Sweet Dreams! We’re Sleeping "Green"!

Wifey and I have had “NEW MATTRESS” on our wish list for over 5 YEARS now! We have kept putting it off for multiple reasons. Mainly, our sleep wasn’t a priority in the grander scheme of things, especially when it came to divvying up the budget. Next, we didn’t want another box-store-bought, made out of plastic, make your house smell like you spilled a can of paint in it for two weeks, kind of mattress! So why did we wait so long? BECAUSE ALL NATURAL MATTRESSES ARE WAY TOO EXPENSIVE, RIGHT!? That’s what we thought, until I scrolled past www.mygreenmattress.com


Let me tell you why I fell in love with The Quality Sleep Shop IMMEDIATELY. When you first visit www.mygreenmattress.com, you’re not met by some faceless company. There was the owner, Tim “The Bed Head”, his family, and a header that read, “my kids…my testers”. Must be a cutesy front to lure in hippy tree-hugger parents, right? I kept clicking. There was Tim and his wife, explaining why they decided to CREATE a mattress for their chemically-sensitive daughter. (Insert eye-roll, and “get a load of these people” gesture) These MUST be actors, right? I decided I had to check this store out myself. Road trip!
Wow. There it was. The Quality Sleep Shop. Just like it looked on the website. And we were greeted by Kyle, a salesperson that didn’t immediately walk us to the most expensive mattress in the store. I must add, salespeople usually strongly dislike Wifey and I. We do our research. We do NOT buy junk. And, we ask a LOT of questions! But Kyle didn’t break. He stuck with us for almost an hour, making sure they would BUILD the perfect mattress for US. We were able to see and feel every single fabric and fiber that our mattress would be made from! Funny, they have a competitor’s mattress (the brand name rhymes with Schmempurpedic) dissected right there in the show room, so customers can compare the construction of a rival’s mattress. You could literally go to Hobby Lobby and build a Schmempurpedic yourself for less that half the cost of what they charge! I could not believe the difference in quality, and more importantly, the difference in COST! By now, I was REALLY starting to love this business! And if Wifey was convinced, you KNOW this place is legit! 
Just then, I heard someone walk out of the workshop and turned around to see…that “Bed Head” dude Tim himself! Wait a second. The owner of this Company is actually in the workshop, hand-crafting these mattresses, just like he said on the website? Was I getting “Punked”!? Within seconds, I knew that wasn’t the case. Tim was happy to walk through our options once again and help us make a decision. Wifey was STILL hung up on changing one small detail of our mattress. (I was thinking, “REALLY!? COME ON ALREADY! WE’RE THIS CLOSE!!!) Tim simply said, “I can make it that way. No problem.” Let me tell you, I was mentally chest-bumping and high-fiving Tim while jumping on a mattress like schoolgirls having a pillow fight! SOLD!!! USA!!! USA!!!!
Oh, did I mention the fact that the mattress we ordered was HUNDREDS, and in some cases, THOUSANDS of DOLLARS CHEAPER than any other place we shopped!? How is that possible!?!? Two words. Factory. Direct. Okay, what does that mean? That means that Tim buys the materials. Then, he and his crew HAND-CRAFT your mattress right there in the shop! There’s even a window in the show room, so you can watch them construct these custom, quality beds! From their workshop to your door. No middle-man. More importantly, NO DOUBTS that you couldn’t find a better made mattress! You know EXACTLY what you are buying when you buy from The Quality Sleep Shop! One thing Tim said that stuck with me was, “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. If there was a better product out there to put in our mattresses, I’d be using it.” Wifey’s smile got wider, and I breathed a sigh of relief. 
NO, I never met Tim before I walked into the shop that day. This is not some sneaky, paid plug for www.mygreenmattress.com. Note: I have never, ever did a product review or plug. I’m too lazy. In this case, I couldn’t wait to tell you about The Quality Sleep Shop! We bought the safest, best quality mattress we could find, at less than half the cost of anything else we had seen! All this from a family guy, so obviously passionate about bringing you the best product he can at a price you can afford. I know that sounds like a fairy tale, but it’s not! It’s rare nowadays to find a LOCAL business like this, ran by a person that sticks his face and his reputation out there for all to see. Why does he do it? Because he can. Tim uses products like cotton, wool, and latex. Those are materials I can pronounce. When our mattress arrived, and the plastic was peeled off, we could smell…nothing. No noxious fumes, off-gassing and stinking up our house for weeks! There is absolutely no doubt that our kids’ next mattresses will be made by The Quality Sleep Shop. It’s only fitting, seeing that out next kid will probably be made ON a mattress made by The Quality Sleep Shop;
Before we left the store, I told Tim, “It just feels right buying from you.” And you will too. If you’re in the market for a mattress for yourself or your kids, do yourself a favor. Before you buy from anywhere else, go to www.mygreenmattress.com

Renewing My Vows, Or Else…

Why am I always chasing THIS guy!?
If you think the following sounds familiar, you’re right. Most of it is taken from a post I wrote back in 2012. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I fucked up again…

Ever since I can remember, I was known as the funny fat kid. I would go on some fad diet and lose weight, but then I was really just a “skinny-fat” funny kid. This has been going on for over 20 years. About 6 years ago, I was in what I considered to be the best shape of my life. I weighed 185 pounds, I had 12% body fat, I was strong, and I could run for miles. Then, I had an injury. Nothing major, just a busted wrist. But, it was the beginning of my next downward spiral. I let all those good habits and hard work get spoiled by bad habits and laziness. My past time became grilling and drinking beer. I put on 30 pounds, again. For these last few years, I had gotten back in the habit of exercising. Not as much as I should have, but at least I was moving again. But, the grilling and drinking kept those 30 pounds right where they didn’t belong…hanging around my mid-section! In 2012, I got “inspired” again. I essentially went Vegetarian and got into Yoga. Like magic, I dropped those 30 pounds, again, in just under 4 months. Fast forward to 2013. Bean was born. I worked more hours that year than ever before. Good habits reverted to bad, and guess what? I gained those 30 pounds right back, again. 
(I think I see a pattern here;)

I received a little “Wake-Up Call” yesterday in the form of a slap in the face from two different Doctors. I won’t get into the boring details, but I have been shirking off obvious health issues for a few years. I don’t need medicine. Nothing’s going to happen to me, right? Wrong. I was basically told the only reason I haven’t wound up ON the ground yet is because I am still (relatively) young, and still in (relatively) decent health. My body has been able to cope with itself. But my baseline for “healthy” keeps getting lower and lower. Holy shit. This is real. I can’t ignore “it” anymore. 

I realize that I have rarely been motivated by being healthy. I have just focused on losing a few pounds, not eliminating all the factors (like the gallon of Monster I was drinking every day) that are keeping me fat and unhealthy. Poor me, right? Maybe this is just how I’m supposed to be. Tired, sluggish, achy, hung-over feeling, overweight, shameful and guilty because I just can’t do what I know has to be done. Complete failure. Again. (I think I see a pattern here;)

I lost my Mom at the age of 55 to lung cancer. I am already 40. When I am 55 years old, Buddy will hopefully be in college. Bean will be graduating from High School. There may even be more of “them” someday:) The thought of me being IN the ground by then is terrifying!

Will I stick to my guns this time? There’s no choice. Yes, I have said that before! But then, the motivation was more about fitting into smaller clothes. This time it’s a matter of increasing my time here on the planet ABOVE ground. I have to do this for my family. Most importantly, I have to do this for me. My self esteem. My confidence. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin for once since I was a kid. I want to meet my children’s children. Finally, I want to look back fondly at the funny fat kid, smile, and wave goodbye. 

Monster Lesson #1

See. Not all monsters are bad:)
Snot-nosed Buddy awoke from a nap, obviously shaken. I always ask him, “How did you sleep? Did you have any dreams?” His usual response is, “Pretty good, Dad. The Pterodactyl….(Insert any Dinosaur or Pirate story here)” Although this time his response was, “Are monsters scary?” Oh boy. I knew this question, or one like it, would pop up sooner or later. Once again, I had procrastinated on preparing a speech. I let out a nervous giggle, in attempt to downplay and diffuse his fears. Then I did what I do best. I started babbling. 

“Sometimes, monsters ARE scary Buddy. But most of the time, we think monsters are scary just because they’re different. They might look different, or act different, so we’re afraid of them. But sometimes, those monsters can be silly and funny! They might even be your best friends!” I went on babbling through the wardrobe change, with the intent of convincing Buddy there was no reason to fear falling asleep. That would be MY worst nightmare! Thankfully, he ran out of the room yelling, “I’M A PIRATE!” Phew! Crisis averted. I left the room with a victorious smirk on my face. Then I really started thinking about the first few sentences I blurted out. 
Did I just teach Buddy a life lesson? 

Of course he’s too young to hear about the “real monsters” that walk the Earth. That’s my job to protect him and teach him how to spot the real ones as he grows older. Meanwhile, the first time Buddy sees a PERSON that looks different than he does, or acts different than he does, and asks “Is that PERSON scary?”, I have my speech prepared. The speech is titled: ‘Monster Lesson #1’:) 


Wifey has always wanted three kids. Me? Honestly, I was always indifferent to the idea. Could go either way. Other than the fact that I’ll have to work until I die to pay for college. But, I may luck out. The kids could be geniuses, or even morons and college tuition won’t be an issue. My point is, I’ve never had “the urge” to have another kid.

Fast forward to yesterday. I’m leaving for work. Big Baby says “Don’t go Dah, I’ll miss you!”…Little Baby cranes his neck to see over BB and yells “DAH-DA!”. I played it cool and said “Love you guys! See you soon!” Between you and me, I was all sniffly and quiver-lipped by the time I made it out of the driveway.

I get all emotional when I’m worn out. But unconditional love creates some strong emotions! Wait a minute…did I experience a moment of what women call “Baby Fever”!? Because I was ready to slide another bun in the oven right then and there!!!

The Ravings of a Lunatic!

WARNING: Having kids can literally turn you into a Pot-Head! 

A new friend, and soon-to-be fellow new Daddy asked if I had any advice for him before “B Day”? At first I thought, “I got nothin’.” And then I started typing…

Hey man! Sorry, this is the first time I’ve had a chance to get back to you. I’m typing fast on a phone so don’t grade me on this. Here are some of the lessons I’ve taken away from my experience with the whole Dad thing thus far…

First, I would learn a little bit about the whole birthing process to help reduce the stress involved. You don’t have to become a doctor, but if you learn a little of the lingo you’ll be more prepared to ask good questions and remain as much “in control” as possible. We took a natural child birth class that took a very honest look at “the business of having a baby”. Without going into a 14 hour story, a lot of the class was relaxation techniques and breathing. Most of which you’ll never use as your wife tries to choke you during a contraction! But those techniques make you a good coach and help Baby Mama deal with the pain. I was alone with my wife in the hospital, and in one of the most stressful moments of my life, something I remembered from my Instructor (An Angel, in my book) literally saved my wife from a C-Section! (Funny, two kids later, I’m THE only person that ever cried in the delivery room!)

Not sure if you had a baby shower yet? But…We wasted countless hours registering for things we never, ever touched. In the first few months, all you need are diapers, some clothes, (because you’re gonna change them constantly) a place for them to sleep and either a bottle or a boob. That’s all you need to keep them alive. Some things that were priceless were a white noise machine, (for you and the baby. It blocks background noise and tells them it’s nappy time. I got the Marpac Dohm. It sounds like a wind tunnel. We have them all over the house now.) a few swaddles, and a decent monitor. My point is that you’re going to get so much useless stuff at your shower. Everyone thinks they know what you need. Register for big things and let people go in together on them or just ask for gift cards. Use those cards for big stuff like a stroller, crib, high chair, car seat, monitor, etc. 

My wife Breastfeeds, so she has the ability to soothe them with the boobs alone. I have man tits, but they don’t produce milk. I had to learn my own way to help get them to sleep when mama wasn’t around. Check out ‘The 5 S’s”. It’s something like sideways, shush, swaddle, shake (gently of course) and shit yourself. Kidding, I can’t think of the 5th. Although, I have them down to a science. I can still knock my 3 year old by cradling him on his side, shushing in his ear and rocking a little. The 5 S’s mimic what they experienced in the womb for almost 10 months. Them babies feel all comfy and safe. I have my 9 month old dialed in already. Works on him too. My dad called me “The Baby Whisperer” the first time he saw me do it! 

As much as you might want to let them sleep in bed with you, try to avoid it. It forms a habit that could come back to haunt you. Those little buggers need to learn how to sleep alone, for their sake as much as yours! 

A crying baby is a breathing baby. If they can’t stop crying, they are either: hot, cold, soaking wet, hungry, or exhausted. If you correct all of those and they’re still going ape-shit, it could be teething, etc? Sometimes it stings to let them cry it out for a bit. But with my 9 month old, I’ll let him hammer for a few minutes and then go use three of those five S’s. I had him snoring in two minutes last week. It was a record. 

Resist the urge to rush to the hospital if the baby’s sniffling or their temp is a little elevated. We did with our first and the nurses wanted to give him drugs and a cold bath! That could have put him in shock. His temp was down by the time we got there. From that point on, we used natural methods to help through fevers associated with teething etc. That said, if it’s approaching 104-105*, I would call your doctor. At those temps for prolonged time, it can damage other organs that are working in overdrive to fight infection, cause siezures or other nightmares. Also, if their breathing is so strained that it’s pulling their nostrils in when they inhale, call your Doc. 

Don’t waste a ton of money on toys. Most people will give you a ton of stuff that again will sit in a closet. The things they play with most? Empty water bottles and cardboard boxes. Save your money for when they are a little older and start to take an interest in something. 

ENJOY your “free time” now!  My wife’s first (and second, of course) pregnancy was a very cool, exciting, yet horrifying time! It’s all the fear of the unknown. But once that baby is here, things definitely change, whether you like it or not. The time for being selfish is over. And that is TOUGH to adjust to at first. Forget just running out the door together. Everything is baby! You’ll never be on time again. You will stay up late watching movies to maintain some resemblence of the old you, only to hate yourself in the morning when your hear that first little cry through the monitor. 

Sound miserable? Absolutely. At times. But 99% of the time, it is going to be the greatest time of your life. No matter how much money you make, stuff you buy, or things you build, they will never compare to raising that kid. When they recognize you. Squeeze your finger. Fall asleep in your arms. Say “Dada” or later on, “Love you!”, you will see there is no other feeling like it. Real unconditional love. Until they grow up and tell you to piss off!:) 

I already know you’re going to be a great dad. You know why? Because you asked me for advice. You care. You want to be good at it. After all this babbling, the most important thing I can say is, just be PRESENT. Everything I do is based on the notion that my actions are shaping their personality that will last forever. I PANICKED a few months before my first son was born! I’m talking total Whack-Job! I was PETRIFIED that I wouldn’t be a good dad, or turn him into a basket case later on in life. But you know what I found out? I’m pretty fucking good at it. Again, be present. Be encouraging. And just, love them. You will be their hero. You’ll see;) 

I could go on and on. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m sure I’ll think of more and pass it on. Don’t stress! Everything will be OK Big Daddy! 

It may not be the right way? But like Frank Sinatra said, “I did it my way.”;)

Daddy, I’M Scared!!!

And the there were two….

True Dad Confession here; I’m scared. My wife will eventually go back to work. I haven’t had the opportunity to spend the same amount of time with Little Baby as I did with Big Baby in his first few months. My mojo isn’t the same with LB. I had BB all figured out. He knew me better than LB does. (I’m working on that.) I knew how to console BB. How to cheer him up. Most importantly, I knew how to get him to fall asleep! Yet my skills were never infallible. And now there’s two of them! I dread the nights of endless crying. That helpless feeling. Wifey seems to handle it effortlesssly, on almost no sleep. Regardless of my “tricks”, sometimes babies just need their Mama! Man-Boobs don’t have quite the same effect. Just hold me and tell me everything will be alright:)

Duck Face!? More Like a Fuck Face!!!

Duck Face!? More like a FUCK FACE!!!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back in the loop! I haven’t posted since March. Between working 60-80 hour weeks, and trying to be a Dad when I’m home, I just flat didn’t have time! Quite frankly, I almost forgot I had this page until a few Super Blogger Celebrities pimped my Facebook page and BAM! I am totally re-inspired! 
I forgot how much FUN it is, reading all the great pages and interacting with all you sweet-hearts! I’ve always been the Class Clown and a bit of an attention whore. So needless to say, I’ll do everything I can to keep you giggling and coming back for more. Gotta GO! Big Baby’s up! THANK YOU ALL! 


It’s a boy!!!:)

At 2am on the night before the winter storm Weatherpersons deemed “Snowmegeddon”, Wifey started having contractions. Thus, I started having heart palpitations. 

It’s not like I didn’t remember we were having another baby. Although with the second pregnancy, every thing up until this moment seemed, how you say…uneventful. Not that Wifey and I weren’t excited. How can I put this without sounding like a complete asshole? To me, the second pregnancy was like reading a really awesome book for the second time. Even though the story was no less captivating, you knew what to expect at every turn. There were no surprises. (Thankfully!:)

Fast forward to 10am Monday morning. The contractions were starting to form a real pattern now. This was no false alarm. So, we did what every nervous, expecting couple would do. We ate at The Krispy Waffle. By the time the plates were cleared from the table, my flatulence was brewing, and the contractions were nearly 10 minutes apart! Time to speed home and call our Birth Coach, Cousin M!

By the time Cousin M. arrived, Wifey’s contractions were now 7-8 minutes apart! OK, I know some of you may be wondering, why the F**K are you people still at home at this point!? To make a VEEERY long story short, when our first son was born, we made the mistake of arriving at the hospital WAY too early. That led to Wifey being strapped to an IV and a monitor for 15 hours leading up to the delivery. With this baby, we were determined to deliver on our terms, with as little intervention as possible. Yes, this means no drugs! I say we, because even though my wife was doing all the hard stuff, she still swears it would not have been possible without the support of our team. My cousin, a Bradley Natural Birth Coach (and Saint:) was there to offer support for both Wifey and I. Marissa and I traded off comforting Mama, and answering the rapid fire questions upon check-in. Marissa and I were both literally at Wifey’s side the entire time. Talk about a Godsend!

Rapid-fire questions, you ask? Yes, I’m getting to that. By 3pm, the contractions were less than five minutes apart! Judging by Wifey’s reaction to the intensifying donkey-punches as compared to the first pregnancy, I was guessing she was two to three hours away from dropping a living-breathing deuce! The team concurred, it was time to hit the road!

The story becomes anything BUT uneventful now. My greatest fear since the moment we laid eyes on the “Positive” sign on the pregnancy pee-stick was the DRIVE to the hospital! Would I be white-knuckled and glued to the windshield while trying to console a crazed preggers lady during a blizzard!? The Gods smiled upon us that afternoon. No snow, and an amazingly CALM wife, considering what she was about to endure!

Both cars in our Baby Team caravan skidded into hospital valet at 4:40pm! We were greeted by the laziest and rudest valet attendant of all time. I’m not kidding. When I asked for a luggage carrier, he just pointed at one over by the entrance. By the time I said “Thanks, Dick”, Super Marissa had a hundred pounds of luggage slung over every limb and Wifey in a wheelchair! I told you she was a Godsend! 

Holy shit! It was 5pm! Wifey could no longer hold a conversation by the time the Nurse took her vitals and did a quick exam. “I’m happy to be the bearer of GOOD news”, the nurse said hurriedly, “You’re dilated to an 8.5!” This is when things get a little blurry. 

The next thing I know, the Nurses are calling the OB and wheeling in the equipment for delivery! I guessed I didn’t have time to set up the iPod complete with a hand selected, soothing John Tesh playlist. What a waste! Anywho…

Let me spare the graphic details and skip to right around 6:00pm. Wifey was going to war  
on that delivery table! I’m talking the stuff that movies are made of! Guys, imagine trying to poop a 7 pound bowling ball without so much as a Tylenol to ease the pain!? Forgeddaboutit!!! 

As I’m trying to help console her, in my mind I’m thinking, these next few minutes could either go really, really good, or heaven forbid, really, really bad. Up until this point, there had only been two times in my entire life when I was absolutely terrified. The first was when my Mom uttered the words, “I have cancer”. The second was those same few minutes just before our first son was born. I just kept thinking, there’s a room full of Angels watching over us right now. Nothing can touch us. 

I pushed past that thought just as Wifey was starting to push out our second child. For those of you that have never witnessed childbirth, I can barely describe the overwhelming emotions. The third push seemed to last forever. As she was enduring the most searing pain imaginable, in what seemed like absolute chaos surrounding us, all I could think to do was whisper “I love you” in her ear. 

I snapped-to again, and focused on the little human being appearing right before my very eyes. I stood amazed, as if I was staring transfixed on every feature of a brand new car as it rolled off the assembly line. Dark hair…ears….eyes….nose….arms…..and finally….PENIS! PENIS! IT’S A BOY! IT’S A BOY!!!!

With that feeling of complete ELATION came complete RELIEF! As with our first boy, I crumbled into tears. It’s funny now to look at the pictures and see the only person crying in a room full of people was me…again. There I was witnessing the nurses raise our perfect little boy to my wife’s chest, and him cracking his eyes open to see for the first time, the woman with the sweet voice who had been taking such good care of him all those months before. 

Until my first son was born, I’d only witnessed people leaving this world. To see a person entering this world, Day 1, Minute 1, is the stuff that songs are written about. 

Let’s fast forward to today. Wifey is on the mend. Little Bean is healthy. Buddy is starting to realize this little show-stealer isn’t leaving anytime soon. And me, well, I’m starting to understand the magnitude of coolness of this situation. I have two sons! Two sons, that will grow up brothers and hopefully best friends. And, their future…Who knows what that will bring?

All I can do is provide and guide, love them to pieces, and buy coffee. Lots of coffee.
Stay tuned, I have a feeling I’m going to have plenty to write about:)


One Prepared Daddy

I spent the entire evening preparing my “Rapid-Response Daddy Kit”. On a moment’s notice, I’m ready to help coach Mama through Labor at home, or speed to the hospital straight from work. Family, friends, and Birth Coach (Cousin M:) are all on high alert, ready to drive and/or babysit as needed. 

Rapid-Response Daddy Kit essentials include: 
1. Snacks! There’s no way we’re sucking on ice chips for hours until the cafe opens.
2. Fully charged video and digital still cameras. 
3. iPod complete with relaxing, eclectic playlist. A perfect soundtrack for introducing my newest little buddy to the world. 
4. Two changes of clothes in case I get slimed.
5. Toiletries to shower after inevitably getting slimed.
6. Car-clean-up kit in case the car gets slimed. 
7. Notes and quick checklists from the Doula. 

Only when I feel prepared, can I relax. I’m ready. Let’s have a baby!!!

What are some of your labor and delivery essentials? I’d love to hear them! 

Am I a Dickhead Dad?

The only peace I’ll get for the next 20 years…

must admit, I feel a bit guilty. With my wife’s first pregnancy, I created so much hype that it turned into 18 months worth of daily Facebook and blog posts, eventually becoming the One Funny Daddy pages (and a book for Jake). Not to mention, 1,000’s of pictures, hours of video, etc. You would of thought we had just spawned Justin Bieber! While Baby Number 2 has been in the oven, my wife and I have calmly and sweetly prepared for the arrival. I am grateful to say it has been an uneventful, relatively painless pregnancy for the wifey. But…no ‘365 Days of Baby Number 2’. No hype. Just hope. Hope that we are lucky enough to bring another happy and healthy kiddo into the family. So, what do we tell this child when he or she asks to see their book, or all those pictures of Mama while she was preggers? Of course, Number 2 will be just as loved, yadda, yadda. Although, with WAY less fanfare. Is this how “Middle Child Syndrome” begins? Am I a Dickhead Dad!?!?!?