Quotidian Quest

Surviving with More Kids (part. 2)

Category: parenting

Well, I don't want to say that the honeymoon phase is over, but I will say that things have become a lot more... hectic.

I guess the first day had a lot going for it since I only saw them for 4 hours before it was time for them to go to bed and we were lucky to be able to take them all to the park followed by the library where they can run off a lot of energy.

Yesterday, was different. Thankfully, my mom took the older girls out to the museum and to go eat and when they got back they had cookies and cake. I -in my infinite wisdom- then told my wife that she should go out and take a break from all the kids and although it took a lot of convincing she (although she did take our youngest which I was grateful for later).

After that, things weren't as bad as you would think, but it wasn't perfect either. I was running around breaking up little fights over toys and turns. The kids screaming "NO! It's my turn" and running to the other side of the room because someone is doing something they shouldn't: Spilling things, taking things, eating things, thankfully not breaking things, but I'm sure something has disappeared into that magical land that missing socks go. I even attempted to go over letters with very poor results. I could tell that the oldest one was frustrated, but I hope that I'll be able to get her to recognize most of the alphabet before she leaves.

Eventually, the girls settled and I managed to get them all into bed without the same hassle as the night before. Although, I did have one call me a dozen times for various things until I put my foot down.

One thing of note was although our guest don't seem to get along during the day, the oldest one does show some concern for her sister. I feel sad for them because with all the drama that they've gone through the only one's they truly have is each other. To wrap it up, this time I got to sleep in the bed and had to share it with my oldest.

She threw up on me twice.

My new addition

Category: parenting

Isn't she cute!
A picture of Alex

Surviving with More Kids (part. 1)

Category: parenting

Yesterday, after a particularly long series of events. My wife and I have had the opportunity to care for two (2) more girls; one aged 3 and the other aged 1. I won’t go into the details of where we got them or how we got them, but they are here and it’s nice to see how they interact with our girls. Even so, my mind is racing with questions of what would happen if the girls stayed with us. How are we going to do lessons? How are we going to transport them? How are we going to do bed time and showers? Easy, you just take it one day at a time.

Things that I noticed so far:

Either way, I got my eye on her….

My favorite new feature of facebook

Category: personal
#observation #tech

Recently, I noticed something new in the email notifications that I get from facebook. They have allowed you to reply to a conversation without having to log into the website! This is awesome because you can follow along with a conversation without leaving your "productive" environment.

Picture of an email in from a comment in facebook

Review (January 22nd, 2010)

Category: personal

This week, I’ve been really ill. Maybe it’s all the stress that I’ve been under: Looking for a new place to live, Asking for a raise, unresolved issues with my family, weird sleeping schedule (the kids), pressure to produce something!

Anyway, here’s a quick review:


Things on my mind:

Basically the same thing as last week


Category: personal
#money #security

Today, I got a notification that someone had stolen my account information to buy things online and that my account is going to be closed for the time being. It just goes to show that you have to be on top of this kind of stuff and people will take your money even if you don’t have a lot in the first place.

On top of that, I just got the bill for the fixes to my doorway that was kicked in last year.


You must be out of your mind!

Talk about bad timing!

How I use Email

Category: productivity
#personal #tech #email

Recently, Mac Developer Brent Simmons discussed on his blog about the importance of a good email client. Although, he said he wouldn't spearhead the project, he did start up a mailing list (ironic) for it. The list has been going crazy with people going back and forth over what the ideal mail client was and what should be in the 1.0 release.

One of the posters, Matthieu Cormier, has posted on his blog how he uses Mail.app and I thought it would be a good exercise to re-evaulate how I use mail and maybe that would help move the discussion along.
A diagram of my mail usage

Last year, I made the switch from .mac to gmail and it's been kind of interesting to see how Mail.app handles mail. Before this point I was having gmail send all my email to my mac address and then using Act-on to sort it into different folders. This worked alright when I was at home and had time to sort my email, unfortunately, I'm not always on my mac... and sometimes .mac was down. Screen of gmail Currently, I only use gmail and I've set up some labels and filters to manage it all. I have emails sent individually so that I can follow different threads quickly.

But I still enjoy working with a desktop client, if only for the sake of it flowing well with the rest of my "workflow" that includes working with omnifocus and a couple other tools that I like to use. If I can add one more issue against Mail.app that I haven't seen mentioned yet is that it doesn't allow you to color the heading on different threads. Screen of mail.app

Well, thank you for your time!

Peacoats and Money Diets

Category: personal
#money #parenting

My wife and I took the kids to Costco today to load up on some of the necessities (namely toilet paper). As it is now fall, Costco has brought out some of their winter wear and my wife was a beautiful peacoat. My wife loves peacoats and has been saying that she would like something new because she's been loosing weight due to her new found passion for running. Like any husband I would love to get her the dress, but we have already bought her two other jackets in the last year plus a Scottevest that we got on sale two weeks ago.

We can't afford it. We haven't a need nor do we have any money in the budget for it.

My wife tries on a few and then sadly places the item back.

That's when my oldest daughter asks why.

I don't even think about it and say, "We don't have the money to buy it."

Instantly, my wife get's angry. Later on we talk about it briefly in the car and she tells me that I should have told our daughter about it in a different way.

"Should I have said, 'We can't afford it'?"

"No, you should say it in a way so she won't misunderstand and get picked on."

I let the subject drop because I'm frustrated. As far as I'm concerned, I told my daughter exactly why we couldn't buy the coat in a way that shouldn't make anyone feel offended. I think it's one of the most important financial lessons an adult (or any one else for that matter) should know. You don't buy things if you can't afford them. If I had learned this lesson earlier or taken it to heart years ago, I'd be in a different financial situation. I don't want my daughters to go down that path an I certainly don't want them to think that they are less because they can't get everything they want.

It's ok to know our limits.

But didn't I just say that I'm guilty of this as well?

Yes, b-b-but...


I've decided to place myself on a spending diet. I've already paid most of my bills for this month. I'm going to set aside $200 for gas and other expenses and place that in a my new Golden1 checking account and see how things go from there. I'm hoping that it helps me realize that the money my family needs to survive is different then the money I use for wantsies.

Review (January 15, 2010)

Category: personal

I'd like to take this time to thank myself for not going completely crazy this last week. Crying babies, very little sleep and just the aftermath of all the drama from last month and I'm still standing...

...although a little wobbly!

But, I'd like to take some time and do a little weekly review.

Personal accomplishments this week:

  1. Finish two projects for work that will reward the company for a while
  2. Keep my cool despite the constant pressure to find a new place and money to pay for it.
  3. Cut back on my liquid sugar intake. No soda!
  4. Did a weekly review

Things Still on my Mind:

The day after being sick

Category: personal

It just feels weird for a variety of reasons. There is the traditional protestant guilt that one is supposed to be working everyday combined with questioning wether or not you are contagious topped with the delicious pressure of all the things that need to be done.