Parenting?


May 1, 2014
I bought a bike this past weekend.  It’s blue.  I also bought a kids trailer for the bike, so I can actually go for bike rides every once in a while without having to burn any precious “me time.”  Natalie signed up for Capital Bikeshare, too, so that she can bike home from work a […]

March 9, 2014
I turned 31 a few weeks ago.  Though I received awesome pampering  (waking up to a candle in a glazed Boston cream doughnut along side a coffee was heaven), I still dealt with the typical trials a stay-at-home-parent must face on a regular day. The children were less than appreciative that it was my birthday. […]

January 14, 2014
“Oh man. We are so uncool.”  That was Natalie’s first comment after we got home from an objectively* cool night on the town, sans kids, to celebrate our eight years of marriage.  Although she pronounces it “coo-ool” (and always has), that wasn’t the reason she believes we’ve lost every last ounce of whatever tiny amount […]

January 7, 2014
We moved.*  We enjoyed the holidays.  We ran away for a week to a seriously, unbelievably improved Camp Davis.  And now we’re back.  Natalie heads to work tomorrow.  The kids and I go back to doing whatever it is the kids and I do during the week.  Life marches onward.  We have a lot of […]

December 8, 2013
Loren and Ruthie color together. It’s not the most eventful video I’ve taken, but it somehow manages to capture a lot. Underneath every interaction lies that hint of sibling tension. Ruthie just trying to get comfortable ends up a little too close to Loren. Loren, a little too bossy, ends up making matters worse.  “Ruthie, […]

November 21, 2013
IMG_7748: IMG_7749: Those are the default titles my camera gave these two photos, which were taken in succession.  IMG_7748 and IMG_7749.  One moment all is harmony.  The next…less so. Awkward Family Photos may have taken the internet by storm (and rightfully so), but I feel like there is a niche opening for someone to start […]

November 19, 2013
There was a big shuttle launch out of the NASA station at Wallop’s Island tonight that should have been visible from many hundreds of miles away.  We didn’t see it from our balcony (since we were too busy watching Loren wash dishes in the kitchen for the first time), but the thought of Wallop’s Island […]

October 18, 2013
As regular readers have surely noticed, I’ve fallen out of my two-year old posting rhythm lately, often neglecting to post for weeks on end.  It sucks, I really miss the writing and sharing, but it happens.  This isn’t to say I’ve just been sitting on my hands.  Instead I’ve found a few odd jobs to […]

October 16, 2013
I went grocery shopping with the kids the other afternoon.  As we walked down the freezer isle I pointed to the cases filled with frozen vegetables of every stripe.  Loren’s snack of choice for the longest time has been either frozen peas in milk (which he calls “ice cream”) or frozen peas in applesauce.  He’ll […]

October 8, 2013
Loren’s three today! And if I’ve learned anything from him the last few weeks, it’s that the above counts as an excellent knock-knock joke punch-line, regardless of the setup. But yes, Loren turned three years old today and even though I’m rarely posting these days I felt obligated* to at least commemorate it with a […]

September 26, 2013
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September 4, 2013
We stuck around DC this past weekend and despite our best efforts managed to pack it full of noteworthy events, including trips to see a free children’s play at the Kennedy Center (highly recommend, seriously cant believe we’ve never done that before), enjoy our neighborhood’s newly remodeled playground (with SPLASH PAD!), and had a total […]

July 31, 2013
  I was in the kitchen trying to clean up breakfast when I heard a growing tussle in the living room.  As a parent/detective, my first job upon hearing such a row is to make sure no one is physically hurt.  Next, my job is to attempt to discern as best as possible the likely […]

July 25, 2013
I’m on the top bunk.  Big brother Donnie has the bottom.  Bigger brother Steven gets the twin on the other side of the room.  Oldest brother Chris gets his own room upstairs, so does littlest (and only) sister Katie.  This is all pre-arranged by virtue of birth order, something I’d later come to swear by […]

July 10, 2013
We’re back from another wonderful summer trip to Minnesota, where the food and drink flows as easily and persistently as the Ottertail River.  I’ll have plenty to recount later, but I’ll need to go through the 1,000-plus photos to help jog my memory of some of the highlights before I do (not surprisingly, it’s all […]

June 12, 2013
When I wasn’t looking, these two became friends.   They play now, just about every day. Usually it’s some form of crawl chase or race.  They share a lot of laughter, each watching and egging on the other.  They clap and scream and get rambunctious together.  One time it’s Loren instigating the fun, the next […]

June 7, 2013
  Doing our best to instill a sense of wonder amid all these “summer storms” as Loren now calls them. That is all.  Enjoy your weekend. by

June 6, 2013
Hey, you just changed me, and this is crazy, but check my diaper, it’s poopy maybe. It’s hard to smell right, around you baby, I’ll check you’re diaper, it’s poopy maybe. Yes, all those other times, you tried to change me, Just check my diaper, it’s poopy maybe. Before you went and checked my dipe’, […]

May 31, 2013
I’ve heard plenty about “terrible two’s” and “shoot me in the face three’s” but no one ever explained that there would be a time, maybe in the middle of those two ages, where my toddler would experience the emotional turmoil that most people associate with puberty.  Or menopause.  Or both combined. I haven’t posted in […]

May 15, 2013
[Update: We did this same trip again in October 2013, and the below recommendations stand strong.  We left on a Friday morning and drove back to DC Monday morning, and it went surprisingly well.] We’re fresh back from our weekend in Vermont, a truly whirlwind tour if there ever was one.  Four days total, over […]

May 9, 2013
Ruthie has officially crawled.  Forward.  For weeks she’d been scooting around on her butt, sneaking her way from one side of the room to the other.  Then came the rocking on all-fours, then the reverse worm/backward crawl.  And now it’s all forward progress, from DC to St. Olaf (or so I have to assume – […]

May 6, 2013
Today was one of those days – the kind where Natalie walked through the door and knew right away that it was officially “her turn.”  My shirt still has food on it from when I lifted Ruthie from her chair mid-tantrum without a chance to clean her up.  That was dinner, and lunch, pre- and […]

April 15, 2013
Loren transitioning to a big boy toddler bed; Ruthie only waking up once a night for several nights in a row; We’re on the receiving end of the single biggest check I expect to see in my entire life; And I’ve been contacted by a production company in LA about starring in a new reality […]

April 9, 2013
[Warning:  I am now the sort of old man who seems only to talk about the weather.] At long last, we had the weather to take to laying in the grass, squinting at clouds.  It didn’t last long (the squinting at clouds part – it was hurting the boy’s eyes), but we’re only just beginning. […]

April 2, 2013
When we were first married, I think it was Natalie’s dad who said to us that there would come a time when we would have start our own set of family traditions. In hindsight, it should have been obvious.  We couldn’t go to bed at Natalie’s house after exchanging gifts Christmas Eve (their tradition) and […]

March 27, 2013
Maybe Spring is a bit fickle right now.  Maybe, after all these years, I’m still coming to grips with how the four seasons teasingly play out in the mid-Atlantic region. April is just around the corner, and the days are finally long enough to count.  Winter may still be hanging on by a thread, but […]

March 21, 2013
I wrote about youth sports in a previous hypothetical parenting post.  I still don’t know what we’ll do on that front, and thankfully we still have plenty of time before we need to really consider writing that non-refundable league check. The other day, however, I had the good fortune of watching the kids take matters […]

March 20, 2013
I’m guest posting over at SlowMama.com again today.  This time I offer insight into why and how I chose (and Natalie was cool with), my becoming a stay-at-home dad.  It’s something I’ve realized I’ve never really broken down here on the blog, so it was nice getting a chance to reflect upon and share the […]

March 16, 2013
I’m still up to my eyeballs in the moving transition.  With most of it behind us, real life – such as work obligations, bills, paperwork and other schmutz – is now the center of attention, which is fair considering how much we had to neglect that side of things while we were packing and hauling. […]

March 11, 2013
As expected, it’s been a fast and crazy couple of weeks.  The move dominated everything – time, space, energy, focus. Loren, I think, is slowly realizing that this is where we live now.  He’s long referred to our old apartment as “back-home DC.”  It didn’t matter where in the city we were hanging out, our […]

March 7, 2013
Obviously, I’ve had a rough time writing much of anything during this move.  That streak continues today, but I’m offering a small consolation prize: Two very cute videos of the kids. First up, enjoy a nice post-nap yawn and jabber in the afternoon sun with Ruthie.  Listen closely, as she shares with you the meaning of life. […]

March 3, 2013
I wanted to check-in while the kids were napping and I wasn’t actively doing any heavy lifting. We are officially moved into the new place, if not exactly finished moving.  I’d say we’re about 75% here.  There are likely several large boxes worth of Idontknowwhat stashed around our old place waiting for me.  As for […]

February 15, 2013
Last March, Natalie, Loren and I moved into a one-bedroom apartment in our friends’ basement.  It was a sort of nutty idea, moving our soon-to-be four person family into a smaller space instead of going larger like most people do in that situation (down to about 500 square feet, compared to the 650 sq ft, two-bedroom […]

February 11, 2013
Last Monday I (somewhat jokingly, but more or less seriously) complained about Parenting While Hungover on the day after the Super Bowl.  It all seems so quaint now.  The passing headaches, the sensitivity to light and sound, the frustrating toddler. Before then I wrote a post about the Jimmy Jinx, a phenomena where I can […]

February 4, 2013
It’s not everyday that your favorite football team goes to the Superbowl.  It’s rarer still for them to actually win.  So when that happens, one can be forgiven for, ahem, overindulging a little bit. Last night was a celebration.  I ate a lot of chili and cornbread, a little ice cream, and drank roughly a gallon of […]

February 1, 2013
I’m not a superstitious man.  Not necessarily.  But since having children I’ve grown to believe- no, I’ve grown to accept the fact that my outward acknowledgments control the fate of things around me. The classic “Jimmy Jinx” is one in which I mention, in the moment, that the kids are being good or sleeping well – […]

January 30, 2013
On the other side of six months (she’ll be seven months in a few days), Ruthie has officially turned the corner from infancy to babyhood.  It’s a distinction I never contemplated before having children, but it seems that somewhere around this time they begin developing a personality all their own, express different moods, and start […]

January 25, 2013
Both kids were sick all week.  No fevers or flu, just leaky faces and cranky, needy babies.  With temperatures well below freezing there was also a lot of time spent inside, doing the complete opposite of everything I preached last week about getting out of the house.  There is a direct causal relationship between the […]

January 23, 2013
If you’ve ever been there in your life, you know right away that this is the first thing you see heading into the Museum of Natural History.  I remember this Elephant statue from elementary school field trips as if it were yesterday.  I was rather pleased to see it right where I left it all […]

January 16, 2013
I’m guest posting over at SlowMama.com today, a blog out of Baltimore that focuses on: …doing each thing at the best pace and refusing to rush all the time. To “live slow” is to simplify your life and stay connected to what matters most. It’s not easy in today’s world, but I think it’s the secret to […]

January 16, 2013
That’s what I have to tell myself, probably more often than I’d like.  Get. Out.  As in, get out of the house.  I never figured myself much of a hermit, but there are plenty of days, saddled with two kids and the insanity that situation brings, where simply leaving the house isn’t worth the hassle. […]

January 14, 2013
It’s been a really, really long time since I’ve made any progress on our bedroom build out.  After Ruthie was born all the building progress (predictably) stalled out.  That was six months ago.  For much of those six months it didn’t matter.  Loren’s room was more or less complete, so we didn’t have to worry […]

January 11, 2013
[Note: Ruthie turned six months old last week.  She’s our second baby, so it’s ok that I forgot to mention it the exact moment it occurred like I would have with Loren.  Sorry Moosey Moo.*] *”Moosey Moo” has become Ruthie’s nickname.  I didn’t realize it before, but the first born gets dibs on re-naming your second […]

December 27, 2012
Translation: Merry Christmas.  That’s not an easy one for Loren to say. by

December 5, 2012
[Note: This post is nothing more than right now.  It’s subject to change.  It’s subject to revision.  It’s maybe hypothetical parenting.  Part of this blog is creating a memory of my thoughts and ideas at the time they were written – in the haze of parenting.  In short, don’t hold me to this…] I grew […]

December 4, 2012
As I previously mentioned, I’ve never been a fan of Christmas season encroaching on Thanksgiving.  With that marvelous holiday now behind us, I’m now willing to oblige Natalie and get in the spirit. First things first, of course, is buying the tree.  That ever-present glow and Christmas smell is a must-have holiday starter, and getting […]

November 30, 2012
I swear, Ruthie is the happiest baby I could have ever imagined.  Most mornings she wakes before Natalie leaves for work, nurses, then just hangs out on the couch with me until she casually falls back asleep – cooing and agooing and being all pleasant. This morning was heading in that direction when she grew […]

November 28, 2012
[First, a quick note: This is my 200th post.  That’s kind of crazy.  I’ve spent a good amount of time putting this blog together – often too much time – but I’ve been happy to document this last year in great detail.  If the ol’ memory takes a nose dive as I reach the age […]

November 21, 2012
So far, this Thanksgiving Extravaganza Week celebration is living up to its promise.  I’ve been full for three days now, and the real power meals haven’t even begun.  We’ll change that tonight with a full helping of Gluten Free Fried Chicken we’re serving at our mini Friendsgiving tonight.  Here’s a quick glimpse of what’s been cooking. […]

November 16, 2012
Right before Natalie left for work this morning she turned the lights on in our room and woke up Loren.  I’m not mad about it (but that’s not stopping me from sharing it with the whole world).  Stuff happens.  Shit happens too.  At that same moment Ruthie dropped a nice Friday morning special for us. […]

November 14, 2012
With both kids now really, actually sick, I find that my days are filled just hoping for twenty minutes of calm.  I’d prefer that calm come during a dual nap-time, but if I can get it when both kids are awake I’d be happy. Our typical routine, one that I now realize I’ve grown quite […]

October 31, 2012
This year, let’s grab Halloween by the seeds. It’s been a while since we’ve had a normal Halloween in the city.  Last year we were at Camp D.  Man, and what a difference a year makes when they are still this little. The year before that we were at the hospital. Loren was the only […]

October 25, 2012
This incredible weather, so late in the year, left me feeling like a total jerk for having not made it outside for more than a few minutes all day (the kids were colluding against me, when one would stop crying, the other would start, and I couldn’t break the cycle).  So around 3:30, with both […]

October 24, 2012
We’ve been making a lot of trips to the National Zoo lately.  It being in our backyard doesn’t hurt, but we are also drawn by its newest large scale exhibit, The American Trail.  We’d seen “Coming Soon” signs for years now, eagerly awaited its unveiling, then suddenly it was opened – way ahead of schedule. […]

October 16, 2012
Me and the kids are all sick.  Just a little cold, nothing terrible, but enough to weaken me while strengthening their insanity.  Yesterday started off innocent enough, but soon became a total disaster. Loren’s one o’clock nap used to be my big reprieve.  Now it’s my big headache.  Ruthie has generally worn herself thin by […]

October 12, 2012
Happy Friday all.  Just a few quick pictures that, I think, capture the week we’ve just been through. Ruthie is usually happy to get up in the morning, and once her eyes adjust to the light, is all smiles: I would too if I woke at seven every morning only to feed and hang out […]

October 10, 2012
Yesterday wasn’t easy.  As expected, Ruthie flipped her lid whenever I dared give her the bottle.  Some sessions were better than others, but on the whole it was a long, drawn out battle to get her to take a little over two ounces of milk throughout the day.  Loren did relatively well, only piling on […]

October 9, 2012
Yesterday was the last day of Natalie’s maternity leave, which means she goes back to work today.  It’s been a great few months together, but real life finds a way bringing you back down to earth. So as Nat pries herself away from the house and goes off to work, I’ll start figuring out how, […]

October 8, 2012
Before it passed me by, I wanted to make sure to note that Loren is two years old today.  This is both awesome and terrifying. Two years ago he began his life at Washington Hospital after deciding he’d had enough of the womb about two months ahead of schedule.  That hard-headed determination hasn’t subsided one […]

October 5, 2012
Haven’t been able to say that since…I can’t remember.  It was 1997 actually.  Anyway, through some bizarre twist of fate or precise alignment of the planets, the team of my youth (Them O’s) and the team I adopted when I moved to DC seven years ago (the Nats) have both managed to make it to […]

September 19, 2012
Loren is almost two years old.  Almost.  But some days it doesn’t seem to matter.  The “terrible” is coming.  We get glimpses every so often.  Yesterday was one of those days. Amid the pouring rain, we were also showered with tantrums and craziness throughout the day.  A lot of it was of the garden-variety “I’ve […]

September 12, 2012
Evidently, right after dinner is the perfect time to finally force this monkey to dance.  It needed a few takes, but I give to you Loren’s performance of animal noises and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (never mind the mess): I can’t decide which I love more, the way he says “whisper” (“vipsper”) or the the […]

September 10, 2012
It was a fantastic August.  Somehow, it wasn’t the cold that drove us away from the lake in western Minnesota.  In fact, our last two days were a pair of the nicest out there: 80’s, no clouds, no wind, not a ripple in the water but the ones we made.  It was an odd feeling […]

August 27, 2012
“They” say one of the most important aspects of blogging is consistency.  That is, publishing posts on a regular, consistent basis is nearly as important as the content you’re producing.  As a blog reader I couldn’t agree more. But as a blogger…I’m on vacation for goodness sake. Oh well.  I promised myself I’d use this […]

August 21, 2012
And I don’t even know where to start. Vacation is such an important part of life. Maybe I’m too mellow to even recount it all.  That’s probably not something you hear all that often from someone with a seven week old baby.  But we’re relaxed out here.  We even had a pair of eight hour […]

August 17, 2012
Go ahead and mark it down: Friday, August 17, 2012 at 9:46 EST:  I do not understand small children and their sleeping habits, and I’m officially done trying to figure it out. I give up. After two days in the car in which she slept in perfect concert with each driving leg – snoozing for […]

August 15, 2012
Greetings from South Bend, Indiana – home of the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame! I’m typing this in the dark from our hotel room.  It’s been bedtime in here since 9pm, when we finally put Loren down for the evening.  We’re sharing a hotel suite (thats how we roll – four to a suite – […]

August 13, 2012
Round 1, over too soon.  Plenty of pictures. Packing for the trip (of two days…): Installed the window screens to keep the kids cool: by

August 10, 2012
Tomorrow we hit the road for our trip-a-thon Gocation.  We are unprepared, even if my bag is tentatively packed.  But we’re going to load up the car in the morning and then we’ll be off. The car now has a roof rack, and we even purchased a turtle top bag thing.  Purchasing and installing those […]

August 9, 2012
Whelp, that took long: I’m packed and ready for the trip. So what’s the big deal?  Aren’t we ready to go?  Come on, Ma – why does it always take you so long to get ready?  It feels like we’re always waiting on her, doesn’t it?  I’m packed and ready, and here you are with […]

August 8, 2012
We’ve decided to turn the “staycation” concept on its head this year and do something totally novel: a “gocation.”  Now bear with me on this; the gocation is where instead of staying home, you actually go someplace.  Wild right? We’ll be going all over, and I figured this would be a good place to tally […]

August 1, 2012
Ruthie is fast creeping up on being a one month old.  What that means – for the purposes of this post – is that Natalie and I are about one month deep into crap sleeping patterns. For the most part we’ve been pretty lucky; Ruthie will usually sleep something like two or three hours at […]

July 27, 2012
Loren’s doing his part on the big brother front.  He’s gone from barely acknowledging Ruthie’s existence to actively seeking her out for a bedtime kiss and inquiring about her by name when she’s not around (“Roos? Roos?”).  A few days ago, as Loren walked by a sleeping Ruthie, he stopped to watch her for a […]

July 25, 2012
I first checked out the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Kid-Friendly Series back in April, after Loren’s 18 month check-up.  This past week we had the pleasure of making our way back with the whole family – all four of us – as a much needed excuse to just get out of the […]

July 23, 2012
Sorry for the minimum postings last week.  Something about the need to catch up on a lot of actual paying work while re-acquainting myself with a newborn just sort of threw off my chi.  I think I’m back on top of things by now, which feels good, but it’s only Monday, so we’ll see. I […]

July 12, 2012
Sometimes you need a good distraction.  I know I needed one after yesterday.  I also know Loren needs them…often. He especially needs them now that he shares our attention with a certain adorable little sister. by

July 10, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to the budding American Badass Series, but thanks to a nice new shiner under Loren’s right eye (from a forward-tumble down the concrete steps out front) I have some new fodder. Those eyes, man…geez. by

July 9, 2012
Let’s start the week off right – with a free giveaway! A few weeks ago I was contacted by the people who write the bestselling What to Expect When Expecting Series.  Considering the events of the last week it seems only fitting that their books would be the subject of The Book of Jimmy’s first giveaway. […]

July 6, 2012
Ruthie is whopping 3 days old as of 4:30 today.  We’re all still adjusting to the new normal.  Well, none of this will be normal a few days from now.  I’m pretty sure in those three days of life, our lovely daughter has been awake for about an hour or so.  Not that I’m complaining […]

July 4, 2012
But she was: That’s right, a “she” – a rare occasion in my family. Ruthie Elizabeth was born yesterday, July 3rd, at 4:30pm. Our day started like this: And within just a few seconds it looked more like this: Nothing quite like frequent contractions to wipe a smile off your face. We were at the […]

July 3, 2012
Reading “Mommy Blogs” has led me to a lot of great places, with wonderful stories, caring people and a surprisingly supportive community that actually seems to give a damn about complete strangers on the internet.  It’s also led me down the scary road of “Mommy Wars” that can lurk around every corner where parenting advice […]

July 2, 2012
Millions in the area are still without power following the crazy storms we saw over the weekend.  We are among the lucky ones, with power in tact and blasting A/C like there is no tomorrow.  And it’s a good thing too.  Nat is 37 weeks pregnant today, and just about ready to burst.  She’s getting […]

June 25, 2012
Natalie has made it to 36 weeks – the last of the big milestones we were hoping for with this pregnancy.  That means more likely than not, we are out of the woods if this baby decides to come a little earlier than the standard 40. by

June 20, 2012
Loren’s Father’s Day gift just keeps on giving.  While the fever and initial overall gross feeling have passed, I’m left dealing with the remainder of the disease: sores and rashes. Warning: Shit is about to get real. by

June 18, 2012
In my last post I dropped a few quick hits from the weekend, but didn’t linger much on my thoughts about the *Father’s Day* aspect of it all. Taking Loren to his first major league baseball game was an excellent way to celebrate my fatherhood.  It’s the sort of thing you imagine doing before you […]

June 18, 2012
With Natalie mostly working from home for the last few weeks (and likely doing so until the baby makes its arrival), this little apartment was starting to feel a bit cramped.  Thankfully, a weekend filled with picture perfect weather forced us out into the city, where space and distraction abounds. Friday we emerged from the […]

June 15, 2012
It’s the first thing he asks for in the morning.  It’s the last thing he relinquishes before bed.  All day long, it’s all he seems to care about. “Skoos” – or Screws as you or I might know them – Loren is completely obsessed. It’s not unusual for a toddler to develop a possessive obsession, […]

June 14, 2012
Like a lot of Washingtonians you’re probably well aware of the Food Truck bonanza that takes place at Farragut Square every week day.  As the clock strikes lunch hour masses of downtown employees flood the Square for a bite to eat and a moment’s reprieve from the hectic workday.  They may be grabbing food from the […]

June 12, 2012
This morning I woke up and peeked out of the covers: Is it Tuesday yet? Monday I found myself surrounded by a toddler who spiked a temperature of 103, and a 34 week pregnant(!) wife who had to cut her day at the office short due to frequent contractions.  For a few minutes there in […]

June 11, 2012
Despite being a bit mum on the subject, I’ve been buzzing along with the progress in Loren’s room.  This past week saw some major gains. We have finally retired the wire curtain divider! For just under the last month or so, this is what separated our room from Loren’s: It was enough to keep us […]

June 6, 2012
That’s me sailing head-first down the stairs.  That’s my big brother Donnie riding on top, the Aladdin to the flying carpet that was yours truly. I don’t know if either of us managed to touch a single step on the way down.  To my memory we were air-born the whole way.  What I know for […]

June 5, 2012
I don’t know where the stereotype of man-in-the-kitchen as fish-out-of-water came from.  In my family you’ll find a lot of men who love to cook (and who happen to be pretty good at it too).  Being a dad in the kitchen is a big aspect of my life and this blog.  But around this time […]

June 1, 2012
[Note: I’ll try not to get so sentimental this time.] First, the ba-boooooom, from a one Ms. Natty Boom Boom: The picture above was taken over Memorial Day Weekend at Rocky Gap State Park, in western Maryland just off I-68.  This is about 45 minutes from Camp Davis, and the lake offered Natalie a feeling […]

May 25, 2012
I figured I owed the public something not bedroom construction related, so I instead decided to go with something bedroom un-constructive. Loren’s new favorite game involves standing on our bed, arms raised above his head, then yelling as he flops down face-first into the comforter.  Then he gets back up, whereupon it’s my turn to […]

May 16, 2012
In the midst of running around last Friday I realized that all my tasks amounted to a mini-thesis of what this blog is all about.  I wore just about every one of my many hats in the span of 24 hours: from cooking to stay-at-home-dad-ing, to building in small spaces, to client meetings and creative […]

May 8, 2012
We took this weekend as a chance to stay mostly local, joining my brother-in-law for a birthday barbecue, making a quick trip to Ikea (on a Saturday – aaaaaah!), and finally landing at my mother-in-law’s house for some down time.  Along the way we learned a few things. 1) Two spent glow sticks are more interesting […]

May 4, 2012
By now you may have noticed that these kid-friendly posts don’t take you to places that are solely kid-oriented or kid-centric.  Instead they focus on interesting places that happen to be accessible with small children for one reason or another.  That is by design.  There isn’t much value in noting that, say, Chuck-e-Cheese is kid-friendly. […]

May 3, 2012
Wednesday found us at Teddy Roosevelt Island.  The short of it is this:  The Theodore Roosevelt Island is a wonderful place.  It is toddler-friendly (if you heed my caution and head straight to the memorial portion of the park).  The rest of the park consists of long jogging trails and swamp walks that would be […]

April 26, 2012
Yesterday went a lot better than expected.  We got to spend a lot of time outside, Loren kept his cool for the most part, and bedtime went as smooth as can be hoped with a sick toddler. Then the clock struck midnight and everything went out the window.  If I seem off this morning, that’s […]

April 25, 2012
Loren has a cold.  It started yesterday, and by mid-afternoon he had a bit of a faucet nose.  I guess it’s just that time of the – I don’t even know anymore – month? Week? Day? It’s so hard to read kids.  Natalie thinks he could also be teething.  All the signs are there: runny […]

April 24, 2012
Over the weekend we visited not just one but two of the newest members of our immediate world – Maddox in Elkridge, MD and Rachel in Alexandria, VA.  Both babies are their parent’s second child, a feat we’re in the process of undertaking ourselves.  As spectators, we half-expected the weekend to leave us completely terrified […]

April 23, 2012
Note:  You can see more Kid-Friendly reviews throughout the DC and Baltimore areas here, here, here, here, and here. I’ll get right to it:  I highly recommend this one. The National Building Museum might not sound like the most interesting place in the world – especially for kids – but they’ve got something the rest of […]

April 18, 2012
Somewhere along the line Natalie got pregnant.  I don’t mean just a little pregnant like she was a few months ago.  I’m talking give-up-your-seat-on-the-bus-this-lady-is-pregnant! kinda pregnant. Of course, this is to be expected.  It’s not like we didn’t know it was coming.  Just, life gets busy and you still have this center-of-the-universe-toddler (who is in […]

April 18, 2012
This was supposed to be a post about cloth diapers – which we use and really like – and the installation of our new poop* sprayer** attachment I was going to add to our toilet this afternoon. *Or “diaper” sprayer if you happen to be in marketing.  But let’s be honest, no one is aiming […]

April 18, 2012
Somewhere along the line Sunday turned to Monday.  Yesterday happened also, and now here we are at Wednesday already.  Friday is basically here, which means the weekend is practically over already.  When did I start counting the days like this? I have my suspicions, and his name is Loren. Life went along plenty fast as […]

April 17, 2012
Loren had a pretty good nap yesterday, almost two hours long (it’s hard to imagine giving that credit as merely “pretty good” when I think about how things once were). Like always he let me know when he was ready to get up. Sometimes that’s a little crying, other times I notice that he is […]

April 16, 2012
Diversify, diversify, diversify.  That’s the name of the game folks.  I’m trying to branch out wherever possible, and I figured my latest invention might be a good place to start. Baby toys are always so hard to shop for.  Where to start?  Should it have noise and lights? Just lights? Just noise? Neither? Is it […]

April 13, 2012
Loren has developed a bit of a temper.  For the most part he’s an easy-going kid.  He was actually sitting next to me, coloring away, while I typed this. You can see for yourself: But occasionally something will happen (we’ll tell him “no” or – gasp – ask him to put a coat on before […]

April 12, 2012
“I think you’ve been drinking decaf all week.”  That’s the first thing Natalie said to me after I got out of bed this morning.  “Are you serious?” (I’m cleaning up my language here, rest assured I squeezed in a few expletives into that short sentence). Her evidence:  We have two bags of coffee in the cabinet, one […]

April 11, 2012
Monday was Loren’s 18 month check up.  He’s taken to flipping out for the majority of the visit, regardless of what’s taking place during the appointment.  From the moment he strips down and stands on that deli-paper bench, he is a wreck.  He wailed when the nurse attempted to take his temperature, when she tried […]

April 4, 2012
What I’m about to discuss lies in the realm of Hypothetical Parenting.  This subject is ripe with nonsense and rose-colored glasses, pure BS and just a hint of horsepooh thrown in.  That’s because it’s a discussion of “what I will do” or “what I plan/hope to do” in a given future parenting situation. So much […]

April 3, 2012
Cooks Illustrated’s cooking equipment review has a great ratings code.  It’s simple, honest, and breaks things down to just a few words if need be.  If all the products they review are lacking, nothing gets anointed top dog rating.  Sometimes you’ll see them “Highly Recommend” a product.  Sometimes the best they’ll hand out is a “Recommend with Reservations.” […]

April 2, 2012
We’re finally home after a nice long and well-needed trip to Camp Davis.  Our relatives drove all the way from Minnetonka, Minnesota for a great visit!  Nature rewarded their efforts with perfect weather and peak-bloom of nearly every bit of flora around us. The daffodils, periwinkle, forsythia, and red buds were just amazing. We even […]

March 29, 2012
This past week took the wind out of my sail.  I’m trying to get back on track now, which is never a good thing to do on the Thursday before a long weekend.  I’ll pretty much need to start all over Tuesday.  Oh well. I’ll miss the F.U.N.: That was almost all of the grandkids and great-grandkids […]

March 23, 2012
Despite what the title might suggest, this is not a poop post.  Not exclusively anyway. When I began my days as a stay-at-home-dad I started the “Loren Log.”  This is a Google Document Natalie and I shared where I would journal most of the mundane details of Loren’s every day.  How did he sleep the […]

March 22, 2012
This might have to become a series – a series in which I take Loren around the city with some sidewalk chalk, and he practices looking tough in front of things. This round of pictures isn’t quite James Dean or the punk-inspired Sid “Ish Dish” (as my brother Donnie so brilliantly called it).   No, I’m […]

March 19, 2012
Graffiti Artist.  Young punk. Seriously, after seeing this picture I’m mostly afraid of him.  Everything about this look says “I’m about to tag your door, you gonna do something about it?” Really though, this should be some sort of album cover.  If Loren is ever a musician, I’m forcing him to use it on his […]

March 19, 2012
Loren and I just returned home from a trip to the playground, enjoying yet another beautiful day in the mid-Atlantic region.  It seems with every trip he becomes bolder with the other kids.  He’s interacting with them far more than before, and he’s imitating their play.  Sometimes this is great (like when he joined some kids […]

March 18, 2012
That’s the only way I can describe the weather this week.  It’s also a pretty good way to describe our lives over that same week: just utter madness.  When we heard that today’s highs would “only” be in the mid-60s, we had to laugh at our disappointment.  It’s still just mid-march, do we really expect […]

March 16, 2012
Warning: if you can’t stomach the sight of needles, this post is not for you. Last night was another injection night.  On a weekly basis, until Nat reaches either 36 weeks gestation or gives birth (hopefully the former) she is taking a shot of progesterone in hopes of helping this pregnancy reach term.  Because it […]

March 15, 2012
Today was Adventure Day.  Adventure Day is a concept I picked up from my old lawschool buddy Dan.  Dan would pick a random day on the calendar to be Adventure Day, then he and his step son would go do something cool around the city – usually something they hadn’t done before.  Pretty simple criteria, […]

March 15, 2012
One of my favorite things about our temporary place is it’s proximity to the great and always busy Walter Pierce playground at the end of our block.  It’s so close I’m able to let Loren walk there, instead of bothering to pop him in the stroller.  Naturally this takes about ten times longer than it […]

March 5, 2012
We lost our camera bag.  Which means we also lost our camera charger.  Still have the camera, however, so it could be worse.  A new charger is in route via Amazon (the company) as we speak.  In the meantime, our camera battery is officially exhausted.  That means I’ll be relying on the photo archive and […]

March 5, 2012
It’s taken me a while to put m finger on exactly why I’m not a huge fan of Instagram.  Sure I like the pictures the app produces.  Sure it’s a neat gimmick.  And sure, its “vintage” motif definitely fits the hipstery trend of doing everything just like we did in the 80s – everything – and while […]

March 1, 2012
Please, please, please.  If I remember nothing else – let it be this. It rained last night.  A little at first, followed by a good bit of down pouring.  As it picked up pace I called Loren over to the window.  He hustled over from the kitchen and found his place next to me.  “Look […]

March 1, 2012
Nat and I were eating dinner last night, talking about life, thinking about the baby we have on the way.  Inevitably the discussion turns to labor and delivery – specifically, whether we might have another preemie.  Loren was born at 33 weeks, which meant a full month’s stay at the hospital before he came home. […]

February 29, 2012
The runny nose started sometime yesterday.  By lunch the sneezing was regular.  My pockets were stuffed with snotty tissues by the end of the day. The smell of Vicks Vapor rub in the air overpowered dinner.  And there was nothing easy about going to bed. This morning has been touch and go. I have a […]

February 28, 2012
Shameful.   Cougars are people too.  End this campaign of hateration now, DC. Sincerely, A concerned stay-at-home dad.   by

February 27, 2012
Loren pooped in the tub tonight.  I figured I should just come out and say that.  He was standing up and just, well, bombs away.  Or torpedoes away as was the case. This was not discussed in any of the parenting books.  Chapter Three, What to do when your toddler poops in the bath tub. […]

February 27, 2012
Any place that serves complimentary soft-serve ice cream is a winner in my eyes.  That’s just a no-brainer.  It’s a winner in these baby blues also: Jason’s Deli is on McGaw Road in the same shopping center as the Green Turtle.  We made our way there for lunch Sunday as we were in Columbia for […]

February 23, 2012
Maybe too specific? Yesterday we went to a big baby playdate in Maryland.  Lots of cute kids doing lots of cute things.  One great big reminder that Loren is growing up really fast – frighteningly so.   by

February 15, 2012
I fell asleep on the hardwood floors tonight (ok, they’re laminate, but you get the picture).  After dinner Loren and I were playing in the living room, we’d just finished going through the big word book when he noticed Natalie unloading the dishwasher.  At that point I was chop liver, and off he went. After […]

February 9, 2012
Yesterday found Loren obsessed with the clock radio and fan in his room.  They have buttons, the buttons make clicking sounds, some of them turn on the fan, the clock’s numbers are digital – you do the math. This next one might be my new Happy Hour inspiration picture: This morning he’s taking it to […]

February 6, 2012
This morning I rushed out of the house with Loren after receiving an email reminder about babysitting for a friend.  It seemed I had forgotten about these plans of ours, and was simply going about my morning routine with little haste until then.  Friend of the year award right there.  In the span of maybe […]

February 3, 2012
Yesterday was Groundhog’s Day, so like most people I took the day off to reflect on our common admiration for the tireless efforts of groundhogs everywhere.  I visited groundhog monuments, threw a barbecue and toasted groundhog efforts here and abroad. Then cursed Puxatawny Phil for seeing his shadow. Just like everyone else. And aside from the […]

February 1, 2012
Good riddance. 60 degrees yesterday. 60 again today.  I can definitely live with this weather in January/February. We got to the playground yesterday, and Loren didn’t even need a jacket or hat. by

January 31, 2012
That’s the final tally for number of poopy diapers I changed yesterday.  They just kept happening.  By mid-day I thought I was going to lose my mind.  It would make sense if he just had diarrhea or something.  But no.  These came in every flavor and size, each time different than the last.  There was no pattern, […]

January 26, 2012
Loren can fight a nap with best of them.  Not because he isn’t tired, mind you  – no, he wears that sleepiness all over his face.  He just doesn’t want to nap sometimes, so he’ll fight it.  But it’s not just that he cries or whines in his room that seems to make him so […]

January 25, 2012
Loren and I went to Walter Pierce playground yesterday to let loose and recap the long weekend with Aunt Q and Harrison.  It was downright spring-like outside, and parents and nannies trotted their excited kids out from all over. by

January 24, 2012
I should first offer a caveat:  When I refer to things as “kid-friendly” I most likely mean that they are toddler friendly – or whatever age Loren or his soon to be sibling happens to be at the time.  I have a toddler, not really a full-on “kid” just yet.  Bigger kids might not find […]

January 20, 2012
Loren is a busy child. But he is napping now, and the weekend is upon us.  Man, I love it when he naps a good nap.  The kind where he doesn’t fight it, just falls asleep, and then stays that way until I’ve forgotten how long it has been.  The kind of naps that count. […]

January 20, 2012
Loren is pretty obsessed with wearing shoes these days.  Anytime, anywhere, pants or no pants.  Loren sees shoes, Loren must wear shoes…and Dad is responsible putting them on his feet. Truth is, I kinda love this. Beginning just yesterday, whenever he needs my help with something he’ll carry the object over to me and plop […]

January 19, 2012
This is the room where our son Loren sleeps. We live in a tiny apartment in DC, so every inch is important.  It’s also really easy to over-do a small space.  That said, small pieces can dwarf a small room.  So with that in mind we chose the less-and-big is more approach. by

January 19, 2012
Procrastination stinks; doubly so when it comes to cleaning myself.  Among the many things that become trickier while staying at home, bathing is probably the most embarrassing problem. “When was the last time you showered?”  I get that question from Natalie a lot.  Well, maybe not a lot.  Maybe just more often than is ok […]

January 18, 2012
Hide and Seek.  He’s not half-bad at it.  This is where he ended up after I tickled and chased him into his bedroom.  Somehow I managed to get a picture of it.  Most of the times I just hope as hard as I can that I never forget these images in my mind.  Score one […]

January 18, 2012
Toddlers are a curious sort.  Loren is no different.  Like most parents, I cringe at the inevitable therapy bills I’m mounting for myself as a result of constantly repeating the same commands –  all day, every day, over and over and over again.  “No touch! No Touch! Please, for the love of god, no touch…” […]

January 17, 2012
Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting friends downtown at the National Gallery of Art.  What most people probably don’t realize is just how kid-friendly the place can be.  I know I didn’t.  The trick is that you need to find your way downstairs if your kids are tagging along.  The East and West wing […]

January 14, 2012
For my sanity’s sake, I occasionally try hard to see and hear things through my son’s eyes and ears.  For all intents and purposes I must sound like Charlie Brown’s mom to him.  Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha.  Nothing more than a trumpet mute. Everything in the world is new.  Very little of it makes sense.  Dad included.  So […]
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