Seven Quick Takes Friday

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Busy and Disjointed, Just Like Life


This is a crazy time of year! We’ve been outside for softball and baseball games in all sorts of bizarre weather. Add to those games and practices: Boy Scouts, ballet, talent show practice, altar serving, library story times, and a bevy of forms that came at me for class pictures, yearbooks, and other stuff I’ve since forgotten, and it’s a wild ride. Luckily, the beautiful sunshine has energized me.

Crazy Calendar

Crazy Calendar. Most days say: 2 more, 3 more or even 4 more where our daily activities can’t fit into the allotted square.


My two-year-old is testing the limitless of his two-ness. “Active” would be a pleasant euphemism for his full-on, cray-cray behavior. He’s constantly darting off in various directions, leaving me, or when I’m lucky, an older sibling, trailing after him. Unfortunately, once you capture the little varmint, he goes boneless, sagging all over the floor until you either dislocate his shoulder or release him, which typically results in a conk to the head.

Seriously, if this kid makes it to the end of the day in one piece, I’m rejoicing. Never has a child harness looked so good, although I don’t think it can fix the boneless thing.

In the space of a week, he’d darted toward the street while I brought his sister through the fence gate, tumbled head-first from a four-foot retaining wall onto solid rock, and hatched an escape plan from our fenced-in yard through the shed, out the alley, and into the neighborhood. And, thank God, he’s okay.

While I drafted this post, he got into my change purse, shoved two pennies in his mouth, then gagged them up, laughing.

Sending profuse prayers of gratitude and beseeching more favors from his guardian angel, who’s working triple overtime.

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel

(My little guy makes these kids’ predicament look ridiculous. Look how they’re calmly walking across the bridge, safe in each other’s embrace. My son would be dangling off the side, laughing gleefully.)


No one told me when they plopped that first little seven-pound bundle of baby boy on my belly what all it would entail. I, Carolyn Astfalk, am completely unqualified to shop for protective cups. My husband has been little help on this matter, and I’ve since decided he will help the girls shop for bras when the time comes.

I flat-out refuse to by a brand called NuttyBuddy. I ended up going with this. (I was going to post the picture, but in my mind’s eye, all I could see were social media posts and Google searches showing the Shock Doctor protective cup next to “Carolyn Astfalk: Relevant Fiction for  Body & Soul.” Selling books is already an uphill battle. I don’t really want to be know as “that jock strap lady.”


For the past couple of weeks, my husband and I have been been circling the property, inspecting all the budding bushes and trees and shoots sprouting from the ground. With the patio project only reaching its completion in late fall, this is our first glimpse of the landscaping’s spring beauty. The biggest disappointment is the Hawthorne tree. (See below.) We’re still holding out hope it’s just a late bloomer, as many trees are this year.

Dead or dormant Hawthorne tree.

Dead or dormant? Who knows?


We’ve decided to build our family’s summer vacation around my niece’s wedding, which means we’ll be vacationing in our hometown. It’s kind of an odd thing, but our visits are typically short and jam-packed, so this will allow us to visit places the kids have never seen. Or I’ve never seen. I lived in Pittsburgh for almost 22 years and never visited the heart of the Strip District.

Foggy Pittsburgh

Foggy Pittsburgh (Photo: Duquesne University)

PNC Park Opening Day

PNC Park Opening Day (Photo: Pittsburgh Pirates)


10 Minute Novelists hosted a fun Run Walk Write 5K event. In a 24-hour period, you walk or run five kilometers and write five thousand words. It sounded good for the mind, body, and soul. I signed up right away, then proceeded to fail miserably. I trudged around a large farm complex/exhibition center and never bothered to record distance. We were all sorts of busy with kid and family activities, and I barely had time to walk or write. Maybe next time. It’s a great idea.Walk, Run, Write 5K


I bought a digital voice recorder to safeguard my random and fleeting thoughts when I’m on the go. Holding it in my hand and murmuring into it makes me feel a little like a secret agent. I fear it looks a little creepy though, especially when hanging out at a child’s birthday party. Sometimes pen and paper still beat all.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum.

6 thoughts on “Seven Quick Takes Friday

  1. I completely related on the calendar thing. Even with only two kids, I’m running like a crazy person every April and May. But I’m sure I’ll miss it when it’s over for good. The hardest part is when Big Events happen at the same time – like my older daughter’s soccer finals and my younger daughter’s spring recital. It’s tough having to choose.

    • Only two of mine are in activities other than the library story times. By the time the youngest begins sports, his big brother will be driving. That might keep us sane. Luckily, we don’t have any of those big events this month, but don’t they always come at the same time?

      • Yes. It’s Murphy’s Law of parenting. ALL THE THINGS happen together, in different parts of the state. A week from tomorrow, our four family members will be in three different parts of the state at the same time. Thank God for friends who offer assistance! (And thank God I learned to ask for it when I need it.)

  2. The jock strap thing. I am DYING.
    Also. I used a harness for my crazy daughter who fell out of a shopping cart on her head (YES she was buckled in the seat belt. She was Houdini.) People were horrible to me about it but all she wanted to do was not be buckled in a stroller or cart. I’m not sorry. She is now 19. And plays rugby in college.

    • Friday night was tough with the toddler – wrangled him through a softball game, then baseball. Hadn’t napped. Kept running away and going boneless, laughing like a drunk the whole time.

      • Oh boy, I do hate those times when a toddler is a Napless Wonder. All possibility of reason is completely lost.

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