Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two-Line Tuesday: The Dudes Meet

"So I'm the Little Dude and you are the Littler Dude. 
Good to meet you, bro."

How would you caption this photo?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Help Name My Baby!

The time has come. After 39.5 long weeks, Mrs. Dude is ready to deliver the well-cooked addition to our family. She and I are beyond thrilled and the Little Dude is finally getting used to the idea of having another kid in the house so we'll see how he adjusts to a roommate.

When I started this blog last year, it was easy to categorize each of my family members: Me (Big Dude), my wife (Mrs. Dude) and my son (Little Dude). But now that we have another Dude joining the squad I need to think of a way to talk about him.

I've thought of several options (like Baby Dude or Littler Dude) but wanted to put it out there and see what you all think. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. Please leave a comment below with your ideas and let's name this kid!  You can help dictate the future direction of this blog. Or at least help remove this task from my plate in anticipation of my looming sleep deprivation.

Does this picture of him give you any inspiration?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rockin' Friday: Three Little Birds

As we prepare to add another Dude to our little family, there is one song that easily came to mind for this week's Rockin' Friday selection.  Knowing Mrs. Dude has a scheduled C-Section coming up, Bob Marley's Three Little Birds really stuck with me this week after it popped up on my iPod a few days ago.

I was driving to a Dudes' Dinner with my Little Dude when that reggae beat started & Marley began to sing:

Don't worry about a thing
'cause every little thing 
gonna be alright. . . 

There's been a longstanding mystery about whether the song is actually about some birds that used to hang on Marley's doorstep or about his three female backup singers. Either way, as my family grows from three to four, I know what it means to me.

What is your favorite Bob Marley song?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Two-Line Tuesday: Dr. Evil

Fine, I'll say it again:
One meeeeeeeeelion dollars

How would you caption this picture?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Paternity Leave for Rich Dudes

No, "Paternity Leave for Rich Dudes" does not refer to my upcoming birthing trip to Hawaii.
A very well-off group is now receiving luxurious newborn benefits.
Is it right or wrong?
Check out my latest piece on Draft Day Suit: MLB's Mr. Moms

(Seriously, please check it out, I might win a prize if enough people read my masterpiece.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rockin' Friday: Hello Old Friend

Now that the Little Dude is almost three years old, he has a plethora of friends, many of whom he’s known his whole life.  He doesn’t see them all regularly, but is often glad to reconnect with long lost pals. This week’s Rockin’ Friday tune of the week is one he could sing to his buddies when he runs into them after an extended period.   

Eric Clapton wrote Hello, Old Friend in 1976 for his fourth solo album. It’s a great song about reconnecting with old faces.  It’s a very atypical pop-style song from a guy known for his masterful electric guitar work, but it works very well thanks to the complementary female backup singers who join Slowhand on the choruses.
Key to the song’s kid-friendliness is the very sing-a-longish above-mentioned chorus:

Hello old friend, It’s really good to see you once again. 

It’s a great song with an important message about keeping your eyes on your surroundings, for you never know when you’ll see something unexpected.  That's true about a lot of things in life.

 What's your favorite Eric Clapton song?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dude of the Week: iPhone 5

This week’s Dude of the Week is the most robotic selection yet. No, it’s not Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba.  The just announced iPhone 5 is Dudely because women want it and men want to be like it. Having caused millions of people to wait eagerly for a year is a pretty hardcore Dude. 
The size difference is, uh, almost noticeable. 
So what if the screen is just half an inch bigger than the previous iPhones. Who cares if Apple has to create ridiculous statements like “iPhone 5 is 20% thinner than iPhone 4S”.  That sounds much more impressive than saying it’s 1.4 millimeters thinner, which pretty much no one without a ruler would probably notice.  It’s also better than saying it’s 0.055118 inches thinner, or roughly the thickness of a stick of Juicy Fruit.  

Analysts have already predicted Apple will sell ten million iPhone 5s in the first 10 days and potentially 50 million by the end of the year.  Perhaps that will lead to greater profits which might someday allow an Apple executive to buy a pair of pants that aren’t jeans.

I’m not bitter because I bought an iPhone 4S when it was released a year ago. I’ll soon have basically the same software. I’ll just see it a little smaller than people with new ones, or one less Angry Bird at a time. Either way, people have been dying for this product, so now they can all finally be happy to buy one.  Until the even-better iPhone 6 comes out . . . 

Do you plan to get an iPhone 5?  Why or Why Not?

If you would like to nominate a Dude that you think would make a good 

Dude of the Week please email me

Remember, it doesn't have to be a man or even a person & 
could be a graphic, sign or other Dudely interpretation.   

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two-Line Tuesday: School

You bet I'm excited for my first day of school! 
What do you mean I have to go for 20 years??

How would you caption this picture?

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Dude’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year of Parenthood

I recently shared my words of wisdom with you on how to survive your first pregnancy.  So now that you have made it through the delivery and are home with your adorable bundle of sleep deprivation, you are probably wondering what happens next.  I fully expected my Little Dude to be ready to play when we took him out of the box, so to speak, but I learned the hard way that that’s not how it really works.  So I’ve put together a handy primer on what to expect after you are done expecting, or

The Dude’s Guide to Your First Year of Parenthood:

1)      The first year is boring.  Really boring.  I’m not saying the kid isn’t amazing, because he* undoubtedly is. But if you’re expecting him to do tricks right away, like your puppy did when you brought him home, then you will be very disappointed.  In fact, you shouldn’t expect much activity from him at all for at least 6 months. You know the saying “a watched pot never boils”? It’s sort of the same thing here but with less scalding water and many more unpleasant excretions.

2)      Go to parks. You may feel depressed as you watch bigger kids running and playing on the swings and jungle gym while your little lump is just drooling on his Sophie, but the fresh air is good for him and soon enough he’ll be the one on the slide and you’ll be the experienced veteran who the other new parents will want to trade places with.  
Me with 6 month old Little Dude and an empty playground.
3)      Be flexible. As long as you feed, change and wash the baby on a semi-regular basis (each at least once a week), there’s a good chance he won’t break. Let him adjust to your schedule, not the other way around. If you assume he will sleep at the same exact time every day, you may get lucky. Or you may end up with a Gremlin who becomes evil after midnight.

4)      Speaking of sleep, the baby needs a lot of it.  Especially in the beginning. Who says it can’t occur while you are at a movie, restaurant, or roller derby? If you train the baby to only sleep at home in a quiet room where the temperature is exactly 72 degrees, then you will end up with cabin fever faster than an Eskimo in an avalanche.

5)      Don’t lose your mind. Once the sleep deprivation kicks in, you won’t remember your middle name half the time, let alone when you last changed or fed the baby. Get an itzbeen**. Hit a button to start a timer reminding you exactly when you last changed his diaper (among other things) and you won’t have a baby sitting in more rancid liquid than a month-old matzah ball.  
6)       Read to your kid. You will be so sick of Goodnight Moon within a few weeks that you wish the two little kittens would attack the old lady that’s whispering hush just to make things interesting for a change, but it’s good for the baby to get both the bonding time with you and the vocabulary stimulation. You will start to think Dr. Seuss is really Dr. Kevorkian as you grow bored to tears reading Hop on Pop for the millionth time, but your little one will like it and one day be glad you suffered for him.

7)      Play good music for your baby. If you think typical kids’ music is enjoyable, then maybe you should get checked out by Dr. Seuss. Or Dr. Kevorkian. There is a ton of great rock music that works very well for kids: The Beatles, Bob Marley and Phish just to name a few.  Believe me, the 10th time in a row you hear Buffalo Soldier is infinitely better than the 10th consecutive round of Baby Beluga. (And check my “Rockin’ Friday” blog posts every week for a great song your kid will love. Guaranteed to please or your money back.)

8)      There are a million milestones you’ll consider earth-shattering.   Most really aren’t. First steps or first tooth, sure. First bite of asparagus?  Not so much. Put things in perspective and focus on things that the kid will want to remember someday, not trivial things that will bore even the most biased grandparents.
First time in a Bumbo...who cares?!
9)      Don’t make your friends hate you.  I mean Facebook friends, of course.  Sharing a few pictures here and there is one thing. Uploading 50 pictures three times a week will clog News Feeds and surely earn you a few well-deserved De-friendings.

10)   TV won’t kill them. I’m not talking about a 12-hour Jersey Shore marathon. Lord knows that could turn an astrophysicist’s brain into Jell-o halfway through. But there is nothing wrong with a few minutes of screen time here and there if it’s something educational that might benefit them in the long run.  And you in the short term if you need to take a shower for the first time in three days.

What advice would you give to first-time new parents?

*= I use “he” to refer to the child because that’s what I have. Also, I hate saying “he or she” repeatedly. This list applies to female infants, as well.

**= itzbeen didn’t pay me to say that, though I wouldn’t mind if they did. Or at least sent me a new itzbeen for Baby #2. Their product truly helped restore sanity in my house on a daily basis during the Little Dude’s first year.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rockin' Friday: Another Brick

This week marked an interesting new chapter in the Little Dude’s life: he started preschool.  Day 1 went off without a hitch and he has been very excited about going back.  So this week’s Rockin’ Friday tune is inspired by the return to classes and teachers.

Though the Little Dude’s preschool probably isn’t quite like the school mentioned in the song, this week’s tune is Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (part II).  Taken from Floyd’s epic album The Wall, the song is about a rebellion of students versus their demanding teachers. 

Rocking a killer disco rhythm atypical of most Floyd music, Another Brick is one of Pink Floyd’s most successful singles and well-known songs. The schoolchildren singing “We don’t need no education” is both ironic and powerful.  And the teachers telling the students that they “can’t have any pudding if they don’t eat their meat” is a sign of their oppression. Dessert should always be first.

What's your favorite school-themed song?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No Labor Day

I should probably mention that I hesitate to even think this let alone write this out of fear of jinxing anything. Of course that would make you assume I believe in jinxes and even I'm not sure if that's accurate, so I guess I'll just get on with it already. Monday was Labor Day. To most Americans, that means a day of barbeques and the traditional end of summer under the guise of celebrating the "working man" among us. To me, it was one of a slew of days that I'm hoping are "No Labor Days".

No, I'm not opposed to working. I actually spend more time doing it than pretty much anything, though you'd never know it from the results I've produced lately. But today, as Mrs. Dude is late in her 30-something week of pregnancy, I am hoping for a day without labor.  A day without contractions and any of the other messy stuff that precedes the birth of a baby.

We are doing everything we can to get ourselves, our home and our 2 ½ year old Little Dude ready for our new arrival. But time is running short. We have a C-Section scheduled for a few weeks from now.  And with each new day, I hope for no labor.  
Baby #2's femur. Can you see the resemblance? 
We were very lucky with Mrs. Dude's first pregnancy. The Little Dude was breech, so we scheduled a C-Section, drove to the hospital on the chosen date and had a baby. She never had a contraction, labor pain or anything. That was very lucky for all three of us.

But now things are different. No, she still hasn't had any contractions, thankfully. But from what I've been told, each subsequent pregnancy usually results in a) a bigger baby and b) shorter gestational period. That first option is good. The second, not so much.

We have a ton to do to get ready for Baby #2 and the Little Dude takes up the great majority of our time, so it's hard to get most of the tasks accomplished. #2 probably won't mind sleeping in a laundry basket filled with clean clothes if we don't have a bassinette ready when he comes home, will he?

Beyond the fact that we have a million little things to do, we don't want #2 to arrive early for another reason. Mrs. Dude's due date (Dude Date?) is Yom Kippur, aka the holiest day of the Jewish year.  If we'd scheduled the C-Section for exactly a week earlier, then the bris (ritual circumcision) would fall on Yom Kippur. That is doable by Jewish law, and not the worst option as most Jews will be fasting on that day so it would result in a miniscule catering bill, but it's just not enough time. We need every day we can squeeze out of this kid.

At Mrs. Dude's most recent OB appointment, I asked the doctor what we could do to prevent Mrs. Dude going into early labor. She said "if I knew that, I wouldn't be here." Then she followed that up with a little more helpful advice: "Don't have sex".  Um, whatever you say doc.

Whenever #2 arrives, we'll be lucky and thankful. He's already almost 8 lbs., so we are looking at a big boy. And I can hardly wait. Until the scheduled C-Section date. And hopefully not a moment sooner.

Do you have any tips for how to avoid going into labor?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Two-Line Tuesday: Blue Hat

I'm checking out the waves and having a snack.
Why are you staring at my hat?

How would you caption this picture??