Saturday, June 13, 2009

Daddy-ing Year One, A Review of the Ups

Recently, I got into reading dad blogs. For the first time ever, I'm currently subscribed to a good handful of blogs written by people I don't know. It's a little strange... reading about people I've never met. It feels a little stalker-ish, but at the same time there's a sense of familiarity. There's a feeling that we share some common set of experiences and often I laugh and feel comforted because of that.

And now, I feel inspired to write again. So here's a start to the resurrection of this blog!

It's June, mid-June to be exact. It's graduation season. And that means that Alinna's school year, her work year is wrapping up. This also means that my first school year as a stay-at-home dad is also coming to a close. Since I haven't been doing a great job keeping everybody up to date with the exploits of Sam-and-Dad on this blog, a top 10 list is probably in order.

So here it is. THE TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF BEING SAHD (that's Stay-At-Home Dad for those not in the SAHD loop) 2008-2009
10. Hearing him say "da-da" before he said "ma-ma". I know it's immature of me to feel this way and way more immature for me to publish it, but it is what it is.
9. Finding and screening kids' music CDs for free at the local library. Favorites that we both agree to so far include Jack Johnson's Curious George, the Fraggle Rock album, the Muppet Show album, the Sesame Street album (can you tell I'm a Jim Henson fan?). By the way, I'm currently looking for a library copy of an album from Schoolhouse Rock.
8. Daddy-duckling days. That's what we call days when Sam decides first thing in the morning that he wants to follow me and do whatever I'm doing.
7. Seeing Alinna light up when we discover that it's a mommy-duckling day.
6. Seeing Sam light up when he first sees Alinna come home from work.
5. Praying boldly with Sam right before he goes to bed. I'm finding that I pray more directly and with greater expectation when I pray with Sam... probably because I want him to pray that way and wish I prayed more that way.
4. Getting to meet interesting people because of Sam. Case in point, Sam and I visit the Peet's in Cupertino at least twice a week. Usually, we see a guy named Yosef there. He's an African American man, probably in his 50s, with a dyed, cropped mohawk, who's always studying Mandarin Chinese. You can't make this stuff up. We get to talk with him about all sorts of things because when Sam sees him, he walks up to him to smile and wave hello.
3. The rare occasion when he'll stop moving, come into my arms, hug me, and lay his head on my shoulder.
2. Finding ways to make him laugh. Playing wrestlemania is a current favorite.
1. Being able to teach him things and skills I value that I think are age appropriate: Frequenting the same businesses and locales, throwing away garbage we see even if it's not our garbage, having a healthy excitement about exploring, waving at nice people, hugging friends, and simply being friendly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Fever

I've really been enjoying the Olympics this year. Scratch that. I almost always enjoy the Summer Olympics no matter what year it is. I particularly love it when the TV commentators add drama to the events by giving some back-story.

Case in point: The whole French trash talking the US mens 4x100 relay by saying that they're going to smash them. Sure it was sweet to see the US mens team beat the French team and not only beat them but beat the French world record holder who was quoted as saying that they're going to smash the US team... but that was just the icing. I just like the back-story.

Anyway, I just discovered the Yahoo Olympic blog called "Fourth-Place Medal." I love how it doesn't just report the results from the Olympics but it provides back-stories and little interesting tidbits. I particularly appreciated the entry on Cullen Jones. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stay-at-home dad: Days 1 and 2

Today is my second day as a stay-at-home dad. Alinna went back to work yesterday (Wednesday) and so, it's been Sam and me.

sn Sam went in for his two month visit to the pediatrician on Tuesday. Apparently, the two month visit comes with an oral vaccine and a series of three shots.
Sam + Immunizations = Cranky pants

That equation was compounded by the recent weather:
Sam + Immunzations + 90/100 degree weather = Not a good time to start as a stay-at-home dad

Since our apartment traps heat and often feels hotter than it does outside, Sam and this stay-at-home dad haven't really been staying-at-home. We've been out and about, going from air conditioned place to air conditioned place.

Our recent travel itineraries:
Day 1: Wednedsay
10:30AM Meet with Mike at Cupertino Peets for Baylight Staff Mtg.
12:00PM Meet with Mike, Leslie, and Nathan for lunch at Royal Teppan Steakhouse in Cupertino Village
2:00PM Pick up frozen yogurt at Yogurtland
2:30PM Visit mom at Saratoga High School with frozen yogurt in hand
3:30PM Come home

Day 2: Thursday
10:30AM Go to Costco to buy tables for the upcoming computer lab (went through every aisle in Costco to burn time and soak up the awesome air conditioning)
12:30PM Eat at the Costco food court
1:30PM Chill out at Cupertino Peets and meet some nice De Anza College students
3:45PM Come home

Here's a recent photo. When one of the regular customers at the Peets I in which I work (Tom: small coffee with vanilla in a large cup filled to the top with hot water) heard that Sam was born, he quickly went to his car and gave me a fitted Giants hat... for Sam of course. Here's Sam posing with his new gear.

Monday, May 05, 2008

On Sam Being Smart

I got a phone call from my mom a few weeks ago. Apparently, she and my dad were talking about how because I'm smart and Alinna's smart, that Sam will be incredibly smart.

I've been thinking ever since about how important it is to me for Sam to be smart. I want to be able to say that it doesn't matter and that I'll support him and highlight whatever strengths he develops, but for some reason or another, I can't get myself to think it... at least when it comes to intelligence. Setting aside the debate as to what a reliable metric is for intelligence, I really hope that Sam is smart. And that makes me feel really bad.

I've been trying to figure out why it's so important to me, and the closest I've come is the fact that since as far back as I can remember, people told me that I was smart. So, I guess I want Sam to experience the same. The other possibility is that I'm more Asian than I think I am and that the Confucian values of intelligence and education runs strong through my veins.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pieces of Normal

So, it's been six days now since the day our "lives changed forever." And in the middle of this transition into parenthood, Alinna and I have already been craving for normal things. I should explain.

There are a lot of changes going on. Nearly every room in our apartment has some reminder that there is a baby among us. There's a baby monitor, there's a bottle drying rack, there's a crib, there are blankets and clothes strewn here and there. Our sleep schedule is off. We have to feed baby every 2-3 hours which means that we also are awake every 2-3 hours. Feed him at 11PM, feed him at 230AM, feed him at 530AM and well whaddya know, it's morning (though it hasn't gotten light out til 7AM for all you engineers out there with flexible work hours). And then there's the time in-between each feeding. When I heard feed every 2-3 hours, at first, I was like "Sweet, I can do a lot of things in 2-3 hours." But then, I never took into account that the feedings not only include eating time but changing diaper time, calming down time, burping time, all of which well, takes time. About 45 minutes to an hour time. So that significantly cuts into the allotted 2-3 hours because the 2-3 hours is front the beginning of each feeding time. I can go into the changing of the way we think of ourselves, our new roles as parents too, but I think that's pretty self-explanatory.

All that to say, there are a lot of changes going on in a very short amount of time. And I think this is true for most people in saying that when I experience a lot of change, I want something that harkens back to the days of yore. I want something that is familiar to the time before all the change.

I remember when I was in Japan, I visited a career missionary family's home and saw that a lot of their furniture looked very American. I asked them about it and it turned out that they had bought most of it from Ikea when they were in America and had it shipped out to their address in Japan when they were assigned there. It cost a good chunk of money to ship, but for them it was worth it because it gave them something that was familiar.

I'm not saying that I want everything to go back to normal. Just little pieces of normal. Little things here and there that remind me that I'm still a person with likes and dislikes of my own. Last night, I had a pocket of time where I ate some bread and cheese (thanks Soph!) while listening to jazz. Alinna and I also had a pocket of time where we just sat on the couch relaxing (albeit while looking at the video monitor of Sam). Could we have used that time to put stuff away, clean baby things, organize baby things, etc.? Sure, but we just needed a few pieces of normal more than anything after a long day of focusing on a new life with Sam.

Oh and just for kicks...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Samuel Izumi Satake!

Yes, it's true. For those few remaining stragglers who still read this blog, our firstborn, our son, Samuel Izumi Satake was born on Wednesday afternoon at 3:49PM.

He was 8 lbs and 20.5 inches long. Pictures will follow as soon as well... I figure out this whole how to be a dad thing.

It's been exciting, scary, amazing, and awesome all at the same time. My totally unbiased opinion is that he's a good lookin' kid.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I Just Noticed...

I just noticed that I never blogged about the fact that Alinna and I are expecting. What a terrible thing to just notice especially when she's now almost 38 weeks pregnant. In case you're wondering, it is not an indication of denial. At least I don't think so.

In related news, I also just noticed that I haven't blogged in well, just about forever and a day. Also related is the fact that I simply haven't been all that self-aware. I've also just noticed this as well.

But back to the baby thing, in preparation, I've rediscovered the concept of borrowing books (instead of buying them) from the library and found a few helpful books specifically geared toward dads. One of them pointed out how with a baby, your attitude toward driving will inevitably change. While pre-baby, you'd speed around from place to place, getting mad at people who were driving at or below the speed limit on the road. Post-baby, you become that guy who drives at or below speed limit wondering what the rush is with all the people around you. I'm starting to notice that change in me already.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Doctor's Visit

Went to see the doctor today. Yep, I'm still sick. But now, I'm armed with $50 worth of drugs.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Febreeze and Insect Repellent

Since summer camp one year back in high school, I knew that I couldn't use insect repellent. My first try was a bit traumatic. It started getting dark, the place was known to have mosquitos, so I pulled out my insect repellent that I got at the drug store.

I sprayed it on my right forearm and there was a burning like nothing I've ever felt. I panicked, ran around in circles for a couple of revolutions, realized that there was a bathroom just five feet away, and washed my arm under the sink with the cool, refreshing water. I deduced from the experience, that I'm an insect.

Just the other night, Alinna got her first bottle of Febreeze and went Febreeze-crazy. Now, though I've been sick, after she was done, I started coughing to no end. Yes, I'm an odor. It tried to eliminate me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Feels Like Home

After nearly two years of living in our apartment, we now have wireless internet (courtesy of Dong's wifi hub) and a sofa (many thanks to John and Eddie for helping me move it in).

Slowly, our place is looking less like a college apartment. I had to grow up eventually I guess.