Friday, October 16, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday


A very colorful week is an overwhelmingly busy week!

But it was full of fun, exceptional days, such as grandparents visiting, apple-picking, a play, and a cupcake rosary to celebrate October, which is devoted to Our Lady.

cupcake rosary


Thomas' latest achievements at age 12 weeks old: laughing and getting fat.
  • The little guy is on the verge of laughing, releasing a staccato grunting sound while smiling when we tickle him.
  • One day while changing his outfit, Mary was peering at the naked baby and gasped in alarm, "He has extra skin!" I explained that he is growing fat rolls, which are just what we want a baby to have.

Book Nerd Problems: I was so grumpy when social events kept me from reading aloud our chapters of "The Lost World" to John and Mary for several nights in a row. What was happening in the book? What would occur next? Was it cheating if I read ahead without my children? My internal Captain Kirk voice answers, Of course, that's a stupid question even to ask, man! Every Book Nerd knows that I have to read along with my kids so we all find out together if our intrepid explorers will get off the plateau before being killed by savage apes or a T. Rex!


Bonus Reading: "If Kindergarten Wasn't So Much Like First Grade, We Wouldn't Need to Delay It" by Maria Guido. The contrast between my half-day Kindergarten (which still included a required nap on roll-out mats!) and today's full-day Kindergarten (often followed by after-school care) with its academic requirements makes my heart hurt for those tots.


John began taking online typing lessons this week. This skill had been on my radar as something to teach this year, but we launched into this now because John asked me if there was any way he could learn how to type. We're trying first because it is free--and personally I really appreciate that it is a silent, black-and-white typing program without cartoons and whizbangs or cool, rockin' music with immodestly dressed, cartoon tween girls as characters.

John loved his first lesson learning the F and J keys plus the space bar. The program encourages the student to take a typing test after each or every several lessons to watch his improvement. On John's first test, he scored 3 wpm at 94% accuracy and we printed out his official certificate.

I happen to enjoy the precision of typing and meandered down memory lane to my beloved and strict typing teacher in junior high-school. Oh, how I remember those heavy keys on the typewriters and how we would type to brisk music, following her voice like a metronome as she shouted out the letters. She produced superior typists! I learned to type well over 100 wpm with nearly 100% accuracy and it was and remains a fond skill. (Nerd alert.)


Bonus Reading: "3 Simple Steps to Reclaiming Your Family Life" by Dr. Gregory Popcak.

"Family life has never been perfect, but it would not be overly nostalgic to note that as little as a generation or two ago, it was assumed that family life was the place where people learned to be human beings. Family life was the place where socialization occurred, where children and parents developed a sense of purpose, meaning, and values. Family constituted people's primary and most important relationship—in reality, not just in name. Children were permitted to participate in extra-curricular activities to the degree that they did not infringe too much on family meals, church, and other important family rituals. 
"Three generations of the culture of divorce have destroyed this idea. Today, about 41% of all children are born to unmarried women and about half of children have a step-sibling. In an age where so many people's experience of family life has been radically disrupted, almost every family—including intact families—have fallen prey to the idea that socialization, meaning, purpose, values, direction and significant relationships are supposed to happen outside the home while the family home is reduced to a train station where people pass each other on the way to the really important activities."

This subject matter is one Chris and I revisit over and over again. We really do not like enrolling the kids in various and sundry activities that separate our family from being together . . . driving one kid to his sport and another kid to her whatever activity, the spouses having to divide-and-conquer, and the toddlers and preschoolers get worn out being dragged along, taken out of their own sleep-and-play routine. Some families we know sign up for activities that only the whole family can do together, for example, all taking archery lessons this year or all participating in weekly Scottish dance gatherings. We don't know the right balance for our family, but it is an important matter to discern.


My first gray hair! I thought I didn't care about that, but apparently I do.

Visit 7 Quick Takes Friday at This Ain't the Lyceum.


  1. I read that article about Kindergarten the other day really is terrible what is getting pushed in schools now. In fact, I just did a long post on my own blog this morning that's related to the subject. And we too try to limit activities/participate in activities we can all enjoy together. We're still a bit fragmented, but not like other families we know. We're still trying to figure out the balance.

  2. I'll bet your typing prowess makes it all the more frustrating to have to type (or should I say peck out) emails and blog posts one-handed while the other hand supports the baby. Or do you sit while wearing the baby in your sling and thus have both hands free? I haven't been able to do that.

  3. Frances: Yes, I sure hate hunt-and-peck typing because it's nothing like 100+ wpm. :) If the baby is asleep, he will stay in my sling so I have both hands free (like right now!). Now that Thomas is 3 months old, I can cross one leg Indian style and prop him into it awake while I type, which he will tolerate if he is in a good mood.