I have been a Blizzard fan about as long as I can remember, I’m talking about Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Blackthorne, The Lost Vikings and Rock and Roll Racing! In 2010 I received an offer letter from Blizzard Entertainment. I was elated, on Cloud 9 and I couldn’t wait to share the news with Diana. However, that opportunity fell through due to the difficulty of finding a match of her medical residency program in California. So I made the sacrifice and we stayed in New York for her to finish.
Years passed, two kids later, and another opportunity struck to for me to join the ranks of Blizzard! Diana had finished all of her training and we came together to California with her as a board certified OB-GYN. Everything was perfect and during my orientation of Blizzard they shared their stories of honoring their employees with a sword for 5 years of service and others for longer tenures. I pictured myself running around the campus halls wearing all the gear for every single meeting.
Life has an unusual way of putting choices in front of you no matter when and where you are though. As we moved to California, while we could live relatively comfortably, we found ourselves unable to afford a home. Out of the blue, Google had reached out and inquired on my availability . I spoke with Diana about it, told her that I was happy at Blizzard but would entertain Google in their interview process for a few reasons. One, I have immense respect for the company, culture and products. Two, I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of meeting Google’s rigorous engineering standards. Finally, I admit, I was curious to see what the offer was.
The day came when Google called me with the amazing news that I had been accepted to join their ranks. The offer came in strong enough to resolve the inability to purchase a house plus numerous benefits that would protect my children should anything happen to me and also an amazing paternal leave when our daughter comes to this world. This did mean that I’d once again sacrifice the opportunity to be part of the Blizzard team. There would be no sword, shield, ring, crown or hammer in my future.
However, Diana cleverly worked with the kids and honored me on Father’s day with a Doomhammer for 5 years of service for always putting our children first. There must have been some pollen in the air because my eyes became a bit watery. To my wife and wonderful children, thanks for giving me the best possible Father’s day gift ever.
Does anyone know of a desk shelf that can be added to any desk and is tall enough to sit above 30 inch monitors? It doesn’t need to support a lot of weight, it just needs to be sturdy enough to hold pictures and a few tchotchkes. I’ve rendered an awesome mock-up, so hopefully it demonstrates what I’m looking for. I’ve done numerous web queries and haven’t found any matches, so if you know of a product that I can buy off the shelf right now, please send me the details!
As for how life is going, Diana is officially pregnant with baby number 3. I feel that I’m much more prepared this time around and I plan on being 5 better than when Dexter was born. One of my biggest regrets for Dexter, was only taking a week off of work and not focusing more on my family’s needs. At the time my partners suggested that I take more time off, but I was selfishly consumed by my love for what I do. Fortunately, I’m married an amazing woman, who picked up the slack and provided enough love and support during my ignorant absence.
This time, I’m prepared to take a bucket load of time off. I’m ready to wipe a ton drool, change a lot of diapers, sing a bunch of lullabies for the baby. I’m ready to perform a bunch of massages, prepare a bunch of meals(grab take out and put on plates), physically and emotionally support Diana as she recovers. I’m ready to take Ethan and Dexter to soccer, swim and other classes, build a bunch of Legos, sing along to a bunch of songs and make sure those boys know that they’re still incredibly loved even though another person is added to our family.
2016 has been an incredible year with so many lessons learned, new parenting experiences, super fun events as well as career opportunities. I recently accepted a position at Google and am starting tomorrow! I hope I’m able to provide them some amazing value and create some amazing things!
I’m going to make my typical statement of needing to blog more often. Sharing the amazing parenting stories, gangsta Irvine dad stories and hopefully general feel good moments that come across.
With that said, I’ll make a general recap of 2016 in Irvine. The kids have made amazing progress in the LePort Montessori school. Ethan is starting to read, Dexter is incredibly vocal and doing crazy indoor parkour tricks. Diana is the most amazing wife and mother, we had an amazing anniversary on Santa Catalina Island, which was seriously NC-17. My parents are doing well, being super awesome to the kids, Diana and myself. My dad is getting back into the Starcraft campaign and hopefully I’ll get in some cooperative games with him. We also met great friends that we hang out with non-stop(almost literally). Blizzard lived up to the dream. The culture, people and passion were just blasting out of the stratosphere!
I truly feel blessed and I still can’t believe how some opportunities are offered to me, I wish that others could be so lucky and I’m hoping that in 2017 I find more opportunities to give back or share some of these blessings.
So before going to bed, the kids and I were doing our night time ritual. This consists of washing up, getting some milk, brushing our teeth then reading a book before finally sleeping.
As we’re get to their bedroom to read the night time story, Ethan feverishly goes through the bookshelf trying to find his favorite book. I’m a bit exhausted of “Dadding” for the evening and I try to quickly get the kids settled so I can get back down to the computer, so I ask Ethan “Why don’t you pick any of the other books that you can find?”
He was still insistent that we find his favorite book, so he keeps going through the books in other corners of the room while I get more and more impatient. I abruptly stop him and say that if he keeps taking this long that we’ll only read one book for the evening. That didn’t deter Ethan from his quest, so I ask him “What book are you trying to find?”
He replies “The I love you, Daddy book”.
“We MUST find our favorite book!” I shouted as my heart melted.
We still couldn’t find the book that evening and we still read two books that night. Time is flying by so fast and I am just soaking up how awesome this experience is.
Winter has been very harsh on the Northeast and like many other New Yorkers, I am feeling a bit cooped up. So I decided to take a mini day trip to a water theme park with my boys. We packed up FOUR bags worth of swim trunks, change of clothes, extra diapers, towels, floaties, etc. Pretty much the works because you never know how it is with a toddler and an infant at an indoor water theme park during the winter. At one point I thought maybe we should pack a suitcase. I stopped myself because this a day trip not overnight trip. Yes, I suffer from over packing and over prepping but in the end I always think it is worth it.
So after a couple of hours driving we arrived at the Coco Key Water Park in New Jersey. It was packed! We bought our tickets and went straight to the locker room to change. Min had Ethan and I was with Dex. Ethan looked so excited when he came out and Dex, well, he could care less. It was not the balmy 84 degrees as the website promised but we made it into the water.
So here is how I will highlight the big difference between being a parent and not. I remember when I went to the water park “sans” kids. I would run up and down the slides, went to every attraction, and splash in the wave pool. I would always skip the lazy river unless it was a crazy, wave river that propelled you all the way through. I would come home tired and hungry.
This time the lazy river was the first attraction we hit. It was tame enough for both kids and Ethan loved the waterfalls. Dex was sitting on the tube looking calmly around as we floated. No waves just nice and calm. Then we headed to the kiddie pool and slide. Sadly adults can’t slide down with their kids so we would walk up to the slide then walk back down after Ethan would slide. We hung out in the kiddie pool splashing and then more lazy river. And I came home tired and hungry.
It’s funny because although we did not go for us and it was definitely for the kids, I was so happy at the end of the trip. We went and got Tex Mex for dinner. Ethan was all smiles and every time his eyes lit up during the trip my heart swelled up. I didn’t need the super fast and steep slides; I just needed to get out and have fun with my boys. My husband felt the same way. Our family time is so precious to me. Life changes with kids in ways you never expect. I end with a quote: “Being a parent is dirty and scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It’s everything.” —Jill Smokler
NB. We, my husband and I, did get to check out the slides. Min went first while I watched the boys then I sneaked after. It was snack time for Ethan and nap time for Dex. In the end, we got a little excitement too.
I just concluded my first full phone conversation with Ethan. It went a little like this
Phone ringing with Diana’s number
Me: Hello Love
Ethan: Hi Daddy
Me: Oh – Hi Ethan! What’s up?
Ethan: Mommy is sleeping
Me: Oh, I see, what are you doing? Did you brush your teeth?
Ethan: No, because the monster is in there and I’m scared
Me: Well Ethan, if you see that monster again you need to kick him square between the legs
Me: Are you going to eat cereal after you brush?
Me: Ok, well make sure Mommy makes you a big bowl
Me: I love you
Ethan: I love you
It’s just one of those proud moments that I wanted to share
So Ethan hurt himself really bad on Thursday on our dining room table that we’ve owned for about the last 5 years.
It’s one of those square wooden tables from Ikea and we’ve attached those little corner bumpers when he was younger, but as he grew, he learned how to rip them off tape and all. We stopped thinking about it as nothing serious occurred and all was well.
Well, all was not well. He was running in the kitchen with Grandma, turned and bumped his head forcefully into the table. Blood was everywhere and I was in a panic. I quickly put pressure on the wound and it was deep but maybe only a centimeter long.
Regardless, I called Diana and asked if I needed to take him to our Pediatrician or the Emergency room. Needless to say, I freaked Diana out and she ran all the way home(Manhattan living, so literally ran all the way home, in boots, in the cold, through the snow and potentially Yeti’s obstructing her path)
She got home, cleaned the wound, calmed me down and affixed bandages to close the wound. After that all was OK, but my lesson learned and suggestions to those who might have been in similar situations to us.
- Don’t use the corner bumpers, they are a waste of money
- Unless corner bumpers are affixed with the same bond that attached Excalibur to the stone and your child is not Arthur
- Unless corner bumpers have the same bond that puts Thor’s hammer to the ground and your child is not Thor, or Odin or other Norse deity that may wield the hammer).
- You have a black knight steadily guarding your corner bumpers preventing them from being displaced.
- Replace your table or any other furniture with sharp corners. It’s not worth the stress or fear of what will happen to your child otherwise.
We’ve already found a nice new oval-ish table to replace our wooden table.
So I decided to aggregate all of the historic blogs and roll them all up into WordPress as it has become my preferred blogging tool over time. Some will notice that Ninjacrab is yet another blog and it is there for the pure techy notes as well as updates on the side projects.
Things I plan on documenting more here are updates on being a dad, non-deep tech stories that I find amusing and the occasional link to awesomely hilarious youtube videos I might come across.
So as for my update on being a dad, this week my grandparents (Ethan and Dexter’s great-grandparents) are visiting from Korea. Since my parents want to entertain them and Diana is so new to her new job, I decided to be a stay at home dad for the past few days and “Good googily moogily” is it difficult to watch after the kids full time. On top of that Diana is feeling a bit under the weather so after coming home from work, I still had the duty of putting them to bed. I didn’t actually shower for two days!
Admittedly, Ethan got a TON of TV time in the last few days. I’m literally parsing through my mind on how the day had gone by and where I spent my time with them. Asides from the TV time, there was some Duplo action, building train tracks and hide and seek.
Dexter was basically, clean drool, clean diapers, sing to sleep, feed milk and make goofy faces during belly time.
With all that said, the days blazed away and domestically, I basically got nothing done. I did get some night time productivity to squeeze in activities like aggregating the blogs, working on other pet projects, however showering apparently wasn’t high enough of a priority and Diana must love my manly musk.
What have I learned from this and how can I do better?
- I stayed up too late. Not treating this like a real job. Going to sleep at 2am-4am made me a terrible performing father the following morning.
- I prepared what I knew Ethan would eat. Being that I was actually in control of the entire daily schedule, I could have actually got the little guy hungry enough to want to experiment. I got him to taste an orange, but that was one meal of one day. I should have done more.
- I didn’t prepare or plan for this week like I would have on any other project. I’m not talking about blue print schematics, work flow design documents, object model diagrams and gantt charts. I literally could have just brainstormed various activities, wrote them down on preferred platform (paper or pencil would do) and then plot days to do activities.
@Ethan @Dexter I promise to be a better Dad, just give me some more time
Sleep is a precious thing and you do not know how much you miss it until you have kids. You take it for granted and fight it; coffee, red bull, energy drinks – whatever works. YOLO right? And then you have kids and you wait until you can sleep like you did in college again. Dex, who is now 5 months old, is finally sleeping longer stretches now but still wakes up for his twilight feed around 2-3am and then for his morning feed at 630am before I head off to work. I think I have gotten used to the schedule by now but by no means does it decrease my need for caffeine at 2pm. Instead I have been substituting with Mother’s milk tea with honey to give me a sugar boost and in turn, increase my breast milk supply. I used to catch up on sleep on weekends but it has now been replaced with family time with my two boys. I loved it and cannot get enough time with both of them. Ethan is growing into a little man in front of my eyes and Dex will be walking before I know it. So yes, there are my energy drink substitute now because I fight sleep to spend more time with them. My husband is just the same. He is just a deeper sleeper than me. Lucky him 🙂 So I’d like to end this blog with a quote:
“Sleep is out… tired is the new black.” – Amy Poehler
You are so spot on, Amy… And here’s what makes it all worth it
We had plans today. Church in the morning, swimming at the youth center and then a quick stop at Whole Foods to grab a few fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. What did we end up doing? Nada. It was a ugly, cold, rainy day in New York City. We did not have the motivation to leave our warm, cozy apartment. I spent last night cleaning after the boys went to sleep and I patted myself on the back and went to sleep. Dexter woke up twice and there went my night sleep. I was tired waking up – zombie-like tired as we ate cereal in the morning. Luckily Ethan was easily distracted by Cars, his favorite cartoon, and Dex took a nice, long morning nap (most likely since he didn’t sleep the night before) So we took a nap in the living room and felt bliss and guilt at the same time. We didn’t go out. We didn’t do anything we had initially planned. So we needed a plan B after the nap. What did we do? Ethan’s favorite – finger painting! This time around we made it educational. Here is the result after a messing start on our kitchen table.
We mixed primary colors to make new ones. Red, blue and yellow… Ethan had a blast and he didn’t get too messy – he wore his IKEA paint cover, which I recommend buying since it is so cheap and easy to clean. Thankfully finger paint is also easy to clean from surfaces, hands, faces, etc and Ethan did a great job at helping me. Dexter got to watch so hopefully he got some education stimulus too. SO did I wish we could do more every day? Yup, but I think we did okay today because both boys were in bed at 830pm – bathed and happily dreaming of tomorrow’s adventures. Happy boys – check, clean home – ummmmmmm half check…