Potty training my son was easy. At least in the sense that my wife was home on maternity leave with our daughter and since I’m an at-home dad, we were able to split duties (literally) between the new baby girl and potty training our 21 month-old boy. We tried to use one of those 3-day training methods (ok, it was really 5 days, don’t judge me), and when we got frustrated, one of us took over watching him while the other grabbed the carpet cleaner. That’s how 3-day potty training methods go: watch the kid, clean the carpet, watch the kid, clean the couch, clean the rug, clean the chair, rinse, wash, repeat. Ok, now that I think of it, it wasn’t “easy” at all. It was actually super frustrating.
Fast-forward 20 months later and it was time to start thinking about potty training our daughter. I started to have flashbacks and nightmares and one night I woke up in a cold sweat. This time, it’s just me. All me. ONLY ME?!? My wife would be at work and not at home to tag team when our daughter peed all over the floor? Who would get the carpet cleaner?? And who was going to make lunch for the kids and me while I focused on potty training her?!? I had to face reality. There was no way I was going to even attempt a 3-day method. Contrary to popular belief, I am not entirely crazy– although my wife would beg to differ.
I drank some coffee, calmed down a bit, and had an epiphany: if I trained my boy, I could train my girl no matter what method or system I chose. I remembered how cute he was when we would both stand up and race to see who could finish first. OH! And all those times in public bathrooms when I could get him to just pull his pants down, lean in, and let it flow? It wasn’t that hard. This will be fine, I will be fine, WE will be fine! And then it hit me. She’s not a boy, she’s a girl, girls can’t stand up, what are you thinking?!? I have no idea how to potty train a girl, especially by myself!!! Abort mission, abort mission, ABORT MISSION!!!
Potty training your children is fun (said no parent, ever). We trained our first child, The Understudy, at 21 months while my wife was home on maternity leave with our second child. We used a three-day method and tag-teamed our way through five full days (three days didn’t work) of frustration, wet floors, and many bottles of wine. Now that it’s time to potty train our second child, The Starlet, I realized that I wouldn’t have my wife around to tag out this time and I knew that if I brought up the same training to her she might kill me in my sleep. At the 11th hour, I found a whole new way to potty train and keep my sanity (and my life). No, it isn’t a bigger wine rack, it’s the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership.
After researching the Pull-Ups Potty Partnership program and spending several weeks incorporating the program into our daily routines, I can honestly say it is leaps and bounds better than the frustration of the three-day training methods. It’s a new program geared towards bringing your child in to the process as a true partner, tailoring it to his or her unique personality and how they learn, and most importantly, working together to accomplish this huge milestone in their life. Oh yeah, and the frustration level is miniscule in comparison to what we went through in those traumatizing five days with The Understudy.
As we worked together, we came up with some tips that will help parents and kids not end up in the corner in the fetal position; wet and covered in stinky-squishy solids. So take a seat on your porcelain throne and learn all about how I potty trained The Starlet and saved my life. Continue reading →
For The Starlet’s first year, I completed a project where I took a video of her every single day and put it together into a documentary showcasing 1 second every day. It was an extremely intense project, but the end result was totally worth it. For her second year, I wanted to try another project, but one that would also help me exercise my new love of photography.
I decided to do a 52 Week Photo Project, taking a photo every week for a year. This project would focus on The Starlet in some way each week. So, without further ado, here is the first 5 weeks of the project.
#1/52 “The Beginning”
I finally got those beautiful little eyes right where I needed them.
I feel like I can never get a great shot of The Starlet. There’s always something in the way, she looks away at the last second, or I’m just not good enough at capturing the shot in time. This one was exactly what I wanted. She was playing hard to shoot, but I finally got those beautiful little eyes right where I needed them. It’s going to be a fun year trying to capture her for this 52 week project.
When The Starlet was born I wanted to do something extraordinary for her. Little did I know that the idea was utterly insane. My goal was to get video of her every single day for a year. Every. Single. Day. For a year. Then, I would put together a video with one second from every day. Every. Single. Day. Continue reading →
We have said from the inception of this blog that we would always be “dads first.” I have spent the last year carrying The Starlet around and making sure she doesn’t fall down the stairs, electrocute herself, or scratch my eyes out with her finger nails of fury. In that year, I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would have liked, but I have been experimenting and honing a skill that I’ve always wanted to explore…
Photography. With an expensive camera.
Allow me to explain…
We bought an expensive camera before the birth of The Understudy so that we could capture amazing pictures of our new life with a child. For a year and a half, I committed the ultimate sin as an “expensive” camera owner– I used it in Auto Mode the entire time.
No matter how many baby books you read, nurseries you decorate or informative five point lists you share; nothing prepares you for having a child. The best I can say is that it’s like dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, except the water never stops, and the temperature keeps changing.
New mothers I meet sometimes share their concerns about the fathers of their children. Will he be a good dad? Can a man be caring enough to establish a loving bond with their child? It does not matter if a father is blue collar, white collar, northeast, west or southern; all men are capable of that. If anything, this generation of fathers wants to be involved, but doesn’t know where to start in an environment geared towards moms. New dads can be hesitant, but that does not mean they don’t want to learn. Here are five ways for new moms to help new dads.
Don’t Crush Them With Lists–
When you have your first child, neither parent knows what to do. Moms focus that fear of the unknown into an unending pursuit of books, blogs, and Dr. Web MD. Dads hope to come across a parenting video that uses 80’s references and explosions as teaching points. Guys don’t have the same hulking expectations from society, so we get overwhelmed by a bottle-preparation list longer than most car owner’s manuals. Lists are fine, but discussions are better. Continue reading →
As a stay-at-home dad, it is my job to be the primary caregiver for our family. I buy the groceries, take the kids to doctor appointments, and do the shopping for our kid products. In August, I was shopping for new toddler plates and found the perfect ones from Nuby. The only problem was that the packaging told me they were, “Designed to make feeding fun for baby & easier for mom.” I set them back on the shelf. If a product or a service isn’t gender specific, why should it be branded and advertised as such?
Let’s be clear. Moms aren’t the only parents that feed their babies. Dads feed babies. Grandparents feed babies. We’re all caregivers, right? I wanted the plates, but didn’t buy them. Instead, I tweeted a picture to Nuby and asked if they had any that made it “easier for parents.” I mean, after all, I’m a dad and I need these too. I don’t like being considered something that I’m not just because I care for my kids and I know I’m not the only one.