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Entries in Family Time (20)


Top 10 Ways to be a GeekDad While Out on the Lake

Added my three Geek Mom contributions:

  1. 1. Calculating the number, speed and circumference of whips and figure-8s to make the tube ride fun and not dump the kids.
  2. Headset for the walkie-talkie in one ear, bluetooth for the cellphone in the other. Finding a walkie-talkie that’s bluetooth ready - bonus points.
  3. Tube-based webcam. 360 degrees.

Re-posting via Wired: GeekDad by Dana Bostic on 7/22/09

My children and I love spending time on one of our local lakes. Filling
the boat with gear, finding a nice spot to camp, tubing, knee boarding,
and cooking out are all part of what I really want to share with my
children. On this last time out, I did notice several Geeky activities,
so here I present my Top 10 ways to be a GeekDad while out on the lake.
Please feel free to comment with any Geeky activities that you enjoy
out on the lake.

10. Writing this article while on the lake. Did I take my laptop and
broadband access card on vacation with my family to one of the most
beautiful lakes in North America. Are you kidding?

9. Thinking how much better the picture would look with a Digital SLR.
Imagine how much detail I missed in this picture, if only I could have
shot this on a 10 megapixal SLR with 200mm lens.

Read the rest of Dana's post here and comment...




Strangers save life of boy in burning SUV

Heroism is everywhere and amazing.

The off-duty firefighters who rushed into a burning SUV and cut a
4-year-old boy out of the seatbelt saved his life, the boy's doctor
said during a press conference Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Sent to you by Joelle via Google Reader: Strangers save life of boy in
burning SUV via CNN.com on 7/21/09


Sacred Time

As a day care mom, I used to leave work to pick up my children before day care closes at 6pm (until we had three kids, hired an au pair and then I left work at 5:30 to meet her at home by 6 after she picked everyone up). Over the last eight years, 5:30 - 7:30 pm has become sacred time. Without spending it with my kids, I get stressed and our lives get crazy.

5:30 because day care closes and after school activities end.

7:30 because it's bedtime so that my kids get the 11-12 hours they need per night to be energetic and well behaved at school, day care or camp the next day. Basically, so they're fun to be with rather than whiney, cranky monsters.

I've changed jobs every time I got pregnant and one-time, twice. And since my third most recent change (three kids, four changes), I've discussed my family time schedule with prospective hiring managers in my interviews. To their credit, they each told me that they would respect it and they each did.

It's ingrained in my schedule and that of my family and my colleagues. I recommend it to every parent. Because I do it 7 days a week, it's easy to plan on it. The kids know they are going to have time to talk, cuddle and play with me. Homework is checked and piano is practiced. The cell phone is off. The blackberry is charging. People don't call (except in emergencies). For 90-120 minutes per day, they have my full attention (other than cooking, bathing, reading - the normal chaos that goes into the witching hour).

My routine is not unusual - studies indicate children are getting daily time with their working parents. I figure - no one dies if I don't answer an email for 2 hours. And I reap the benefits because I need those cuddles and visits as much as they do - best stress reliever in the world.


Karmic Carpooling

This morning, the kids asked me if we could go to Chuck E Cheese tonight after camp. When Neal's out of town, I don't mind one night of a "treat" dinner - provided we can get home before 7:15 so everyone can get to sleep on time. I told the boys that if they had a good day at camp, I'd call our au pair and ask her to meet me at the restaurant near my San Bruno office.

I didn't really factor in the impact of a carpool. Three families - we do pick up and they alternate drop-off.

Taylor announced to the other two boys that he was going to Chuck E Cheese tonight. This morning's driver emailed me asking me the plan with drop-off and do I want to take her son with us? What about dinner since adult food at Chuck E Cheese is not the main attraction. Sounded fun to have her and her family join us if we could work it out (adult food being the problem - solved by La Salsa).

The plan had been to drop Isaac off at Jujitsu and then meet the kids and au pair at Chuck E Cheese.

At 4:35 pm, my au pair calls - jujitsu is closed. That's when the carpool went karmic.

The plan:
Leave jujitsu and go pick up Ariel at day care.
Leave day care and go to Ilan's house to pick up Lilah and tokens. Leave Isaac there.
Call Isaac's Mom to tell her to pick up Isaac there. She says - no problem.

Told the plan to Ilan's mom who hung up to call Isaac's mom to pick up Ilan's sister at the same day care as Isaac's sister and bring the two girls to Ilan's house (following this?).

So - Isaac's mom brings the two girls to Ilan's house where all the other children are waiting. Everyone leaves for Chuck E Cheese - and I mean - everyone.

Best part of the story - other than setting it up, I continued working at my office and casually walked out at 5:20, drove 3 minutes and parked in front of Chuck E Cheese. About 5 minutes later, the first car of my friends and kids arrives with the question "want some kids?". The entire carpool gang with all siblings descended upon Chuck E Cheese to play.

8 children in 6 locations with two drivers. No stress, no problems and a delightful 90 minutes of kids playing and eating at Chuck E Cheese.


January 2009 fun