Random, Repeated — Parent, Life Insights

These reminders might have been shared before.  If so, still worth sharing again.

1/ Be bouyed by simple pleasures. Example? Tea station fired up for the week.  Hot coffee.  An extra hug.  A goodbye kiss.  An unexpected “Hello”.

2/ Make eye contact. And smile first. Teach your kids to do the same.

3/ Keep learning.

4/ Don’t be intimidated, be curious.

5/ Believe you can learn new things.

6/ If things go sideways, adjust to the new reality, don’t lament the inconvenience.

7/ “We know not the hour or the day”, so make most of every, single, one.

#halffull #parenting #worklife #goodstuff  #everyday

Advertisements

Celebrate Her

We did our best to celebrate her on her birthday.

We made the day mostly about her, and I think it was a good one. My wife led the way, as she usually does. And so on top of being grateful for my first born, my first daughter, I was thankful for my wife once again, and her plan for the day too.

It was a simple day, it was a great day.

The menu was laid out in advance. Scratch chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for breakfast, black berries too; hot dogs and veggies for lunch; spaghetti and home-made meatballs with brownie and sorbet for dessert. YUMMY.

After dinner, the candle flickered for a few moments stuck in the scoop of mango treat in my daughter’s bowl before she wished and blew the flame out.

She took maybe a hundred pictures with her new camera, capturing the world around her: in the house, down the street, the birds on the porch, the kitchen appliances, and more besides.

For some reason I had a ho-hum attitude earlier in the day. But I couldn’t help but push aside the blah, lifted up and fortified by the simple joy of the day.

Our first born, she who is funny and thoughtful and loving and smart and joyful. We’re so lucky, so blessed. Our Number One: she’s got a great attitude, she keeps trying even when she struggles, she’s helps around the house, she’s a great leader to her brother and sister.

So lucky, so blessed.

Anatomy of a Lions Charity Crab Feed

The work started months ago. A handful of Lion leaders doing early prep work for the event scheduled for Saturday, 9 February, the 23rd year of the Cupertino De Anza Lions Club Charity Crab Feed.

We need a 12 foot box truck, and refrigerated rig too, to handle all the transport of gear and foodstuff and all-important crab harvested off the Pacific coast.

This year we initiated a concerted effort to recycle all we could. Besides bottles and cans, we also gathered the food waste for compost.

In addition to the two rented trucks, several Lions transported various material to the event site: sound system, auction and raffle items, etc.

A crew of near twenty Lions and friends set up shop inside and outside too, where the crab pots were staged. We had easy-ups arranged too, for the rain that was expected.

We were ready to keep our outdoor cooking team dry and safe for the hours of hustle ahead.

The Condiments Station was prepped to give out lemons, tartar sauce, and cocktail sauce too.

The kitchen team prepared the salads and the bread.

The wine and beer station was set up to provide the refreshments that would be served, tasty pale ale options and red, and white wines.

The pasta line was prepped for the spaghetti onslaught.

The silent auction and raffle were set for display, promising plenty of good deals for our patrons. The dining tables, 27 for each seating, were readied for the diners soon to arrive.

Treasure Chest keys and buckets of raffle tickets were at the ready for good fun and many generous folks to try their luck and help our charities.

It was a long night, it was a wet night, it was a good night.

14 hours and nearly 15 miles of steps later, another crab feed was in the books.

#lionsclubs

#deanzalions

#WeServe

What You Got? Thoughts on 2019

Log Date: 01/05/2019

As we began 2019 last month, I took to social media to see what my peeps had to say about the new year.

There was a post theme in circulation suggesting folks provide one word to describe their thoughts/feelings as 2019 got under way.

Here was the primer:

“Pick a word I can carry into 2019 that starts with the first letter of your name.

It can only be one word. Here’s to a great 2019 for all!”

Here’s what I got back:

Abundance

Lift

Creativity

Earthy

Success

Peace

Sarcasm

Sincerity

Anthem

Meditation

Loyalty

And I’ll add for myself this final word,

Justice

A bunch of good words sparking a bunch of different thought tracks as to what and how we want the year to go. I love all of these words, love what the imply and guide and promise.

Even “sarcasm” — it’s an indication of a person that could use some love.

And so I’ll say “Amen” to all that, AMEN AMEN, and let’s get after it, let’s share the love, let’s keep the good going, let’s go forward together.

AMEN.

A Dad’s List, #5

The Dad’s List Series continues after a little (medium-size?) hiatus.

Super stoked to be back with another edition, this one like, “…FIVE golden rings, four calling birds…”, no wait, stay on track.  Just a little humor is at play; almost never a bad thing, humor.

But to the matter at hand…The Number Five Dad’s List, or “A Dad’s List, #5 — without any further delay, here you go…!

1/  Helping your kid in the middle of the night; like when they fall out of bed.  Compassion, and a little humor too, might be appropriate to cope, for him or her, and you too.

2/  Dancing in the family room to a toy piano playing “Old MacDonald…”, or whatever that song was.

3/  Kids reminding me to say bedtime prayers; instead of the other way around.

4/  Eating left overs, especially cold, kid’s leftovers, builds your adaptability, provides fuel in the immediate, reduces waste, and increases your appreciation for hot meals.

5/  Being Happy and Helpful is super important to keeping a family humming along successfully.  Much better than nagging.

6/  Nagging is never really the best option, or very effective either.

7/  Up early is still the best option during the week.  But sleeping in a bit on the weekend is also worthwhile, and helpful to overall rest, and feels really GOOD.

8/  Dishes don’t wash themselves.  But if they pile up on occasion, for a little while, no biggie.

9/  I love my wife.  A LOT.

10/  Fancy dress up before dinner, during that dance performance.  Including fancy sparkly shoes.  Super fun.

twosistersfancydance_2019

Ocelot?!

ocelotnirvana2013yawning

Actually no, the theme for this piece is actually “oscillate” … as in, “to vary or vacillate between differing beliefs, opinions, [and especially for this post], conditions, etc.” There might be a little lesson from the small feline predator of the Americas too.

It’s been a helluva last few weeks. Lots going on as the new year kicks into full gear. Family, work, life.

So then the question is, “What do you do here?  How to cope?  How to not only get through it, but make the best of it and have good outcome(s) from the various happenings coming up one after another, sometimes blowing up in your face?

Some specifics…

First, our son’s been on the slippery slope of infection, his mood swings have spooled up, the rest of our family trying to keep up, and sometimes just ho!d on.  And then we got some big help, some great insights, and things are looking up all of a sudden.  Up, Down, like a sine wave (or is it cosine?), but Maybe not so smooth. Or maybe yes. Depends on the hour.

The other kids have had their challenges too. They’ve been coping with both the current family dynamics, but also their own bumps in the road too.

Work side, there’s a new product launch nearing, a game changer, we all hope. There’s also the regular ramp up a new year begins, and to top off? A merger off is on the horizon. Soon? Later? Time and the SEC will tell.

Learn and adapt and execute and learn some more. Oh, and have a little fun where you can along the way. Enjoy the people you work with.

Up and down and up again. Oscillate.

And what about life otherwise? Marriage is certainly dynamic. When we’re on the same page, working as a partnership, GOOD. When we’re not in the mode and mindset well, it’s another opportunity to grow and learn and persevere. Other relationships are similar: good friends, siblings, colleagues…you get the idea.

Things oscillate. Do your best to make it smooth, a little like an ocelot maybe. Keep your cool. Focus on your goals (your “prey”). Trust your instincts, respond the the changing environment around you as best you can.

This effort can be all the more challenging when considering the various aspects of your self, your mind, that might oscillate at any given moment.  I can certainly attest to this dynamic first-hand.  Emotionally you might be rock-solid; but then perhaps a series of things occur intellectually that throw you off, spin you around, turn you upside down, leave you slowly shaking your head, wondering what happened.

Things oscillate. Ride that wave up and down, and go forward.

Operation: Little Kids

“Being a parent of little kids is sometimes like being a special forces operator.” That’s the way it’s been feeling these last few days.

Of course, we don’t have to apply lethal force in the course of conducting parenting operations; and certainly we are not in harms way (typically) when parenting. So no one is trying to kill us, and we’re not trying to kill anyone.

But there are similarities otherwise.

Sleep. Interrupted or otherwise, often there will not be enough sleep. You have to operate at the highest level possible all the same.

Frequently you will be operating at night. Therefore, stamina is critical.

Non-lethal, hand-to-hand combat might be necessary from time to time. Wrestling or JJT skills can help in this regard.

Attention to detail, ability to quickly adapt, and a sense calm and focus under mounting chaos and discomfort are all very helpful attributes for field operators and parents.

Often times things with little kids don’t go as planned. You might the best intentions and ideas as to how to proceed on a particular objective, and then things go sideways. You have to be able to quickly and complete adapt to move the mission forward, improvise, and make the best of it.

Finally, as in special operations, personal excellence, solid teamwork, and fundamental ability to leave your ego at the door will all help in parenting little kids. Parenting: It’s one of the highest callings there is anywhere.

#dadlife #dadslife #parenting #perspective #worthit