Girl FIght

23 07 2007

It’s been very difficult for my wife lately. Not only has she gotten a huge job for some clients, she also has the responsibility of watching both kids all day. Even without having a job to do on the side, watching the kids for a whole day with no help or break is a difficult task. I know there are days when I get tired of being in “kid world”, but it has to be done.

Today was a very interesting end to another day of fighting for Eliana and her mom. As bedtime has usually become a long drawn out ordeal around here, I’ve been doing my best to cut things short (since when did I become the enforcer?). As I escorted her mom out of Eliana’s bedroom, Eliana started to cry. I ask her what she wanted: a hug from her mom. But then, I reminded Eliana about spending the entire day with her, and the day of fighting they both had. Still Eliana insisted on giving her mom a hug. I still think she was trying to extend her bed time, but I firmly told her that she could go out of bed and give her mom a hug, and say she was sorry for fighting with her all day. What came next was a little sad to me.

Eliana rushed down stairs, and ran over to her mom. I stayed at the top of the stairs, out of sight, but they knew I was there. From afar, I could hear her mom apologize for the bad day of fighting. Eliana was apologizing too. At that, I was sad. Here I was working all day, not able to spend time with my kids very often. They fight the whole day, and still hug afterwards. It must be a girl thing. So, while I did feel a little left out, I knew it was their moment. But, it still reminds me that this is the time in their lives that I should not miss so much. As much as I still need to invest in my young career to provide for my family, time with them can never be replaced. Even the girl fights can be considered quality time because you make up afterwards.

Dance Recital

17 07 2007

Over the past few weeks, as we have taken Eliana out of daycare (or as she knows it, school), her mom has registered her for several activities around town. Now it’s been tough on her because driving in the summer heat wears her out even faster than normal, but it has been a good experience for Eliana. One of Eliana’s classes was ballet.

This past Monday was Eliana’s first dance recital. Seeing as I had only seen Eliana in her ballerina outfit once, I know I should have gone to the recital. I truly wanted to attend, however, my work hat was on, and I decided that it was not at a convenient time for me to attend. While at work, I received a call from my wife regarding the wonderful performance and awesome job that Eliana did. (I will have a like to some pictures here). In my saddened state, I decided that I would no longer miss my children’s recitals. Now, I’ve been to many things before, most notably, Eliana’s “graduation” from one class to another while at school. It was a fun day, and I took a lot of pictures. So, I can’t say that I have been bad all the time. But, I can more easily understand how some people can let work takeover their better judgment and let it interfere with things that are as important, if not more so than work.

Every day, something new happens in your child’s life. Missing them is missing a once in a lifetime event. I will try my best not to miss them anymore.

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Big Girl

15 07 2007

Sometimes, I have to stop and tell myself that Eliana is still only three and half years old. She is growing so fast, it’s almost notable on a day to day basis. Eliana speaks in full sentences, is clear and concise in what she wants and needs, and is very understanding of our requests.  That last one is the one that gets us the most. We’ve seen and heard about other people with kids, who try to give the kids a good reason why they do something. A parent will say, can you save that for later because we want to make sure to save some for grandma. The usually replies, “NO”.  Eliana, on the other hand, she’ll say OK in a nice calm voice.

Eliana is also a great big sister. Even though Annabelle and her have some arguments now and then, it is obvious to us that they adore each other. Annabelle is the typical little sister who seems to look up to her big sister. Eliana will help us help Annabelle with things like giving her some food and sharing, or holding her hand to cross the street. Sometimes, I think Eliana just likes to hold her sister’s hand. Maybe because she needs a friend, I’m not sure. Now that Annabelle is ok with Eliana holding her hand (after some parental intervention by me), we always get the “awe, cute” looks from people at the mall, or where ever we happen to be passing through.

Eliana and I have much in common, as we are both the oldest of our siblings. However, that is where I hope the commonalities stop. I hope Eliana has more of a social circle than I did growing up. Since she has stopped going to school, she hasn’t had anyone whom she can count on to play with. It’s tough for her because we still keep in touch with some of her classmate’s parents, but, she being like me, takes a while to warm up to someone after not being around them for a while.

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12 07 2007

It used to be, I would frown upon those who would sacrifice their family’s time for their work. I saw them as people who either were too caught up in their own world to really care about their family, or just plain messed up in the head. I mean, who would want to put in 12, 16 or 20 hour days for an ungrateful company?

Alas, I have landed in that trap, but only as far as I am willing to let it trap me. I have been putting in extra time and effort into my work because there is a certain amount of it which I do enjoy. The things I learn about new ways of doing the things I need to do never ceases to amaze me. Given the lack of employer loyalty, I cannot honestly say that I am putting in so much time out of the goodness of my heart. More to the point, I am investing in myself and my skills. I still take time to exercise and get out with my family when they need me. However, I can also help them by keeping current on the goings on in the technology industry. Once you slip, it’s more difficult to catch back up.

But still, working so much lately has left me little time to do the little things that I enjoy. Things like taking pictures of my kids, or just riding my bike (even in the hot desert sun). Time doesn’t just appear (I don’t think that has been formally proven yet). In some sense it also comes down to your own personal time management skills. I have yet to master these, but I think I’m improving.

So, in getting older, I have learned that while many people’s original reasons for working hard and taking their time away from their family’s may have been noble in the beginning, one can easily let it get the better of him. I see the hard working family man from a different angle than I used to, especially now that I am one.

Getting Older

10 07 2007

This past weekend, I traveled down to Tucson to meet a friend for his 30th birthday. All my other friends are 30, or turning 30 soon. My turn will be coming sooner than later as it’s only a few months away. I remember being 21, and all the adult benefits that came with it, but since then, I seem to have been forgetting how old I am mainly because I never felt any older after that. But reaching 30, while perhaps a minor event in some people’s lives, is still a milestone nevertheless.

Most of my friends who are turning 30 now, and most are single with no kids. They don’t know the joys of parenthood, but I still feel like I’ve missed out on some of the events of being a single 20-something.  Of course, I wasn’t always interested in that because I was large, and not very outgoing. I think as I am getting older, I’ve been trying harder to be more outgoing and social, but still with limited success. Most of that is still my lack of experience, and some I attribute to being a responsible parent.

I feel like my life will be going through a rebalancing sometime in the future, probably since the kids will be getting older and won’t need my constant attention.  But, in the mean time, I will keep trying to be the young person I am while still being a responsible parent. I owe my kids that much…

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5 07 2007

Annabelle has always been a difficult baby when it comes to changing her diaper.  She wiggles and flips and generally makes it as hard as possible to change her diaper without holding her down.  And, I think she enjoys it that way as she usually smiles and laughs when she is wiggling around. In that, it still makes us laugh even though she is being difficult because we know she is playing with us.

This morning was a little different. I was done getting dress and putting on my socks when Annabelle came over to me with a diaper in hand. She walked over to me, holding the diaper up, and then said “dy-pah”. I knew her diaper was full, so it was easy to figure out that she wanted to be changed. She then lifted her other arm as I picked her up and put her on my bed. This time, there was no squirming, and no wiggling. She wanted it changed, and laid still. So, even though she brought me the diaper, she didn’t bring wipes, so I let her walk her naked bottom to her bedroom changing pad where the wipes were. As I instructed her to get into the pad, she obliged and followed my instructions. After a quick clean, the diaper was on.

I hope Annabelle starts to do some of the things Eliana did at her age. When Eliana was in diapers, and it was full, she would tell us “diaper”, and we told her to go to the changing pad, she would go and lay down (it was on the floor). It was always funny to watch, but still expressed her desire to not have a dirty diaper. I think when it gets to this point, potty training isn’t that far off because the kids start to realize just how bad it is to have those heavy, stinky diapers.

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Pool Safety

2 07 2007

Just a quick note on pool safety for the summer… Watch your kids when they are anywhere near the pool, and don’t take your eyes or ears off them.

 Yesterday, I was visiting my parent’s house, and they have a pool in the backyard. I thought it would be a great to time to take Eliana in the water as she loves going in the pool. I knew the safest scenario would be for me to go with her in the water.  So, after we both changed and headed into the water, we started playing with the various floating pool toys that my dad had in the pool. Eliana was having a good time in the shallow area becasue she could easily walk around and grab the floating toys. One toy she was chasing after had then floated past the edge of the shallow area. I was at the edge of the pool, just stepping in, and I had my back to her. At one instant, I heard her laughing at the ball, and then I heard a muttered splash; I don’t remember it being too loud. I then turned around to look for Eliana, and I didn’t see her. I didn’t panic because I knew she had been underwater for less than 10 seconds, and was quickly able to pull her out of the deeper part of the water.

As we went back to the shallow part of the pool, Eliana was a little scared. She stayed scared for the rest of the time in the pool. She stayed in the shallow part the whole time, and even then, only in the part where she could sit. She would only come out to the deeper water by grabbing me with a child-death-grip. I knew she had learned a lesson. I tried to gently reinforce it by showing her the places to stop walking, and to grab the edge of the pool as they showed her in swimming class.

Eliana loves to play in the water. I love watching her play and having fun. I would hate for all that joy to disappear in a terrible accident. I’m glad I was there to protect her. I know that she was just as glad, as she had a certain look on her face…

Even though Eliana has had swimming lessons, she is still not mature enough to swim alone. And on top of that, even though she may know what to do to be pool safe, she cannot recall those skills when she needs them. It is up to us parents to help remind her and teach her to be safe.