Worry, and a Midnight Lullaby

Midnight lullaby moon behind clouds

Midnight Lullaby I remember my wife sitting up with J when he was 2 years old, singing Dream a Little Dream Of Me to lull him to sleep. She would be in there long after he was asleep. Flash forward 7 years. When I rock my 3 year old son to sleep at night, I sing to him, quietly, so no one else can hear. I sing Tom Waits’ Midnight Lullaby or Cat Stevens’ Moonshadow. I’ve most frequently been the one who gets up with our youngest. My wife needs the sleep and I wanted the whole experience, late night feedings and all. Our other two kids are stepkids to me, and even though I’ve raised them for most of their lives and consider them my own children, I never had the chance to do it from day one. My wife does most of her bonding with B during daylight hours and hands… read more

Chuck The Chunk – On The Road To Dad 2.0 Summit 2014

Chuck The Chunk On The Road To Dad 2.0 Summit 2014

I’ve mentioned before about being somewhat of a fat guy, and the sometimes stressful SAHD life doesn’t help staying on track with my diet. I often forget to eat in the mornings, half the yogurt that the kid doesn’t finish for lunch, then eat like a pig at dinner and at night. Not good. Well, I’ve joined some other dad bloggers in a weight loss challenge that has been dubbed “Chunk the Chunk”, starting August 1st and ending with the Dad 2.0 Summit 2014 in New Orleans. It will be a great way to motivate each other, share our thoughts and progress, and hopefully have some fun doing it. I’m excited to meet some of the other fantastic daddy bloggers face-to-face! My goals are twofold. I want to: lose 20 lbs, which won’t get me back to my 19 year old self, but is about as realistic as it’s going… read more

Isolation, Comfort Zone, and the Sultans Of Swings

dad and kids at swings at playground

Comfort Zone A crowd of young boys, they’re fooling around in the corner… Actually, it’s on the playground equipment, and they’re high school kids. This has always been one thing that really grinds my gears — loud teenagers monopolizing the playground, making it inaccessible to the little ones. I’ve talked to them on occasion and asked them to move along, but that’s a whole different story. Today was a day when I failed to take that hill and instead moved my son to the spot that many young children and parents are relegated to — the swings. Sultans of Swing I’ve had to move outside of my comfort zone in a number of ways since becoming a stay at home dad. One big way has been forcing myself to talk to other parents at the park or discovery museum. I’m a painfully shy and introverted person, unless I’m really pissed… read more

Parenting a child with autism – What a good day looks like

Autism can be chaos inside the mind

I’m a member of a few online dad blogger groups, and occasionally I’ll post something about a difficult day with my 11 year old boy. J happens to have Asperger Syndrome, also known as high-functioning autism. I know that I’m not the only autism dad in the group, and a few have shared similar experiences. The comments have all been very empathetic and supportive, which I appreciate very much. I also get comments from dads expressing that they don’t know how those “Autism Dads” do it on a daily basis. To any parent of a child with autism, this kind of a day will sound very familiar. Hopefully it will provide parents of typically developing children some insight into what we deal with on a daily basis. Every child is different, but I know that other autism parents will get what I mean. Morning: I get up with our 3… read more

Yeah, I’m a Stay At Home Dad, But I’m Being One Ironically

hipster glasses

I’m not a hipster. I’m not even hip. And I’m not even talking about the “so uncool it’s cool” kind of irony. What I do find truly ironic, though, is that I am a computer programmer who is now a stay at home dad, while my wife is a busy, successful writer and author whose main focus is writing about education and parenting. Parenting. As in, teaching people how to be good parents. Ironic, no? My wife is an excellent mom. There is a reason she is so good at what she does — she’s a great parent. She’s compassionate and fun, and always has the kids’ best interests in mind. She is a fierce advocate for our son with Asperger Syndrome. She’s a playful and attentive mom to our 3 year old and has a close relationship with our 17 year old girl. The truth is, though, when it… read more

Get A Resume And Get A Real Job

programmer's workstation

It’s becoming more acceptable to be a stay at home dad, but it is still pretty progressive. Maybe a little too progressive for some. While you might not give a sweet poo what anybody thinks about your choice to be a stay at home dad, at some point most of us have to deal with at least one friend or family member who thinks that it’s not quite right. My own dad asks me whenever I visit if I have any interviews lined up. When I tell him that my plan for right now is to stay at home with the kids, he ignores it and has a general “does not compute” attitude towards the whole thing. I’ve also had friends make snarky comments on my choice not to work in a traditional job capacity. My wife is a successful writer and author. Our bills are paid and our kids… read more

PVC Projects – A Series of Tubes

PVC pipes and pipe fittings made into a fence

PVC Projects I was perusing the learning store section of Barnes & Noble one day and ran across the coolest toy. There were several different sets of multi-configurable playhouse frames with covers to fit them. Holy cow, my smallest kid would love these. Then I remembered the enclosure I built last summer to keep the bikes out of the rain. There is a much cheaper, bigger, and cooler way to do this: PVC! And who loves playing with PVC and tools more than dads? The only things that could make it more manly would be meat and fire. Just kidding. Kind of. I’ve stumbled across several nice sites offering plans for hundreds of different projects, most of which can be made with just PVC, and others with minimal extra parts. That bike enclosure was made of a bunch of straight PVC pieces cut with a hacksaw, some joints and elbows,… read more

Man Cave – Dude, we don’t know any girls…

Man cave bachelor pad apartment with football on the tv

Bachelor pad About ten years ago, I left a terrible marriage. I left everything behind and got an apartment with my single-by-choice younger brother. He knew how unhappy I was and was excited about setting up the ideal bachelor pad, a true man cave. He began looking at vintage boxing decor and sports car posters for the walls. The bar was well-stocked and the entertainment center was re-equipped with surround sound for Playstation tournaments. In the middle of all of it came this exchange:   My bro: “This will be so great. We can have our friends here all the time and invite some girls over and drink and it will be awesome!” My reply: “Dude, we don’t know any girls.” SAHD Life – Feeling Isolated I’m sorry that I let the air out of that one, but it was true. What was also true, however, was the importance of… read more