onvural.net – melih – family man

2019 – Kids in Review

Jan
13

I think that Einstein may have gotten it wrong when he tried to describe the relationship between time and energy as quadratic. The kiddos will gladly take the Nobel Prize once we can figure out the math to explain how quickly this year passed, and how much everyone changed.

My favorite was the three-week trip we did with the kids across Egypt, Italy, and finishing in the UK. They handled the heat incredibly well. They learned a ton, and to this day can quote the things that they learned. The time they spent with the family was incredible. As they’re getting older, and better able to retain the memories, it’s amazing to see them create richer and richer moments. Theo learned how to scare the shit of us in the pool, but bravely jumped in anyway. It was an amazing trip.

I’ve found that 2nd Grade is a hard year regardless of teacher or child. But both 1st Grade and 3rd Grade were quite wonderful. I don’t know what it is about 2nd Grade. We had a teacher tell us that it’s the first year that the kids aren’t babied, and that it makes it a tougher year. Whatever it is though, it’s caused lots of emotions to flow out.

We’ve gotten incredibly lucky with preschool whether the 2s program in SF or the preschool programs all the kids have been through. Theo loves his friends, his teachers, and school in general. He’s the most amazing story teller. He’s got the best laugh, and he still cuddles us. He’s a grown up baby in so many ways. If only we could kick that damn bottle.

Birthday parties spread out from Chuck’e’Cheese to rock climbing to laser tag. Swimming in the river and bowling upstate. The big two discovered that they like to ski. Theo discovered that he likes me pulling him up and down the tubing slopes. We still can’t really get them to go for a hike, but I’m sure we’ll tackle that one soon enough.

Amelia has picked up acting and gymnastics, and loves both. She’s been willing to trade away rock climbing. Luka gave up soccer, and hasn’t found a sport, but he’s a Pokemon card player with his whole retinue of friends. Theodore hasn’t hit the activities scene yet though sneaking him into art class was great, and he seemed to enjoy it (and they him).

Biggest family hack was getting Theo into Cooking Camp this year. Not only did we get him in under the age limit, but then the big kids told the teacher he was allergic to tomatoes all week to only find out at the very end that they’d been pulling her leg. That’s how you know they’re related to me.

It was a horrible year on many fronts, but on the kids front it was wonderful. Maybe the best it’s been yet. And I hope it only gets better from here.

A Pokemon weekend

Nov
10

This weekend we headed up to Mechanicsville, NY to have a go at a Pokemon League Cup. All three kiddos hopped in, and I joined as well (though we competed in different divisions).

In competitive Pokemon there are three point generating levels – League Challenges, League Cups, and Regionals. There are also International Cups, but I have no idea how those work, and so they’re outside my world view 🙂

Luka has been the one in the family with the most success so far, and he looked to continue that streak. But Amelia and Theo both are getting much better – and the fairy deck I inherited from Amelia is one I’m finally figuring out how to play better.

When all was said and done, Luka finished 2nd (out of 4), Amelia 3rd (out of 4), and Theo 4th (out of 4). I finished 22 (out of 28).

The real chaos though came in building the decks mere moments before the tournament started. You see only certain cards are legal, and I totally botched which ones were allowed and weren’t allowed. Poor Theo had to build a whole new deck in the 10 minutes before the tournament started, but he was such a great trooper. We also had a bunch of other Poke Parents help us out, and that was a huge help. It’s a really amazing community from that point of view.

I was bummed out for Luka because he won his first match, and then ended up playing much harder competition than the rest of his peer group. The result was that they had better results than him though he had beaten them in head-to-head competition.

It’s definitely a bug in the Pokemon tournament system I’d love to see resolved.

And the shop where the tournament was hosted was amazing. It’s an old gaming store with old NES, SNES, arcade, and other games. Did you know that a functional version of Mega Man 5 for NES is worth $110?!? Because I sure as hell didn’t!

It was a great Saturday for all of us, and I think we’ve all got some good ideas about how to improve our decks, and move into the next chapter of this season. Maybe I’ll even win 2 matches at the next tournament!

Our life in photos

Jun
28

Another from the Block Party

Apr
24

Amelia's bunting from the block party

Amelia’s bunting from the block party

Amazing how much she’s grown between September and now… and also amazing that we ever wore shorts in this city. Spring can’t come fast enough…

Moving on from Carroll Street :-(

Apr
17

Amelia in the bouncie house at the 2017 Carroll Street block party

Amelia and Theo in the bouncie house at the 2017 Carroll Street block party

We’re getting ready to move up the road (at a pretty obscene price) because of a disagreement with our landlord. It’s going to be sad to be leaving this street, but, fortunately, we’re going to stay in the general neighborhood (and actually get closer to school). It’s been a great house to have as our first NYC home, and we’re going to miss it. But life is giving us a new adventure, and off we go!

This week in review – Jan 14, 2018

Jan
14

This week was a great one…

Starting with my annual trip to CES and ending with a skiing adventure on New York’s Hunter mountain, I really got to live it all up.

This year the Vegas trip was a bit different. Just like last year Doruk came as well, and this year Arda Can joined us. It’s becoming a very different crew – both good and bad. The traditions we’ve kept – steakhouse and show. The emphasis on CES is dying (which kind of makes me sad, but I’m ok with it). And it’s adding a new dimension of exploring and seeing that we’ve been missing for a bit.

Sidebar: I’ve been going to Las Vegas since I was 9 years old. Since I was 12 or 13, I’ve probably been at least once every year of my life. It’s the single place I’ve visited more than any other in the world. Which is a fascinating thought to me. A lot of people hate it – just flat out. But I think I’ve found a 36 or 48-hour version of being there that is fun, refreshing, and doesn’t require you to be an idiot with money.

Unlike this one guy I saw who in 2.5 minutes lost $800 at the Craps table we were playing out :-/

This year’s show was KA (Cirque de Soleil at MGM). Just as spectacular as ever. And we went back to the Capital Grille Steakhouse where we got a new server, but an amazing meal once again.

All in all, a visit that we’ll all remember as one of the good ones.

Then, I hoped on an early morning flight, and headed back to New York. We found a cute house on Hunter Mountain (about 2 hours north of the city), and got out late after dinner. The morning met us with freezing cold temperatures, and a chance to go skiing!

Theo just wasn’t into daycare, and so he hung out with the grown ups while Luka and Amelia took to ski school like champs. By then end of our stay, Amelia was comfortably skiing down green slopes! But the best part – in my opinion – was the snowtubing!!

They had a snowtube park that had 8 or 9 lanes worth of snowtubing, and we had a blast. Theo loved it, and I’ve got some great videos of us making runs down both fast and slow.

The house had a hot tub, and we were of course the idiots who had to try it even though that meant running through about 10 yards of freezing snow in bare feet to get in. Damn those 10 yards were cold! But it was a ton of fun.

AND… the house had an Amazon Echo. We had so much fun asking Alexa the most ridiculous questions. Just in case you’re curious, Alexa won’t tell you much dirt about Jeff Bezos’ personal life 🙂

It was a great week – and getting back to real life is going to be hard.

It’s picture day!

Oct
17

And with that some updates from the kiddos:

Luka and Amelia at PS 321

Luka and Amelia at PS 321

  • Amelia is rocking and rolling through 1st Grade. She’s nailing her math and reading homework, and is really falling in love with reading which is wonderful. She has a new friend, and we went to her birthday party which was great. I’m proud of her for really finding herself so well through this first year in NY.
  • Luka is having a ton of fun in Kindergarten. And now that his friends live close by, I think he’s getting over the hump that slowed him down socially when we first moved here. He’s onto girlfriend #2. She’s in another class, and she has the same birthday as him. That’s all we know so far. Rumors are that #1 doesn’t know it’s over. Which is actually great because as much as I tease him I want him to feel comfortable playing with both boys and girls.
  • And then there’s Theo. He’s delicious. And a complete pain in the ass. But cuddly. And then he claws your face off. To put it in a word – he’s 2.

Thank goodness that everything is going well. Babies are happy. Family is good. We’re all healthy. It’s the simple things that matter after all.

Happy Birthday my darling Micky

Oct
05

What a trip around the sun!

We started this year in San Francisco, and end it in Brooklyn.

We came for a CMO role at a hot retail startup, and find ourselves in a Co-President role as part of a Fortune 1 company.

Baby Theo is becoming a boy. Luka is even more thoughtful, kind, curious, and more as a five-year old. And Amelia is becoming quite the young lady – sass and all.

We saw Turks & Caicos together before running away from Hurricane Irma. We discovered the Catskills. We went deep into New Jersey, Manhattan, and Cape Cod too.

And there to make it all happen is you. You are our foundation, and you continuously lift us all up. And today on your birthday the whole world should know that the best part of our day starts and ends with you.

Happy birthday darling. Here’s to many more!