31 10 2006

Annabelle spends much of her day crawling around looking for places to play. This time, she managed to get herself on the step of the desk. Her mom tries to convince her that she can get down herself, but what can you say to persuade a 10 month old?

Happy Halloween

31 10 2006

Annabelle was pretty tired after this evenings romp around the neighborhood for some free candy. She got all the ooo’s and aahhh’s from the people handing out candy. Baby girls always draw the “Oh, how cute” response…

Tonite was the one night of the year where we wander from house to house soliciting strangers for free candy.  This was the first year we all went out as a family trick-or-treating. We went to a coworkers neighborhood because I figured out neighborhood was so new, that there wouldn’t be too many kids out or people handing out candy.

Eliana was not very familiar with the concept of trick or treating. She wasn’t sure what the bag was for, and was a little shy about approaching strange people.  However, she did know what candy was, so all we had to do was tell her that everyone was giving her candy, and she was running from house to house as fast as we could go. Some houses were very well decorated, but most didn’t have more than a single skeleton or a decorative ghost hanging. Eliana was a great big sister because when she grabbed her candy, she would grab one for Annabelle.  Occasionally she would grab one and say “Mommy” and give it to her mom.

One thing that we noticed was that there were a few houses that would leave the candy out in front of the door and leave a note for the kids to grab one and leave some for everyone. This kind of approach is missing the real benefit of this kids holiday. Getting out of the house, meeting your neighbors, and having a good time with your friends and family while handing out candy is really the best part of this holiday. We saw a few house groups doing this on our outing, so overall, the neighborhood we went to was rather balanced.

It was a good night to spend with the family starting a new family tradition.

Milestone: Toilet Training

31 10 2006

Eliana has been half toilet trained for quite a while now.  A few months ago, we decided that she should get out of diapers.  Our strategy was to keep her underwear off all day while we were home.  She was good about not just going anywhere, so we were ok with this plan of attack.  Within a few days, she was able to tell us when she had to go number 1, and would ask us to go help her onto the toilet. We thought this was the tough part, and figured she would do the same for number 2.  Not by a long shot.

Since then, she’s been going in her underwear, leaving a smelly mess behind. She would go off to a corner, or just be quiet for a few seconds, and then let it out. It was pretty obvious when this happened, because it didn’t smell too nice. She would do this at school (daycare) too because I would have to bring back her soiled underwear to be washed. It wasn’t the best part of coming home.

Yesterday, when I picked her up from school, we headed to the bathroom before we left.  This has become our normal routine for a while. She wanted me out of the bathroom, and didn’t want my help. The toilets at the school are just the right hieght for her short stature. She had a little trouble getting her pants down, but she managed, and went to do her task.  I thought she was just going to do number 1, as usual. However, I thought I heard her say “I poop” while she was on the toilet. I know the streaming sound of number 1 was done, and she was still on the toilet. I still wasn’t sure she was indeed doing what we have asked her to do since we started the toilet training journey. Violating her request, I ventured into the bathroom to see, and low and behold, she had done it. It was not the prettiest sight, but a somewhat welcome sight, nevertheless.

I think being in school, in addition to our constant requests have motivated Eliana to poop in the toilet. Either way, we can move on to the next big milestone, whatever that may be.

Hola, I’m Dora

30 10 2006

Halloween is upon us once again, and once again it’s time to dress up the kids. This year, as the last coupe of years, we chose Eliana’s costume. Do far, Eliana has been: Snow White, and Lilo (and Stitch). This year, we thought we would get away from the Disney theme for Eliana’s costume, and let her dress up as one of her favorite characters, Dora the Explorer.

Her sister, Annabelle is going to be trolling the streets as Tinkerbell, the little Disney pixie fairy. Her dress is very good as their grandmother hand-made both their costumes. Thanks, Grandma!


29 10 2006

For Eliana’s first Halloween, my mom made her a Snow White costume that was extremely adorable. We wanted to follow this up with another great character. We ventured to the Disney store a few days before Halloween to find a pre-made costume of some cute Disney character. We knew our selection would be limited to the stock on hand, and we were almost fortunate to find a Tinkerbell costume in her size. However, the matching slippers were not, so that was the end of that idea. The rest of the costumes were not that great, so I was almost ready to return to my mom and ask for her to make her costume again (and at the last minute).

While Jeong was looking though the rest of the last minute costumes, hoping to find something usable, I went to look at the stuffed characters. I figured, we weren’t going to find anything in those costumes, so I turned my attention elsewhere. While nosing through the giant pile of characters, I noticed a little blue guy. It was Stitch, one of my favorite characters. I started thinking, “what if Eliana was Lilo, that would be cute”. Eureka! My mom and dad had recently visited Hawaii and brought her back a couple of nice flower dresses. She could wear that, hold the Stitch doll, and viola, we have as cute and pretty a costume you can get. I was a genious. Not only would her costume be a doll and a dress she already had, she could play with Stitch long after Halloween was over.

A few days later, I took Eliana to a University of Arizona Women’s Volleyball game. They were having a Halloween theme complete with trick-or-treating around the arena. The bonus was the costume contest. I signed her up, and during the break after the 3rd game, all the kids with costumes went down to the court to show everyone their costume, and be judged by the audience. There were some really awesome costumes, and some that were obviously last minute. Some were very creative. Some weren’t. There were kids of all ages, from 2 (Eliana was the youngest) to about 10 or 11. There was another little boy about Eliana’s age that went as Bob the Builder who was cute.

Since Eliana was not even 2 years old, I went down to the court with her and got in line with everyone else. We were the last ones in line. Once the teams cleared the floor, we were directed to center court. Judging began when the announcer began reading off kids’ names, their character, and by asking the audience to clap for how well they liked a particular costume. I marked down Eliana’s name and age, and her costume was “Lilo”. However, when her turn came, he saw the Stitch doll and announced her as “Lilo and Stitch”. Everyone in the place loved it, and she got a huge applause. I was shocked.

Next was the top three go on to the second round to be rejudged by the audience. I remember Wilma the Wildcat was a selection, but I can’t remember the other child’s costume, but the last selection in the running was Eliana! Again, announced as Lilo and Stitch, I thought we had a chance until Wilma the Wildcat was announced. We were, after all, in Wildcat central, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. I would like to think that Eliana did get a strong second place of the voting. Our prize was a free Domino’s pizza. As I recall, we made sure she got to eat some, even though she wasn’t eating “grown up food” at the time.

For the rest of the match, people who walked by would tell me that they cheered the loudest for her. I was beaming, and I hope I gave a proper response to those nice people. I was proud of my crazy idea, but I was more proud of having a beautiful daughter that will go on to do many good things in her life; even if she is still not yet two years old. I wish someone else had gone with me to take pictures of us on the court, because this will be one of my most treasured memories of me and Eliana.

Spread Too Thin

28 10 2006

More and more these days, I am finding that I do not have as much free time as I once did.  I can hardly remember the days after college when a huge block of free time opened up upon graduation. I thought I would have enough time to do everything I ever wanted.  How naive I was…

Nowadays, I find myself in several roles:

  • Coworker
  • Father
  • Husband
  • Cyclist

These are roles in which I am the most active. Other roles in which I want to be more active in are:

  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Blogger
  • Musician
  • Language Learner
  • Application Developer

These are not in any particular order. Through my daily life, I find that Father, Husband and Coworker are top priority. I cannot participate in the other roles unless daily activities in those roles are complete.  Occasionally, my Coworker role allows me to improve myself (one of the benefits of being in a large corporation) and my Application Developer skills. I also try my best to include Cyclist in the mix as much as possible by blending it into my daily life by riding my bike to work.  My role as father definitely includes the roles of Photographer, Videographer and Blogger (as I have been able to blog for nearly a year now). However, while I believe I could work in Musician and Language Learner into another primary role, I am faced with a couple of problems:

  • I am a mere novice in both areas, and as such need quite a bit of initial time to invest to allow for continued self development.
  • I find that I have such a short attention span sometimes, that when things get hard in one area, I move onto something a little easier.

I have tried in the past to work on Musician and Language Learner, but as mentioned, I get to a point where things get tough, and I take a break to clear my mind, and I get sidetracked. I have not found a way to keep myself motivated in these situations, and it’s even more difficult now that my role as Father is second only to Coworker for the majority of my week. I would also like to apply more time to my role as an Application Developer for my own personal goals as well as career goals.

Perhaps, just by listing my roles, and what I want to get out of my time, I will learn to develop some way of achieving my personal goals.

Loosing Fitness

25 10 2006

I grew up in a family of large people. Almost all my relatives are most likely considered medically obese. This doesn’t bode well for me, and my next of kin.  I have always had a problem with my weight. When I finished college, I tipped the scales at a hefty 230 pounds. I’m only 5′ 11″. After college, I had gained a little more weight, getting all the way up to 240 pounds, thinking all along that I was 1) meant to be large, and 2) not all that large either. I was diluting myself. I was also dealing with diabetes, which I attest to being directly related to my weight.

I don’t remember exactly when I realized it, but saw my future and there were two paths.  One was to keep going the way things were, and to live life as a the fat guy. Status quo. The other path was one filled with activity and just not being inside all the time. I made a tough mental decision that my life wasn’t destined to be lived from an extra large body. I could go do things that were fun and more meaningful than watching TV. It wasn’t easy, because at first, I was still fat, but still looking for way to get out of the rut.  Then I turned to my bike. Since then, I’ve ridden across the Rocky Mountains, from Seattle to Portland, around the perimeter of Tucson 4 times, and put in thousands of miles on my way to a healthier me. Recently, I’ve been cleared of all traces of diabetes by my doctor due to the sole fact that I started riding my bike.

But, now things are different. My wife and I have two small children.  Being a caring and responsible parent, I don’t want to leave them alone, or only with their mother. It’s not fair to her to always watch the kids.  However, I am nearing the end of the free ride, as I am slowly starting to gain back some of the weight I had lost. I was a stable 195 for several months. While I need to get down to 175, I was still kicking butt on my bike, and feeling as healthy as ever prior to this year. Now that the number is approaching 200, warning bells are going off in my head. My cycling has suffered because of the lack of training, which is a direct result of spending time with the kids.

I love my kids, and I don’t blame my recent struggle with my weight on them. However, the time it takes to play with them, get them in bed, and sleeping (the sleeping part being the toughest) takes away from time which I can spend exercising.  Sure, I know what you’re thinking “How do you have so much time to blog, but not exercise?”. Well, I blog throughout the day, or when I have a free moment, usually late at night. Late night exercise doesn’t work for me though.

As I aim for a decent result in this year’s El Tour de Tucson, I only hope I can find a way to exercise on a more regular basis so that my kids will have a slim, trim and fit dad to play with when they get older.