Tales of a House Husband

http://www.talesofahousehusband.com/

I am a Stay at Home Dad to three. (aged 9, 6&1/2 and 2) I talk about my kids, feeding them on a budget, using leftovers and Childhood cancer. My eldest son is a 2 time cancer survivor.

What inspired you to start blogging?

What makes your blog stand out?

What are three adjectives that describe your blog?

What are you doing when you're not blogging?

How would you recommend moms talk to their sons about puberty?

Chris Tilley

My son is turning 10 in January so we have already started to talk about the changes that he will be going through. I've always believed their is no forbidden knowledge so we have had many conversations on lots of topics. We've started with the clinical changes that will occur and the explanation that it happens over time. He really wants big muscles and he knows that puberty is a step along the way. My son has a very scientific mind so giving him all the science behind it helps. We have also talked about testosterone and the aggression that it can cause. He knows about sex and where babies come from. We have an excellent book for kids on that, that of course I can't find right now. He hasn't linked puberty to sex yet but that is just a matter of time. Honesty and open communication are the best policy for everything. My kids know they can ask me and I will answer the best that I can or I will look it up.
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Do you have suggestions to help dads more comfortably participate in "mommy and me" events?

Chris Tilley

What I have found works for me. First I always go on the same day so now most people there know me. The few that don't see that the others do know me and are thus are fine with my presence. Second play with your kids. That is why your there and it always looks good to the other parents. Third help out, clean, volunteer to bring a snack (Ask around to avoid the minefield of allergies, health nuts, ect). Fourth and I shouldn't have to say it but unless you have facial hair make sure you shave. Bad mornings for moms involve sweatpants, for dads its not shaving. Sweatpants are not threating but unfortunately scraggly facial hair is.
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What food would you most like to banish from school cafeterias?

Chris Tilley

I would rather have more education on healthy choices than a ban on anything. The problem I have with bans is it becomes easier to ban than to think. Were I am a group of parents got together an got laws passed making the schools responsible alergic reaction. Schools solution, ban. All our school ban all nuts including peanut butter. Easier than actually dealing with it. Now their is a class at our school were gluten is banned. Eg no bread products... My kids have learned from a young age what is healthy, how to read a label and so forth. They pey have an oppurtunity for hot lunch 8 timrs a month. They can pick any 4. The rest of the time they make their own. They know to include a protien, carb and veggies or fruit.
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How much help should parents give their kids with homework?

Chris Tilley

I will re teach them the material. I'll show them how to look stuff up on the computer. I'll answer questions about how to do stuff but I won't do the work for them. Right now we are working on my sons work habits and he's finaly getting the message that procrastiation has consequenses. I walk my kids to school every morning and that gives me 30 min to talk to them uninterupted. We discuss school, their teachers, how grading works, the future. We also expand on things they have been learning in school and try to bring it into real world application. This morning discusion started with languages. Branched into how languages evolve and somehow ended up on genetics.
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What's your funniest potty training story?

Chris Tilley

Funny. I just wrote about this on my blog. My youngest son as with most kids would not stay on the potty long enough to actually do anything. We tried book, toys and even Angry Birds on my phone as I cringed everytime it looked like it was going to go in. Singing is what worked and one song in particular that I made up new words to. The Toddler on the Potty (Sung to: The Wheels on the Bus) The toddler on the potty goes (pee, pee, pee), (pee, pee, pee), (pee, pee, pee) The toddler on the potty goes (pee, pee, pee) all day long. The toddler on the potty goes (poo, poo, poo), (poo, poo, poo), (poo, poo, poo) The toddler on the potty goes (poo, poo, poo) all day long. The toddler on the potty goes (wipe, wipe, wipe), (wipe, wipe, wipe), (wipe, wipe, wipe) The toddler on the potty goes (wipe, wipe, wipe) all day long. The toddler on the potty goes (flush, flush, flush), (flush, flush, flush), (flush, flush, flush) The toddler on the potty goes (flush, flush, flush) all day long. The toddler on the potty goes (wash, wash, wash), (wash, wash, wash), (wash, wash, wash) The toddler on the potty goes (wash, wash, wash) all day long. The toddler on the potty goes (dry, dry, dry), (dry, dry, dry), (dry, dry, dry) The toddler on the potty goes (dry, dry, dry) all day long. The funniest bit was when he sang it for Grandma.
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What's one of the worst messes your child has made? Please share a link to a photo if you have one.

Chris Tilley

The worst mess was when my daughter decided to finger paint on the wall with red glitter glue. By the time I found it it was dry. That one didn't get completely fixed until we sold that house and repainted. Funniest one was when my toddler dumped a jumbo bottle of cinnamon. Vacuuming just spread the smell everywhere. At least it was a nice smell.
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What's your favorite muffin, scone, or bread recipe? Please share a link to the recipe and a photo if you have one.

Chris Tilley

I make my own bread 2-3 times a week. Healthier and cheaper than store bought. Plus it is simple to make. Two tricks. First I make a 3lb batch in my 2lb bread machine set to dough only. this way it does all the hard work. I then divide it and shape it into 2 bread pan for a another rising and baking. Thus no weird shaped loafs. Second I use my digital scale and weight all my ingredients. It is quicker, makes less dishes and if more consistent way of measuring.
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At what age did you (or would you) give your child a cell phone? (Please include any contracts or conditions you gave your child with this use)

Chris Tilley

We are considering a cell phone for my 10 year old. He is now old enough to be left alone, at least for short periods. The problem is that my wife and I have dropped our land line in favor of our cells. Right now I just leave him my cell phone. If I'm just running out to do groceries its not critical that I have my phone. As I leave him home longer I'm going to want my phone back. So we are looking at simple pay as you go phones. It would only be for emergencies and for me to be able to call him and check up on him. Later if he wants to do other things with it, ie call friends, text ... I would expect him to pay for the usage out of his allowance. If he wants a smartphone with all the bells and whistles and a data plan he would need a job and a lot more maturity.
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What's your best tip for teaching a gradeschooler about money?

Chris Tilley

I agree with what a lot have already said, that earning the money through chores is important. I also agree with cash so they see it and understand it going away. What I also find important is to teach them about marketing. I ask them how long do they think it will last. Why do they need it? How many different things can you actually do with it? Is there a cheaper alternative? Both of my kids are saving for big ticket items, at least in kid terms. So I also ask them is it worth setting them back x weeks. We've also had long talks about how marketers try to sell the product. "First convince the person that they have a need, then that this product fills that need" The Need doesn't need to be real either.
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What's the best homemade costume you've ever created for a child 5 and under? Please provide a link to a photo.

Chris Tilley

This picture is from 6 years ago. My son was undergoing cancer treatment and it would have been difficult for him to walk very far. Our stroller had a thing that clamped on that he could ride on. He also love anything Thomas the Tank Engine. My wife who is a lot more crafty than I am came up with the idea of converting our stroller into Thomas and dress my son as the engineer.
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