Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

February 28, 2014

February 2014 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 10:42 pm

February Highlights:

  • Lilah gets on the Gold Honor Roll again for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average
  • Luke joins Mountain High snowboard team
  • Lilah and I drop off high school registration packet (my “baby” is going to high school later this year)
  • We meet my parent’s new dog, Amber
  • Luke gets blasted playing paintball
  • Snowboarding and skiing with the kids
  • Cat on her way to becoming an elite instructor

Lilah Getting Ready for High School

This month we had to turn in Lilah’s high school registration packet. This is where you have to decide what classes to select, which electives to choose and if you’ll be participating in any sports. It’s also the time you have to turn off all the pre-programmed “you need to” thoughts in your brain such as you need to take all honors classes, you need to participate in a sport, you need to pick electives that will help you later in life when you’re trying to land a job, etc.. Seriously, if you don’t do this you can really become neurotic about the entire affair. You begin wondering if the school you are sending your child to is challenging enough. You wonder if you’re doing enough as a parent to make sure your child succeeds and, gulp, doesn’t fall behind. Whenever I feel those thoughts creeping into my consciousness,  I take a step back and remember that probably half of the reason anyone “succeeds” in life is related to character. Things like do you show up, do you follow through, are you conscientious, do you get along well with others, etc.. Once I remind myself about how character matters more, I am able to focus better and simply be there to guide the way for my child, instead of pushing them, dragging and screaming, through the obstacle course of achievement. I can’t say those thoughts of whether I’m doing enough or not don’t occasionally creep into my head, but I think I can say that they only occupy a small percentage of my brain space these days.

In order to register for high school, both Lilah and I had to sit through an initial orientation where we were introduced to the principal, academic director, music director and Mariachi band leader (yes, Mariachi is an elective at Lilah’s school). I could tell Lilah was nervous. She mentioned how the school was so big and that maybe I should have sent her to a bigger junior high school to prepare her for this — something she’s seen a few people at her school do. I reassured her that once she got into the school, she’d probably become an expert in a week. Seriously, I don’t remember my parents making a big fuss about this stuff and I was able to figure it all out. Lilah is way smarter than I was at the age of 13 so I know she will figure it out too, and teach me something in the process as well ;-).

Luke Joins Mountain High Snowboard Team & Gets Blasted at Paintball War

On the recommendation of a colleague at work, I contacted the Mountain High snowboard team to see what was involved in joining the team. That led to an invitation from Maya, the snowboard team coach, to have Luke join them for three hours in the morning to see if Luke was ready. After the session was over I talked to Maya and she indicated that initially she did not think Luke was ready for the team — apparently, he was not fast enough to keep up with the snowboarders — but after a few coaching tips, she said Luke really picked up his speed and was able to keep up with the group. She said she was impressed with how fast he incorporated the coaching advice into his technique and that she was definitely open to having him join the team. Luke was so pumped after that session that he began coaching me on what to do when we snowboarded together in the afternoon. His enthusiasm told me that pulling him out of track to join the team would be the right thing to do. Of course, there was also the added bonus of me not having to sit through six hours of track meets every Saturday, and instead getting a chance to have some fun myself on the mountain.

Luke tried a new activity this month as well: paintball. His best friend was having a paintball birthday party – presents, cake, and paintball guns, what a perfect combination. Just a note here, I am not a big fan of guns and gun play. That’s not to say I don’t understand the appeal, but firearms are things I have never gotten into. No doubt some of this probably stems from my dad’s indifference to guns. Actually, my dad is not indifferent to guns, but he’s of the belief that guns are a serious thing and when you turn them into play and create games with guns, then you are essentially glamorizing guns and shouldn’t be surprised by the violence in our society. His advice is simple, “paintball is stupid…if you want to play with guns, join the military.” I get where my dad is coming from but my aversion to guns is also more primal. When I was 13 or 14, I remember a friend taking out a flare gun to show me and another friend. I actually remember just sitting on my bike and watching the gun from about 10 yards away while my other friend got up close and personal. Well, the next thing I know, the gun goes off and the flare nails me right in the forearm close to the elbow. Luckily, the flare did not penetrate the skin and I was okay other than the initial shock and bruise on my arm. That early experience taught me that guns are not toys. To this day, I have no real desire to see, hold or shoot guns, but I do not push this view on Luke. Instead, I let him learn through experience.

Luke definitely has a little more curiosity when it comes to guns. He has a pair of Airsoft guns he has used in supervised battles with his friends. However, he was wary of going to the paintball war party. He actually wasn’t going to attend the party until his friend convinced him it would be fun and “okay.” And for an hour or two, everything was okay. Until, Luke got shot point blank in the ribs/back area (by an adult, no less). This left a huge welt on Luke’s back and it also caused him to stop playing and sit out of any battles for the remainder of the day. He now says that he has no desire to play paintball ever again. I was bummed Luke got hurt, but part of me is also thankful that he learned a valuable lesson about guns early in his life. I believe he now has a healthy respect for what these instruments can do and hopefully won’t be as enamored of them as some kids (and adults) can be.

Other Happenings: Cat Closes in on Elite Instructor Status & My Parents Adopt a New Dog

As I’ve mentioned before, Cat is a fitness animal. She teaches spin, TRX (invented by navy Seals), CX Works (core class), BodyPump (muscular endurance), and other fitness classes. Her latest endeavor: becoming an elite Les Mills fitness instructor. She took another step closer to this goal by attending and passing Advanced Module 1. This is where you attend an all day training with expert instructors (the best of the best) who are their to teach and evaluate you. And to put things in perspective, this is not a class you attend and automatically pass just by being there and putting in a good effort. To pass this class you have to be good at not only the exercises and choreography, but you also have to be able to connect with your class by directing them and providing the kind of energy that inspires others to become better. Based on what Cat shared with me, only about 10-15% of the people who attend one of these master sessions pass and Cat was one of them. She was excited by the achievement and it now gearing up to take Advanced Module 2 (for those who are curious, here is the info on becoming a Les Mills Elite instructor). Cat tells me the Module 2 class is a two-day affair and elite status isn’t guaranteed, but if anyone can achieve this, I believe she can. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m married to such a fitness rock star!

As many of you know, my parents lost there beloved Dalmation, Koki, last year in April. They wanted to take their time before adopting another dog into the house, but the wait is now over and they now have a new four-legged family member, a 1+ year-old Dalmation/Pointer mix named Amber. She is a very sweet dog with a lot of energy. We thought we would bring Spikey with us for the first visit so that the canines could be introduced and become buddies. Amber loved having him in the house and tried to coax Spike to play, but Spike wasn’t not into the puppy energy or constant stalking. I think Amber must have thought Spike was a rabbit or something because she kept following him wherever he went. Wherever Spike went, Amber was on his heals like a well-meaning, tale-wagging stalker. This led Spike to snap a few times and his normally perky ears to stay down pretty much the entire visit so I’m thinking Spike and Amber will probably not become buds after all. Oh well, it was still fun to watch the feisty interaction.

That’s all for now…more next month!

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