Mandaris Moore


Isn't she cute!
A picture of Alex


Yesterday, after a particularly long series of events. My wife and I have had the opportunity to care for two (2) more girls; one aged 3 and the other aged 1. I won’t go into the details of where we got them or how we got them, but they are here and it’s nice to see how they interact with our girls. Even so, my mind is racing with questions of what would happen if the girls stayed with us. How are we going to do lessons? How are we going to transport them? How are we going to do bed time and showers? Easy, you just take it one day at a time.

Things that I noticed so far:

  • When little girls get together it seems to always be play time
    My wife and I did our best to accommodate. We had to take both cars in order to get them to the park yesterday and it then use the baby bjorns to hold the little ones as we ran around chasing the more mobile of the two. It would have been more fun if we could have done it earlier in the day. Baths aren’t that hard Bath time was done doing two by two and it wasn’t that difficult, because I’ve found that kids (or at least the ones I’ve seen) like water. If anything it was difficult making them wait their turns and making sure they don’t drown each other. Dinner Well, it’s a good thing my wife and I have moved away from eating fast food and the like and actively plan and prepare meals in advance. It saves money (2 adults and 4 kids… yikes!) and time (just heat and eat).
  • Discipline This was an awkward subject for me to handle. On one hand, I’m a parent who is raising his daughters in a way I feel is right. On the other, these aren’t my children and I don’t know what they are expecting. I don’t spank, but I expect that what I say should be followed. So far, we haven’t had any big issues other than the older one pushing her sister down and a misunderstanding on what it means to share. Strangely enough, it’s my own daughter who's been giving us the most trouble. It could be because she’s two now and wants to express herself with the word “No” or she’s embolden now that we have company.

Either way, I got my eye on her….

  • Bed Time This is actually, where things get a little more tricky. Thankfully, these girls sleep through the night, but it just begs the question of where do they sleep. We pretty much put the oldest one in my daughter’s crib, her sister has her own portable crib and our girls slept with mommy in the bed. Leaving me on the couch and I have to say it’s probably the best night of sleep that I’ve had in days. Well, that sums up the first day. The second one is today, and thankfully I’m at work for most of it!


Recently, I noticed something new in the email notifications that I get from facebook. They have allowed you to reply to a conversation without having to log into the website! This is awesome because you can follow along with a conversation without leaving your "productive" environment.

![Picture of an email in from a comment in facebook] (facebook_mail.png "Picture of an email in from a comment in facebook")
Picture of an email in from a comment in facebook


This week, I’ve been really ill. Maybe it’s all the stress that I’ve been under: Looking for a new place to live, Asking for a raise, unresolved issues with my family, weird sleeping schedule (the kids), pressure to produce something!

Anyway, here’s a quick review:

Accomplishments:

  • Asked for a raise (Which was quickly followed by questions of “How do you do that special XYZ thing you do?)
  • Keep my head when I found out my account information was used to make some weird purchases
  • Make a post to email-init to further information about email clients

Things on my mind:

  • Find a place to live
  • Work on my personal relationships
  • Do a deeper review than this

Basically the same thing as last week


Today, I got a notification that someone had stolen my account information to buy things online and that my account is going to be closed for the time being. It just goes to show that you have to be on top of this kind of stuff and people will take your money even if you don’t have a lot in the first place.

On top of that, I just got the bill for the fixes to my doorway that was kicked in last year.

$326!

You must be out of your mind!

Talk about bad timing!


Recently, Mac Developer Brent Simmons discussed on his blog about the importance of a good email client. Although, he said he wouldn't spearhead the project, he did start up a mailing list (ironic) for it. The list has been going crazy with people going back and forth over what the ideal mail client was and what should be in the 1.0 release.

One of the posters, Matthieu Cormier, has posted on his blog how he uses Mail.app and I thought it would be a good exercise to re-evaulate how I use mail and maybe that would help move the discussion along.
A diagram of my mail usage

Last year, I made the switch from .mac to gmail and it's been kind of interesting to see how Mail.app handles mail. Before this point I was having gmail send all my email to my mac address and then using Act-on to sort it into different folders. This worked alright when I was at home and had time to sort my email, unfortunately, I'm not always on my mac... and sometimes .mac was down. Screen of gmail Currently, I only use gmail and I've set up some labels and filters to manage it all. I have emails sent individually so that I can follow different threads quickly.

But I still enjoy working with a desktop client, if only for the sake of it flowing well with the rest of my "workflow" that includes working with omnifocus and a couple other tools that I like to use. If I can add one more issue against Mail.app that I haven't seen mentioned yet is that it doesn't allow you to color the heading on different threads. Screen of mail.app

Well, thank you for your time!


My wife and I took the kids to Costco today to load up on some of the necessities (namely toilet paper). As it is now fall, Costco has brought out some of their winter wear and my wife was a beautiful peacoat. My wife loves peacoats and has been saying that she would like something new because she's been loosing weight due to her new found passion for running. Like any husband I would love to get her the dress, but we have already bought her two other jackets in the last year plus a Scottevest that we got on sale two weeks ago.

We can't afford it. We haven't a need nor do we have any money in the budget for it.

My wife tries on a few and then sadly places the item back.

That's when my oldest daughter asks why.

I don't even think about it and say, "We don't have the money to buy it."

Instantly, my wife get's angry. Later on we talk about it briefly in the car and she tells me that I should have told our daughter about it in a different way.

"Should I have said, 'We can't afford it'?"

"No, you should say it in a way so she won't misunderstand and get picked on."

I let the subject drop because I'm frustrated. As far as I'm concerned, I told my daughter exactly why we couldn't buy the coat in a way that shouldn't make anyone feel offended. I think it's one of the most important financial lessons an adult (or any one else for that matter) should know. You don't buy things if you can't afford them. If I had learned this lesson earlier or taken it to heart years ago, I'd be in a different financial situation. I don't want my daughters to go down that path an I certainly don't want them to think that they are less because they can't get everything they want.

It's ok to know our limits.

But didn't I just say that I'm guilty of this as well?

Yes, b-b-but...

sigh

I've decided to place myself on a spending diet. I've already paid most of my bills for this month. I'm going to set aside $200 for gas and other expenses and place that in a my new Golden1 checking account and see how things go from there. I'm hoping that it helps me realize that the money my family needs to survive is different then the money I use for wantsies.


I'd like to take this time to thank myself for not going completely crazy this last week. Crying babies, very little sleep and just the aftermath of all the drama from last month and I'm still standing...

...although a little wobbly!

But, I'd like to take some time and do a little weekly review.

Personal accomplishments this week:

  1. Finish two projects for work that will reward the company for a while
  2. Keep my cool despite the constant pressure to find a new place and money to pay for it.
  3. Cut back on my liquid sugar intake. No soda!
  4. Did a weekly review

Things Still on my Mind:

  • How to make more income
  • How to improve the relationship I have with my family
  • What are some more activities that I can do with my children in the winter time


It just feels weird for a variety of reasons. There is the traditional protestant guilt that one is supposed to be working everyday combined with questioning wether or not you are contagious topped with the delicious pressure of all the things that need to be done.

Yay!


Although you can’t tell by only looking at my blog, but I’ve made a commitment with myself to write more often. It’s usually how I cope with some of the “opportunities” that life presents to me and I typically feel much better about myself and my path in life.

Recently, I’ve been having some difficulty getting started on some posts. I catch myself worrying more about what tool I'm going to use then the actual content of m writing.

I was going to wonder what the pros use, but it doesn't matter. The important thing to do is to just write something.

Writers write. Programmer program. Simple.