Category: How To

Jul 31

Potty Training For the Crazy Nudey Child


We have successfully potty trained both our boys.  My wife and I are actually so proud of this achievement that we are writing a book about how we did it!  You. Are. Welcome!  (It is my understanding that if you do something twice, it makes you an automatic expert in the field, and thusly should share that knowledge with others.)

There is one area of potty training that I didn’t quite see coming.  I thought it might not occur until my kids were in high school or college.  And that is the joyful outdoor peeing in inappropriate places and inappropriate ways.   (more…)

Posted in How To
Jun 21

Wiggle Room


It’s a known fact that a 6 year old boy cannot sit still.  This is based on a highly scientific study involving one child that I know really well.  We’ll call this boy “my son” to protect his identity.  As I watched my son throughout this study I noticed that he did not respond well to direct requests for behavioral compliance, like sitting quietly at the dinner table.  And when engaged in play, my son would need his name yelled in order for him to stop what he was doing and pay attention. In this particular study, I noticed a heavy release of catecholamines into my body as my vocal volume per request increased. Allow me to restate this in laymen’s terms:  When my son doesn’t listen to me, it really pisses me off!

In order to not suffer through a long summer of agitation and frustration at the hands of my fidgety, non compliant, children, I have decided to change my approach.  Here’s what I’m doing: (more…)

Jun 12

What I’m Doing With The Kids This Summer

I was so paranoid that he was going to get Krazy glue on his fingers and then touch his eye or something.  I gotta loosen up a bit!  I got nerves...

I’ll tell you what I’m doing with my kids this summer:  WORK!  I remember when summer came in my day.  That’s right, I’m old enough to say, “in my day.”  I’m only 36 years old, but I feel 76.  In my day we worked for sweat shop labor prices in a berry field and hoped to scrape $100 after working for most of the summer.  Not only that, but we mowed lawns, did dishes, cleaned house….we had chores!  And that is how we are kicking off the summer.  And we are doing it in style.  No behavior chart this time.  This time, it’s the chore chart! (more…)

Jun 9

The Pepper and Water Trick

Fill the plate with water, then dump a ton of pepper until it covers the entire surface.

Science time! Sometimes you just want to do something because your kid is going to say, “COOL!”  There really isn’t any other reason to do this particular experiment.  Well, actually I take that back.  If you are interested in wasting a good deal of pepper, and you like setting up things that will only last about 2-5 minutes before you are on to the next thing, and you like cleaning up stuff, then you’ve definitely got yourself a great reason to do this! Here’s the water and pepper experiment: (more…)

Apr 30

On Nurturing…eww.

Ok, sometimes I enjoy a good nurture.

I am admittedly a “walk it off” type person.  I have always believed that if you stub you toe or sprain your ankle, or get your foot caught in a chipper shredder, you can fully heal yourself by walking it off.  There’s something magical about hobbling around with a stubbed toe, moaning and repeatedly chanting a mantra like “ouch ouch ouch” or “shit shit shit” that brings about complete recovery. (more…)

Posted in How To
Feb 21

How to: Parenting

Bathe the raisin: Check!

I’ve read a great many books on the mystery, the joy, the way of parenting.  How to parent a child the right way is a constant struggle that we go through at our house. What I’ve come to learn in my studies is that it doesn’t matter what choices you make, what parenting style you adopt, or how you parent your child; it will be wrong according to someone.  And above all else, your child will be messed up in some way.  So what is a parent to do?  (more…)

Posted in How To
Jan 31

When And How To Potty Train


How many methods are there again for how to potty train your child?  550?  Is it more now?  There’s the one where you spend a weekend filling them full of salt and liquids so they pee 40 times a day.  There’s the one where you start potty training them as soon as they exit the womb.  There’s the one where you wait until they are teenagers and can’t get a date because they smell like poop, and they kinda sorta figure it out on their own. And there’s the one where you tie an alligator to the pedestal sink to block the exit of the bathroom, and tell your child that you won’t remove the hungry gator until they poop in the toilet.  There’s really just so many great, wonderful methods to try.  So which one did we do?   (more…)

Posted in How To
Nov 1

How To Make 5 Minute Bread

Finished Loaf

As a working mom I always try to find ways to be “present” at home during the times when I am not actually there.  One way that I do this is through cooking.  In truth, I don’t only cook for my family because I want them to know how much I love them, it’s also because…I think we’d all rather eat my cooking than my husband’s.  Try as he might, he just can’t seem to grasp concepts like:

  • Don’t over salt the food
  • Raw meat is not good for you
  • Ketchup doesn’t go with everything
  • Onions taste better when they’re not burnt (more…)
Oct 28

How To Make A Zip Line

Lovin That Zip Line!

Yes, sure, there are cables, harnesses, seats, and other gear you could purchase if you wanted to go out of your way to make an authentic zip line.  But who has time for that when you are relaxing in your backyard and your kid comes up to you and wonders, “What can we do?”  Am I really going to tell him, “I have a grand idea! Let us sally forth to the hardware store and purchase many expensive pieces of equipment and spend the afternoon trying to figure it all out! And perhaps, yes perhaps we will complete our mission in time for one quick zip line run before bed.” PASS!

We were in need of something to do that day, and this enormous rope was laying on the ground in front of me.  And I just so happened to be wearing a belt. (My pants will sag if I don’t wear a belt, because I don’t really have a butt….why am I explaining why I wear a belt?  What is wrong with me?) We also have a couple of perfect orange trees in the backyard.  All these ingredients together, along with a memory flash of Tango and Cash and the improvised zip line they made to escape prison, made for the answer of what we’d do.  Oh yeah!  We were making a zip line!

And now you can, too.  Here’s how you do it: (more…)

Posted in How To
Oct 24

How To Survive Eating A Hot Pepper

Recreation: the actual face was more red, and more....unholy.

If you came to this post from a search because you are dying inside from eating a hot pepper and need a way to cool the flames right now, and you have no time to read a lengthy comedic post, then here’s your answer:  Bread.  Just keep stuffing your face with bread.  You’re welcome.  For the rest of you…..please read on!

It was a delivery for dinner kind of night.  This particular night Gayle and I chose to get Indian food.  I’m a fan of veggie samosas, so that was on the list.  Gayle wasn’t going to be home until a little later, so I sat down with Noble and Alistair and we began to eat.  Unfortunately, my veggie samosas were nowhere to be found. They got the dang order wrong!  Instead they gave us raw onions and some green bell peppers. I made a phone call, received an apology and the samosas were delivered shortly thereafter.

The nice delivery lady said we could keep our raw vegetables.  So we sat down and an excited Noble asked if he could eat some of those vegetables.  Heck yeah!  My son wants to eat vegetables?  GO FOR IT!  He grabbed a big green bell pepper and took a huge bite.  What followed was completely unexpected. (more…)

Posted in How To