Tuesday musings

I don’t really have a 500-word persuasive essay in me at the moment. So today’s post will be a bunch of random links and thoughts.

I enjoyed Heather Wilhelm’s review of Jonathan Last’s What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, over at Real Clear Books. Last has spent the past few years studying and writing about the falling birth rate in developed countries, and what the implications might be. Wilhelm is just back from maternity leave with her third kid in 5 years (thus more than carrying her weight compared with replacement level fertility) and has some interesting thoughts on the matter. As she notes, as children become a lifestyle choice, large families are doomed as an idea because “having kids isn’t exactly a trip to the Four Seasons Bora Bora. It’s not even a trip to the grungy Super 8 off the local highway — there, at least, you can sleep in.”

Speaking of three small children, I took my own to Ruby’s Diner last night and they were very well-behaved. While I always feel I am risking disaster by taking them somewhere, it is nice not to have to cook and supervise their dinner. Even if the Ruby’s mac-and-cheese kids meal states explicitly in the menu that it is Kraft, meaning I know I can make the exact same thing at home (I’m not so good on the milkshakes, though).

I accepted an assignment to write about women’s magazines from 50 years ago. This is one of my favorite topics. I order magazines from a place called PastPaper (aka Crinkley Bottom Books) which is located out in Gap, PA. They seriously have a million old magazines in their carriage house and basement. I’m thinking of making a pilgrimage.

In the more modern media department, I’m doing a Google Hangout at 2pm eastern TODAY (11am PST) with Self magazine and The Go-To Mom (Kimberley Clayton Blaine) on spending time with family. According to Kimberley, you can comment or ask questions by going to “MY GOOGLE + PAGE —>   https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KimberleyBlaine/posts where you can join in!” You can also post questions on Twitter with the hash tag #13for13 (that’s Self’s campaign for 13 new resolutions in 2013).

Nicole and Maggie tackle the question of doing chores on weekends, bringing in the concept of one’s personal utility function.

House of Peanut recounts 6 things they don’t tell you about babies. My favorite is that babies are not a function box. In math, for any x, f(x) should give you a certain output. This is not true with small children. Just because you feed them, or change them, or put them down for a nap doesn’t mean they will stop crying, even though this was the result of f(x) last time.

What’s on your mind today?



8 Responses to Tuesday musings


  1. I dunno… milk goes in and poo comes out (seemingly randomly). I propose that babies are poo function boxes with some sort of random (statistical) function.

    We recommend a hand mixer for shakes.

  2. Cara Marcano says:

    they sell a handmixer made in USA at my local hardware store… it costs like $300… I find it ridiculous ! fast food and/or regular blender seem fine. the $12 made in USA toaster seemed a good buy and the store is locally owned. If you can afford to eat out with them at a place that is kid friendly several nights a week why not? especially if your partner is working late it seems reasonable. also no clean up !

    • I’m not bashing milkshakes out. I’m saying you too can have milkshakes on a more regular basis with minimal effort. Smoothies too if you’re so inclined. And make cream soups in the pot. Our hand blender goes for something like $25 these days. (Though it was worth every penny of the $60 or so we spent on it back in 2000.)

      Consumer search recommends a hand blender at $35. http://www.consumersearch.com/hand-blenders

  3. Cloud says:

    Hmm, I have a hand blender (awesome for soups!) and a good blender (perfect for smoothies). And I still never make milkshakes at home. I wonder why. Probably because I like ice cream unblended a lot, too, so it never seems worth the trouble.

    • Milkshakes are more of a sometimes food than smoothies. They were great when I was pregnant and needed quick glycemically balanced gluten-free organic calories!

    • Laura says:

      @Cloud- I don’t make milkshakes at home either. They’re really more of a special treat for places like Ruby’s Diner. I used to make smoothies more, but then stopped for a bit. I like them cold and thick with frozen yogurt (like I literally freeze a carton of yogurt) but with the weather being cold I haven’t been so into them. I made one two days ago, though. Yum!

  4. ARC says:

    Thanks for the link! I wish I had seen this earlier – I would have joined the Google Hangout. I love that thing – we use it to chat with our parents and I also do “virtual crafting” with some far away friends on it.

    • Laura says:

      @ARC – eh, maybe I’ll host my own Google Hangout one of these days. I can see some upsides in the technology, and I’ve figured out how to make the angle more flattering, so that’s a plus.