Sensory Board

Erin came to me the other day and showed me her laptop with over 20 tabs open. She had been researching “sensory boards” and wanted to show me some of her favorite ones.

What is a Sensory Board? (Well it might have many different names but that’s what we call it). A Sensory Board is a board with items attached to it. It is mainly for toddlers – so they can explore and play. Items such as switches, velcro, rings, cups, bells, etc. Anything that a toddler would love to interact with. More importantly, anything similar to household items they may want to play with but can’t – so now we put them on a special board where they can play with it.

After a few weeks of talking about it and searching Google for ideas, we decided to build one of our own. This week I went on a trip to the local thrift store, where I found some door knobs, rings, small toys, and some plastic bowls and buckets. Then I went to Home Depot and (count my lucky stars) found the perfect size particle board (Dumpster Dove it!) and then went inside to purchase some rope, door stoppers, fence locks, and anything else I thought would be a good item for our board.

Bringing it back home I felt pretty proud. Suburban dad coming back with the spoils of the hunt.

Fast forward a few days of staying up way too late – and we are just about finished. I’m very proud of how it’s coming along and can’t wait to let our boys try it out.

Here are some photos of how it’s coming along:

2016 – The Year of Changes

I can’t believe the entire year has gone by and I haven’t written a blog post yet! But I have a good excuse, really! This has been a super busy year for me and I feel like I’m flat on my face sometimes. Also, most of my “Life Updates” get published on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. It’s what my family uses these days so it makes it a more viable source of communication. But I still want to blog here. I’ve kept a blog since 1999 (before I called it a blog). Anyways, here I am now, spending New Year’s Eve blogging 🙂

It has truly been a year of changes. Not just for myself and close family, but it seems for the world as well.

Let’s take a look at some major events this year:

  1. Donald Trump became President of the United States (is this real life?)
  2. Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia) and her mother die within 1 day of each other
  3. Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
  4. Wells Fargo phony account scandal comes to light
  5. Pebble Watch company surprisingly go out of business
  6. The EM Drive might be a real thing
  7. Gravitational waves detected
  8. And more…. but I want to move on because this blog is about more personal matters.

Personal life changes in 2016:

  1. Our twin boys are born on Jan 3rd (first time parents!)
  2. My father in law passed away unexpectedly in February
  3. I hire my first full-time employee (D3FY Development Group – www.d3fy.com)
  4. We bought our first car (minivan)
  5. We moved to Tucson along with most of Erin’s siblings
  6. My sister opens up about having a girlfriend
  7. My brother lives and works in another country for the first time in his life
  8. My dad’s best friend, and long-term family friend tragically passed away
  9. We got a second dog (kind of adopted from a family member)

All in all – it has been an eventful year. Top it off with raising twin babies amongst all of this and it has definitely been a busy year full of changes!

Change is good. Hardships are good. This year I have grown a lot in ways I didn’t know I needed to grow in! I’ve been pushed to my emotional and physical limits as a new parent, family man, and business owner. I had no idea I could operate on such little sleep (thanks to raising newborn twins) while having to execute important tasks throughout the day within my business. Thank you especially to my wife and best friend Erin – for all she does to raise our kids. I help out, but she is da real MVP. 

Raising children is a labor of love – of which I humbly admit I was ignorant to how hard it was. I would compare raising a child to that of summiting a mountain. Both push your limits and help you grow spiritually as a result. The mental challenge of both seem to trigger the same emotions in my heart and soul.

Well I don’t have time to go into every detail on that list I made above – it’s about 12am and time to do a quick countdown…. 5..4..3..2..1..

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

In 2016, my “Life Theme” was to work more efficiently. I can happily say that I’ve done that. I am much better at finishing work around 5 or 6pm and I hardly work late hours anymore. I’ve learned to focus on the most important things and leave out the rest. And not just in business, in life too. I can’t take all the credit. Children and family responsibilities have forced me to get efficient or crash and burn. If only I could take the self-control and introspection I’ve gained now and apply it back when I was in my 20’s, hahaha…. ha… ha.. um yeah don’t we all. Life is good just the way it is – if you learn to smell the roses.

Okay so this year – 2017 – my Life Theme is going to be:

Taking action having personal mindfulness.

Meaning being aware of my own true desires and acting on them. One of the biggest struggles of my life is my lack of confidence about my own abilities and desires. This one thing has kept me from achieving goals which I have wished to have, and although I’m very capable of achieving them, I did not. My struggle in life isn’t that I can’t do it, it’s that I don’t do it because I think I can’t. This leaves my heart feeling sad and recognize it as the next step in my interpersonal progression.

So I’m going to fuel my belief that I CAN do it. This goal includes how I treat others as well. Being mindful about my own emotions, and also being mindful about other’s own emotions.

Looking forward to writing more blog posts this year. I miss doing it. I’d really like to start blogging more often.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2017 going to be? What will your Life Theme be?

P.S. I’ve also updated the theme of this blog to the new WordPress 2017 theme. I also spent about 30 minutes finding old photos to put as the header image – which was a lot fun to go through and reminisce about.

Married, With Children

Man it’s been so long since I’ve written anything here! Well I’m heading off to bed really soon so I’m not going to write a lot, but I do miss blogging.

As I look back, I am amazed (as is probably everyone) at how the internet has changed our world. I’m happy to be a small part of it, and happy to be still (sometimes) writing!

A lot has happened since my last entry. For one, I got married in August. Yup, married my best friend – the girl next door 😉 We now live in our own little house and we are expecting twin boys to be born within the next 4 weeks! I can’t believe I’m going to be a dad! (cue the dad-jokes)

All I can say about it is, I hope to be the best father I can. I keep thinking about my life and how it will effect theirs. I want to help them learn so many things. I think about the challenges our boys will have in this world and how it could all be different by the time they are 5 years old. I have no idea what the specific challenges will be, so I plan on helping them to understand good principles of life, so that they can use those in any situation.

Some principles I hope to teach them are:

  1. Mindfulness: the art of being aware of your emotional state and the possible state of others around  you. Respecting other people’s boundaries as well as your own.
  2. Balance: The art of balance is one which I am still working on myself. I want to help teach this principle through meditation, self-education, and physical activities. I feel that balance is especially important in today’s world where we can be overwhelmed with 1-sided philosophies and even 1-sided activities (i.e. on the computer all day without any exercise)
  3. Love: Yep, simple love. I like what Mr. Rodger’s mother told him “When tragedy happens, look for the helpers. You will always find people trying to help.” I want my children to understand love, even when times are tough.

I’m also grateful for my wife – who has been a real hero through her pregnancy – taking care of both herself and our children as she tries to finish school and graduate (hopefully before) the babies are born. She has helped my be a more mindful person, and I’m lucky to have her by my side as we start a family.

Notes on the past week

Went all the way to El Paso, TX. Visited the sister.
Hitchhiked from Albuquerque to Moab. 4 rides, 5 interesting people, 1 night camping, 9 hours of travel (includes standing on the road).
Back in Salt Lake. Time to work and earn some money.
Visiting JoC was awesome and I love her job; so does she 😉
Currently freelancing work doing websites. Taking Calculus too.
USU in the Fall. Yes… more school for me. I’m gonna be an Engineer.
Environmental? Aerospace? Mechanical making outdoor equipment?
Next travel destination: California

–WBC–

Prom Kids

This is a wonderful picture of us and I don’t know why we’re all dressed up – it must be a Sunday. I knew that this was taken with my dad’s old 35mm SLR from the 1970’s.

All I can remember is that it was taken in Hemet at the “white house”, and that dress my sister has on was the one she made for Prom.

At my parents house

Man I’ve been writing in my blog a lot lately! Well actually, the pictures (by themselves) are sent to my blog via my cell phone, which is fast and easy, so it doesn’t really count as sitting at my computer and “blogging.”

Anyways, I’ve been pretty busy around my parent’s house. I’ve had a great time taking care of things. My jeep’s radiator is shot so tomorrow I’m going to look for a new one. Later this week I’m going to USU to take a first hand look at a school I may be attending in the Spring.

BTW, I’ve been accepted to ASU… did I mention that already?

NEW stuff… If you’ll notice on the right column of this blog there are some new features. First, the slideshow… that’s cool. Next, everybody’s blog I link to has an RSS update feed! (in English, it automatically “grabs” a part of their blog and posts it so you know if they’ve updated their blog or not). Way cool! Thanks Google!!!