Thursday, August 28, 2008

So Proud of My Sister and Nephew

My sister, a mother of three, is a master multi-minder. She is constantly juggling schedules, doctors appointments, housekeeping and a million other details.

Her life is joyful and more complicated by the fact that her son, our darling nephew, has Down Syndrome. Colby's photo has been selected as one of the images for the national Buddy Walk in Times Square in NY at the end of September. His image, along with 200 others, will be broadcast on the Jumbo-tron during the walk.

We are delighted for Colby and the entire family. If you are asked to support the Buddy Walk, or other efforts that support children with Down Syndrome, please do.

See Colby's story and a great pic of Colby and my sister here Way to go, Colby!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Too Busy to Travel

My son's first day of third grade was today and my daughter's first day of school, ever, is Wednesday. On the day in between, tomorrow, I need to squeeze in a business trip to NY. With all I have to remember with the first days of school, trying to create mind space and energy to get to the airport, go to an important meeting and get back in time to have a normal evening for my daughter, is a challenge to even the most expert of multi-taskers.

So, today: use crock pot to make dinner for tomorrow. Pack lunch tonight so husband does not have to in the a.m. Lay out son's clothes. Have son do homework for Wednesday. Get my clothes ready for 5 a.m. departure. Assure daughter I will be back in time for her big day. Work. Make dinner for tonight. Bedtime routine.

And, tomorrow: get up at 4:30. Leave for airport at 5. Catch 7 a.m. flight. Cab to Manhattan. Meetings from 10 until 3. Jump in car to race to airport for 4:30 flight. Pray that flight takes off on time, or close to it, so I can get home. Drive home from airport. Get home by 7. Pull dinner out of crock pot. Prepare daughter for first day of school and try to have a normal evening so she feels comfortable.


Better remember to grab a double espresso at the airport.

Any secrets to juggling school and business travel? They are welcome here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Low-Prep Back to School

The dreaded back-to-school time is just around the corner. In my family, we try to supress it. My kids have no interest in shopping for clothes, school supplies or doing anything that would prep them for the big day.

Since I, too, am in denial, I do my best to prepare in ways that save time and in ways that are transparent to my kids. So, for example, instead of shopping or attending the school's uniform fitting day, my short-cut is to order all school clothes online via Lands's End. It's minimal effort for me and my kids don't even notice.

One area that always plagues me is school lunches. My kids like to pack their lunch, for the most part, but I end up packing the same thing everyday. They don't seem to mind, but I'd love some healthy variety, without adding lunch-packing time or effort to my morning.

Any ideas for healthy variety that won't add to my shopping or lunch-packing time? What could marketers or brands do to help? I'll share what I hear.