Pushing the Pace

21 11 2007

I rode in El Tour de Tucson again this year. I have ridden El Tour 6 years running now. This year, I participated in the bike patrol helping people change flats, and providing some basic medical attention. Luckily, I only needed to bring my mechanical skills to the event. Since I was not riding to see what my fastest time would be, I brought along my small point-and-shoot camera for the ride and recorded what I could. I was in store for another unforgettable day.

El Tour de Tucson is my favorite cycling event of the year. The true magic of el Tour happens at the river crossings, both of which I tried to capture in this short video blog entry.

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Baby Stress

13 11 2007

Kids have stress. From peer pressure to parent pressure to just not getting the toys they want, they can experience stress. The tough part of being a parent is to help relieve the stress before it gets out of hand.

Lately, Annabelle has been teetering on the edge of toilet training. Indeed, this is a stressful time for her. We try to encourage her by setting her on the toilet without her diaper when she gives us cues that she needs to go. Her cutest way to communicate her need to go is to say to one of us “I poop toilet”. (Boy, it sure is nice that she is starting to vocalize her communcaitions.)  So, we take off her diaper, and wisk her to the bathroom. After a few minutes, and nothing happens, we do tend to get a little over excited, and try to “remind” Annabelle to poop in the toilet next time. We may be overdoing the motivation just a tad. It seems that Annabelle wants to be toilet trained, hence her telling us that she wants to go to the bathroom, but she is just not able to turn it on when she wants. Hence the kid stress. Our encouragement isn’t helping either; in fact it is only making the whole experience more stressful for her.

Last night, as her mom was covering Annabelle with her blanket, after Annabelle had been asleep for a few hours, she started to talk in her sleep. She was repeating the same thing over and over: “I poop toilet, I poop toilet”. She wasn’t screaming, and it wasn’t very loud, but just a cute little repetition of those words. Since one of the ways a child’s mind learns things is through sleep, and replaying the day’s events, this was probably one that was having a huge effect on her.

And so, we come to today’s lesson: don’t stress out your kids. We are learning the limits of our encouragement, even if we never explicitly said “you are going to be toilet trained, or else”, our positive words had the same effect. Perhaps bringing our after-poop-attempt-banter down a notch or two will help Annabelle learn to poop on the toilet with much less stress.





Growing Up

11 11 2007

Usually on this blog, I post things related to my kids. As a young parent, there are many aspects of child rearing that I am going to be learning for the first time for several years to come. However, of all the things I was not prepared for, there is one that still floors me: the unconditional love my kids and I have for each other.I come home everyday from work, and they are so crazily excited to see me. It’s wonderful to have that kind of father worship. Every waking moment I am with them, the top most priority in my mind is how to keep them safe, and still enjoy their youth. I was once young, and innocent like them. How I wish they could stay that way.

Over the past few years, I have grown up myself. From a single guy with very little to worry about, to a new husband, and eventually being a new dad and helping to bring two new lives into this world. Now, a father of two toddlers who need my attention now more than ever, I find myself distracted by the rotten state of the world. I can’t help but wonder what kind of world will be here for my children. I suppose this is part of growing up, from child, to man, to adult. I think a large number of people in this world don’t make it to true adulthood.

Lately, I have been following politics and the state of the nation more closely than ever before. Sure, I kept tabs on things in the past, following interest rates, market economies, political status in the United States branches of government. But it was all white noise. But for all the bad things that made it out of the white noise filters, good things would come out too. I guess I thought that the system would fix itself; I had no reason to believe otherwise. But after the last two presidential elections, and especially after the 2004 election, I felt something was awry. How could a president with so many obvious flaws and ties to special interests be re-elected? And, why wasn’t he removed from office?

The past few weeks have been quite an eye opener for me. While I was not in the dark about the alledged crimes performed by various parties in the government, only now has it become obvious to me that the country is heading to some sort of crossroads. If we don’t make the right decision soon, then it won’t just be more of the same, it will be the downfall of the country, and perhaps even the world.

Of all the things I’ve heard and read, I still can’t fathom why people would think that just because war is profitable, that justifies going into one. It’s strange how one person in the private corporation has a sensibility to know what is right and wrong, but once the group mentality takes over, all sense of right and wrong is thrown out the window.

I hate to sound so dire, and my purpose to post this is to not spread fear, because I do have hope that the people will choose correctly, and will make sure that their decisions are enforced. I have hope because I have to for the sake of my children. I want them to be a in a world that will be less troubled than it currently is now.I have never been active, or had parents that were politically active. My childhood was about getting us out of the lower class to the middle class. Attending political rallies or being an active participant in the government was not on the priority list. It seems that is how it is when you are having a tough time just to put food on the table.But, things are different for me. I don’t have to worry where my next meal is coming from. But I worry what sticking my neck out to help make a positive change in the world will do to my family.

I think I will do what I can, make some contributions to a worth while campaign, participate as much as possible and try to help the system become better from within so that my kids don’t have to grow up in a world where things are so screwed up.





Bedtime

1 11 2007

Every night for the past several months, it’s been the same routine around here at bedtime:

  1. Eat dinner
  2. play a little
  3. get ready for bed
  4. brush teeth
  5. argue about what toothbrush to use
  6. argue about which pajamas to put on
  7. turn off the main light
  8. turn on the nightlight
  9. calm down for bed time
  10. another hour goes by
  11. kick their mom out of the room who has been trying to talk them into going to sleep or sing them songs to sleep
  12. kick around a little before sleeping

I’m amazed that they make it to bed at all sometimes. Tonite was worse than usual, in that their mom put a shower into the mix for good measure. This mean the kids didn’t even get to bed, let alone sleep, until 10pm. That is far too late. I did take them to the gym and stayed until 9, so that didn’t help. However, these girls should be half asleep by the time we get home from the gym…

How I long for the days when I could just rock them to sleep in a few minutes…