Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Noe First

Getting a good picture of Noe usually involves a lot of clicks and a lot of luck. Yesterday, I was taking pictures of the boys out in our neighborhood before the landscaping crew took away our leaves (look at the background of this photo....literally minutes before the leaves were all gone) and I asked Noe to smile for me. He stopped playing, looked up and willingly gave me a big smile. I love being this kid's mama.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Where We Stand Right Now

I am truly, truly enjoying my job right now. I have everything in my job that Mr. Gladwell told me I needed to be happy: autonomy, complexity, a clear reward for my effort.... I'm just like those rice farmers in China. I also have a really bad sinus infection and would like to drill a hole in my head to release some of the pressure I am feeling right now.

Ed likes his job, but wishes he didn't have to work nights and weekends. He has started jumping rope every night in the basement when he gets home from work at 2am. He says it helps him burn off steam from work and sleep well. I think it's pretty awesome.

Noe's language is much improved from last year, although his pace of progress has slowed in the past month or so. His latest "stim" is crossing his fingers and toes obsessively, which gets in the way of his signs. He even tries to eat his food and pick up things with his fingers crossed. We are getting him an iPad for Christmas because he loves the one his therapist brings. I think it will be great for him to have a computer he can operate on his own, that will help teach him some academic and language skills, and will give him access to all the music he could ever want to listen to!

Asher is definitely an outlier (see Mr. Gladwell link above). I just haven't figured out if it is the kind of outlier who will change the world or the kind that will exist in his own little weird world. When my mom came to visit us last week, he drew her a map of the neighborhood so she wouldn't get lost. He comes home from school and writes story after story and reads book after book and then draws maps and pictures and crafts random things from paper and string and tape and then goes outside and runs and plays soccer and rides his scooter and comes back inside and makes up random songs on the piano and creates graphs to record our favorite toy story character or thomas NEVER ends until I hold him down on his bed and make him go to sleep at the end of the day. He is the youngest one at his bus stop and he assigned himself to the position of bus stop organizer....calling when the bus arrives, organizing the kids into a line. Can a 5-year old be manic? Perhaps they are slipping the kids coffee....or meth....during kindergarten snack time?

We are nearing our fourth anniversary in our home and we're starting to feel itchy for change. The reality is that we love our little community and our little home and the boys' schools. We would love to live closer to family.....but things are quite good where we stand. I think we are just itchy by nature. Hopefully a little bit of house remodeling and a few good bike rides around the lakes will keep us put for awhile longer.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alternative Career Paths

It's no secret the newspaper industry is in deep, deep do-dah. With a little luck and a lot of talent, Ed has managed to stay gainfully employed through the upheaval, but it doesn't stop us from thinking what second career might be out there for him.

Here are a few jobs outside the biz that I think Ed would be great in:

1. Lunchtime Acoustic Guitar Performer at Potbelly's. He already has some previous performing experience, so this gig would be a natural progression on his way to musical stardom. And based on the way he tips current guitar guy every time we sneak in for a mid-day sandwich, I have a feeling this might be at the top of Ed's list.

2. Baby Swaddler Consultant. He was so good at swaddling our boys when they were newborns. They would be wound so tightly in their receiving blanket that only their eyes would dart back and forth, and otherwise were pretty much motionless....kind of like brown South Park characters. Surely, there must be a market out there for this expertise? Exhausted parents willing to pay a premium for a good night's sleep has got to be a recession-proof industry.

3. Ikea Furniture Builder. As excited as I get about buying new IKEA furniture, Ed is equally excited for an excuse to build it. We make a great team!

4. Game Show Circuit Professional. What better way to put to use all of the superfluous information he has collected on the copy desk of two of the country's top newspapers?

5. McDonald's Manager. The last time Asher and I were at McDonald's, he looked and listened to the workers behind the counter and realized that they were all speaking Spanish. "Hey, Papi speaks Spanish," he thought out loud. Then his eyes got really big..... "Papi could work at McDonalds!" he cautiously said as if it might too big of dream to say out loud. I could see free happy meals and milkshakes dancing around in his little head.

See Easy Ed....there will definitely be life after newspapers!