Dear Holly: Learning to Walk, Leading Up to Your 1st Birthday

1 year.

Dear Holly,

Two weekends ago, as I was with you downstairs watching you play, while Mommy was upstairs working on laundry and while your brother was at the kitchen table working on drawings, I saw you do something amazing.

You were sitting down on the carpet, sort of Indian style, when for no apparent reason, you decided to stand up. So you did. And you remained standing up for about 5 seconds.

Then, you took it upon yourself to take 5 steps toward the sofa chair!

Of course, I was the only one to witness this marvelous event. I made sure you knew what a big deal it was. And you did. You were clearly so proud of yourself, as I was obviously proud of you too.

Then, a week later, this past Sunday, the day before your 1st birthday, your brother Jack wanted to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii, so he could play as his favorite Pokemon characters.

You and Mommy were upstairs with us, hanging out.

It was in the middle of a Pokemon fight that you decided to show us all your stuff. You pulled yourself up on the book case, turned to Mommy, and started walking towards her; making it the first time she and your brother saw you walk.

We all cheered and celebrated! What a big deal!

You took another 3 steps Monday morning on your birthday, as Mommy and I were setting up the presents in the living room. It is interesting to see how your 1st birthday and your first steps lined up together.

Granted, you’re not walking around yet- but you are able to take 3 to 5 steps at a time… when you feel like it.

I am very much looking forward to you being my little girl who can walk around the house!

Love,

Daddy

A Year After the Anxiously Expecting Stage

October 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm , by 

Ten months.

Last week on Facebook I kept seeing daily updates from an expecting first-time mom who mentioned how excited she was to finally meet her son.

It took me back to a year ago here on The Dadabase (I’ve been daddy blogging since April 2010, six months before he was born) when I was the one anxiously wondering what my son would end up looking like and acting like.

Like popping a quarter into the machine of Made in China toys and waiting for a fun surprise, so I waited for who I thought would be a little dark complected boy.

Now here I am a year later, with a blonde son who is experimenting with the idea of standing and walking on his own, literally applauding himself every time he makes it a few steps.

We live in a world where surprises are often hard to come by. If I want to know the population of Chandler, Arizona, it takes less than 7 seconds to find out on Wikipedia. No anticipation. Instead, instant gratification.

But having a kid is an exception to that rule. Parenting is a moving target and kids are constantly growing up and changing. Therefore, my son is a daily surprise to me. I never know what new thing he may do to catch me off guard- and I mean that mainly in good ways.

Will he finally begin walking today?

Will he discover a new body part today? (Yes, that is how I mean it.)

Will he fight back the boy who hit him by elbowing him nice and hard? (He did last week. I’m so proud of my boy for sticking up for himself.)

How will he make me laugh today? What random household item will become his newest toy?

I’ve been a lot of things since my son arrived, but one thing I’ve yet to be is bored.

The Shell Diet: Active- The Best Thing to Do with Your Butt is to Move It

Find a practical way to be physically active every day.

1) Exercise the equivalent of walking no less than two miles every day. We’re so accustomed to driving that we forget that we hardly even walk on a daily basis.  Let me clear about something: I do not have a gym membership, and I do not endorse going to the gym. Because that would be setting standards too high for my schedule.  Honestly, I don’t have time for the gym.  Nor do I have the money to blow on that.

So here’s what I do for my daily exercise.  I take a 15 minute break during work and walk around the building with a coworker.  In addition to “walking on purpose”, I ride my mountain bike during my lunch break.  Or I run errands during lunch on my bike- going to the bank, the mall, buying a Turkey on Rye from Honey Baked Ham.

So you don’t have a mountain bike or access to a good place to ride it during your lunch break?  Fine.  Do like I did. Find a way to exercise without a gym.  And if all else fails, join a gym.  But I think it’s important to have an exercise habit that is truly practical– I just think that going to the gym, if nothing else, is too much trouble.  Set yourself up for consistency, not a zealous exercise fad.

*But wait, there’s more…Go back to the main page of the The Shell Diet by clicking right here.

The Endangered Tradition of Taking a Walk

You can walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, or you can actually walk with them instead.

To “go take a walk” used to mean something.  On the surface, it could seem that walking without a necessary destination may seem pointless.  But when you’re physically moving, the gears in your head tend to move as well.  (I get most of my ideas to write about while moving in some way, not sitting still and just trying to think stuff up: The ideas just appear in my head as long as I’m moving somehow.)  When walking alone, you will more likely be able to think more clearly and creatively.  When walking with another person, you’re more likely to engage in clear and creative conversations.  But in a culture where we do a lot of scurrying around, then we get home, and we are often so exhausted from the day’s stress that we just want to chill out on the couch, the tradition of taking a walk has become endangered.  And therefore; less thinking, less talking.

Taking walks is a tradition I am making a point to bring back in my own life.  Every day at work, my friend Chris and I take a fifteen minute walk around the buildings near us.  He’s nearly Asperger’s when it comes to World History and Geography, so I learn a lot from him.  And I’m able to bounce ideas off of him as I am in the midst of writing about them, like about capital punishment.  If it weren’t for our daily tradition of walking together, he would just be another guy I work with.  But instead, he is a friend to me, not simply a “work friend”- because there’s definitely a difference.

And if you’ve live in a townhouse development or newer apartment complex in a decent sized city, you’re aware of your Korean neighbor ladies who walk around the neighborhood every evening after dinner.  They are always an inspiration to me.  But of course it’s not just about necessary daily exercise; it’s about putting yourself in a position to where you can simply think (if you’re alone) or to strengthen relationships with people in your life.