The Problem Solving Edition: 7 Quick Takes XXV

by | Sep 20, 2013 | 7 Quick Takes, Catholic Mom TV Review, Doctor Who, Homemaking, Namedays, Pregnancy | 21 comments

This week, I solve your problems. (I know, people hate that. But it doesn’t bother me when *I* do it.)

Problem: You think cutting onions is unpleasant.

Solution: I hate cutting onions, too. They make me cry. And not in an awesome BBC period miniseries kind of way, in a Gollum-esque “It burns, it burns us” kind of way.

But I cook with them, a lot. I’m still not sure if he hasn’t been just kidding about this for the last four years, but Bobby (7) claims that they are his favorite food.

So one day, as I was weeping and grimacing through cutting up an onion, Jack (11) saw me, ran to the garage, and came back with his swim goggles. I gave them a try. I look like a total goofball, but I can now cut onions with impunity.

Which came in handy on Tuesday, which was Bobby’s name day. He got to pick what we had for dinner (for more on how we celebrate birthdays, name days, and baptism days, see here) and he picked . . . French Onion Soup. I used this recipe (and Jack’s swim goggles) and it turned out great!

I cut up the bread into chunks and toast them in the oven under the broiler. It’s easier for the kids to eat than a big piece of bread in there.

Occasionally, The Onion can also make me cry with laughter.

Problem: You miss the musings of Jen from Epbot on geekery, girliness, and goofing off.

Solution: Jen is back (!) with a great post on how to avoid the types of frustrations that led her to take an extended break: 6 Things I Learned On My Internet Sabbatical.

Unfortunately, Allie from Hyperbole and a Half still (mostly) isn’t blogging. But when she already wrote the funniest blog post ever, why should she?

Problem: Season 7 of Doctor Who Isn’t on Netflix.

Solution: You can totally watch it FOR FREE, with no commercials at I do not know why. But you can.

It doesn’t work on mobile devices (or at least it didn’t on my iPad), but it worked like a charm on the desktop.

So now I’ve FINALLY seen season 7. And I found it . . . kind of confusing. I mostly liked how they wrapped up the Amy and Rory plotline, and Clara is a cutiepie. But there was a lot going on. I was multi-tasking while watching, which I didn’t do while watching previous seasons (but I didn’t have the kind of to-do list then that I have now, see below), so that might explain it. But I felt like I never quite knew who everyone was or where they came from or why.

But, I’m long past being able to do anything but just blindly love Doctor Who. So it was awesome.

Thanks Reddit.

Problem: You are an introvert.

Solution: That’s not a problem.

I thought I had already sorted that one out here. But in case you need more, try Matt Walsh.

He wrote a post in response to an email that he received which read, in part:

“…The biggest problem with homeschooling is its failure to effectively socialize children. Public school teaches kids to be outgoing and extroverted. I’ve found that many homeschooled kids seem to be quiet and uncomfortable in social situations. The classroom environment could help these kids come out of their shell…”

Um, yikes. Matt does a great job responding, as is his habit. It’s great to be reminded sometimes that introverts and extroverts are good at different things. We should all be striving to be our best selves, of course. And sometimes for introverts that means being more outgoing than we are naturally inclined to be.  But still, the idea that extrovert=the norm and introvert=something to be overcome is pretty bothersome.

And it’s nothing new, check out this anti-introvert propaganda film from 1951:

The Outsider (1951)
Its goal seems to be to encourage extroverted kids to be more inclusive and introverted kids to make an effort to be friendly, which is good, of course. But I want to punch the narrator in the face. What is that guy’s deal?
In conclusion, it is okay to be an introvert.
Problem: You are a woman.
Solution: Ummm, that’s not a problem either.
But from all the back and forth on the interwebs about whether us wiminfolk ought to go to college or work outside the home or stay home with the kids, it would be easy to start thinking that being a woman with a talent or an intellect is inherently problematic.
But you know what? I don’t think it is.
I think the crisis is not in a lack of opportunities for women, or not enough social programs, or too much competition and not enough collaboration. I think the crisis is rather in a lack of discernment of our true vocations and a lack of confidence in our own choices. It’s a crisis of constant comparing of ourselves to others and to a fictional what might have been.
As usual, Pope Francis said it pretty well:

“Ask Jesus what He wants from you and be brave.” Yep, that should do it.

More prayerful acceptance of where God wants us to be . . . be it in college or not or in the workforce or in the home, and less hand-wringing. Let’s try that.

In case you missed them, here are some of the relevant links.

— 6 —

Problem: You’re supposed to be having this baby in 10 weeks and your To Do list is SHOCKINGLY long.

Solution: Wow, we really have a lot in common.

Frankly, I’m less confident in my ability to help with this one. I’m getting the feeling that there are things on my list that are just not going to get done before this baby comes. But I shall give it a valiant effort.

Perhaps some of these will help: 25 Productivity Secrets From History’s Greatest Thinkers. (Ummmm . . . no thank you Ben Franklin, I don’t think I will.)

Any problems I missed?
One of the things on that To Do list is to get some extra posts written up in advance. This will be my first baby since being a blogger and, honestly, I’m not sure how it’s going to go.
My main creative outlet pre-blog was sewing. Before a new baby came I would always finish up all my half-done projects, then a week or two before my due date I would tidy up my sewing area and not expect to get anything accomplished beyond basic household duties for a good six months.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to type while holding a baby, but I’m really not sure. I’m a notably lousy typist. (The husband finds it a. infuriating, b. hilarious, c. adorable, d. all of the above. Go ahead, guess.)
Anyway, the list of topics suggested by readers and/or fellow bloggers includes:
  • How we deal with tattling and bickering amongst siblings
  • How we square away one-year-olds
  • How we organize a homeschool day (with four different grades, plus pre-schoolers)
  • How we avoid the pitfalls of the Advent/Christmas season
  • My thoughts on maternity clothes
  • Why I don’t make two dinners
Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see covered before I reserve the right to, but probably won’t, disappear from the blogosphere for a while.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. E

    fun! Happy Birthday. Hope you have a great day! I found blogging more spradic with an infant but I had tons of time to read while pumping. But I only have 1.

  2. Mandi

    Happy birthday! Those blog ideas look great, so now you have to write on those posts or your fans, I mean readers, will be disappointed. Glad to see you have my idea on there too!

  3. Amelia

    Happy Birthday! And, since your in the business of solving problems….I've got a few I could send your way….like how do you teach a baby not to screech?

    And, blogging/typing with a baby is way easier than sewing…so I don't think you have any excuses for not blogging after baby.

  4. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    Happy Birthday! I really liked that article on introverts too. As an extreme extrovert, it helped me understand my introverted hubby better.

  5. Danielle

    Happy birthday!! I love that you always link to other blogs, giving me even more reading material. I also appreciate your transparency in how you run your household. Always giving me as a brand new mama something to think about–thanks!

  6. Kathleen Basi

    You're making me smile today. 🙂 I will present my husband with swim goggles the next time he needs to cut onions. I have hard contacts and they seem to protect me–it's always worse when I try to do it in my glasses!

    Have a wonderful last few weeks!

  7. Rakhi McCormick

    Happy birthday!

    Oh, that Ben Franklin was a saucy man, eh? Reminds me of The Office clip where the impersonator comes in. All that aside, I LOVED this seven quick takes. Loved. 🙂

  8. October Rose

    Happy birthday!!

    And #6, we DO have a lot in common. 🙂 One of the things on my to-do list is moving house. Which we are theoretically doing tomorrow. Ugh. I least I get to cross something off??

  9. Anonymous

    happy birthday!

  10. Maryam

    Happy birthday!
    Really like your blog. I hope you will continue to post. Comgratulations on the litttle one scheduled to arrive in 10 weeks!

  11. Emily G.

    Happy Birthday!

    I was really hoping you had a solution to #6-I mean, like a real solution. 🙂 I know, no one does. But I could go in anywhere from 3-5 weeks (twins are more unpredictable than one baby) and I am almost panicking, only I"m too tired to panic. Think "the list is 2 pages long and I feel like a beached pregnant manatee". I guess if the baby clothes are ready and we have some diapers the spice closet can keep being messy, right?

  12. The Nem's!!

    Absolutely agree with #5!!!! I am so confident with my decision to stay home that *most* rude comments about SAHMs or kids not in daycare just roll right off my back! I wish that same confidence for everyone…stay at home or work outside the home parents!!

    And here's a question for you…what about discipline for physical kids? I've got an almost 3 year old that loves to rough house…he loves to knock other kids over! At home, I can deal with it (time outs) and on play dates, I call an end to our playtime if he can't seem to get himself in check…but the hardest time is at Little Gym. It's a kids class in a big padded gym…do I time him out in public? I'm not really sure how that would work since I shut him in a room! It's not like I'm gonna physically hold him down in the corner! My husband and I feel like we just chase him around doing damage control or waiting for him to make his move! He really is a sweet kid though…but oh!! The looks I get from other moms! It's like I'm raising a terror. I know my boy is NOT the only one to do these things!! But…it does end, right?? Soon??

  13. Kris

    Happy Birthday!! I love anything you write, so I won't suggest a topic!

  14. Amanda

    Happy Birthday! Loved the list, especially about introverts 🙂 I'm a happy introvert and also happen to think it's not a problem.

    Here's a problem, what do you do when all the churches around you are filled with cultural Catholics? When people look confused if you ask about adoration (what's that?) and when even priests comment on your LARGE family of four kids (Wow, you have your hands full?!)?

  15. Heather

    I know I'm late, but I'm just catching up on some of my email… I hope you had a happy birthday and that this year will be a huge blessing for you and your family!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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