Quick Takes, Hardship Tour

1. I just got back from three hours at Chuck. E. Cheeze. THREE HOURS. I’m not complaining, oh yessir I am, because I don’t want to be a brat. I was there with a bunch of friends, we took all the boys in Augie’s class today (there are seven boys in the class). Each year the girls in the fifth grade go on an epic camping trip as part of their school-equivalent-to-Girl-Scouts group, and the boys get those two days off of school. My friend Patti is a C.E.C. PRO (this has always been her thing) so while I don’t want to dis El Chuck because I don’t want to dis Patti, I would like to take a moment to say it’s not my thing. Not at all.

2. One more Take to focus on how much I’m not a C.E.C. gal. I feel right now the same way I feel when I’ve spent the day flying home from Boston. The way I feel after dragging myself through the airport and security and check-in’s and Zone 3. All of those feelings (plus the flying and de-planing) and I just feel a tad Zombie-esq.

3. Why do appliances break in threes? A few days ago, my beloved Miele just stopped working. The next morning the hinge on my washing machine snapped. Today the DVD player won’t open. Fortunately the vacuum was a “contact” issue with the cord and a $25 fix. The washing machine is under warranty (there was an extra year in there we didn’t know about! So glad I called) and of the three, replacing the DVD would be the one I choose. Thank you Lord that this “hardship” could have been so much worse.

4. Hardship Tour is maybe not the best theme I’ve ever chosen for my Quick Takes because now I’m reflecting on my week in terms of “how bad things stunk.” And I always do better forcing a Pollyanna. I threw Augie a surprise party for his bday on Wednesday and yes, it was a little bit of stress but it was still awesome! I’d like to have a whole post devoted to how to go ahead and just throw the party and keep it simple! I was inclined not to do anything for his birthday and then realized that maybe throwing the Gourmet Party of the Season was out of my reach but a simple soccer game and hot dog roast? Can do! And you know what? Augie was so grateful, he didn’t even know that my idea for a backyard filled with balloons had to be scrapped. What he doesn’t know won’t disappoint him!

5. Speaking of Simplicity (as we seem thankfully to be moving away from Hardship): go check out 3 Things for Mom, a clever website featuring quick tips and insights from a variety of bloggers and writers. I was over there yesterday talking about words a mom should never be afraid to say, and also my tips for keeping life simple.

6. Do you do any extra intense fasting for Holy Week? I’m toying with something only to give myself that feeling of “kicking it into the driveway,” you know: get in that one last dose of fasting before the celebration of Easter. Crazy talk? Maybe so… or is this just me trying to make room for my Marathon Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs Challenge that beings Easter Sunday.

7. Thanks Jen for hosting! It’s always a great way to get a whole lotta thoughts onto the page at once!


  1. When I leave Chuck E. Cheese, I feel like I’m on sensory overload. It’s the worst. Thankfully, mine have mostly outgrown the desire to go there. But I did my time in purgatory for many years.

  2. Rachel, I’m still tired! And it’s 12 noon the next day. Catherine did come home and take a 2 hour nap but it was from 3-5p so she didn’t go to bed until 10p. But I did enjoy visiting with the other Moms! Even if my conversations were constantly interrupted with “let me go find Catherine”. And I even Patti was tired by the time we left! Hope you have a great day today!

  3. CEC is parenting hell. The lights and sounds are an instant migraine for my husband. Luckily, my kids are trained to know better than to even ask to go there. They have gone with friends, but will not go with us. And I should probably go, because the company that makes those games, is a small Catholic-owned company that keeps our small parochial school going with their generosity, but not for this girl.

    • Very well put, Traci…”parenting hell” is right. We only had one in Grandma’s town (4 hours away), so it was a rare treat for my kids. I always had such a strong desire to bathe my kids in bleach after they clambered through the typhoid towers and ball pit.

  4. I often do a completely meatless Holy Week.

  5. This is a little on the late side, but not eating or drinking anything until noon is standard Eastern Rite Catholic practice during Lent. It can be a bit intense, but not for all that long. And even the fairly short-lived intensity is good practice for saying no to oneself and loading the pouches with spiritual currency for spending on others.