Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday road trip

For the first time since our babies were born, we're traveling to Nova Scotia for Christmas. And we're doing it by car. Now, we've driven the 15+ hours there before (several times in fact) but not in December. And not with an 18 month old. I'm rather afraid.

But I'm also excited. I haven't been "home" in 1.5 years and I'm wanting it. Once we get to Nova Scotia, Christmas will be waiting for us. And while I'm no Christian, it will be festive-fun nonetheless. All of my siblings will be there, a first in many years. I get to meet my sister's new German fiancee. I'm going to get together with a group of my high school friends (not seen for 10+ years) as well as my good Uni friends! I expect to come back sated. And happy. And ready to go back to work (10+ days in close quarters with small children will do that).

For now, I'm packing, cleaning, and trying not to think about the long, long day of travel tomorrow (we leave for Montreal tonight where we'll stay with my brother and shove off first thing tomorrow morning).

Home, oh my sweet Nova Scotian home, here I COME!!

(And Merry Christmas Everyone!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

F-U Winter

Dear Winter,
I know we are only a few days into our relationship this year, but seriously, do you have to come on so strong? Maybe you are only thinking of me and my cardiovascular health when you dump a fuck-ton of snow in my driveway for me to shovel at 6:30 a.m. (and continue to shovel for 60 minutes while all children cry in the car)? Maybe you think it's funny and are playing cute jokes when you are so freezing that all of our cars decide they've had enough and break down all at once due to the stresses of your cold? Obviously we don't share the same values and views on lifestyle. I'm sorry to say that I've had enough and I am dumping your wintery ass. If you continue to threaten me with your winds and snow drifts and freezing rain, I will get a restraining order. I'm not joking. Go fuck yourself.
I hate you.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It's Winter on my island

Yup. It's true. Winter has arrived. The long term forecast says "it's gonna be a long one." Yikes. We're tying to make the best of it by going out into it and trying to have fun (I'm not really a "winter" type of person). This year's goal: teach one or more of the kids to skate. Step one: be on the ice in just the boots. Step two: bob-skates. Step three: fall down and cry. Repeat. Only five months until spring...but who is counting.

Neville, smiling at the snow.

"The Crack." I believe we are going to die, says Dexter.

Walking on water.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Managing sleep deprivation 101

Today is a work day and I feel totally wrecked. I intended to wake up super early, work for an hour, then drive to the boat and work super hard all day long. Only problem: I'm so tired I can't focus my eyes enough to read. This isn't from my children. Sadly, this is just me, insomniac-ing in the night. It has made me think of how I've managed to get through the last five sleepless years. I will share with you my hard learned tips and misc. tidbits:

1. Pretend you are not extraordinarly sleep deprived. The kids don't care that you're exhausted. Just take the word "tired" right out of your vocabulary. While your at it, eliminate the word "sleep" too. Didn't you hear, sleep is for pansies. Eventually you'll forget that this is something that you used to do.

2. Ingest caffeine. Multiple times a day. Figure out how you like to get yours: chocolate? coffee? pop? Coffee grinds in your eye? Yes please. Ingest within 5 seconds of getting up in the morning with a mitt-full of pain-killers. All of a sudden, you'll feel much, much better.

3. Trade off on the weekends: Saturday you sleep in, Sunday, the other parent sleeps in. Redefine "sleeping in" to mean 7am.

4. Go to bed at 9pm. Yeah right. Sorry, that was a bad joke.

5. Never, Ever sit down. You'll realize how tired you are and not be able to get up, and/or may fall asleep.

6. Playdates with other sleep-deprived parents. Being around grown-ups is a great way to distract yourself from the sheer and overwhelming exhaustion. Time goes much faster when spent with adults.

7. Stay away from people who have the luxury to take naps, sleep in, and who say they are tired a lot. You'll probably start hating them and will possibly say something offensive, damaging your relationship.

8. Limit your multitasking as you are very mistake prone in this state. Example: In the past, I have been super excited waiting for the supper I made to finish cooking in the oven. When I thought it had been in long enough, I went to get it out of the oven. Only problem: I hadn't even put it in yet. Dang.

That's all I've got for now. I'm going to try to take a nap sitting in my chair. I'm sure I can do it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Making progress: At home

So this weekend we (well, Duncan) installed the hardwood flooring in our bedroom. It only took us...1.5 years (after buying it). We plan to put it in the kids' bedroom as well and then switch rooms with them. I can't wait. I'm sick of the ugly, dirty plywood, which was a vast improvement over the horrid carpet. At least we'll be able to enjoy our room with the lovely floor for a few (well, likely many) months!
The current faux-wood flooring in the kids' room (and what was in our room).

"New and Improved" and lovely.

Parenting Milestone #4

My first born called me dumb. Not only did he say I was dumb but he wrote it. This was following a small reprimand for grabbing something from Lewis. On one hand I'm proud: Yay! My five-year-old is writing all on his own. On the other hand, well, I'm not so impressed.

I've been waiting for the "I hate you" for some time now. I haven't heard it yet. But you know, I haven't been called dumb in longer than I can remember. It's almost worse coming from a child. Don't get me wrong, it didn't hurt my feelings. What it did do was spark a conversation on how one should handle their anger (i.e., not with name calling).

The result: he scratched out his "mom is dum" and replaced it with "mom is great." That's right son.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Makin' stuff with Dad.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Daylight savings sucks

My kids were awake at 5 am this morning yelling and running an "obstacle course" in their room. Thank you man-people who decided changing time twice a year was a good idea.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Parenting Milestone #3: Expensive distruction

Today I saw the future and failed to act. I had made a pot of coffee to get through the unending first day of daylight saving. I almost finished my cup and left it beside my laptop on the kitchen table. At one point I thought, gee, I should move that cup 'cause first chance he gets, Lew will be up on the table spilling my coffee on my computer. And then, as caring for children while juggling a zillion tasks goes, I got distracted. Big. Fucking. Mistake.

I turned my back. Lewis scaled the kitchen chair.

Lewis spilled coffee (with milk and sugar) on my laptop keyboard.

And the rest of the children watched on, saying NOTHING.

I flipped. I calming walked to Duncan's office (where he was working) and said, "you'd better come look after your children because their lives are in danger."

At first I thought everything was okay: the computer continued to function (after I poured the coffee out) and it seemed the crisis had been averted. But alas, no. It started to become unresponsive and then failed to boot. I think I started crying and swearing a lot at this point. Coincidently, when this happened we also lost our internet signal so that I could not do a quick google search to see how to handle such a situation. PS: I did everything that a person should not do (cry your face-off while frantically trying to reboot a dripping wet computer).

The marginally good news is I got all of my critical things backed-up before it went to sleep. I'm hoping that after it dries, it may be resurrected. It's going to the hospital tonight to prepare for emergency surgery tomorrow (I love you Scott Carter).

I would have given my third born away to the gypsies had they stopped by my house today. I'm SO over age one.

Top 10

10 things I love about being a PhD student:

1. I never know what I'm doing. Pro: I'm always learning something new. Con: I'm always trying to figure it all out. It's never the same and I'm constantly pushing my brain to it's limits.

2. My schedule is my own. There is no punch-clock. Although, I do eventually have to get the work done.

3. Creativity: Dreaming up hypotheses, designing experimental designs, seeing if it works and then writing about it all. Wheeeeee!

4. Working with dangerous stuff: chemicals, equipment, massive amounts of magnetic fields. I think I actually accidentally ate radiation once (have I mentioned I'm not all that careful?).

5. Getting to say "yeah, I'm a neuroscientist" and seeing people go "wtf?"

6. Living in the world of ideas and getting excited over ideas with other people. It's like having sex without all the sex.

7. Playing at the edge of knowledge.

8. Taking coffee breaks with other grown-ups.

9. Belonging to a lab: experiencing group membership, being forced to hang out with new people (because you share the same space), being around youth (well, 20-something youth).

10. Getting to say the words "synthesis," "heuristic," and "caudate nucleus."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Paper Genius

Halloween 2007. The kids have been out of their minds with excitement for Halloween for the past month. I wish I was exaggerating. But I am not. They were writhing on the floor with anticipation when I got home from work tonight. So, we stuffed a few bites of nutrition in them while waiting for dark, piled into the car, drove to the village and spent about an hour slowly (oh so slowly) walking about seven blocks and collecting about one full bag (grocery bag) of candy. We got home at 8:30, about 1.5 hours past bedtime. In good "we've had too much fun" fashion, Neville had a pre-bedtime hysterical meltdown when I denied him his demand to "eat all of his candy NOW!" I tried to assure him that tomorrow he could eat it until he vomits but his exhausted brain could not compute. On the way home Dexter said: "I can't wait for next year's Halloween!" Only 365 more sleeps.

Duncan spent approximately 4 solid days (and nights) making this year's Halloween costumes for the boys. They are robots, and the costumes are made out of paper and cardboard. The best part: on the helmets there are tiny lights that run along the peak to light their way. Pretty much the best costumes ever!

Monday, October 29, 2007


Because the kids will be coming into my lab on a semi-frequent basis, I decided to make them their own lab coats (from junk lab coats). Here are the results! I'm especially impressed with the teeny-tiny Lew sized coat.

"Mad scientist" Dexter

Lew looking scholarly

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Teaching the kids new tricks

This weekend I helped the kids make their own pizzas. I didn't realize how much they would enjoy it. They even ate more than usual. So I guess that nutritionist (the one that makes me feel like I'm a crappy parent) was right: getting kids involved in food preparation is good for them. I should do this more often. Dex even proclaimed he wants to learn how to cook. Here is a window of opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of. I'm having fantasies of my seven year old cooking me suppers. Unrealistic?

Next Step: Three course meals.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ridin' the 5 p.m. boat

Chillin' with their g-friend, Gwen, on the boat in the late afternoon sun.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's October. And 30 degrees.

That's Canada talk for Damn Hot! So, we raked some leaves and jumped in them barefoot. A definite first!

Dex, in there somewhere.

"Bury my toes!"

On the pile.

Monday, October 8, 2007

On Lewis time

Brother watching

Lewis is growing! He's got some of his first-year molars, he's waving bye-bye (a little late yes, but doing it nonetheless), he's nearly one sleep away from having enough confidence to start walking, and I think he has some words that include ball (bah), banana (nana), cat (dat), milk (mmmmm--okay, that may be stretching it). He needs to have ten (at least) by 18-months...but I'm not going to worry about it if he doesn't. Very recent development: he has separation anxiety! I know, it's crazy that he hasn't experienced this yet (at 15 months) but he's been a VERY mellow-fellow. I saw it for the second time yesterday at the in-laws' Thanksgiving bonanza as he was shy and clingy around all of the unfamiliar faces.

While he's on his own Lew-developmental-curve, he's developing. Yay Lew!


It just isn't Thanksgiving without a tank battle. Thanksgiving Fun in a box

Look what I made!

This is one of the first real pieces of clothing I've made. I even designed my own pattern. I think these are 2T size (judging by how they fit Lew). Next, I'd like to make some smock-dresses! Now all I need is a little girl. (Or a little boy who likes to wear girl's clothes.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rats, Rats, Rats

The other day I started my training sessions to learn how to handle the rats. The trainer told us to wear old clothes. I just could not for the life of me imagine why. Blood splatter? is all I could think of. Turns out that when rats are freaked out, they pee and pooh, A LOT. Our homework: doing checks (for food, water, and health) every day (no skipping) for the next six weeks. Yay.

Rat number Eight

Because I have to go in everyday to monitor these little guys, sometimes it means that I have to take my babies with me. There are strict rules on the "4th Floor:" you must wear a lab coat at all times and you must wear booties. This is to keep the rat germs contained. It also means that I have to dress my tiny people in big huge lab coats (challenging). I've taken the boys twice and let them handle the rats. They were impressed, said they were "fluffy" (a strange descriptor) and were fascinated with their very large testicles. This precipitated a talk about the differences between boys and girls. I try to discuss girl anatomy whenever I get a chance as I feel responsible for educating my boys about clitori (multiple clitorises?). This was the boys' first time hearing the word "clitoris." I'm definitely going to be the weird mother who brings everything back to "sex talks."

Friday, September 28, 2007


This was taken at 6:15 this morning. It's a little blurry cause I'm a little blurry. Lew climbed up on the couch and put himself between the two boys. He just can't be left out!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Inside Duncan

This week at school/work, I made a portrait of my husband!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Age One is Fun

Lew really dislikes organization and is really into gravity and returning all objects to their lowest energy potential. I watch him, in the course of day, and wonder if the things he plays with (repeatedly) are any indication of his future interests.
The possibilities to date?

Maybe a garbage man:

Sorting the taste.

Maybe a librarian:

The Lewy decimal system.

A Janitor or a shoe salesman:

How 'bout a little splash party?

File Keeper:

Just file this all under "M" for Mess.

I like that Lew is a blurr of activity in these shots as that is what he is in person: constantly on the move.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Senior Kindergarden

Friday was Dexter's first day of Senior Kindergarden. This is his second year of public school. This first day wasn't as emotionally dramatic as Dexter's first day of Junior Kindergarden as all of the true "firsts" had already been done. He's a pro at this "going to school stuff" and pretty much told us that. But Duncan and I made a deal of it anyway: we took him to the bus stop (at the end of our road) and then met him at school. Dexter bounded off the bus and was immediately romping in unison with his friends he hadn't seen all summer. He really didn't notice or seem to care that we were there at all. But I figure he would have noticed if we hadn't been (so I tell myself). Most of the drama was had by Neville who cried gigantic screaming tears as we left him standing on the deck in his underwear with Lewis and the nanny. I had a "flash-forward" in that moment, and saw Neville telling his Psychiatrist the root of his fear of abandonment.

Watching for the bus.

For Junior and Senior Kindergarden, kids on Wolfe Island go to school on "A" days, which are Mondays, Wednesdays and random Fridays. This schedule is memory intensive and screw-up prone. I laminate the sheet that indicates "A" days and semi-permanently fix it to the icebox. Year one: no accidental mix-ups. But I think it's just a matter of time.

This year, I hope that Dex learns to read! This will also be the first year (of many) that he'll have homework. I'm dreading homework. I really don't relish the idea of having yet another thing to nag my children about. I'm hoping that he'll be so excited about school and learning, that he'll just do it without constant reminders. My fingers are crossed!

People keep telling us how once kids get in school the years just fly right by. It's beginning to feel that way. Next year Neville will be in school too. I'm trying to "be" in these moments but they are so full and fleeting. It's hard to catch them.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Science isn't always exciting.

Today at work I actually watched water boil. Well, I waited and waited and waited, watching for the water to finally boil at which time I had to immediately turn it off only to watch it some more. The technical term for this is "degassing." I wish I could say I used the "waiting" time to contemplate or create. But alas, I did not. I just stared at those tiny bubbles, all blank and stunned thinking how great it would be to take a nap. Who knew there was so much air in a litre of water?

Science: 99% hard (well, not always--see above) work, 1% reward.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The sockless days of summer

I hate socks. With the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. This hate was not born until I had children. With three kids, all with different sized feet, socking them all is a real drag.

Socks are extremely labour intensive. Not only are they difficult to get on, they seldom stay on, so one finds oneself struggling to re-sock the child(ren) several times a day. Then, there is the washing of the socks. Making sure they get to the clothes hamper is hurtle number one. Hurtle number two: hanging them to dry. Hate it. Matching them is even worse as it seems far fewer pairs make it out of the wash then went into the wash. The result: a mother gone crazy searching through the sock bin only to find 1000 singleton socks.

I'm dreading fall and the return of sock season. In the back of my mind I've already started taking a sock inventory. I checked the sock bin the other day and it is empty. Where the hell did all the socks go? I find this a little unnerving. I know I had at least 20 pairs before the summer started. I then realized our house is currently like an "Eye-Spy" book titled "Socks:" if you study any room, you'll be able to pick out the random sock here, there and everywhere.

I decided I'd let Future Emily worry about the socks. Right now it's still summer. Denial and procrastination are beautiful things.
Sock lodged in window sill

Those two black things, those are socks strewn on the floor.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

R.I.P. Red Blankie: 2004-2007

Neville and Red Blankie

This is a sad day. We lost Neville's Red Blankie.

This is what we think happened: we stopped at Value Village (gigantic re-sale store) on the way home from the cottage. Neville took Red Blankie in (I'm very slowly learning that taking things into stores is a bad idea). At some point, I grabbed Red Blankie thinking "I'll just carry it for safe keeping." Well, I must have absentmindedly (shocker) put it down. All we know, is that it didn't return to the car with us. Of course, we didn't realize our loss until we got ALL the way home, meaning, onto the island. Once we noticed the missing party, we called the store and Duncan went ALL the way back to VV (a two hour round trip). That's true fatherly love right there. But trying to find one small red blankie in a gigantic store with loads of used cloth items is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Totally impossible.

I'm definitely more upset about this than Neville is (I'm actually crying!). For the last three years, I have protected and looked out for Red Blankie like it was my child. Besides Duncan and I, Red Blankie was Neville's Most Loved (I'm assuming he loved us more but I suspect I'm wrong). Every sadness, sickness, hurt, fall into sleep, adventure, meal, car ride, EVERYTHING, was done with Red Blankie by his side.

The true impact of losing blankie is yet to be seen and I'm wondering if there will be lots of heartache over the next few days. I think I'm also going to return to VV with hopes that they will have priced and put blankie on the floor to sell. But it could be a race against time as Tuesday is the big 50% off sale. Tuesday is also my first day of school. All the makings for crazy.

I went to VV today on the off chance that I would be able to spot Red Blankie, thinking that it was likely hung-up in the baby blanket section. Low and behold, there was Red Blankie! Saved before sale day. I can't imagine anyone would buy it, given how it smells. I was so happy, I think I even kissed it (that's when I realized how badly it needs to be washed). I felt like a super hero when I showed up at home, Red Blankie in hand. Neville welcomed his Blankie with squeals of delight, a long cuddle, lunch and a nap. Ahhhh.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fruits of my labour

Number One: Dexter

Number Two: Neville

Number Three: Lewis

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dexter goes to the Dentist

At five, Dex has never been to the dentist. Today was his first visit.

Frankly, I was mostly worried about how guilty the dentist would make me feel about NOT being very diligent about brushing my kids' teeth. I'll be honest, we try. But sometimes it's hard. (I think that's the excuse the Canadian government gave for not doing something about global warming.) So really, we pretty much don't try that hard. I would say 80% of the time, Dex and Nev brush once a day, at the end of the day and poor Lew, I just realized, we rarely (read: Never Have Yet) brush his. Bottom line: there is much room for improvement and lots to feel guilty about. So I braced myself for the visit, realizing that probably, Dex would have cavities and they would be all of my fault.

Nev and I accompanied Dex while he had his appointment. He did a great job, got his teeth x-rayed and even let the dentist in his mouth. What we found out: Dex grinds his teeth, he'll probably have some crowding when the permanent teeth come in, it will be a while before his baby teeth fall out, and the Monday Miracle: NO cavities.

This is like putting off writing a paper until hours before the deadline, throwing something togehter at the last minute, and making an A: positive reinforcement for bad behaviour.

My first inside reaction was pride: I'm such a good parent. I should probably find another parent to brag about my amazing parenting skills. This feeling made me recall when Dex was a baby and started sleeping through the night at about eight weeks. I also attributed this to "my incredible parenting technique." (In my mind of course.) I soon realized my "skills" were imaginary and my parenting style had absolutely nothing to do with it (when, of course, he stopped sleeping). And so it is with the cavity-free status. Instead of feeling smug, I decided I'd just feel happy that I didn't have to see Dex suffer through the filling(s), and try to achieve the same cavity-free status on the next visit.

To achieve this means:
a) brushing twice a day and
b) giving the kids fluoride drops.
(Note to self: remember, Lew has teeth too!)

I'm sure I'll be able to keep this up for approximately one day.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Milestones not talked about

By the time the third kid is born, you barely notice all those "first year" milestones (rolling over, passing things from one hand to the other, sitting, talking, walking, etc). Except of course, when they don't happen. Both Dexter and Neville did most of the milestone-esque things well ahead of time: Neville walked by 10 months, and Dexter talked in full sentences by 18. Lew is in no hurry. At all, on any front. At 14 months, he is still a total crawler and has zero words and doesn't seem to be understanding much of what we say ("where's your nose?" gets only a smiling face). He didn't sit until 9 months and didn't eat any solids at all until 10 months (despite my efforts) . There are moments of worry that he's delayed. But (I tell myself), there is a huge range of "normal" and Lew does seem to be on his own little developmental curve that keeps moving forward, just at its own pace. And besides, wasn't Einstein considered "slow?"

The milestones that I really want to talk about are different than the developmental ones above. I want to highlight parenting milestones, the ones that there are no books for. Like, surviving your first multi-child vomiting-poop-fest illness while having it yourself, or losing your kids (yes, all of them at once) in the department store.

Here are our recent parenting milestones (warning, these are kinda gross):

1. Balanitis: that would be inflammation of the foreskin. None of my boys are circumcised and up until a month ago, this has not been a problem. I hardly gave a thought to the little foreskins running around the house. Until one evening, when I unwrapped Lew's diaper and found a raging, ulcerated, pussing, wound-like sore on the tip of his penis. It was large and looked horrible. I panicked: my child's penis is going to rot off. He'll be a penis-less freak. I resisted the urge to run screaming to emerg and took him to the doctor first thing the next day.

What ensued was 2-3 weeks of multiple percriptions and doctor consults to battle the persistent "infection." At first the doctor said, "well, one bout of balanitis does not instantly call for a circumcision." Three weeks later we heard: "well, if this next anti-fungal doesn't work, I'm referring him to a penis-ologist and he'll need a circumcision." In an effort to try to figure out the problem, it occurred to me to try paper diapers until the infection passed. Zappo! Two days in disposables and it was a thousand times better. But was it the paper OR the anti-fungal? Returning to cloth only brought a return of the inflammation. And then child number 2 started getting balanitis from wearing the cloth overnight. I'm feeling torn: happy that he will not need a penile amputation, sad that the cloth diapers and overnight wear are the problem (my beloved cloth diapers). Interestingly there seems to be an absolute lack of information on the internet about balanitis and cloth diapers. Outcome: I've decided to change detergents, only use cloth during the day, and hope for potty training (the last one is a joke).

Brace yourself for the second milestone:

2. Pinworms. This is an intestinal parasite. They are worms. And they get pooped out. And they are plainly visible, squirming away in the poop. Eating dirt is the best way to contract them. Better yet, eat some cat poop and you'll get them for sure (Lewis actually did eat cat poop). They are beneficial, thought to boost immune systems preventing allergies and depression. I knew one of the kids would get them, sooner or later, and I was wondering how it would all happen.

Well, it went like this: I discovered them shortly before breakfast while I was washing out Lew's poopy diapers one morning last week. A quick trip to the drugstore, a small does of pinworm killing medicine for all kids, and it seems they are gone. For now. Although the images of the worms permanently burned on my brain have given me a mild case of post truamatic stress disorder.

I'm sure there are many more of these "parenting milestones" yet to come. I'm giddy with anticipation.

Always chaos, all the time, never stops

The Children:
I've got three boys, Dexter (5), Neville (3) and Lewis (one). Someone is always pooping, hungry, thirsty, getting hurt, ingesting non-food items, climbing furniture, peeing, playing in the toilet, fighting with each other, asking for candy, and spilling milk. And that's usually all going on in any five minute window.

The Parents:
I'm six months into 30. Currently, I work three days a week as a researcher in Neuroscience. That will change however, as I've just signed up to begin a PhD. (in Neuroscience) this fall. In fact, I officially start on the fourth of September. I plan to work 10 hours a week at my old job (researching), do my required course work, development my thesis, be present to raise my children, make all of my food from scratch, and continue my small on-line business (a hobby) of making and selling things made of fabric. And in 2008, we want to have another (our last) baby.

To add the the insanity, my husband Duncan (45) just started his own private practice in Neuropsychology this past June. Due to the feast or famine nature of the work, our fears of being hungry and homeless, and the "growing" phase of the business, he takes ALL work that comes his way, which means he's often traveling to other cities for a few days at a time each week. Some weeks I feel like a single parent and only see him a few minutes every other day. Other times, it's like he's a stay at home Dad. Often he stays up all night long working on deadlines.

Our current joke is that on a scale of 0-10 of intensity, we're at "fucking mental:" the setting at which you just go, go, go until your body bleeds and your mind breaks down. Presumably, one cannot go at this intensity for long. But this IS the life we choose. And as crazy and chaotic as it may be, I like the intensity of living full and living hard.

So ready, set: watch me GO!