poop

Philadelphia Family Fun: Our Five Favorites

April 23, 2016 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

If you’re looking for affordable family fun, look no further than Philadelphia. Our family got to spend four days with our up-the-coast neighbor; however, the first two were just me and my 6-year-old — a challenge I wasn’t sure I was prepared for. Under normal circumstances, my adventurously independent son is a handful. Now we were sans one dad, adding a train ride, a hotel stay, and a bunch of activities in a city I knew next to nothing about. Papa and I had spent an anniversary weekend years ago, focusing mainly on art museums and antiques. I knew my kiddo was having none of that, so we were in uncharted territory.

It’s also important to note that Jon was not as over the previous week’s stomach bug as I thought.

Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia has plenty of affection for families and kids, too. We made it through the trip with lots of flying colors, great memories, and even learned a few things. And yes, there were lots and lots of trips to the bathroom.

Here are our five Philadelphia favorites — along with a score for the restrooms at each location, based on their ability to accommodate weary, middle-aged dads and a kindergartner whose bowels were constantly at DEFCON #2.

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5. THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE
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Philadelphia family fun — Franklin Institute

The initial draw of The Franklin Institute was the Art of the Brick exhibit — which did not disappoint. Yet on further exploration, the entire museum was amaze-balls, as the kids say. From the giant interactive heart, to the train factory, a planetarium, and pretty much any invention or sciencey thing you can think up — it had it all.

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My Favorite Superhero Wears Pink

December 29, 2015 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, MAKING MEMORIES

Through nearly every phase of my life, comic books and superheroes have been a source of entertainment, enlightenment, and inspiration. Yet there’s a real-life superhero that has had my back through it all — one that has gone heretofore unrecognized. Whether venturing out on my own, finding my soulmate, or settling into domesticated dad bliss, this unsung hero has never failed to protect, comfort, and heal. All while swathed in soothing shades of pink.

I’m of course talking about Pepto-Bismol.
Or as I like to call it…

Pepto Bismol — Captain Pepto to the rescue!

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5 Ways Little Kids Wash Their Hands

January 13, 2015 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF

5 ways little kids wash their hands

They don’t call this the dead of winter for nothing. Bitter cold. No sunshine. Cooped-up kids tearing the house apart as you slowly tear out your hair. No new episodes of The Walking Dead  for nearly a month.

And the sickness – the never ending cycle of sickness.

Mid-winter is always rough for families with kids, and this year has been particularly infectious. Aside from getting a flu shot, the most effective way to prevent illness is to wash your hands. Every doctor, childcare professional, teacher, parent, and educational Muppet has been drilling this into your kids’ heads since birth. And yet, based on personal experience of how regularly my child practices responsible (unassisted) hygiene, it’s a wonder we’re not in the midst of a full-blown toddler zombie apocalypse. Here are five reasons why…

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11 Ways Not to Treat Your Kid Like a Kid Brother

April 10, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

A couple of days ago my youngest brother (B4*) became a dad. About a week before the due date, we met for lunch and I gave him this:

jj cole

Yup, a diaper bag. I’m THAT awesome of a big brother.

But it wasn’t just any old bag, but a JJ Cole** diaper bag, which — until I handed it to him and told him what it was — my brother thought was my laptop bag. Mission accomplished JJ Cole, on making a diaper bag even a heterosexual/DC attorney/new dad would carry!

In addition to the awesome gift-giving, great BBQ and quality time with my baby bro, the significance of this gift was, well… pretty significant. Because his was the first diaper I ever changed.

I’m the oldest of four brothers and he’s the youngest, eleven years my junior. So I indeed had the privilege of cleaning his poopy baby butt. And as he sometimes wore cloth diapers, he got stabbed with a diaper pin at least once several times. But that wasn’t the worst (or last) bit of pain or hardship inflicted upon him by an elder sibling.

So to make up for a lifetime of torture, I’m giving B4 some unsolicited parenting advice, inspired by the tribulations he endured as the runt of the family. To clarify, these are based on real events, just not all initiated by me. I’m not saying which of his three older brothers did which deed, but mine were of the sneakier, less violent variety.
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Is Being a Dad Turning Me Straight?

February 25, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED, LGBT STUFF

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.

is being a dad turning me straight

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Cottonelle & Designer Daddy Have That Can-Doo Spirit

October 14, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

Greetings Dear Readers! It’s me, your bums-talking Brand Ambassador, bringing you another message from the fine folks at Cottonelle!

I and the other BA’s have been on a roll reading (and judging) all the wipe-related haikus you’ve been Tweeting out the wazoo. We’ve already given away $200 Amazon gift cards to 3 potty-mouthed poets. Check out their cheeky, winning work*:

Week 1 winner: @dad_strangeland
Did you wipe? I ask / My four year old shakes her head / Pants already raised.

Week 2 winner: @jesteram
Cottonelle sheets, wipes— / like yin and yang for your butt: / Two forces, one whole.

Week 3 winner: @DeadTurkeyBlog
Please try Cottenelle. / Like wiping with a pillow. / Without the divorce.

These lucky lads are now in the running to win the Grandest of Prizes: an all-expenses paid trip to Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans! And we have 4 more winners to choose over the next few weeks, so you still have lots of chances to score a gift card and a seat at Dad 2.0!

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While scrutinizing all these haiku hijinks has been hilarious, it’s also caused me to wax nostalgic. All the poop-talk got me reminiscing about the times in my life I could have really used some Cottonelle TP and Cleansing Cloths. Please indulge me as I over-share one such occasion…

WARNING: DO NOT READ IF ON YOUR LUNCH BREAK

I spent the summer after college in Siberia on a mission trip with a group from my church. We were in Irkutsk, a city of nearly a million people — yet we often found ourselves in rather sub-standard plumbing predicaments. One afternoon we were giving a presentation at a high school, when my lunch of dried fish, pork-filled dumplings and mysterious cabbage concoction decided to take the Trans-Siberian Express out of my body. I raced down the halls to the bathroom and scurried into one of the stalls. Not only did the stall not have a door, the bowl (which was common) didn’t have a seat. And to my horror – nor the toilet paper dispenser, toilet paper. Starting to panic, I hobbled around and check the other stalls. Nyet, nyet, nyet. No doors, no seats, no paper.

While this is not the toilet in the story, it was the one in our flat. That we used every day for 3 months.

While this isn’t the toilet in my story, it WAS the one in my Siberian flat… that I used every day for 3 months.

Lunch had now taken its leave, yet here I sat on my seatless bowl, not sure what to do next. I rifled through my pockets and found two very disconcerting options. Option 1: a small religious pamphlet illustrated in comic-book form. Option 2: my Bible.

The pamphlet was slick and varnished, with rather sharp corners. My Bible, on the other hand, had soft, tissue-like pages. It was my Sophie’s Choice of sanitation.

Luckily I remembered my Bible had several blank pages in the back for taking notes. My choice was made, desecration was avoided, my ass was saved! However some Cottonelle toilet paper and wipes sure would have been a god-send.

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Okay, now it’s your turn to confess.
What’s your scariest scatalogical situation? Please post in the comments. My favorite will get a shout-out on Facebook (anonymous, if you like) and my deepest admiration and sympathy.

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careroutine3

Late to the poop party and have no idea what I’m talking about? Take a second and go read this. I’ll wait… Okay, all caught up? Great! Now get to Tweeting haikus about Cottonelle and bums and wipes and poop, and maybe I’ll see you in NOLA!

*To read all eligible haikus as well as full contest details, visit the Haiku Challenge web page.

[Disclaimer: I am being compensated by Kimberly-Clark for my participation in my role as a Brand Ambassador. 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.]

Cottonelle & Designer Daddy Get to the Bottom of Things

September 25, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED

I’ve been tapped to be part of an elite squad of Brand Ambassadors, to tell you about an exciting new contest from the fine folks at Cottonelle!
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But first a word from our sponsor:

Are you tired of leaving the loo, only to return within minutes, realizing you’ve, ahem… missed a spot?

Does your morning constitutional frequently have you wiped out from all that wiping?

Have you longed for tips to help your toddler top off their potty-training technique?

Introducing the Cottonelle Care Routine!
The next time you
’re relaxing on your throne, follow up Cottonelle Toilet Paper with Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths, for the latest in tush technology!

careroutine2

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So, yeah. I’m doing toilet paper commercials on my blog now. Wondering how dear old Designer Dad fits this one into his otherwise awesome site about design and daddyhood and other cool, bloggy-type stuff? Simple, really.

FIRST: Being a dad involves A LOT of poop. And pee. And wiping. And quite a bit on the kiddo, too. If I need to explain this further, you’ve clearly never been around a child (or a grown man), or been one yourself.

SECOND: I love me some contests and giveaways and free stuff! Being a fancy-pants Brand Ambassador and all, I can’t actually win any of this stuff. But I’m pleased as punch to share it with all my awesome readers!

So what’s the free stuff?
Cottonelle is giving away a $200 Amazon gift card every Monday between now and November 4 — seven in all. The grand poo-bah prize is an all-expenses paid trip to the Dad 2.0 Summit conference in New Orleans, Jan 30-Feb 1, 2014. Airfare, two nights at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, registration fees — the whole shebang. Hebang, rather.

THIRD: To enter, all you do is write haiku about poo. (Okay, not exactly about poo, but it rhymed and was super cute.) You know how I love a clever turn of phrase, so this part’s a real hoot for me. Flex those clever craniums, fill your poems full of puns about keeping clean, tweet them with the hashtags #LetsTalkBums and #Haiku, and you’re in!

I and the other 6 way-more-illustrious bloggers will be tweeting haiku right along with you for fun, and then judging our favorite each week. One of those seven weekly winners will be chosen randomly as our big winner.

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Alright, this post is unrolling a bit longer than I’d hoped, so just a few more details before you go:

Check out Cottonelle’s Facebook page to join in on the potty talk and for cleaning tips, coupons and other fun stuff.

Be sure and visit the Haiku Challenge web page often, for all the official rules and where we’re collecting all your witty tweets in one big roll.

NEED A HAIKU REFRESHER?
3 lines of poetic brilliance…
1st line: 5 syllables
2nd line: 7 syllables
3rd line: 5 syllables

Break the lines with a return or a “/” and don’t forget to tag each tweet with #LetsTalkBums and #Haiku.

 notsofresh-haiku

OMG, THIS IS SO LONG AND NOW I HAVE TO GO PEE!
BUT ONE MORE THING!

Join me and the other Cottonelle Dads for a Twitter Party, hosted by Whit Honea on Monday, September 30 from 8-9pm EST. Use hashtag #LetsTalkBums and come ready to win a $50 Amazon gift card or two, an iPad mini, and hang around as we announce the first $200 weekly winner!

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[Disclaimer: I am being compensated by Kimberly-Clark for my participation in my role as a Brand Ambassador. 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.]

A (not so) Brief Note

December 10, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED, THINGS DAD DIGS

We’re currently trudging towards the epic milestone of bowel autonomy. JJ had one rapturous success, got derailed (understandably so) by our trip to Italy, and has yet to regain his commode momentum. We’ve employed several potty training tools, which so far have produced squat in the way of results. But I thought I’d share them with you since I think they’re fun. And who knows — hopefully they’ll work for someone else in the same, um… poodicament*.

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DC Super Friends in POTTY TIME POWER!

This book is all kinds of awesome — each page features a different DC superhero explaining some aspect of potty training (Superman blows away a giant stack of diapers! Plastic Man shows how much toilet paper is the right amount! Flash warns to give yourself enough time to get to the can!) Many of the pages have flaps for your child to reveal more fun and action, and there are 2 full pages of stickers! The book is nice and thick and well-laminated to avoid any bathroom mishaps or accidental drops in the tub/sink/commode. ($8.99 on Amazon)

And oh yeah, my man Aquaman gives a lesson (kind of) on the importance of washing up afterwards!

So far the book hasn’t “worked,” but its repeated use has helped JJ’s spelling. And the fact that it’s chock full o’ heroes makes it a wee bit more bearable for me to read over and over and over.
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Trip to Italy: Daddy Album

September 24, 2012 | By Brent Almond | MAKING MEMORIES

As promised, here’s the Daddy Album. And this one was even more difficult to winnow down than the Designer Album. Again I went for the ones that told the best stories from the trip, as well as some variety. But I cheated a little and included 12 instead of 10 photos. My loophole is that two of these weren’t taken by me, so YAY, bonus pics!

Perhaps as a surprise to no one, the majority of these are of JJ. So WARNING: if you don’t think you’ll like photos of my adorable tyke charming the entire country of Italy, you’ve come to the wrong place…

Spider-Man and his Nonna strolling through the Bari airport, beginning their week-long adventure together.

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Fridge Wisdom: Regarding the dog’s butt

April 5, 2012 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED

I’ve found this phrase pretty useless in teaching my toddler just about anything. Yet it’s one of the top 10 (if not the #1) default commands parents use when trying to bring their wee ones in line. I know I’ve certainly spouted it at JJ in desperate situations, and always to no avail.

What was lacking? Specifics.
“Don’t poke the dog in the butt.”
“Bite your food, not your hand.”
“Those are Daddy’s toys. Please don’t remove them from their original packaging or they lose their value.”
“Buddy, no rocking the extremely large, expensive TV back and forth.”
“Stop touching that. It’s got poop on it.”

Niceness (like sharing) is nebulous and subjective. The dog’s butt is not.

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