Catching Up with the Dude’s: Big Boy Undies, Getting Published & Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

Happy Summer y’all! It’s official. Get out there and soak up that vitamin D.

But first, a quick Dude Family update.

Big Boy Undies

I guess Little Dude likes to wait until his birthday to cross milestones off his to-do list. He took his first steps on numero uno. And he mastered the art of potty training almost to the day of #3.

He showed no interest in potty training. Zero. Until he did. And now he’s a peeing machine. He prefers to pee in the bathtub…especially in his boat. But he doesn’t discriminate much…rocks, tennis balls, dogs, and especially Daddy’s feet.

It’s pretty cool to watch it click. Ah, pee and poop are such proud moments for Mommy & Daddy’s everywhere. ūüôā

Rockin’ Big Boy Undies

Getting Published

In the off chance that I haven’t chirped enough about how amazingly rad Mrs. Dude is, we now have published proof.

Mrs. Dude is a super cool photographer with an amazing eye. Oh, you want proof from someone other than her husband?!

Ok, how about The Knot! Yep, the super popular wedding mag just published Mrs. Dude online and in print. Pretty awesome. Check ‘er out…

The Knot: A Vintage Destination Wedding

Although, her specialty tends to be newborns. Makes sense, right? Amazing Mom = great with newborns. Here’s a pic she snapped this morning…oh, no biggie, just a sunrise treasure washing up on the beach. ūüôā

Mrs. Dude Rocks

¬†Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

The theme for the Dude Family summer seems to be Rolling. The Princess and Little Dude celebrated their B-days with dueling parties last week.

The Princess scored a bike, skateboard AND roller skates. The Little Dude scored a skateboard he’s been dreaming about.

And The Littlest is now a rolling machine.

Our gorgeous summer days are filled with hours of rolling.

Thumbs Up!

Takin’ Care of Business



And the Dude? I’m just kick’in it. Lovin’ the kiddos. Lovin’ the Mrs. Soakin’ up the NOW.

Enjoy the summer y’all! Wake up early to catch that sunrise, stay up too late kickin’ it around the campfire, enjoy some cerveza watching the waves crash with sand between your toes. Life is short.

PS – In addition to rolling around the world, The Princess is now sharing her art with the world. As one of her summer projects, the 8 year old aspiring artist has setup an Etsy shop to share her view of the world. Starting with a few pieces of nature photography, but much more art to come. Let’s get creative!

‘Nastics Finale

'Nastics Finale

'Nastics Finale

Little Dude and The Princess have been getting their ‘nastics on for the past few weeks. For anyone not familiar with Little Dude speak, ‘nastics = gymnastics.

Little Dude loved the climbing, rolling, and jumping, but The Princess was the big success story.

I’ve mentioned Ms. Princess’ lack of athletic motivation in the past with the not-often-discussed soccer incident – two months, seven games, and 14 practices that evoked teeth pulling misery for the Dude and The Princess. We’re happy to let soccer fade into the past.

But I stand by my belief that she is very athletic when she wants to be. And we’ve see glimpses of this with her board-breaking TKD action.

Now we have some strong evidence of The Princess’ athletic¬†prowess; gymnastics. A. She loved it, and 2. she climbed the learning curve quickly. In 6 short weeks she went from barely tumbling with the ability for a half cartwheel, to back-walkovers and¬†round-offs¬†on the high balance beam.

Impressive. Love to see the joy in athletics, and it is helping to build a lot of confidence in everything she does.

Below is a quick highlight reel from the ‘nastics finale. Organized chaos is the best way to describe it. 30 little kids, 6 gymnastic stations, loud music, and a whole lot of movement.

Nice work Princess!


Choose Your Media Wisely

In addition to the core¬†family-life¬†focus of Dude Knows Best, I’ve been cataloging groovy ideas and links that I come across. These topics fall loosely under the category of “Dude’s Flow,” i.e. anything the Dude happens to be interested in at that particular time.

I love the idea of being able to look back on the evolution of the Dude Family and the Dude’s interests. Who knows what twists and turns lie ahead.

The internet connects us instantly to an infinite number of rabbit holes that we can explore, and leaving a trail of breadcrumbs – in the form of Dude Knows Best – seems like an interesting practice.

However, this exercise has underscored an important point for me. We need to be careful with the media we expose ourselves to. And more importantly, we need to be extremely careful with the media we expose the kiddos to.

This video from Miss Representation offers a great lesson for The Princess Рand all the ladies in our lives Рabout being selective with where we put our focus.  We need to guard against overexposure to the wrong ideas and cherish the right messages.

Cause & Effect: How the Media You Consume Can Change Your Life


TKD IV: Princess Can Kick

TKD IV: Princess Can Kick

TKD IV: Princess Can Kick

The Princess recently graduated to a yellow-striped belt in Tae Kwan Do. This was her fourth two-month session in the past two years.

At the end of each session the kids break a board as part of the test to move up to the next level.

It’s a fun final session to watch. The room is full of excited parents, and even more excited kids. They demonstrate their skills, recite some knowledge, and end with a broken board.

It’s a great confidence-builder, for everyone, to see a little body breaking a board.

We’ve reached the age where the kids actually look like they know what they’re doing. It was an important session.

Princess went from stumbling around flailing her limbs, to a ninja in training. Check out this kick…


Tooth Fairy

Tooth Fairy

Tooth Fairy

The Princess has finally had a run-in with the Tooth Fairy. I made the bold claim that a tooth was loose two months ago. It has finally wiggled it’s way out.

Since this is our first encounter with a Fairy of the Tooth variety, I naturally sought some sage advice; wikipedia and the Tooth Fairy.

Here’s the key point of wikipedia’s explanation of the Tooth Fairy:

The reward left varies by country, the family’s economic status, amounts the child’s peers report receiving and other factors.¬†¬†A 2011 study found that American children receive $2.60 per tooth on average.

Somehow, Mrs. Dude convinced me to pay above minimum wage. You’re welcome Princess.

The Dude has been known to be a bit of a pragmatist on¬†occasion. I often questioned the idea behind leading children to believe in imaginary creatures that come bearing gifts. Although, I now see the benefit of nurturing a young’ins imagination, and I credit the Tooth Fairy with helping open my eyes. Thank you Rock.


Extra Sprinkles

Extra Sprinkles

Extra Sprinkles

This passed weekend, the Princess enjoyed a sleepover. Always an adventure.

The excitement could hardly be contained in her little body. Of course Mrs. Dude pulled out all the stops, including movies, pizza, and an ice cream party.

The ladies each had the opportunity to decorate their cones with a wide selection of goodies.

As the Princess added some extra sprinkles to her cone, the Dude walked into this conversation:

  • Amigo: That’s how people get fat.
  • Dude: You don’t need to worry about that. But too much candy could give you an upset stomach.
  • Princess: It’s over-sized.
  • Dude: You girls don’t need to worry about that.
  • Princess (to amigo): Over-sized is a nicer way to say it.
  • Dude: Well, I agree, that is a nicer way to say that, but you don’t need to worry about that.
  • Amigo: Well, I know who’s oversized, “J.” (Identities have been removed to spare the innocent.)
  • Dude (chuckling): We really don’t need to worry about that.

As I walked away, I overheard…

  • Amigo: Yada, yada, yada, then “J” kicked me…somehow. I don’t know how, his legs are tiny.

Now I have the image of a cartoon character in my mind – over-sized with tiny violent legs.

Hilarious. Glad the Princess is always trying to protect feelings…even if they are the feelings of an over-sized cartoon character with tiny, violent legs.

2 Wheelin’!

2 Wheelin'!

2 Wheelin'!

Last weekend we enjoyed a fab Memorial Day. Some grilling, crabbing, a little poop on the deck, first trip to the pool. The unofficial start to the summer is the bestest! So much to look forward to.

But the highlight of the extended weekend was ¬†the Princess breaking out of her shackles (i.e. training wheels) and two wheelin’! Yep, we have another bike rider in the Dude casa.

It was an interesting experience filled with some apprehension, a few tears, a couple breaks to rest tired legs, but in the end, there were some big smiles and a complete and utter success. Quite the milestone. A skill, and an experience, not to be forgotten.

We’re super proud of you Princess. Get to peddling on that freedom machine!

The Mustache Polka

I’m not sure why this post has taken so long. I really should have gotten it out immediately. If for no other reason than Princess’ aunt Shi-Shi is across the country and couldn’t take in the¬†spectacle….did I say spectacle?…I mean recital.

My guess is that my tardiness is the result of what has come to be known as the Barry Hangover. The Lady in the Shoe and her brood came for a weekend visit to watch the Princess’ dance recital. Their last name is Barry – hence, the Barry Hangover.

Life with six kids under one roof is a blur. So much so that I can’t even attempt to explain the weekend. However, I do believe this one example sums up the weekend pretty well. As I stood at the kitchen sink overlooking the backyard, washing some of the dinner plates, I noticed a little body climbing the steps in the yard. This little dude was carrying a flaming stick from the campfire through the yard chanting “MARSHMALLOWS¬†–¬†MARSHMALLOWS¬†–¬†MARSHMALLOWS.”

The natives were restless. Clearly time for s’mores. A very Lords of the Fly type of scene for a very Lords of the Fly type of weekend.

Hence the Barry Hangover – and my tardy posting.

Anywho. Back to the subject at hand. The Recital.

After a considerable payment (Thank you Nina), the Princess has spent every Tuesday afternoon for the last eight months learning to “dance.”

After eight months of preparation, we reached the culminating point of the year, the recital. An ungodly amount of makeup was worn, costumes and wardrobe changes were prepared, celebratory flowers were purchased, and family came from miles around. The big day.

There was clearly a lot of effort poured in the show and all of the preparation. It is great to see people care about an activity so much, and without them the community would be missing a vital art. Hats off for the effort and commitment.

This was the Dude’s very first experience with any type of dance recital. I typically try to avoid anything that takes place in a¬†theater¬†environment. I’m not sure what to think about the result. I think the Princess enjoyed herself. But at the same time, I think we could have said let’s go to the beach, and she would have been like “Ok, see ya later dance.”…as long as we promised she could have the flowers.

She was definitely excited about the makeup. Is makeup genetic for girls?! The Princess and my three year old niece are completely mesmerized as soon as they see it. Kind of like a ball for Little Dude.

She also LOVED getting the flowers at the end and ate up the attention. But I think she could have done without all that dancing in the middle. Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it all appeared chaotic to me, and I’m not sure the Princess digs chaos.

In the end, we all enjoyed the show, and it was great to see the Princess smiling from ear to ear.

Ah, but I see your wheels spinning. What’s the Mustache Polka all about, you ask? One of the songs the Princess danced to was the Hopscotch Polka. But to torture her, I sang the Mustache Polka all day long. Hilarious, right? So much fun being a dad!

The beauty of this video can be found in the small details. Five year old dance recital madness.

Being a Dad is the Bee’s Knees

Bee's Knees

Bee's Knees

Bee’s knees is such a fantastic, great, rad way to say fantastic, great, rad. According to the Urban Dictionary the reasoning behind such a great phrase is…

“When bees flit from flower to flower the nectar sticks to their legs. The phrase “bee’s knees” means sweet and good, because the knees of the bee are where all the sweet, good stuff is collected.”

What a great way to describe something!…anything! Bee’s knees. Classic.

Anyway…back to the point. Being a Dad is the bee’s knees. There are endless examples of this. We should probably be more aware of the bee’s-kneesness of things, but life is life. It’s tough to be present all the time. But sometimes we get a jolt that brings us back. The Princess gave me a jolt tonight.

Blog topics tend to come and go with me. If I don’t write down my thoughts, like a bee, they flit away. And even after I write them down, the thoughts could still end up on the cutting room floor.

So is the case with tonight’s post…at least before I got a good jolt.

One night last week, the Dude and the Princess entered into their nightly ritual – the “What did you do today?” ritual. One of my favs. It went something like this…

Dude: What did you do at school today?

Princess: We had gym class outside. We had to run six laps. We were walking at the end, and the teacher yelled “Girls 30 seconds!”, and we started to run as fast as we could.

Dude: Whoa. Walking? Were you supposed to be running? You need to try your hardest. Don’t be the kid at the back walking.

Now, please keep in mind that this is the girl who claims she doesn’t want to be a dancer when she grows up because it makes her ribs tired! I know!…ribs tired?! How is that even possible? It’s safe to say she could toughen up a bit.

Princess: I only like running on some days…Wednesdays and sometimes a little on Tuesday.

Apparently the day matters for her to run?!

Dude: So the day matters?

Princess: I don’t want to talk about it right now.

Dude: OK, but try your hardest at everything you do.

Princess: I know what to do now.

And that was the end of it. Seemed like a funny conversation. Perhaps blog worthy. But I let it fall on the cutting room floor. Other things to think about.

That is, until the Princess initiated the daily ritual tonight.

Princess: Know what happened today?

Dude: Nope. What happened?

Princess: We had to run five laps at gym today, and you know what?

Dude: What?

Princess: I ran all five laps. And I wasn’t even tired. I just kept running.

She was SO proud of herself.

And so was I.

Being a Dad is the bee’s knees.