Our little chatterbox

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When you have an infant it’s such a joy to see them discover their voice.  Then they start to form words. Then they move from single words (more, milk, ball, mama, dada) to short sentences. 

Observing this has been a great joy in my short stint as a dad (yes, five years isn’t exactly short, but it will be by the time it will be my time to go). Now his vocabulary is expanding at an exponential rate. He never ceases to amaze me with the words he is either learning or has learned, and it is not going to slow down, now that he is in school.

I will never tire of hearing his sweet little voice.

With that being said, we still struggle at times with him, trying to teach him to not interrupt us when we are trying to have a conversation. He has so much to say it sometimes feels like he will never stop. I know that sometime in the future he will stop speaking with us as much, and that will be a very sad day, so I will do my best to enjoy every conversation with him as well as not get too upset when he won’t let new mom and I have a simple conversation.

Joy list

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So I started listening to a podcast series by Jill Schlesinger. She has guests on to discuss various things financially. She had a guest on who talked about something he does every morning. He writes three things that bring him joy. He talked for a moment about how it really just improves his mood and gives him a positive start to his day.

I decided to give it a shot. I have a small notepad that I scribble notes in that I have dubbed my joy-book. This is new to me, so I will report back later how consistent I stay and any trends I discover.

It should come as no surprise that both my boy and wife have made the list every day.

Please comment with three things that bring you Joy today. I’d like to see your response.

Biking (not running)

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So it appears my favorite form of exercise these days is on two wheels. I have to say I am REALLY enjoying the biking.  I am not really riding with a group, as the matter of fact, only one ride I have been on all year has been with anyone. So it is just me, the bike and the paths that crawl throughout Orange County.

I do miss running though. One of the reasons I have not really been getting out there has been that it has been so freaking hot!  Now I realize I live in southern California, so the heat is really relative, but it has been more humid this year than it has been in the recent past.  Another is something that I noticed recently, and that is my friend Heather moved to Texas. I have just not been motivated to run.  I have on the other hand, been inspired to get out on the trails and see if I can set PRs on courses I have rode recently.

Now as I mentioned above, I do 99% of my riding solo. My running I did a majority of it solo as well, but a lot of runs with a groups or just a couple of select friends.  There was definitely a more social aspect to it.  I really enjoyed the comradery and I miss my friend (that is another post for another time).  I would like to hear what other people’s experience with this has been. I know there are a LOT of people who really don’t care for running at all, so this is a question for people who have done both.

 

I know I need to get back out on the trails (and on my feet, not two wheels) and will try to do just that over the next few days and weeks.

But I won’t give up the bike.

Milestones

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Time passes, it’s inevitable. We measure it in hours, days, weeks and years. We also measure it with milestones. I have done a poor job of keeping up with the many milestones our little guy has achieved and experienced.

I think I will spend the next few days and weeks writing about some of the ones I have missed.  The first one is Pre-school.

There was an awful lot going on at this time, as I had been laid off from my job of 13 plus years. We weren’t even sure he’d be able to go. But we were blessed with a generous gift that allowed him to go. 

There is a program called first 5 that focus on the development of a child in it’s first five years. I can’t agree more how important it really is. I believe that new mom and I have done a pretty good job reading to, encouraging and stimulating his senses and mind. I also saw the remarkable changes he went through while he was in Pre-school. It didn’t hurt that the school he went to is very high rated and has an excellent program. 

Here are a couple pics from his first day. Something I will never forget. New mom thought she would lose it when we dropped him off, but it was actually me. I couldn’t believe our little guy was actually going to school! 

Look at me!!

Meeting the teacher!

Another milestone soon!

Smiles and Hellos

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Today, the CEO of our company put the following on LinkedIn….

‘Smiles and hellos are free, amazing it is not given out more often.’

This really stuck with me the entire day.  Because it is amazing how true it is.  I am a transplant from the Midwest, and one thing I have noticed as long as I have lived here in California is this very thing.  There are so many times where I have said ‘hello’ and the person I have said it to almost looks offended.  I suppose some if it is cultural maybe?

It does amaze me that this statement is so true.  When new Mom and I take the little guy out for a walk or a bike ride we try to greet everyone we come across.  Their responses vary, but more often than not, we get a strained smile (like it is painful for them to provide a friendly hello back) or nothing at all.  How hard is a simple courtesy of a ‘hello’ with a smile?

As a dad I want to raise my son to be respectful of others as well as polite. So I will continue to set the example for him by saying hello, and trying to smile as often as possible while teaching him to do the same.

 

 

 

I got to 20, BUT…

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So not too long ago I wrote about getting on two wheels and going for a ride.  I spoke about the self challenge of getting to 20 miles and how my first two attempts were near misses.

I am happy to report that I achieved my 20 mile ride last Saturday(6/17) and then yesterday(6/24) I got a 21.3 mile ride in…almost. I will explain.  On mile 18 I noticed the left crank started to feel really gimpy.  I had noticed something on my last ride but dismissed it.  MISTAKE.  So I am riding along and a start the see the crank literally start to slide off the bike!  I was able to kick it back into place but it got progressively worse.  I tried to limp the bike in, but eventually got off the bike and walked it in. Straight to the local bike shop, which fortunately is less than a 1/4 mile from our apartment.

They took my bike to the back and started looking at the crank to see what could be done.  After looking it over, I now have a new crank ordered and the bike will be ready on Thursday. The technician explained he saw this sort of thing quite often. I ride a Schwinn and they mass produce the bike and mass produced parts are used. He also said this is why they sell left side cranks.

This kind of kills my self set goal of 100 miles in the month of June.

The real comedy of the situation is the exact same thing happened to me years ago when I had a bike I inherited from someone who moved out of state. I loved riding that bike. It is not a s nice as the bike I have now, but it was still a good bike to me.  So when I called now mom to explain what happened, she laughed and said “what is wrong with you and the pedal crank coming off of bikes!?!?!”

You can bet your behind I will be ready to ride again and get my miles as soon as the bike is ready. And I will be reaching for my next goal of a 25 mile ride (I already have it mapped out!).

 

Obviously, the Silver is not supposed to be there

Just like riding a bike (literally)

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As I shared earlier, I have not been running much recently. And as any runner will tell you, your stamina drops off so quickly when you are not doing anything. 

Right now I can’t get to a full mile without stopping. I am not overly excited about that. I am trying to get back to it, but it has been harder this time than it has been in the past.

Enter, the bike. My wife got it for me for our anniversary a couple years ago. I rode it a bit last year and really enjoyed it. So a couple Saturdays ago I decided if I am struggling this much with running, I will try biking. I have been out every weekend trying to get a 20+ Mile ride in. Note I said ‘try’, I mapped an extended route out in my head, rode it and when I stopped, 18.8. DAMMIT!  So I made adjustments figuring the next ride would have to be 20, right?? WRONG! I got off the bike and checked Strava, 19.8!!! Double dammit!!  If I had looked at my phone before I put the bike away, I could have rode around the block or something. 

So this week I have another adjusted route.
Stay tuned…
Note: I have a goal of 100 miles a month on the bike through the end of the year. Completely obtainable.

Here are some pictures from my first two rides.

Just keep writing…

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…Just keep writing.

It’s amazing how much I have in my head I want to write about as apposed to the amount of time I actually make to write.

A good friend of mine who writes for a number of sites and keeps a couple of blogs once told me to ‘make it a habit’ and try to make it a regular part of your routine.

So I will now write regularly, at least twice a week through the end of 2017. Even if it is about nothing, I will:

Just keep Writing…

 

 

 

I am Not a ‘Big Baller’ 

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Ok, a short post over my lunch that I will expand on later. I am in southern California, land of Laker fans and PAC 12 hell. So the Lonzo Ball coverage is even more in effect. Without being drafted into the NBA, he has a ‘Big Baller’ brand shoe, THAT HAS A $495.00 PRICE TAG!!!

When asked about this, his father (who is the engineer of this crazy train) said ‘if’ you can’t afford them then you are not a big baller’.

How out of touch is this?!?!

Earlier this week, orange county was named the 5th highest low income line in the country. The new low income line is 84k. I don’t know many people who have $495.00 to spend on a pair of sneakers. Or any single item of clothing.

I am fortunate that our little guy is not old enough to be playing keep up with his peers as far as what kind of shoes, clothes, phone etc. He has but that day will come, and when it does, I will show him this as a learning experience.

Is this just me? Or are there others that feel the same way. I mean this kid hasn’t even played a single minute in the league and he is trying to get hard working people to dish out that kind of money for SHOES?

NO, I am not a ‘Big Baller’…