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 dictionary.com 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

October 20, 2011

ygolohcysp: Solves Everything

I think somewhere in the 80's reverse psychology got a bad wrap. I remember TV shows used to make fun of it... I know Cheers did because I'm currently 40 episodes away from watching every episode on that video streaming service that came out with New Coke a month back but decided to scrap it before it even became real.

Any how people say it doesn't work or that it's not good.

I'll tell you it absolutely does work and MF is living proof.

  • Don't feed the dog cheese. The dog gets the cheese, and in reality, we want the dog to have cheese because calcium is good for her bones and brings a lovely aroma to the air.
  • Don't put your foot in the dog bowl. We all know that we want him to wash his foot and socks off, and he does it. How do you wash socks?
  • Don't draw on the walls. Of course we want him to draw on the walls... There would be no Last Supper painting had da Vinci not drawn on a wall. If that painting didn't exist we'd never know Jesus had beautiful long hair. 
  • Wouldn't you rather read a book than drum? I mean that should be so opaque... Drumming really loud in the morning is exactly what we want. It's awesome for the person with him because we get to be his roadie and set up his three drum kit and chair, amazing for the one sleeping and terrific for our neighbors who share a wall and love waking up to banging drums.
I will say it doesn't always work. If we say "wouldn't you rather go outside and play at the park than hand inside quietly because I have a migraine?" he chooses outside... 

So it's not perfect but if you shift your paradigm it certainly works fantastically.

Moral of the story: Fantastically is apparently a word.. Who knew? It looks and sounds really odd.

October 18, 2011

Random stuff I've been thinking

I'm still often blown away that I have a kid and that he's super cool. And that he'll get older and cooler and I'll probably get less cool. And all that. It's just really weird to think about.

I don't know about all kids but Miloh eats a popsicle in the weirdest/cutest way. It's indescribible how he likes it and the face he makes because it's cold. And then he does it again and again and again. Same face every time.

He makes a similar face when he eats spicy food. He'll sometimes grab my giardiniera if I'm eating with something in it. His tongue sticks out and wiggles for 15 minutes but he keeps eating.

You can blame your kid for stains on your clothes. Any stain. "Oh, that coffee stain that's on my shirt and wasn't on there in our earlier meeting... Yeah that was Miloh this morning. I know it sucks but we love them anyway, right." Works every time.

Our conversations are small but awesome. Me: miloh you're so nice. MF: yeah. Me: are you humble? MF: No.

And for the record the two cutest things he says are 'turtle' there is a fantastic pause between tur and tle. And 'cucumber', I can't even describe that one... but it takes awhile and is accompanied by a head shake.

October 17, 2011

Sometimes A Toddler Troubleshooting Guide Would Be Helpful

We all know there's no manual for a kid. You go to the hospital, pop the kid out (as easy as that) and then you're shoved out the door without any bit of info on how to take care of this thing–with the exception of maybe learning how to bath it.

However down the road you'll find that there are times you need such a manual if only to flip to the back to scan the trouble shooting guide.

Last night was such a time.

It was bath time, we have been pros at that since day two because as I alluded to we were taught how to give Miloh a bath at the hospital. I couldn't find his regular shampoo / body wash.

No problem at first. I just grabbed a nice little moisturizing wash that Staci bought Miloh.

But then came time to wash his hair... The wash was an oatmeal based thingy and it was moisturizing so I wasn't sure how that would work on his hair, not that I thought it would make it turn green or anything. I scanned the back and it said 'keep away from eyes' and I didn't want to deal with a kid screaming because of soap in his eyes so I looked for what else we had.

Side note–shouldn't all shampoo be 'no tears'?

I had my citrusy shampoo I could use but I never shove it into my eyes so I was unsure of the tear situation with it. Then there was my wife's shampoo but that stuff costs approximately $4000 a bottle. I believe it's so expensive because it's made of white rhino horn and panda fur. The ingredients don't list them on the back but I'm assuming  "aqueous extracts of chamomile leaf" is code for white rhino and panda.

Then I scanned the linen closet just to make sure we had none of his stuff. We didn't.

We did however have an all natural dog shampoo... Really it's just good stuff on it. I read the back of the bottle and it said that it's good for people too.

So I think the choice is obvious.

I put a little bit of the dog shampoo and put it in my hands. Then I went to the sink and washed it off because I knew if I told my wife, that the reason MF's hair smells so good is because it's dog shampoo, she wouldn't be too happy.

However if there was a trouble shooting guide that said "of course use the dog shampoo" I would have been good.

Anyway I grabbed a tiny bit of my shampoo, washed his hair and covered his eyes so none got in.

Moral of the story: Baths are really kind of gross because you're stewing in a bunch of filth.

October 11, 2011

Potty talk

For the record I still hate the word potty. I don't know a good alt to use. I like "you gotta take a piss?" and I've asked before and he says yes... So that could be good. That leaves the second number... As far as euphemisms I like taking the Browns to the Super Bowl... But that's because I'm from Cleveland I guess.

Whatever you call it Miloh's doing it.

I guess he's been doing it from day one but now he's in the groove because his toddler room teacher is the pee whisperer. She's much more than that of course but she can potty train kids like no one else. I mean he's just over one and a half and Miloh already asks to go potty (hopefully soon he'll be asking to take a piss). Also hopefully he'll learn that the middle of an aisle in a grocery store isn't the best place to say "potty" while pulling down his pants. And of course hopefully he wont hate me when his friends read this when he's a teenager.

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

You see Miloh has learned the glory of standing to pee. And he think, well actually knows, that it's the superior way to do it.

Problem is he doesn't understand that A) not everyone can stand when they pee and B) not everything you do in the bathroom works best while standing.

So if you're sitting on the toilet he'll say "ah, stand." Why kids sometimes and the "ah" before words I'll never figure out. But "ah, stand" sometimes isn't enough... Because if you don't stand he thinks you're doing it wrong.

If that's the case he'll try to forcefully get you standing up. Grabbing legs and pushing on you to make you stand. It couldn't be more invasive and more cute (or cuter... Whatever).

And so I'd like to update my thoughts on a post from a few weeks back where I postulate on what he'll be when he grows up.

I now think he's got a great opportunity to be the best damn bathroom attendant there ever was. Sure he'll be a bit in folks face but he'll tell them the best way to do what they're doing.

All I need to do is get a dish with gum and some really bad cologne to put in our bathroom so he can practice up on giving them out.

Then I need to contact TLC because I don't think they've done a reality show on bathroom attendants yet and what better to do it on than a bathroom attendant prodigy?

You decide your view

Hey readers. Since you're the ones who read my blog, which is why I called you readers, I wanted to get your opinion on some new blogger templates.

 I'm sick of my old one and blogger just came out with some really clean ones. I'd love to know what you think about them to inform which I'll use. If they all suck then I'll do my own again.

Magazine: my current view. The first few rows look good then it breaks down a bit. But I think it's readible.

Sidebar: Not sure if it's intuitive with the left nav, but it's clean and I like it.

Timeslide: Nice but no pics show.

Flipcard: I like this one a bit, and it rocks with more photos. But the date label only shows what's cached so you don't see all... And you'r gonna want to read every last word of my blog.

thanks for the input...and hopefully you can find the comment things because those are sometimes hidden.

Also you can see other views from the dropdown on the left of the nav bar.

October 9, 2011

You asked for my opinion...

You know when you buy stuff online and the company you bought from asks you to review what you bought? And really you should review it if you're a good person and want to contribute to the betterment of society.

Well I was procrastinating on Saturday and wrote some much needed reviews... Enjoy.

P.S. None have gone live yet, I'm not sure the process with Gap (I think it used to be The Gap) and Open Table, but when they go live I'll post links out. Also the last one has a clear typo (and a not so clear typo) and I suck for not correcting it.

P.P.S.S. click on the images unless you can read 2pt type.

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October 5, 2011

This might be dangerous... Part 2 of my latest open letter

Okay, so last week I wrote a post that was an open letter to Pentax asking if I could get an Optio WG-1. I was expecting a nice form letter if anything.

But instead I got a super nice email from the folks there and they said they were entertained and asked me how I feel about orange. I said it was my favorite color... But that might be a lie. I really like certain greys, but for some reason I spell it the English way and it feels pompous yet spelling it 'gray' would seem fake.

Anyway I should say that my other open letters were total cold calls... I put them up on my blog then sent them to folks. But since this was a higher ticket price I sent the email to them first. So when I posted last week I actually had the camera... But really that changes nothing in your enjoyment of the post because unlike James Frey it wasn't total BS.

Yada yada yada... the camera will now be the official point and shoot of my blog (little bug on my sidebar coming soon). I'll also review it soon and periodically test out it's awesomeness (waterproof, cold proof and shock proof etc.) and show the results.

I will say that in the little bit that I have had time to play I really dig it. And I really thank the folks at Pentax for being awesome (you know who you are).

The problem is this now validated my thing that I have going on and it could have started a monster. Look for future open letters to places like Harvard, Yale and the school with the best underwater photography program asking for free tuition for Miloh. I'll have all the schools compete for the best offer.

So while I have no pics to post, which is a bit lame considering... But I have a post I'm working on with the first pics, I'll leave you with a video. The camera takes some really nice video...

It's short, but Miloh was saying Fire Fuck and I had to get that on tape (or flash memory). But the second I took out the camera Fuck became Puck... So disappointing.

I should say that Miloh loves the camera which is why he grabbed it in the end... And when I had it for literally less than a minute he dropped it... And I'm glad it's shockproof... Didn't have to worry.

Weekly Wednesday Wisdom: When a Question Isn't a Question

This is the second, and maybe final (you never know), wisdom from creative directors posts.

Wisdom for Miloh: A lot of sentences that end with a question mark are not questions... They are statements.

Honestly one of the best things I heard in the business world and I heard it only about two years ago. In business there's an epidemic of people asking questions instead of stating opinions.

Many of them start with "Do you think" or "Did you try".

I don't remember this happening much in Chicago... Maybe I didn't pay attention or maybe it's that Chicagoans are direct. Minnesotans are certainly not direct.

It's that Minnesota Nice passive aggressive BS that I hop to shelter Miloh from... I mean he'll be steeped in it but I hope it doesn't invade his personality.

I caught myself asking a question statement the other day... But I called myself on it.

And I think that's what you need to do when you hear a question statement... Call it out.

The old creative director I worked with did call it out... I don't call it out enough but think I will for now on... Not to be rude... But to clarify.

And it's not just in business that you'll hear these question statements. It comes up in regular life.

Then there are the questions you're not supposed to answer... The cliche ones like "Do I look fat in this?"

And there are the ones that seem benign but really aren't, like "how do I look in this?" The answer to that question is always yes... A resounding yes. If you answer anything else you'll have to push back reservations, call friends and tell them you'll be late or start that novel you've been wanting to read.

October 3, 2011

Photos equal awesomeness: Mongolians see photos of themselves for the first time.

I don't really use this blog to aggregate stuff I've seen on the web, maybe I should, but once in a bit I see something that jumps out of me. People are doing a lot of cool stuff out there and it spreads because of social media. I suppose people have been doing this cool stuff forever but now it gets attention.

I should also say people do a lot of stupid stuff that usually gets more attention than the cool stuff but I won't go as far as to say people are idiots... But they are.

Anyway since my last couple posts were about photography I thought I'd share this one I found on PetaPixel.

It's two teenage photographers who traveled to Mongolia and took photos of Natives who'd never seen photos of themselves. How amazing, scary and crazy would that be to be one of those people... Either the natives or the two teens?

I think what really gets me about this is the teens changed the Mongolians lives. Not in a major way. But they will have the photos and talk about the day they got them. And tell their kids... It's 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...