Friday, January 27, 2012

Operation 100 Goals--Day 67

FYI:  Though I predicted he would crawl soon in the previous post, the little guy has yet to do so.  However, he is able to prop himself up on furniture.  Will he be a toddler that skips right over crawling and moves directly to walking?  Who knows?!  I am excited to see what happens.

Goal:  Keep adding books/reviews to GoodReads each time I finish a book
            I finished a book a few weeks ago and finally got a chance to write up a quick review:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Operation 100 Goals--Day 60

Goal:  Raise my children to be intelligent, compassionate, responsible, successful, and unique by offering them a multitude of experiences

            One of the most rewarding aspects of being home with Caleb at this stage of his life is bearing witness to an awesome amount of growth over a not-so-long period of time.  It wasn’t that long ago that Caleb couldn’t stay on his stomach for more than a few minutes at a time without getting frustrated, and now he’s almost crawling.  I’m betting that by this time next week, he’ll be motoring around the house on all fours while I chase after him!
            Another example involves Caleb’s eating.  It was only a few weeks ago that Caleb started grabbing for the spoon while we fed him, indicating that maybe he was ready to try eating foods that he could feed himself.  We began giving him “puffs”, little cereal-type things that he could pick up and put in his mouth.  The things basically disintegrate with a little saliva and mouth movement, so babies Caleb’s age can safely eat them.  Now, Caleb is eating chunks of banana from the contraption pictured below, and he’s more than capable of eating a banana without the contraption—I just don’t feel like dealing with the mess!:

            When people ask me how my time at home is going, the best word I can come up with for describing the experience is “invaluable”.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Operation 100 Goals--Day 58

Goal:  Raise my children to be intelligent, compassionate, responsible, successful, and unique by offering them a multitude of experiences
Today is a good basketball day for Caleb.  He spent some time this morning working on his “sit shot” (the jump shot will come with time), and later this afternoon, he’s heading over with his mom to watch the 7th grade game that I’m coaching.  I’ll post a picture of him later today in his Livonia basketball outfit that his Aunt Jill got for him, which, of course, he’ll be sporting to the game. 


Here he is:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Operation 100 Goals--Days 52 and 53

            In the Day 30 post, Caleb was pictured playing the piano.  As you can see, he’s moved on to the drums.  He’s still unsure of what instrument he wants to perfect and continues to explore his options.  If the whole musician thing doesn’t work out, he could always be a lumberjack—he already has the outfit...

Goal:  Have children and become a successful father

            When I first started writing the blog, I had just read about baby-proofing houses, and I remember thinking that I should get going on that endeavor while at home with Caleb.  I sort of started yesterday:

            The long and the short of it is this: Caleb is rolling all over the living room, and he finally rolled his curious way over to the entertainment center, where he proceeded to mess around with non-toys.  In a stroke of brilliance, I replaced the non-toys with toys, and what commenced is depicted above.  It turns out, however, that my brilliant idea was actually not so great—my wife is concerned that my maneuver encourages Caleb to grab at items in that area, which we don’t really want him doing in the future.  I guess baby-proofing is a work-in-progress for this guy…

Goal:  Keep adding books/reviews to GoodReads each time I finish a book

            I finished reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.  As I noted in the Day 45 post, I had trouble reading about the way that Jobs sometimes treated people.  Prior to reading the biography, I pictured Jobs being an awesome guy (though my notion was based on nothing at all, now that I think about it), but the biography painted a very different picture of a man who, at times, almost seemed bipolar.  His genius and vision, however, are stunning attributes that will forever cement his name in history.

*Note:  Instead of writing a whole new review of the book in GoodReads, I linked out to my Day 45 post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Operation 100 Goals--Day 51

            I guess I have to accept the fact that now that basketball has started, I will not be able to post as often.  Ah, well…

Goal:  Participate in “No Shave November” and “Moustache March” every year, encourage others to participate, and make donations when funds are available
          I included the picture above for the purpose of displaying beard-growing progress.  Mountain Man-esque at this point with still over a month more to go……this could get crazy.

Goal:  Raise my children to be intelligent, compassionate, responsible, successful, and unique by offering them a multitude of experiences

          Caleb continues to grow both physically and mentally.  He’s almost 20 pounds now, and he’s starting to get pretty good at communicating with people.  He’s quite the clapper these days, banging his hands together anytime someone says “yayyyyy”.  He occasionally waves, gives high-fives, and signs when he’s eating.  Unfortunately, the sign for “more” and clapping are somewhat similar, so I’m not always so sure if he wants more food or he’s clapping because he’s happy he’s eating.  Maybe that explains why he’s 20 pounds already……
            Since I haven’t included many pictures of Caleb lately due to my lack of time for posting, I decided to put some pictures up from the holidays.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Operation 100 Goals--Day 45

            The holiday hiatus from the blog lasted longer than I expected, but I’m back and ready to roll!  If anyone out there has been reading this thing diligently, I apologize for my absence.  I adhere to Steven Covey’s philosophy of “sharpening the saw”, and that’s what I’ve been doing since Winter Break began (spending time with family, reading, playing board games, attending sporting events, watching movies, going to the movies, etc.).  Maintaining the blog while traveling and staying with relatives seemed a little too much like work, so I took some time off.

Goal:  Keep adding books/reviews to GoodReads each time I finish a book/Goal:  Coach Varsity basketball (male or female, but preferably male)
          I got Steve Jobs’ biography for Christmas, and at this point, I’m more than halfway through it.  Overall, the book has me feeling conflicted due to the depiction of Jobs’ character.  I want to like him because of his vision of true excellence and drive for attaining it, but I also find myself disliking him because he often treats people poorly.  As the modified boys’ basketball season kicks off, I am thinking about my coaching with Jobs in mind. 
First, I am continuing the constantly evolving reflective act of building my basketball philosophy, particularly the notion that good basketball teams do many (if not all) of the basics extremely well.  Last year, I shared a “thought for the day” with my team at the start of each practice, and one of the thoughts was the following: “The many little things are a big thing.”  I truly believe this and structure my practices accordingly, and based on what I’ve read so far about Jobs, I think that he and I would be on the same wavelength.  One anecdote in the biography tells of how Jobs, when designing the first Macintosh, was adamant that his engineers make the “guts” of the computer simple and symmetrical.  When his engineers pushed back, arguing that no one would ever see the insides of the machines, Jobs basically wigged out on them and claimed that that’s not the point—the point is that as creators, we should strive for perfection and be proud of what we do.  This fits perfectly with my sense that something as simple as a Form Shooting Drill in basketball practice should be done slowly and precisely, even though the drill itself is not all that exciting and does not even replicate true shooting form.  Instead, the drill takes the act of shooting a basketball down into one of its components (its “guts”, if you will), thus improving the finished product of each athlete’s shooting form.  It’s a little thing that amounts to a big thing—scoring points needed for victory.
The other way in which I’m thinking about coaching through the lens of the biography has to do with Jobs’ treatment of people.  As a coach, I have always believed in the power of positivity.  I had coaches in high school who screamed at me, and I definitely remember what they taught me…to block out their obnoxiousness.  I bet this isn’t the life lesson these coaches had in mind for me.  With that said, I will never be “yeller”.  Jobs was a yeller (and a swearer, too!), and though he was extremely successful, he also turned a lot of people off.  I do realize from his example that there are times when firmness and passion are necessary for making a point and getting results, but I still believe that leaders (CEOs, coaches, teachers, etc.) can go too far.  “Going too far” in this sense makes me and many of my athletes uncomfortable, so I won’t do it—I’ll consciously reign myself in.  When Jobs really hit his stride was the times when he praised workers and rewarded them for their efforts.  One coworker interviewed by the author of the biography noted that Jobs had the ability to make people feel like they were the center of his universe, and when they felt this way, they would do anything for him.  This boils down to our desire as humans to feel appreciated.  When we don’t, we don’t perform.  I will make sure to stay positive this season as I work with the 7th graders so that they feel good about themselves and experience a sense of accomplishment. 

*Note: You may have noticed that my goal mentions coaching at the Varsity level—ultimately, this is my goal, but in the meantime, I coach my 7th graders with planning, precision, and pride in much the same manner that I will coach a Varsity team if I ever get the opportunity.)

**Note:  I did not include a picture of Caleb today because he is very sick—I didn’t want to subject him to the camera!