A Night for Football

30 09 2006

Tonite, Eliana, our friend Erick and I attended the Arizona v. Washington football game at Arizona Stadium in Tucson. Every time football season comes around these days, I always have flashbacks to the days when I was in school and young and had a team that could win a few home games here and there. I remember the quirky things we did in the stands like standing for the whole game.  Nowadays, I sit for most of it mostly because when I do get to go, I’m not in the student section anymore (I try to be curtious).  We would yell crazy things, and high five each other when a Wildcat scored a touchdown.  It was me and a core group that attended the majority of the games during our collective college years.

We sat next to an older couple cheering for the Huskies. They were very nice, and gave Eliana a Husky pom-pom.  A few times, I was able cheer for the ‘Cats when they scored. It was fun for me when that happened.  When the game started, they launched some small fireworks; Eliana was frightened of them. I wanted to let her have an over-priced stadium hot dog, but we had a gigantic dinner at Bison Witches. A must stop before any football game.

I brought Eliana to the game to try to give her that sense of fun and excitement that only a large sporting event can give.  I hope that the memories that Eliana carries with her are not of the play by play, but of the general feeling of joy, excitement and the fun times she and I will share together cheering on our team to victory. Of course, it will help when our team finally is victorious.


27 09 2006

As usual, I picked up Eliana from school, and promptly instructed her to get her stuff to go home. She replied that she had to go to the bathroom. As usual. We gathered her stuff and headed for the restroom. Normally in the stall, I help Eliana get her pants down and lift her onto the seat. This time was the first time she said she didn’t want my help. I was a little shocked, albeit, completely ok with her decision. I was glad to notice that Eliana is showing signs of independence, and I want to be a positive influence.

I have always been a little nervous with Eliana regarding naked-ness, namely hers and mine. I was reading in the official guide to parenting and child rearing that after about age 3, I should not be taking a shower with her as it will confuse her. In fact, I shouldn’t even let her see me naked. I would take that as a positive change, because although I have grown accustomed to Eliana seeing me in the shower, the older she gets, the more questions I know she is going to ask. These questions, although inevitable, will surely be easier to answer if I am not the contextual basis for them.

Another sick day

26 09 2006

Yesterday, everything was normal. I woke up as normal, got ready for work as normal, and Eliana went to school as normal.  However, after lunch, I recieved a text message from my wife notifying me that Eliana had a fever and was sick at school.  While we don’t like it when Eliana gets sick, we expect that sometimes it will happen given her daily proximity to so many germs.

What makes this sick day different from previous sick days is what we believe caused her illness. On the way home, Eliana hurled in the car.  I wasn’t happy with that, however, I felt worse for how bad Eliana was feeling than for the fact that my wife and I would have a mess to clean up later (and that the smell could last for a while). After we got home, Eliana started to feel better. We figured that was because she got some bad food out of her system. She said she was a little hungry, so I gave her as little food as I could.  A while later, the chunks came again, this time, all over the kitchen floor. I was a little more agitated this time, but then I realized that she was still a 2 year old, and probably doesn’t know how to listen to what her body tells her.

And, not listening to her body is what I believe caused this small illness. When Eliana made a mess all over the kitchen floor, the contents of her stomach were revealed: 3 day old food. We believe that her body had simply not digested her food because she swallowed much of it whole.  Prior to ralphing, Eliana had a fairly round belly to which we have become acustomed. Afterwards, her belly was a more reasonable size for a child her age (not protruding out like a beer belly).

Today, she was well enough to spend the whole day at school. When we got home, and had dinner, we made it a point to be patient with her eating dinner and encourage her to chew as much as possible prior to swallowing her food. It took us nearly an hour before she said she was done, but I think our typical fast paced eating style has been noticed by Eliana and thus in order for her to finish her meal at the same time we do, she would swallow much of her food. This lead to her being hungry at odd times, and of course, the abnormally sized belly.

We’re going to try to slow down our eating pace from here on in and try to be more patient with her eating.  For today at least, it seems to have a positive effect as she chewed more of her food than usual. It’s a start.

Our First Major Parenting Blunder

23 09 2006

No parents are perfect, and I think so far we have done a pretty good job. Our kids are happy, friendly, well mannered, courtious and have a lot of fun with us. While we have certainly made minor mistakes in dealing with the kids, I think so far, none of them have the potential to do as much harm as this first major blunder.

The last couple of weeks, and especially the last couple of days, my wife and I have been completely swamped with things to do. Since we decided to sell the house and get it ready for the market, there are now a lot of home chores that need to be done.  My wife has also been getting many jobs, so she hasn’t had as much time to spend with our kids as she would like.

The last few days, as mentioned, have been especially tough for us and the amount of time we had for the kids was extremely limited. We tried to let them play, but they keep coming up to us, and inturrupting our work. Looking back, this seems to be an obvious cry for parental attention. At the time, however, we were more short with Eliana that we should have been. My wife has a very short fuse, and Eliana knows exactly how to light it. There are many times when Eliana gets bored with me and goes to visit my wife upstairs. Only a couple moments later, I hear loud screaming followed by some crying. It’s like a child warzone.

I was pretty short with Eliana as well because lately she has been missing her bed time. Normally, she would get ready for bed, and be in bed (if not asleep) by 9pm. We usually try to start getting her ready (change clothes, brushing teeth, etc) at 8pm. Since we were short on time, we also missed our preparation time, and caused her to go to bed later (that, and our recent trip to Portland wasn’t helpful for her bed time habits either). So, when Eliana didn’t go to bed, I became upset that she seemed to me to be trying to stay up longer.

Eliana is also having some problems doing her business in the bathroom. Most of the time, she doesn’t make it when the solids want to come out. Most the the time, and this is what lights our fuses, is that she doesn’t want to go. We hate cleaning up her poopy underwear, and out comes more screaming (that is mostly from my wife).

The recent screaming and incorrect reactions had an effect on Eliana, and we were told about this by her school teacher. Yesterday when we picked her up from school, on our way to Tucson, and her teacher mentioned that she has been quiet the last couple of days, and that she hasn’t told the teacher when she needed to go to the bathroom. She was a lot less talkative than usual. We instantly knew what we had done wrong. But, if we didn’t have a teacher there (a third party who knows our childs typical moods as well as us), we probably wouldn’t have known about it until it became a real problem.

On the drive to Tucson, we tried to talk and play with Eliana, but she was indeed, not very talkative. We let her watch her video for a while, and she became a little more relaxed as time when by. We made an effort in the car to talk, and ask her questions about the video she was watching. By the time we dropped her off at my parent’s house, she was talking and acting like normal.

This whole experience has shown me and my wife that we need to give Eliana attention when she needs it. Luckily this was a short term experience for her, and we are able to quickly resolve it with some quick actions.  I am hopeful we can avoid this kind of experience in the future, and I’m completely hopeful that this does not turn into a long term trauma for Eliana.

You missed it

23 09 2006

Annabelle has been determined to walk ever since she started to crawl. When we would hold her on our lap, she would pull herself up a little and fall back. When we supported her, she would be ecstatic that she was on two legs, and quickly fall back on her bottom.

In the last day or two, my wife has been telling me that she has been able to stand on her own for a couple of seconds. However, this neat little trick has yet to occur in my presence. I’m eager to grab a picture of Annabelle actually standing on her own with no support from any nearby objects. But everytime I have the camera ready, she doesn’t seem interested in try to perfect her newfound skill.

Annabelle seems very determined to walk far sooner than her sister. Luckily I was there when Eliana took her first steps, and I was able to video tape them (now I just need to find them). (I say luckily because at the time I had to live in Phoenix while my wife and Eliana lived in Tucson).
Hopefully, I will be there again when Annabelle takes her true first steps and help to encourge her progress.

This is what it’s all about

23 09 2006

Typically on my birthday, I’m a little sad. For one, I’m getting older, and some opportunities seem to slip by with the passage of time.  But, mostly, I think I get a little down because it’s a day that I want to share with people; family and friends. The last couple of years, my birthday has been especially tough because I was in a huge transition to move to the Phoenix area (from Tucson), and I was having a little difficulty keeping up with my friends.

This year, this is what it birthdays are all about. Last night, my wife and I dropped out kids off at my parents house (in Tucson), and we met several close friends and my brother for an awesome night of kicking back, chatting, and having a couple slices of the best pizza in town.  After a couple of beers (something I never do), I was ready to go. 

But, the fact that everyone came, was the best present I could get, because these were the people who have been with me through a lot of tough times growing up. It was Tom who stayed with me when our college trip to Pasadena (to watch our school get beat by UCLA) went bust. Fern has been a big supporter and helper of many things I would have never ventured into. Adrian, well, he was there for the comic relief, but it was still good to see him there. Eric and Tacia have become a great “family couple friends”.

This is what birthdays are all about, but in general, this is what life is about, sharing time, experiences and memories with people whom you can call your friends.

Happy Birthday

22 09 2006

I don’t always toot my own horn, but I thought I would be a little reflective about my 29th birthday. It’s always fun to look back and see what happened on your birthday in history, but I thought I would look back and see what happened to me in my history.

Twenty-nine; sometimes I still can’t believe that I’m still not 21, because it seems like only yesterday. But things have definately changed:

29 Years ago, I was born in Tucson, Arizona at University Medical Center. It was a thursday, and I think it rained. Maybe that’s why I enjoy rain so much.

24 Years ago, I started kindergarden at Mission Manor Elementary in Tucson. I remember those years fondly as it was a time when I was always the smart kid in class, and things came easy to me. I was not the popular one though, as I was also the shy kid in class.

20 Years ago, my parents tried an experiement and moved the family to California, only to return shortly thereafter. While it was a pain in the butt at the time, I think back on that as the reason certain other things happened in my life. Those were good things.

15 Years ago, after a year of waiting, I was finally able to get into University High School in Tucson, Arizona. I made a lot of friends there, a lot of which I keep in regular contact with. The only reason I was even able to go here was because on the move back from California, we moved into the Tucson Unified school district, of which UHS was a part.

11 Years ago, 4 years of high school were over, and it was time to start preparing for the rest of my life. I went to the University of Arizona in Tucson, and would finish with the first university degree in my family. I graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering.

6 Years ago, after school, I had landed a job at IBM in Boulder, Colorado. This would be the first time I was on my own, and it was a rather scary experience. Two years later, my project would be canceled, and I would once again return to Arizona.

5 years ago, I was a large overwieght guy looking for something better in his life. I decided to take the plunge and start riding my bike to work. With that, I consider myself to have lived a different life than I would have had I not lost wieght.
2 Years ago, I was in Tucson in a job with which I was not happy. I had a wife and a new daughter. I had grown up, but I was still in Tucson.

1.5 Years ago, I was hired by Intel. Intel has been a great and rewarding experience. I have now grown up and have been extremely happy since then.

Now, I feel that I am the cumulation of the many important events in my life (many of which are not listed here). I have broken free of many things that I would never though of as holding me back, and I have found new challenges to becoming older and wiser. Hopefully, I have learned past lessons well enough so that meeting future challenges becomes more managable.