Hour 1 of 10,000

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell details the “ten thousand hour rule” for mastering a task. According to Gladwell, 10,000 hours of practice is “the magic number for true expertise”. And in order to hit that number early in their careers, most people need to start their practicing when they are young. He demonstrates this trend from Mozart to the Beatles to Bill Gates.

Well, if I had to qualify Sweetie’s current level of mastery of a stringed instrument, I would say this is the opening minutes of her first hour. She’s no Ani Difranco yet, but you’ve got to start somewhere. It has been awhile since I posted a video, but I caught Sweetie jammin’ on her guitalele (thanks Padrino). The song is primarily an homage to Wife, but I think I get an honorable mention in the liner notes. While it’s a bit rough, it could be the start of something great…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdegzRsS8wU

No doubt my car singing is boosting her musical talent (I do belt out a mean “Old McDonald”). But her development is probably due to the music classes that we have had her in since she was eight months old. I have written before about the Old Town School of Folk Music and the music classes that we have taken there. To date, they have been play and movement classes, not instrument lessons. But it obviously is having a positive effect on Sweetie. And besides her random rock out sessions, she has taken to singing about her daily life experiences. In the context of a two-and-a-half year old’s day,  this is very cute. So thank you to our many wonderful Old Town teachers – in particular Maestro Yahvi and Maestra Maria. Add to this a Padrino who often serenades her with his guitar (even over something as trivial as an afternoon snack) and we have the foundation for a budding musician.

Malcolm Gladwell points out an excellent aspect of the ten thousand hour rule: when one is practicing a craft and starting from an early age, one needs a strong support network. Gladwell writes, “It’s all but impossible to reach that number all by yourself by the time you’re a young adult. You have to have parents who encourage and support you.” So kudos to all of you out there supporting your little one’s development, whatever their interest.

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It’s a Cricket at 6 months

Step right up and get your fix! Here’s a little Cricket who just celebrated six months in our lives. That’s right, the honor is all hers…ha, ha. Exciting day here on the detour. We enjoyed yet another quick well-check with the doc today. And when I say “enjoyed” that means today’s celebration included my first Coca-Cola of 2015, Dunkin’ Donuts in the late P.M., and a thank you to the Universe for my family’s continued health. Hey, I have no probably showin’ out for my family, but I will always be sure to stay grateful. So here she is today:

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As you can see by the pose, she is getting more active. These monthly shots are going to be more and more tricky to capture, but we’ll keep on! So nothing too profound to add here, just a good day with my girls. I hope yours was good too.

I love photo shoots!

I love photo shoots!

“Ditching your Dad Belly”

I found this article while flipping through an online media reader app on my phone. It comes directly from the Men’s Health Thrive section and deals with busy Dads* fitting in some exercise:

http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/ditch-your-dad-belly

Like many of you, I have completely changed my daily routine since taking on at-home duties over two years ago. When I was managing the body shop I ate most of my “meals” (really just glorified snacks) while running around dealing with our workflow. Now I sit down and eat a complete breakfast and lunch, and sometimes throw in a snack. So my caloric intake is way up. These days I drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day. When I was working it was more like 1-2 cups an hour…for 10 hours. Yeah, I was hydrated, and definitely caffeinated. And now if I “run” from one end of the house it takes about 25 steps. End-to-end at the shop was about 225 steps and I ran it many times all day long. So this change in my daily habit has also changed my body shape. Now add to all of this the time crunch of parenting, which cuts out a lot of workout potential, and we get a Dad Belly. Again, I am sure many of you can relate.

For a while I was waking up at 5:00AM to do the P90X series, but that only lasted 30 days (yes, just 1/3 of the program). Sleep became too important. I considered joining a gym and going after the girls go to sleep, but I have other things I want to do…again, sleep. So I am out of shape and I own it. But in my defense, to-date neither Jillian Michaels nor Bob Harper have popped over to my house to simultaneously train me and babysit so I can get a workout in(I don’t know, sounds like a great new reality show-hint, hint).

So in this parenting context, body weight exercises have become my go-to (okay, it helps to have dumbbells too). They are easy enough to do in the house without a bunch of gear or set-up. And while I have yet to build my “Ultimate Stay-At-Home Dad Workout” (be sure to also check out the link below!), this seems like a good place to start. 20 minutes meant to give you a basic total body workout. Check it out and see what you think. Oh, and if you have some ideas for that ultimate at-home/on-a-child’s-schedule workout, or some great workout motivation, post them up in the comments section.

PERFORMANCE-BOOSTING WARMUP: 5 minutes

Do this: Perform all four exercises in a row without rest. Repeat.

  1. Bear Crawl, 20 yards forward and backward
  2. Body-Weight Jump Squat, 10 reps
  3. Farmer’s Carry, 20 yards
  4. Body-Weight Squat, 10 reps

MUSCLE-BUILDING CIRCUIT: 10 minutes

Do this: Perform all 5 exercises in a row. That’s 1 round. Rest 30 seconds, and then begin again. Do as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes.

  1. Goblet Squat, 12 reps
  2. Push-up, 30 reps
  3. Overhead Press, 12 reps
  4. Plank, 30 seconds
  5. Rest, 30 seconds

FAT-FRYING FINISHER: 5 minutes

Do this: Sprint 20 yards, and then perform a side plank for 15 seconds on each side as an active rest. Repeat. Continue this for 5 minutes straight.

  1. Sprint, 20 yards
  2. Side plank, 15 seconds on each side

I stumbled on this little gem while getting ready to publish. When Wife laughed hard enough to cry I knew I had to include it. Just a bit of humor to lighten all this serious exercise talk.Be sure to watch the workout video…it’s all about the burn!

*While the title of this article specifies “Dad” belly, we here on the detour support all parents in their exercise endeavors. Bellies grow on Moms and Dads – they are not sexist and neither are we.

Career option: Bobsled Team (?!?)

In the Sochi Olympics there seemed to be an influx of female athletes new to winter games, particularly to the sliding events. In particular, the track and field athletes were finding a good fit with the bobsled. Maybe our girls could become a part of the female bobsled legacy…

PUSH!

GO!!!

In order to make a living they would have to be good enough to win. But I think they are cute enough to land some sponsorship deals. I mean, c’mon, I like Wheaties. And a sister team? What a great story-I can see the photo montage now.

On the upside, we would always know where they are, even if that is some country across the globe. Unfortunately, there is that whole belief about Olympians being promiscuous. Ah hell. Oh yeah, and then there’s the possibility of a high-speed crash. Huh.

What?!? Gold?!?

What?!? Gold?!?

Thankfully we still have some time before they decide what they want to be when they grow up.

“You clean my butt please, Papi”

These days it is not surprising to hear this around our house. And it is said, not asked (hence no question mark). It emanates from the bathroom, echoing out of the open door in our sweet, two-and-a-half year old’s voice. Ahhh, the beauty of toilet training.

Sweetie has been diaper free since the 4th of July. We hit a point around mid-November where she stopped having “accidents”, pretty surprising given the excitement of the holidays. With the onset of the new year she was holding her pee through the night, not needing to use the bathroom until she woke up at her normal time. And last month Wife and I started waking up to find that Sweetie had taken herself to the bathroom while we slept.

I would love to say Wife and I could take all of the credit for Sweetie’s potty training. I mean, we did put in the time and the work. But we also had a little help, some guidance from a book called oh crap. potty training by Jamie Glowacki. Glowacki is a long-time social worker and a mother who has spent a lot of time de-mystifying potty training. She wrote and continues to refine a straightforward guide to getting your child out of diapers.

OCPT

Wife and I found many little bits of wisdom in oh crap. Glowacki breaks down the training process into easy to understand ideas that are also easy to implement. She writes in a familiar manner so the information is accessible, no where does she use a patronizing tone. And that’s refreshing since so many people weigh in on childcare and sometimes they can get downright militant.

I don’t want to put Glowacki on a pedestal nor claim that her book is the only viable resource for parents looking for potty training advice. So here are a couple of downsides. First, Glowacki shares a bunch of anecdotes. While this is nice for connecting with her, it really bulks up the book. So Wife read through and edited it down to an outline. Second, she does not commit to a time frame for your potty training adventure. At first she recommends committing a weekend. Then she suggests cancelling social activities for a week. That is amended by talking about 7-10 days of preliminary work. On so on. As I mentioned, we started July 4th, 2014, and I claim January 4th as our “results” date. Six months. Done (sort of). Honestly, I am learning that you can not put a concrete time frame on potty training, so I get it. Plus, I am not trying to sell books and keep readers from being disappointed. The point is that while oh crap has a couple of imperfections, we found it to be a useful resource and a beneficial tool.

If you are approaching the potty training stage check out oh crap. potty training (buy your copy here). Wade through the stories and put together a plan for liberating your little one from diapers. This book left Wife and I feeling all “we got this” as opposed to “what is this?”. Yeah, potty training has been work and it has required a time investment. But with kids, what isn’t? Good luck, we know you can do it too.

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