Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sick Toddler (Day 4)

Anyone with a toddler knows that, when she is ill and cannot go to daycare, or on playdates, or... anywhere really, her illness severely restricts one's productivity.  This is frustrating for those of us who are not employed outside the home.  I tend to view myself and even value myself based upon what various tasks I accomplish each day.  This is probably an unhealthy way to see oneself, but I make sure to include in  those "various tasks" things that are good for me as well as simply productive: writing in a journal, sketching a picture, listening to my favorite comedy podcast , shaving, showering (yes, I have to put this on my list), going to the gym, and so forth.  If I get all of that done and still have time at the end of the day, I give myself permission to veg a bit before starting dinner and finishing the day.  When Vivian is sick, however, my list is limited to those tasks I can accomplish in the home.

I love any task that gets me out of the apartment.  Grocery shopping, the post office, museum, the dry cleaners, the drug store, the park, and anything that might be considered an "errand" makes me feel great.  Vivian's current ailment makes me wary of excursions outside the home, and therefore I am suffering a bit of cabin fever.  I haven't been to the gym all week (which means my knees are giving me trouble).  I'm also out of a few basic supplies which I would normally replenish at the grocery store tomorrow.  I guess it's a good thing that the weather has been so ugly this week, because I'd be even more distressed if it were perfect and gorgeous (like it's supposed to be tomorrow and over the weekend).  Rainy-day games are great for sick little toddlers, but daddy needs to get out.  She's not even sick enough to take to the doctor; just sick enough to keep us both close to home all day.  It's not excitement I crave, or variety, it's the feeling that I'm going somewhere and doing something.

It's really just a feeling I crave.  Usually, the knowledge that I'm taking care of Vivian (future POTUS) and my wife (future SCOTUS) is enough to keep me happy, but I start questioning how well I'm doing that when I haven't been as productive as usual for a couple days.

Heh.  I guess managing to get in a few paragraphs on this blog might count as doing something (even if it's not all that productive and took me all day).  Vivian's problem seems to be getting better (pleasepleaseplease), so maybe I'll be able to take her out tomorrow after all.  I hope so.  It's supposed to be a beautiful day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Know You're a Stay-at-home-dad When...

  • ... you patch a hole in the drywall, clean finger paint off the kitchen table, replace a light bulb in an overhead fixture, and rock out to "Livin' On A Prayer" on Rock Band 2... during nap time on a Tuesday.
  • ... you realize you've cleaned the bathtub more times in the past month than you did during four years at college.
  • ... you strictly enforce a limit of one hour of television per day... except on Sundays between September and February... and Monday nights... and Thanksgiving... and Saturdays once the post-season starts...
  • ... "Those action figures aren't toys!"
  • ... you search high and low for the toughest, manliest, most badass messenger bag (Dude, it's a purse for a man.  Get over it.) you can find, then load it up with diapers, baby wipes, and sippy cups.
  • ... Halo: Reach was barely a blip on your radar (sigh...)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Smallville Review: "Lazarus" (Airdate 9/24/10)

Jor-El = douche.
Lois knows = awesome.
Lex clones = awesome.
Ollie getting his butt kicked = when is he going to grow the goatee? 
Back to where it all began = awesome.
Lois is Clark's weakness = kind true, kinda stupid.
Chloe trades herself for Ollie = awesome.
Lex clone is all like, "even with your great speed..." and Clark is all like, "watch me!" = awesome.
Red, yellow and blue = awesome.
"I know my fate!" = stupid line (please stop saying that!)
Jor-El = douche AGAIN.
Lois goes to Africa = disappointing 
Pa Kent = awesome.
CGI Darkseid = we'll see. 
Tess with a baby Lex clone = kinda stupid.

Overall = pretty awesome

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You Know You're a Stay-At-Home-Dad When...

  • ... the seam on your daughter's dress comes loose and you add duct tape to your shopping list.
  • ... you don't consider buying a step-stool until it is time to start potty-training.
  • ... the words "lay flat to dry" ruin your good mood.
  • ... the phrase "clean dirt" makes perfect sense to you.
  • ... you have "cheap scotch" as a line item in the family budget.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Little Extra Time

I recently subscribed to the Get-it-done-guy's Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More on the Quick and Dirty Tips Network.  Out of all the productivity and self-help books I've read, this little podcast has done more for my productivity, attitude and general outlook than any of them.  Stever Robins has recorded almost 150 episodes which range in topic from packing tips to travel without wrinkling your clothes to how to craft a better "todo" list.  That last one alone has helped me immeasurably.  I'm actually getting to the point where I have time again to do some of those things (like posting on this blog) that I enjoyed doing before my daughter arrived and through my limited time-management skills into a downward spiral. 

My advice is that you subscribe to this podcast at the website or through iTunes and download every episode so you can browse the topics.  Then choose one or two to look at every week, whichever ones seem to be the most applicable.  People in business or who don't stay-at-home will find Stever's tips most helpful, but anyone can apply them to their own circumstances as needed and find themselves getting more done while working less. 

Do not do what I did initially.  Like I do with every podcast, I downloaded every episode and listened to them all back-to-back until I caught up.  The problem with that was, I gave myself no time to implement the tips Stever was giving me before I was on to the next tip!  All I had was a general sense that, if I did some of these things, I would get more done and be happier for it.  When I stopped to implement things like the "todo" list or the his tips on creating a filing system, I was thrilled with how effective they were.  So take your time and find one or two things a week to work on, and really implement the tips.  I think you'll find what I found: that working less and doing more is actually pretty easy.

On a more personal note, I find that being more productive with my time makes me feel better about myself.  When I look at a todo list with a bunch of stuff scratched out, or can find a receipt my wife needs, I feel like I'm doing my "job" as a stay-at-home.  When I realize that I've done everything I needed to do on a given day, I find that I enjoy my time playing with my daughter much more, because I'm not worried about something else that's not getting done, I can be more present to her.  Some parents out there probably figured a lot of this out long ago, but I'm happy that I discovered this podcast when I did.  It has helped me in many ways to be better and has allowed me to consider goals, plans and dreams I had discarded.