July 29, 2009

I got to hear my grandfather laugh like a schoolgirl

I'm sure he wouldn't be thrilled that I titled a post like that but it's true. He was giggling because he was so excited that his name, Friedman, would be passed to another generation.

It wasn't a given because I was born with a different last name...well technically like all people I was born without any name, but you get the point. Anyway my grandfather, Eddie, had 2 daughters so his surname ended there. But I was never really a fan of my father. So after college I changed my last name to Friedman to thank him for helping me pay for college (wasn't talking to my father but he wouldn't have given me a dime had I been) and to help him carry out his name.

So this 96 year-old man is as happy as he could be to see another generation and especially another Friedman on it's way.

And last...I have a feeling this post is going to bite me on the ass...my father doesn't know I changed my name (about 15 years ago) but I heard he was searching for me via the web...he also was searching for Kenny Friedmans...not sure how he got wise to the change. Whatever I'll play that if it comes around...weird though...I think I'd be super easy to find with $20 and a visit to the people search sites...but he was always a bit cheap.

July 27, 2009

Proof of concept: Baby t-shirts make great doo-rags

Maybe it's early to be thinking about the baby room, but right now it's an office so we need to get ready for the makeover. While going through the room I found a box of stuff from my old job and opened it up to find a baby t-shirt that was swag from a project I worked on.

Not sure how we got to it but Staci told me to try it on...and I thought it would make a great doo-rag. From the image you can tell I was right.

FYI the project was when I was at Target. They do carnivals at the Target House at St. Jude 5 times a year. My copywriter Shawn and I got to work with Jesse LeDoux on this awesome project. You can see the art on his site. If you don't know much about what St. Jude check them out here...they do great work for kids, and the Target house does great work with families of some of those kids.

July 25, 2009

Squishy plums and nectarines

We all hear stories of the food cravings women get during pregnancy. Sometimes it's weird stuff. 

But what do you do if her craving is something you're totally objected to? Right now Staci's hankering squishy plums and nectarines. 
I'm totally disgusted by them...they are basically rotten fruit and she loves them.

But I want to make her happy so I went on the hunt for rotting, dying fruit.

There I was at the grocery store trying to pick out some squishy fruit. While most people feel the fruit for ripeness I was feeling it for death. It was hard to find rotten fruit amongst perfectly ripe goodness. And I couldn't really complain about the condition the fruit was in.

But finally after digging in the back of the plums I found a cache of what Staci was looking for. I got the squishy fruit and she was super happy. Her smile was worth touching that gross fruit...and she'll never know that I didn't buy her the squishiest (I just couldn't bring myself to get the worst.)

July 23, 2009

Things my kid (and yours) may never know about.

Today I read a great article from Wired's Geek Dad entitled '100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About.'

When you think about it it's obvious...every generation changes and things become obsolete. However it seems like the digital age has sped up the process. Whether you have kids, are thinking about having kids or could care less about them I encourage you to take a peek at the article. No heavy thinking...it's a paragraph long and then a list.

Here are some of my fave things they call out:
  • Joysticks: luckily I have an Atari and a good cache of games so I will be able to humiliate my kid when it's friends are over and I pull that out while they are all playing with their Wii 7.
  • Putting film in your camera
  • Taking turns picking a radio station...during a long drive
  • Toys actually being suitable for the under-3s
  • Han shoots first (and another Star Wars one: “Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.” But they’ve already seen episode III, so it’s no big surprise.)
  • Looking out the window during a long drive
I'd add a few:
  • Toys that were probably toxic but so much fun (Mattel Master Caster...so great)
  • Playing with mercury when your thermometer broke
  • Seeing good bands for $5
  • And one thing I'm scared they will miss is Art and Music classes in school
here's the link again http://tinyurl.com/100kidthings

July 21, 2009

The first thing we (I) bought for the baby...

I actually got these a while ago...a long while ago. I'm almost embarrassed to say I bought them freshman year of college.

When I was a kid I lost tons of mittens and gloves. Most had mitten clips, but those never worked. In fact if you every have a chance to sit down with my mom she might tell you the time one spring when I came home with a soaking wet mitten clipped to my hat; it was on my hat so it was closer to the sun and would dry faster. The mitten was lost in the winter and uncovered during the first thaw, I was so happy I found it (FYI they were probably Freezy Freakies.)

So imagine how amazed I was to see these at a Gap outlet. I thought they were the most brilliant invention, mittens attached to each other on a string, you couldn't lose them. I wondered why no one thought of this earlier. I had to buy them for any future kids I'd have.

So several years pass, these mittens were safely kept in storage and Staci found them. She thought it was endearing that I had them and asked what was special about them. I told her how I was amazed at how awesome it was that they were attached by a string and that although Gap had a brilliant thing going on, I thought the idea would get lost and therefore my kid wouldn't be able to experience such greatness.

She of course laughed and told me that they were not only still available but that mittens on a string have been around forever. I probably had them as a baby.

Any way I still have them and they will go to our baby. I still think whoever invented these was brilliant.

July 20, 2009

5 year plan

Staci sleeping on the plane to Vancouver/Whistler on our honeymoon five years ago.

It took a couple of years for our families (read Jewish Mothers) to ask (read nag us) when we'd have kids. From day one Staci and I pretty much agreed on waiting 5 years. Our moms wanted little Friedmans sooner. They 'allowed' us to wait but there was some discussion on whether 5 years meant we'd start in 5 or have a kid not more than 1826 days days after getting married.

We were going with starting in 5 years...and wel, our 5th year anniversary plans, which involved a trip to a winery, had to change because Staci was 6 weeks pregnant and not feeling too good.

We rocked the 5 year plan perfectly.

July 19, 2009

Best laid plans

When I was a kid I had a plan for my life. I was going to own a pet store, specializing in the breeding of gerbils, and marry Drew Barrymore.

Neither of these things happened.

So knowing that plans don't always come to fruition I thought I'd start a list of things we plan on doing once we have the baby.

I'll periodically update as things get done, fall through or are added.

Cloth diapers: for me it's environmental reasons for Staci it's that and it helps for potty training. (FYI I hate the word potty.)

A floor bed: floor bed instead of cribs are popular in the Montessori community and we plan on following some Montessori stuff since Staci is a teacher.

We want to make our own baby food: it sounds like a good idea because we'll know what's in it and it seems easy.

The baby will be vegetarian: I have been vegetarian since I was about 14 and Staci was for a bit before the pregnancy.

The dog will not be ignored: everyone says it happens.

Date night: after about 6 months we'll make Saturdays date nights...no kid.

Free time: after about 6 months we each get a free night: I.E. I will watch the baby every Wednesday so Staci can go out or rest...then we'll switch it up on Thursday or whatever.

No commercial characters: Dora, Teletubbies, Disney Princess etc...they are kind of evil. We'll allow non-commercial stuff like Ugly Doll or things from my friend Jesse LeDoux (awesome illustrator)

No classic Pooh stuff: I didn't include this in the characters because I like that stuff...Staci doesn't.

Style Guide: I've made many for clients so why not make one for the baby? I love my family, Staci's family and our friends etc. but we all have different styles. The style guide will include room and bedding colors, info on what we don't like as far as clothes and stuff about toys...the Montessori community is not a fan of plastic toys. Some people, including Staci think the style guide is kind of a dick move...but I think it's funny.

We're meeting tonight with friends who did cloth diapers and hate them. They are trying to talk us out of it. So that could be the first to go.

Updates and additions to come.

July 18, 2009

Thing's I've learned

Until your wife is pregnant you probably haven't heard of HCG levels...in a nutshell they're hormones that can really affect what's going on with the pre-kid. There are charts of where you should be every week.

Staci's were high in the beginning. This could have been a bad thing like a miscarriage or molar pregnancy...or it could have been twins. Since the levels were high, everything else looked good and things were too small to see on the ultrasound OK we thought we were having twins.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a twin and I kind of thought it would be cool to have twins, plus we decided on one birth...so in a way twins would be great. No decision to have a second.

Then I totally freaked out. I couldn't sleep for a couple nights. Our place is a two bedroom and with all the real estate bullshit I don't see us moving any time soon.

I got to thinking how we could handle two kids. Even though big girl/big boy beds were a bit in the future I needed to see if two twin beds would fit in the 2nd bedroom? (side note: I hate the term big girl bed or big boy bed...not sure why.) One night I measured out the room...good stuff 2 twin beds fit. The next night I wanted to figure how we'd set the room up so it would be also a fun place for them...so I was thinking Murphy beds. I configured the whole set up in my mind. Some cool loft like set up with desks and storage that would be hidden along with the Murphy beds. Next I had to figure out if Murphy beds are safe for kids. I wasn't sure so in my head I was designing safety features and then rules for who can put the bed up and down. I was a bit ahead of myself, but damn the setup was looking cool in my mind. Maybe unsafe, maybe not great for kids but it was looking cool.

And what if it's a boy and a girl? What if one wants some alone time? Do we put a convertible bed in the alcove? Who gets the privilege to sleep in it? Is that really privilege?

When I stopped freaking out about space I thought, what if it's two girls? Two weddings to pay for, twice as many boys leering at them, 1.5 times the amount of mean girl friends (girls are often mean to each other in school and as for the 1.5 I figured there would be some crossover with friends but they'd also have individual friends too.)

I didn't stress as much about two boys, not because of any prejudice, mostly because there were too many things to freak out about girls.

Anyway it was a false alarm...it's only one.

The nurse said not to worry about the levels because every woman is different...why didn't they tell me that in the first place.

July 17, 2009

I think it's psychosomatic...

That would be something not to say to your pregnant wife 3 days after you find out she's pregnant.

She was feeling nauseous and tired but I thought it seemed to soon...

Billy Mays, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Kirby Puckett

These are all things that came up today in an appointment where I met Staci's doctor for the first time. He's a super interesting guy and I could have talked to him for hours.

I had 2 big takeaways from the meeting: first I'm a huge science geek...if I hadn't gone the creative route I would have ended up in some kind of science thing. Second...he called babies Random Events Generators (© my doctor) that's a pretty brilliant way to describe them.

July 16, 2009

You're already looking bloated...

The whole idea of starting this blog came when I was talking to friends about some of the things I've said to Staci since we found out she was pregnant. Things that you probably shouldn't say to anyone you like, especially your pregnant wife.

I'll posts these Kennyisms as they happen, but for now I'll pepper in some of the things I've said so far.

It started with a small one, but a good one. 2 days after we found out Staci was pregnant I made the comment that I thought she looked bloated, which is weird because she was only 7 days pregnant (or 14 weeks or one month or something. The math on pregnancy is ridiculous and I'll talk about that later.)

Well she wasn't happy about the comment as she wouldn't show for a few months. But to be fair, she was bloated and looked normal a couple days later. So I was right or maybe I wasn't right but I was correct.

I screwed up again the next day...I'll post that tomorrow.

July 15, 2009

We hit the magic 12 week mark so here's my first real post

Holy shit that's freaking crazy...is what I said as I saw this pre-kid (not sure the technical term) flopping around in our 12 week ultrasound today.

I had no idea that at 12 weeks they move so much...it was crazy to see.

I could write something longer but I don't think I will tonight. Look for more stuff to come.

July 14, 2009

Who am I? What is this about? Why did I start this blog?

I'm Kenny. At this moment I'm 35. I'm married to my beautiful wife Staci who's 33. We live with our dog Kalli (an American Dingo) and 2 cats; Random and Zoggs. We're expecting our first kid at the end of January 2010.

So that's what this blog is going to be about..having my first kid. Might not sound super exciting...but no one's asking you to read it.

But here's the deal...this won't be your normal 'everything is freaking amazing' kind of blog. Or a cliche 'I'm a macho guy who doesn't understand stuff about kids' kind of thing.

What this is going to (hopefully) be is a funny irreverant look at pending fatherhood...it will be chock full of what I'm thinking, how we're planning and such. It will also be a good reference for other expectant fathers on things not to say to your wife...I screwed up 3 times in the first week we knew we were expecting.

And I want it to be known that I'm super excited about being a father...but kids kind of freak me out. I want to be able to relate to them but I have no idea what to say to them...my wife has tried to tell me how to interact with them but all I can really do is stare at them and maybe tell them I like their shoes....I often lie about the shoes but kids seem to like talking about them.

My wife is awesome around kids...she's a Montesorri teacher...when we're in a crowded restaurant and you see that random little kid wandering around she's the one the kid goes right up to. She's like a kid magnet.

I once visited my wife at work and I was paralyzed by fear as some kids 2.5 to 6 years-old came up to me and introduced themselves...I didn't know what to say...then one was flapping a piece of bologna in my face asking me what I eat since I'm a vegetarian. I haven't been back to the scene of the crime since.

Also I speak my mind...I can be blunt, definitely sarcastic and super opinionated. That being said, all opinions are my own and my wife is the level-headed and nice one, so don't find her guilty by association...even is she shows up a couple times as a guest poster.

And last I'm an Art Director/Creative director...while I sometimes pretend to be a writer I am not. So this will by no means be any kind of literary wonder.

Thanks for reading

Took awhile... Here's an infographic of MF's first year

I finished this about a year ago just for my personal use but thought I'd share it. It's a visualization of MF's first year in n...