Monday, September 30, 2013

Siblings - Bridging The Age Gap

"I hope that people will realize that the struggle to
make a life better with a sibling is worth it." - Marie Brenner

   I was second oldest in a family of four boys. We were "The Swann Boys". Not that we were sliding across the hood the family wheels like the Duke boys, but we were fairly tight. It was only later in life that my oldest brother stated that he "couldn't stand me in high school." It was a shock, because I never felt it. Blood is thicker than water, and we brothers were thick as thieves. Thus it is with our older two. They can be at each other's throats one minute, then defending each other the next. I have a good feeling that I'll get a call one day that my son was caught beating the snot out of some kid that was giving my oldest 'Lil Miss a hard time.

   Bridging the age gap with siblings isn't going to happen without a little effort by all parties. I certainly don't believe it's going to happen on it's own, so it's just one more thing that becomes our responsibility as parents to teach and encourage our little ones. I never want to fulfill the saying "do as I say and not as I do", so I try to practice what I preach. I have a scattered relationship with each of my four brothers. We're from the same household, but have very different personalities. It takes effort to reach out and make calls, emails, and such. I make an effort because that's who I want to be. My father and his 4 siblings don't all talk that much. My father-in-law has little contact with his siblings. Much of that is not for a lack of trying, and the effort is another post all unto itself. I wanted to make sure that I pointed out that we can ensure a solid attempt at bridging the age gap  between our children by trying. Find similar interests and teach the concept of a strong family.

   As we added another wee one to our ranks, the age gap is greater. We can still find common ground amidst the rivalry and warfare of the young if we really try. My mother recently pointed out that even though we try to find common ground for our children, we also need to recognize that they ARE different ages and to address that as well. So it becomes a balancing act. I know there will be different stages for each, but I want my little ones to be given every opportunity to build a strong foundation within our family. I am my own evidence that try as you may, siblings do drift apart despite great effort to keep them together. I still believe that if we work hard enough at the foundation, there's a better shot at a brighter future for sibling relationships. Teach them to support each other, applaud successes, console in failure. It's a part of the long road we walk as parents that seems to be over all too soon. Do what we can now, and reap the rewards later.


Friday, September 27, 2013

The Friday Flush #5

The Friday Flush #5
   Oh, it's that time again. The Friday Flush #5 wraps up a week of funny new people, some fun new tech, and another taste of the random. 

The BatDad
The BatDad is one funny dude. His name is Blake Wilson and he grabbed a Batman mask one day and the rest is Internet history. The first time I saw this was on a Dad Blogger group post on FB. The guys were recommending we recruit this funny dude. It started off as a funny for him and the family, but has since gained massive popularity and tickled the chuckler of many a funny bone. I'm not immune, as I've laughed at all his videos, and shared them with a giggling wife. I love this guy's creativity and ability to have fun. Four kids can zap you if you don't keep it fun while being responsible for that many lives. I'm always doing voices for the kids, playing various characters, and so on. The BatDad keeps it real by having fun, making the world laugh, and keeping his wife on her toes. For you never know,....when the BatDad will strike next.

I was browsing on Reddit and saw the video that has caught some momentum. It's Phonebloks. The tagline is "a phone worth keeping". Check out the video and see for yourself. It's addresses the waste that is a our cell phones when something is out of date or gets broken. How many of us have had the camera stop working and all of the sudden, we need a new phone. I've had a dozen phones over the years and several problems that have negated the usefulness in my eyes, demanding a replacement. The concept of Phonebloks is that you can replace the broken piece, or upgrade only what you want. I was told by a medical IT guy that the "big guys" would NEVER let that happen. We also agreed that the music industry said the same thing about file sharing,....until Napster changed everything. Keep a weather eye on this one. It's gaining momentum.

I've always enjoyed the lore of Scotland. I married a gal with Scottish blood and found out there's a wee bit of it in my side as well. Now, while I didn't get married in full Kilt regalia, I'm always on the lookout for fun ways to tie myself to the culture. One day a buddy of mine hit me with a link to a site that gave me a good laugh, and then had me saving up my pennies. I give you, where you can enjoy the traditions of the past with the functionality of today. It take a guy well in touch with his masculinity to wear a kilt in America these days. We're not the most accepting people at times. So for a bloke (guy) to throw on a kilt that says "let's go hammer up some drywall",....well, that guy has a seat at my table any time. There's a slew of styles and functions, from the Tuxedo, to the Workman. They've got you covered, even if its just around the waist. Check these guys out, and don't be surprised if you find yourself saving up like I did.

Thanks for dropping by for The Friday Flush #5. We were introduced to the dad that we don't need but don't deserve, a phone worth keeping, and a way to let your inner Scotsman out in a modern way. While the computer and Internet can be a vice, and a big one at that, I'm glad it connects me to some fun and cool stuff. Hope you've enjoyed.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sharing Sucks

"It's enough to make one wonder if some investment bankers never made it out of preschool."
- Nancy Shute, NPR

   The Wife and I have been working hard over the years to teach our children the concept of sharing. We've recently started to say out loud, "What's the point?!" Why would one ever say that? Let me explain. We've had numerous occasions where our little ones have come to us questioning why they have to follow certain rules when the children they're playing with DON'T have to. I've used my mother's "because I said so", and it seems as hollow as when I heard it as a kid. There are rules around snacking before dinner, bedtimes, playing in the street, being out of sight, and today's topic, which is sharing.

   There was an article that The Wife read where a professional stated, "The concept of sharing is odd, because as an adult, you don't go over to your friends house and say 'Oh, I just love that pearl necklace! MY turn!!!'" This is true. I have a friend that has a very nice boat that he takes out regularly. Can you imagine me calling "MY turn!!!", and telling on him to his mother until he let's me take 'er out for a spin? So when I observe school or neighborhood kids and their sheer lack of rules and etiquette, I wonder what I'm doing it for. Will my children be a part of a dying breed? Young adults who give others a chance to speak first, worry about littering, keep their stereos at a reasonable volume, and so on? That thought is what got me pondering it more deeply and not allowing my children to go Mad Max on everyone else.

   In a nutshell, the concept of sharing prepares us for our social responsibility in the world. True, I won't have the wind in my hair during a boat outing with my friends prized baby any time soon. The lesson is that from the moment a child understands that others would like a turn, they're on their way to becoming a positive part of society. In a study about children and sharing it was said by Daniel R. Hawes in Quilted Science in Physchology Today"Children were guided in their decision of how much to share by how much they valued the resource. " So it becomes our responsibility to teach our little ones the value of things. Material possessions for sure, but what about the rest of it all? The feelings of others, their own bodies, the life of another, the world around them, and so on. Sharing is a building block, and even though I sometimes it hurts to see my children not understand how others don't get it, we still want to instill that lesson. So we press forward, diligently, along side a host of parents trying to accomplish the same thing. My hope is that we never give up. 

   I welcome any thoughts on the topic, but first, can I have the keys to your car? MY turn!


Friday, September 20, 2013

The Friday Flush #4

The Friday Flush #4

   Welcome to The Friday Flush #4. It's felt like Friday ever day this week. Which made each day feel like a Monday after I realized I was NOT at the weekend. Alas, here we are now, and I'm ready to share some fun stuff.

Drug Driving Advert From New Zealand
   Everyone I know is a sucker for a good television advertisement. They give you that short break from the norm and can give me the chuckles something fierce. Check out this drug driving advert from New Zealand. Funny stuff. I knew what the ad was for before viewing it (as do you now), but I can imagine the reaction if it were to just come on the television. These kids are pretty funny and nail their father's impressions. I wonder how my kids look when impersonating me......but that's for another hidden camera post that will most likely never happen. It ends on that serious note we all know is coming, which is important. The beginning and middle are just hilarious. The facial expressions are funny, and I'm hard pressed to not start calling all my friends "brew" from now on.

Wood Burning Kid
While surfing the web, I came across this pic on of a kid who was selling pieces of wood that he'd burned with a magnifying glass. Now, as a kid, I was ALL about burning stuff with a magnifying glass. I was also creative, and artistic. I did NOT, however, have the mind to put it all together into a marketable skill. I give this guy credit for doing something he likes and marketing it for others to enjoy. The reason I thought to post it on The Friday Flush is because of the inspiration it was to me. As The Wife and I are doing more furniture refurbishing and art pieces, we find that we have inspired a few people to try new things. The whole reason that it happened is because we started trying new things ourselves. Inspiration is out there and we've taken up the reins to do something about it. So did this kid. I think we can all learn from that.

Amazing Animation Style
Vimeo is an amazing place to discover new talent. There are mind blowing videos and animation. Those who may not know, I'm an animation enthusiast and love to find new projects that push the envelope on what animation is. Today I present one I discovered called "Malaria" by Edson Oda. As first glance, I had no idea what to expect. It was just listed as an "amazing new animation style". While I know that there is little that is "new" in art, I do know that there are new ways to present things. This animation was hard to pull away from, and I ended up sharing with a few close people who understand my love of animation. It's a great story, and well done animation that is wonderfully executed. I hope you get as much out of it as I did. I can only aspire to produce my own projects that can grip the viewer for even a short amount of time.

   And thus I leave you with The Friday Flush #4, a little bit wiser, inspired, and feeling ready to take on the weekend's projects. We've laughed while remembering why drug abuse sucks, been inspired to try new things, and sat back to enjoy a finished product by one inspired individual. Later brew!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dealing With Night Terrors

"Rrrrrwwwwaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrraaaaarrghhhhh!!!!" - Our 'Lil Man

   Night terrors suck. 'Nuff said. Oh, you want more you say? Okay, they're not fun too. Anyhow, onto the dribble. I'd never heard of night terrors going into my first few years of marriage. I'm sure I had them at some point as a child, but I don't remember them. The Wife and I had our nephew over when he was about 3-4 years old and he woke up that night to him screaming at the top of his lungs. I ran in and he was sat up, facing the wall. After calming him down, I promptly pronounced sleepovers were outlawed. Now that we have three children, we're in the thick of it. Our oldest 'Lil Miss never really had them. Our almost 4YO is currently letting us have it, and it's all new territory for old dad. 

  I spend a good deal of time in physician offices for work. I overheard a brief segment on night terrors and the basics of what I heard were also found on WebMD. The stats are:

- Night terrors occur in children 3-12, peaking onset at around 3.5 years
- Night terrors are NOT nightmare. Two different things, people.
- 1-6% of children experience night terrors, regardless of gender
- Causes include, stressful life events, fever, sleep deprivation, CNS medications, etc.

   While you can consult a physician if the night terrors are extremely frequent, they seem to be a phase that will go away. To deal with it, it's recommended that you:

- Make the sleep area as safe as possible
- Eliminate all sources of sleep disturbance
- Maintain a consistent bedtime routine and wake-up time (this works best for us)

Above all, as I've learned from personal experience, you must maintain patience. After realizing that my son simply doesn't remember the episodes AT ALL, I try to be more patient with the event as it's happening. The Wife swoops in from time to time when I can't handle it any more, but I try to be a first line, since she's still dealing with the baby these days. It's a tough phase and while it's been a hurdle, it can always be worse.

If any of you have experience with night terrors, please share your story and what's worked for you.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why I Internet

"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger." - Frank Lloyd Wright

   There have been some experiences as of late that have made me take a long hard look at why I Internet. I was going to use the unconfirmed quote that was credited to Albert Einstein regarding "technology surpassing our humanity", which makes sense also. I chose the intro quote, as it rings true when I see how quickly my children can end up using their push-button finger exclusively without parental control. 

   So why do you Internet? I thought I'd give a quick snippet of which social media outlet I'm involved with and why. There may be no knowledge imparted, but it's an exercise, so bear with me. 

Blogger - When Garth said, "We fear change" in the Wayne's World movie, he was really saying something. I've been with Blogger for years. It's what I know and still a large portion of who's out there are still using it. There are limitations, but it's kept me writing and sharing. 
Facebook - It's like when AOL was the only name online service to access the Internet. Plenty of people wished there was another popular option, but there just simply wasn't. My take is that there are loads of people who feel the same way. It's a necessary evil. 
Twitter - Jim Gaffigan said Twitter was just a time killer. Maybe, but it's nice to blurt out a digi-thought without needing to write three paragraphs so it looks well crafted. Quick 'n easy, so I'm all for it. 
Instagram - What better way to document and share what you're having for dinner? Really, though, I like to write in journal to record my life experiences, and Instagram is a fun way to do that visually. 
Youtube - I love to create little movie shorts. Youtube has been a friend for some time now. I've kept in touch with my children from the road through the service, so I'm a fan. 
Pinterest - This is my digital scrapbook, notebook, journal and everything in between. It's hard to keep up when I'm having to keep up on others, but it's been extremely hand to have available to me. 
Google+ - I keep it current, just in case it gets super big. Right now, I can hear crickets when I visit my Google+ page. 
Esty - The Wife and I have started selling some art pieces and Esty is a super popular way to get some exposure and sell it. We've done quite well for being so young in it, and have enjoyed it so far. 
CafePress - This is just another way for me to get my artwork out there. A little bit lesser known, but if I learned anything as an ad salesman, the more roads you have coming into your brand, the better. 

   So there it is. Why I Internet. Do you Internet? Tell me why. 


Friday, September 13, 2013

The Friday Flush #3

The Friday Flush #3

   This week ends with an animated robot elephant, some words of wisdom from one of our favorite authors, and something more random than the square root of rooster breath on a wind farm of destiny (whaaaa???). Each week ends with a sigh of relief as we head into our day two day breather from the grind of making some pesos.

Biology Notes Animation
   For a change of pace, and a trip back to the long and dreary days of taking notes in class, have a look at Biology Notes, or as I remember it,.....ROBOT ELEPHANT! As I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts, I wasn't sure where my honed skill would take me. After designing t-shirts, then medical collateral, I found myself at a slot machine company in Las Vegas, NV. There I began to pick up on basic animation. From there my love of hand-drawn animation took root and I delved into a world of my own. I had a few of my own animated shorts. Nothing award winning, but fun to do either way.

Mark Twain Quotes On Writing
   While I'm not a professionally trained writer, I do like to scribble down words with a pencil 'n paper, or type till my fingers start to form blisters. I've noticed that many of my blogging friends will occasionally question what they're writing, if anyone is reading it, why they can't make a good living at it, and so forth. I'm here to say, "amen". I stumbled across  Mark Twain quotes on writing, and found that one of our heroes had a lot to say on the matter. Some of it funny, some of it serious, I found it to be just what the doctor ordered. Reading through gave me a moment to step back and take stock of where I'm going with some things. Beating writer's block or just getting some direction is usually accomplished by hitting up some of my peers for advice. However, getting beat around the head and shoulders with words from a giant such as Mr. Twain can be a nice departure from the norm. Take a peek and see what might resonate with you.

Retro Junk
   We wrap up with a completely random offering. I stumbled across several years ago. It started as a search for some old cartoon intros and others. Boy did I leave the site satisfied. Theme songs (and video) to the likes of Silver Spoons, Different Strokes, Thundercats, and so on. Some time later, I wanted to find some old Mountain Dew commercials. I checked out RetroJunk and found what I was looking for. As a child of the 80's, I think we had a fun decade of the most random things that made us happy. This site is a great place to relive some of those moments, and to share them with our children to watch their faces in shock and horror at what we thought was cool.

   So enjoy The Friday Flush #3. May you be inspired and edified through a militant flying robot elephant, a no-frills legend, and any number of blasts from the past.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Star Trek KRE-O Enterprise Giveaway!!!

"I have been, and always shall be your friend." - Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

   I've had Star Trek in my blood since I was young. My father was a big fan. In fact, I spotted him once laying on the floor, watching one of the films where Spock was meditating,.....and my dad had his hands in same meditation pose. What a fan! I was too young for the first feature length Star Trek film, and it could have broken me since I had NO idea what it was about. However, by the time Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan came along, I was ready to be shaped and molded. My brothers and I have used phrases from that film to this very day, 30 years later. Khaaaaaaaaaaannn!!!!!

   So you can imaging the excitement that built when Star Trek Into Darkness came out. The J.J. Abrams 2009 version has been viewed many times in our home, by husband AND wife alike. We missed the highly anticipated sequel in theaters due to three kids that have taken over our lives. It came out on video yesterday, September 10, 2013 on video. We quickly grabbed a copy and got all set up after the children were in bed. The adventure began and we both were biting nails throughout. What a ride. I'll be watching that one again and again. While this is not a review, I can still say that we were both thrilled with the flick. 

   That being said........ A little while ago, we were included in a promotion by Hasbro, and received some of the Star Trek KRE-O play sets. My children loved the puzzle atmosphere of trying to put the ships together. The little figures that come with the ships are almost enough for them to play with. The ships that have a unique LightTech feature made them all the more fun to play with. My 'Lil Man helped me put together Spock's Volcano Mission ship (Retail $19.99). It took about a half an hour or so. I attempted the Klingon Bird-Of-Prey (Retail $29.99) and decided to time-lapse video the thing. That one took me about an hour, and the kids were chomping to get their hands on it. 

   And so........ To commemorate the video release date, I wanted to pay it forward and hold a Star Trek KRE-O Enterprise Construction Set Giveaway!!! My children have gotten a lot of joy out of building the sets with dad, and using their imaginations on their own with the finished product. Here's a chance to get in on the action! The Star Trek KRE-O Enterprise Construction Set (Retail $69.99) Below are the ways to enter. I'll be confirming the winner. Feel free to visit and follow any of the upper right hand corner's social links. Good luck, long,....and prosper.

The Details: Promotion open to U.S. residents ages 18+, void where prohibited. Winner will be chosen at random on, about, or after September 17, 2013, and will be notified via email to obtain their shipping address. If no response within 24 hours, an alternate winner will be chosen. Shipping address must be a street address - no P.O. Boxes. Prize provided by Hasbro Gaming and delivered by The Cheeky Daddy. Not responsible for lost or misdirected mail. Many will enter, one will win. It's only logical. 

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Hasbro, practically another member of the Cheeky family with how long they've been in our home. All opinions are that of The Cheeky Daddy, Jason Swann. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Toy Inspection - Keeping Our Children Safe

“there's no harm in hoping for the best as long as you're prepared for the worst.” 
 - Stephen King, Different Seasons

   We purchased a used swing set about two years ago, and hoped for the best in fun times. Since then it's been a wonderful escape for our little ones. The clubhouse has been a tall castle. The slide a long ride to another world. We even decorated it with Christmas lights last year for fun. I remember being meticulous about tightening every bolt when I put it together. Within the first few days, one of the swing seats was tearing through the plastic, so we took it off and replaced it. Quite the responsible parents, aren't we? 

......aaaaaaaand that's where it ended. 

   I tightened the bolts one more time at the end of the first year, but really hadn't been up close to the swing set since then. The Wife and I are all about keeping our children safe. Our toy inspection policy has been rigid with the birth of out third. As she turned 1 recently, we're all over the inside stuff. The outside stuff, only on occasion. So when the day came that I heard screaming coming from the backyard, I had no idea what might have caused it. A bee sting? A sliver? Someone walked in front of another as the swing was coming back down perhaps? NOPE! It was a broken finger. (you can read a short account of the experience is in The Friday Dump #2) All my attention was on her injury. Urgent care that night, primary care the next morning, followed by the bone being reset at the orthopedic surgeon. I had no idea what might have caused the swing to look the way it did (pictured above). Little did I know the guilt I would feel upon further inspection. If I had only been a little more responsible along the way, there wouldn't have been a broken bone cause by neglect. 
   A day or two after the incident. I headed out back to take a look at the offending play toy. There is sat, dangling in two pieces at the end of each chain like some torture device. Upon closer inspection, my heart sank. My wee ones should NEVER have been allowed to place their precious tushies on those seats. The dry weather and sun had caused cracking that made an incident inevitable. If I had paid more attention to the condition of ALL the toys my kiddies play with, I may have cut down the chance of an injury a bit more. It goes without saying that I thought that my first broken bone might be from my tornado of a son. Yet it came from my first born daughter. NOT because she's the most rowdy of the bunch, but because her father didn't pay more close attention to the wear and tear of her toys. 

   The lesson becomes to take a few extra minutes to open your eyes. Get outside the norm and give more attention to the things you take for granted, or have ignored for some time. I'm will be vacuuming out the sliding back door's track, as their are several dead flies in there, and the baby is all about putting anything on the ground in her mouth. It's about paying more attention, and after our first broken bone, I will be trying to be more attentive,.....for sure.


Friday, September 6, 2013

The Friday Flush - #2

The Friday Flush - #2

   This is only the second official Friday Flush, but a flush it must be. This week was taxing, mostly at the end. Anyone ever need to just flush the system and start new? It's been a busy week, ending with a family crisis that I knew one was coming, just not from the child it happened to.

Our First Broken Bone
   Feast 'yer eyes on the image of my 7YO daughter's hand and accompanying x-ray. We bought a used swing set and all parts check out. Don't let that fool you, as the seat split in two on her way back down. Her hands gripped and slid down the chains before she hit the ground,...HARD. Not sure exactly where in the process it happened, but Friday ended up being a day getting the bone reset. Fun times had by all, but I'll give my sweet 'Lil Miss credit. She was brave. The nurse said she was there to hold her down during the shots to numb her hand, and she didn't even have to hold her down. She just sat there and took it. I seriously thought my 3YO 'Lil Man was the bruiser that was going to get us our first broken bone. Not so. Best part is, my daughter wants to know if she can get a wheelchair to maximize the chatter at school. Ugh.....

Tractor For A Drummer
   With a beat always in my head, I was smiling the entire time when I clicked a link on to view these guys rocking out to a tractor engine. I'm always hearing the beat in my car engine, the rocking chair as our baby is put to sleep, and so on. These guys take it to another level and add all the other parts, making it a good 'ole fashioned performance. Makes me wish I practiced the guitar just a bit more than I have,.......and the banjo too. I don't care what anyone says, as one day I'll find the time to learn to play the banjo,....and the bagpipes. What? It's been a secret dream of mine. One day laddies, one day.

Lost Family Memories
   My grandmother passed away in September of last year. I heard she was a "big band" singer in the Ogden, Utah area. I went looking for anything I could find that might have her name attached to it. I was unsuccessful in that search, but instead uncovered an article about my grandfather (who passed just 6 months after her, to a military funeral). The article describes him enlisting to serve in World War II in the footsteps of his older brother. Not to be outdone, their father RE-enlisted after serving in World War I. I was amazed at the find, as was the rest of the family, who knew nothing of the article. Some of my family isn't as interested in family history as I am. I'm proud of where I come from and love that I know more about people I'm related to. I'm grateful there is record of things like this, and that I can still get a hold of them to pass on to my children. There are little treasures out there for all of us to find, if we just start looking.

   So there's my Friday Flush - #2 (get it,......number,.....two?). A long week, but a chance to share experiences, my love for a good beat, and a lost family memory now found for future generations. Now for a deep breath over the weekend, so we can start,......fresh?


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Body Questions - The Talk Before The Talk

"Mommy,....I have a ball stuck down here." - Our little man

   I've seen a few versions of "the sex talk" floating around as blog posts. I know one day I'll get there. My 7YO daughter hasn't hit me up with that just yet. I'm here today to talk about the pre-sex talk. The one where you get very basic questions about the very basics of our bodies. The above quote came from our 3YO 'Lil Man one evening. He was genuinely concerned that he had a ball of some sort stuck down there. When he learned that he actually possessed TWO of them, he went right to work trying to find the second. 

   In a society that is becoming more brazen about sex, I know my time will come to instill values that our children will take out into the world. Realizing that I have a daunting task ahead of me, I'm more than happy to discuss the basics of "pee-pees and who-whos". It's much more simple than what's in my future. I don't envy the task of parents these days, and I'm going to be one of them.

   For now, our discussion came in two parts. It started with mommy, and the now famed "I have TWO balls down there?" When he came to me with his new found manhood, I explained that those were his daddy parts, and that one day when he's big like me, he would be able to make his own babies. Thank GOODNESS it ended there and he was off to wage war with his stuffed animals. We didn't resort to the stork tale, but are trying to weigh how much is too much for each age group. For our 3YO, he's just realizing that he's got the parts. Letting him know that he didn't swallow a couple of marbles is our beginning. The rest will grow from there. I'm sure there are other ways to go about explanation. I'm just not worried about looking them up. We have a pretty open forum in The Cheeky House, and our children seem okay to ask us anything. Keep that dialogue open and we'll all get there in the end.

   As of the end of this day, my 7YO 'Lil Miss said that the boy she likes in her class was TOLD that fact by her friend. After admitting some embarrassment, she told me that the boy likes her back. the stork flies over the houses until getting to the right one.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Nail Painting - Bonding With Daughters

“You can tell a lot from a person's nails. When a life starts to unravel,
they're among the first to go.” - Ian McEwan, Saturday

   I'm an artist. Whether by innate character, or the degree I hold (now that I'm in medical sales,...cough-cough!), I'm always an artist first and foremost. When my firstborn turned out to be a girl, I knew I'd be up for nail painting. I've gotten halfway decent at it, and thought I was on my way. Then I stumbled across PolishArtAddition and immediately felt inadequate. I figure as long as I keep trying, my 'Lil Miss won't fault me for making some time to be together.

   A few years back I called my father to check in and say hello. I asked what he was up to and he replied that he had just given my little half-sister a bath, and was brushing her hair. I let an appropriate silence go by before saying softly, "You never brushed MY hair, dad." He protested that "he didn't know what to do with little boys before I could tell him I was just giving him a hard time. It stuck with me though, that he didn't try as hard as he could have. Maybe he didn't try has hard as he THOUGHT he could have.

   Now, I'm not going to make bumper stickers that say "Real Men Paint Nails!", but you get the point. Whether we cook with our little girls, or hammer nails with our little boys. In our house we've not only done that, but I've painted my son's nails and played Jedi with my daughter. It's all in the effort and creating the experiences. I challenge us all to do more, to be more involved, and to get outside our comfort zone when it comes to our children. I wish my father was more affectionate with us four boys. 'Nuff said. What's YOUR favorite thing to do with your kids?


Monday, September 2, 2013

Diaper Changing - She Likes A Fresh Bowl

"I like a fresh bowl." - John "The Biscuit" Cage

   I've never been the best at diaper changing. The Wife has always taken point on that mission. When she's had a long day or is just in need of a break, I'll take my shift and get the job done. There is, however, the "fresh bowl"experience that I didn't know existed until we had our own kids. This is, in a word, waiting until a #1 was changed,.................before a #2 was delivered. Fresh bowl my people, fresh bowl.

   I remember our first child doing it. That's how it started. We were fans of Ally McBeal, where John "The Biscuit" Cage preferred to visit the restroom with a "fresh bowl", indicating a pre-flushed toilet. This was the essence of what we experienced.

   I found a story over at Musings From Malicious, and she experienced the same thing, so it's nice to know we're not alone on this. As of the morning of this post, The Wife brought our third child down, looking all cute with her bed head. She changed her soggy nappy and she was off to start her morning exploration routine. About 4-5 minutes later, The Wife and I were talking over our cereal and we heard the tell-tale grunting of an infant dropping a load in her fresh drawers.

   "Are you pooping?" The question was met with a strained red face, and blood shot eyes. Two more grunts and she was off to her next project. I don't know what that is, but some kids just prefer to have a clean, "fresh bowl" to take care of secondary business. If your little ones have any quirky traits, I'd LOVE to hear 'em.