7 Quick Takes

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

1. Ughhh August head cold. The worst. Every time I come down with a cold, I keep telling myself it’s “just allergies,” as if that really makes things better. And then…it always gets worse. And I have to resign myself to being sick like any other normal sick person. It’s almost disappointing.

2. The fogged-up feeling also dampens my enthusiasm (oh man, did you see that? I’m on fire) for dragging the kids outside to bask in the glorious weather we’ve been having lately. Which brings me to the curious point I confessed to Luke last week on our way back from a Rhode Island beach: I, a decidedly not-beachy person, have truly enjoyed our beach trips this summer. From the glorious, pristine unsaltiness of Lake Michigan to the little gentle bay a mile from our house (note: pushing 80 lbs of double stroller, beach bag and sweaty child flesh back and forth to the beach WILL wipe you out the rest of the day), I’ve surprised myself. I think a big part of this has been my very minimalist approach to solo beach trips with the kids. One beach bag, containing: 2 pails. 2 shovels. 1 hooded baby towel; 1 small beach towel in case I get wet; 1 terry cloth hooded coverup for Lucia. 1 thrifted twin sheet to sit on in the sand. 1 extra swim dipe, and the regular travel diaper pouch with wipes-n-dipes. Sunscreen, baby powder for removing sand from skin, and a canister of Wet Wipes for hands before eating any snacks we might bring if I’m feeling magnanimous. That’s seriously it (and I guess it looks like a lot listed out, but not compared to the trunkloads I see other families hauling across the sand). Having the bag ready to go and hanging on a hook also makes it easier to look at the Cheerio-strewn floor at 9 a.m., give up, and say, “Let’s go to the beach.” I’m a convert.

3. Anyways. This is not to say I’ve fully embraced the Long Island Sound. Forgive me for becoming the Large Bodies of Water snob I’ve accused Luke and his fellow Michiganders of being, but somehow, standing waist-deep in brackish, brown, jellyfish-infested waters and not even being able to see my knees is…discomfiting. Lucia is suddenly all into “GOING DEEPY-DEEP!!”, so, deep we both go.

O Great Lake. I miss thee.

4. Of course, just because I’ve embraced the culture of sun-worshipping doesn’t mean the kids are giving me a free pass. For the past few months, it’s been a battle to convince Lucia to leave the house before 11 a.m. Let’s put it this way: there are certain phrases she’ll spout off that she’s clearly picked up just from being around me 99% of her waking hours. It’s mimicry, it’s cute, whatever. But in other cases, like her abhorrence of leaving home, she is profoundly her father’s daughter. She strives to stay in her pajamas as long as possible, and she lives for the delight of sleeping in just a diaper. If we do have to go somewhere, or, you know, if Felix and I are clawing the walls out of sheer cabin fever, I might have to literally drag her across the living room carpet to the back door, nudge her slowly across the parking lot to the car, and convince her while buckling her carseat that “this will be FUN.” After peeling off her pajamas (I asked her this week why she likes them so much; she answered in all sincerity, “Because they’re comfy, Mama!” Why not.) and forcing on play clothes, of course. What a cruel existence. And all for the sake of forcing fun times like the beach. (She always has a blast once we’re there, and then it’s a whole other round of reasoning to get her to leave to come back home). Toddlers. Sheesh.

5. This will all come to the fore, I’m sure, once Lucia starts preschool in a couple weeks. It’s only two mornings a week, at a little church two miles from our house, very laid-back and gentle, etc. etc…..I’m not fishing for commentary on whether preschool is good/bad/from the devil, because trust me, I’ve run that mental gauntlet of mom-anxiety and am not beyond repeating it about once a week. (Why do we do this to ourselves?) I think she could really enjoy a couple hours twice a week being with other 3-year-olds, making crafts, singing….the question is getting her there. 😮

6. This weekend, Luke and I are going to see The World’s End. When the trailer came out, I told Luke it reminded me of a cross between The Hangover and Stepford Wives, but the real appeal/nostalgia trigger for us is that we started dating after watching Shaun of the Dead. Hot Fuzz is also one of our favorite movies; we watched it in the theater (so fancy!) when Luke visited me in New Mexico the summer before we got engaged. So I guess you can say Simon Pegg brought us together. No, that’s too far. 

7. I bought a lime tree. I don’t know why, if I can’t even keep a pot of basil alive, I think I can nurture a tree that needs to be pruned, transplanted into larger containers and carried indoors in the winter….but the romantic in me wanted a lime tree (and when I asked Luke for opinion re: lime vs. fig tree, he pointed out that we both like margaritas, so that settled it). Also, in The Master of Hestviken, Sigrid Undset makes a point of describing the fragrant scent of lime trees planted along the cliffs of Olav’s ancestral home on the fjord. So there.


“I’m just a baby so I don’t know how to be gentle.” — Lucia, explaining why she’s tearing paper like a fiend while sitting on my lap. Followed by: “Can I watch a show? Can I watch a movie about bellybuttons? Please? Just one. Pleaser?” Bellybuttons??

Peace out. I’ve got a nose to blow and a naked daughter to force back into play clothes.

Thank you, Jen, for hosting!


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