Yes, It's Been a While
A few people have dropped me a line asking what's been happening to us lately. As you've probably noticed, I haven't been blogging much since Labor Day.
Of course, school has started, which means that we are busy getting the kids ready for school and preparing them at night with their homework or show-and-tell speeches the next day. It takes a lot of effort to stay on top of what the kids are doing at school. Just last week, we went to back-to-school night, and Jenny has been attending the PTA meetings. At night time, I try to keep them busy by reading them stories and engaging in activities such as coloring Pokemon and Disney pictures. The kids are still hooked on Pokemon. I've been thinking about getting a used Nintendo 64 (circa 1998).
Jenny and I are also working a lot with Russell on his at-home-therapy, which we videotape and then breakdown for the therapist to analyze remotely via the internet. That process alone--of editing video and then writing an analysis of our own therapy work--takes me two nights a week. The good news is that Russell is making good progress and we are becoming confident in our ability to bring Russell out of his autism-induced shell.
The market meltdown hasn't helped, either. With our investment portfolio, I've been spending much more time trying to think of ways of reducing our risk and then developing a financial strategy for the impending recession. We aren't in panic mode yet--we're still comfortably ahead in the grand-scheme-of-things--but need to ensure that we have enough in reserves just in case disaster strikes. We've worked hard to maintain our financial well-being, but have also been lucky in our timing of certain actions, such as our house purchases back in 2000 and 2004.
With our hectic schedules, it's been difficult keeping in touch with family and friends as much as we would like. On weekends, we might have time to have one friend over for dinner, but most weekends we are busy running errands or just trying to catch up with the housework. Most of the time, we end up seeing people during birthday parties or playdates. As a result, there's very little time spent relaxing and shooting the breeze with others.
Sometime soon, we may enroll the kids in kung fu school. Punky has definitely expressed an interest. We both would like the kids to speak Chinese, so it looks like Punky will be taking Chinese classes in Oakland Chinatown within the year. This will mean yet more errands to run!
Other parents say it gets better as the kids get older, but I have not seen that yet. If anything, Russell and Punky have become more demanding in their need for attention. They seem to get their hands on everything, and I have to be around or close by just to ensure that they won't destroy the house or get into trouble. Not to mention the fact that they fight over just about everything--toys, food, books, games, etc.
Once every 3 or 4 months, Jenny and I go out on a "date", which means dinner and a movie while we drop the kids off with a babysitter. And about once a month, Jenny goes out with her girlfriends to unwind over dinner. I go out twice a year--on my birthday and on dragon boat weekend (the big SF dragon boat race this weekend). That's the extent of our social lives. It's not quite what we expected when we got married 8 years ago, which seems like eons ago.
I'm not venting, just letting all of you know what we've been doing. Drop me a line, and let me know what you are doing yourselves.