Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Work/Life Balance

The profession I am in affords me the opportunity to work remotely, I can simply log into our company's computer system and work like I am at the office. Instant messaging, emails and all the other ways of communicating make it easy and convenient, especially since I live between an hour to 3 1/2 hours from the office, depending on the mood of the Parkway gods. I do miss all the interruptions at work, but compared to the maelstrom at home at times, it is quiet. I often say after a long weekend at home, that I am going to work to get some vacation time.
It's a very strange work environs being at home and being 'available' for all the minor crisees that occur...all the triumphs and tribulations that are usually conveyed when I get home or are washed out of Linda's memory by the rest of the day are transmitted instantly to my ears.
This week was particularly fun. I was working at home Monday and Tuesday and we had a crisis at work, and, as usual, we had issues at home too. Kids out sick, going to doctors appointments, therapies, ants in the house, diaper disasters everything seemed to converge over these 48 hours that I was home at working. At one point, I had 6 different IM conversations going on with work, 3 kids conversing with me or dragging me to various requests and a wife trying to find balance in the madness, reshuffling appointments and children like cards in a deck.
I really do know my priorities when it comes to 'work/life balance'. Life comes first and work will fit in when it can. I'm fortunate to work for a company that recognizes that. The problem occurs when the two are in such close proximity. Monday I stopped working to take Liv to OT at 4:30...right when I was trying to write a critical email. I tried to take the laptop with me and finish it off in the car while waiting, but alas, it is hit and miss hacking into someone else's wireless network. Tuesday was even more fun. Linda had a commitment at 4:30, so I literally keypunched until the very last minute and switched from work to daddy mode faster than you can change a diaper...and I did. I usually have a full hour to decompress in the car, and the experience was somewhat disorienting. It was the first time I went from a bad day at work straight into a hectic day at home.
So now, back at work and relaxed, I can look back and understand why it is tough for me to work at home; and how absolutely IMPOSSIBLE it must be to be a single mom trying to work from home...or even forget about home at work. It is definitely and advantage to be able to work from home at time, but until someone builds me an office suite addition at home (with soundproofing and a big strong lock) I'd much rather work at work and live at home.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nexium Tie

If you follow my ranting on various autism message boards you'll know that I am no big fan of pharmaceutical companies. I am not under the impression that they have poisoned our children with thimeresol, causing an 'autism epidemic' mind you. I just don't like the barriers that they can erect to protect their market share. I also don't like the billions they spend on advertising to 'pull' their products through the marketplace advertising to consumers. But most egregious in my mind is their sales and marketing departments. Doctors and nurses will be wined and dined in the hopes that the latest drug will be favored over the competitors. Also, from pens to scratch pads to mints to everything imaginable, they will imprint the brand names of anti psychotics, male enhancements, cholesterol reducing and any other cure for malady known to man, again all in the hopes that when they are writing with, writing on or eating the promos, they will think of dishing out that drug to the next patient. I thought I had seen it all until today...
Someone I know has a relative in the pharma-sales business. I don't hold it against her, but I promised to have a heated debate next time I see this person's relative. It would be interesting to see how they are trained to deal with my ilk, but I digress. She walked over to me and handed me THE MOST DISGUSTING tie I had ever seen. As she explained, the purple tie with a white design was actually the logo for Nexium, the heartburn medication. All I could do was see in my mind's eye a supervisor of this sales guy saying "Yes, you HAVE to wear this on all your sales calls next month, to put in in the eye of the consumer." Or worse yet, a convention of sales reps all with the same hideous tie, all getting stares from the wait staff at the hotel they were at!
I can't imagine the reasoning within their marketing staff for this tie promo item. Were they trying to capture the wacky-quirky-don't-care-what-anyone-thinks doctors market? Any way you look at it, this and many other baubles that these companies give out will do nothing for the public perception that these things they sell are nothing more than Bold detergent or Hershey bars. Could they not do better by taking this promo money and fund a cancer walk a thon or put their name on the side of a children's hospital?
Anyway, sorry to digress from my normal autism/general family issues...I just had to share...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Norm Crosby would be proud of us...

You old time folks would remember Norm Crosby, the king of making up words out of the blue. I realized that our household has quite a few that are part of legend and current normal usage:

Perfinity (adj)- a level of cleanliness of a room that invokes scowls from the children. Combination of perfect and infinity. Originator,: Dillan

Hum a dum(v)- Used only once after a 3 year old Jason threw up in the hallway. When my wife stepped in it she was audibly grossed out. After thing settled down a bit, Jason asked
"Mom, why did you hum a dum in my throw-up?"
"Hum a dum," she puzzled, "what's that?"
"You know,' he said matter of factly, looking to the ceiling walking and seeming oblivious to anything, "huuumm a dummm a dummm"

Wub(n)- a certain part of the male anatomy that is not a penis. Originator: Jason

Doooogie Dooogie(?)- definition unknown. Originator: Olivia

Cows give us Miiiiilk (phrase)- "I don't want to go to bed". Originator: Grace

Ginormous (adj)- We swear Aly made this one up years ago, but it's in the dictionary...

Sticky Way(n)- Proper noun for geographic location of the 20X30' pile of dead trees, branches and bushes in our backyard. Definition clarified by the recent addition of pulled out brambles AKA sticker bushes.

Box Everest(n)- Another geographic location in our garage that consists of our 'mountain' of cardboard recycles. Originator: in dispute between Jason and Dillan

Nipnips(n)- generic term for prepubescent nipples (male or female) Originator: Linda & Aly

Rick, Big Carl, I Didn't (n's)- proper nouns for various body parts on various children. Please note 'Big Carl' is a body part located ABOVE the waist.

Tikaticktika (?)- term used for various happy situations, possibly tickle and well. Originator: Olivia

Goodbye Grace (phrase)- term used to say "leave me alone" Originator: Grace

Pooted (v)- term for flatulance. Origin in dispute: could have come from cartoon 'Foster's Home for Imaginary Freinds'

Guacamommie(n)- term used for dip made with avacado, tomatos, salt and garlic. Originator: Grace

I have to decide whether to append this post or make up yearly addendums the way Webster does...stay tuned

Friday, January 04, 2008

2008...The Year of Sleep Deprivation

If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that sleep rates pretty high on that 'hierarchy of needs' scale for me and my wife. Not quite as high up as say breathing or even eating, but I'd say it rates in the top 5 or 10. So, even the loss of a petty 90 minutes of extra sleep during the week can be downright mood and schedule altering.

So far Liv has had this perfect 4:30 alarm clock every morning this year. Depending on who's REM-ing at the time, the other leaps up to get Liv before she starts yelling, banging on the door, or turning on the lights to wake her much more sound sleeping sister in the same room. We have a prescription drug called Clonidine that we use in the event that Liv gets up in the middle of the night and we need to calm her back down. Unfortunately 4:30 is early morning, not middle of the night, if we give it to her after say 3:30, we have an immovable object when we try to get her up at 7. So into the bed she comes with us, and so far, she's only gotten back to sleep once.

Today, we threw a mind altering curve into this mix. Again, she was up at 4:30, settle her into our bed, then just after 5, over the monitor we hear BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP. Me being the more alert of the two go running into the room. They have a Dora alarm clock, which has NEVER been used as an alarm. I pick it up and begin randomly moving levers and pushing buttons. "Hi, I'm Dora, it's time to wake up." the voice mocks me. After hitting that button twice, I get the hint. Hit another button, the sleep radio goes on. Dazed, semi-conscious I think of the options. Throw out window... no too cold out. Smash against wall... no I'm not good at spackling. Just then, Supermom comes busting in and evaluates the situation; in a fraction of a yawn, she yanks at the cord out from behind the dresser until the plug finally comes out of the wall. My hero! Except, still the BEEEP BEEP goes on. Under the bed we find the portable single AA battery operated clock, that appears to use air horn technology. Staring at the ultimate victory, I begin to turn over the clock to turn the alarm off Kinda like being stuck in an hour long traffic jam and not even getting to SEE the accident, I didn't even get a chance to silence my oppressor, all this occurred within the minute that the alarm eventually turns off.

Through it all, Grace does not budge. We wander out of the room like fireman after a midnight false alarm. Back into our bedroom where Livie is now sure it is time to get up, and we collapse. Insane cackling is ringing inside my head along with the echo of the beeep beep in my head. Luckily, we brought the little portable alarm clock in with us to our bedroom because inexplicably, 20 minutes later.. BEEEP BEEP Beep. Haha, hehe hee hoho! I do not achieve sleep again until some 30 seconds before my REAL alarm goes off at 6:00 AM.

How do you call in sick from life?