sleep

Mojo rising

January 14, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED

After a nice long break from blogging, I’ve finally gotten back whatever energy/mojo/gumption was siphoned off during the holidays. I don’t know about you, but I experienced more burnout this year than usual. And I also know it’s all my own handiwork, particularly due to the whole Advent In An Hour thing — while I thoroughly enjoyed it, I really did bite off more than I could doodle.

But why don’t I share my holiday over-activities in song form…

(Sung very loosely to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas)

In the month of December, I did the follow-ing:
37 promo photos
25 days of doodles
Endless hours of shopping…
Endless hours of wrapping…
House dec-orating…
Christmas cards a-listing…
Christmas cards a-writing…
Christmas cards addressing…
Design Nutty e-card
5 paying projects!
4 chorus concerts
3 holiday parties…
2 trips to Grandma’s…
and keeping a toddler from the tree.

Okay, so maybe I don’t have all my mojo back just yet…

Here’s to a New Year, new ideas, and new levels of energy!

The Mural Project: Mission Accomplished!

November 9, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

Here it is, the finished mural on JJ’s bedroom wall! And not only did I finish painting, but I also hung everything back on the wall (including a couple of new things), put together a mobile, and hung that and a few other mobile-y type things from the ceiling. Needless to say, my back was not in top form during JJ’s party the next day. But that’s why God made Advil, rum, and husbands.

It’s hard to get a great panoramic view of the room (it’s pretty small) but the mural is mostly in one corner, with a bit spilling onto the ceiling and above the windows on either side.

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Captionpalooza 2011 twofer: photo 7 + 8

June 28, 2011 | By Brent Almond | MAKING MEMORIES

This is actually a still from a video I shot of JJ luxuriating in his kick-ass new pool (Yup, it’s got a whale’s tail for shade, and you can attach a hose to squirt water through a blowhole). I tried to capture his peak moment of glee, which was difficult since he was in a constant sate of giddiness. He was non-stop for about an hour, climbing in and out of the pool, splashing in it, squealing, and throwing random items from the yard into it. So much fun to watch…

Captionpalooza 2011: photo 7

…The only downside to JJ overdosing on inflatable elation was that he got extremely wound up and didn’t crash until 5pm. And it was not a pretty landing.

Captionpalooza 2011: photo 8

Life can be hard for a little boy in summertime. 🙂

Happy F-ing Father’s Day!

June 16, 2011 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, THINGS DAD DIGS

I’m sure you’ve heard of this book by now. If not, do yourself a favor and download the free audio book, narrated by the loquacious Mr. Samuel L. Jackson. Yes, it’s a real book. No, it’s not to be read to your children — it just looks like it. Therein lies all the therapeutic, cathartic fun. And I’m sure it’s no coincidence it came out just a few days before Father’s Day…

And while no one beats Sam Jackson when it comes to dropping F-bombs, I still prefer the original version that first appeared on the internet. He sounds like a real father, the desperation in his voice quite genuine…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI6RrDveqm8&sns=em

Aside from having to field lots of angry calls and emails from uppity parenting experts with no sense of humor, I’m sure the author is enjoying all the buzz this book has garnered, and is already thinking sequels. Shall we help him out with some ideas? How about:

Go Brush Your G*dd*amn Teeth

You Liked This Yesterday… Eat It, You Little A**hole

Sh*t Goes in the Potty, Please

I’m sure you more experienced parents have lots of other titles to share…

Play hard or go home.

April 11, 2011 | By Brent Almond | THINGS MY KID DIGS

I’m pretty sure JJ has now explored every inch of his B. Toys’ Zany Zoo. I think this deserves some funny captions… Have at it folks!

JJ’s new cow jammers

March 31, 2011 | By Brent Almond | MAKING MEMORIES

Just wanted to share a couple of pics of JJ sporting his new cow footy pajamas (made by Sozo, picked out by Papa). He would make the cutest darn Chik-fil-A spokesmodel! If only the company were a little more family-friendly… to families like ours. Their loss!

Maybe Big Gay Ice Cream Truck will book him instead…

A stampede of one

Baby Boombox: Music Soothes the Savage Ear Infection

March 27, 2011 | By Brent Almond | MAKING MEMORIES, POP CULTURE

JJ was under the weather again last week with something (probably an ear infection) that involved a low-grade fever, no appetite, and of course yakking. Poor little guy… I hate to see him like this. But truth be told, I revel in the extra cuddling time. Sorry if that makes me a sub-par parent, but I know the clinging to Daddy days are numbered so I’ll take ’em how I can get ’em.

In any event, the music selection was much mellower, and we were kicking it old school to Rockabye Baby’s Coldplay CD. We also had a couple of iLullaby sessions, dominated by selections from Alison Krauss — my favorites being her heart-wrenching duets with Robert Plant and Brad Paisley, “Please Read the Letter” and “Whiskey Lullaby,” respectively. Nothing like melancholy country songs about heartbreak and alcoholism to comfort a sickly toddler.

JJ’s all better now, and we’re back to be-bopping around the nursery… until the next malady.

Please share, dear readers, what are your favorite “sick baby” tunes?

DaddyDJ: iLullaby

January 22, 2011 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, THINGS MY KID DIGS

What I’d heard all along was true — the first few months of daddydom are the least restful you’ll ever have in your life. And you find you’ll try anything to get the ‘lil nipper back to sleep after his 2am feeding: butt-patting, head-rubbing, pacing, bouncing, infomercials… you name it, I tried it.

One particularly frustrating middle-of-the-night, I trudged down the hall to my office, wee one in tow, and plopped down to check emails and assess the currently pitiful state of my career. As I always do, I cued up my iTunes DJ, and only then did I remember a long-forgotten and rarely used feature — the Visualizer.

I quickly scanned my inner playlist, settled on Coldplay’s “Clocks”, set iTunes to Full Screen and started Visualizer up. JJ was instantly mesmerized by the swirly, digitized kaleidoscope and earnestness of Chris Martin’s piano playing. I added a slow side-to-side swivel in the office chair, and by the end of the song, he was fast asleep.

Thank you, Apple. Forgive me for not coming to you first.

* * * * *
Here are a few of the songs/artists that have worked their best lullaby-magic for us (these aren’t just the slowest, mellowest songs I could find — sorry Jewel — but ones that also created the trippiest Visualizer pattern):
“Dreaming My Dreams With You” – Alison Krauss
anything by Cocteau Twins
“Greek Song” – Rufus Wainwright
“Beach” – Mew
“The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” – The Postal Service
“Little Star” – Madonna
“While the Earth Sleeps” – Deep Forest & Peter Gabriel
anything by Frou Frou
“Wild Horses” – The Sundays
“Blackbird” – The Beatles

So what tricks worked best in getting your kids to sleep?

Holiday family photo: outtakes

December 23, 2010 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED, MAKING MEMORIES

Concept 1: We seemed to have temporarily forgotten how much babies LOVE being forced to lay on their backs.

Since so many people loved last year’s Holiday card/birth announcement, I figured we should do a family photo this year as well. But it seems everyone and their dog (literally) are sending photo cards now. There are numerous online options, and the quality is getting increasingly better. However, as a designer I just couldn’t bring myself to use someone else’s template or design. Ours would have to be the most unique, the most special, EVER. READ FULL ARTICLE >>

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