7 Quick Takes (take 8)


After a long hiatus, something tells me this is the week to jump back into

7 Quick Takes . . .


Today I hosted our bilingual playgroup. I started hanging out with this group when Olivia was around a year and a half old, I think. She was one of the oldest children, so none of them were talking and it didn’t really matter that the other ladies spoke Spanish almost exclusively to their children and I didn’t use hardly any Spanish with Olivia. We’ve attended sporadically since Molly & Violet came along, but have stayed on the rotation for hosting because I do enjoy visiting in Spanish and there are some really fun gals in the group. I have not, however, taught my girls to speak Spanish and today I realized that I am going to have to re-think things a bit. Livy was excited for her amigos to come (she knows which group it is if we use that one Spanish word), but found it disconcerting that the children were talking to her in a language she found completly foreign. As a result, she took extra long to warm up. When she did, everyone had to play in English to accommodate my girls even though it is supposed to be a playdate in Spanish. No one gave us a hard time or anything, but it made me realize that I haven’t really kept up with what I thought I’d do when I joined the group. It’s not that I don’t want to teach the girls Spanish, it’s just that . . . I haven’t gotten around to it. But I see that with Olivia, my window is closing. In two short years, she will likely head off to school and my ability to influence her on language (and all manner of other things, but that’s another post) will start to diminish. So if this is my goal, I better get on it. “Research shows that children need to hear a language at least 30% of their waking hours to become fluent” (source: WebMD magazine – specific research not cited but it sounds about right). Am I up for speaking solely Spanish to the girls for two full days out of the week? Part of me thinks, wow, that’s all it would take? And part of me thinks, holy cow, that’s how much it would take?! Guess it comes down to how much I really want it . . .


That same WebMD magazine had a little blurb about sexual report cards that I found very interesting after working at The Medical Institute for Sexual Health. Apparently, “the San Francisco Department of Public Health and Internet Sexuality Information Services partnered to launch inSPOT.org, a website designed to prevent and control sexually transmitted diseases and to increase the notification of partners. InSPOT’s email service allows users to send e-cards to sexual partners – and even remain anonymous if they prefer. Every e-card includes links to information about how to get tested.” My first thought was holy cow – can you imagine getting one of their e-cards? What does it start with – “Thinking of You”? What kind of artwork do you put on an e-card like that?? But then I got to thinking, you know, it’s not such a bad idea. Knowing that 1 in 4 people over the age of 16 will be infected with a sexually transmitted infection sometime in their lifetime (with two thirds of those infections occurring before they turn 25); and STIs are highly asymptomatic; and people who do know their status are reluctant to admit such infections; it is probably better for the people who were exposed to get an anonymous e-card than to go on unknowingly infecting others (and missing an opportunity for treatment). When I was leaving MI, the doctors on staff were just finishing up what we called The STD Wizard, which was a 5 minute survey people could take to see if they were at risk of infection. Looks like it’s still running! In case there is any question, there are only two primary methods of prevention – abstinence prior to marriage and fidelity within marriage. Period. This is the only method of prevention that is 100% effective. Condoms are really only effective against HIV and even then only reduce the risk of transmission by 85%, which is a significant reduction, but still leaves a fairly large gap for a deadly disease. For other infections like Chlamydia and Gonohrrea, the risk of transmission can be cut in half, but for something like HPV (the most common STI), there is no evidence of risk reduction with condom use. Go read about What Happened in Uganda to learn about what a country can do when they focus on primary prevention – they are the only country to see dramatic reductions in HIV infection and they did it through abstinence & fidelity.


About a month ago, I ran a 5k. I am not a runner, but two of my brothers were quite successful at Cross Country and with JR training for the marathon, I figured I’d give running a try. JR knew a great trainer who was running a 12-week program to prepare for a 5k, so I signed up and started meeting weekly with other beginning runners. There was a fairly large group with a lot of diversity. Here’s the biggest lesson I learned about running – you cannot make any predictions about how fast someone is by the way they look. There were several people I sized up ahead of time and thought, oh, I’ll be faster than her, only to be humbled shortly thereafter as older, skinny, younger, larger and every other kind of runner ran past me. JR keeps telling me running is an individual thing – you’re just trying to beat yourself. It wasn’t natural for me, but I’ve come to see the benefits in that way of thinking. And to be honest, I actually enjoyed training for something, challenging myself, meeting a goal, celebrating my success. For several weeks after the race, I was “on a break” from running, but have finally decided it’s time to get back on the horse and took Red for a morning run before JR went to work twice this week. Surprisingly, it still feels pretty good.


JR & I have been talking about going on a vacation. We haven’t been on a real vacation for a couple years now and since our girls are getting older, it seemed like this would be a great time to get out and do something/go somewhere. Afterall, we won’t have a nursing baby and the girls are so much more mobile. So here’s the dilemma – where do you go on vacation with children who are 3, 2, & 1!! It feels like we have reached this great plateau with all toddlers and there should be some magical vacation perfect for us, but when I google vacationing with young children, all I get is where NOT to vacation with young children! So here we are ready for a big vacation and wondering what we could do that would suit our family. Here are my criteria:

be together
change of scenery
have fun
new experiences

Any ideas? We’ve considered the beach, and the mountains, and the staycation. At this point, the staycation might win out as it is easier on the girls to be in their own environment & there are plenty of cool things we could do in Austin that we never seem to get around to doing. I have to admit that the “change of scenery” was highest on my list of criteria, though!


I’m on a big oatmeal kick lately. I read at KellyMom that oatmeal can help to increase milk supply, so I figured with Violet’s weight gain issues, I might as well give it a try. Don’t really know if it’s helping, but I am realizing that I love oatmeal. Just the little instant flavored packets – super easy, filling & tastey, too! There are all kinds of other things related to nursing that you can find on KellyMom including basically every answer to the most common nursing question – Is this safe while breastfeeding? I highly recommend it. Thanks, Laura, for directing me there.


My sister, Rachel, just became a Tupperware dealer (is that how you say it?) Need some tupperware? Go check out her website and order to your heart’s content! I’m excited to host a catalog party soon, so if you want to help me get free tupperware, order through me instead!


Don’t miss the updates on the girls I wrote over the last couple weeks. Updated photo album coming soon (and I mean it this time!).




Hope you enjoyed my 7 Quick Takes – be sure to visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary for links to more 7 Quick Takes Friday!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

8 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes (take 8)

  1. I’m so glad you got back into regular (sort of!) posting–I always like to read about your daily life and what the girls are doing!

  2. Here it is late at night. I want to pic up the phone and talk to you but understand as a parent, REM sleep is HOLY! I enjoy your blog and the way you articulate who you are, what the girls are like. I love it! The closest I am to blogging is getting my shutterfly family album updated! I’m trying to be more computer savey but I am perplexed at how much this machine already controls my time. I just wanted to comment on the 2nd language point you were making. I knew enough Russian to teach Nikolas the basics, Hello, Good bye, please, thankyou. I hope to teach him more, and learn more myself in the mean time. I’M SO PROUD OF YOU DOING THE 5K!!!! I totally agree with JR’s comment–Running is so PERSONAL. It’s not a competition, its about finishing. Russ recently did the Adventure Race at the Cornhusker State Games. You compete on a team of 3 doing pseudo triathalon events. He believes I could do it. But I just would feel like I’m slowing the team down. Running is so PERSONAL for me. I do the 1/2 Marathon alone by choice. I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!! Keep up the good work!

  3. i’m proud of you for running. You sure didn’t get that gene from me. I couldn’t play basketball or soft ball–in fact, I was always the last one picked as I was so bad. I could roller skate some, but ice skating was out of the question. I tried golfing but couldn’t hit the ball (if I did, it was in the rough). Bowling went fairly well at first but Rotater Cuff surgery ruined my claim to fame. Now that I’m 83 I’ve decided to just realize my inability to do sports and be a spectator.
    PS I still can dance!
    You go, girl!!

  4. Hey Jenny. I really enjoyed your post. We had a great time when we went to Washington D.C. with Reese. I’m not sure how it would work with 3 kids. The public transportation portion of it made it so easy. We enjoyed the National Zoo, the huge carousel on the mall and the National History Museum. It might be a bit much, but it was fun. If you decide to go to the beach, tell us and we’ll come too! 🙂

  5. I always loved Landa Park in New Braunfels. It has a train that takes you through the park, paddle boats and great places to do a picnic. Then depending on the budget, maybe the kiddie area at Schlitterbahn or Sea World in San Antonio.

  6. I haven’t been, but I heard that White Sands National Park in NM is awesome. You guys could drive there! I also heard that Pensacola is a really nice beach and it’s about a 13 hour drive. I’m not sure what we will do this year either.

  7. I hear “Lost Pines Hyatt Resort” in Bastrop is excellent. We’ve toured it, and were impressed with the lower prices (due to the recession), but have not stayed there yet. But, August 23 weekend we’re heading there for the Fullness of Truth conference, which will have babysitting (and a youth program for us, yay!). Super cool, but the hotel block is sold out already.

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