Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A day in the life...of me

My day today:

Woke up close to 7 a.m. A miracle that Kalian let us sleep so late. Checked outside for Boston Globe, the newspaper with the worst delivery service ever. As usual, it's not there. Hmmm, wonder why it's a dying industry?

Eat breakfast. Make lunch for Liam, who will be at preschool until 3 p.m. The kids refuse to let me dress them now. A major power play on their part. I get everything else ready while Jen tends to them. We wait impatiently while Liam decides which "home toy" to bring to school.

We load into the car. I drop Jen and Liam at Cambridge-Ellis, which is just a few blocks away. But heck, it's freezing out.

I drive across town to the Coop, where I'll drop Kalian for the morning. She rushes right in. I say a few hellos, and then run like hell. Back into the car, just past 9 a.m. and back home. Make some coffee. And then sit down to do some work. I'm applying to a multimedia training seminar at Berkeley in March, so I spend most of the morning writing the various essays required. In between, I return a couple dozen emails.

It's 11 a.m., and I decide to unplug. I pull out my fiddle and practice. I've been taking a Scottish fiddle class at a local folk club on Monday nights. Teacher is excellent, though my skills are weak. I'm relearning after not playing much for 18 years. Unfortunately, the kids shriek in horror if I play while they're at home. And it wakes them up when they're sleeping. So I have to do this during my "alone time."

Then back in the car to pick up Kalian at noon. We stop by Whole Foods to pick up stuff I need to make quiche for a breakfast at Liam's preschool tomorrow. We have lunch, and then I put her down for a nap at 1:30 p.m. I jump back on the computer to answer a bunch of emails, make a few phone calls about preschools for Kalian. And then it's time to pick up Liam.

I pull Kalian out of the crib, still asleep, put her in the car, and drive down the street. We hop out and find Liam on the playground. His class is studying Chinese New Year, and they watched a video about a Chinese dragon. Liam can't stop talking about it as we get back into the car. We drive back across town to pick up Jen who is taking a class at MIT this semester.

We're home just in time for me to make a scheduled phone call to the business manager of the student paper at Duke University. This is where I first got into newspapers. And for the past few months, I've been working on a grant proposal for them to get some money for a new newsroom. We've made it through several rounds, but the donor wants some more info, so we have to chat about that a bit.

Then I have to make a quick call to another preschool for Kalian. And presto, dinner is ready! Jen had made stir fry. After we're done, I attempt to begin making the quiche. I'm making four for Valentine's Day breakfast tomorrow. Am I nuts? Probably. Ham and cheese (2). Tomato and goat cheese. Broccoli. But I don't get too far before I stop to help Liam, whose Lego helicopter breaks every 30 seconds.

Next thing I know, Liam is trying to poop on the potty (yes!), but he's asking for more poop toys (uh-oh). We're running out. So somehow he gets out his erector set, and I get sucked into building him another helicopter. No poop today (darn). But I've built another helicopter. Jen takes Liam to bed, and I'm back to making quiche.

I pop those into the oven at 9 p.m. And then I start cleaning the kitchen, then the living room (Exciting new development in my life: We bought a dustbuster!), then I do some laundry.

What's next? I'm back at the computer. It's after 10 p.m. I need to start working on my weekly column for the Mercury News (http://insiderstocksales.blogspot.com/). Except I'm too distracted. And I need to edit two papers for Jen. So, of course, I prograstinate in that most modern of ways: By blogging.

Let it snow...

We are on the cusp of our first major snow storm. Maybe. There have been a couple false alarms. So I'll believe it when I see it tomorrow morning.

How little snow has there been this year? From today's Boston Globe:

The tide may be turning, though, with the region expected to get its first real snowstorm after midnight tomorrow , expected to mix with rain by daytime. Still, Boston has received 21 fewer inches of snow than a normal year, with about 2 inches of recorded snow so far this winter, according to the National Weather Service station in Taunton.

To quote that great philosopher George Bush: "Bring it on!"

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Today we experienced an earth-shattering event. Liam pooped in the potty for the first time. This moment has been a long-time coming. After years of gentle persuasion, we have shifted in recent months to desperate measures, and stooped to a number of strategies we vowed to never employ. Attempts to bribe him have included offers of every treat imaginable. But nothing has ever swayed him.

Then Jen cribbed an idea she'd heard about. We went to the local toy store and told Liam he could pick out anything. Anything! But that he could only play with it after he'd pooped in the potty. Fortunately, Liam picked out a Lego rescue helicopter (rather than some $200 scooter). We took it home on Sunday and put it on a mantle. He stared at it all day, wandered in and out of the bathroom, kept asking for it, wandered back to the potty to try again.

I think he must have sat on the potty for several hours off and on when it was all over. But it happened. He's had some serious emotional issues around this. And I'm so proud of him today. Even if our actions will probably get us a write up on ShamefulParenting.com. And it was great to see him so obviously proud of himself.

After the BIG EVENT, I spent an hour assembling the helicopter. Liam simply calls it his Poop Toy. Whatever. Good for him.