Scenes from Saturday + the Bangs Question

The big fourth grade project is a report on Canada. This includes research, a typed presentation, and an artifact. One of the things I like most about Cecilia’s teacher is how she gives the kids the time and space to do things on their own. For better and for worse. Sorry, for better and for learning opportunities.

Watching Cecilia ‘type’ her slides was almost viscerally painful. Until she discovered dictation! We thought about stepping in but if we are going to let them figure things out why can’t she use all the tools on her Chromebook. 

The toughest part for me to witness has been the design of the slides. I worked for almost 8 year as a consultant. I spent a lot time using PowerPoint. A lot. I would sometimes dream in PowerPoint. People would open their mouths and a perfectly formatted slide would pop out with their dialogue. 

Cecilia’s slide dialogue would have been…difficult to read. She enjoyed different fonts. Explored different font sizes. Discovered rainbow fonts. She discovered Comic Sans. We had to have a chat.

As a designer, I will not let my child submit a report using Comic Sans. Time and space has its limits. Continue Reading

Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow: Miso Butter Salmon

miso butter salmon from run fast cook fast eat slow

While we mostly eat a plant-based diet in our house, we do have fish about once a week. Mostly it’s in the form of tacos, but when it’s not it is typically a piece of salmon. I like salmon because it’s loaded with B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. All the protein fills me up, fights workout inflammation, and helps me recover for next time.

Plus, salmon is great fresh or frozen for a fancy weekend or a quick weeknight meal. It’s sustainable, affordable, and easily adaptable to many different methods and flavors. It’s a kitchen all-star. Did I mention the girls will eat it, too? Always a plus. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + a Shamrock Shuffle

Mid-March in New England means a couple things to me. First, I start arguing with the kids that temperatures in the mid-40’s still means you need to wear something with long sleeves. Second, I need to consider chiseling out some furrows for planting the first peas. Finally, it marks the unofficial start of the spring road racing season. I’ve never met a competition I didn’t like!

5 reasons I still like running 5k’s:

Budget They’re not cheap, but they are cheaper than most other races and you typically get the same snacks for running a lot less.

Competing Many longer events are about enduring your way to the finish. 5k’s are about racing.

Fitness The 5k requires strength, speed, power, and endurance. You can effectively train for a 5k with a variety of workouts not just long runs. It will not only help you run better but also improve your overall health.

No Chafing The risk of nipple bleeding is very low.

Beer & Naps It’s just long enough and takes just enough effort that it totally justifies at least one beer and one short nap when you are done.

We totally took advantage of the beer and nap clause yesterday.

Continue Reading

Visiting the New England Aquarium

visiting the new england aquarium

I sometimes worry that I’m becoming a cranky old man. First, let me say the kids had a good time at the aquarium. Second, my biggest takeaway was still the sticker shock at the ticket window. This is not uncommon recently. That entree costs what? Gas costs how much? You spent what on groceries?

We visited the New England Aquarium on a cold day over the February school break. I think if we visited when it was warmer and were able to go to the outside exhibits or exit and walk around the harbor area and return, it might have helped feel like we were able to get more value out of the trip. It’s centrally located, just a short walk from the Freedom Trail, Quincy Market and Boston Italian North End. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Carnival!

I get my 10 year parenting chip next month. Being a parent is not simple. Ok, the core of it might be. Show up. Love your kid no matter what. It’s in the margins where things can often go sideways. 

I think the biggest thing that has changed since Ce was a baby is that I can’t plan it all anymore. And I love to plan. I think about what to make for dinner while drinking my morning coffee. I love making to-do lists. I never met a calendar app I didn’t like. I also tend to invest a lot of energy in hoping all those plans go smoothly. If they don’t, I tend to get a little cranky and stressed out. Stressed out parents make terrible decisions. It’s a vicious circle.  

Ten years in and I’m now trying to learn from my kids and be better at reacting to life as it happens. Sound too simple? Maybe it is. But it does works. With a little practice. Continue Reading