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Showing posts from March, 2012

What I'd REALLY do

As I write this, Mega Millions has been bumped up to $640 million. If you take the 26 annual payments rather than the lump sum (which I plan on doing) it's roughly $38,500 per year--before taxes--for each million in the jackpot. In this case, you can expect a deposit of $24,640,000 every 12 months.

Today has been full of blue sky, crazy thoughts about what you should do with it. Get a lawyer and a really good accountant.Then there's what people want to do with it. A sports car and plastic surgery.

So I thought it'd be fun to do a post about what I really, actually would seriously do with it if I win.

Let's assume the government is going to take half. It's actually less than that. But we'll make it an even $12 million for easy math.

I'd give half of that away to charity. I debated in my head if this was fair. Far more than many people would give, I ended up telling myself. Again, for easy math let's not talk about investment or interest. Let's just a…

Doing my best "Doomsday Preppers" impression

We watched an episode of the National Geographic "Doomsday Preppers" On Demand last night...and probably never again. Kelly had already seen one over the weekend and conveyed the crazy to me secondhand. But I had to see for myself the guy in homemade buckskin teaching his sons to drink moss water. The buildings underground. The stockpilers of food and supplies.

So, naturally, this was the first thing that came to mind this morning when the man from the Village came around to warn us that there was an emergency water repair needed on our block. The water would be shut off in 45 minutes. Back on when finished...but who knows when. "Tell your neighbors, gotta run."

Umm. Ok.

Ironically, Cole was in the middle of one of us now-infamous 45 minute, "more bubbles please" baths. I had a sink full of dishes. Nearly empty pitcher of filtered water for formula. I'm still at this point un-showered.

Enter Super Dad. Filling up bottles of water. Trying to think of e…

Stroller shopping at the zoo

If you want to know what stroller your family should buy, go to the zoo.

We forgot it was Spring Break yesterday. It was a beautiful day and there were very few spaces left in the parking lot. It's a huge zoo so it wasn't as bad as the busy days when I worked at the museum when you'd stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other visitors for a 20 min walk down the hallway from exhibit to exhibit. But it was still pretty bad. We decided our day was over in the end when the line of people snaking through the new bears exhibit stretched as far as we could see ahead...without an easy turnaround we didn't have the heart to go in.

And Cole is especially manic about the zoo. He loves to get out and walk, he wants to climb in the pen with the giraffes, he wants to see the ends of buildings then backtrack against the tide of visitors to the beginning. It's just easier to go on a dead day.

Oh, and I swear I need to invent a zoo stroller (zooler? zoller?) that allows kids to be jacke…

A different kind of summer

The weather certainly has us all thinking ahead. It's not even April yet and the air conditioners have gone in windows with the temperatures soaring into the 80's. But we're looking forward to summer for different reasons.

Between when my son was born and when my daughter was born, I'd continued to work part-time at the museum. This meant a delicate balancing act of Kelly working M-F with me working the weekend. Simply trade off the kids with little family time other than evenings. Then last summer I took a supervisory role in my department which meant a negotiated extra day. It required some juggling on our part, but the position was technically supposed to be full-time so no complaints about the evenings it required as well.

Last summer, however, it was an endless stream of Kelly alone at the Farmer's Market to pick up our CSA box. It was squeezing outdoor grill time into the window when I got home from work after a dog walk. It was no time to go places or attend…

The SAHD problem

I was just telling Kelly the other day that rather than get all worked up about discrimination against dads, I'm actually more inclined to support fighting the "generic parent bias." It's not about At Home Dads per se. It's about moms being seen as the default parent. Yes, the assumption is that dads are so bad at parenting that we're not even present. But the issue affects aunts and uncles, grandparents, two-dad households.

I filled out an alumni survey yesterday for my college and was a bit amused/impressed that Question 27 in the demographic info went so far as to give check boxes for Male and Female...plus a fill-in box for Other. Unfortunately, that same level of flexibility hasn't hit other areas like parenting. I'll be the first to admit I'm doing nothing remotely related to my major and/or degree. Never really have.

But the rest of the survey did a fairly nice job of getting to the heart of the other side of a college education. It's n…

A lost week

Long time, no see. Last week nothing happened. Well, not really anything that shook the earth. It was just a very good week. Except for Kelly being out of town for most of it. But then we got a visit from Grandma. And I suppose Afternoon Tea at one of Chicago's swankiest hotels was pretty unusual for us. That was once Kelly got home since she traveled on her birthday.

Grandma Kathy got to see the best and worst of the kids. Cole in full meltdown and also running wild in the good way with endless energy and enthusiasm. The sleeping through the night mixed--every other night--with the constant waking up at 2:30am that's going to require some action soon if he doesn't grow out of it. The weird food preferences that cannot be called picky...just opinionated.

Both kids took a 3 hour nap today in sharp contrast to last week. We couldn't get Leda to sleep for more than 30 minutes then. There's something about being back in routine. Cole playing quietly by himself in the l…

I'm going Baron von Trapp

Ok, so maybe I'm not quite ready to pack Cole off to military school. And I'm a pretty permissive parent, really. But I've actually turned out to be much more of a disciplinarian than, I think, anybody thought I would be. Certainly, I didn't think I would be and I know Kelly didn't.

Overall, I think our culture is seriously lacking in telling our kids no. I try to keep this in mind in my dealings with my toddler. It does neither of us any good for me to let him run too wild--sooner or later he needs to learn to listen. At the very least, life will present him with things he must do even though he does not want to do them. Sure, I have to pick my battles. And a good part of his current development stage is deciding how much he understands what is being asked of him. Things he is ignorant of I am far less upset about usually. Not his fault. What really gets under my skin is the stuff where I know he can hear me, is cognitive of what the words mean, knows what is bein…

Thomas the Tank Engine is a polluter

Thomas and Friends are an environmental nightmare.

Don't get me wrong, there are many redeeming qualities about the engines of Sodor. Compared to most of the other things my toddler could be into, this one is head and shoulders above. And I think trains are cool, too. The lessons taught are about being reliable, friendship, hard work. Everybody is included and has something to add to the life of the island. The show is technical and fairly accurate with regard to railroads, equipment, there are consequences--usually "confusion and delay"--to wrong actions...even for a "magic railroad."

One thing that I just can't get over lately, however, is all that coal and steam. Has nobody thought to change these trains over to a cleaner electric? People don't complain about the smoke as the locomotives sit idling in Knapford? There are a limited number of diesels on the island, apparently. But the majority of these trains are being pulled by old-fashioned steam. Re…

Natural Nutrition For Runners -- Nuun

There are only two places where points could be deducted from Nuun. It was one of two companies who told me they would send me samples for review but did not. The other is that when ordering from Nuun's website there were shipping charges. The same day I ordered from other companies, got free shipping, and Nuun's paid-for rate ended up being the last to arrive.

But don't get me wrong, the product inside the box--or plastic tube as it were--is amazing.

For those new to sports nutrition, it's not a powder or a typical sports drink even. It's a tablet which self-dissolves in 16 oz. of water into a refreshing electrolyte beverage--with more essential nutrients that the popular Gatorade Endurance, I might add. Not to mention that it lacks the sugars/carbs of many sports drinks which means you can A) get your calories elsewhere and B) not get an upset stomach from the syrupy, artificial flavors of typical hydration.

The Nuun flavors are mild, pleasant, quench thirst, tas…

Easily amused

As I write this, Leda is busily chewing on her hand. She's become less of a pacifier kinda girl and more of a "slobbery wet fingers" kind of girl. She is, in many ways, the other end of the spectrum from Cole. He carries around his Soothie brand like his life depends on it. She never took to his favorite and, when she uses one, is more a lover of traditional binky.

Leda has gotten beyond the lovely days where she'd wake up and wait patiently to eat. She'd lay quietly until somebody came to get her. No more. These days she makes herself quite clear with frequent cries...though for the most part they are short-lived.

Because, you see, it's all about the attention. While we're here for Cole's comfort, we're here (in Leda's world) to pay attention to her. Wanna make her happy? Pick her up.

Smile at her. She smiles back. Laughs hard. Giggles. Coos. It's all too cute.

She certainly has a cry and you'll know it when you hear it...that hasn…