Archive for the ‘Humpday Jumps’ Category

Humpday, Apr. 14, 2010

April 13, 2010

Parenting in the news …

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Humpday, Mar 31, 2010

March 30, 2010

Hit the links for a few tidbits to get through the week …

The Rules About How Parents Should Make Rules – I first introduced my kids to rules when they were about one and a half years old –  long before they were developmentally ready to understand and obey them. I knew this, and had little expectation that they would follow any of the rules I had laid out in specific detail. But I felt that it made sense to at least introduce them to the fact that rules exist in the world and people follow them. So by the time their little brains were ready to follow them, rules weren’t a foreign concept. Did they follow along like good little lemmings? No they did not. But did it make it easier for both kids and parents? Yes it did.

Get Kids Growing! Regional Plant and Gardening Events for Families – If given a hands-on chance to observe it, kids learn alot from nature. Stuffing a tiny seed into a cup of dirt, kids learn that small things can grow into colossal things if we are patient and can find that happy medium between sticking to our end of the deal while still letting nature run its course. I know plenty of well-meaning but struggling adults who, for better or worse, never quite figured that out. At our house, as much as school and social rules, we put an equal emphasis on the mindful observation of nature, its patterns and balance. (If you hit the link, and scroll toward the bottom, they list a sensible 10-step plan for getting kids involved with the gardening process – and for our Northern Cal readers, there are ALOT of links to local venues there.)

Enjoy the jumps. Come back and see us when you can …

Humpday, March 10, 2010

March 9, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …

  • A family’s strength – I’ve been helping a very good friend of the family, Annette Wiesner, build a blog for people with disabilities. This week she posted a great piece about families coming together during tough times. Keep an eye on Annette. She’s in the early stages of a very special and meaningful project.
  • A baby changes everything – Last week, we included links about teen pregnancy. After which, a friend sent me this story on MSNBC, which takes a close look inside the live of two teenaged parents to-be.
  • Brooklyn brewhaha: Babies in bars – Right now, there is a national debate going on whether or not babies should be allowed in bars. Should they? Take a look at the story on CNN, and hit us up in the comments. I’d love to get your thoughts on this.

Enjoy the jumps! Come back and see us when you can.

Humpday, Mar. 3, 2010

March 2, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …

Teens + Sex = Pregnancy.

My boys are two and five years old. Teen sex is not something we discuss, not yet.

My great hope though, is to raise boys who will wait to have sex until they are married.

There. I said it.

Not for social or religious reasons, and not only to avoid the consequences of unplanned pregnancy

You know, the adolescent male sexual urge is one of the greatest known forces of human nature. Stronger than hunger. Greater than thirst. It trumps fear and drowns out reason.

And I think (and my boys will hear me say this many times in their young lives) if as young men they can overcome that urge, if they can dig deep inside and develop the discipline to temper that desire – if they can learn to exercise that kind of control, then they can do anything. Don’t you think?

  • ‘Sex education at 12’ call to cut teen pregnancy – “Cheerio, good fellows, I say we teach the bloody rascals before they’re teens.” Here’s an intersting look at the teen pregnancy in the U.K., and one group that suggests they start Sex Ed at 12 years old.
  • Teen pregnancy perfectly natural, says Hilary Mantel – Also across the pond, but on the other side of the debate, prizewinning novelist Hilary Mantel advocates teen pregnancy and says she would have had a baby at age 14, if society was more friendly to women.

Enjoy the jumps! Come back and see us when you can.

Humpday, Feb 24, 2010

February 23, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …

Babies.

There sure are a lot of people in my sphere of life who are having babies.

Little babies.

Such joy. Such stress. You get it all with all babies.

Here’s a few items that made life a bit easier during our stints with the lil’ dribblers.

The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-to-Be, Second Edition

When we learned that we were having a baby, like so many moms-to-be, my wife began stocking up on how-to books for the expectant mother. I, also new to the parenting experience, followed suit only to learn that there are comparatively very few books out there to prepare us rookie dads to be as supportive as possible.

I found  this one, and from page one, I knew I had  a great guide in hand. Just about everything you want to know, need to know, and should know is in this book. It takes you through, stage by stage right up until and shortly after birth.

Trust me guys, Ok? If you’ve never been through pregnancy before, get this book. You’ll be glad you did. Moreover, she’ll be glad you did. And a happy, healthy mommy means a happy, healthy baby.

•••

Your Baby Can Sleep: The Practical, Proven Method for Solving your Baby’s Sleep Problems

If you like corny, poorly produced videos, you’ll enjoy this. If you like corny, poorly produced videos that deliver amazing results – you’ll treasure it. It really works.

I’m sad to see they still do not sell this on DVD. It’s only offered in VHS format. But, that’s the irony of treasure, I suppose. If you read across the top banner of the box, there in purple, it reads, “RELIEF FOR EXHAUSTED PARENTS!” That sums it up.

They should just put that on the cover by itself, in big letters (and burn it to Blue Ray)

•••

A Man’s Journey to Simple Abundance

On the back cover it reads, “For Women to Understand Men, and for Men to Understand Themselves.”

And though it doesn’t discuss in any great detail the art of raising babies, I think it is an important book for any young (or not young) dad to read if he is starting a family. In a very readable way, written by a vast crop of authors, it covers a collection of topics permeating a man’s life, from fear, risk, life and death, balding, balls, and hunting, to name a few.

It is informative at most, and enjoyable at least. As well as being a great guide and compass point in a man’s life, it becomes a literary companion all throughout fatherhood, to keep on the bed stand or nearby shelf.

Enjoy the jumps. Come back and see us when you can …

Humpday, Feb. 17, 2010

February 16, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …

Over the past year or so, while making a run to, say, the hardware store (as we dads do,) or during my daily commute, I’ve heard some superb, family-focused programs on National Public Radio.

The links this week are podcasts of some of them. Simply click the “Listen to the Story” link for each podcast. Whether you listen at home or work, I hope you find them as insightful as I have.

  • 20 Years Of Defending Death Row InmatesImagine what is would be like to spend all day visiting death row, and then come home, still with the smell on you, and kiss your wife and kids. You’d be living the life of Attorney David Dow, who has made a career out of defending death row inmates. I, like most fathers will, find his story incredibly hard to relate to, with one exception: an underlying theme of how troubles of a man’s work often lingers into the home, affecting everyone.
  • Parenting In The Age Of ‘Gossip Girl’How about a good, wholesome family talk about menage-a-trois. That’s right, sex – specifically threesomes. Lucky for me, my kids are not teens yet – but at this rate, as this story illustrates, it might not be too long before sex talk comes up during out dinner discussions.
  • Parenting Tips: Praise Can Be Bad; Lying Is Normal – I can’t help but rethink my whole approach after hearing this one. The headline really sums it up. But to elaborate without giving away the kicker, it turns out most of what we’ve been doing to curb our kids’ lying is actually making them more skilled and frequent liars.

Enjoy the jumps. Come back and see us when you can …

Humpday, Feb. 10, 2010

February 9, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …

Been gettin’ alot snow round in these parts. Lotta folk been complainin’ ’bout havin’ to shovel it.

Now, we all know shoveling snow is not as simple as the video below makes it out to be. But in the links that follow, we’ve build a solid game plan to take on anything that Jack Frost sends our way.

  • Have Snow Shovel, Will Travel: A History of Snow Removal – For perspective, American’s have been shoveling snow for a long time. Think early 1700’s. So when you’re out there, cold and alone except for Jack Frost biting you in the face, just remember our forefather’s did it also. But they had no snowplow services. So they had to do clear their own streets too. They did it into the night. They did it without the North Face, without Thinsulate or lightweight plastic shovels. We don’t have it so bad.
  • In The Bleak Mid-winter: 10 Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling – [ …While most people recognize that snow shoveling is very hard work, and can put severe stress on your heart, fewer people recognize the stress and strain that it places on your back. So, as winter gets underway, we’ve outlined 10 tips for how to keep your back healthy when shoveling snow …]
  • Music and Motivation: The Power of Music – No doubt about it, music changes the way we look at things. And when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Music also stores memories. For some, a vivid memory of a high school football season is enough motivation to tackle that two-foot frozen sheet of snow covering the driveway. Pick the right tunes, and shoveling snow could rekindle a bit of dormant youth.
  • Easy High-Protein Meals – Unless you suffer a serious injury while shoveling, chances are, the aches and pains in the days that follow are most likely from overworked muscles. Muscles heal faster – and hurt less – when they get the protein they need. So eat up high protein and be well after shoveling.

… and don’t forget to stretch.

Enjoy the jumps! Come back and see us when you can …

Humpday, Feb 3, 2010

February 2, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …

I’m always interested to see how men in the spot light raise children. Moreover, I think it’s healthy to sometimes take a step back – way back at times – and look at fatherhood from an entirely different viewpoint. Given my average lifestyle, a celebrity viewpoint is vastly different.

A few insightful reads below on fatherhood, by some familiar faces.

  • Dave Grohl – Front man for the well-known rock band, Foo Fighters, and former drummer of the grunge gods Nirvana, Grohl says he embraces fatherhood, and reflects on how it permeates everything he does personally and professionally.
  • Michael Douglas – With an older son in jail (again) on drug related charges, and a busy acting career behind him (arguably), Douglas, now 65 years old, gets a second chance with his two younger children and admits the importance of putting family first.
  • Matthew Broderick – Many of us know him as Ferris Bueller, the inspiration of countless hooky days. Nearly 25 years later, (how is that possible??) Broderick is now married with three kids, two of which are twins still in diapers. I like Broderick’s perspective on being a dad, specifically that he sees parenting as “basically improv.” I get that.

Enjoy the jumps! Come back and see us when you can …

Humpday, Jan. 27, 2010

January 26, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …

Today is a big day.

Our youngest son, Hugh, is two years old today.

It’s a big day for two reasons.

One, because it fills me with pride to see him growing so, and becoming his own person.

And two, because it scares, stresses, worries and frustrates me to see him growing so, and becoming his own person.

Today makes it official; the stubbornness of the terrible two’s has arrived.

So naturally, we’ll address them in the jumps today.

  • Terrible Twos and Your Toddler [ … To help you cope with this normal stage in your child’s development, you should always remember that your child isn’t trying to be defiant or rebellious on purpose. He is just trying to express his growing independence …]
  • Raising Good Children: From Birth through the Teenage Years I mentioned this book in a previous set of jumps, and am including it here again because it is hands down one of the best parenting tools I own. As one reviewer put it: “… It has sound philosophical teachings and specific advice that is appropriate to every age and stage. It combines the fields of Child Development and Psychology with morality and good common sense to lend the reader a practical guide.” It’s very readable.
  • Dealing with Temper Tantrums Q: My 25 month-old son throws temper tantrums at the worst possible times, like in the grocery store (which happened to me yesterday). What do I do? I’m so embarrassed!

But – thankfully, as I mentioned before, the second time around is not so bad really. Sure, It’s challenging. But not as much as with our first son. The second time around, I’m able to enjoy it a bit more, alot of the time from behind the lens. Here’s a slide show Kumi put together of his first two years. Enjoy it with us, won’t you?

Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

Humpday, Jan 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …

In fact, now with the holidays behind us and months of grey winter in front of us, I’ve included a few links to help get us through more than just a week …

Thus begins the battle against the winter blues.

There comes a time, usually around this time of year, when no amount of Blue Ray or  Guitar Hero can cheer us up.

Of course, if we took the time to learn to play a real guitar, that’d be a different story. Then we could harness the blues, and channel them – like the 11 year old kid in the video below.

But in the meantime, here’s some activities, food and ancient wisdom to help ward off the seasonal doldrums.

  • Activities to Beat the Winter Blues – [ … As the short days and long nights of winter roll into Febraury, both parents and kids can start to feel bored by the old standbys for family entertainment …]
  • Food to Best the Winter Blues [ … Of the nearly two thirds of U.S. adults surveyed, 64 percent agree that they are filled with greater joy soaking up the summer sun, then bundling up in winter coats. Although the science is still relatively new, research has begun to reveal how mindful eaters can choose their fuel to help achieve or maintain a desired mental state.  Our moods are linked to the production or use of certain brain chemicals …]
  • Feng Shui to Beat the Winter Blues – [ … Winter’s colder temperatures and longer evenings bring the blues to many sun-worshippers. Fortunately, feng shui can mitigate the more chilling effects of the season. Even better, it can also accentuate the many positive aspects of winter …]

Enjoy the jumps! Come back and see us when you can …