Monthly Archives: May 2010

by in / Dear Baby

Dear Baby: Week 7

Dear Baby,

Do you know how hard it is not to tell all of our friends and family about you? We’re so excited to be able to share the news, but we’re going to wait a little bit longer still.

Mama hasn’t been feeling well. That’s pretty common when a Mama is making a baby inside her, but she pushes through it like a trooper every day. I’m very proud of her, and I try to help her feel better. Do you know why she does it though? Because you’re worth it.

Did you know that you have a tail? Yes, you have a tail! Don’t worry, it’s not a tail like a doggy tail or a monkey tail, but it is just the tip of your coccyx (pronounced KOK-siks), which is the bottom part of your spinal column. It is the only part of you that is getting smaller instead of bigger, and it will be gone in a few more weeks. Isn’t that interesting?

Speaking of growing, WOW you grew a lot this week! You are now about the size of a delicious plump blueberry!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Doctrines

My Own Private Comedian

To paraphrase Jane Austen:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a baby in possession of a good humor, must be in want of an audience.

It’s been said that you will never in your life meet anyone funnier than your own children, and I think whoever said that was totally right.

Now, I don’t know that this is necessarily a universal experience. There are exceptions. I’ve actually met some pretty dour parents and babies in my time. But it’s pretty standard that no one can crack a person up like their own kid can, and I know that in my case I sometimes feel like I have, in the person of my 20-month old son, the single most hilarious, entertaining kid in the history of kids.

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by in / Dear Baby

Dear Baby: Week 6

Dear Baby,

Mama and I are doing lots of talking about the day you will come out into the air and meet us face-to-face. It will be your special “birthday”, for the rest of your life!

In a few weeks we will go see a doctor who will be able to give us a date to expect your arrival. What a special day that will be!

Right now we expect it to be about the 15th of January. That’s only about a week before Mama and Grandma’s birthdays too. Someday, I’ll bet, you will all get to have a big Birthday Party together!

You are growing so fast. This week you are about the size of a lentil bean. Honestly, I don’t like lentils very much. However, they’re very good for us, so I’ll try to like them if you will eat them too when the time comes. Deal?

Love,

Dad

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Foodie Fridays: The Best Stove Top Mac ‘n’ Cheese Ever

Foodie Fridays: The Best Stove Top Mac ‘n’ Cheese Ever

Back when I was a poor film school student, we had a name for the cheap boxed mac and cheese which made up a large portion of many people’s diets: Slow Orange Death.

You know the stuff I mean.

I avoided Slow Orange Death for a long time, which largely meant no mac and cheese at all.  It really wasn’t until I married a girl from a community famous for its cheese that I looked into how to make my own at home (for her, of course), and I got this recipe from my hero Alton Brown.  I learned to love it again.

This is a really fast, easy recipe. Be forewarned though that this stuff is really rich, incredibly cheesy, and more than a little addicting. Feel free to substitute in any pasta shape you’d like (I pretty rarely use actual macaroni), to mix up whatever varieties of cheese you like, and it couldn’t hurt to experiment with adding other things like fine diced onions, cooked bacon, or peas. You could even pour the finished product into a baking dish, sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs and bake it, if that’s your thing. Experiment!

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Trophy Dad

Trophy Dad

Even with this blog being as new as it is, I sometimes feel like I write ad nauseum about how much tougher at-home dads have it compared to at-home moms.

Not difficulty with the job itself, necessarily — although I guess you could say women are still often “groomed” for it in a lot of ways from a young age, whereas men typically have a much steeper learning curve, initially. Rather, I mean in regards to what sorts of resources are available, and how much support and understanding one gets in choosing to stay home rather than put your kid(s) in daycare. We’ve come a long way, definitely, but we have much further to go.

However, today I’d like to talk about another of the Great Untold Perks of daddy-hood (the first Perk being naps), which is this:

Dads get far more praise for doing far less than your average mom.

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by in / Dear Baby

Dear Baby: Week 5

Dear Baby,

Mama and I told your big brother Tucker all about you coming to join our family. He is still a little boy — he will still just be two years old when you are born — but as we get closer and closer to meeting you he will understand better how to be a good big brother, and he will love you more and more too. He will be a great big brother, and I know he will have a lot of fun teaching you things like how to kick a ball and how to use a spoon.

Through the years you may fight, but we know you will always love each other.

This week you’ve grown to the size of a sesame seed.  Even though you don’t look like a human quite yet, you already have a little heart that is dividing into chambers and starting to pump blood. Amazing!

You may be very tiny, but our love for you is enormous.

Love,

Dad

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Foodie Fridays: 10-Minute Microwave Peanut Brittle

Foodie Fridays: 10-Minute Microwave Peanut Brittle

This is a very fast, no fail treat that’s super easy and great when you realize you need something to bring along to a potluck or a party. If you have kids who are interested in helping you in the kitchen, this would be a good one for them to help out on. The bowl can get VERY hot though, so be careful.

It’s actually a favorite of my in-laws, since it’s one of my only desserts that is both chocolate free and can be made dairy free (replacing the butter with Smart Balance works, though the final texture is a little but different) to account for allergies. It tends to disappear fast.

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by in / Daddy Stuff

The Pampers Boycott Brigade

Brian Reid has had enough.

Last week, Brian (from RebelDad) wrote his “Annual Open Letter to the Morons at Pampers“, after they once again sent him a generic Mother’s Day message:

Hello BRIAN,

Happy Mothers Day!

Thanks, Mom for all that you do.

On this special day, check out the tribute that Pampers has for you! Come join us and other moms on Facebook and YouTube, and take a moment to share what you love best about being a mother.

This is the fourth year in a row they’ve made the assumption that everyone who one wanted to save a few cents on diapers (and signed up for some sort of Pampers coupon email list), even those named Brian, must certainly be moms, right? Right. Because dads never buy diapers.

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by in / Doctrines
It’s a Mommy’s World

It’s a Mommy’s World

I’ve mentioned previously the difficulty most at-home dads experience in finding playgroups, support, or just other at-home parents with which to socialize.  It opened up a whole can of worms in my head on the issue of our relationship to at-home moms, and how they can be a huge blessing or an incredible frustration.

It’s no secret that when it comes to the world of parenting resources, 99% of them are geared towards women. There are certainly lots of books on fatherhood and how to be a good dad, but most of these are from the standpoint of how to be a good, involved father, when you’re out of the house at work 40+ hours a week and missing out on a lot of time with your kid. This is understandable, and I’m all for anything that helps equip a man to be a better dad, obviously.

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by in / Dear Baby

Dear Baby: Week 4

Dear Baby,

Today your mama woke me up with the most wonderful news I could ever want: that you are joining our little family! Right now nobody else knows but us three. It will be our little secret for a little while, but we’re excited to tell the whole world you’re coming.

This week you’re only the size of a poppy seed, but we love you already. Did you know that? It’s true!

There is so much I want to tell you about us! About your amazing, brilliant mama. About me, your goof-ball dad. And about Tucker, the best big brother any baby could ever want. And there is so much we want to know about you, too!

But we have lots of time to get to know one another, don’t we?

Love,

Dad

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Foodie Fridays: *Almost* No-Knead Artisan Bread

Foodie Fridays: *Almost* No-Knead Artisan Bread

Who doesn’t like freshly baked artisan bread, with its crackly crust and amazing texture?

There are two different “awesome, crazy easy bread” recipes that have been making the rounds amongst foodies recently. There’s the simple-but-wonderful master recipe from the popular book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and the equally simple (but slightly more time-consuming) no-knead bread recipe from the Sullivan Bakery, popularized by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman and available in his book How to Cook Everything, which uses a preheated dutch oven to stand in for the super-fancy and ridiculously expensive steam-injected ovens that professional bakeries use. Both recipes are fantastic.

The good people at ATC have released a variation which adds a little bit of kneading to get the best texture, adds a couple of ingredients (vinegar and beer) to bring in a little bit of a more complex flavor, and uses a parchment paper “sling” of sorts which makes things a little less messy. Of the three, this is definitely my favorite.

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by in / Doctrines

Isolation and Me

Being an at-home parent can be incredibly isolating, but for at-home dads the isolation tends to magnify.

This isn’t news. Isolation is something every at-home parent experiences at some point, to some degree, particularly during the cold/wet winter months when going for a walk probably means looping around through the local mall. But if you’re an at-home mom, and you seek them out, there are tons of wonderful mommy groups, “moms and tots” activities, and even just general resources available to help you find fellow mommies for support, advice, or just to have an adult conversation with once in a while.

Not so for dads though, sadly. Not so at all.

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by in / Daddy Stuff

The Evolution of Dad

I’m really excited about this upcoming documentary on modern fatherhood called The Evolution of Dad, from filmmaker Dana Glazer.

It’s not even so much that the film features some fellow at-home dads and spends some time talking about the phenomenon, so I can “relate” — it’s that this film really seems to be exploring the very issues of involved fatherhood that are close to my heart and I find myself more and more passionate about all the time.

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