December 29, 2011

When Cuddling Goes Gross

This is another post in my VapoDad series since the good folks at VapoRub are shooting me a bit of cash to write whatever I want.

I don't normally take showers at 11:40 PM but had you broken into my house a few weeks back that's where you would have found me. I used to shower late at night actually, doing stuff in the morning was unheard of pre-kid. Some people thought it was gross to take showers at night but I don't really buy that... But that's not why I switched... It's because the whole thing where MF wakes up if I even step to loudly in the middle of the night. A shower would asure a kid waking.

And while I'm sure you're incredibly interested in my showering habits that's not what this post is about.

It was a couple weeks back when MF spewed a bit while being put to sleep. Stomach flu was going around his class and he wanted to keep up with everyone so he of course caught it.

After some clean up he moved to our bed and went to sleep.

Then an hour later he was up and puking again. Staci grabbed a bowl lined with a plastic bag because that's what they do in her family... I'm not sure what we did growing up but I think it was just a plain bucket or bowl. No plastic bag.

The toilet is the target for us of course since we're older... Also aren't you glad you're reading this post about vomit, toilets and me showering in the middle of the night? The answer should be yes because when it wins a Pulitzer you'll be able to say you read it first.

The reality is a toddler doesn't get the whole "hit the bowl" thing... And he was super sick and sad and quite pathetic but he pulled through.

The third time he got up in the middle of the night was around 11:25. He just wanted to be cuddled and he jumped into my arms. Staci offered the bowl but I took one for the team because that just seemed like the right thing to do.

He grabbed on and leaned his head on me. I thought we'd be all good... Then he puked... On me... Three times.

And it was warm... And wet... And gross... But he was comforted. And a few minutes later I was in the shower.

This isn't an isolated incident... I've caught puke before and earned a badge.

It's not something I'd enjoy... It's not something I'd do for anyone else... It's not something I'd ever thought I would do in the first place... But when it's your kid it's different, right?

It happened one more time that night but a towel on my shoulder caught the goods, which were low in volume because the previous spews.

And two days later Staci and I caught the stomach bug... My heroic efforts where the reason I woke up on the bathroom floor in just shorts with my feet in the unfilled tub... I had puked and felt too crappy to walk back to our room.


I totally forgot to mention that the day before I got sick I was feeling a bit woozy. I thought maybe there was some carbon monoxide thing going on because I had just been cooking and it felt like carbon monoxide poisoning to me... Of course I don't know what that feels like but I suspected what I was feeling was CO poisoning.

I did the smart thing and brought our CO alarm downstairs and it started beeping... I replaced the batteries and it started beeping again.

I opened windows on that cold cold night, Staci and I got the kid out and I called 911, which is what you're supposed to do.

They came over and it was a little house party... In fact when Staci called for an update I said I was entertaining.

We had one police officer, two firefighters and three EMTs (but one was in training)... They took my vitals and checked for CO levels... There were none.

The deal is CO monitors need to be replaced every five years and they know this... They go off five years after first use (ours took about eight) and the fire depts get calls all the time about it because it's not like a fire alarm when the battery goes off... CO alarms do the same beep as a house full of CO.

In addition I learned that you should get a Nighthawk brand alarm (Kidde is made by them) because the fire dept says they are the best. Also get a digital one because they will tell you the actual level that the CO spiked at.

I know this knowledge basically saved your life and for that you're welcome.

December 27, 2011

Aw Shit... We Forgot To Do A Holiday Letter: The Letter

It was a couple days before Thanksgiving when I remembered we didn't do holiday cards this year... That's when we got our first card from a friend. We forget every year. Staci will usually send out some nice cards but we haven't done the family thing... With pics of us and MF.

I feel like that's what you're supposed to do... So I thought I'd do one.

First I had to look back at the best ones I've gotten through the years... And the best are the ones that are total BS... Where it feels like the people live in Whoville (pre-grinch of course) where everything is perfect and their kid is a genius... Then I had to look at a site to get some info on what to write (since I have none in front of me)... And so I give you our Holiday letter,

Dear Family and Friends (or should I say Friends and Family? I'm not sure if it's in order of importance or not and then does the most important go first and last? Maybe just read that part as Dear ____ and put your name in the blank. Then it's more personal and you feel like I care more... Yeah so do that please. Thanks)

Happy Holidays to you! We hope the past year has brought you many blessings.

As you know I don't normally use exclamation points but I copy and pasted that sentence straight from another site because I thought it fit well. I used the whole thing because I don't want to pretend I'm pawning it off as my own only for you to find out and start comparing me to James Frey.

It's not that I have anything against exclamation points it's that I think they're over used and really I wouldn't use one in that sentence. It's not all that exciting.

We had an exciting year in 2011. The kid started school and got sick a ton. He was getting sick at a level twice his age. He's talking up a storm but that his spoken vocabulary doesn't even come close to his written skills. He's written 14 books and self published them as ebooks. Honestly they aren't the best stuff I've written but for a kid under two I'm told they're rather advanced.

He's selling the books for 99¢ a piece and the thing with ebooks is people will buy crap if it's cheap so he sold about $1.4 million worth of books this year. Don't think all that money goes to him. There are fees and such that bring it down to just above $1 million.

We put $1000 of that money in a college account for him but I had a hunch so we took the rest down to the casino and put it on 27 on the roulette wheel. 14 came up. I'm not really sure what happened, the hunch was so strong.

When he's not writing he enjoys soccer of course... Every kid does. He's the best on his team and was recruited by the LA Galaxy. We told them he'll have to wait a year and a half until he's out of the toddler room in school. We really feel that education is important.

Kenny got a new job! He basically sits around all day and tells people when to use exclamation points. It's a new field but we really feel that Exclamation Point Pointing Out is going to take off this year.

Kenny also watched the whole series of Cheers on netflix (well not the whole series because netflix is so lame and is missing 20 episodes. We're very proud of him.

Staci signed up to do a triathlon this year. She signed up really well. You should have seen her it was amazing. MF and I were there with signs of support the whole time... We didn't get any pics because we were so in the moment. She knows we have a lot of love for her... At least she better or this paragraph will get me in trouble. (Side note... Staci, I love you).

This winter has been fantastic. It was the first year MF really played in the snow and understood it. We taught him which snow you can eat and which you can't. We also let him know to ask folks if the snow on their lawn is free-trade, organic, non-GMO and if it has trans fats.

Oh, and he said "fuck" once... But we were able to steer him away from saying it so we believe it was a one time incident. I don't want to blame anyone for that but if I did we'd blame Staci for allowing the kid to be in the car with Kenny. Really it's quite irresponsible. And it's not his fault that Minnesotan drivers are so horrible that it makes him yell such things.

Happy Holidays would be a bit redundant to close on but that's what we'll end with...
Love (if applicable) The Friedman Family

December 25, 2011

A Very Jewy Christmas

Did you know Jewy has just one 'w'? I didn't... I was going to use two but then using the google I found that the New York Times uses one 'w' so 'm going with that.

Anyway some stereotypes are based on truth and the one about Jewish folk doing Chinese food on Christmas is absolutely true... And it's partly because they're open and partly because we freaking love it (another true stereotype).

In Cleveland, where I grew up, it was also impossible to get a last minute reservation at a Chinese place the night you break Yom Kippur or Passover fasts (or no bread thing). Here it's not so hard as there are about 6 Jewish people in the metro area... That's a fact.

And while you may have read that I'm not so down with the religion part of Judiasm, I'm down with some of the most important customs... Like Chinese food on Christmas.

Last year I don't remember what we did, actually I think it was Indian food since they're open too. But now that MF is getting older I really think sticking to the traditions are important.

And so we ordered in... And it was good.

Happy whatever you celebrate folks...

Probably a pork rib... So not Kosher

That's a mushroom he's inhaling... He loves them

December 21, 2011

Weekly Wednesday Wisdom: Don't Cry Wolf –or– Magnet Free Since 2010

Wisdom for MF: Don't cry wolf

Yesterday we spent a bit of last night at the urgent care. The kid was playing on the fridge when Staci saw him give a look... You know the look.

That I'm doing something I shouldn't look.

So she asked him to come over and he came with mouth closed... The next natural question what's in your mouth followed by, of course, no answer. Then she asked if he ate a magnet... He was playing with these magnets we have on the fridge so that was a good guess... He said yes. She asked him to open his mouth and he did but nothing was there.

When asked if he swallowed the magnet he said no... But when asked if he ate it he said yes.

The deal is it was one of those super strong rare earth magnets... Let me pause my story here for a bit... I have a huge problem with the name of these magnets...

I could go and google it but that would be too much work. I remember looking them up a bit ago and the elements of them are "rare". That's total bullshit. If they were so rare you wouldn't find them in some cheap magnets... You wouldn't find them in magnets at all. Instead we'd be wearing wedding rings that stuck together... But we aren't.

And I'd expect more from scientists... Why are they lying to us? I realize that if it was just some marketing thing it would be a lie.

Ad folk would call them limited edition magnets.

Kind of like they call white chocolate Kit Kats limited edition. They are not... They make millions of them. If I were to buy a case of them and set them aside to sell when I retire I would maybe be able to buy one Kit Kat with what I could sell the moldy old "Limited Edition" Kit Kats for.

I should also mention that I think we're in a candy bar bubble right now... $.89 to 1.09 for a candy bar is ridiculous... That's another reason to not buy a case of Limited Editions you could lose a lot in the short run if the candy bar bubble bursts.

Anyway back to the magnet in the kid's mouth... It can actual be quite dangerous if a kid eats a rare earth magnet because they are stronger than normal ones... Not that eating a normal one is good.

And really they need to eat two magnets or maybe one magnet and a piece of metal that is attracted to a magnet (I believe those metals have a name). They can wreak havoc in the stomach and intestines and actually rip stuff open... But it's quite rare (really rare not "rare earth" fake rare).

So we were freaked and I when I got home I asked MF if he ate a magnet. He said yes.
Did you eat a car? Yes.
Did you eat dog poop? Yes.
Did you eat the refrigerator? Yes.
Did you eat a monkey? Yes.

He was either lying or we had a bigger problem on our hand than we thought.

Better safe than sorry so we took him to the urgent care... Yada yada yada... No magnet.

The kid lied and drove us crazy, got us worried... I realize that if I took a child psychology class (which I actually did but dropped before it started) I would learn he was either just trying to please us by saying yes, playing a game or had no comprehension of why we were asking... Or all of the above.

Point is he cried magnet... Which means the next time we won't believe him whether he ate a magnet, a car, dog poop, a refrigerator or a monkey.

Moral of the Story: There's no need to cry wolf. Wolves are actually quite harmless and pretty damn cool.

Secondary Moral of the Story: If you're going to be in the ad game be a liar – I've known some good liars in my industry... Some have become quite successful. Good liars can also make good politicians, bankers and conmen... Of those three the only respectable career is conman.

December 13, 2011

Untitled #7

Remember that time I got a camera from the awesome folks at Pentax? Well it became the official point and shoot of the blog. I have been busy so unfortunately I haven't posted much from it... But busy isn't the only thing that keeps me from posting pics...

The kid is a big reason I don't have much to post. Since it's rugged (I got the Pentax Optio WG-1) I let him get ahold of it from day one... actually dropped it when it was only two minutes out of the box.

Problem, and it's a good one, is he always wants to play with it when it's out... I'm able to get some shots of him but I have to show him the shots every two or three I take.

So MF took it upon himself to do so self portraits I thought I'd share... These are from his Wow I Have A Crusty Nose series.

Untitled Self Portrait #1

Untitled Self Portrait #2

This next one is probably so artistically over your head unless you have a PHD in Visual Arts. Basically the folks at Harvard want him to visit and discuss the awesomeness of it in a lecture.
Nostril #1

Then I showed him how to set the camera up and look through the screen to get a shot... He placed his train down and composed this... Pretty good perspective actually.

Untitled Train on Shitty Carpet #2

Then he got all full of himself and wanted to send a pic to all his lady friends... So he went all Anthony Weiner in this one... Luckily its just his pajama collar.

Watch out Cindy Sherman

December 7, 2011

A Totally Full Disclosure

I few weeks back a twitter friend tweeted a link along with "this is why I think people have a hard time taking bloggers seriously. Are we all on the take?"

It was a link to a blogger's disclosure policy that was, well... Rather incredibly insanely long...

So I thought about my blog... I have done reviews in the very far past and received swag... I actually did allow some sponsored posts because the person who contacted me totally had me at "I know you're PR Unfriendly but..." And I am of course on my hunt for a free iPad (even though in reality I don't want/need one).

And thus (not sure if I'm using that correctly... Wisdom for Miloh: Pay attention in English class.) I feel compelled to write my own disclosure policy just so you all know the real intention behind my blog post and tweets.

While I hate to be that guy (although sort of love being that guy) I feel compelled to link to the original disclosure policy, that has 16 levels of compensation, that inspired this because it will help you understand my reason for this post... So read this now and then come back and read mine... disclosure policy
This policy is valid from April 13th 1923 and may be changed at any time... Probably won't be changed but it may be., authored by the wonderful Kenny Friedman, is the best freaking daddy blog ever written who can be reached at While emails are welcomed paypal payments to that address are more appreciated.

What is compensation really? defines it as: the act or state of compensating.

Compensation Levels
Compensation levels will not be stated at all at the end of a post... Not because I'm hiding anything but because I'll probably forget to do it most of the time and I don't want all the pressure to remember. However it will be called out somewhere in the post unless it's a link to amazon or such... If it's a link like that I only get compensated if you then buy something so what you should do is click one of those links anytime you're going to purchase from there and then buy something expensive.

Compensation refers to cash, gift cards, free brownies, products, services, the eventual free iPod, random monkeys coming to my house for a play date with the kid or any such thing.

Level -3:  Kenny didn't even think of writing a post.

Level -2:  Kenny thought about writing a post but then got side tracked.

Level -1:  Kenny wrote a post and mentioned a product but did it out of the kindness of his heart because he likes the product... This might include mentioning Megabolt's new print which would make a sweet gift for a boy's room or such. Also the cash goes to a great project.

See what he did there? Kenny mentioned them, got paid nothing, received no "compensation" and the world did not end.

Also Kenny believes he can right off about $23,478 on his taxes because that's what he believes the mention is worth since he has that kind of power... And he think you can write stuff like that off, right?

Level -0.5:  Kenny wrote an open letter to a company asking for free stuff but didn't get it. Really Frito-Lay you can't send him a couple bags of sunflower seeds?

Level 0:  Kenny wrote a post but it didn't mention a product at all.

Level 1:  Kenny wrote a post while at a coffee house. He ordered a medium americano with just a little bit of water. He also said he wanted a caramel. He realized he wasn't charged for said caramel after he was already at home.

Level 2: Kenny wrote a post relevant to his blog and randomly inserted a link to something awesome in hopes you bought it and millions of dollars worth of other stuff so he got like 4% from that sale.

There is an alt to this where he linked to something kind of lame because he couldn't think of anything better.

Level 3: Kenny was compensated by placing a link to a product by some lame company who's offering him cash in exchange for that link. The post will most likely be a waste of your time to read and the product will most likely be blah.

Level 4: Kenny was given an extra apple pie at McDonalds when he bought one. Like he bought one and they gave him two even though it wasn't a "two for" promotion. And the dude just said "here take an extra." And it happened twice in two weeks from two different McDonalds.

Level 5: Kenny mentions a company and their apple pies and sends them a link to the post that mentions them in hopes they send him some giftcards for more pies even though he technically stole them (like that caramel... this is a pattern) and doesn't really go to that restaurant anyway since the aforementioned hypothetical incidents were years ago.

Level 6: Kenny writes a post in a coffee house and they give him the extra shot of espresso that they usually dump when you order a medium espresso. He tweets about how this is ridiculous and that he's either stealing (seriously a pattern) when this happens or getting screwed when it doesn't. I mean c'mon don't have three sizes of espresso and dump one shot from the middle size... Just have two sizes and charge the small and medium price... I'm talking to you Caribou Cofffee.

It would be considered Level -4 if he gets the medium and they don't give him the extra shot and Level -5 if he orders a large espresso... which he doesn't because he'd rather play the ponies with the medium.

Level 7: Kenny was provided a nice night out with his wife or friends in return for a mention of a product or review. In accordance with his PR Policy if said night out includes a movie he will be accompanied by Seth Green. If, I mean when, Seth attends the movie there is a fifty precent chance that he will buy the popcorn (because of alternating popcorn buying nights) however while that is compensation it will not be included in the compensation given and will not affect any review or mention.

Level 8: Kenny is procrastinating one night and reviews some companies on their website. In his review he threatens a company with theft if they don't meet his demands... Really this theft thing is getting out of hands. Someone should alert the authorities.

Anyway let's say hypothetically he says he's going to steal a salt shaker... If he were to somehow receive a salt shaker from said company he'd eventual get around to posting about it... But that's not gonna happen which is why it's hypothetical.

Level 9 (quest 2): There is a red ring in the upper left corner of the dungeon. To get to the room you need to go through a wall that looks solid and then go down a staircase.

Level 10: Kenny will enter a contest and totally forget about it. He will come home one day and see a coffee maker on his stoop. He'll mention the name of the coffee maker brand in a tweet saying he's totally baffled why it showed up randomly. Two months later he still won't remember what contest he entered. He will write a disclosure post mentioning the coffee maker and he'll use the word 'stoop.' He'll think to himself that it's really an odd word.

Level 11: He'll send some random company an open letter asking for something free and actually get the product. Then he'll mention them again in a subsequent post. Probably put a banner on his right sde bar. Realize he needs to add one for Pentax. And he'll mention that company a few other times because those companies that send him stuff totally rock.

Level 12: Housewares and linens

Level 13: Kenny does some sponsored posts and mentions your product in said post. Here is one example. Said post will be awesome and he won't write some crap about a product he doesn't like. Also he will probably spend the money on posters even though he said he'd put it into the kid's college account... Actually it is going to the kid minus maybe one poster for the kid that maybe not everyone in the house will like... But he needs good art, right?

Level 14: This post is for an app. You know that, unless stated, any app review post means Kenny was compensated by receiving the device that the app runs on. If he already has said device he will sell it and give the money to a worthy cause... Perhaps the human fund.

Level 15: Kenny is a shill for some company and tweets, posts and otherwise mentions them as much as he can. He will never tell anyone of this relationship and he will make millions from it. Even though he's now a multi-millionaire he'll still live a humble life because he's just that awesome.

Level 16: Kenny receives special treatment from a company because of a relationship that involves him posting about the company. For example he will get to use html 6 while everyone else is on html 5. He will get free mango juice from a restaurant because he's awesome (or because his kid is so freaking cute and it's for the kid any way and the kid knows it so gets mad if he takes a sip... But he will take a sip.)

If Kenny is given swag at a blog related conference or event it would be miraculous as he doesn't attend any. However if he gets unlazy he's going to submit an idea for Blogher 12 and you should all say you want to attend. If he did speak he would probably get a swag bag. In that case he'd throw most of it away because it's usually crap. With what's left he'd give a majority away and only keep maybe some electronics and a good travel coffee mug. A good travel coffee mug is defined by one that is not plastic and can go in the dishwasher... What's the point of a coffee mug that can't go in the dishwasher?

Oh, yeah... He won't consider that swag to be compensation.

Kenny is as or more popular than Kim Kardashian on the twitter. It looks like he has a ton fewer followers than her but it's because he has so many that the numbers have rolled over...

That being said you can assume that anything he says on twitter is sponsored and that he got a minimum of $60,000 for the mention... like this one. Seriously Jesse LeDoux pays me $100,000 a month to mention him a minimum of three times. He said his ROI is over 1000 percent.

Kenny also asks all new twitter followers to pay him $10 a year. Sadly it's hard to police and so far he's made nothing from this venture...

In Closing
Kenny is totally on the take...

December 6, 2011

The Very Busy Spider Web Across My Cell Phone Screen

It was Sunday and I was wearing my Moosejaw Jose Yero hoody. I try to set a good example to MF on how to piss off his mother so I wasn't wearing a coat over said hoody even though it was quite cold... But we were only walking 75 feet to go indoors so why put the jacket on, right?

Here's a little mini review of said hoody. It's super soft inside... Fits really well... Has a big old moose on the back which MF loves. Basically I love the sweatshirt aside from it's one downfall...

The pockets do not keep cell phones inside of them... Or what I should say is if you put your cell phone in the pocket then run up the stairs there's a chance that the phone will fall out, fall perfectly... Amazingly flat on the ground screen side down and crack like some tasty peanut brittle... Although it's not tasty and it cost a lot more. Because of that I'd have to give it four stars... Had it not broken my phone I'd give it five. And yes I'm totally blaming a sweatshirt for the broken phone since I'm perfect.

pic is crappy because it was taken with my new/old phone

My phone was dead... Well really not dead... It worked perfectly but the screen was gone. Although I hate my phone I was bummed because they're not cheap. I called to see about what a screen would cost and got an estimate of $100... Which maybe isn't bad but my phone sucks and I don't want to put any more cash into it.

Then in trying to figure out what I should do I remembered a post that I read on the FearLess Revolution blog... It's about a guy who was happier once he ditched his phone. I read it right after wrote my luddite post and it got me thinking that maybe when I upgrade my phone next I'll actually downgrade a bit since with a kid I'm not ready to ditch the phone.

So I went to my drawer and pulled out my old LG Muziq flip phone... I had still kept it just in case.

This phone rocked in the day... It plays music and has a slot for a memory card (this was huge back then). It has one camera but kind of works like dual cameras because of dual screens. It gets craptastic email but it gets email... And if there is a gun to my head I can hop on the internet. And most importantly I can drop it and it doesn't break... Seriously this thing has been dropped a lot and it works perfectly with only a few scratches... How many phones are made like that now?

I activated the phone... And felt a bit lighter.

I no longer have a simple way to check email, twitter or such things at all times... I do have an iPod Touch but that's limited because of wifi.

I felt like I could simplify my life a bit... Be in the moment more... Not be the asshole with the phone out during dinner. Because while we all kind of hate that person I feel that many of us have become that.

And then I had withdrawal and freaked the hell out... I need all that stuff... I found my Palm Pre (which is a piece of shit) and activated that... Then I deactivated it when I remembered it only works on speaker. The way I felt about "needing" all those connectivity features beyond phone and text kind of freaked me out...

So I decided to stick with the muziq and see if I could last out my contract which ends in eight months.

When the first full day came, yesterday, I felt good about the choice to downgrade... I no longer feel like I'm captive to my phone... I no longer have to check email, check twitter, check to see if anyone commented on a post or check some stupid fact on the web (ok maybe I still need that).

Really the phone had become a parent or boss... Always needing to check in with it.

It's kind of awesome having the lack of technology a bit... And I'm hoping it will simplify my life a bit... I'm not ready to drop the phone altogether, it's really impractical with a kid, but now I can use it as it's intended... As a phone instead of an anchor.

All that said we'll see how long this lasts... It's kind of an experiment... On that a lot of folks would say is pretty easy... But if you have a phone that's rather smart you can probably understand how tough it is.

I hope to ride my contract out and then get a semi-basic phone but an android... I know I can cheaply buy out my contract but I think it will be nice not checking shit all the time.

Moral of the Story: If you didn't read that FearLess post I mentioned above read it now...

December 5, 2011

Stay the F to Sleep

Stay the F to sleep should really be the sequel for the Go the Fuck to Sleep book.

Here's the deal... A friend of mine and his wife are having trouble with their kid sleeping. This problem is a two parter...

It all started when their kid, let's call him Em Eff was sick and they let him sleep in their bed at night... Partly because he's super cute, partly because he was having trouble sleeping and partly because it was just kind of nice.

Then said kid got better but would wake up in the middle of the night wanting to sleep in his parent's bed... A so we our friends let that little kid sleep with them because it was kind of cute and kind of nice and they got to sleep instead of hear crying.

I should mention that the part two of this is the kid wakes up every time the totally awesome dad goes up to sleep... One day he hacked into my twitter account and tweeted about it.

Obviously not me because there is a typo.

And so that night too the kid slept with our friends...

So then our friends tried cry it out again... The first time was when the kid was quite young and it worked. On a side note my friend read the comments of the linked post and it actually helps know the CIO is not horrible, but it was horrible for my friends last night.

Because once again when my friend walked up stairs Em Eff was up... And cried for an hour until my friend slept on his kid's floor. It wasn't necessarily good but it was better than the kid being in the parent's room. And the kid went right to sleep although kept checking to see if his dad was there (I'm told.)

I think an easy answer is the dad doesn't need to stay downstairs late but the TV in his bedroom will wake the kid, and he has a hard time sleeping early... Plus he's watching White Collar which actually has some nice characters in it.

So yeah... There you are... Another round of the kid not sleeping.

They're boot camping CIO tonight... And it will suck.

Anyone else have a similar situation?

December 2, 2011

If your method eventually pays off, you're sort of a genius!

So yeah... I'm PR Unfriendly... I mean not totally... In reality I work with PR folk all the time in my real jobb. And I know that their jobs are tough. Still I can't help sending a snarky (and semi-serious) email every once in awhile to reply to their offers of free, super cheap, stuff in return for a free review.

I've shared these on twitter and folks there enjoyed them so I thought I'd share again.

Also while I know I'm being a bit of an ass in reality I don't think I am... I'm sure my emails have got passed around offices... People have laughed or called me a fool (or an ass) and laughed in a different way. So really I'm doing good and hope to be Knighted by the Queen for my efforts.

I was offered the chance to review a new burger at a fast food restaurant... They said they'd throw in a gift card... Not sure why I never got a reply as this was quite generous and reasonable.

Dear (omitted)

Sorry I didn't back to you earlier regarding your question of if I'm hungry. When I received your email I was in fact hungry. I was heading out to lunch at my one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. I kind of screwed up because I didn't order what I usually do and I while the food was good it didn't hit the spot...

So while I was full after the meal I was still hungry.

And while I realize you didn't ask I'm not hungry right now because we had a huge client lunch.

But really you want to know about the burger.

Here's the deal. While it seems awfully tempting I would have to augment the sandwich a bit and so I don't know if tasting it would really represent the burger you want to review.

I'd have to take the cheese off because of my well documented hatred of cheese.

I'd also have to opt-out of the actual meat situation as I haven't had meat since 1988. Since you are interested the last meat I had was General Tso's Chicken.

Also I'd opt to not have the tomato because I fucking hate raw tomatoes.

What's in the signature sauce? I'm guessing I wouldn't want that too because they are usually mayo based and who the F wants to eat mayo? Seriously... Once some Miracle Whip folks tried to serve me a mayo laced brownie sample. I spit it out and put it back on the tray. Not even kidding.

While I eat lettuce that stuff is usually nasty at fast food restaurants so I'd say no lettuce too.

But the idea of a nice bun with a pickle and sad little slice of onion sounds great.

So please send me a gift card... But can I ask for a gift card from a place other than (that fast food restaurant)? I'd be cool with a Caribou Coffee card or even Barnes & Noble... I drink lots of coffee and read books.

I'd also except cash too.

On that subject you owe me $10. If you took a moment to read my blog you'd know that I have a policy of charging a $10 fee to read unsolicited PR emails. I won't charge you for both that you sent because I never got back to you on the first one.

Click here to my pay the $10 fee.



A lot of people want me to review iPad apps... I have no iPad so I offered a reasonable solution...

(Person's Name)

Thank you for your email. I'd love to check out that app. My blog posts for December are getting a bit filled but I can squeeze you in.

How long do you think it will take for you to send me an iPad with the app loaded in it? If I have a choice I'd like a black iPad because I just think the white one looks cheap. I guess you can say that it's retro because the original iPods were white but really I'm not a fan. I'm ok with a 16GB but a larger one would be much appreciated...

Now that I think of it you might not need to load the app because it will have to be in my iTunes account. It will be a bit of a pain but I'll load it.

If you need the iPad back I will be able to return it to you within the usual time frame for my blog of one year. If you'd like me to send it back please let me know before sending. I'll also require a self addressed envelope and a check for $500 to cover shipping and whatnot.

Look forward to checking out the app.

thanks... Kenny

And then I tried again... After I sent this I had a little friendly back and forth with the PR person... He (I'm thinking he because the name although I knew one girl with the same name) said "Good luck with the free iPad :) If your method eventually pays off, you're sort of a genius!"

Well I am sort of a genius... But I'm still iPad-less.

I should say that in the original pitch email my luddite post was mentioned... Also I thought this reply was super nice and quite generous...

(Probably a dude's name)

I see that you scanned my enough to know that I don't let my kid have play with an iPad or iPhone. But in looking into your app it seems like it has some good stuff for people who do use them with kids.

You may have missed my PR policy which makes the cost of my reviews quite steep. Although I haven't yet added the cost of app reviews yet I have been asking for a device to review them on. For instance if you want me to review an iPad app send me an iPad with the app loaded.

Surprisingly no one has sent me one yet but in reality it's what my time is worth.

That being said I'll offer you this deal. Send me an iPad loaded with the app. I'll mention/review it on my blog. I'll also mention that I'm selling the iPad on ebay with the profits going to some charity, maybe toys for tots.

I'll sign said iPad which will probably add $3 to the value of the device.

It's win/win/win... You get a review. I hold true to my PR policy and some kids get toys.

be good... Kenny

For some reason I keep striking out... Still I get a lot of emails each day so I'm sure more posts like these will pop up... Unless you all hate them... But they will probably still pop up because they amuse me and hopefully will amuse MF years from now.

November 28, 2011

When My Toddler Son Became A Teenage Girl

First of let's start by saying he never technically became a teenage girl. If that disappoints you I'm sorry. If he had become one overnight I probably would have been on the Today Show and would be writing a book about it because that's what you do.

Also I should mention that this is another in my VapoDad series. These posts are about taking care of someone when they're sick... And it's a two parter in one post. The first part being long and rambling and the second one being short.

Part one:

So waiting for MF to get sick didn't take long because he was sick about a two weeks ago. Just pink eye in both eyes, bronchitis (which I totally spelled correctly without spell check but you'll have to take my word on that) and a slight ear infection. This of course meant I was sick last week but only for a bit.

And you're asking how he became a teenage girl... Well I'll tell you and then you'll get pissed that I'm saying he was a teenage girl instead of teenage boy but you can slam me if you'd like. Also please do it on your blog and link to mine so I get some extra traffic... An early thank you.

With all the things wrong with him he was given Prednisone, I thought it was called Pregnisone for a long time... Anyway there is a family history with Prednisone. Fifty-percent of the pre-kid household had been on it before (not me) and when this person fully Prednisoned and was on the phone with her mom she may have been yelling. And then when called out on it she may have yelled "I am not yelling." Also I might need a couch to sleep on tomorrow.

What I'm saying is, hypothetically, it might make otherwise sane people go a little coo coo if that's how you spell it (doesn't look right).

And so there was little MF on steroids... Totally roiding out... And that's when the teenage girl attitude came out (really I mean that strong independent thing that I think teen girls do with a better air to it than teen boys do... seriously).

All of a sudden he was ordering us around... And at first we let him because he's sick... Then we realized he's a teenager.

We'd hold him and he'd say "go right there" and point to where he wanted to go... I guess this wouldn't be so odd but he never said it before. So it was "go right there." "Go right there." "Go right there."

And there really was no right there. Also he forgot words like kitchen, upstairs and bedroom. Everything was a vague "right there."

Also he learned the word because... And he used it with a teen girl attitude...

"Why are you on the table?"

"Why are you spilling all the dog's water?"

"Why are you screaming?"
In a totally calm voice: "because."

And then the pièce de résistance (spelling totally Googled) MF had pooed and so naturally I asked if he pooed and he said no. I asked again. He said no daddy. So I said "it smells like you pooed." to which he answered, while pointing, "go in kitchen now."

Seriously. He forgot the word to kitchen when I was his rickshaw but now when I'm being put in a time out in my own house he remembers?

Part two:

Well he became nice again after the roids wore off. And then is where the VapoDad was VapoKidded (hey Vapo folks please pay me for that VapoKid thing... Or hire my agency for the VapoKid work you're gonna want to do.)

On Thanksgiving I broke my toe. It was quite traumatic but what I remember was being at the park and seeing a bunch of wolves running towards some innocent children trying to attack them. I ran up to the alpha-wolf and kicked him in the jaw. The kick was so hard that I broke my toe and the wolf turned around whimpering.

I was cheered on for my heroic act then, because I'm a hero, I waited a day to go see the doctor for treatment.

Others may say that I was at the dog park and kicked a tennis ball but missed and hit a rock. They also may say that the toe isn't broken. Who are you going to believe?

So I was limping a bit and my toe was dark purple. MF kept asking what happend and of course I just replied that I had been a hero and hurt my toe.

Then when we headed to our Thanksgiving meal (the day after) I got off the elevator. MF asked what happened again so I told him the hero thing. Then I asked if he'd carry me.

And he held out his arms.

And Last:
Remember that Vaporub has this Facebook deally called Feel Better Friend where you can send virtual care packages to friends. You all may know that I'm not really a Facebook fan and I don't dig many apps, but I can honestly say, and I'm not just saying this because they are sponsoring this post, that it's kinda cool how they search your friend's statuses to see who may be sick.

Also two of my friends are sick right now. Also I'm not really friends with either.

Music For The Kid

On both of my computers I have a playlist called "Music for the kid" both are unfinished.

When I'm hanging with MF I usually have the radio on and ask if he wants to listen to Rock and Roll or Classical... Three of four times he says Rock and Roll which is awesome to hear a kid say (and that statement is weird for me to be making because I think back at two years ago when people woud say "doesn't he/she say that so cute?" and I'd be thinking "No."

Since he's a fan of the Rock and/or Roll I'm trying to make a good playlist of music that I can listen to and that is good for MF to jam to.

I have a few rules:

  • It can't be music for kids – I recently bought a Lisa Loeb kid's cd . I rather like it (Staci doesn't – but it's been confirmed that I'm right) but that stuff and things like it won't make the list.
  • It has to be something I can listen to on heavy rotation because I know how kids are with music.
  • And it can't have a lot of swearing. I'd say no swearing but I broke that with the first song so... Whatever.
  • A majority of the stuff should be dancy... Kids like to dance... People like to watch them dance. Again I broke that rule in the first song.
  • Can't be stuff that's always on the radion... And hopefully stuff that is never on Radio Disney
That all being said I figure if I could come up with at least 10-15 songs that would fit on a cd then I accomplished something... And that's what we have here... But I'd love other suggestion. One more rule – no Dave Matthews.

By no means is this finished, perfect or anything else... but here's what I got so far. This will be revisited.

Nashville Tennessee by Frank Turner Just because I love this song
My Flying Saucer by Billy Bragg & Wilco It's about a flying saucer and it's fun
Click, Click, Click, Click by Bishop Allen Because it's awesome and so something I would have/actually have done. I hope MF causes mischief like this too.
Heart Made Of Sound by Softlightes Just fun good stuff... Sweet video too
Nothing by Mason Jennings Loved this song when he was a pre-kid
What Would Bob Do? by Colin Hay Fun and you need some Colin Hay in your life
Bowling Green by Neko Case & Her Boyfriends Fun and you need some twangy Neko Case in your life
The Cure by Tegan and Sara First song he danced to 
Smell Of Petroleum by The Pogues You can't forget about the awesomeness of The Pogues
Gardening At Night by R.E.M No longer a band but this is mumbling greatness
Punk Rock Girl by The Dead Milkmen Should be in every playlist really
Here And Now by Letters To Cleo Because no one has any idea of what they are saying in the chorus and a kid would love that
Another Postcard by Barenaked Ladies The dude is getting postcards with chimpanzees sent to him. This is a must for any kid playlist. I also wonder if he's still getting the postcards.
Beach Girl by Beatnik Termites one of my favorite Cleveland bands. Power pop/surf rock greatness. And kid friendly

November 22, 2011

My Kid the Luddite

The kid is becoming a bit of a Luddite... Not in a go out, grab a hoody and blow some stuff up kind of way... He just isn't always a fan of technology.

We kind of swore of television for Miloh before he was born... Then slipped a bit when he was super-crazy new and we were super-crazy tired... We let him watch Planet Earth... I know, scandalous.

Then we went cold turkey on television for a long while until he was a toddler and mornings were just a little bit better with a cat and a also a hat. Our doctor had said a little bit before bed was ok too... As long as he had under a half hour a day... And most days he didn't hit that...

Although he learned good stuff from TV... Seriously he learned a lot of words from Sesame St... We did notice he got hooked fast...

What I'm trying to say here is the kid was watching television and while it was either nature shows or PBS stuff we always felt a bit guilty. So we shut it off again with the exception of a little Busytown Mysteries or fish nature shows (his fave) when he’s asleep.

That's all his love of technology... But he did have moments of total hatred of it... And we didn't see it at first.

He started to hate our phones but it took some time to notice. Any time they were out he'd become really naughty, biting, hitting us and such. The same with our laptop except when we were watching Danny MacAskill do his thing, which we still watch… I won’t count the bike videos as screen time because that’s more training for when he starts to ride. He’s learning a ton by watching and so this screen time is invaluable.

It's tough to not be connected these days... It only took a few years but being connected all the time became the norm for everyone... But now we're trying to give it up when he's around... Well we've pretty much given it up when he's around.

I started unplugging because I did something dangerous... Istarted reading. I won’t regurgitate that article and I suggest reading it but the gist is that parents being plugged in is not so good for the kids.

And it makes me think about how to raise MF…

I was never thinking we’d be too quick on getting him his own iPod, iPad or anything like that... And not to offend, because I never do that, but I just don’t get why people hand them to their super young kids… First they’re expensive and second kids still like crayons and such.

I was intrigued by the Nook color's (and I suppose now the Nook Tablet's) interactive books for kids... Thought about buying one for an upcoming long ass plane ride but then balked…

I balked (if I’m using that baseball term correctly) because I read some more; AParent’s Struggle With a Child’s iPad Addiction, Aregadgets bad for kids? and the more general NYT collection about your brain on computers

All that stuff makes me want to keep MF analog for as long as we can.

I want to keep him away from tablets and phones and laptops until he really needs them for school. Some would say I’m setting him behind others… Sure keeping him away from that could hurt his chances of being a 12year old app mogul. But I’ll take those chances.

Before he was born I thought about how I'd get him drawing on the computer early because I have all the best software and why not get him good early so he can kick ass?

But, I think of my nephew and technology. Computers and cameras were around when he was young but he didn't really start using them until he was in his young teens... A handful of years later he's a freaking master and in an amazing film school...

Being late to the tech table didn't hurt him at all.

In reality it probably helped him.

Knowing how to do things the analog way, like actually draw with pencil and paper, separates the great people from the rest. I’m sure there are some amazing artists who go straight to a computer and can’t draw but some of the best stuff I’ve seen starts from a sketch.

That being said I’m trying to go more analog.

While totally hypocritical I got a Nook Simple Touch… The black and white kind. Partly because I thought I’d be tempted to hand a tablet to the kid… But also because while digital it has a similar affect on your brain as a regular book because of a reflective screen, as compared to a tablet with a backlit display. More about backlit displays and sleep here.

(Side note I actually read another article, that I can’t find, about how some dude dumped his iPad as an eReader because when reading he’d spend more time playing angry birds than read… That would be me.)

I actually notice the lack of screen difference in my life… I’m used to being in front of a TV or computer before bed and I have trouble sleeping… Now that I turned off the backlit screen and read the Nook I actually sleep better. And for those who think I fall asleep because I’m reading that’s what I’d do at night from on my mac.

So not really sure what the moral is here… I’m taking a cue from the kid and unplugging quite a bit.

As a kind of P.S. I read anotherarticle about why a guy dumped his iPhone. I don’t have an iPhone, I have an android phone, but really it’s the same idea. Now I’m thinking that when my next upgrade time comes around I’ll actually downgrade.

Moral of the story: I read a lot

Ladies and gentlemen... An example of pencil and paper before a computer.

The print of this is over Miloh's bed... He calls it big elephant but it's a mammoth. Maybe if we had him watch Ice Age he'd know the difference.

November 21, 2011

A Book Review or Part Two of What is PD Eastman Teaching Our Kids?

Disclaimer: again I was going to write a real post... And then this was too good not to post... And if you follow me on twitter you may have seen it... And this is completely inappropriate... And this paragraph is some of the worst grammar I've used... Probably. Also I really like PD Eastman but he left himself wide open for this.

We got our first snow this weekend... And it's awesome because while it's MF's third season of snow it's really the first time he gets how awesome it is... Or at least that it exists.

A few weeks ago Staci had the great idea to get MF a book about snow so he could learn about it before it hits. She picked up PD Eastman's Snow.

And, well, not sure I really need to comment about how this looks out of context.

Even the dog is embarrassed. 

Really it's PD and Roy McKie's book so I'm not sure who's to blame. And for what it's worth the book is great.

P.S. Miloh when you're reading this it's inappropriate because you should never through a snowball in someone's face... Yeah, that's it... Don't look into it any further.

November 14, 2011

Rocking The Suburbs: Part One of Maybe More Than One

So here's the deal... First off all blog post, speeches and the like should start with "here's the deal".

But while that's some ground breaking info it's not what the post is about. It's about my Virginia Slims moment... I've come a long way... baby (this is where I would link off to a vintage Virginia Slims spot but they are incredibly hard to find... And really it's the only reason I used that phrase... This is a cutaway fail).

I was born and raised in the suburbs. And was a total suburban kid...

I was that kid at punk shows wearing a gap hooded long sleeve hooded t-shirt because, well shit, my mom bought my clothes, I didn't know why I needed to look all punk and they were plain and easy... And really I didn't know any better... But it became my style so there you go.

What I'm saying is that while I hung with the punks I looked like the suburbs...

As an aside I'll say that some of the most punk people I knew did not have safety pins in their ears and foot tall mohawks and those looking the part were not always truly punks.

But that's not what this is about... It's about a suburban kid who couldn't help but looking the part.
Then after college (well technically after three college, plus a fourth for some classes, done in only 4.5 years I might add) I moved to they city... Chicago.

It felt right to me, down to what direction the lake was, and as I grew I became a city kid.
Then a job came along and took me out of Chi-town... And I found myself in a first ring burb.

Next we wanted to buy a place and we learned that if you move a bit out you get more space for the buck... I'm kinda happy we bought in the burbs because had we bought in the city our place would be worth even less (fuck you George Bush... and a bit of Obama... There are actually so many others I can name here but a special shout out to Reagan for starting the snowball... But that's not what this is about either).

I went back to my roots but it felt a bit off... I mean I love our place, I love having long roads to bike... But I hate that I can't walk out my place, make a left and have a great pub, cool restaurant, local bookstore 24 hour Walgreens (it's important) or grocery store within 4 blocks.

People are always surprised to hear I live in the burbs... Technically my job as a Creative could be on the line when people find out... I hide it.

But really that's not what this is about...

It's about our weekends with the kid. How awesomely pathetic some have become.

Last Friday night I had the kid on my own while Staci hit the gym. We had our housekeeper come that day (we're suburban) and I wasn't sure if she'd be home after I picked MF up... So I asked what he wanted to do; see fish, books, train or something else.

He picked fish. This is where we'd normally go to the Aquarium but that's a drive when in rush hour... But we found a magical place called PetCo.  Yup we go there all the time so MF could check out the fish, hamsters, snakes and all that... It's free, it's close, it's easy and it's something that I found a lot of parents do.

Then Saturday came around and we headed to another suburb to see royalty... The Cat in the Hat was hanging at Barnes and Noble. I'll make the long story short by saying the only communication between M and the cat was him say "bye-bye" A LOT... Also from about 50 feet away he asked the cat to take his hat off... The kid has manners.

Sunday came around and I had some time with MF alone... I asked him the question from a few days before... He chose trains this time...

So we headed back to the Barnes and Noble we were at the day before so he could play with their Thomas the Train set... It's free, it's close, it's easy and it's something that I found a lot of parents do.

As an added plus they now have a lego table filled with Duplos... He asked me to sit next to him and play but was completely unimpressed by the awesome alligator I made... It's hard to do nice stuff with Duplo and he really didn't appreciate my efforts...

The Alligator was awesome.

So yeah... This is our weekends... Stuck in the burbs but honestly I don't know what else we'd do... He has a ton of fun doing the strip mall thing... A little piece of me dies every time we bounce from mall to mall... But his glowing smile brings that back to life.

P.S. I should add that not everything we do is inside... We have a sweet park near our house and go their often... He's rocking the rock climb wall in the suburbs so that's cool.

And now for some enjoyment here's Frank Turner... Just switch out Reagan for Thatcher and the song kind of works for us folks in the states.

November 10, 2011

Move over Sal Masekela you have some competition

I was going to write an acutal post... One that actually mentions the scene in this video... But it's so much easier to just put up a video and feel like I did something and push any real work til later.

Here's the deal... I've mentioned it before but MF loves watching this one Danny MacAskill video out there... Sometimes in the morning he'll point to the computer and say "bike". Then I say no because we don't want him in front of a screen all the time.

Then he says "bike" again and I give in because A) he's cute and B) I'm brainwashing him into liking bikes...

So today I took a video of him watching and doing commentary... He'll be taking Sal Masekela's job any day now.

Also not sure why any of you would want to watch this because it's five and a half minutes long...

Best parts are in the beginning where he sees Danny's shoes while he pulls a street sign out of the ground... He says daddy but in the past when I've asked if it's daddy riding the bike he says "no, no, no". So basically he things I have the skills to vandalize but not ride a bike.

Other nice part is at 2:21 when he gives a little commentary he's never given before.

November 8, 2011

Self Cleaning: Montessori 101

Disclaimer: I'm probably not the one you want to go to for info about Montessori, Staci would be a good place to go, but I do give a good lay person perspective.

When I was in elementary school I new one kid who went to Montessori in preschool and he was a dork. So if you extrapolate that out it means all Montessori kids are dorks.

It's the "All sheep are mammals but not all mammals are sheep" kind of thing... And I had only seen sheep.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what Montessori is like and I think that the example above is a bit global... Others think that it's too strict and that kids become robots and have no fun.

Really it's bad marketing, and a bad business model because Montessori hasn't been trade marked so anyone can use the name even if they don't follow the method at all. (For more info on schools that follow the method check out the AMI or AMS websites... AMI is closest to the original method).

Anyway Miloh's been in a Montessori Casa since April (minus the summer) and he loves it.

The Casas are broken down into five areas... I think there are five. Really I could ask Staci but she's asleep... The problem is I can only find four areas through a Google search... So I'm already failing Montessori 101.

But the areas are; Practical Life, Sensorial, Math and Language... And if we have to throw a fifth in there, since I think there are five, I'll add bicycling (I know weird that bicycling would be an area, right?).

Blah, blah, blah practical life is huge in the toddler community (I think... really it's late and I should know this stuff more... Seriously failing Montessori 101).

What this means is they do things that you do in a normal day (I need to stress that this isn't all they do.. Staci schooled me in the way I made it seem like it was and confirmed that I did fail Montessori 101 so far). They sweep up, polish things, mop, cook and all that stuff (plus a lot of other stuff but that's not what this is about)... It's good for their fine and large motor skills...

This I think is why some people think Montessori is strict... But the kids don't yet realize that cleaning sucks... They do it because they see us do it... They have fun, they learn their environment and they grow.

And it has awesome side effects.

Sometimes they bring these skills home. And Miloh has brought the love of cleaning up home... Today after some Indian food we had a bit of rice to pick up off the floor. We spent 15 minutes switching off who would sweep and who would use the carpet sweeper.

It was awesome... Sure he wasn't as efficient as I was but we had a great moment and it made cleaning fun for me...

I tried to get a shot of it but he's really obsessed with the Pentax I got (and should write about) so the second the camera came out he went for it.

Just a bit of curry and rice on his face.
And that is my first lesson for Montessori 101. I'm planning on it not being the last but I'm not gonna promise anything.

November 4, 2011

Unrelated: Fucked Up Words of Wisdom

The best part of my blog is finding how you all find me... And a bit of folks find me through search... Not for things like; "who's the most powerful and most awesome daddy blogger?" "who's the sexiest daddy blogger ever?" or "what blogger would be the best POTUS?"

So here are some of the favorite search terms that brought people to my site in the last six months... If one of you found me with one of these searches and still read you are awesome:

  • fucked up words of wisdom (honestly my favorite)
  • you got your peanut butter on my fish (many variations of)
  • ikea kids shitting bunny (many variations of this too)
  • 99 problems and the bitch ate one?
  • brown stuff coming out of rabbits bum (reading this made me laugh so hard I started to choke)
  • clouth dipers are bullshit (I actually liked them for MF... Also they spelled it wrong)
  • dumb ass dog
  • gay belly daddy
  • having a baby sounds like the worst thing ever
  • how to determine the amount of urine in a pool (from an actual post but that rocks)
  • kenny naked (it's weird that only one search for this happened in 6 months)
  • schmonk you (that's my yiddish blog's name)
  • the best freakin thing ever (obviously)
  • worst things you can say to an animal
  • xylophone spelled with a z (but you spelled it with an x already)
  • what kind of music does matt muenster listen to (my blog actually started as one devoted to Matt's musical likes and dislikes)

There are soooo many more that are completely inappropriate and some that are just sick.

And this is where you share your awesome finds...

November 3, 2011

P.D. Eastman Teaches Miloh How to Get the Ladies

We all know the book Go, Dog. Go!... at least I hope we all know that book because really it would be a shame if you don't.

In fact if you don't please put away your computer, phone, tablet or webTV and go to your nearest book store and buy it because it rocks.

It's one of my favorite kid's books and one of MF's... He calls it Dogs Going in Cars.

Reading it to him he actually learned the concept of in and out... Big and little as well as some of the colors he didn't know...

But the most important thing he's learning from the book is a bit more subtle... Something that's sinking in to his brain now... Something he'll be able to use in his teens and early twenties...

He's learning how to be a total ass to women and therefore hook up with them.

Let's examine.

The hat's not so bad.

I mean the hat's not great but he doesn't have to be a dick about it...

Notice he steals her feather.

And this one... Yeah it's a bit out dated... I guess "Vintage" but that whole thing's in... If the dude dog was married to the girl dog you know he'd say he liked it either way... A pause or a no would mean he's have to see several other hats to pick the best and they's be late.

Definitely a double black diamond.

Okay... This is actually a cool hat... This is how you know the dog is a dick... Plus it's obvious that this girl dog like him... As far as we know every time she sees him she asks about her hat. Yeah it's a horrible opener but she's probably nervous... Also how did they both get to the top of that hill? Were they dropped from a helicopter?

His hat kinda rocks.

Oh really... Really dude dog... You like that hat? It's horribly ugly even for a party hat. There are fish and spiders hanging from it. But yeah girl dog probably had a little to drink, she's vulnerable because you keep giving her the cold shoulder and now you make your move... You knew this party was coming up... Bravo...

Shouldn't it be "Good-bye" not "Good-by"?

And the rest is history...

The dude dog totally was an ass to the girl dog... The more of an ass he was the more she got interested. She even spent a whole lotta time making a hat to impress him... And he got her in the end.

Moral of the story: Until their mid twenties a lot of women like assholes... Also if you read this book to your kid you probably won't have to teach her/him the birds and the bees.

November 2, 2011

Video: Bee Line for Bread

I was going to do a post but then got lazy... So here's a video of Miloh pushing his shopping cart around whole foods. We've been there twice and he already knows where the free bread is.


Also since the quality of the video is so amazing you'll want to know the equipment used. The camera is from my awesome Sprint phone and the steadicam is my arm.

October 31, 2011

Getting Paid to Babble

A bit ago I got an email from a PR company but it was different from the rest... It started "I know you're PR unfriendly but... " and so I replied because they read my blog.

The gist is they wanted to know if I'd do some sponsored posts... And I said I'd think about it if I could write whatever I want... And I could... So I said yes.

Also I should mention that while I put "Babble" in the title of this post it's a bit of irony... Because they put me down as one of the top 50 daddy blogs and mentioned how I don't sell out... Although seriously I'm not selling out.

The folks at Vick VapoRub wanted to hook up with me because they're launching their first Vapo Dad so they wanted to hook up with the best dads ever and best dad bloggers and of course I was at the top of the list...

And while I could really write about anything I think it would be weird if I wrote about how I did an amazing infographic for a friend's Halloween display because that just doesn't sound right.

Luckily MF gets sick a bunch and so I had some fodder.

So here's the deal... MF had tubes put in his ears a bit ago. When the docs suggested it we were all for it. Not that we want to put him under the knife but because we knew it would help since he was getting ear infections every other week.

Well the tubes helped quite a bit. He does still get sick but luckily we can now see goo flowing out of his ear before the infection gets bad. Can I say that "luckily we can see goo flowing out his ear"?

An infection did come back and so I had to take him to the ENT to get the stuff sucked out of his ear... Awesome stuff that he totally hated when it was done a few weeks prior... I wasn't there the first time but heard the story of a bit of screaming. It was my turn because Staci had to work and it's not the most fun experience.
Noo Noos
We get into the doc office and immediately goes to the illustration of inner ear because it was coolest thing there in his mind. And so he looks at it, looks at me, points to is and said "noo noos" which mean noodles. Unfortunately he didn't say "free-in noo noos" but he's still learning.

While it may sound disgusting that he mistook the inner ear for noodles it actually just shows that he's a genius that knows Italian because Orecchiette is one of his favorite noodle shapes and it means small ear in Italian.

Then the doc comes in, checks him out and gets him on the table to suck that goo out of his ear. By "his ear" I mean MF's, not the doctors... That would just be weird if he did that. Just wanted to clarify...

So the nurse holds MF's head and I get his body... Surprisingly he didn't just want to lay there on his own. Awkwardness ensues when I kiss his head and he moves and I come uber close to kissing the nurses hand and so apologize.

The suctions starts and Miloh says "done" which means done. He says it a bunch of times (and we console him) and then says "more done" and I laugh. It's probably obvious what "more done" means.

But he's never used "more" in that way... He'll see a dog and say "dog" then see another and say "more dog" blah blah blah. It usually means another but there was something funny about "more done."

After laughing at my screaming kid I had to explain to the doc and nurse why it was hilarious... They have no sense of humor.

Well I've covered ears vs noodles and being the best dad ever by laughing at my kid in pain...

Moving on I'll get to that Vapo Dad... It's being announced today that Drew Brees is the first ever Vapo Dad. Who is Drew Brees you ask? Actually I'm betting most of you know... I think I know who he is because I'm guessing the Quarterback of that Saints... I remember his name being thrown around a few years ago (maybe last year) when they won the Super Bowl. Not sure how much of that is true and if there were some type of engine that could search things I'd use it but alas there is none.

So Drew Brees being a footballer brings me to my office Fantasy Football league. I was asked to join and said that I knew nothing about football... Then I was told it was only $5... So I'm in.

And while I know nothing about the sport, except the very basics, I somehow was in first after the 5th week and second after the 6th... Not sure what's going on but somehow I have a good-ish team. Now I'm in third–yet have the most points... How can I be doing so good?

Although really by the time you read this I could totally tank because my numbers look bad this week.

And next week my quarter back Ben Roth(whatever)er goes up against Drew so let's hope Drew gets so super sick that no amount of VapoRub will help because he's projected to be about 7 points over Benny.

I know that's not really kid related but if I win I could take that $70 put it in a college fund for MF and with interest and such by the time he goes to college I could buy him lunch one day.

And that's what my sponsored posts will be like... Still me.

P.S. while I don't have to mention this I will... VapoRub has a Facebook deally for this campaign... It's called Feel Better Friend. It's to share how you or someone cheered someone up when they were sick... Not sure laughing at your kid is one of those things.

October 25, 2011

That Freaking Floor Bed

Back in August I wrote about how I don't get to sleep anymore because MF's not a huge fan of sleep... Not much has changed but I figured I should update on the floor bed thing because I've become the most trusted authority in all things floor bed.*
*from an undisclosed source

I should also remention (which according to is actually a word) that MF is out of a floor bed and is in a super crazy low bed, so it's pretty much the same.

I will say a floor bed can be a pain in the ass. I think it all depends on the kid, and since MF is a little me, there have been a few pain in the ass times.

It really deals with the fact that he can get out whenever, which is the point, although it also means that he can escape.

To jail him up keep him safe we put a baby gate up at his door. I mentioned all this before but since I never read my blog I can't assume you do... Except for this particular post which you're currently reading.

Short story is MF loves his room, loves his bed, feels real comfortable in his space and feels quite independent... In a good way not in a roach falling on his head / going out in the middle of the night way.

And we love all this too.

But it's been super tough also.

Nerve racking racking at first... Worrying that he'd fall off and smother himself or break his neck... This was before he could even roll. Then we worried when we'd find him all over his room when we went in to wake him, although we knew from friends that we should expect that.

Then it was awesome... We'd hear him playing with his toys when he woke up. He'd play for up to a half hour when he woke before he cried for us to get him.

Next... More hell... He became a booby trap that hears any noise that passes. But that's not as much as a flor bed thing as the deal that he's best with his door open vs closed. Door open works best.

This is where the floor bed gets tricky. If he was in a crib he'd cry as we pass and he'd be confined so we wouldn't have to see his cute little face, crying behind the bars of a baby gate, as we walk by his open door. And it sucks seeing him there... So I often find myself hiding on my way to our room until he stops stirring.

Last night I hid in the bathroom for 15 minutes as he waited for me to leave.

It was a classic standoff. Me inside the bathroom, lights off, just on the other side of the door listening for him. He, right at the gate, waiting for me to make my move. I could hear a little clank of the gate as he waited. I swear the kid has some kind of infrared vision. He had seen the light go on under the door but it was off for 15 minutes... And he knew every time I reached to the door.

So there are definite cons to the floor bed... But I think the pros outweigh them.

And hearing him wake in the morning, and play with his little toolbox for twenty minutes before calling out for us to get him, is one of those times I remember it's worth it.

Moral of the sotry: I think I overuse commas

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...