Friday, May 4, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 12)

1. I'm going to the the matron-of-honor in my best friend's wedding next month.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very honored to have been asked.  And I know that I have no right to complain when all my duties combined don't even come close to the overwhelming amount of responsibilities and planning she has on her plate.  But oy vey - it takes a fair amount of work, and a whole lot of money to do this thing right!  The initial cost of the bridesmaid dress was already pretty frightening.  I had to order it two sizes up since I knew there was a possibility I would be pregnant by the wedding, and of course they never make the dresses with maternity options.  At my dress fitting yesterday, I put the thing on.  It fit - with a little room left for baby to grow - on the tummy.  But NO WHERE ELSE.  It's enormous.  I have to have it taken in at six different areas.  No joke.  The alterations are costing more than the stupid dress even cost to begin with!!  And I know I'm never going to wear it ever again, because the excessive drapiness of the style just makes it look like I'm fat and lumpy rather than pregnant.  Sigh.  I'll post pictures when the wedding comes.  I probably need to just get over it.
It looks great on her, sure.  Don't be fooled, though...that's no empire waist.  It hits right at the natural waist which is exactly where I have a huge baby bump.

2. It's suddenly gotten very hot, and I'm remembering very clearly what a summertime third trimester felt like.  Sly was born at the end of August which is when this baby is due as well.  We don't have air conditioning.  How did I survive this before?  I took a picture of my feet yesterday "pre-swelling" so that I can blow people's minds in a few months with how enormous my feet and ankles will have become.

3. Speaking of the heat, I think we may have found a little trick to help keep the house slightly cooler this summer.  My cousin's been insisting for years that the best thing to do when it's hot is to keep doors and windows SHUT and windows well-covered to block out the sun.  We'd always gone with the open-every-window-and-door and stick-fans-all-over-the-house methods.  But we've been experimenting, and I really think she's right.  It's too bad, though.  I love getting a little breeze indoors (even when it's a hot one), and actually being able to hear the sounds of the outdoors coming in.

4. I've been reading some books recently on different approaches/methods of homeschooling.  We definitely hope to homeschool.  I know any number of things may force that plan to change at some point, but it makes sense to start thinking about it now.  So far I'm most attracted to the idea of a classical approach.  To explain this in the briefest way possible, that would basically entail teaching our children the skills that are needed for learning and understanding material, and not delving too deeply into real "subject matter" until later.  And it would be a great excuse for me to finally learn Latin, as I've always wanted to.  One approach that I am SO turned off by is "unschooling."  Perhaps - perhaps - this is a successful approach to learning for some families.  But I could never handle it.  The parts of unschooling that most resonated with me - the idea of fostering your child's natural desire to learn, and of allowing their interests to help direct their learning - seem to be things I could work in to a more traditional schooling approach anyways.


5. Sly's finally been saying some words!  For the longest time, he's been stuck with just "what's that?!" (asked 50,000 times a day), "hi", "hey", "bye", and "no."  I really wanted him to start saying Mama or Dada, but it just wasn't happening.  Then I realized: when Tom or I refer to ourselves, we say "Mommy" or "Daddy."  Perhaps those words were too difficult for him to say?  We started actually using "Mama and Dada" and seriously, within one day, he was saying our names!  It was as if he was just waiting for us to make it easier for him all along.  He also says: shoe, choo-choo, beep-beep (which means car), soap ("so"), bee (which is now squealed excitedly when he sees any type of bug), 'o' (the letter o, which I taught him to pick out in his books, as it seemed like the easiest letter to spot) moo, and hee-haw.

6. There's been a bad smell in my kitchen the past few days which I can not find the source of, and it's driving me crazy!  It's sorta a musty old food smell more than a true rotting type of smell.  I've washed the rugs, towels, dishrags, etc.  I microwaved the sponge.  I cleared old food out of the fridge and pantry.  I emptied the trash (and sniff-checked the empty can - it's fine).  I moved the oven to see if something gross was under there.  I scrubbed under all the burners on the over.  And ok, I haven't actually mopped the floor, per se.  But I've spot-cleaned it, and it looks good (I hate mopping!!).  Yesterday, I thought maybe it was the drains in the double-sink.  How are you even supposed to de-stink those??  We don't have a garbage disposal or anything.  I just poured some bleach down, waited a little, then followed up with water.  Afterwards, it just smelled sorta bleach-y to me.  But I'm willing to try a more effective method, if anyone knows of one.  I still think it might be the drains.  But if not....what stink-sources could I be missing??

7. I need to share a fantastic recipe from Pioneer Woman.  This is the first of her recipes I've used, but I've tasted some other at friends' houses, and they're always amazing.  This one is for Crash Hot Potatoes.  I've made them three times in the past month or so, and Tom keeps requesting them over and over.  Definitely give them a try!  And if anyone has some other favorites from her extensive recipe collection, link me up!

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. I'm sorry about that dress. The one I had to wear for my sister's wedding made me look like a gigantic pink cupcake.

    When I got married, I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses. I told them that the dress had to be some shade of blue, have a hemline past the knee, and not show a navel - otherwise, they had free reign. Each dress was different but complimented one another beautifully, and my MOH found a dress on clearance for $5 (it didn't even need alterations!). I'm all for doing stuff the easy way.

  2. Sorry about the dress. I have two bridesmaids dresses in my closet right now that I've never worn since, but just can't seem to get rid of knowing the price tag. Hope your alterations work out!

    I love PW recipes. I actually posted a link to her flatbread pizza in my post today. I highly recommend it.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Try filling your sink full of hot water, pour in some baking soda, and then letting it run down the drain. You might have to do it a few times, but I have found that helps with smells. Good luck!

  4. Ann-Marie beat me with the baking soda. Another thing that works is a cup of white vinegar. If you have disposal, about once a month, put orange peels in and process them. the oils stick around and help freshen the smell.

    I am totally making the Crash Potatoes tomorrow!

  5. I sprinkle some baking soda down my drain then pour some vinegar in. It helps clean the drain and de-stink it. If your smell resembles garbage, it could be a dead mouse. We live in the country and every once in a while a mouse dies inside the walls. Try burning incense. The smell eventually (a few weeks at most) goes away.

  6. Do you have potatoes that have gone bad? We'd had that happen a few times and it's the WORST smell ever and so gross to clean....we stopped buying potatoes for the longest time - we never ate them soon enough.

    rock the dress as best you can! I bet you'll look fab!

  7. I bet you will look lovely in the dress but I hear ya on the expense. My best friend got married from last summer and I threw the checkbook is still panting!

    Thank you for listing those books about homeschooling. I'm getting ready to start exploring the world of Catholic homeschooling too. :)

  8. Try Drano in the sink. We used it sometimes when I notice a bad stink coming from the drain. We also don't have a garbage disposal, so I think sometimes it does clog up a little. It seems to clear it up every time.

  9. We have used Mother of Divine Grace for years! If we unschooled my kids would never do anything but build with legos and dig holes in the backyard. I like thay the early grades are so gentle and easy that there is plenty of time for fun stuff. There is a very active yahoo group when the time comes if you decide to go.that route. The moms there are so helpful...

  10. Sometimes coke in the drain helps also. I second the bakingsoda and vinegar!

  11. 1. Oh, that dress is very unfortunate. Perhaps you can turn it into some sort of Halloween costume someday?

    2. I love that you thought to take a before picture!

    4. I completely agree on the unschooling thing. It might work for some people but we could NEVER do it!

    7. I'm printing out the recipe! Another one of hers that we like is "Butter Chicken." I don't understand the name, because it's not all about butter but more like an Indian dish. I really don't like Indian food, but I love this dish.

  12. Ah! Just reading your blog to catch up on your life and I recognize those books from my parents bookshelves :). Hope all is well! xoxox Sarah