Archive for February, 2007

Back to work

The past few weeks saw a trial by fire, of sorts, as I got back to work with several projects due on the same day. In my past life as a writer with no kids, the workload would have been light. But now, one article, one edit, and a PR piece was a lot.

First, Boris got an ear infection. Having to be on amoxicillin made him poop like a newborn for two weeks straight, but at least he wasn’t crying constantly. Still I ended up in a pattern of work-nurse-work-nurse-play with Hamlet for five minutes-work-nurse-work-nurse. See where this is going? Hamlet began to feel neglected, and started to act out.

That problem was easily remedied once the jobs were complete. I took him food shopping alone one day; another day I didn’t touch the computer. Rain Dog also had a week off (great timing, state department of education!) and we had a good mix of quiet days home and fun things. However, it does touch on a problem I’ve had since high school: I work much better under pressure and last-minute.

I have learned by now that everything is “under pressure and last-minute” when you have children, yet I still goof off because “I still have time.” Once upon a time I was the only one who had to deal with the consequences (though there usually weren’t any), but now other people–small dictatorial people–have to deal with them too. Solution: retrain myself to take those five-minute bits of time more seriously. But hey, I’ve got 15 years to do it. Right?

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We have a (blog) name

I’m happy to report that I finally came up with a blog name for Hamlet’s little brother.

First, thanks to all for the suggestions. I seriously considered Horatio, but couldn’t keep from associating it with David Caruso’s highly annoying CSI: Miami character. (Sorry, CSI fans!) Other suggestions, including Romeo and Banquo, seemed premature without our knowing more about him.

Like his temperament. I considered our family nickname for him–“Grumpy”–but while it took into account the frown he’s worn since birth, it did not consider his other moods: Sleepy, Fussy, Nursy, or yes, even Happy.

We arrived at the name quite by accident. It was a cold day and we were going out, so I dressed the baby in a turtleneck onesie and lined jogging pants. My husband* took one look at him and burst out laughing. “He looks like a Bulgarian mobster,” he said. And you know, he did. I think it was the baby-fat jowls. And, well, the frown.

And so, folks, I give you: Boris.

*Bonus: husband gets a name too. Henceforth he will be known as “Rain Dog.” *waves at the bevy of Tom Waits fans who read my blog*

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A shout-out meme

I’m starting a new meme. Whether it seriously circulates is another matter, but I’m giving it a shot. You see, recently we went through the most depressing day of the year. Moreover, almost everyone I know is sick – and has been for weeks. For many of us, the bitter cold is keeping us inside and isolated. If you’re a Bears fan, you were disappointed at the Superbowl. And there’s the general bad stuff in everyday news.

So here’s the meme: shout out to the people who have helped you in gloriously unexpected, helpful, or just-when-you-needed-it-most ways. (I got the idea from Mary Louisa, and good friends’ amazing generosity.)

My good friend Meagan has equipped nearly half my office in the last few months. Paying close attention to my blog entries, which mentioned a lack of cordless phone and my ancient PDA, she sent me new or gently used versions of both. I can now be productive without my phone’s handset bopping the baby in the head, and still chase Hamlet. Moreover, my new blogging job requires me to have a digital camera. I almost jokingly asked Meagan if she had a spare lying around, then decided I’d sound way too much like a mooch if I did that. Instead I posted on a forum (to which we both belong), asking where I could get a cheap digital camera. And you know what? She did have a spare. And she’s sending it to me.

Meagan’s generosity is astounding, and her blog is going to be a good one – she’s very passionate about the people and things she cares about. Meagan, you’re a great friend – if you ever need anything, just give a holler!

Props also to my friend Becky – a former editor-turned-freelancer when she had her second child – who did something similar when she sent me the almost-new printer that didn’t work with her new computer, just when mine had broken. She doesn’t read blogs, but she deserves a shout-out anyway. She, like my dear friend Mary Louisa, listens to me whine a lot about working with two little kids at home. 😉

So there it is. I’m tagging anyone who wants to spread a little love around, make people feel good and show your readers that nice people still do exist!

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