Nov 27th, 2015 by Maria Burns Ortiz
My husband is out of town for work, leaving me to get three kids out the door to school (well, two kids to school, but I have to bring the baby as well, since it’s not like I can just leave him home alone), to soccer, to dance class, to any place I need/want to go outside of work hours between now and when he returns.
I was realizing as we made our way to my mom’s house – just four blocks from my house – today how much longer everything takes with kids.
Here’s a very unscientific metric I’ve developed:
Going somewhere by yourself: X minutes
Going somewhere with 1 kid: 2X minutes
Going somewhere with 2 kids: 10X minutes
Going somewhere with 3 kids: 974X minutes
Here is what I mean (and this is an abridged version of the first block):
Decision made to go. Change baby’s diaper. Tell 3-year-old to put on her shoes. Tell 7-year-old to change out of soccer uniform. Tell 3-year-old to put on her shoes. Pull baby out of dog’s water bowl. Change baby’s clothes. Ask if anyone has to go to the bathroom. Tell 7-year-old she can only bring 2 stuffed animals. Tell 3-year-old to put on her shoes. Confirm that no one has to go to the bathroom. Reiterate to 7-year-old how many 2 is. Tell 7-year-old she will be responsible for carrying all items she brings. Hand 3-year-old shoes. Get everyone out the door. Shut the door. Lock the door. Unlock the door so 3-year-old can go to the bathroom. Lock door. Put baby in the stroller. Run back up the stairs so that 3-year-old can bring stuff animal, just like 7-year-old. Walk out the gate and four steps down the street. 3-year-old stops and says she’s tired and wants to go in stroller. Explain baby is already in stroller. 3-year-old explains she has to practice jumping from rock to rock. 7-year-old puts all of her items in/on the stroller. Tell 3-year-old to catch up. 3-year-old walks slower. 7-year-old says it’s really hot. Asks for water. Stop to drink water. Ask if anyone else wants water. Put water away. 3-year-old asks for water. 3-year-old says her feet hurt. Look down and see 3-year-old has shoes on wrong feet. Ask 3-year-old if she wants to switch shoes. Told no. Walk 5 steps. 3-year-old sits down on the curb to switch shoes to correct feet. Look ahead and realize there are still three more blocks to go…
Welcome to Salt Lake City, where 7 Generation Games is participating BoomStartups’s Ed Tech accelerator.
I just a spent nine days in Rio and am home for about 48 hours before I head off to Salt Lake City. After a 16-hour travel day that stretched two continent and multiple time zones, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the last week and a half. It was an amazing trip, but it was a whirlwind. Not only that, it was punctuated by moments of such surreality that it’s hard to process it all.
Here’s what I mean.
Surreal moment 1:
Ronda winning another world title. We went down to Brazil to watch my sister Ronda’s world title fight. In the last five years, she’s risen through the ranks of MMA to become almost unarguably the most dominant athlete in the world. (Sports Illustrated even ran a cover story saying as much.) I’ve been to every single one of her UFC title fights except for the one before this fight (because I had a weeks old baby). You would think we’d be used to this whole craziness by now. You’re wrong. It’s the same feeling of nervousness and the same elation when she wins every time. Then we’re rushed in the cage where we hug her and jump up and down, and we’re rushed through in a throng of security as people scream Ronda’s name – and it is still very much surreal.
Surreal moment 2:
The penthouse suite of the Copacabana Palace Hotel. We always had enough food to eat growing up, but there were years where things we tough. My stepdad was in the hospital for a long time and then he died. We lived in this crappy rental house where the floor kind of sloped and things were always falling apart in a town of 15,000. It was, let’s just say, less than ideal. And now, literally half a world away we’re staying in a two-bedroom, four-bathroom penthouse with two butlers and a semi-private pool in the nicest hotel in Rio (a city of 6.5 million), ordering room service and staring at the ocean.
Surreal moment 3:
Christ the Redeemer. Whenever I travel, I always try to see the one real touristy thing in the city if it has one. For example, when I went to Athens in 2004, I made sure to go to the Acropolis. (I missed the Alamo when I was in San Antonio last year though!) When we were going to Rio, I said that we had to go to Christ the Redeemer, so we did. As with every time, I go see the must-see attraction, I was pleased I did.
Surreal moment 4:
It’s a small word. I was sitting on the exercise bike at the Sheraton gym the day before the fight when I turned and saw a woman looking at me like, “What the hell?” And I immediately without being able to place her, found myself thinking the same thing. Then I tried to wrap my brain around who it was and where I had seen her before. It was one of those moments where you’re seeing a person so out of the element where you usually see them that you just can’t process it. I racked my brain: Did she work for the UFC? (We were at the event hotel.) Did she work at the hotel? I definitely know her. Why do I know her? Then it dawned on me. She is my next-door neighbor – from home! It turned out her boyfriend (my other next-door neighbor – we say “Hi!” to them, but we’re not close – they are cordial to us, but we have three kids and a dog, and they are single and quiet) works for a production company that worked for the UFC. He was coming to Brazil for work, so she joined him. And here we were running into each other in a hotel gym in Rio. We marveled at what a small world it is. And it was just another reminder of how random and unexpected life really is.
I’m Evrybit-ing our trip to Brazil for UFC 190 in Rio.
I haven’t had more time lately, but I’ve had a lot more going on. And every once in a while, I think, “I should be documenting this.” But I felt like I didn’t really have a place to do that. I write regularly on my company blog for 7 Generation Games, but there are things that don’t necessarily fit there. I decided this site – since it’s in my name and I already own it. It’s going to be a totally different set of posts as my life has shifted dramatically since I started this blog. It seems like the first 70 or so posts on here are from a different life, but that’s the way life goes…
What do I mean by a completely different life ago? Well, let’s see. I’ve now launched two companies. One of which I’m working on full time: 7 Generation Games, and one of which I’ve moved into more of an advisory role: Evrybit. I believe each one of them has the opportunity to make radical changes in the world. I’ve got three children — two girls (7 and 3) and an almost-7-month-old boy — each of which I believe has the ability to make radical change in the world. I’ve moved more times than I can count. (Well, I could actually count them, but let’s just say you know you’re moving too often when the movers come to get your stuff and say, “Wait, didn’t you just move in here?”) I co-wrote a book, like a real book published by a real publisher that people are buying.
It’s been a crazy ride, but it’s totally great (most of the time). And it’s kind of just getting started.
This page has just kind of been floating out there for the last year plus, but really more the last two years. I could say it’s because I’ve been pretty busy (which is absolutely true – noted by the fact that I posted less than a handful of times since having my second baby, who is now 2), but it’s a little more complex.
I had started this site as a way to showcase the various columns and stories I was writing. You’ve got your stuff on sites all over the web when you’re a freelancer, and this site served kind of a central place to showcase my work and create an archive. But over time, between my consistent gigs at ESPN.com and Fox News Latino, I ended up having pretty significant archives between those two sites and didn’t really need to make my own.
And so this page kind of lingered. Then there was a bit of an upheaval – actually it was a full-blown upheaval where in the span of six months: my ESPN.com column was put on “indefinite hiatus” (The abrupt end left me a bit confused – and I’m not going to lie, sad. It made more sense when the entire Playbook section I wrote for was scrapped a very shortly thereafter); I took up an offer to found an #edtech startup; my husband got a fellowship at Stanford that led to us selling our house and leaving Boston for good to move cross country, where we moved into a new place sight unseen; we dealt with the move from hell, where our stuff arrived more than month after it was supposed to (two months after we left Boston); I co-founded a journalism startup; and then my kindergartner broke her leg. She bounced back from a hip-high cast to “you’d never guess” running in nine weeks. It took me another six or so months to rebound.
I’ve also been taking courses at Stanford (a perk to my husband’s John S. Knight Fellowship is that spouses get to take part in the program and take any classes they want at the university). Oh, and I’m writing a book that has a publisher, so not just like an “I’m saying I’m writing a book because it sounds cool” book. No, this is actually a book that needs to be into the publisher by a certain date so they can print it and run it book. More on that to inevitably come.
From time to time, I’ve ended up back on my site, thinking that I should really do something with it. So, I’m going to do the best that I can to try to “do something with” this page. It’s going to be a bit of a shift in direction – less “here’s what I wrote for X news outlet today” and more personal (but not like awkward oversharing personal – ideally more in a larger picture, these are my interests kind of way) looking at entrepreneurship, the new direction of media, diversity, and inevitably mentions of my amazing children (like when my baby tried to mug me).
My mom, blogger extraordinaire AnnMaria De Mars, has done this whole 30-day blogging challenge a few times (where you blog every day for a month) and swears by it. My goal is to work up to that. For now, my plan is just to post more frequently — and it’s not hard to post more frequently than once a year. If it works, it works. If not, well, I’ll see you back here in another two years.