onvural.net – melih – family man

Finding the swimming sweet spot


We just got back from swimming. We’ve changed from our Saturday afternoon slot to a Tuesday evening slot, and it’s totally changed how the kids engage. I feel like we’ve finally found their swimming sweet spot.

Our Saturday teacher was a woman named Simone who is a fantastic swimming teacher. Amelia bloomed under her, and grew by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, Luka just couldn’t get into it. Worse… we were always late, and they were always waking up early from their naps to go.

It was just way too hard to make it all happen, and so even though leaving Simone was a hard choice, we decided to try out a new night.

I think Jenny is going to be a good teacher as well, but, more than anything else, I think we’re finally not stressing out their sleep cycle, it’s much easier to get there (and so we get the full lesson), and the class size is slightly smaller. It’s meant that Luka is finally putting his head under water, and Amelia just keeps getting better and better.

It also gives us our Saturday afternoon’s back, and we don’t feel like we lose an entire day of the weekend to having to do kid’s activity.

I just don’t get why the pool would have their 1 – 2 year old classes at THE primo nap time for that age group. It just doesn’t make sense :-/

We’re really sad we’ve lost Simone, but we’re really excited about the kids being into swimming. We’ve found their swimming sweet spot 🙂

A father’s shadow


In case you missed it, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won this year’s Daytona 500.

My driver is Kasey Kahne (a choice I made by saying whoever won Rookie of the Year the first year I watched NASCAR would be my guy). It’s been a good choice (even though there have been some rough years), and while the Daytona 500 wasn’t good to him, I have a good feeling about this year… but I digress.

Junior has the fortune/misfortune of being the son of the greatest (or maybe #2) stock car driver of all time. He’s ridden that to some great highs (twice winning the Busch series driving for his dad’s team), and some incredibly lows (two multiple year winless streaks that have haunted him). I think personally though that he’s handled it all well, and this win is I think the beginning of him coming out of his father’s shadow.

The thing is, I really get what it’s like to be Junior.

My dad started and sold a company during the first bubble at first bubble valuations. My aunt got him a t-shirt that translated the price to Turkish lira, and given the ratio was $1:1mil TL at the time, it was a huge number.

All I knew growing up was science and technology were going to open the doors for me to do the same thing. I never considered anything else except computer science/electrical engineering as a profession. I loved economics, french, and the film class I used to sneak into with Jordan, but those were never going to be a profession. At most, they’d be a hobby.

And there has been a really long lull where I felt like this was an awful choice. I would never find a way out of that shadow. And I don’t know that I’m out yet, but it’s really starting to feel like the possibility is there. And it’s really uplifting. And it’s really terrifying. But mainly, it’s exciting.

It’s a long and lonely thing a father’s shadow. But the other side is a story of a journey well traveled, and a life well lived.

That age where going out together is fun again


Tonight we took the babies to the beach after their naps. This is my first new favorite thing about our location. We haven’t really had the chance to urban hike Golden Gate park, and that would be next I think. Biking as a family third, but I digress.

When we were in the UK winter of 2012, we ended up at this awesome hotel outside Bath whose name I forget. It was targeted at families, and had kids stuff, menus, a daycare area, and indoor pool. It was amazing.

The best part was that everyone else had kids. So when your kids were screaming at dinner, you were just one in a crowd. It was incredibly liberating.

After the beach, we went to the Park Chalet. Kids played outside as we waited. We sat down, ordered and ate. They were amazing. We all played silly games. They ate their dinner. We all had dessert. They were genuinely easy, and the evening was fantastically wonderful. Amelia even threw down a rendition of “Say Something” for all to enjoy.

From that hotel outside Bath to the Park Chalet we went from being in the screaming masses to a lovely family dinner for 4.

Another first – Amelia’s first song request


We’re on our way to swimming today, when Amelia decides to drop a big first – her first song request. When she asked for it, I was really surprised, and didn’t actually believe her at first. Then… she started singing the lyrics, and I had no choice.

What was you ask?

None other than:

It’s a really pretty song, and Miss Amelia can belt it like no other. She got her dad’s voice 🙂 and love for top 40 music.

Preschool update


I feel like I’m applying for colleges all over again…

Amelia went to her first preschool interview today. I’m sure it went as well as it could. But it’s a really unnerving experience. One school (who took a $90 application fee) didn’t even invite us to an interview. This school today spent an hour getting to know the kids (which I think is really awesome), but I don’t know how they compare Amelia (2.5 years old) with kids who are older (some who just missed the cut-off, and so are almost 3.5 years old). I know they know, but the fact that I don’t is unnerving.

There are a few other schools in the hopper as well. One of them is blind admission, and so it’s 100% based on the essay we wrote.

If my college admissions rate is an indicator there, then poor Amelia 🙁

It’s hard too because wherever she ends up, there’s almost a certainty that Luka is there as well. I don’t love that scenario because I do think he’d be better off at his own school, but the logistics of it are awful.

So fingers crossed today went well. I really like this school, and if it worked out, then we’d be ecstatic.