Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I run my pre-schooler through a battery of questions when I pick him up from school everyday, to see what they are teaching him, to make sure no one is hurting him, and to keep track of his social development.
The other day as he was telling me about his day @ school he was like, “this that the other and I was sitting next to that kid I want to touch,” HUH?
Me, “Aaahh, okay, is it a boy or a girl that you want to touch?”
Him, “A girl.”
Me, “Aaahh, okay, why do you want to touch her?”
Him, “Because she’s so cute!”
Me, “Well that’s the right reason to want to touch someone, but let me teach the appropriate way to touch other people ….”

My wife went on a 10-day business trip, things got pretty disastrous around house. As I stated previously both kids have been handing a cold back and forth to each other, so they were both particularly needy for attention. So I run upstairs for something, literally come back 90 seconds later and my 3 year-old is sitting on the floor facing an outlet, both feet on the wall, using both hands trying to pull the white safety plugs out of the socket! Great, now it’s the worried yell followed by the-stern-talking-to tempered by reassurance that they were not being bad per se, doing something EXTREMELY dangerous.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I’ve been getting my ass kicked on a daily basis

I haven’t had much constructive to blog lately, I don’t like to use this format to just complain, but what are you going to do, I’ve been getting my ass kicked on a daily basis. My three year old has started having nightmares since he started pre-school, he says, “Daddy the ‘dreamers’ come and scare me.” I’ve tried to teach him about “controlling” his dreams to varying success, stuff like, “Turn yourself into a giant like Shaq and smash the ‘dreamers.’” He also has complaints about this kid or that kid hitting him, or trying to eat his snack and in kind he tells me about his trying get retribution by eating the kids snack who tried to eat his and how he joined in with some other boys hitting one girl, which has me picturing bad frat scenarios circa 2021.

So I have to teach him to defend himself without encouraging too much aggression, so he doesn’t pull George W. and become a preemptive striker.
I told him to first tell the hitter to stop, secondly tell a teacher, and then lastly physically defend himself if the hitter doesn’t stop hitting him.
As for the mob mentality I tried to impress upon him that you don’t do something just because others are doing it, and you never hit someone who hasn’t hit you first. It’s really hard having one’s child go through these potentially socially / emotionally damaging situations and not being able to be right there to do damage control.

So my kids and myself still have lingering congestion, coughs & sore throats, for over a month now, which has made for frayed nerves, it’s really taking a toll on all of us. Add to that the month before we were sick we spent somewhat displaced because we spent at least one day of each weekend we made the hour and a half trip to my Grandmother-in-law’s who was dieing and has since passed away. So my wife has been going through a lot and the rest of us were tired and eating poorly, no wonder we all are sick. My nine month old has four teeth coming in so he’s extra cranky, which is understandable, BUT my wife doesn’t breast feed him in the middle of the night any more, partially because fracturing her sleep ever night was making her fuck up at work, so now I’m the fractured sleeper and I’m loosing it. Sometimes all I can think about at 3:37 a.m. is “shut it up, make it stop making noise,” then I get a little more cognizant and my normal caring instincts kick in, but I’ll admit that my initial reaction to being woken up is rather frightening. I won’t go into detail, but it’s like a number of things where I’ve been like how could a person react to situation X like that? And then you live through some new experiences and see how if a person weren’t stable or moral or whatever that they could react in a totally fucked up way to certain stressors.

If I haven’t made it clear, lack of sleep is one of the biggest challenges facing the parents of newborns to one year olds.

The following are a few blog entries that I jotted down in my Palm Pilot over last few months but haven’t had a chance to post until now:

A) Have your second child be the same sex as the first kid is great for recycle clothes, particularly if you weren’t “banking” on having the second one. If your kids are born in different seasons a large percent of the summer and winter clothes won’t work out for the second child, but hey you still have to buy way less new clothes than if you had a different sex child.
My second child is way larger than my first so I’ve learned to go one size up for every age milestone passed.

B) I use to really need, appreciate and enjoy getting outside of myself, as far outside as i could, weed, meditation, tripping, contemplation, etc. Being a parent i really need to fully present at seemingly all times, its tough for a person like me, i need a few hours a day alone with my thoughts to function correctly, or at a higher level. So I wind up staying up way too late trying to wrap my mind around everything going in my life, politics and unfortunately sometimes my mind wastes time dissecting disappointing sports results and the plots to LOST and Rome.

C) A couple of days ago I thought, “I’ve got a half done project or chore on the floor or counter of every room in this house.” We’ve managed to get things a bit more picked up around here so now I’m able to notice all those baby and cat vomit stains that I missed the first time around.Another gross picture I can paint for you is that recently I’ve notice that my baby has been spitting up a lot less lately, which is of course great, so I couldn’t figure out why I still was getting stains on the shoulders of all of my t-shirts. I’ve come to realize that my son has been using me as a giant tissue. So now after he sneezes I turn him around and or pull him away from me and he gets totally pissed-off and kind of freaks out because he doesn’t know where else to wipe his nose, and of course he hates me to wipe it with tissue, so half the time I just grin and bare my handkerchief status.

Monday, October 03, 2005

kid germs

Besides dealing with the usually having two young kids, a wife and a house stuff Gc has been getting sick every week due to going to school and being exposed to all of those kid germs. I think other kids who were sent to daycare from a young age probably dealt with these illnesses earlier because they were exposed to lots of other children earlier on a regular basis. He seems to get sick whenever we visit people with kids too. I guess you have to pay the piper one way or the other, there's no way to avoid your kids getting sick, it's just earlier or later. I assume this helps build up their immune systems, so hopefully some good will come out of the tuition that is being wasted, because apparently unlike others parents I don't send my kids to school sick.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I've got a large number of ideas and issues to post but just haven't had the time to do so. The past month has been very busy with teo beginning to eat puréed and soft food which means more & messier diapers, his favorites are sweet potato and banana. Gc has started pre-school 3 days a week, he goes to a late afternoon program, he’s cried the last two times he went to school, the first week he went he kept asking me, “Who is going to protect me if you go home?”

Sunday, August 14, 2005

god it's tiring saying no all fucking day

For the short while that I worked, I’d come home, my toddler would be totally excited to see me, we’d play, and I’d get him ready for bed. Now that I’m with him all day again and there’s a new baby I’m quote, “No fun” as told by my toddler to my wife. The constant testing of boundaries and doing things that can almost kill himself results is a steady peppering of no’s through out the day. It’s really wearing me out, I understand why so many people are bad/spoiling parents, because it’s just so much easier than constantly teaching, working and butting heads with a three year old. A major part of the problem is that my toddler is totally spoiled by having received an excessive amount of gifts from his grandmother, she has not over done it recently but the damage is done. My wife and I have stepped up with limiting the amount of gifts that he gets, but again, it’s a little late.

from 365 Tao by Deng Ming-Dao


No. No. No.
This ruins a child.

Children are one of the most precious aspects of life, and yet they often are mistreated and abused. If you are a parent, your most important task is to raise your child with as little trauma as possible. Firmness, consistency, and patience are essential. There will undoubtedly be times when you have to correct a child to prevent mistakes and bad habits. However, when it comes to a child's curiosity, individuality, or initiative, there should never be any discouragement. In that sense, it is wrong to say no.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Most Frustrating Thing About Parenting Is ...

The most frustrating thing about parenting is when your child is loosing it because you are not immediately taking care of what ever is bothering them, and you are like watching your favorite soap opera, and Tobias finally admits that he slept with Lexus when they were young and he is Storm’s real father, and your kid won’t shut their trap … ONLY KIDDING!

The most frustrating thing IS when your child is loosing it because they do not have the ability to comprehend that what you are currently doing IS an early step in the process of taking care of their needs, like, defrosting the breast milk, or sterilizing the bottles, before they get to eat. (When my toddler has juice I call it drinking, but when my baby has milk I call it eating. Does everyone call babies having a bottle of milk / formula eating, or is it just me?) Another one is having to change a poopy diaper before letting them go play with whatever toy it is that they are currently interested in.

A variation of this is the “two kids crying - on the fly prioritize.” First ascertain the level of trauma, then ponder which situation will take longer to fix, and at this particular time and place which child will be content entertaining themselves while I attend to the other’s problem? If I’m listening to the radio or online and they start to yell because I didn’t attend to them in a timely manner that’s my bad, but getting yelled at while you ARE in the process of taking care of a problem gets frustrating. I understand it’s not like they can help themselves for the most part so I try not to trip, though my toddler has taken to yelling when my little one cries, and not because he needs anything, just because he likes to yell*, which I can not stand for, so I’m like, ”Dude, NO!” 9 times out of 10 he stops the sympathy yelling.
*He loves when I vacuum and sees it as an invitation to yell at the top of his lungs and play chicken with the vacuum cleaner.
It is interesting when your child uses a word that you have no idea where they learned it from. As I was writing the above passage my toddler was at the desk next to me drawing, and we started talking “businessman speak” for some reason I can’t remember, I said, “You need to fill out that last report before we can send it off,” and he responded, “I’ve got some more contracts to work on before I’m finished.” Which surprised me because it was an appropriate answer within the structure of the “businessman speak” role-playing game, and because I have no idea where he would learn what a contract was?
This began about seven months ago, but I never got around to blogging it. My toddler has already started up with penis jokes. When he was 2 ½, one day while getting changed he says, “My penis looks like a banana,” and bursts out laughing. This joke is periodically revisited every couple of weeks.

Monday, July 04, 2005

kids vs. dying alone

i'm deliriously tired, but since i never have time to blog lately here goes:

My wife's Maternal Grandmother is in the hospital and things don't look that good right now. She could have anything from a few days to a few months left. She is 88, so she has had a long life, not that it makes it any easier on her family.
The way that this relates to this site is that visiting her at the hospital made me realize that if you do not have children, who is going to keep you company when you are dying? She was married for like 60 years but her husband passed away a few years ago. She was very close with her sister, they lived in the same town for most of their lives, and even lived next store to each other when they retired, but she died a few years ago as well.
So one could have a happy marriage and close family relationships and still wind up unaccompanied in the end.
Obviously we ultimately die alone, but unless you are really at peace with yourself and the world and the fact that your death is eminent, I imagine that having no one to come to your bed side to let you know that you matter to them must be difficult.
You may be thinking what about friends? If you die young and unexpectedly friends will probably show up, but my guess for most who die of old age is that unless you are Socrates, your shuffleboard pals won't be flocking to your death bed. Many friends will already be dead, or to frail to travel to be with you, even if they wanted to deal with you being a reminder of their own mortality.
So quick go make babies bitches!!! I know that is what this passage is sounding like, that's not my intent, I've just realized another possible plus to having kids, and that's only if I do a good job raising them and they want to be around me when I'm "just outside the door" of my demise.
We were down the Shore this weekend, on the way to the boardwalk and we asked Giancarlo if he was excited about going there, he said, "No I want to go the hospital to see how Nana is feeling." So far, so good with raising kids who care about more than themselves ...


I found out that PBS is only partially saved, congress didn’t cut all of their funding, but they have not slated any funds for education programming, which is like their raison d’être, so please still write you congress members about this if you haven’t already.


Wow, I just noticed this on my site tracker:
1. 23 June 09:05 United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., United States
I wonder if some one from the House was checking this site out becuase of my link to write them about the PBS funding issue, or if they were checking out sites about Stay at Home Dads, or if the man is just after my ass?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Opera Improv

Today we listened to Beethoven to help with Matteo's (5 months) "brain" development, Giancarlo (3 yrs) wasn't crazy about until I turned it into an opera, about bad men stealing our horses, then he couldn't get enough, i had to keep it up for like 40 minutes.
Then he recognized a piece that Schroeder plays on a Charlie Brown cartoon and he asked if Schroeder played this, I said yes, but then he thought that he was actually playing the piece that we were listening to.
So due to these factors Giancarlo ended up enjoying classical, which usually doesn't happen.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Save PBS

Click here to take action: Here's some information on Thursday's House vote to cut funding for PBS and NPR: this link to take action now!!******************************************************************************
Here's a copy of their form letter, plus what I added to it.

I am writing to request that you oppose politically motivated attacks on public broadcasting. Attempts to abolish the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and kill public funding for PBS and NPR are unacceptable.
Public broadcasting represents quality journalism and an independent voice not available among private media. It is a public asset worth preserving and I expect you to ensure that funding for this valuable public institution continues.

I was born in the 1969, the year that Sesame Street debuted, and ever since then my favorite shows have always been on PBS. There shows are always educational and informative. Being from a family of modest means, growing up I did not have the opportunity to travel and experience the far off places first hand or to go to the symphony, ballet or opera, but through PBS I was exposed to American and world history, nature and science, balanced news and the arts through educational and dramatic shows that have always been of the utmost quality. This helped me to see that it is okay for people to view and experience things differently than I do, and I know that this is one of the main reasons that PBS’ funding is coming under attack.

Now that I have a family I have passed on my love of PBS to two young children, it is truly great to see them learning while being entertained, and to know that the creators of PBS Kids shows are more interested in the development of my children then selling them action figure versions of their shows’ characters.

PBS’ budget has been shrinking since the budget cuts of the 1980s, and I fear that it is nearing a point of no return so far as its quality and ability to inform and educate in an independent manner. My guess is that the majority of those in congress who are planning to vote to cut PBS’ funding can afford to expose their children first hand to the best in education, travel and the arts, so crippling PBS will have very little effect on their families. However, for the majority of the citizenry who either do not live near centers of education and the arts or do not have the means to expose their families to environments that to foster and stimulate enlightened thought, the lost of PBS’ current format is potentially devastating, because it would create an America where dreams are limited to only what a child can see in front of him, and an America where balanced discourse takes a back seat to the agenda of which ever party is in power at the time, and that is bad for people on all sides of the political spectrum.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Is My Child on Drugs?

An interesting dilemma for people who have progressive views on drugs. I personally view drugs like alcohol and don't think children should be using them. Depending on their maturity, sometime between 18 -24 they may be ready to try alcohol and drugs (like weed nothing physiologically addictive), that is if they are ever actually mature enough, I honestly think that a large portion of the population isn't mature enough to use drugs or alcohol for that matter.
The following quote from this article Is My Child on Drugs? gives this doctor some more credibility in my eyes:

Until you know for sure why your son is coming in late, why he quit baseball, why he doesn't bring friends to your house, why his grades are slipping at bit, why he is angry, why he's breaking curfew, or why he's lost interest in college, don't jump to any conclusions. There could be many reasons for these behavior changes. You need to find out for sure what's going on with him and his adolescent life before accusing him of drug use.


I had wanted to post much more frequently, but as I’ve said before the increase in stress, work and responsibility from one child to two is more of an exponential jump than a doubling of work. It may pay-off when they get older and can entertain each other but right now it’s bewildering.

Now, as every time I sit to post between the hours of 6 a.m. 9 p.m., my 5 month old is screaming and my 3 year old is climbing on me asking if he can help me type, can he watch TV, do I hear the baby crying, singing, etc.
So a higher level discourse is near impossible, the tougher part is that internally, while I’m catering to my kids needs, I do think about issues to discuss here and on my other blogs, but once I step away for a minute they spring into distraction, I mean action. I guess at these ages their only real job is to get their parents to take care of their needs so I can’t really get upset with them, just frustrated.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

depends on what you are calling media?

Classical music is suppose to be good for infants, we played a lot of Jazz for GianC.
So I don't think the local public Classical or Jazz station would have any harmful effects on an infant. I know that GianC. hated Metal, Noise and any extreme guitar music when he was an infant, now he likes punk though and some more crazy electronic music like drum n' bass and IDM, Aphex Twin in particular, I tend to believe that you should stick with Classical, Jazz and mellow music for infants.

Julieanne listens to Urban/hip-hop and R&B stations, which have tons of commercials and bad lyrics, I often wonder if that is good for little ones to hear, not the lyrics so much at a young age because they don't fully get them, but the commercials.
While watching TV, Julieanne mutes the volume on commercials just coz she doesn't like them, but I've read that it's a good thing to do when watching TV with children.

But can't you make a similar argument against any media?? Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005


TV is extremely bad for infants, studies show that it affects they their brains develop, it contributes to ADD (or whatever they are calling it now) children over one should only watch 20-30 minutes a day, A few people sent me emails about this study, if I ever come across it again I'll post it. I'm worried because with all the upheaval going on in my home, we've been letting GianC. watch a lot more TV, and I've noticed that Matteo will watch the TV as well when it is on. I've started to face his swing at where GianC. is sitting and away from the TV.

Julieanne and I definitely notice a change in GianC's behavior when he watches more than an hour a day, he plays less, is less imaginative, and more irritable when you don't let him watch TV. I've found that when we aren't allowing him to watch a lot of TV he still asks for it and gets mad when we don't turn it on, but within five minutes he'll be occupying himself with his toys.

Books and story telling are the best combatants to a child's desire to watch TV. That being said GianC is watching TV right now, a Charlie Brown Video, and it makes him totally happy, but as I think I've said here before, our job is not to be our children's friend, but to be a responsible parent, who some times pisses them off for their own good.

I've made video's from his favorite EDUCATIONAL PBS shows, so if I ever need to crap out and use the TV as a temporary babysitter, I can put him in front of something that isn't going to be hyper-edited or have a bunch of commercials.
On a contrary note, a great bargain now-a-days is children's video's since everyone is switching over to DVD, you can find great deals in major chain record/video stores because they are all dumping video for DVD. We've gotten a slew of $15-20 videos for $2-5! We also just bought an dual VCR/DVD to have an extra VCR, because they are going the way of the 8-track player, so we don't want to be stuck with no way to watch our videos 10 years from now.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

so what do you guys think about kids and watching TV? just curious...

zachery loves a couple of the baby einstein videos and he likes a couple of shows on nickelodeon. just wondering what y'all's thoughts are on TV and how much is okay and the such...

- tranch

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Cousins & Brothers

We went to my niece’s first birthday party last night. My brother had it at his martial arts studio, so all the kids had plenty of open space to run around. The thing that was especially notable about the evening beyond the normal, “aren’t our kids so cute,” was seeing my 2.8-year-old son running around playing with my brother’s 1-year-old daughter, and repeatedly saying, “I love my cousin SOOO much.” My brother is seven years older than I, but started having kids 20 years before I did, so growing up and even recently I never thought about our children interacting at all.
I have to say seeing them playing together was pretty amazing, seeing your children love your sibling’s kids just reminds you of how much you love your siblings growing up, of course you still love them know that you’re grow, but it’s different.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

carlo, regarding household sounds, when zachery was about a month old, we discovered by accident that he would be very soothed by the sound of the kitchen sink running. in fact, that then became the only way we could get him to fall asleep (walking back and forth in front of the running sink), and has continued, almost to this day, to be our cue to him that a nap is coming.

it's basically stopped working just recently, but for the longest time, that was our little bedtime routine.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

7 Steps to Protecting our Children from Sexual Abuse

Step 1: Learn the facts
Realities—not trust—should influence your decisions regarding your child.

Step 2: Minimize Opportunity
If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you’ll
dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for your child.

Step 3: Talk about it
Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.

Step 4: Stay Alert
Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused.

Step 5: Make a Plan
Learn where to go, who to call and how to react.

Step 6: Act on Suspicions
The future well-being of a child is at stake.

Step 7: Get involved
Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

... Okay that 7th step seems a little weak, but check out the website to raise your awareness about how to keep your children safe from one of the most scarring crimes that can happen to a child.

A few links for new and future moms
-post partum planning guide:
-hypno birthing:, I never heard of this before but it sounds like it might work to make birthing easier if you already have the ability to meditate.

The Naked Truth on Family Nudity
An expert resolves one mom and dad's disagreement about being naked in front of their kids.
Some up tight dad asks why his wife thinks it's okay to bathe with his 1 & 3 year old boys, what an idiot.

In reference to Seth's post about ambient music, household ambient sounds can work to sooth little ones as well. With my first son, as a part his daily evening passagiatta, I'd run the water in the bathroom and stop in there for a minute after each lap around the house. My new born likes finds the sound of main floor bathroom exhaust fan, I turn it on sit down on the throne and pull the hand towel over my should for him to hold, and he totally chills out.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Drone Zone on SomaFM

"Served best chilled, safe with most medications. Atmospheric textures with minimal beats."

I found that the ambient electronic music on this internet radio station has a tendency to sometimes soothe my fussy little guy.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Is grandma spoiling the kids?

When you see grandma once a month or less this isn't too bad of an issue, but when she plays a part in the upbringing of your child, it may be time for her to act more like a parent and play less of the spoiling grandparent role. I'll delve more into this issue later.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


There's a veritable shitload of Daddy "How-to" books out there which exploit the daunting fears and insecurities we new fathers face. Many are unreadable pap, whilst others are good-intended, but better left as a sleeping aid then as a practical guide. This book for me was the most pleasant that I've come across, filled with all manner of practical wisdoms and advice presented in an engrossing and entertaining way. See also the companion website.

stay-at-home-dadaism's main foible

Of all the reasons that people come up with against the idea of a man staying home to do the bulk of the child rearing and the mother being the primary breadwinner, I, the proponent of stay-at-home-dadaism have discovered this family structures main foible, a second child. I can shoot down just about every anti-stay-at-home-dad theory but the fact that the woman bares the children and often physically needs to take time off from work is something that the stay-at-home-dad set-up doesn’t really account for.
Currently I’m two wake-ups away from starting a new job because my wife is taking four months off from work and we don’t have a large enough cash reserve to pay our mortgage, property taxes and other outwardly disseminations of cash.
This leaves our home in disarray, I have set up how our home runs, and now my wife has to adapt to working in the home under my old rules or set up new ones while dealing with an upset 33 month old, an ever hungry two week old and a slightly opened wound from her cesarean section.
All the parental books will tell you that the most important thing for children is consistency; it lets them know that they can depend on you. A new baby, temporary live-in mother-in-law, a cranky mommy and your primary care giver now being gone for 10 hours a day has to be a life rocking recipe for someone not yet three years old, and use to being the center of the universe to numerous people.
GUILT. "It’s my job to take care of my home. I should have planned better for this period of adjustment. We should have saved money or taken a loan so I wouldn’t have to work. A condom would have made the decision to have another child happen on a more manageable time frame. This is going to fuck up all the good parenting I’ve done over the past two years. Is my wife going to be able to handle two kids without the experience of taking care of one full-time…".I’m going to try to take a nap while son #2 sleeps.

Friday, January 28, 2005

The object of going to bed at night is what?

The object of going to bed at night is what? To get some sleep. Well entering into week two of baby number two sleep depravation is starting to deteriorate my faculties. My hands are cold and shaky, I’m not sure if that’s the lack of sleep or because it’s 2 degrees (wind chill of minus 7) and I’m next to a window.
I am starting a new job next week as a proofreader that requires me to be mentally sharp and play close attention to detail. After not working in an office for over two years, being a stay at home dad who has worked as a theater inspector approximately once a month, I am nervous about getting my faculties together in time for my new job, for getting up at 6 a.m. and commuting 45 minutes to an hour into the hills of North Jersey in the winter, and getting to bed by 10 p.m. when I normally go to sleep at 2 a.m.
My wife is asking me to take the baby so she can get some more sleep, I hate waking up all night, so I have been staying up really late so I only have to get up a few times in the middle of the night, but now 8 a.m. feels like the middle of the night so that plan isn’t working.Our first son was not big on pacifiers, and he was not big on breast-feeding either so we did not push them on him because we needed him to focus on breast-feeding. Our new baby eats all day and night so I think I am going to start using pacifiers with him because he totally looses it when ever we change his diaper, and I hope that will make for quieter 3 a.m. changings.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


This blog is for stay at home & fully involved dads. More later.