Take me out for a $4.75 hot dog, “Bye, Chicken Wing,” the frozen hair story, a recipe you don’t want, and more (7 Quick Takes Friday)


We learned this week that Daniel will move up to the Pre-K classroom on Monday. I felt blindsided. Suddenly I realized he was a step closer to kindergarten and time seemed to be flying.

Then I found out that one of his current teachers is moving up to Pre-K with him, and I felt better. I worry about how our children deal with transitions, but really I’m the one who’s balking at change.

Sort of the same way I balk at puddle jumping


When I drop Daniel off at school each morning, he stands at the window and waves.

The other morning he yelled out, “Bye, Sweetie Hon!” and I yelled back, “Bye, Chicken Wing!”

I noticed one of the preschool dads gave me a confused look. Huh. I guess maybe calling people funny names is just a Daniel thing and not part of the preschool culture. Live and learn.


It’s summertime, and Leo is spending his days with Grandma, and loving every minute. During his first two years home with us, he spent weekdays at her house while John and I were working, and they have a whole routine.

They read books, play games (this week they are playing this game over and over, go to the library, eat popsicles, and he works on origami. They even go to Mass together two days a week.

It’s Leo’s ideal summer vacation, and you can tell because he is grinning from ear to ear when we drop him off and when we pick him up.

What’s funny to me are the stories Leo tells Grandma. She called tonight to tell me she had heard the story of The Day Mama’s Hair Froze. So she’s getting insight she doesn’t receive from me, and Leo gets to describe how when Mama went outside on a cold winter’s day without waiting for her hair to dry it froze solid.

No wonder Grandma is enjoying these summer days, too.


Daniel loves to cook, and last night he asked if he could make something while I was cooking chicken stir fry. Why not?

At first he was just going to crush some cereal with a rolling pin, which seemed like as good a way as any to entertain him. Then he was adding water, marshmallows, raisins, broccoli, banana, and potato chips. He poured it carefully into a pot for me to cook on the stove, and I consented.
Ten minutes later I realized the kitchen was smelling like warm banana–and not in a pleasant banana bread aroma sort of way. And I looked into the pot and realized everything had sunk except the bananas, and it was all an odd blue-green color.

I’m ready to hand over the reins to a new chef, but I think the timing isn’t quite right. Even Daniel couldn’t bring himself to eat his concoction, and he usually likes foods that are odd colors.


We went to an Orioles game over the weekend–Daniel’s first–and we had a fantastic time.

Leo loved:

a.       Watching the game

b.      Asking questions about what was happening

c.       Seeing a home run

d.      Keeping an eye on the scoreboard

Daniel loved:

a.       Riding the escalator and walking down the ramp

b.      Visiting the playground, bounce house, batting cage, and pitching area

c.       The popcorn, ice cream, hot dog, cotton candy, and bottled water

d.      Climbing in a sleek sports car on display

You might be thinking that maybe Daniel could have skipped the game, and that thought occurred to me, too. But the woman in the seat behind us read a book the entire time, and she seemed perfectly content, so maybe some people just like to come to the park. And Daniel did more cheering than she did.

At one point I handed Daniel a $10 bill for a hot dog and told him he could go buy it himself. He was so proud. He walked a few steps down to the vendor, offered the man his money, and told him he wanted a plain hot dog. He got his hot dog and $5.25 back.

As I swallowed hard trying not to think about how many hot dogs you can get for $4.75 at the store, Daniel came back to our seats with a huge smile.

“Mama, look!” he said. “I got a hot dog and I made money for our family!”

What a great deal. You hand someone one piece of money and he gives you two back–and a hot dog. Sounds like a home run to me.


Kelly at “My Overthinking” wrote this post that links to a video. The footage shows parents in China leaving their babies with special needs at a baby hatch.

It’s truly heartbreaking. Part of me wants to tell you not to watch it. But I do think that if you are the parent of a child adopted from China you will want to see it. Or you won’t want to see it, but you’ll watch it because maybe it will help you understand. Or maybe it won’t. But as difficult as it was to watch, I knew I needed to see it.

Sometimes you come home from work and go to turn on a lamp and realize there’s a toothbrush hanging on it.

You turn to your 4-year-old and say, “Do you know why there’s a toothbrush here?”

And he says, “I put it there,” and matter-of-factly reaches up to take it off.

It’s moments like those when you realize that you’re in a different league from the people who complain that they can’t keep their houses organized. Those people probably talk about dusting and organizing their children’s old homework sheets and what their linen closets look like.

You? You have a toothbrush hanging from your lamp.

Find more quick takes at Team Whitaker where Kathryn is kindly hosting for Jen during Jen’s summer blogging break.

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