Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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How to successfully Vacation with Young Kids

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How to successfully vacation with young kids said no parent ever. Well unless you are those smart parents that bring your nanny with you to do all the work so you can go out and play.

Has anyone ever winged a vacation with kids? Yeah it’s nearly impossible. It takes weeks maybe months to prepare when you have small ones. My wife and I have a 5 y/o and 18 month old so we are like zombie apocalypse preppers when it comes to vacationing with these always hangry, wanting your iPhones, little angels. And I do remind my son from time to time that the devil started out an angel. Not sure if that’s appropriate or not but then again I’m not the perfect dad. How many times do you tell your kids “You keep acting this way I’m not bringing you back for the next vacation and just mommy and daddy will go and leave you at your grandparents?” We might have over used that statement to the point where my son knows we are bluffing. Only bluffing because I don’t want to do that to my parents just yet. Maybe in the next couple of years we will attempt that.

So for this trip we chose a Royal Caribbean cruise that had the Dream Works characters there. Thinking that maybe it would be comparable to Disney since Disney has been our last two cruise adventures but should have known better since it cost a 1/3 of the price. But ya know how you forget that you get what you pay for. My wife also found some cheap plane tickets that cost $520 for the 3 of us and a lap baby flying with the airline Allegiant. The only kicker is they fly out on a friday and return on a Monday and they nickel and dime you for everything. Also when we arrive to the airline tons of people were pissed because their am flight was canceled because not enough people were flying out to Orlando and they had to quickly switch flights, rent a vehicle to make it to Orlando. We said a prayer then that we would make our next flight coming home. So knowing we Allegiant nickel and dimed ya, I had a friend in Fort Lauderdale that my wife ordered diapers, wipes, swim diapers, swim toys, and mailed it to him so we wouldn’t have to spend an additional $50 for that bag considering we were taking a 10 night vacation and had an outfit for every night. Also we know how much bathroom stuff our wives can also pack…

So we make it in to Florida and then to our cruise. Guess what? We get a completely different room than we paid for. We paid for a room that was 275 sq ft because we had to fit our bed, sleeper sofa, and crib, but got stuck with a room that was 175 sq ft but it was considered an upgrade because it has a balcony. We wanted the room with extra space since our little ones like daily naps and we wanted the extra room. The balcony would have been nice but some rule breaking pricks had to ruin it and smoke somewhere close by because the smoke always found my balcony.

Cruise dinners. Anyone ever had a successful TWO HOUR DINNER with an 18 month old? Holy cow, we had her belly so full and stuffed she was refluxing by the time we got our entrees. Our 5 year old is fine because you toss him your iphone and he’s golden. Also we could leave early and drop him off at the Kids Club. So what we ended up doing at dinner service was going to the buffet so we could get in and get out.

Kids Club was great EXCEPT they charged for the 18 month old which we cheaped out on and didn’t use. My son enjoyed it though and they had lots of crafts and activities for him. Now I stated earlier that we’ve done 2 Disney cruises and they had family event after family event which this ship did not. We ended up going to 1 show which was an ice skating show and it was pretty awesome along with a welcome and good-bye parade. The other show we had planned on going to was a diving show but it was canceled every night they had planned on doing it.

Foreign country excursions: Went to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Martin. Did the beach thing in the Bahamas. It was a short day so we ended back on the ship for lunch. I give that day an “A.” St. Thomas we planned a Childrens Museum and if kids were acting good we would hit a brewery. Well after the museum our kids had a brat throwing meltdown, so we decided to eat lunch at a Mexican place there and head back to the boat. On the taxi shuttle home some people were talking about how awesome the brewery was.. 🙁 O’well as parents we chalk it up right? I give that day a “C-.” St. Martin we literally got off the boat walked around the port site and drank a fantastic coconut colada. We went back to the boat, swam, took naps. We didn’t expect much and I give that day a “B.”

Sleeping at night: Its been a while since I’ve slept in the same room as my whole family. My baby’s crib was right beside me and she had a ball with me. She was like “whack a mole” every night. She would stand up in her crib and say in her cutest voice “hey” until I would reply back “Lay down, go night night.” After doing that for 15-30 mins every night we would both give up caring and she would go to sleep. My son on the other hand wanted to watch tv all night long and would throw a fit when we told him to turn it off. Also the night after St. Thomas I had the worst abdominal cramps/gas, didn’t sleep, and hoped I didn’t have etec. I was fine the next morning and wife pointed out that we weren’t in Mexico and wouldn’t get etec. Crap I didn’t know I was just hoping I wasn’t sick.

Sex on vacations with young kids? I think you might have to be magician to accomplish that. Have 2 pills with you. 1 to knock out the kids and the other one to give each other for 30 mins of energy. Definitely not what your nights were on your honeymoon or before kids entered the picture.

Other mishaps: Wife got a nice case of strep throat while on the ship. This is the first time that we didn’t bring antibiotics on a vacation but by god we had some derma bond and bandaids incase of lacerations. Glad we bought the insurance because after wife went down to infirmary she was billed $250 for the visit and antibiotics. Also my wife lost her phone. Well to be honest our 18 month old had it last because my wife gave it to her with a game she likes so she could fix her fair without a struggle. I went and bought the internet service for $20 so maybe we could locate the phone. Well come to find out you can’t locate a phone that is in “plane mode.” But I was able to play around on my phone for the next day and we did find my wife’s phone. Baby put it behind the couch and we looked in that spot probably 3-4 times before we noticed it so that was a save.

After vacation ended I felt like, “I wished we would have just stayed home.” But then I look at all the pretty pictures with smiling faces and in a short time will forget about all the struggles until the next family vacation. We did learn one thing on this cruise. We will take out a loan to go Disney on our next one because Disney is the only way to cruise and I would have loved to hang out with Darth Vaders Storm Troopers and dressed like a pirate for Pirate Night.

 

 

 

 

 

Scott’s SAHD Journey: Sales to Teaching to Epic Chocolates

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Scott D of Epic Chocolates

“Honey, after this, no more, ok?  You need to spend time with your family this Christmas.”

“I guess,” I reluctantly replied.  “It’s just that this is my busy season.  And hey, you know what you married!”

“You were a Teacher when we met, not a Chocolatier,” my wife replied, her eyes rolling a little.

Plastics: To Use or Not To Use

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Is BPA Free Plastic safe?

Plastics have played an enormous role in increasing our quality of life. There is practically nothing that we do that hasn’t been improved or made possible by plastics… so the importance is not really up for debate. The concern, however, is whether it is safe to use plastics which come into contact with our food and our developing children.

Parent Review: Super Mario Run

Availability: iOS, Android

There’s no question that 2016 has been Nintendo’s year. The gaming giant went from a summer full of Pokemon hunting to a fall full of reveals and rumors about both their next console in development, and their miniature classic Nintendo Entertainment System that’s already available–if you can actually track one down. Now, with winter in full swing, Super Mario Run has taken over the app stores. 

SAHD “Developing A New Identity”

If anyone would have told me 7 years ago that I would no longer be employed and I would be a stay at home dad I would have said your crazy. So what happened to me?

(back story)

I married a doctor. My wife is a beautiful intelligent pediatrician and I am a former pediatric nurse. I actually went into nursing because I love helping others and I like the diversity of the career. In my 10 years of working I’ve worked in the cardiac cath lab, travel nursed, switched and got a floor job at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. After 2.5 years of that I got bored and moved into the float pool and worked all the ICU’s, ER, Burn Unit, and anywhere they needed me. It was pretty nice because my wife did her pediatric residency while I was there and she was loved by the nurses and we both were respected more because of each others work and attitude.

After she finished residency we moved a little over an hour from where I worked for her to pursue private practice. So I got a job here in Hot Springs Arkansas working in the operating room since that was one area I haven’t truly worked in. After 4 months into that job I figured out being cussed at for no apparent reason wasn’t my cup of tea so I went back to ACH working part time then I slowly went prn working 2 days a month because with my wife’s call schedule it became too hard to juggle unless we could get additional help of which we didn’t want to do.

My wife and I also decided to adopt a girl to go along with our now 5 year old son and I was going to stay home with her. So my responsibility changed drastically. So here I am now. After discussions with my wife and long dragged out discussions with myself I decided to make it official. I am now a Stay At Home Dad.

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After we moved over an hour from my job, went part time, and my wife started making really good money and myself making practically nothing my identity changed. Since I graduated nursing school in 2005 I’ve cleared +$50,000/year and worked my way into the float team making >$80K and had worked hard to climb the clinical ladder in my profession.

I look around and all my friends work. Some of my friends are mutual friends through my wife and they are doctors and some of their wives still work. So what have I come to? I now have more money than I have ever had but I felt like it wasn’t mine. I became depressed but like most of us we know how to put on a great looking mask and hide it. I joined a Men’s Breakfast offered at my church and I was the main person brining food and cooking. It was fun but still these guys would leave our early morning meeting and go to their jobs and I rushed home so my wife could go to hers. My son started gymnastics and we made some great friends because of it. One of the dads flattered me when he asked if I was a runner? I’m not and told him I don’t like to run because in the past I got shin splints and that was when he said I should go buy a road bike and start biking with him. I looked into that and DAMN THOSE BIKES COST OVER $1000!! and I have to ask my wife for permission to buy one. She with hesitation said yes and I bought one. That was over 2 years ago now. Cycling brought me back to my childhood and I got rid of a lot of stress and became an addict! I have also met some great friends since starting cycling and this past summer I rode Ragbrai where you bike across Iowa (469 miles in a week while tent camping). I’m also healthier and more fit now than I probably was in high school. I started golfing with my dad and taking my kids to see their grandparents more which they love.

I also joined DMD Facebook group where I found guys that I relate to. This has been a great enjoyment to me and my life. There are guys from all walks of life in our group but we are all married to powerful, intelligent, beautiful doctors. I’ve had fun conversations, argued politics, laughed at funny memes, become teary eyed, jealous of a dad that is a stunt driver (you know who you are), and found out that I was not alone.

I’ve come to realize that a job isn’t the main thing that defines me. Is it a part of me? Yes of course. I will always be able to talk medical and maybe someday I will go back into the field. Me being a dad is key for me and my family. Its a sacrifice for my wife and kids that I am willing to make and others apart of this DMD community have shown me that “hey its important and not looked down upon.” I am a man regardless and I’ve been able to find hobbies that I can do that represents that. Run a chainsaw, chop some wood, teach my son how to fish without me having to put the worm on and fish off, be Darth Vader while my son plays Luke strikes me down unlike what happens in he movies, and when my 1 year old daughter gets old enough to attend preschool I may start doing more woodwork or get into something fun and creative. My life is wide open now because a “job” isn’t slowing me down. We work to survive financially and my wife does that so it frees me up to do other things for me and my family. We are blessed and I couldn’t be more happy with my life right now. My wife has a really stressful job and me being there to take off the random stress makes our marriage easier and stronger.

Well its time for me to go wrap some more presents while its nap time. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. If you are discussing being a SAHD know you will be apart of an elite group of men 😉

Beer Review: Funky Buddha Strawberry Shortcake Beer

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Have you ever wanted to try a Strawberry Shortcake based beer?  Well now, thanks to Funky Buddha Brewery, you have the chance!

For more info on this beer, visit https://funkybuddhabrewery.com/our-beers/little-buddha-small-batch/strawberry-shortcake# 

Did you enjoy this review? Would you like another beer or product reviewed?

Click here to contact DMD and make a suggestion.

The BIG Career Change–from desk to diapers

The Houtz Family

So…you married a doctor. All of your buddies are ‘high-fiving’ you since, now, YOU just made ‘easy street’. Mom and dad are holding that straight face around company, and whisper to one another how smart their boy is behind closed doors. Sure, maybe you won’t have to worry as much about affording braces but like everything in life, nothing good comes free. And there is a cost closing in on those couples planning to have a family.

Maintaining your Manhood

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Dads Married to Doctors Member, Alan Floyd, brings you his Top Tips for Maintaining your Manhood as a Stay at Home Dad.

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Alan admits his view of Manhood may not be the same for everyone!  Do you have some tips for how you maintain your manhood?

Share them with us in the comments below!

How Frozen Should Have Ended

I have 3 girls under 8!  So as you can imagine we have seen Disney’s movie, FROZEN, about 2,753 times.  But that’s ok… here I stand… the song doesn’t bother me anyway! (now the song is stuck in your head…;)

What does bother me, though, is how the movie ended.  Thankfully, the good folks over at HISHE (How It Should Have Ended) felt the same way, and provided a solution, an AWESOME alternate ending!  ENJOY.

This Week in Parenting

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This Week in Parenting is intended to be a weekly look at parenting talk around the web, amongst the DMD community, and occasionally, just stuff I’m dealing with around the house. The language is occasionally strong and the opinions reflect only the author. Let’s dig in. 

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