Friday, February 23, 2007

Zen and the art of Child Rearing

It’s the middle of the third quarter and the Lakers 4 point lead has turned into a 9 point deficit in the last 3 minutes. Smush is bringing the ball up looking to the sideline to see if Coach Phil Jackson is going to call time out. This seems like a dumb move since I know he’s not going to call it, the other team knows he’s not going to call it, hell the cheerleaders preening on the sideline know he’s not going to call it. Phil doesn’t call time outs in that situation because he wants the guys on the floor to work it out themselves. He has been like that through all 9 championships, 4 books, and countless wins so he might be on to something.

As I’m yelling at Smush through my computer screen Finn is screaming in the other room. It is close to midnight and Finn has been having a rough go at it this evening. I have been in and out of his room most of the night and he calms down for a couple of minutes but then winds back up. Kobe kicks the ball out to Odom for a jumper and 2 points and then the Lakers steal the ball and score again. They are working it out themselves just like Phil knew they would and I think I need a little more Zen in my child care. Finn needs to learn to work things out himself as well. I don’t need to call a time out right now and go soothe him, this is an opportunity for him to expand and learn how to soothe himself. So I watch the game and tell Kate it’s OK, let him work it out when she wakes up and starts to go to Finn.

After about 45 minutes of Finn failing to work it out himself Kate finally gets up, gives Finn his bottle and puts him back to sleep where he sleeps soundly through the night. In the morning Kate asked me why I let him cry so long and I told her about the Lakers, about Phil Jackson and his Zen coching style. I told her I was letting him work it out, not calling a time out, giving Finn the opportunity to see he had it in him all along. Kate rolled her eyes at me saying rather patronizingly “So your taking your parenting cues from a basketball coach now?” Then kissed me on my forhead and said “You’re an idiot honey.” As she headed off to bathroom I knew she was right. Then I thought: I wonder how John Wooden would have handled the situation.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Finny's Prison Scar

Finn worked one of his teething biscuits down pretty good before biting into it and breaking it in half. He spit half of it out and the part left in his hand had a fairly sharp end on it. While bouncing in his Jumperoo and trying to get it back in his mouth he scratched himself pretty good from just under his mouth to up close to his eye. His reaction was a quick head shake and toss of his biscuit as if he were some ditching his home made prison shiv after knifing another inmate. The scratch has since healed but he looked pretty tough for a couple of days.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The in between times

Over the past couple of weeks we have had some good snow fall to make the scene lovely but the getting around a pain. I have become an expert in getting stuck and unstuck in snow banks and come to appreciate a lot of the neighbors that I thought had hid away for the winter. People materialize out of nowhere when you get stuck, all the while talking about the blizzard of 78 when things were really tough. Finn loves being outside in the cold so we get him in his snow suit and sit him out on the porch while we get ready. As soon as he sees the snow suit he starts grinning and kicking his legs like crazy, I think that is baby for "Jackpot!" The snow makes it more difficult to get out and walk and the worry of getting stuck in our un-plowed alley makes driving a chore so we sit at home mostly. Playing, sleeping, eating, and playing some more fill most days as I plan the things I want to do when it warms up a bit. This seems to be an in-between time, a time of forced rest and solitude before a more hectic time. It is odd that the more crazy and busy Kate's work schedule is, and right now it is really busy, the slower my days are. I read a 400 page book in two days between Finny naps. I'm really enjoying this time.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The All-Star Cure

When ever Grandma Kris takes Finn for the day I find myself in a funk. I don't realize it at first but I start to slowly get bluer and bluer until I'm in a full fledged depression. When Kate asks my what's wrong I say "nothing". It's not true but I am not trying to be uncommunicative, I just haven't realized that anything is wrong. Kate has realized and when she keeps pushing it I get frustrated. This whole scene played out this past week as Finn spent Wednesday night through Friday evening with Grandma and TomTom. While Finn was gone I did very little with my free time. I read a bit, did some work for the paper, caught up on all things NBA, and laid around a lot. With Finn gone I am not sure what I'm doing home. If he is here then I am taking care of him, but when he's gone I am just lazy. When I was working and I had a day off I didn't feel this way but some how being a stay-at-home parent changes my perception as it does for society as a whole. The hardest thing to reconcile is that whether Finn is there or not my JOB is taking care of him. When Kate is off work she is not unemployed, and converesly when Finn is away I am not unemployed either. This seems like a simple concept to grasp but it is proving to be much more difficult for me.

Kate and I had a long talk last night getting to the bottom of this and other things. During that time I realized that there was something wrong with me when Kate was asking but I couldn't pin point it at the time. I also realized that I need to have a plan for when Finn is away, and I need to make that plan before he leaves or else I will find myself slipping back into no-Finn funk. Most importantly, to Kate anyway, I need to communicate what's going on even if I'm not sure what it is yet. When I'm depressed Kate assumes that it has to do with her and my refusal to communicate just confirms that diagnosis for her. So to recap: come to terms with my new Job, plan for Finn's absences, and communicate more.

But what does any of this have to do with the title? On Thursday night I got the chance to play in a basketball tournament at Church. I played on the Fountain Square Team and was the only one on the team that actually played basketball. We were severely spanked in the game but had a lot of fun in the process. Due to some lucky shooting in the first half we were only down by 9 points at halftime. The deficit quickly climbed to 30 early in the second half and hovered there for the rest of the game. After the game each team picked an all-star from the opposing team to play in the Sunday All-star game. I was picked from our team. One of the teams in the next game was short players and so I played for them as well and continued to shot really well. After that game I was chosen again by the other team. It felt really good to be an All-Star, to be chosen by the opposing team. It was a small tournament with over half the participents playing their first ball in over 10 years but it felt good to do well.

On sunday I played in the all-star game and did well. I wasn't the best out there but I competed and when it was over I didn't feel depressed any more. I felt good, I felt successful. I know it is silly but that basketball game was what I needed to break out of the funk. Once out of it I could talk for a long time about the hows, whys, and whats of it with Kate.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Snow Day

Finn and I stayed inside today as it snowed

Congradulations Colts

Finn and I tried to get inside the Dome to see the Colts but we had a stroller and they weren't allowing strollers in the building. We arrived at 3:00 because we thought the team would be there by 4:00 but they didn't get in until 7:00. By that time we were warmed back up in our house enjoying left over wings from our Superbowl party the night before. It was incredible being in a Superbowl city for the weeks leading up and the game itself. The city was a buzz with Colts pride.

Bath Time Finny

Finny enjoying his nightly bath. Notice when the water goes over his head and he goes stiff at a board. This is his reaction to water, wind, washclothes, basically anything touching his face.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Something stinks in Indy

For the second year in a row I watched the Lakers come into Indy, play lackluster basketball and leave with another loss. And for the second year in a row I watched Kobe have a horrendous game. Now I know that one game does not a season make but I get one chance a year to watch my team play and it is becoming an annual craptastic display of futility. Last year on the way to the game Kate fell down right on her pregnant belly, we got to our seats late, and the Lakers lost by 20. This year Finn and I were early and Kate met us at our seats up in the nose bleeds. Finn loved the pregame intros and would bounce with joy at each explosion that went off for the Indy players.

The first quarter was typical Laker stuff with Kobe spreading the ball and guys open jump shots. Odom finally took it to the hole 5 minutes in, I think he heard me up in section 210 telling him to grow a pair and attack the basket. On defense the Lakers could do nothing with Jermaine O'Neal. He was getting great post position and handing the teenage sensation his lunch. Early in the first it was J.O. 11 Lakers 5. Things settled in and the Pacer lead stayed at 5 for most of the first half while Kobe started his house brick by brick. Side Note: There is no such thing as a Kobe stopper as Nanny man has proved time and time again, but there are guys that play Kobe tough: Kirelenko, Bowen, Igudola, Prince. Really if Kobe is on his game he can't be guarded by one or even two players. That being said the young Danny Granger has been involved in 4 crappy Kobe games in two years. That is all of the Pacer-Laker games in the last two years by the way. One crappy game is an off night for Kobe, two crappy games is the Lakers not knowing enough about a Leastern Conference team that they only play twice, three crappy games and you start to think maybe Granger is a good defender, four crappy games and the term Kobe Stopper needs to be looked at. As soon as it is Kobe will go for 60 on him and end it but until then let the talk start to heat up. I will be at the game again next year and for the weeks leading up to it I am going to be posting on every Laker forum out there that Danny Granger owns Kobe. Kobe can't score on him. Granger is kryptonite and it would be better to just start Mo Evans at the 2 and let Kobe play point for the scrubs cause that is what he is reduced to around Granger. Don't like it Kobe, then do something!

The Lakers went up with a great close the the Third Quarter but then came out in the fourth and really sucked it up. It was tough to watch but still nice to be at the game. I love basketball and I love going to the games and watching stuff like Smush and Shammond Williams dancing to one of the songs over the P.A. while P.J. is yelling at Bynum. I love watching Granger with his head down and hand over his heart, still moved by the National Anthem like this isn't the thousandth time he has heard this song. I loved watching the Fans give it to Kobe for choking again in Indy and the Kobe pretending to sign the ball and throw it to the guys.

Other Random Notes: Vlad Rad played with a lot more energy then I have seen from him. He looked like a Rookie WNBA player instead of the 10 year Veteran WNBA player he has looked like in the recent past. The Lakers miss Luke Walton I think more then they even missed Odom or Kobe when he is out. Luke just makes things happen and facilities so nicely. Nice seeing Shammond Williams get some tick, though he was in there for less then two minutes. J.O. reminded me off Rasheed Wallace back in the day when he played for Portland and the Lakers could not stop him down low to save their lives, yet he some how thinks that he is a jump shooter and creeps farther and farther from the basket and the Lakers get back into the game. I used to Love that about Portland!

Well that's enough on that game, not sure that anyone besides Kyle cares as much about this as I do and he doesn't read this anymore. Hey Lakers, thanks for taking a dump in Indy for the second year in a row!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I've lost a Finn

A couple weeks ago in a Christmas recap post I mentioned that Kate and I started a diet. I was feeling pretty crappy at the time but once I added coffee back into the mix it leveled out. Well as of yesterday morning I weighed 228 pounds. That is pretty big for a six foot guy and still well over the recommended weight but it marks a 21 pound loss from the start of the diet. I was just a hair shy of 250 when we started and even that seemed better then the weight I had in my mind. Since Finn has arrived I have really been trying to change my eating habits. I am trying everything again with a fresh pallete. I want Finn to be an adventurous eater and to model that I have learned to even enjoy broccoli! Kate and I are eating a lot fresher food and I have stumbled through preparing better and better meals. I don't feel like I am any skinnier and I still have a belly there in front of me but I know that I am doing well. 21 pounds is not an insignificant amount, it is about what Finn weighs. When ever I pick him up know I think about that and he seems heavy.