7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 220)
I am going to make every effort to make my post peppy and cheerful to get the weekend off to a good start! Which will be quite a feat since I had a crying breakdown in my bathroom an hour ago.
I’m okay now. It was just one of those afternoons when I had to take a moment to explain to God in no uncertain terms that I can’t — CANNOT — do this anymore, “this” meaning “juggle the demands of an extremely high-needs two-year-old, a sweet but slightly fussy newborn, and four other young children.” I know that it will get better: the baby will start sleeping better soon (notice that I didn’t say I “hope” he’ll be sleeping better soon; this is something that will happen, so say The Sleep Lady and I), and any day now my two-year-old will realize that she actually doesn’t have to react to tragedies like having her shoes put on or being offered food she doesn’t like by doing her 115-decibel scream for 10 minutes at a time. Those will be glorious days indeed. But until then, I will probably have a few more melodramatic self-pity sessions in the bathroom.
Well, here’s something to be cheerful about: BooMama‘s book is finally out! I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, and it was just the breath of fresh air that I needed. I’ve been enjoying her hilarious and touching stories on her blog for years, and am thrilled that her writing is finally in book form. Also, on a selfish note, I am in love with these gorgeous ceramic measuring spoons that she was kind enough to include with the book:
I’ve actually been measuring ingredients in my recipes instead of eyeballing it just because I want an excuse to use these spoons.
Anyway, congrats to BooMama on a fabulous book, and if you’re looking for a charming and delightful summer read, put this one at the top of your list!
Guess what! I found my life’s calling this week. It has been made clear to me that I was put on this earth to create playlists to go with workout videos.
I had been doing the 30 Day Shred but got tired of hearing Jillian growl “YOUR NECK IS NOT INVITED TO THIS PARTY!”, so I thought I’d listen to my own music instead. But because I am nerdy and analytical and never miss a chance to break out Excel, I turned it into an hours-long project where I carefully selected a playlist that is perfectly timed with the video. The results? Let me put it this way:
It was as if Jillian Michaels stepped into a time machine, came to June 2013 to listen to my awesome playlist, and then went back in time and created her workout to go with it. It is the very definition of perfection.
Also, having great music to listen to led to a huge improvement in my endurance: I did five whole crunches before collapsing as I screamed “This is absurd!!!!!”, and I even defied the laws of physics and did and entire squat (take that, haterz!)
I was going to avoid giving details about my first playlist since it would show you exactly what kind of songs I consider “the very definition of perfection,” but since this is such an important subject I’ll go ahead and put it out there:
- Call Me Maybe / Carly Rae Jepsen (3:13)
- Lose Yourself / Eminem (5:22)
- Since U Been Gone / Kelly Clarkson (3:09)
- 50 Ways to Say Goodbye / Train (4:08)
- I Wanna Know You / Hannah Montana and David Archuleta (2:47)
- The Fighter / Gym Class Heroes (3:49)
- Miracle / Matisyahu (3:07)
- Litany / Matt Maher (2:15)
Here’s the whole thing on Grooveshark* (hat tip to the G-Unit). And for anyone who assumed that I put the Hannah Montana song on there for the kids, thank you for your misguided charity. Anyway, start it after Jillian is done with her intro, when this title screen comes up, and you’re all set.
Now, if you would like to create your own list for any reason — i.e. if you’re afraid that my list is too perfect, and you fear that the subtle profundities contained in the music of Carly Rae Jepsen might leave you frozen in awe — here are the details: you need to start with a warm-up song that’s about 3:12, end with a cool-down song that’s about 2:10, and have about 22:15 of music in between. Or you could just wait for me to create a bunch more, since this is evidently what I was meant to do with my life.
* I threw together that Grooveshark list quickly and forgot to check whether those were the clean or explicit versions in the cases of songs that had some colorful words — FYI before you blast it with the kids around.
What are some blogs that have good “About Me” pages? (Shameless self promotion welcome if you’re particularly proud of your own.) I have long wanted to fix up the information dump that is my bio page and am looking for inspiration.
Reading what I wrote in #1 reminds me of back when I had four kids under age five, and I was doing all sorts of stuff like working on the book, contributing to other books, and hosting a Kidsave child. Quite a few people told me that they were amazed that I was doing all this, implying that I had some kind of intelligence or life skills that were making this possible. I tried to explain that I was just lucky in my circumstances, but I think that people interpreted that statement to mean that I was also very humble on top of being a supermom.
But now I have proof that, no, seriously, it was just my circumstances.
Our fourth child, appropriately nicknamed “baby Joy,” slept through the night at two weeks, and spent the next year of her life quietly smiling. My third child, who was 18 months old when baby Joy was a newborn, was a pretty laid back toddler by Fulwiler standards. My oldest two were crazy, but had started to get a little more calm once they were preschool ages. Also, I could usually get them all to nap at the same time.
So while I certainly had my hands full, it was a manageable situation. Now that I have a somewhat-high-needs newborn and an E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y high needs toddler, there is no way that I could host a child from a foreign country or take on additional writing assignments; heck, I’m amazed that I’m able to change out of my pajamas in the morning.
It’s a good lesson in not comparing yourself to others: very often when we perceive that other people are succeeding in areas where we’re not, we underestimate how much our different circumstances are a factor.