June 30, 2010

An Open Letter to PF Flyers

You may remember last week's open letter to Spitz Seeds...here is one to PF Flyers, my favorite (favourite for my Canadian readers) shoe company.

Hello Mr or Mrs Flyers

About a year and a half ago I had a job in which I had to wear dress shoes Monday through Thursday and was only allowed podiatric freedom on Fridays. On those days you'd see me in a pair of Converse or some Jack Purcells.

Now I'm at a much better job that judges me on my work instead of my shoes and allows me the freedom to wear whatever shoe I want. And when I needed a good everyday shoe I knew Converse weren't the ones...too uncomfortable.

So I hopped online, checked out the options and I found your shoes...I remembered the name from my childhood but don't remember if I wore them. I do remember wearing polo shirts from Sears that had the little dragon on it instead of the Izod alligator but if I were to bring those up it would be a total tangent, so I won't.

Back to the shoes...I'm wearing the Archival Center Hi Reissue and I love them...so comfortable I can wear them every day.

But that's not why I'm writing...I'm writing to let you know about the most exciting opportunity that will come up in your Outlook inbox (I'm assuming you use Outlook because it's so ubiquitous although there are better email clients out there. Personally if I had a company I'd use Google Apps for my email...but I digress.)

I feel PF Flyers should become the official footwear of the wildly popular blog Smonk You: a story about being a dad. I say wildly popular because "wildly" can not be quantified.

You're probably thinking to yourself "Why the hell would we want to sponsor a daddy blog?" Well first I would tell you this is not a daddy blog. It has been established, by me, that it's a mommy blog written by a dude.

If you're still reading you're may be a bit confused about why you'd want to align with a me as I'm not an athlete or a celeb.

Well I'd tell you that I am in fact an athlete:
  • I'm an avid snowboarder...sure I didn't get out last year or the year before but that doesn't count. 
  • I own 3 bicycles...one is a 1988 Haro Master which is freaking awesome and old school
  • I own Wii fit and Wii Fit Plus and actually plan on using the latter again once I get un-lazy
  • I own a kite, a frisbee and some tennis balls we let our dog play with in the park

And I am in fact a celebrity:
  • I was on the Bathtastic! the number one show hosted by Matt Muenster
  • I made the last call on the first season of Real World
  • I was an extra in the wildly popular 1994 film Double Dragon (it grossed like $30)

I know you're already sold in but here are some amazing facts about my blog:
  • It has been read in 109 countries
  • It has such incredible SEO value that people have found me by searching some of the most popular terms on the world wide web including:

    "whenever i am near him it feels like someone is cutting onions"
    "dumb donald halloween costume"
    "how do you pronounce bilibo"
    "a story about being a bird"
    "allstar seaworthy snork t-shirt"
    "baby doo rags"
    "cat food giveaway"
    "matzos jaw pain"
    "obscure words for furniture"
    "pros and cons of taking your birthday off work"
    "smonk you: dick"

What would this sponsorship look like you ask? You'd send me a couple pairs of shoes, more than a couple would be freaking amazing (I have 6 pairs of Converse/Jac Purcells I'll need to replace.) My only sneakers will be PF Flyers (with the exception of my Puma PopArt 917s which you have to admit rock.) And let me tell you...I'm one of those idiots that wears sneakers, my Center His to be exact, with dress pants even though I have to hide doing it from my wife.

No money...just shoes...that is as insane as getting 2 Slap Chops for the price of one. 

After we ink the deal I'll tell the world, via my blog, twitter and big old mouth, that I love you...not love love in a creep way but love as in really like the brand. I'll take photos of Miloh trying to eat my PF Flyers because cute babies sell stuff. And I'll place a logo on my homepage, with a link, that I guarantee will bring you at least 4 page hits.

I think we both know the answer is yes, now we just have to work out the formalities.
Talk to you soon...Kenny

UPDATE: I got some shoes

June 28, 2010

My theory of teething: aka the best theory ever on teething.

Let's start off this post by pretending I have a great photo of the two little white shards poking out of Miloh's bottom gum. You have to pretend because although he likes getting his photo taken right now he's really not to happy about me grabbing his gums long enough to get a shot of his teeth...you know with the excruciating pain and all.

I'm a person who has theories...I'm actually not sure if they would be technically theories...because they are pure fact, but theories sounds cooler.

And here's my theory on teething:

It's based on what I know about human evolution and why we feel pain and such...so the basic stuff you learn in school with maybe some college classes peppered in. You see there is a really good reason to feel pain. If you step on a piece of glass you need the pain to alert you to the fact that your foot is now gushing with blood.

If your tooth hurts you need a little warning to head to the dentist, or back in the day the barber (barbers were dentists my friends) or I suppose really back in the day you'd go to the dude that would whack your tooth out with a rock.

So, yeah pain makes sense.

But I'll tell you what doesn't make any sense...tooth/gum pain on a 5 month old kid. There is absolutely no scientific reason (that I can think of...which means there is none) for that pain.

There's no problem with the teeth, it's normal for them to come in. You can't really do anything for the pain, yeah homeopathic gels, fake Tylenol (the name brand stuff kills) and such work...but not a ton as I found out tonight. And way back when you'd go to that dude with the rock they probably didn't have a good pain reliever.

Since the pain has no real reason to be around there should have been a way that evolution (if you believe in that crazy thing) would shut it off. There are times when pain is shut off because it adds no value like in _____ or when _____ (I'm sure there are at least two instances when pain is shut off.)

It lingers for some reason and you're probably wondering why babies feel the pain of teething.

Are you ready to be blown away with the awesomeness?

I believe it's for the parents, not the baby.

This is the first time a healthy baby will feel total pain and you can't do anything about it. It's to let you know that. To show you how it feels when your baby is hurting and that nothing you can do will help.

You can calm him/her, you can give some temporary relief but in the end they are going to feel all this pain...and the kicker is they won't remember a bit of it...but you will.

It's a primer on the rest of your life with this baby...it's to let you know that your baby will be OK after he falls from a halfpipe and separates his shoulder. That he will heal from getting a spring caught in his eye. And that even though the handlebars on his bike pierced his chin he'll be all right in a couple days and will only have a tiny scar to remember it. Yes those all happened to me.

So there you go that's the definitive theory on why babies feel the pain of teething...feel free to use this in any thesis or article you may be writing, just give me attribution. And if you're from the AMA please use the email tab in my nav bar to contact me about publishing this...thanks.

June 26, 2010

Adventures of floor bedding part 3

Since the a lot of folks ask about how the floor bed is going I thought I'd give periodic updates. Miloh seems to like it, although he knows no other way, and we're liking it to.

He continues to roll of it but no longer gets upset when it happens. Last week I opened the door when I got up in the morning to see him lying off his bed, near his grey chair, and smiling as he tried to get his foot in his mouth.

He doesn't cry when he wakes up because he can explore the room...but he's getting a bit more mobile so we're baby proofing it now.

While he can't crawl yet he can roll across the room to get what he wants...

One morning Staci heard clanging from his room. She thought a cat was banging on his door to get in. When she got up to shoo the cat away didn't see one, but she heard the banging, then she heard some giggles. When she opened the door she found that he's rolled across his room and started to play with the garbage can...

That's the whole point of the bed...he has independence...we have to move the can out because it's not something he should be playing with...but he's doing what he's supposed to....exploring.

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June 23, 2010

An Open Letter to Spitz Seeds

This is a copy of a letter I would send to Spitz Seeds if they had an email address on their site, which they don't...but I figured I could use the power of the internet and hope someone from there will see this post too. They're owned by Frito-Lay which is owned by Pepsi...someone has to know someone who can hook me up...thanks

Hello my friends at Spitz seeds.

A few weeks ago I found myself at a gas station and I checked out the one of the promotional signs on the pump...I never really notice them. Anyway they were promoting a sale of Giant brand sunflower seeds...I saw they had a dill pickle flavor and was intrigued.

I went into the station to buy some seeds...while there I did a price comparison and noticed your seeds were less expensive than the Giant ones...so I bought a bag of your dill pickle flavor seeds.

And I loved them...they are awesome.

I'm writing to you about seriously the best opportunity that has ever come your way.

I would love for you to be the first official sponsor of my daddy blog SmonkYou.com.

You're probably thinking, "why would we want to sponsor a daddy blog?" To answer I'll throw out a bunch of buzzwords like ROI, Pushing the Envelope, Viral, Optimization, Buyersphere and Turnkey.

Then I'll throw some hard facts out about my website that will impress you.

  • I am the first and only male-mommy blogger...and you know how important mommy bloggers are in the webosphere (another buzzword I'm throwing in for free.)
  • It's the number one blog that I write.
  • It looks great in Firefox, Safari and Chrome (untested on Explorer but c'mon only about three people use Explorer...my apologizes if you are one of those three.
  • It's backed by a largely popular twitter account (@smonkyou) known for random rants and irreverant humor.

Now that I have your attention I'll tell you what I'm thinking a sponsorship would look like. I will put a logo and link to your site on my blog. I'd also tell the world how awesome your seeds are. In a blog post (it's this one) and no less than 4 tweets.

In return I'd like a year supply of your seeds. It took a week for me to eat a bag so 52 bags a year would suffice. However I think I could do better so if you want to send me 100 bags of a mix of flavors I think I can handle that challenge.

I know we're both excited about this opportunity...it will be great for us both...and who knows, maybe this relationship will become bigger than the one you have with MLB.

Let's talk soon...Kenny


I sent the blog link to Spitz Seeds in their contact form on the site. And since they are owned buy Frito-Lay it went to some person who just sends back canned answers. She told me they are not seeking any new sponsorship opportunities...it was a semi-canned reply...but she did read my blog...I was hoping they'd have a little sense of humor.

Well, their loss. I'll still buy their seeds but when they realize their mistake I'll ask for 102 bags a year.

June 22, 2010

Miloh's music selections

It's funny because each time I write a post about Miloh sleeping well that very day I publish it he totally changes and we have to figure it all out again.

It started with a post where I hit a wall when he was super young and had a fussy week. It had a happy ending but the night it posted on another site he got fussy again. Then we figured out a good routine and did cry it out..the night that post went live he became fussy again because he was teething.

We figured that all out and he was good. So I think writing this post could be a mistake. It's about my most recent adventure in putting him to bed.

You see part of our routine involved us singing a lullaby to him...there is one minor problem with that. I don't know any. I try to learn them but I forget them, instead I wind up making a song up to the tune of If I Only Had a Brain or something like that...when I do the words are pretty much the same every time...they involve me singing about how I don't know the words.

I figured I'd play some calming music for him and made a station on Pandora from the song If You Leave Me Now. Most of you probably know this is by Chicago...I didn't. Although the song was around when I was a kid I'm not to good on that kind of music as it wasn't what I listened to.

But I thought it would be a nice station to get Miloh settled. And it was.

First song up was some other song by Chicago, I forget it. Next up was the Bee Gee's How Deep is Your Love, followed by Your Song by Elton John.

That's when I teared up a bit...that's happening too much lately.

But it was because I realized that when he's older and hears that stuff he'll think it sucks...it will embarrass him like my mom's music embarrassed me. Now like I said this stuff is just a bit before my time, but I do like it.

The real deal is that stuff I grew up on. 80s stuff is on stations that refer to that as oldies. Shit...the songs I grew up on are oldies.

That saddens me.

When I play some Clash, Sex Pistols or even something newer like Bishop Allen (check them out) he will think it's just old silly music.

Which brings me back to my post about a poster we got for his room when he's older.

P.S. he really seems to like Chicago...he calms every time one of their songs are on. He hates Air Supply...so maybe there is some hope there.

And for those of you who read this whole story you get a prize...a video of me singing to Miloh. It's the Planet of the Apes song from the Simpson's (because I know all the words.) I've also been singing the Clash's Bankrobber lately because I know those words too...but I feel like I'm lying to him because although my father stole he was never a bankrobber...maybe I could be a better influence on Miloh rob a bank or two.

And I of course don't normally sing like a jackass...well I don't normally sing...but I was trying to entertain Miloh and he liked hearing me sound like a fool...I guess all kids are the same that way.

June 21, 2010

Where I'm at today

I have a guest post over at Kolcraft today so head over there for some good stuff that probably hasn't been said here.

And if you're coming from there, or haven't been here in awhile here's some stuff you should check out.

First everyone needs to see the video of Miloh getting a ton of slobbery licks from our dog Kalli. C'mon, you gotta check it out.

And here's the post of my best day so far.

You can check out my 100th post which was a clip post of all my favorite posts.

And since you're clicking you might as well click this so I get a vote on Top Baby Blogs...thanks.
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June 20, 2010

Week 21 in numbers

June 11-17

Happy Freaking Father's Day to Me

It's kind of weird for me for this to be my first Father's Day...not because I'm a new dad and all but because the day has never meant anything to me.

I'll start by saying I'm not a fan of any Hallmark holiday. Most people see them as the day you need to go buy cards for folks so they know you care about them. I see them as a day that if you forget to buy a card you're screwed...you're seen as someone who doesn't care.

I had this trouble growing up because my father never reminded me of any holiday...so I would often forget when mother's day was. I probably knew it was a Sunday...but I'm sure I wasn't 100% it was in May let a lone the _th Sunday of the month. Does anyone really know for sure which Sunday it will be?

I grew to appreciate Mother's day, because I probably forgot to tell my mom how I felt about her on regular days. Then when this one came along it became more important to me because of Staci.

But I can say with all honesty that I NEVER cared about Father's Day. I've said before that while there are good older dudes in my world I didn't really get the concept of a father. It's like I understood that people had fathers...I had one until I stopped talking to him at 14ish years-old...but he was never really a dad in my eyes. So the idea of a father to me was really abstract.

It's one of the reasons this whole experience is kind of odd for me...odd because I still have weird feelings about the word father. And I see a huge difference between the word 'father' and the word 'dad.' Because while I went on the little tangent about not having a good concept of a father I had absolutely no concept of a dad.

I see a dad as someone who cares about their kids, is engaged with their life and wants to share all the good (and bad) moments. I never had that from my father. I keep him in the cluster of father because to me that's someone who is on your birth certificate...or I guess sometimes who's not even on it.

And now stuff is changed...I have an awesome kid...I am a dad...and I'm a little psyched for this Father's day...because it's a sea change in the way I see the holiday.

I can't wait until Miloh is older and makes me gifts at school...when I was a kid we'd make a lot of clay ash trays for parent gifts...I'm thinking it will be clay mugs or something.

But there will be those times where Miloh buys me a gift, and I'm cool with that to...but I have some rules what I never need to receive as a gift.

Things I never want:

  • Soap on a rope – do they still make that? I'm not sure but I have no interest in it.
  • A tie – I have to many from a job that made me dress up everyday. I don't need a tie.
  • Cologne – nice thought...but I'll wear it twice and the forget about it...and that's only if it's good, when in reality it would be $5 store brand stuff.
  • Those hand made coupon books...I know that scam. You give them and they say you'll do chores that you're already supposed to do. And you never do them even with the coupon book.
I'm actually pretty simple, I don't need big gifts, I'd be fine with french fries, falafel, Lemonheads, snowboard gear, camera Lenses, not cheap ones...I'll take Canon L Series...thanks.

Update: Staci got me chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast in bed and she had my blog printed into a book which is so awesome to see. She say's there are more surprises to come.  I'm still hoping for a Canon L Series lens...but that is a long shot. Thanks Staci!

June 18, 2010

Miloh, Kalli and Lionel Richie

We were listening to Pandora while Miloh had tummy time...as usual Kalli came to hang out. Lionel Richie's 'Oh No' was playing at the time and the song was perfect for what was going on.

June 17, 2010

Yeah it's a book review...but it's a fantastic story

I get a lot of emails to do reviews and all but a few go right to my virtual circular file. But a couple weeks ago I got an awesome one.

It was to review a book called. Okay that's not really my thing but it's a book called Devoted: The Story of a Father's Love for His Son by Dick Hoyt.

You may not have heard of him...actually when I first saw the name I thought I never heard it...then I saw he was half of Team Hoyt.

If you're not familiar with Team Hoyt you should make yourself familiar. The team is Dick and his son Rick...they run marathons and Ironman triathlons together.

The one thing is that Rick has Cerebral Palsy. So in an Ironman for instance, Dick pulls Rick in a boat for the 2.4 mile swim, rides with Rick in the front of a modified tandem bike for the 112 mile bike and pushes him in a wheelchair for the 26 mile run. And they have finished them in the time limit.

With a quick check on a Sports Illustrated article I realize I must have first seen them in the 1989 Kona race because I saw them around that time and I saw them finish.

They are amazing.

But the story is more than about Dick's great physical ability...they are a great team.

They race because when Rick was 15 he told his dad he wanted to run in a 5k for a Lacrosse player who was paralyzed in an accident. After running he told his dad "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped."

From there they continued to larger races, marathons and the Ironmans. It's truly an amazing story and I can't possibly get to it all.

I was able to ask Dick a few questions...that's hard for me because he's asked questions all the time. But I came up with a few and here they are:

How has fatherhood in general changed you in a way you never thought? How has fatherhood of Rick, a child with special needs, changed you in a way in a way you weren't expecting?
 I was one of a family of 10 growing up so I pretty much knew what fatherhood would be like. It really didn’t change me. My siblings and I were all very healthy. Judy (my wife at the time) and I were voted Class Couple – she was the head cheerleader and I was captain of the softball and baseball teams. So we were expecting a very healthy baby. We had never heard the words Cerebral Palsy or seen anybody in a wheel chair. As you can see and read, we are changing attitudes of people all over the world about individuals with special needs.

When you hit a wall in life or in a race what helps you to get the strength to get over it? How does Rick or your other children help you in that scenario?
 I have never hit a wall in life, but did in our first marathon. When I saw Rick with that smile on his face, I said nothing is going to stop us. Rick is my motivation; he inspires me. I prepare myself mentally and physically and there isn’t anything that’ll keep us from finishing.

How are the Dynamics of Team Hoyt different when you're just hanging out with Rick vs when you're training or racing? For instance, do you share the same roles in both situations?
Team Hoyt is no different if we are just hanging out, training or competing…we share the same roles.

You have just under 48 more years experience of being a father than I do. My son was born January 22 this year. What's the best piece of advice you can give a new father?
My best advice is to spend quality time with your children. You are a family. Do things together. Be firm, but fair.

The really cool thing you see from his answers, and can read in the book, is he's just a normal dude doing his thing his way. In raising Rick he raised him like he would any child...which included him dragging him up to a rooftop that he was building a chimney.

The book Devoted, is pretty well written and it's a fantastic story (I say this being only halfway through..but I did skip to Rick's letter to his dad)...I think it's a really good read for any parent. There story inspires me.

p.s. I forgot to mention that sports writer Don Yaeger helped Dick out with the book...

June 16, 2010

Miloh moves on to solid food

Seems like it was only yesterday that we were feeding Miloh rice cereal. Now he's on solid food.

June 15, 2010

The kid tries some real food

his "what are you about to do to me" face

It's about that time. Our doctor told us that since MC F is tracking his bottle & our food and because he can sit well in a booster chair we could start to introduce him to some real food...well at least some semi-real food because he only gets watery rice cereal at this point.

And so the adventure begins...

When we got the spoon out he started to grab Staci's hand to get that spoon in his mouth...but once in he had no idea what to do with the cereal...like all kids his age. I'd say of the many spoonfuls he probably only swallowed a quarter teaspoon this first time out...

We know he'll do better as he figures it out...and we know what comes after that...more food and horrible diapers...yeah...

And if he doesn't dig the bland cereal I think we figured a way to get him interested...

June 14, 2010

Adventures of floor bedding part 2

We're loving the floor bed...it's so cool to be able to lay down with Miloh when we put him to sleep. Once we put him to sleep we lie with him for a it until he settles down.

Today Staci put him down for a nap and he started grabbing her nose and giggling. He's already playing games with us...it's so cool.

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Week 20 in numbers

June 4-10

June 13, 2010

97 years in the making

He giggled more than I have ever seen before when he saw him...I'm talking about my grandfather. Miloh laughed too. A few weekends ago we went back to my hometown and our first stop was to see my grandfather, we'll call him Poppie for now on because that's what he's called.

My mother asked me not to mention that she started crying before we even opened the door to his place*...so I won't do that. I'll skip right to when we opened the door to his place. Poppie laughed so hard. Then he went right up to Miloh in the stroller, where he was asleep, and leaned in to get a good look...but he was careful not to wake him.

We chatted a bit and asked Poppie if he wanted us to wake Miloh so he could hold him, he said no...he didn't want to disturb Miloh. Not a minute later he said that now he was ready to hold Miloh.

It was fantastic...my grandfather was elated, I think he teared up a bit...weird thing is Miloh teared up for a second too. Then Miloh smiled when Poppie talked to him...he has such an amazing voice, really he should have done voiceovers, and Miloh loved it.

Once Miloh got a little squirmy Poppie put him down. He, my grandfather, continued to giggle until we left.

They saw each other 3 more times that trip...and we're going to record a video of Poppie reading a book so Miloh could have some of the same memories I do of his amazing reading voice.

The best part about it for me is if you read this older post you'll learn about how until I changed my last name to my grandfather's he was the last in the family with it...now it has continued 2 more generations than expected.

*I also won't mention that my mom cried the second she saw Miloh when she picked us up at the airport and saw Miloh again, or that she cried many times that weekend. And I certainly won't mention that I teared up a bit as we left Poppie's house the last day of our trip.

June 7, 2010

My greatest moment so far

This weekend we went back to my home town for Miloh's baby naming...he got a Hebrew name...that should be a post and maybe it will someday become one.

He was a bit off his game, we weren't sure if it was from the travel, the new environment or the teething.

Well one night he was wailing like crazy...it was a new cry...seemed like it was of total pain.

So I went down to the room he was sleeping in to check on him. I was just supposed to make sure he wasn't on his belly because sometimes he get's stuck there and get's frustrated...and before you go off on us allowing him to sleep on his belly our doc told us that at this point it was okay if he rolled there on his own...partly because he is strong enough to roll over, partly because he let's us know when he's had enough.

I went down and saw that he was on his belly...but I could tell he was in total pain and flipping him over didn't do the trick. So I grabbed him up and comforted him until he went to sleep again. Then I put him back in his bed and he started wailing, so I picked him up again to comfort him in my arms.

That's when I realized that even though he was probably in pain he was completely f-ing with me...he knew I was going to pick him up every time he cried. But he just looked to cute so I held him and rested while he slept.

It was so cool because he was curling up like when he was a baby...I realize he's still a baby but I mean he was like he was a brand new baby.

Next he woke a bit and gave me his pacifier...he'd been doing this to Staci for awhile but it was the first time he gave it to me. Then he fell back asleep.

Moments later Staci came down to check on him and she say him lying in my arms...she asked why he was in my arms, because it was going against our normal routine of sleep and comforting him...a routine I'm pretty strict with.

Then he woke.

She asked him if he was he was scheming...with the best timing ever he pulled his blankie over his face, gave a giant smile and gave a huge giggle...because he knew he was guilty.

It was awesome.

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...