee (light n sweet of course…whoops!) when my son was 15 mos old. Sister caught on that brother (now 5) still sneaks sip. So both my kids can be caught begging for coffee whenever I have it. Only slightly less scandalous in public. 🙂

  22. Jennifer

    My husband did the same thing with our youngest. She was maybe a little younger than 2, going for his pint glass in a restaurant. So he gave her a sip. BIG mistake. 🙂

  23. Rhonda Ortiz

    Our son loves beer. Occasionally I catch him trying to drink the last drops out of the empties we have lying around, waiting to be returned to the store for their deposit. So gross!!!

  24. Michelle

    Hahaha! I can just see your little one yelling for wine! Oh, the joys of parenting!

  25. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Every few hours throughout the day, snippets from Heather’s post still pop into my head. Straight to the heart, man.

  26. Theresa@OrdinaryLovely

    Love No. 5! When my oldest was about 2 he started speech therapy because he couldn’t talk… at all. A few weeks into therapy, my husband came home with a six pack for our house guests and me and my son’s first word came out, “beer.” Wow! Speech therapy works! It was monumentally embarrassing.

  27. Tori

    My bloggy worlds collide! I’ve read Cake Wrecks and Epbot for years and I love Jen Yates (another Jen even!) – I missed her on her sabbatical but what she said totally made sense. I may even think about taking a break from the internets for a while.

    Re: kids and alcohol in public places, a couple of weeks ago we had the first meeting for my 5yo’s Little Flowers Girls Club. I am one of the mommy helpers so we were all sitting having a tea party together and I was thinking, gee, this is going pretty well! Then my daughter offered me a little plastic tea cup: “Here, Mommy, have some beer!” Facepalm.

  28. Sarah

    Hahaha I so resonate with the wine story.

    I remember when my eldest was around 2 years old I used to have MTV on my TV whilst I pottered about the house. I thought because she was 2 I didn’t really have to worry about her picking up on the lyrics of the songs or anything. WRONG!

    One fateful day, as we went around Tesco Supermarket, she suddenly started singing Gay Bar by Electric Six at the top of her voice. “I’m gonna take you to a gay bar, gay bar, gay bar!” So I try to counter this with a bit of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, but no, she sings all the louder, “I’m gonna take you to a gay bar, gay bar, gay bar”.

    I may as well have been wearing my ‘Bad Mother’ T-shirt that day. I prayed so hard that I wouldn’t see anyone from church. Haha 😀

  29. Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

    LOL! I am laughing so hard over the WINE part of your post! Oh that is so funny! 🙂

    Thanks for the LOL

    God bless!

  30. Karen M

    I loved all of the comments on personality type theme songs–as an INTJ, I had to go back and read every single one. My husband (INTP) and I are hanging out now that the kids are in bed and I played your theme song and he nodded his head a lot in agreement as a good theme song.

    Then I played Ride of the Valkyrie, which was suggested as an INTJ theme song and I rather agree with. He was a little uncomfortable with that one–I think he has enough with my wanting to achieve things and my bossine… constant suggestions. 😉

    After that, I had to play Delena’s theme song as a contrast and it took him about 10 seconds before he held his hand up and said, “Um…I’m trying to relax here. Turn that off.”

  31. Erika Marie @ Simplemama

    RE: the fruitcake thing – This morning on the radio, the host asked his callers to call and tell him what their favorite recipes are and what their worst dinner they’ve ever made is.
    Anyway, he got on the topic of meatloaf, which he hates about as much as your husband hates fruitcake, and by the end of the show he had challenged his callers to a meatloaf contest to see if they could get him to like meatloaf. I wonder if your husband would try something like that if there were some sort of prize…that’s not fruitcake. 🙂

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      I love that idea. If I had even a little more bandwidth, I would totally organize that!

  32. Gina

    Songs for personality types! What a clever idea! (I’m late to the party, as usual.) Must get thinking up ideas for us INFJs — I saw a couple good ones in there, but there must be more . . .

    Oh, and my great-grandmother raised nine children on (homemade) wine. Feel better? 🙂

  33. elizabethe

    My children have whiskey preferences. Don’t ask.

  34. Karyn

    Great couple of posts Jennifer. I haven’t done a Myers-Brigs in a while and I can never remember anything past the fact that I’m an introvert. I retook it and got INFP. The F part was really low, so I read the description for INFP and INTP. I think I lean more towards the T, but they seem to think of that in terms of science and technology, whereas I’m more in the philosophy logical thinking set. Give me a good syllogism any day, and I want to figure out how to prove the premises true or false and if there is a fallacy involved.

    Youtube has videos with a song and motivational posters. I watched the INFP and loved the song and a few of the pictures. When I watched the INTP video I didn’t care much for the song, but I laughed out loud at a bunch of the posters. So, there you go.

    BTW have you read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Great book.

  35. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I need to take this weird little alphabet personality test so I know that is going on here all the time!

  36. Lady Cygnus

    At a party once my sister picked up a champaign glass to take a sip. The person who’s glass it was laughed, snapped a picture, and then took the glass away. Then she went to the next table…

    When the photos came back there was a clear progression from adorable girl with perfect curls to drunk toddler. At that point they realized why she had slept the whole ride home.

  37. Eva

    Coincidently, I just ( well, an hour ago) did the ‘give him a taste and he’ll stop bothering me ‘ wine experiment with my seven year old. Fortuitously, I got the requisit ‘ that tastes like beer, poison and frog snot’ so all went according to plan. Maybe I just have cheaper wine than you, though?

  38. Mira

    I’m a bit late, but I’d like to add my choice of a song that describes an ISTJ – it’s ‘The Work Song’ from Cinderella: their can-do attitude, their working towards a goal, accomplishing that goal, their camaraderie and loyalty – and making things right again – even for a brief moment – well, all that fills me with happiness like nothing else! Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. Blessings to you and your family!

  39. Carolyn @ 4life4life

    Re #1: HAHA! I’m and INTJer and after I read your personality song post I thought, “well I won’t be playing this game because I’ll end up searching for rest of my life”. I love the other INTJ responses. YES!

  40. Amanda @ PlanningOnIt

    I love that Coldplay song, perfect INFP song! How about the perfect Meyer’s Briggs book? I’d think I’d say the Neverending Story for INFP’s. Or anything by Charles de Lint. Apparently he’s someone only INFP’s read, my DH’s senior pastor (also an INFP/INTP) was surprised to come into our room to greet our newly born baby girl and see those books on my shelf. I’d never met anyone else who’s even heard of him before.

    Love the wine story, with my luck that would happen to me too. Our then 18 month old once got ahold of Daddy’s cup of coffee (note, my DH drinks it black and strong) and not only drank the half a mug of coffee but told me “ummy coffee Mommy!” when I found him. He also eats coffee beans out of the grinder…and somehow we’re baffled when he climbs on tables and bookshelves.

  41. Becky Castle Miller

    Our almost-two-year-old LOVES wine. We started by giving her a taste from a dipped pinky, and now she tries to grab the whole glass and gulp.

  42. Amy of Writing Hope

    INTJ late to the conversation (SERO SED SERIO: Late, but in earnest!).

    I had to think about this one, since music is something huge for me (you might say I got “vocals” Suzuki-style: two singing, instrumentalist parents that have led music my whole life). Music is one area of intensity for me, I know a *lot* of music, and (while I have written a couple songs in my life, the obligated way I’ve written a couple poems) I know my skill-set enough to know that I will better-spend my time on other things.

    That is to say, as an INTJ who has learned (is learning) my limitations, this is something I would delegate. Because I like the idea (being a music-lover), and nothing would happen if I waited on me.

    Possibly one of these songs: Citadel by Anna Nalick, or How Does it Feel by Avril Lavigne.

    I think both songs do a terrific job of sitting in the INTJ “starting place” while reaching toward a fuller humanity of valuing (or at least acknowledging) the F-function even though it doesn’t come “naturally.”

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