Sunday, April 28, 2013

Daddy Blog Update from the Half Marathon Weekend

Erica is in Nashville.  I'm so jealous.  I love Nashville.  I love country music, love live music and love old bars with great stories.  So I love Nashville. 
She is in Nashville as she ran in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  I'll let her update you on how awesome she did in her next blog post about her weekend.  

I'll simply update you on the weekend at home with Rory and I.  

Here is the overall schedule: 

Friday -- Picked up From Day Care, Home, Hot Dog Dinner, Played Hard, Tub, Bed

Saturday -- Woke Up Early, Breakfast, Scared of Cooper, Shopping at Target, Nap in Car, Went to Softball Games to Watch a Dane player and taught Rory how to kick a soccer ball, Nap in Car, Sandwich Dinner, Bad Poop = Tub, Bed

Sunday -- Woke Up, Egg Breakfast, Played Real Hard, Early Nap, Lunch, Cub Food Shopping, Played Hard, Afternoon Nap, Got Caught in the Rain after wagon ride to Park, Mickey, Dinner, Tired Wining, Tub, Bed, Talking in Sleep about Doggies

So things I thought about this weekend:

It seems the average 40+ year old woman who always seems to interact with me like Dads are idiot parents.  Honestly, is there any group of people more underestimated than Dads.  We were out in 70 degree temps and super awesome "first sun of the year".  No less than 7 strangers asked me "if I had put sunscreen" on Rors.  

Look at me; do I look like the guy who "FORGETS" anything to do with sunscreen.  This type of "reminder" makes sense if I'm a black guy who had a pale white daughter BUT anyone who looks at me and my own skin might want to consider that I might be on top of the risks of the sun and unlotioned skin. 

But my point is this, NO ONE would say that to Erica.  NO female would cross that bridge, it would be too offensive.  

So it got windy today before the rain.  Rors and I were walking into the grocery store and I was letting her walk next to me holding my hand.  We do this a lot now as it helps Rory to use up energy BUT also helps her to become better and more aware and involved.  Strong overall parenting there, don't do everything for your 19 month old BUT always keep them safe.  

An 80 year old lady says to me as she passes me returning her cart "you better hold on to her, she'll blow away in the wind".  And she didn't say it with any sense of humor or tone of laughter; it was more a judgmental statement that only those who were born in the Hoover era know how to execute.  

Did she really think that I was going to let my 19 month old daughter loose in the parking lot of Cub Foods.  Even Mother Ducks treat their ducklings better than this.  

Finally, I'm not babysitting Rory.  She is my daughter.  Dad's are not babysitters, they are Dad's.  Rory has wonderful babysitters BUT to compare my relationship and care taking skills for my own kid to a temporary caretaker is unacceptable. 

I'm sure there are other examples, these were two that stood out.  I think the issue is partially that Dads do a horrible job of brand management.  We allow ourselves to be branded as the victim of "Daddy's Little Girls", totally inept at basic things like changing diapers, "babysitters" and other crappy ideas. 

But let me tell you, there are a few things that clearly Rory has to overcome when she is is forced to use "societies view" of her second string parent.  

She has horrible hair days.  I tried EVERY single day to make her hair look as good as Erica does.  I understand the overall strategy, 2 pony tails in the back ideally symmetrically located; then one pony tail on the top that keeps her hair out of her eyes which if left as a pony tail GOES straight up in the air so you take a clip and clip that down to her hair.  Simple right?  No way.  

Each day we lost 2 of 3 of the pony tail rubber bands and all 3 days we lost the clips.  When they were in her hair, they were too loose and very uneven.  It was bad.  I felt horrible for her.  But it is literally not my fault; I simply do not have the small motor skills to pull it off.   It is to the point now where Rory doesn't even get upset with me even though I know i'm hurting her as she sees the pain in my face as I fail over and over.     

The other thing that happens is that she ends up having to get a tub every night.  I think it must be my menu; it seems they are always messy.  I mean Messy to the point of the "extra tub".  

All in all, Rory and I had a blast over the weekend even if we often looked messy with bad hair.  I hope you are as excited as I am to read Erica's blog on her trip to Nashville.  

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Weekend with StuPop and Laura!

This week was Young Child Appreciation Week! Today was Rock Star Day! Here is my little Rock Star!

Although I hate when Rory is sick, I do appreciate the extra time with her. I was so excited to spend last Wed with her and then I worked from home while Tim took care of her Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday we had a great time with my Dad and Laura (more on that in a minute), but I will say that by Sunday evening I think everyone in our house was sick of each other. Rory was being purposely defiant, I think she probably had 10 timeouts on Sunday. I think she was just bored after spending 5 straight days with us.
I was happy to send Rory to school on Monday. I loved the extra time with her but it was also a nice reminder that I chose to be a working Mom for a reason. Props to all you stay at home Moms, no idea how you do it.

Friday night we met my Dad and Laura at Mexicana Rosa for dinner. We had a great meal. Rory was a little bit shy but it was kind of loud in there and I think she was still feeling sick at that point.

Saturday I met my Dad, Laura and Ann at Goldy’s Run. Laura, Ann and I ran the 10 mile and my Dad did the 5K. My goal going in was to beat my 12 mile pace from the week before which was 11:18. I secretly wanted to get in under 11 minutes but I thought that was a lofty goal. Well, it turns out I greatly underestimated myself. I was able to keep up with speedy Ann for about 6 miles until I told her to go ahead and I would slow my pace a bit. At that point I think we were averaging about an 10:15 pace. I finished the final 4 miles just a touch slower and completed the race in 1 hour 46 minutes. That’s 10:36 pace! Yep, I am fast! Not really, but this was my 5th run of 10 miles or more and was my fastest pace! I think all this strength training is making me faster, thats the only thing I have changed in the last couple of weeks and I have seen a huge difference.

After the race we went to Lion’s Tap for a burger. I wanted to take them somewhere that was unique to the area and I needed something greasy after burning almost 2000 calories! For the rest of the day we just hung out at my house and played with Rory. Rory warmed up to both Laura and my Dad and had a great time!

Who knew my Dad and I both shared a love of the E.T. photo!

Sunday we met for breakfast at The Good Earth. It was such a fun weekend!

This week everything is back to normal in our house. Rory is as school, I am at work and Tim is one a work trip. We have a jam packed week ending with a shower on Saturday for Nicole and Baby O! I can’t wait!

Today is day 12 of my 60 day challenge and I am loving the Shakes and the program!  I've lost about 3 lbs already and can already feel a difference in how my jeans fit!  My last taper run is this weekend, only 8 miles!  And Nashville is 1 week away.  At this point I am way more excited for the Honky Tonks, Craig Morgan, Food and Friends then for the actual race.  But I am sure I'll get more excited as the week goes by.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thinking about Boston and Runners Everywhere

The tragic events in Boston have been striking me especially hard this week. You know how some tragedies just feel closer than others? They are all horrible but sometime an image or a connection sticks out and it resonates differently. This one hurts. I am runner and part of the running community. I am wearing a race shirt today in support of Boston, the victims and all runners everywhere. It’s devastating to me that competitive racing - something that is athletic and healthy and joyous – is forever changed by this horrific event. No matter how much time passes or what security protocols we change it will always be in the back of our minds that races are vulnerable. It scares me. But I think the best statement I saw was that we have to continue to do what we love, keep running!

I know I posted this on Facebook, but its really powerful to me so I wanted to share again.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Our Week

I haven't been in the blogging mood.  I don't know why but I've just been busy and nothing seems worth writing about.  Sorry loyal fans!   But, I'll give you an update on our week thus far.

We got a call from daycare on Tuesday at about 4:00 that Rory had a 104.7 fever so we rushed over and picked her up and took her straight to the doctor.  They checked for all the obvious things but nothing stood out so they determined it was just a virus.  Whew!  Since then her fever had been back and forth between 99 and 102.  Medicine has only been lasting a few hours until her fever goes back up again.  She has slept a ton and has actually been pretty good about eating and drinking fluids.  She's feeling a little better today but it seems to be taking forever for her to shake this!

Rory and Smoochalito on Day 1...

Rory is going through a stuffed animal obsession phase!  She likes to sleep with a couple and carrys them around sometimes.  She loves to hug and kiss them.  She definitley has her favorites too.  Its really cute!

I started my 60 day challenge this week!  I took measurements and before photos and even did a fitness test before I started so I am really hoping this program works! I'm excited to be trying something new.  I am doing the ChaLean Extreme workout program, I've done 4 of the 5 weekly workouts so far and I really like it!  Plus, I still have 2 more weeks of Half Training.

My Dad and Laura are visiting this weekend!  So excited to spend some time with them!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Guest Blogger: Daddy goes to Italy

Well here we go again, I'm going to replace Erica and take another run at being the "Guest Blogger" on Happenings from the Husted Household. I've had a few other posts but certainly this is Erica's blog and I think she does a great job with it. I enjoy learning along with you about things happening in my own house. 

Since I only post a blog once a month, I tend to post long blogs. Sorry this is so long. 

As Erica noted in her last blog, I was in Italy this week. 

My job at times includes a lot of travel, including international travel, often for a week at a time. This year already I have spent a week in Costa Rica, a week in Paris and a week in Rome. 

I realize I'm not setting any records here; many other people travel every single week and truly live the "Up in the Air" lifestyle. That isn't me. I also know that many of my trips, including all overseas afford me the luxury of sitting in business/first class. It would be unfair for me to let you think that the travel experience is grueling for me. 

When I took this job, We knew travel would be part of my job (I work for a travel management company). That said, there is a real dichotomy with me and travel. 

On one hand, I love the opportunity to see the world, work with global peers and learn from relationships with people of so many different cultures. I have gained a strong global mindset which helps me both personally and professionally. I have had the chance to see some of the most iconic places in Europe, do work in near paradise locals and even go to a few less known locations. 

In the 6+ years since I took this gig; I have gone from "i don't' want to leave the US" to visiting 12 countries including England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Brazil, Bahamas, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Canada, Poland and India. I expect to add 2 more this year already. 

That said, time away from home wears on me emotionally and I although I have learned to adjust, I'm not as much a fan of sleeping or spending time in hotel rooms. I hate long flights home (like this one I'm on while writing this draft) as I'm always anxious to get home and get back to normal. At times I can get lonely, especially on travel days when I lack social interactions to distract me.

I realize this is a Mommy/Rory blog so I'll get back on theme a little. I think Rory understands when Daddy is gone but I'm sure she doesn't understand the concept of "work". I'd guess that in Rory's head, we drop her off at day care and then go home and play cups, watch Mickey, pull each other around in the wagon and eat. She only knows what she sees and she doesn't really see us "working". I wonder where she thinks I am when I travel? 

When I'm leaving, I feel sad. I usually get over it but if I see a young kid or Mickey Mouse; I immediately think of Rors and miss home. 

I'm not sure but for this trip Erica and Rors took me to the airport. When I went to give her a kiss goodbye, Rory cried. I can't tell you that she was crying because I was leaving; it easily could have been that she wanted to get out of her car seat or that she was hungry. That said, it was a tough flight to Amsterdam thinking about her crying. 

I also feel guilty a little that I get to do cool things while Erica has a much tougher week without me to share the parenting duties. I always try to balance the importance of sharing my experiences of my trips with the need to not make Erica resent me. It it's tough to balance. If I share too little,it feels shady but if I share too much it feels unfair to Erica.

The reality is that it isn't always work on these trips; often I can do fun tourist stuff on my first travel day (overnight flights land in Europe in the morning) AND often there are work dinners that are in fun areas). 

I had two experiences this week in Italy I am going to share. I've already shared the first with Erica and I doubt she'll care about the second. 

I had two focuses in Italy. The primary focus was to lead a full day of training on Thursday and to co-facilitate training on Wednesday afternoon. Joining that priority was a meeting on Tuesday to prepare for the training. But it did give me a break as Wednesday was the travel day for the Europeans who were coming for the training so we started at 12:45 PM. That gave me a random Wednesday morning free. 

One of my best friends at work is a peer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lived in Miami when he was a kid, speaks perfect English and is a great guy. His Mom tipped him off that the Pope would be in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday morning at 10:30 AM. We decided to go. As a catholic, the chance to see the pope speak in the Vatican City seemed like a must-do opportunity. I assumed he'd come out of one of the window and speak for a few mins. I was so wrong. 

We got there and the crowd was growing. A bunch of people had "blue invites" but we simply walked past the first security process and walked up to a barrier. We knew we'd have to wait an hour so we leaned against the barrier. And the crowd grew. And then the section that we were corralled in was filled and we were 3/4 the way back in the square from the alter on the steps. 

The entire square was packed. People were singing. There was a ton of positive energy. There were priests with their church groups, many nuns, flags for so many countries. It honestly felt like a rock concert in a huge stadium. The anticipation was huge. 

So now we are packed in and Gonzalo says, why are the people on the other side of the walkway facing us? He starts to think that the Pope will come right past us. I doubted that. 

He was right. We had a front row seat for the Pope's procession. He drove right past us; like within 9 feet (or like 3 meters) We heard him speak but left before it started as we needed to get back for our 12:30 PM meeting. It was an amazing experience. As i write this I realize I don't seem to have the words to truly explain the feeling of the moment. 

The second experience was a weird moment. This is my second time to Rome. The first trip to Rome, all free time was used to see things. I saw the Coliseum, I saw the hole in the top of the Pantheon. I threw a coin in Trevi Fountain. I has gelatto in Piazza Novona walked through the oldest church in rome in Piazza Trastavere etc etc. 

This time, my focus was more subtle. We spent the nights watching the Champions League matches and Europa League matches. There is a small group of guys who attend many of the same meetings I attend and so it was our social guy time watching the football (or as you call soccer). So we found the most italian sports bar we could find; which was a Scottish Pub. It was filled with Americans (or as I call them Canadians) and Brits. Once the games were over it was around 11:00 PM and we were moving from the Scottish Pub to a "Wednesday Night Bar" and walked what seemed like halfway across Italy

So we are walking and most of the time I'm watching my Peruvian buddy who lives in France but is a great person to travel with as he speaks like 5 languages fluently including Italian try to read the map. And I also spent much of the time complaining how walking on cobblestone streets sucks. 

And we walked right past the Pantheon and no one really reacted. It has been in constant use since the 5th century.  People come there simply to see it; we walked right past it.   

So I tell these two stories because they seem to be aligned with the two things that I think I'm learning from having to deal with the dichotomy of my work travel. 

The first story leads me to this idea. Maybe I am a good Dad if I bring home the "adventures" of my trips. If I share them with Rory through meaningful gifts, pictures and stories throughout her childhood; I'll hopefully trigger a desire in her to have a global mindset and experiences younger than I did. I know that for her to be successful in her generation, this will be key. Maybe there is a little bit of a role model here for her, as she watches her Dad embrace learning and experience new cultures, locations etc 

And the second story leads me to this idea, it is very easy in life to take for granted things that are familiar. Maybe the time away is not the issue; maybe the focus is on what I can control which is to appreciate the time at home more. Maybe that makes me a better husband and Dad. 

And finally, maybe this won't matter at all because 14 year old Rory probably won't care where the hell Dad is anyhow. Maybe this is like anything with kids, a phase that I'll have to deal with but not one that will have lasting impacts. 

Erica "She was just crying about the car seat." 

Follow me on Twitter: @tjhusted

If you want to see my other blog about softball and coaching: The Navy and White

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Class Photos!

I got Rory's class photos today!

Although we bought a DSLR for the purpose of not having to settle for awful class photos, I couldn't resist getting a few prints of this first one for my desk, our mantel and for Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles.  It's just too cute!

Here's Rory's class and teacher Miss Coreena as of picture day!  (From left to right: Tyson, BraElle, Cori, Kai, Rory and Danny).  I swear they are a happier group then this picture indicates!

I would call these 2 Outtakes!!!

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter Weekend

Tim and I always talk about how I try to do too much.  I love to stay busy and definitely have a jam packed schedule.  But I love it.  Well, sometimes somethings got to give.  And this week it was blogging.  So sorry for my absence but work has been crazy, Tim is in Rome, Half training is nearing the end (22 days till Nashville!) and I have just had no time to even think about what to post let alone post anything.

So this will be short and sweet.  We had a really fun Easter weekend!  You may have saw on FB that we went to Afternoon with the Bunny on Saturday.  They had live animals, an Easter Bunny, a craft, and Easter egg hunt and a dance party!  Rory seemed to have a blast.  She pet the animals, stared at the freaky Easter bunny (he has no pupils!), made a bunny on a stick and put all of her egg's in other kids baskets (literally).  We didn't know we had to bring a basket for her so she went around and just put her eggs in other kid's baskets, it was very cute!

I love this photo of her holding Daddy's hand smiling while we wait to get in.  We got a zillion compliments on her dress!

Sunday Tim left for Rome so we woke up and Rory looked for her Easter basket.  She was pretty excited about all the Mickey stuff she got.  It's looking like this will be the last year we can get the "Rory in her Easter Basket" shot!  But don't be surprised if I try! And yes, she is wearing Christmas Pajamas!

Rory did get to try M&M's for the first time.  I let her have about 8 and of course she asked for more for about 30 minutes!  She loved them!

By the way, I am starting a 60 day fitness challenge on Monday that I am really excited about.  More on that to come.  Yep, once again trying to do too much.  I know, I know!

Remember Rory's First Easter post?  She fit much better in the basket then!

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