Questionable Wisdom from a Stay-At-Home Parent.

by in / Daddy Stuff
My Dancing Boys and their Sweet Moves

My Dancing Boys and their Sweet Moves

My local fellow-SAHD friends Aaron and Ryan, aka Micah & Me, gave the boys a great opportunity to cut a rug recently. Somehow Google+ automatically generated this sweet GIF of the action for me. :-)

/ Read Article /
by in / Daddy Stuff
Why, yes, as a matter of fact he can do this and still be “ALL BOY.”

Why, yes, as a matter of fact he can do this and still be “ALL BOY.”

My toddler loves “babywearing” his stuffed monkey, who he also puts down for naps, feeds, and soothes when she is sad or scared.

He also loves running, laughing, spinning, tickle fights, building, and randomly roaring like a dragon/dinosaur/lion.

There are many ways to be “all boy.”

Do you agree?

/ Read Article /
by in / Daddy Stuff
I am the Keeper of my Kid’s Memories

I am the Keeper of my Kid’s Memories

There’s a little game my son Tucker used to play with us, starting when he was about two years old and continuing up until he was four. We called it “Death Scenes.”

It is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: he took the stage (i.e. he stood in the middle of the living room) and acted out his death in dramatic fashion. Usually this involved a grab to the throat as if choking, much gasping and wide-eyed gurgling, followed by a collapse to the floor, and a slight death rattle as a mortal coil was shuffled off. Sometimes it was instead some mysterious stomach ailment. Almost always, this dramatic death was followed by the sudden resurrection and rise of a gruesome, adorable zombie, who immediately began moans of “Bwaaaaaains! Bwaaaains!” and started attempting to consume the delectable grey matter of his unsuspecting audience. Unlike traditional zombies, these walking dead were typically only repelled via the judicious use of tickles.

/ Read Article /
My #FrozenChefMadness Recipe: Bánh Mì Meatball Sliders with Cherry Lime Smoothie

My #FrozenChefMadness Recipe: Bánh Mì Meatball Sliders with Cherry Lime Smoothie

Last week I told you about a contest I was entering, where I was challenged to make a delicious March Madness snack using at least frozen food products. Well, tonight at the #FrozenChefMadness Twitter Party my entry was honored to be named as one of the #EliteAte, which means I am into the semi-finals! Soon they will announce the #FinalFour and then me, as the winner.

Okay, maybe I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself — some of the competition is pretty intimidating — but I am really proud of this dish, and I think you’ll love it if you try it.

So without further ado, the promised recipe!

/ Read Article /
How the DVD release of Frozen has forever changed Family Movie Night

How the DVD release of Frozen has forever changed Family Movie Night

I don’t know what it is about Frozen that has made it such a huge hit — I mean, other than the obvious all-around excellence that makes it massively appealing to children and adults — but clearly Disney is not oblivious to it. The release of Frozen on DVD yesterday felt like it happened really fast (strike while the fire is hot, I guess), but man, I have never in my life heard from more parents who were happy to go pick up a movie on the week it was released.

Get comfy, moms and dads and aunts and uncles and grandparents the world over, because you’re going to be seeing this one a lot.

 

/ Read Article /
I caught #FrozenChefMadness! Have you?

I caught #FrozenChefMadness! Have you?

Being a family of avid (well, enthusiastic, at least) gardeners, we’re no strangers to the problem of sometimes having way more fresh, ripe produce than we can use. Last year we had seven rather abundant tomato plants, for goodness sake. As a result, we have had to learn to preserve what we grow. That has definitely meant a lot of canning, and pickle-making, but for some foods my experience has led me to prefer one method over the rest: freezing.

/ Read Article /
by in / Daddy Stuff
“I love you Dada… I just love Mama more.”

“I love you Dada… I just love Mama more.”

My oldest son is a major cuddler.

We often joke that, like his Mama, his Love Language is “snuggles” and he has long been most content to curl up in a lap, or to climb into bed just to be next to you. Some of his most emotional low-points as a toddler were times when I was too busy with something to give him attention, while he cried out pitifully “But I just want you to hooooold meeeee!”

“I love you Dada…” he said the other night. We were on the floor next to his bed, as we neared the end of the bedtime routine. He sat curled up in my lap, my arms around him. He practically purrs at moments like that. I know it won’t last forever, this willingness to be so physically close, and it always makes me smile.

We’d chatted a little about the events of the day. I forget the details now, but it’s a part of the routine. And then, as is not unusual, he did what he often does, and proclaimed his love for me in our embrace. Are there any better words to hear from your own child? I don’t think so. Sure, there are many other amazing things you as a parent will always long to hear, and will make your heart beat faster or your face flush with pride. And honestly, Tucker is awfully free with his “I love you,” to the point that he occasionally says it to people who were perfect strangers only an hour previous. Heck, sometimes he seems to use it as punctuation, or as filler for awkward moments of silence.

And yet, it always takes my breath away.

“… I just love Mama more.”

This was new.

/ Read Article /
A Parent’s Prayer

A Parent’s Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the poops I have to change…
(like, right now, in the middle of the parking lot)
The courage to risk a major blow-out in those I cannot change until I get home…
And the wisdom to know the difference.

/ Read Article /
by in / Cartoon
My son asked me to make Valentine’s Day cards, and what happened next will BLOW YOUR MIND! We made it printable, free.

My son asked me to make Valentine’s Day cards, and what happened next will BLOW YOUR MIND! We made it printable, free.

It turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

So cute that I thought — what the heck, let’s share it with parents who could use it too.

/ Read Article /
12 Habits of Highly Effective Stay-At-Home Dads

12 Habits of Highly Effective Stay-At-Home Dads

Contrary to what many people would assume, more and more fathers today say they would jump at the chance to be a stay-at-home dad, even just for a little while. That definitely jives with my own experience, where working fathers express to me that it’s something they would do if it made sense for their family. Others say they would do love to do it in theory, but aren’t sure they could pull it off very well.

Fair enough. It is sometimes tempting to warn people not to fall for a “grass is always greener” attitude, blinding to what being a full-time stay-at-home parent actually entails. Those of us who have been fortunate to do it for a while know that while it is almost certainly the most fulfilling job we’ve ever had, it’s also in many ways the hardest. It can feel far more lonely, frustrating, and thankless than anything we’ve done before. Every child is different, and every stage of a child’s development has pros and cons when it comes to the demands on their caregiver. But in general it seems like we all know that the image of the stay-at-home parent doing nothing but playing Candy Crush or watching TV all day is a total fallacy. It’s hard work. And like any vocation, to be happy and successful at it you need to be intentional about treating it like a job, with clear expectations and preparation.

Here are a few lessons I have learned along the way that I would pass on to any man who is going to be a stay-at-home dad, just thinking about being a stay-at-home dad, or maybe already is one but is finding themselves floundering.

(Moms, I think you’ll find most of them apply to you too.)

/ Read Article /
by in / Daddy Stuff
Dad 2.0 Summit 2014: We’ve Got Your Back

Dad 2.0 Summit 2014: We’ve Got Your Back

Dads (and moms) from around the country (and Canada!) descended on beautiful New Orleans last weekend, for the third annual Dad 2.0 Summit. We gathered to talk about modern fatherhood and masculinity, about raising the bar for ourselves and empowering other dads to reach for that higher bar too. We came together to have conversations about these things as they evolve in the 21st century not just with one another, but with representatives from the media, marketing, advertising and brands who want to learn about how to reach and respect dads, and more importantly to join the conversation.

/ Read Article /
The Bloggers of New Orleans (A song about #Dad2Summit)

The Bloggers of New Orleans (A song about #Dad2Summit)

The Bloggers of New Orleans

(Sung to the tune of The Battle of New Orleans, by Johnny Horton)

In 2014 we take a little trip
Away from normal life at home together we will slip
Some have little babies and some have surly teens
Yeah we’re meeting daddy bloggers in the town of New Orleans.

[Chorus:]
We dads are few but our blogging keeps a’comin’
There weren’t quite so many, not so long ago
We tweet once more, on our phones we are a’ thumbin’
“To the #Dad2Summit I am gearin’ up to go!”

We’ll look ’round the room and we’ll see the bloggers come
And there must be a hundred of ‘em chantin’ “Dad ain’t dumb!”
They’ll talk ’bout daddin’ and they talk ’bout brands
They’ll do a little schmoozing and they shake a lot of hands

[Chorus]

Oh Doug French hints that he has a big surprise
I hope that he means complimentary WiFi
We’ll meet with folks who have stuff they want to sell
But if they do by dissing dads then we’ll really gave ‘em … well…

[Chorus]

Yeah, we’ll listen to the speakers and we’ll listen to the panels
We’ll ask a lot of questions and we’ll learn a lot, you know
We’ll tweet so fast that the hashtags will be trendin’
At the #Dad2Summit where I’m gearin’ up to go

We’ll get fresh shaven by the friendly folks from Dove
Then share about the kids at home we’re missin’ and we love
We’ll all file out for some rounds of karaoke
And sing together songs until our daddy throats are croaky

[Chorus]

Yeah, we’ll listen to the speakers and we’ll listen to the panels
We’ll ask a lot of questions and we’ll learn a lot, you know
We’ll tweet so fast that the hashtags will be trendin’
At the #Dad2Summit where I’m gearin’ up to go

NOLA, here I come!

This will be my second year at the Dad 2.0 Summit, and I am beyond stoked. Also, terrified, as I am actually speaking this year, on a panel discussion about marketing to and about modern dads. If you’re interested in following along, keep up with the goings-on by following me on Twitter and watching for the hashtag #Dad2Summit.

For more about the Dad 2.0 Summit, go here.

/ Read Article /
Conversations with Little People: Ring Finger

Conversations with Little People: Ring Finger

The worst part is I’m not sure if it was totally innocent choice of finger, or if he actually meant to give me the finger.

Not that he knows what it means, but I think he may have picked up that it means something that makes Mama and Dada look at one another wide-eyed and then talk in code…

Tucker: Dada! Dada! I’m Green Lantern!
Me: But where is your power ring? You can’t be a Green Lantern without a power ring!
Tucker [giving "the finger", pixelated]: Here’s my power ring.
Me: Touché.
/ Read Article /
P&G: Because Moms are loving, sacrificing parents. Dads shave. #BecauseOfDadToo

P&G: Because Moms are loving, sacrificing parents. Dads shave. #BecauseOfDadToo

First, a little history lesson for those just joining us:

If you don’t recall, Proctor & Gamble became the “Proud Sponsor of Moms” back during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Then came the debut of a massive global advertising campaign, the largest in its history, during the 2012 Summer Olympics. They called it “Thank you, Mom.” Between the two Olympics, P&G’s extremely talented ad people made several exceptionally well done, tear-jerking commercials about the hardworking moms of Olympic athletes. They even covered the travel expenses of moms so they could fly to London, and they pampered them in the P&G “Home Away From Home” to “help keep U.S. moms connected with their athletes.”  It was an expansive campaign, that continues on long after the Olympics were over under the #ThankYouMom banner.

Let me be clear: cynicism about this being an ad campaign aside, thanking mom is totally admirable, because, let’s face it, moms are amazing and worthy of being thanked and thanked and thanked.

But like many others I had to ask the same thing: Where are the dads?

/ Read Article /
Hanna Rosin, you are missing your own point. Again.

Hanna Rosin, you are missing your own point. Again.

“Men Are Obsolete.”

So declares Hanna Rosin, in the title of her recent Time.com piece, subtitled “Five reasons we are definitely witnessing the end of men,” adapted from her “opening statement” at a recent debate in Toronto, Canada about gender in the 21st century.

Rosin is no stranger to using click-bait titles in order to drum up interest and controversy. She famously penned The End of Men, and is a frequent target for those looking to argue on the internet about gender.

I wasn’t going to respond to her article at all, but I feel like I should, if only because I hate that the anti-feminist, misogynistic troll brigade from the “men’s rights” movement can’t be the only ones calling her out. They are not the counterpoint to her actual arguments, they are merely evidence of the death rattle of the kind of masculinity she describes. I can only see so many people posting photos of women with and without makeup — apparently as evidence that feminism sucks? I have no idea how those are responses to her points! — or declarations that she just straight-up hates men.

So here goes…

/ Read Article /
A Turducken Christmas

A Turducken Christmas

I make a mean turkey.

By that I mean that I’ve done a lot of experimentation with preparing the big bird for feasting with family and friends, and I have the whole thing down well enough that it is a task that usually falls to me for special holiday dinners. Everyone seems to feel fairly assured that I know the tricks to flavoring it well, keeping it moist, not overcooking it, not killing anyone via salmonella. As my family traditionally does turkey for Christmas, and we were for the first time hosting it at our house, I was again planning on doing some turkey magic.

But then I got a better offer. I was contacted by the good people at Echelon Foods, wondering if I would be interested in making and serving turducken this year.

/ Read Article /
Conversations with Little People: Manners

Conversations with Little People: Manners

Tucker: “Here you go, Coltrane, you can have half of my cookie!”
Dada: “Wow, that was really nice of you to share like that. I’m so proud of you, Tucker.

Dada: “Now, Coltrane, what do you say when someone shares with you?”
Coltrane: “T’ank ‘ou.”
Tucker: “My pleasure.”

Coltrane: “No, my pleasure.”
Tucker: “MY pleasure!”
Coltrane: “NO! MY PLEASURE!”
Tucker: “MINE!”
Coltrane: “NOOO! MINE!”
Tucker: “NOOO! IT’S MINE!”
Coltrane: “NO! MY! PLEA! SURE!
/ Read Article /
You Screwed Up as a Parent: 10 Things You Should Regret

You Screwed Up as a Parent: 10 Things You Should Regret

We all make mistakes as parents. It’s just part of the deal. But what most new parents don’t realize is that the most far reaching, life-altering mistakes you make are not things like putting a diaper on wrong, poorly baby-proofing your house, or choosing a sippy cup that leaks. No, the biggest mistakes are always the most well-intentioned.

Here are a few regrets that you should have, that should keep you up at night with worry about how you broke your child.

/ Read Article /
Winter Home Safety

Winter Home Safety

December is here, and all of us have tons on our lists of things to do as we get ready for the holidays: decorating, planning menus, buying or making gifts, and of course trying to mentally prepare for time spent with that certain relative that is best handled in small doses.

But there is one other aspect of this time of year that is worth considering, especially if you have young kids running around, and that is home safety.

As the weather turns cold and homes heat up, so does the chance that your family could experience a home fire or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The National Fire Protection Association reports most home fires and CO poisonings occur in winter. Besides heating appliances, seasonal activities such as increased cooking, using candles and decorating Christmas trees all add to the risk.

Here’s a simply Winter Home Safety Quiz from Kidde that you can take now, to see how ready you are, and to highlight a few things you may not have considered. Included are some tips on how to implement.

/ Read Article /
How to Eat a Cupcake like a Pro

How to Eat a Cupcake like a Pro

I learned this technique years ago, and it has served me well in avoiding a dreaded case of Frosting Bite on my nose. But it always amazes me how many people have never heard of it.

Consider yourself enlightened to a better way!

/ Read Article /