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24 Nov

Family Sized Blender: The System

Strap in for Jason’s ongoing story. Once a tech obsessed writer/photographer/speaker, he thought he had it all under control – until his family grew six sizes. Now he’s trying to fuse everyone together into a single family. This is Family Sized Blender.

Good lord, it’s working.

The oldest daughter shut her bedroom lights off. The four- and five-year-olds made their beds. The ten-year-old put his shoes away. All the right way, all without being asked.

In the life of a parent with six kids – five under one roof – this qualifies as a major victory.

When I (gleefully) report to passers-by that we parent a half dozen kids, we often get the one question you’d expect – “How do you do that?” My answer generally waffles between “weeeelll, as a blended family, we’re pretty new at this and…” “oh, it’s not really that hard.”

Truth be told, we’ve both been beta testing a few ideas with the kids and it really, really is that hard. We spend an inordinate amount of time on things like picking up toys that the baby won’t eat, prepping meals and cleaning up after prepping the meals. We know that there’s got to be a better way, and that’s where the beta testing comes in.

16 Sep

You’ve Got The Look

Last Saturday night, I went to the Project Runway party at Fashion Week in New York. It was one of those events that seem designed to make you feel uncool, at least if you’re older than 25 and not wearing six inch heels designed to look like cloven hooves. I don’t mean that in a bad way – I’m long past the age where feeling uncool got in the way of having a good time – just in a ‘that’s the way it is but whatever, pass the Make It Work Martini’ kind of way.

Me and Barbara Jones. Blurry because the photographer had had one too many Make It Work Martinis.

15 Aug

Mommy Paparazza

Hey all! Meet Shalini, who’ll be sharing her Digital Life stories here, and schooling us all in mom geekery! In Shalini’s own words:

Shalini is a semi-techie and aspires to be a true geek.  She is very comfortable with using and learning about new technology while trying to maintain the cool wife and Mom façade. She also hopes to be the Mom who schools her kid(s) and husband in video games while running her household with order and authority. Among her newfound Mom skills, Shalini is developing her talents as a Mommy Paparazza as she constantly photographs and videos her son.  Shalini has also started taking instructions on cake decorating, which provides some much needed “mommy time” and an excuse to bake and eat cake.

Shalini is currently dealing with the challenges of a toddler who is walk- running, scaling the furniture and wondering the house looking for “Da Da” while she slaves away to prepare healthy, organic meals and to keep him clean. She is also recording the stories she makes up for her son with the hopes of one day sharing them with the world.  Shalini blogs at www.yellowsunnydays.blogspot.com and welcomes words of encouragement!

Hi interweb folks!

I need to admit that I have a problem. I am a Mommy Paparazza (and sMother). I take countless photos and videos of The Boy. So much that when he sees the DSLR, hears the chime of the camcorder or smartphone camera, he immediately stops what he is doing and smiles and poses…even if he’s crying. It’s super adorable except when I’m trying to capture him doing something cute or mischievous without disrupting said behaviour.

12 Aug

Come On, Leave The Noise

So we’re headed off into the woods again. Heading off into the woods has become what we do to relax, because what’s more relaxing than taking two small, hyper children into remote backcountry by canoe and chasing them around there for a day or two?

It is relaxing, just not in any of the ways that one usually associates with relaxation. It’s relaxing because it takes away from all of the noise of our life: it takes us away from televisions and satellite radio and iPads and computer games and all the buzz and hum and distraction that goes along with those things. It takes us away to somewhere where we can be by ourselves, with each other, with nothing to distract us from each other but the lap of waves and the music of the wind through the trees and the brightness of the stars. And also mosquitoes, but you can swat those.

23 Jul

What’s In YOUR Bag?

For a long time, I used a diaper bag for everything. It was a pretty cool diaper bag, one that cost way too much money – like, designer-handbag-too-much-money – and I figured, if I spent half a mortgage payment on one bag, I’d damn well better use it. So I did. I used it for diapers, of course, and wipes and snacks and toys and the like, but also for my camera and for my laptop. Diaper bags, as you know if you’ve every used one, come really well-padded and are virtually indestructible, which are exactly the qualities that you want in a gear bag as well. And seeing as most gear bags aren’t as pretty as some contemporary – pricey – diaper bags, well, might as well go for the diaper bag. My friend and fellow Intel advisor Shalini does this too, because it just makes sense (great minds, etc, etc.)