Author: stayathome

Feb 13

How To Get Your 3 Year Old To Clean Their Room


With my 6 year old, it’s pretty easy to get him to clean his room.  I just have to say, “Time to clean your room.” And then I have to listen to a bunch of whining, and pleads, and reasons why now is not a good time for him to clean his room.  Once I combat all of those, it’s pretty easy.  Then, I just have to listen to a few more minutes of “FINE!” or “but you said…” or more pleads to not clean his room.  Once I combat those with, “What did I just tell you to do?” it’s ridiculously easy.  I only have to go to his room and ask him why he didn’t really clean it, and why he put everything in the wrong spot or created a large tower of “stuff” in the closet.  Once I instruct him on where everything goes, it’s smooth sailing!

But I’ve got a 3 year old to deal with as well… (more…)

Dec 13


Oh crap, this is really going down.

Is there anything so wonderful as taking your small child in to the doctor for shots?  Wait, let me rephrase that because maybe you didn’t pick up on my sarcasm.  Is there anything so horrifically sucky as taking your  child in to the doctor for shots?  What an ordeal!

It starts with the primary objections, when you mention it to them a couple days in advance.  “I don’t want to get a shot!” Well of course you don’t.  I don’t.  They don’t seem to fully grasp the idea that by getting stabbed in the arm by a needle, they are hopefully going to miss the boat on a few days of vomiting, diarrhea and pain!

Then, when the day arrives, the treat demands surface. “I better get ice cream!” Or “I’m not getting a shot unless you buy me a toy!”  When kids are 2 or 3, I’m all about gifting the horror of getting a shot.  But Noble is 6 now.  I can go for a treat, but I just can’t be buying legos for every unpleasant thing in his life.  Some things in life require good ol fashioned, “Suck it up!”

And the tears, oh my gosh those tears after a shot are the worst!  As a parent, we are supposed to protect our children.  But there are these times when we have to literally watch them get stabbed by a stranger and do nothing about it.  The parental instinct is to smash the assailant in the head with a blunt object.  Denying that instinct while your kid looks at you like, “What are you letting them do to me?!” just isn’t easy.  But that’s the way it goes.

I managed to document Noble’s flu shot.  The experience was unlike any shot he has ever received.  He actually began the process with total optimism and acceptance… (more…)

Oct 19

Jim Carrey’s Soul


I think in order to live forever, Jim Carrey has Horcruxed a piece of his soul into my son. #harrypotterreferenceday

“Lemme show ya somethin!”

Oct 16

The Baking Bread Experiment

Angry Alistair wanted a piece.  It's like he's going to backhand punch me in the eye! What's his problem?!

I never said I was an awesome cook.  But it’s not for lack of trying.  I just seem to be stuck in the bachelor days when a meal is anything that makes me not hungry anymore.  So flavor, taste, or whatever you call the thing that the tongue senses is secondary, or thirdiary, or even fourtheria to simply making “something.”

This has been a point of contention between my wife and I for some time now.  She is a hard working mom and as the stay at home dad, making half decent meals is my responsibility.  Also, providing food and edible snacks for the children is something that I need to do.  And I have definitely taken a stab at it.  Most of you have seen the kale chip experiment and the aftermath of that.  You may have also seen the smoothie attempt.  And recently, on my Facebook page, I mentioned taco night where, after realizing I was missing tomatoes and onions for the taco seasoning, I chose to improvise by dumping in some salsa. And that didn’t work out too well.  I believe we ordered Indian that night.  (Incidentally, I’m AMAZING at ordering food!) (more…)

Oct 11

The Dentist

So quiet, so compliant!  HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF!

Alistair had his first cleaning yesterday.  Even though I was jumping up and down with joy that I got to have the pleasure of taking both young men to the dentist, without the accompaniment of my hard working wife, I somehow managed to also be nervous!  Imagine that!  Trying to keep two boys in a dentist’s chair at the same time was actually causing me stress! Bizarre, I know. (more…)

Oct 1

Leeway and Boundaries with (f)ART


I love how creative and talented Noble can be.  That’s one of the greatest joys of being a parent: seeing their creative minds emerge.

And being a creative type myself, I understand how it doesn’t take much to stifle that creativity. Simple statements can shut down these magnificent artistic engines.  Examples of this might be, “I don’t get it”, or “you can’t draw that”, or “that’s not art, that’s hummus! And that’s not a canvas, that’s the interior of my car!”

Children just seem to be naturally free and expressive.  But how do you draw the line between creative expression and appropriateness?  Every now and again we will see pictures, from Noble, of people in airplanes exploding other airplanes and people peeing on things that explode. That’s just what children draw…I hope.  But it’s never been to the creative extent of his most recent piece.  I had recently purchased him a drawing pad, and instead of drawing on one piece, and then moving on to the next, he layed the pad sideways and created this extremely long canvas from two sheets.  But that’s not where it stops.  He then tapes the two pages together, and continued drawing onto another set of two pages!  And he taped it all together!  It’s brilliant!  But the picture ON that enormous taped together poster… well…

I don’t think I can quite do it the justice that Noble can, and so I managed to get his explanation on video. If you have a couple minutes, check out this video of Noble explaining his art.

This is absolutely hilarious. Even his descriptions have me rolling! So my question is this: where is the line? Obviously this isn’t the most tasteful subject matter. But who am I to tell him what he can and can’t draw? On the other hand…hmm, is there another hand? How do you handle this kind of art? I say it’s fantastic, because I laugh heartily when I look at it.  But drawing farts in school probably isn’t the most acceptable form of art.

Have you guys ever had to deal with bizarre, tasteless art? What was the picture/art? How did you handle it? I, personally, can’t say, “We don’t draw  pictures of people farting…” I just can’t.  I think the only thing I can do is frame it and hang it in the kitchen or something.  Because nothing would make me happier than explaining to a guest, in a serious art afficienado fashion, with my tight black pants and black turtle neck, and possible scarf…”Oh, and this one right here, this is a man who’s just, well he’s just letting out a whole thing of diarrhea…just for fun.”

Sep 25

Potty Training Readiness

When this is happening, you know they're ready.

I’m ready man! Is this how you do it?

Depending on your method of potty training, there are different signs that your child is ready to be potty trained.  For people who use the EC (Elimination Communication) method, those kiddos are ready as soon as they spring forth into the world.  For others, they simply wait until their kids are in high school and it’s considered faux pas to poop in your underwear.  We found ourselves in the middle.  And when I say middle, I mean more around age 2.  We definitely waited for specific readiness signs such as running off to a poopin spot, being able to follow our directions (as good as a two year old can), staying dry for longer periods of time, and  being able to pull down his pants (required skill for independent peeing, wouldn’t you think).  Pulling pants back up was not a prerequisite, as most two year olds who attempt this somehow end up pulling their underwear over their pants with both legs in one of the holes. (more…)

Sep 24

The Jones Family RV Trip of 2012 (with RV Tips)


We did it!

This post will read so much better if you put “Holiday Road” by Lindsay Buckingham on the speakers while you read.

We did it!  From Saturday morning, September 1 to Saturday the 15th.

Traveling 3000 miles with your family, inside the cozy confines of an RV will most certainly test how close you are as a family. I’m proud to say that I only wanted to drive the souped up, tricked out U-haul off a cliff once or twice throughout the entire 2+ weeks.  This, I understand, means that we are considered to be a very strong family. (more…)

Aug 24



I can’t scrapbook.  I’ve tried.  I’ve really tried.  Seriously, I’ve sat at a table with the intent to create a scrapbook and I’ve given it “a go.” It’s my understanding that the stay at home parent is in charge of managing the family photos and arranging them into fun, memorable, scrapbooks.  It’s not enough to just look at a bunch of pictures every now and again….pictures from the picture bin that sits in the “memory stuff box” that we keep in the only available spot in that one closet.  No, we need a SCRAPBOOK!  And with my wife at work, the burden is on me to creatively capture our life history into lovely 12 x 12 pages.  And I suck at it.

But it just so happens that I have the ultimate answer to those of us who suck at the scrapbooking aspect, but want the scrapbooking aspect!  HIRE A SCRAPBOOKER!  (more…)

Aug 15

Children Are Spongely Sponges

HUGE Ferris Wheel!  He was brave, I was trying not to poop my pants.

There’s a cliche that I’ve heard probably 1000 times since I had kids (my wife had them, duh!): children are sponges.  I’ve also heard that they are blessings, they are precious, they are nightmares, and they are annoying as hell (this last one is mostly heard on airplanes or on long bus rides).

I’ve been witnessing this sponge-like situation throughout the summer.  It’s been an eye opening experience watching my children, mainly Noble, sponge things up.  Alistair sponges, for sure, but he’s 2 years old, so he mostly sponges up naughty physical things that Noble does like screaming in the house, peeing on my vegetables, bothering me on phone calls, or using the furniture as a Gabby Douglas gold medal recreation. (more…)