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The Redemptive Power of Story Time

April 2, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LEARNING CURVES, RASPBERRIES

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I’ve been going through quite a lot of shit lately. I won’t bore you with the details because we’ve all got details and they’re equally uninteresting to others yet end-of-the-world urgent and/or life-altering to us. And for any of us who are parents, our children are often the primary recipients of said shit run-off. And for any of us who are parents, our children have gained valuable insight (regardless of their age) as to how and where and when to push all our buttons. However I’ve read official research that age 4-1/2 is the worst. True fact.

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The Macaroni Incident

March 29, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LEARNING CURVES

As I’m thick in the throes of wedding planning, I thought it would be a fun to share some witty words from a fellow dad and superhero lover. Yet Charles Baserap is more than your average fanboy. He writes comic reviews at Nerdtopiacast.com, regularly attends cons (he can grow some killer Wolverine mutton chops) and he named his second child Alexander “Lex” Xavier. That kid is destined to be powerful…and bald.

Yet this tale is about Charles’ daughter, who’s the same age as JJ. They too share a love of superheroes, and of being a source of both wonderment and worry for their parents. Enjoy!

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macaroni

When my first child, Anastasia, was about three and half, I picked her up from daycare and it was like any other day. Sure, she was acting a bit moody, but that’s what toddlers do. Terrible twos? That’s just an alliterative smokescreen. That phase starts before they’re two and continues well after. I think I finally outgrew mine at about seven…teen. But the point is that I was able to see something wasn’t quite right with her and she told me her nose hurt. I asked if she bumped it and she meekly said yes, and I thought that was the end of it. Kids bump their noses—and feet, and heads, and everything else they can—all the time. It happens. Then we got to the car and I could tell she wasn’t being completely honest so I asked her about her nose again and she finally fessed up—“I put a piece of pasta in my nose and it got stuck.”

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Ban Bossy? A Suggested Alternative

March 13, 2014 | By Brent Almond | QUICKPIC, RASPBERRIES

Enough has already been written about this whole “Ban Bossy” business, so I’m going to suggest an alternative:

gary busey ban bossy

However, if you’d like to read some actual commentary on the subject (which certainly seemed to stir up the interwebs a bit), please check out one of the articles below from some of my fine, fellow parent bloggers. And lordy they sure are a bossy bunch!

Donna Biroczky / Dangerous Cupcakes “Like a Boss! Not a #banbossy Fan”

Jeff Bogle / Out With The Kids “Dad Bloggers React to #BanBossy with More Words Worth Banning”

Doug French / Laid-Off Dad “Join Me to Ban ‘Lean’”

Aaron Gouveia / The Daddy Files “Why I Won’t Ban Bossy”

Joel Gratcyk / Daddy’s Grounded “Its Not Okay To Be Afraid Of A Word, I Will Not #BanBossy”

Alan Kercinik / Always Jacked “What #banbossy Says to Boys”

John Kinnear / Ask Your Dad “There Are No Bad Words… OK, There Are Some – I Don’t Know if Bossy is One”

Dave Lesser for TIME “Dad: I’m Going To Keep Calling My Daughter Bossy”

Kadi Prescott / Media Actually “My Two Cents: The #BanBossy Social Campaign”

Jessi Sanfilippo / Shuggilippo “Slap My Ass and Call Me Bossy”

David Vienna for Huffington Post “Why I Won’t Ban ‘Bossy’”

David Wallach for Chicago Parent “Chicago Dad to Sheryl Sandberg: Don’t Tell Me How to Talk to My Kids”

Jessica Watson / Four Plus An Angel “What You Can Call Me”

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Become a fan of Designer Daddy’s Facebook page, and I promise to never, ever ban you.

Is Being a Dad Turning Me Straight?

February 25, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LEARNING CURVES, WHAT ABOUT DAD?

It’s late February, and once again there’s ice and snow on the ground. And once again I’m hauling my kid to the mall to burn off energy (and preserve my sanity) in that germ-infested swarm known as the Play Area. As soon as we step off the bottom step to the mall’s lower level, JJ immediately charges in the direction of the indoor plastic playground. Out of instinct—and fear of him running headfirst into an adult crotch—I start the awkward walk-jog of an exhausted, out-of-shape dad in hopes of snatching him from the jaws of danger or a lawsuit. I haven’t shaved or bathed (it’s Sunday – when cleanliness is far from godliness), and I’m wearing a slight variation of the clothes I’d worn the previous day. I’m blending in quite nicely with the other beleaguered parents, walk-jogging through the mall like suburban zombies.

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Hide-and-Seek with Mr. Moon, or How I Broke My Son’s Heart on Valentine’s Day

February 20, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LEARNING CURVES

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During the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, Papa and I had both been away at conferences, overlapping by only a few hours at home, tagging in to take the next multi-day shift of solo parenting. A few days later Papa had to leave again for a business trip, during which time yet another snow storm dumped all over the East Coast, leaving him stranded in Chicago and me and JJ stranded indoors at home. Luckily we never lost power, though the snow was certainly deep enough and the wind windy enough. We did our best to entertain ourselves with movies, dinosaur puzzles, epic Ninja Turtle battles and cupcake-making. Yet a couple of times I felt cabin fever taking hold—so when the all clear came for the boy to go back to school, there was great rejoicing and sighing with relief.

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My Thoughts On Winter

February 13, 2014 | By Brent Almond | QUICKPIC, SCRAPBOOKING

snowverit

Designer Daddy’s Greatest Hits of 2013

January 1, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGNER DADDY, LEARNING CURVES, RASPBERRIES, SCRAPBOOKING

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2013 was a pretty monumental year, both personally and blogally(?). So for all of the awesome, new readers I’ve met recently — as well as longtime loyalists — here’s a recap of my favorite posts from the last 12 months!

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These are a few of my favorite tweets…

December 6, 2013 | By Brent Almond | RASPBERRIES

…from during the broadcast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE! on NBC.

Dad duties dictated I pass on an opportunity to usher (dressed as a nun, no less) at a local theater where it was being shown. From all accounts it sounded like a great time, including some impromptu sing-a-longs during sound problems. Events like this are always way more hilarious — or awful — when experienced en masse.

So I had to watch it alone at home… And yet, the world watched with me, and laid in to Carrie and company with much gusto and snark. Yes, there were plenty of positive comments about Audra McDonald, Laura Benati, the children, the ratings. But that’s not why God invented Twitter.

While most of the more scathing comments were directed at the lead’s wooden underacting, things snowballed from there as the Twitterverse barreled down the Austrian mountainside, picking up Vampire Bill, Julie Andrews, yodeling and Grumpy Cat along the way.

Without further ado, I present A Few of My Favorite Tweets…
(and yeah, the first one’s from me, after a mere one line of dialog from Maria)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So what were a few of your favorites? Leave ‘em in the comments!

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For more fun and frivolity, please visit the Designer Daddy Facebook page  to make it one of your favorite things!

Chasing After Batman: An Introverted Parent Raising An Extroverted Child

November 11, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LEARNING CURVES

chasingbatman2

Recently I found myself, yet again, frantically trailing after my son as he ran on ahead of me, weaving in and out and through the crowd like a pint-sized quarterback. This time we were at his preschool, attending a Halloween-themed fair, where each classroom offered a different adventure in which JJ would embark and then move on to the next as quick as he’d gotten the requisite prize. His little black cape swooped around with an extra amount of drama — the Velcro closure was itchy around his neck, so he wore his cowl unfastened and scooted up on top of his head so he could plow ahead, unencumbered.

He — being 4 years old and nimble, and me— about a parent-and-a-half in size, made this chase an exercise in futility. So I followed close enough to appear somewhat in control to concerned onlookers, and where he could hear my voice without me having to shout. But I allowed a bit of distance because otherwise we’d be butting heads all night, or I’d be plowing half the hallway down. Or both.

I perpetually cringed as he barely missed bumping into a child in a wheelchair or tripping the teacher carrying a large box of cupcakes, bobbing and weaving with such disregard and joyous abandon. The only way I was able to keep up at all was because every few seconds he would stop, plant himself in front of someone and declare,“I’m Batman!” Then off he dashed to vanquish the next foe and add another trinket or treat to his plastic pumpkin.

And I found myself, yet again, thinking “Is this normal? Is he okay? Am I being too uptight? Am I doing this right? Will he ever slow down?”

You see, I’m an introvert raising an extroverted child, and I’m way out of my depth.

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My Starbucks VIA Moment: Afternoon Cup

August 14, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY LIKE

If I had to list two things I HAVE to have to get me through the day, they would be the internet and caffeine. Between being the dad of a toddler and running my own business from home, I am at high risk for being isolated and/or completely worn out. Usually simultaneously.

On the internet (as you’ve seen me mention here before) I’ve found a great community of fellow dads to combat my isolation. Some of them are also bloggers. Some are also gay dads. A rare and fabulous few are fellow GDBs* — gay dad bloggers. Many of these fellows hang out at Life of Dad, a great site for meeting and interacting with other involved/informed fathers. And these guys also like to have fun. And give stuff away. Remember the Cheetos masterpiece I created? That was for them.

So now Life of Dad is hosting a very cool contest promoting Starbucks VIA. Click on over to read all the deets on how to win Starbucks cards! And not some mamby-pamby $5 stocking stuffer. We’re talking $500, $200 & $100 of caffeinated awesomeness for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

The main thing you have to do is create a video on Vine or Instagram showing your own daddiefied Starbucks VIA Moment. Take a look at my mini masterpiece I call “Afternoon Cup.”

AFTERNOONCUP

(P.S. Full disclosure, I’m not much of a coffee drinker — but I’m at Starbucks regular as clockwork to pick up my daily Venti black iced tea. So I’m hoping tea is next on Starbucks’ list of VIA products. But I HAVE tried a few of their Refreshers, and the Strawberry Lemonade and Very Berry Hibiscus both lived up to their name — refreshing as all get out! So what am I gonna do with all the VIA coffee I used in my video? Well, Papa is a coffee fiend so will be enjoying these on his drive to work. Plus stocking stuffers!)

*As far as I know, I just now coined this acronym. I think I’ll make a t-shirt.

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[Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free, as well as monetary compensation for creating my video and promoting it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are mine and/or JJ's.]