Monday, November 1, 2010

We have Moved again!

Please check out the new Wordpress powered blog and podcast. Subscribe in your favorite reader and podcatcher. Today I am taking Abby out of diapers, but I am not changing the title of the blog to the digital underwear - I have my limits :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Website Launch This Weekend

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for following the Digital Diaper. As I have said many times it is a work in progress and I have great things planned. The first of which I will have officially going this Sunday. Starting then, you can go to for the blog articles and live radio. (So the blogspot address will not longer be active). I am planning on getting some other show hosts on the DD soon to add some variety. I am also open to comments and suggestions. Remember, if you have a topic you'd like to discuss or if you have an indie band you want heard - sent it all to

Thanks to everyone who is tuning in and reading. I appreciate it very much.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Digital Diaper Episode 3

Just in case you missed the live show. Just remember, it is a work in progress. Follow the link for the podcast.

Today on the Digital Diaper

Today's show:  2:00pm EST
Listen Live on The Digital Diaper

  • Book Review: The Explosive Child. I will go into my thoughts on the book so far.
  • Bullies: Technology makes things easier for some, but for kids there is a new threat.
  • Listener Mail:  Some responses to the DD
Call Line: 1 (805) 292-0372

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paint Me a Memory

Art Class in my grammar school was taught by the cat lady. You know the type: long flower-patterned skirt, loose-fitting blouse and frizzy hair with a butterfly barrette. Her clothes, and anything she touched for that matter, were usually covered in cat fur. For me it was the late 70's early 80's so the fashions were closer to the hippie generation than they are today. (Actually this is returning, and not for the first time, see 1993). But my teacher whose name escapes me was a very free spirit. I recall a lot of paintings of peace symbols and unicorns. She spoke in a wispy voice that floated on the musty air-conditioned breeze like the call of something wispy. She asked her class of second graders to reach deep within the vastness of their young souls and create, with water-based paints, that which could transcend the plane of reality and unite with the oneness of humanity. Huh? Actually she turned the art room into a time warp. We tied on our art smocks and  the next thing we knew it was time to go.

Dads (and moms too) can learn a lot from Miss Greenpeace and add her lessons to your arsenal. I will admit that I used to detest getting the kids set up for painting. If you have only one kid, then it is pretty easy. The age of the child matters too. Really young ones may have trouble understanding finger painting and instead use it as a dietary supplement. My kids love to paint, and when I suggest it to them they are truly excited. It's the kind of excitement that makes you happy to be a parent, and even happier that you have brought such joy to another human being. Finger painting is an OCD nightmare. I was always too preoccupied with the potential messes before - during - after. But honestly, I make a bigger mess in the kitchen baking brownies; water-based paint cleans quicker and easier.

My point here is: the kids will really immerse themselves in their art. Sure, some kids don't care for it much, but the vast majority really get a kick out of it. (Many times the kids' aversion to painting stems from their parents' own bias). Plus it is an excellent stimulant for their creative minds. Some people don't put much emphasis on this type of development, reasoning that math and science are where it's at. But I will argue this until I am blue in the face, Read this if you doubt. Artistic expression is part of the overall and even development of the human mind. The Greeks knew a thing or two about being well-rounded.

The best part of this is not the time they will be occupied, nor the joy and happiness you bring them by allowing them to be productively messy, nor the healthy mental and emotional stimulation which accompanies such activity. Rather, it is the wonderful collection of art they have created from the vastness of their young souls which transcend the plain of reality and unite with the oneness of humanity - huh?

You'll be proud enough to put their work on the refrigerator and on the wall. A little keepsake of the day that, with care, can be brought out on their wedding day in an embarrassing speech by the father of the bride.

Happy painting!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Digital Diaper

The Digital Diaper

The Station is now listed on Audio Realm. Also proud (once again) to be running the Sam 4 Broadcaster Automation software.

Don't Stay at Home!

Go where today?
My first few months in the house with the kids was the winter of 2010. I was depressed and lazy, content with turning on the electronic babysitters: Nick, Jr. and the History Channel. (They're big fans of Modern Marvels and I am quite partial to Maggie and the Ferocious Beast). It was cold and snowy out and the last thing I wanted to do was to get out of the house. There are many emotional reasons for this on my part, but really I was just so lazy and unhappy with my situation. I resented my new situation and I also didn't want to be bothered with snow pants and boots, gloves and hats - yuk! Not to mention, there is not one pair of gloves or mittens in existence that is waterproof and will fit a 3 year old. (If there is please let me know where). Besides being completely selfish, this is not a healthy existence for kids. Children need an outlet to release energy and to exercise their imaginations. Needless to say, I rarely got out of the house and the excuses ranged from the bad weather to the intense priority of my "special projects".

Guys tend to move from one project to another, sometimes operating within multiple projects making the completing of said projects not quite as important as the act of being involved in one. This being the case I managed to develop many different time consumers that confined me to the basement or my computer (a blog does not count as one of these projects). The kids were bored out of their skulls, so I tried different games and adventured around the house. One of their favorites was an Indiana Jones game I created which involved creating treasure maps and hiding an artifact somewhere in the yard. This went over well, however was quite an undertaking and I ran out of places to bury my wife's jewelery box (sorry dear). Finally I woke up and realized the magic of venturing off-campus. Here is a short list of things I decided are the key to a successful day - I am sure there are more to include, but these were the most common for me:

  • Bring food and drinks. Enough for about 3 small meals in total per kid. (Mixture of healthy and treats) The travel and excitement seems to super-charge the appetites of your adventurers.
  • A change of clothes per child. (A lot of these playgrounds have sand boxes or are built on sand)
  • Sunscreen/hats - a no brainer but easy to forget.
  • First aid kit. 9 times out of 10 you use the band-aids for small cuts and scrapes that don't even bleed, but somehow the presence of a band-aid stops the pain.
  • Baksheesh/bribe (usually in the form of a treat) This enables you to enforce the decisions you make by offering up this gift in exchange for amicable cooperation.
  • Book, magazine for you. You won't get a chance to read it, but the day you don't bring it they'll leave you alone with your thoughts.

I started driving the kids to the local playground down the street which culminated to a 45 minute drive (one way) to the mac-daddy of all playgrounds in Parma,NY. Sometimes you can befriend a local mom and she will clue you into the really sheik places to go. ****BEWARE OF THE MOM-CULT**** Stay at home dads beware!

You cannot go wrong bringing the kids to a canal, stream, lake, river or if you are lucky enough to have one nearby - the ocean. Go fishing or rent paddle boats/canoes. Go for a walk on a canal trail or around a lake. It seems obvious, but sometimes the simple things become elusive. Sometimes a water park can be just what the  daddy needs.

Learning Facilities
This one is often overlooked. Dads usually think of the fun and sporty/outdoorsy types of things, but overlook the 'geeky' ones. Find a local museum, many of which have something for kids of all ages. Believe it or not, kids love to learn. Even if getting them off to school seems like coaxing a mule to plow, kids will be excited to have a day at a museum or planetarium. Most major cities and smaller metro-areas have something decent. They are not all the Metropolitan Museum, but so many have much to offer and are usually run by enthusiastic people who started their careers off in education. The public library is also a great place.

This can be a slippery slope and ground rules must be established first. Claim that you are going on a scavenger hunt or maybe give them the directive of finding a perfect gift for mom. Make it clear, however, that you will not be buying them anything or it will be like Pavlov's Dog. Many malls have some kind of kid-friendly activity or attraction. The mall nearest my home has a carousel. You can end the trip with some frozen yogurt.

Everyone knows that kids love animals. Take them off the beaten path to see some horses or cows. Even something as simple as pulling off the road with a snack and talk about the cows in the field. Give the animals names and make up stories about them. The kids will have a great time, and you will too.

If you are reading this as asking yourself,  "Who does this guy think he is? I am not an idiot!" You're right, you are not an idiot, and neither was I when I first became a stay at home dad. Deep down I already knew these things and where to take the kids. For whatever reasons, I didn't do it. Everyone's situation is different and maybe you have everything you need and know everything you should know. I sure didn't, and so if anyone reads this and it helps, then I have done something right.

Take care dads.