I Totally Redeemed Myself

Little Dude - Brooke Mayo

Little Dude - Brooke Mayo

An interesting Dude Family fact:  The Dude’s Mom, Dad, and Grandma (Mom’s Mom) all share the same birthday.  Today.


Happy Birthday Mom, Dad, & Gram!

As a birthday gift (kind of), here’s a picture of your grand-baby taken by a rad photographer, Brooke Mayo.

My dad graduated with a master’s degree in math.  Old school math degree too.  They only had a calculator in the library that they all shared to break down ridiculous master’s degree math problems.  Nuts.  Clearly the man must know some math.

So I asked today what are the odds of all the same b-days.  Seems like he should be able to rattle this fact off.  He’s known Mama Dukes and Gram from like forty years.  Wouldn’t you think that crazy math mind would have to know the answer to this?

All I got in return was:   “If there are 20 people in a room the odds that 2 have the same birthday is over 50%.”


Did he just give me his math homework?  My head hurt trying to figure it out, so I left it alone.

Anyway, of course I got the cards in the mail on time, and I gave each a birthday message today, but I totally redeemed myself on a Skype message with my Dad.

Dude: Happy b-day old man.  🙂 [10:40:11 AM]

Dude’s Padre: Thank you.  Mom and I will step out for a nice dinner at Bonefish Grille tonight.

Do you think you know how old mom and I are? [10:40:35 AM]

Dude: How old?  Hmmm.  I’ve been blessed with a memory like your’s (Dude’s Padre can’t recall where he was an hour ago.), so I’m not sure, but I’ll take a stab.

Mom = 61

Dad = 64

Bingo? [10:48:17 AM]

Dude’s Padre: right on Bucko. [10:48:33 AM]

It’s kind of funny that my Dad and I Skype like we’re stuck in the 1950’s. “Old man?”  “Step out?”  “Bingo?”  “Bucko?”  Sounds like a Leave it to Beaver episode.

Anyway, did you see how I totally redeemed myself there?  There’s no way he thought I knew their age.  And neither did I.

But bingo, I pulled it out.  Nice work Dude.

Not sure how I knew that.

Sort of reminds me of…

Week 17: Occupational Hazards

Occupational Hazards

Occupational Hazards

“Does he smell?” As she holds his ass in the air.

And the Dude’s first reaction is to lean over for  a sniff!?  “Nope.”

Later the same day, as I dozed off on the couch for an afternoon siesta, Mrs. Dude asked if a sleeping Little Dude could lay with me.  Of course the answer was yes.  As she laid him on my chest, we realized the turd had definitely escaped.

But he’s sleeping.  We knew we were safer if we let him sleep.  So The Boy and his dirty diaper dozed with me for a half hour.

Occupational hazards I guess.

Make no mistake about it, parenting is an occupation.  But an occupation unlike any other.  I’m still new at this game; I’m sure Mr. Huxtable could drop some parenting knowledge on me, but from what I gather, there is a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice.

Can you think of any other job you would volunteer to be on call 24/7 for zero pay (actually pay them to work…I think the average kid costs like a bazillion dollars these days.)?  And sniff butts and nap with a dirty diaper?  I think not.

Some jobs run the risk of carpal tunnel.  Parenting runs the risk of no sleep and stank butts.

On the flip side, the obvious response is that the rewards of watching your kids grow up are priceless.  No argument there.

But the effort involved is somewhat priceless too.  It’s tough to find the same dedication a parent is willing offer.

Week 17 brought on a battle with the Hands, Foot, and Mouth virus.  7+ days of cranking.

Since Little Dude is already fighting through reflux, we didn’t realize the cranking could be HFM until some hives arrived.  We confirmed it at the doctor the next day.

Reflux and HFM lead to a worn out Little Guy.  He handled it all pretty well, but the true champion is Mrs. Dude.  A worn out kid leads to a worn out parent…someone needs to pick up the slack.

Parenting in general is an occupation full of hazards, but an at-home mom is like pulling double-shifts every day…for years.  No time off, no personal space, 100% attention on someone else’s well-being.

Thanks for all of the hard work Mrs. Dude.  You’re an amazing Mom.

Daily Pixels: Kids are Awesome!

30 seconds!  Of Spinning!  And I missed 20 seconds before this.

When was the last time you spun yourself in circles for 30 seconds?  Right, not since you were five.

Kids are down with the purest forms of fun. 

PS – Two references to Ratt in less than a week?!  Strange. 

The Dude will freely admit being a fan of some 80’s hair metal.  Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home?…classic!  However, I can honestly say that I’ve never owned any Ratt albums.  Ok, I did have a Ratt pin for my jean jacket in 3rd grade, but that was only because it was a sweet 80’s guitar, and it provided the perfect compliment for the Def Leppard patch on the back. 

But spinning and Round and Round just seemed to be a natural fit.  Plus all of my loyal readers who double as metal-heads loved their daily dose of hair last week, so why not an encore?

Daily Pixels: Tree Hugging Weather

In a previous post I mentioned that a rainy Sunday can be a blessing.  It’s safe to say a Sunday with bright sun, blue skies, no wind, and 75 degree temps is a blessing too.

Thanks Mama Nature.  The perfect weather to head outside for some time soaking up fall…tree hugging weather.  No actual trees were hugged, but we did consider it.

Tree Hugging

L.D. slightly over-dressed

Tree Hugging

I need a tree to hug

Tree Hugging

Sea Turtle Boil

Tiny Turtle Tracks

Tiny Turtle Tracks



Tree Hugger in the Making

Tree Hugger in the Making

Daily Pixels: Round and Round

Mrs. Dude:  “Where’s your lunch box?”

Princess:  “I have no idea.”

Mrs. Dude:  “Think.”

Without any thought.  The Princess:  “Oh yeah, it’s at school.”

Adding too much information.  The Princess:  “I only ate half.”

Mrs. Dude:  The stink-eye, without uttering a sound.

The Princess:  “Just kidding…I’ll eat the other half tomorrow…?”

Mrs.  Dude:  “Not now.  It’s old.”

The Princess:  “I know.”


Kid logic is great.  Just talking in circles.

Let me see if I have this right.

So, you couldn’t remember where your lunch box was, but without any thought you remembered it was at school.  You then proceeded to say that you only ate half…which Mom didn’t ask.  But come to find out you’re joking.  Joking about not knowing where the lunch box was?  Joking about only eating half?  Never mind, you say you’ll eat it tomorrow….but you also know you won’t eat it tomorrow because it’s old.

I think I deciphered that correctly.

These conversations make the Dude’s head spin round and round.

PS – Please notice how the pony’s hair is carefully braided.  We can’t have an MLP leaving the house with messy hair.

Double PS – I was going to try to fit Ratt’s classic hit Round and Round into this post, but I got lazy trying to work it in.  However, for all of my loyal readers that love 80’s Hair Metal, I felt it was my duty to stuff it into a “Double PS.”  All the metal-heads, break out your rock horns, here’s a link to your daily dose of hair:  Ratt – Round and Round.

Round and Round


Last Friday The Princess had an after-school play-date with her best friend from preschool.  Unfortunately, these two young ladies had to part ways for kindergarten.

As you may guess, the play-date was a joyous occasion.

Joyous until it was time to say good-bye.  The departure led to a teenage attitude in a five year old body.  To calm the troubled waters, Mrs. Dude had to promise the girls could talk on the phone to say goodnight.

And The Princess didn’t forget.  They were chatting away at 9PM.

I didn’t hear much of the conversation.  There was a lot of giggling and screeching.  A 5-year old and a phone is a strange combination.  I think the phone was held up to the TV for half the conversation.

The small piece I did make out reminded me of the comic genius of the late, great Chris Farley.

“Remember that play-date we had today?”  Pause.  “Yeah, me too.  It was fun.”

Blog worthy?  I don’t know, but it had me crackin’ up.

Daily Pixels: Consumption

Consumption comes in many forms.

The list of consumable items is almost endless.    Liquids we swallow, foods we eat, time spent, energy used, etc.

Kids require parents to increase our rate of consumption to keep up with their needs.  We are now consuming for an additional being.  A being too defenseless to consume on their own.

While I thought I was prepared for this increase in consumption, I was not prepared for all aspects of consumption.  I grew accustom to the idea that Little Dude would require us to improve our support of this capitalist society through ridiculous purchases.  But it never really dawned on me that our space would be consumed quite like this.

Six baby “relaxing stations” in a 20 x 20 area!

Casa de Dude is pretty much a baby spa these days.

Baby Spa

Baby Spa

Santa Has Rules

Rain on the weekend is usually a bummer.  But after a 12 hour shift of manual labor on Saturday, a rainy Sunday is somewhat of a blessing.

I intended to catch-up on some yard work and clean up the work area from Saturday’s project, but just as I started, the rain began to fall.  Being forced inside was a bit frustrating at first, but a relaxing day inside grew on me pretty quickly.

However, for kids, a day inside is the antithesis of relaxing.  I’m not sure if we get lazier as we age, but parents clearly don’t share the same level of energy as kids.  And when they are locked inside with limited options for entertainment the pent up energy begins to build.  By 3PM the built up energy is ready to explode.

Signs of nervous energy begin to grow.  The feet start tapping.  The body starts to move.  Spontaneous dancing.  Lots of spinning in circles.  Attempts are made to turn furniture into trampolines.  Eventually it leads to pestering the parents looking for something to do.

The Princess started her Sunday lock-down with all of the above, which eventually led to following the Dude around the house, primarily hanging off my clothes, but also telling the same jokes over and over.  And I use the word jokes loosely.  It was mainly the Princess hiding where I can see her and then jumping out to scare me.  Clearly we needed some activities.

After listening to “I want that,” following every commercial, it occurred to me to have The Princess create a letter/list for Santa.  Yes, I know it’s only October, and don’t get me started on the concept of  Santa, but from a practical perspective, I see the value in kids using their imagination, this will give her time to think through what she’s asking for, and most importantly, this will easily kill an hour in lock-down.

However, prior to starting this process, the Dude needed to lay down some ground rules.

Dude:  “Santa likes to bring you gifts that help make you a well rounded person.  Like art, music, books, or paints.

The Princess:  “No, he brings toys.”

Dude:  “OK.  He likes to bring toys too.  But he has rules.  1.  Santa needs specifics.  2.  He will not bring the same toys you already have. And 3.  He will not bring multiples of the same toy.”

The Princess:  “Whatever.”

The Dude is easily dismissed, but I’m also the funding behind Santa, so these were necessary rules.

The Princess likes to explain what she wants with vague descriptions like “It’s small, but gets big.  And it’s round.  And you can play with it.”  Any idea what that might be?  I have no clue.  She also likes to ask for the newer versions of toys she already has that are collecting dust in her room.  And lastly, she likes to ask for complete sets of toys.  Like every My Little Pony.  Do you know how many MLP’s there are?  I don’t either, but The Princess does, and she can name each of them.  She wants all of them…even though they all look the same, do the same thing (nothing), and an abundance are collecting dust in her room.

So, Santa needs some rules.

Dear Santa,

I’m The Princess, and I’m super rad!

Hearts & Stars 4-Eva.

The Princess

  1. Unicorn pillow pet
  2. Barbie & the Mermaid Tail movie
  3. I have plenty of lipstick.
  4. Squeekies

It’s a work in progress, but the process was fun, it gave The Princess a reason to concentrate and think, and it burned some time.  All around winner.

The thought process definitely burned a bit of energy, but not nearly enough.  So, after the Santa exercise, we resorted to the simplest form of rainy day entertainment.  Rain boots, raincoat, and some splashing in the rain.

Singing In the Rain

Singing In the Rain

It Takes More Than Rock n’ Roll

I’m no carpenter, but I think Starship is full of it.

Saturday was the day of reckoning for the stairs.  They concussed Mrs. Dude, so Rex and I decided we needed a little retribution (that and the stairs were 26 years old).

Down with the stairs!

As a humorous side note, when the Dude was growing up, we moved into a new house, and this new house had a cheesy cowboy/ranch style fence surrounding the front yard.  Included in this fence was an obnoxious entryway that extended over the entrance to the walkway leading from the driveway to the front door.  I was in third grade at the time, so I don’t have a clear memory of how tall it was, but apparently the previous owner built it to fit his elfin size.  A short time after we moved in, my Dad arrived home from work, and began to walk to the house from the driveway.  In full stride, he stepped under the entryway and was knocked flat on his back when his head made direct contact with the low hanging wood.  Clearly not enough room for a 10 gallon hat.  He marched to the basement, pulled out the extension cord, grabbed the saw, and after two cuts the entryway was lying in the yard.

This mission has a similar feel to it.

As I started the demolition, while Rex was off on his first trip to Home Depot (It’s a given that projects always take more than one trip to the Depot.), I kicked on some tunes.  The Black Keys to be specific.  While I can assure you this was some serious rock n’ roll, these tunes did not help build the stairs one bit.  I have no idea how Starship built an entire city on it.  I’m calling BS.

We put in a 12 hour shift knocking down and replacing the stairs.  We finished up under the lights at 10:15PM.  But, we finished in one day, and the stairs are awesome.  I’m not sure if they are any less slippery when wet, but they are amazingly sturdy.  And it’s pretty cool to build something.