Friday, July 31, 2009

At Home Dad Convention


We here at KCDADS just want to give a little love to the Stay At Home DAD Convention coming up on OCTOBER 1OTH.

Above is the link to the website so you can go check it out if you wish, which I highly encourage you to do. For our group, I think we are going to have a pretty strong showing. There are 7 of us that are going and I hope to get more.

Unsure if you are going? Think of this:

1. We are carpooling, and there is a strong possibility that we will have the Xbox hooked up to the in car DVD player. Take that Dora, we hate you. But we love Pablo. 3 hours of smack talk, alien destruction, and talking about dad stuff-like potty training. There's still room in the carpool, so sign up and come along.

2. 2 days of no one head butting you in the crotch. That's worth it right there.

3. We may or may not be producing a song. Come and find out.

4. A little game I like to play call "Hey Cow". Don't know what that is? It's a Texas game, so saddle up and bring your spurs.

5. A meal you can eat from start to finish, without any interruptions. And get this, you only have to cut up your own food!

6. Don't want to sleep solo? We are all rooming together and there is still those that don't have that domestic partner lined up yet, could it be you?

7. Support the movement, go meet other guys doing the same shit as you. Sure, you're weird like 90% of the time. But here, with other SAHDs, we're all weird so no pedophile looks from the moms!

8. If we are challenged to a beer drinking contest, how are we going to win without you? KCDADS must represent! NYC thinks they are better than you.

9. Honestly, you can go to bed at bedtime with no distractions. That's worth the registration right there.

10. Private bathroom time. That's all I'm saying.

So come to a playgroup or post an email and we'll get you set up with us. We have one member leaving on Thursday night and the rest leaving Friday. We will be coming back Sunday. Hope to see you there.

Activity: Shatto Milk Company Tour

Location: 9406 N. HWY. 33 Osborn, MO 64474. Phone: 816-930-3862 It's on your right hand side as you are coming up. It's smaller than you think but it's there.


Cost: 5 bucks per person for the tour. There is also a Country Store there as well that sells all thier products and give out free cheese. We like free stuff.

For those that weren't there, this was our family day outing that we have been planning for the last couple of months. We decided to pack everyone, wives included, into the cars and took the trip an hour north of KC to visit the Shatto Dairy Farms. A special thank you to Mr. Rogers who set all this up. He did a great job.

My first impression was that it is smaller than I thought. Given that you see their milk everywhere, I expected it to be huge. It's not. It's family owned with about 250 cows. But that doesn't mean it's not worth to go up there, this was totally worth it.

Your tour begins in basically the bottling room. Our tour was given by Mr. Shatto himself and it seems like he does all of them. He's a charismatic bastard, that one. Anyway, the bottling room is pretty small. We had to crowd in to get everyone in there. They show you where the milk comes from, the machines it gets pasteurized in, and then how they bottle it. They then show you the actually process using water. It was really cool and the kids seemed to enjoy this.

Then they start giving you free samples of milk. Big deal, right? Turns out, this is a big deal. Have you ever had banana flavored milk? What about root beer flavored milk? Not bad, not bad at all. Didn't think it would be, turns out it's pretty cool. They explain the process to you and they seemed to take special pride in their chocolate milk, which was thick and awesome, I'll give the credit where the credit is due. So for the next 20 minutes were spent taking shots of all the different kinds of milk.

The next stop on our tour was to actually milk a cow. We had different successes with different age children. Some were scared which is to be expected but some other's were pulling on that teet like there was no tomorrow. They also had a bunch of calfs that were born within days that the children could touch and pet.

Finally, they took us to the "milking line". At least that is what I assume it was as 12 cows were lined up to be milked. They showed us how they do it and seemed to be really ok with us touching the equipment and cows.

I want to add that the staff was attentive and exceptional. They gladly answered all our questions, we never felt hurried, and they were generally pleasant all day.

After the tour we commenced our Picnic. Papa Scrum had brought his grill and I made some truly awful potato salad. Seriously, it was like toxic starch and I apologize to everyone for that. But the meat was good.

There are only 3 picnic tables available in a field next to the farm but we planned ahead and brought more tables. If you are planning to make a trip out there though and picnic, bring a fly swatter. It was the one thing we needed that we didn't have. The field provided a lot of room for the kids to run around and play in. Different families brought wagons, or balls or numerous other toys for the kids to play with. The parents bought milk from the country store.

They have some really good strawberry milk though, good god that's some good stuff.

We made a whole day of this and I think that everyone had a great time. It was one of those perfect sunny Midwestern days that look like a picture in a brochure.

It's tough to say what the best part of the day was as it was all pretty good. I like it when the wives get together but it unnerves me sometimes to see them talking without us. Are they judging us? Are they asking private questions about my back hair? But it's good to see all of them getting along together.

The kids playing at the picnic might have been the highlight of my day. We had enough space that basically everyone could go crazy without anyone getting hurt or running into eachother.

End recommendation is that his is a good day trip to plan, bring the family and a sack lunch, and go play with some cows. And for god's sake, buy some of that milk, it's that good.

Also a note on our Pictures: Most all the pictures on these blogs are supplied by either Larry Geographic or Father Hitman. Just a thanks for them and their fancy cameras.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Playgroup conversations

As a stay at home dad I often get asked, especially by wives, what the hell do you guys talk about. I get it all the time. My sister, my wife, just about every mother I know asks that question. It seems that many can't imagine what 15 guys talk about when we get together when we are surrounded by future presidents and award winning cancer curing scientists. Well, they aren't that yet but we all have high expectations. My kid in particular. I've her slotted for Ruler Over All. I am hoping that she will let me live in a sweet villa beside the ocean. And I get free steak. That would be awesome.

Do you guys talk about breast feeding? About potty training? About snot and poop? It's like they have a hard time imagining that a bunch of guys, as manly as we are, talk about these things. And I can't blame them. Their experience with men has routinly been guys trying to get into their pants. Including their experiences with us. Except we succeeded. Go us. And now we are stay at home dads with the children to prove our smoothness.

But c'mon, we aren't always ruled by whats south of the border. We have bigger interests than just that. I know a lot of our wives read this sight to see what's going on with thier kids and check up on their husbands. So let me put it all to rest, let's answer that question once and for all. What do we talk about at playgroup when it's just us and the kids? So here's what we talk about.

That chick at the grocery store.
That chick at the gas station.
That chick at the mailbox.
That chick that had to be at least 21.
That chick with that thing at that place.

Potty training.

That chick at Blockbuster getting that romantic comedy.
That chick that looked at me all sexy like when I pulled up to her at the stoplight.
That chick who I bet is wearing a thong.
That chick who found my kid lost at the grocery store.
That chick who was in the swing waiting for her boyfriend.

Finding the right preschool.

That chick at the gym.
That chick that looked like she went to the gym.
That chick in that commercial.
That chick on that TV show.
That chick who was in the commercial and the TV show.

Diaper rash.

That chick who was walking her dog as we came to playgroup.
That chick that was crossing the street as we came to playgroup.
That chick that was doing yard work as we came to playgroup.
That chick that was doing jumping jacks by her car as we came to playgroup.
That chick with the jogging stroller that we passed as we came to playgroup.

The difficulties of breast feeding.

That chick that was all greasy underneath the hood of her car in the short cutoffs.
Those chicks that were in a full out pillow fight at the slumber party.
That chick that was eating that Popsicle.
That chick in the nurses outfit.
The fact that none of those things were scene but it would have been cool if they were.

How to make a quilt for ever lasting memories.

Princes Leah.
Princes Leah and her hair buns.
Princes Leah and her gold bikini.
Princes Leah and her hair buns and her gold bikini and how she seems to like fat guys.
Princes Leah and fat guys and what might be her home phone number.

Recipes for losing weight or becoming an interstellar smuggler.

That chick who reads this blog.
That chick who will no longer talk to us.
That chick who thinks we are a bunch of disgusting jagoffs but yet bad boy sexy.
That chick who thinks that she can fix us.
That chick who wishes we drove a motorcycle with a carseat on the back because that would be cool.


That chick at the zoo.
That chick at Shatto Milk Company.
That chick at the civil war battlefield.
That chick at the Library.
That chick on the hiking trail.

The best way to put in a carseat.

There you go. That's just about all that we talk about. I hope that I have shown our wives that yes, we can be a little neanderthal at times, but underneath all of that is a caring husband who has a nurturing side. Someone that doesn't just think unpure thoughts all day like it is rumored that men do. Someone that can cook you a kick ass dinner and make sure that the kids aren't jumping off the roof.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go sleep on the couch for a couple of days until that chick at the flower shop hooks me up and gets me those roses.

Activity: The Vault at KC Downtown Libary

Location: 14 West 10th Street, KC Missouri. on the corner of 10th and Baltimore. (Downtown KC)


Cost: Free, but be warned that YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR PARKING. Parking is 1 buck every 20 minutes with a max of 8.00. You can have your parking ticket validated and get a free hour. But chances are you will be here long enough to pay the 8 bucks, I did. The parking garage is located on Baltimore, directly across from the library.

I know that we have written one review on the downtown library. However, that was before we did "The Vault." The Vault is an actual bank vault that the library shows little kid movies/shorts in. As you would expect, this was also awesome. One of the children librarians set this up for us. You actually walk into a vault but it's made up to look like a little movie theater. IT has curtains and everything. It's really, really well done. We saw some movie about a frog that lasted about 15 minutes. And believe it or not, all the kids were entranced by it. None of them moved or caused a ruckus. How much more can we really say? We were told that if you come as an individual, you will have to pay a small fee. But if you go as a group and the librarian sets a day for you, it's free.

Afterward the librarian set up an activity for us. They have an activity room that you can use and once again, they were so accommodating that it was all made easy. All the crafts were already laid out and the librarian led the way. We made leaf rubbings and the kids had a great time.

We ate lunch on the roof and apparently this is ok. So if you get a chance, bring a sack lunch and spend the whole day there.

I do want to give a very sincere thank you to Clare Hollander, one of the Children Librarians. She was just amazing and set everything up for us. She pretty much embodies everything that we have come to expect from the Kansas City Library. She has offered to set up other activities up for us and can be contacted at or called at 816-701-3638. She made the whole day about as stress free as you could expect. Very cool. She has offered to set up other activities for us so give her a call and let me know when you are going.

Activity: Day trip St. Joe Adventures

Location: St. Joseph, Mo. About an hour north of Kansas City

Cost: Up to you. Some of the attractions are free, some cost 4 bucks.

Appropriate ages: Depends once you decide where you want to go.

Website: Visit for a full list of everything to do here. We were only able to do 3 different sites so we'll only review those. There is a lot of things to see and do here but there isn't enough time to see it all with kiddos.

Site #1:
St. Joseph Historic Fire Museum.
Location: 1202 S. 11th, St. Joseph MO
Cost: Free

Did you know that the very first fire pole in firehouses was in St. Joe? That's right, it's a down right Biggest Ball of Twin kind of thing. As for the musuem itself, one of the most awesome for young kids ever. They have 2 firetrucks from the 1940's that are in restored condition. And get this: they let the kids climb all over them. Inside the cabs, inside the backs, everywhere. Then there is the bell that they also let the kids ring. Over, over and over again. The docent there was one of the best I have ever run into. She was so accommodating and friendly that made this trip even more worth it. She brought out fire helmets and gear and actively encouraged the kids to play with it. There are some actual displays as well but we didn't get much farther than the awesome trucks. The kids loved it and if you are planning to go to St. Joe it would be a shame not to start here.

Site #2
Pony Express Museum
Location: Right across the street from the Fire Museum
cost: 4 bucks for adults, kids under 6 are free

Did you also know that the Pony Express also started in St. Joe. This is a regular history smorgasbord of awesomeness. And once again, as always in a lot of these towns, the docents were awesome. Is everyone so damn friendly in the Midwest?? Anyway, any age of kids would dig this place. They have enough to keep Dads interested and the kids occupied. The museum is well laid out and seem to have a lot of hands on stuff for the kids. There is a good flow to the whole thing. There are some saddles that the kids can actually sit on and do a little fake ride. We found this cool because it gave us a chance to read the information on the exhibits. Also, when they were building the museum, they discovered an old hand dug well that used to water the horses for the riders. They put a plastic top on this and incorporated it as part of the museum. Then they hooked up a hand pump to it so the kids can actually pump water out of the well into a trough. The kids went nuts for this. Finally, they have a play area at the end of the museum that the kids can enjoy. It was really well done and again gave Dads enough time to read some more history. Totally worth it.

Site #3
Glore Psychiatric Museum
Locatoin: 3408 Frederick Ave., St. Joseph, MO
Cost: 5 bucks for adults, free for kids under 6

This one might not be appropriate for certain children. I'll admit it, we may have been pushing our luck on this one. It can be pretty gruesome so if you take a younger child there be prepared to answer some odd questions like "what is a tranquilizer chair" and "Why does it have a bucket on it's seat". This museum is part of several on the same sight: The St. Joe Museum and The Black Archives. We only saw the psych museum because we are a very morbid crowd. Basically, it chronicles treating mental illnesses throughout history. From a depiction of burning at the stake to the giant patient treadmill. There are some original pieces there but there are also alot of reproductions of some of the equipment used. Either way, it's well done as far as that goes. But it's all very creepy, which I like but realize that some won't. The weirdest exhibit was of 1400 objects that one patient ate. They have all of these on display, and yes, they are the originals. He died when they finally took it out. If you have a teen who digs this, I would definitely go see it because alot of it is way cool but if your kid freaks out easy, skip it for something else.

Activity: Hiking--87th St Trail, Kansas City MO

Location: E 87th, East of HWY 71. Kansas City

Directions: Off 71, exit 87th street. Head east for about a mile. The trail is on the east bound lane of the road. There is a small shoulder on this side of the road. If you hit 435, you've gone to far. It's hard to see sometimes, but keep you eyes open and you'll find it.

Distance: 1.5 miles or more

Ages appropriate for: 3 and up but only for those that truly like to climb and get dirty. Any younger will need to go in the backpack.

Description: This trail isn't for an easy little jaunt through the woods. This one takes some climbing. With that said,leave the strollers at home and grab a good kids backpack for any younger kids.

The trail itself is kind of nestled a little way back from the road. It's only about 2 feet wide at it's best and there are times where you might lose it. The trail markings need some work for the inexperienced hiker which I am. However, going with the more experienced Hippie, it was no problem for him. I suck and he's awesome.

The trail could use a little more upkeep by cutting back some of the brush but we were able to get by just fine.

That's about the only bad things I can say about this trail. It's pretty freaking awesome. The trail runs part way by a stream which allows for plenty of opportunity to throw a lot of rocks at water, always a favorite kid past time.

There's a lot to see throughout the trail as well. It goes a little up and presents some pretty decent climbs for the kids that they will find challenging. One of our favorite parts is when the trail goes between two limestone bluffs. At the top, you will find a tree growing into the rock. Way freaking cool. There are several areas like this and the view from the top is worth the trip. You alternate between going up the heights and then heading back into the canopy and the deep shade. The trees and brush are pretty dense and the humidity can get up there on a warm day once you area in the canopy.

There are a few clearings where the kids and you can take a break and it offers a good chance to take a real good look at all the fauna around you.

There are several chances throughout the walk to take different paths and you could honestly spend a good 8 hours out there doing this. We did about 1.5 miles and it took us a little over 2 hours. At the end of it, everyone was exhausted but felt great. My 2 year old and my 3 year old had a great time and were massively worn out. I would say this is one of the better hiking trips we've taken and I would recommend it to the more adventurous.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Activity: Friday Outing--Lego

Location: Crown Center. 2450 Grand Ave, KC MO

Cost: Free

Ages: All ages.

This was pretty good for us. There were 6 dads and about 9 kids that went. Some of the old guard showed up which I always love and one of the reasons we wanted to start doing things on Friday during the summer.

The exhibit was pretty cool. It's sculptures made out of Legos. Some of them are really freaking like a life size guy ripping his chest open and legos spilling out. Then there was the 7 foot high sunflower. The highlight for the kids though is several tables set up so that you can try your own hand at Lego sculpting.

I built a square. Mr. Rogers built a dinosaur that actually looked like a dinosaur.

If you get a chance to go, it runs through Sept 7. The Crown Center almost always has exhibits like this though, so check the website for the future.

We had a good time. It's a quick visit though so don't expect to kill 3 hours doing this.

Activity: Battle Of Lexington--Civil War Battle Field and Town

Location: Main battle field is located at 1101 Delaware St, Lexington MO. However, the whole town has a lot of other things to see. Lexington is about an hour North East of Kansas City. It's an easy drive and a straight shot.

Cost: The battlefield and museum is free, a tour of one of the houses on the battlefield is 2.50 per adult, kids under 6 are free.

This is the website for the actual town as there are a lot of things to see in the town other than the battlefield.

Appropriate for all ages. The younger kids get a big field to run around in and the older ones will probably enjoy picking up the cannon balls.


For those not familiar with this, it's a civil war battlefield. It was known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales because Confederate soldiers rolled wet hay bales up a hill to get close enough to attack the Union soldiers. Once you actually see the battle field and the hill they had to roll up, you can see the balls it took to do this.

The battlefield has a pretty decent visitors center/museum that is attended by very friendly staff. However, my daughter got stung by a wasp as we were walking in but I think it was just one of those freakish things. The staff, without my asking, produced anti-sting wipes and my kiddo was good to go.

The museum itself is on the small scale but pretty well done. You get to see old medical supplies for cutting off legs, bullets and other things that will catch the history buffs eye. The kids probably won't care about a lot of this but everyone loved the cannon balls. They actually let you pick up one to see how heavy it is. Even I thought that was cool as crap.

After the museum you get to walk the field. There is a decent trail that is well maintained and you can get a real feel for what it must have been like rolling the hay bales up. Our only complaint here is that a lot o the woods around the battlefield is grown up and blocks some of the view, but the kids didn't seem to mind. You can also see the mounds where the Union Fortifications were. There are also several informative plaques placed around the battlefield which fill you in even more. The whole field is not that big so the younger kids won't get tired taking the walk.

You will pass by several things as you walk the battlefield. There is a grave stone marking 5 unknown union soldiers and also the Anderson House. This house is pretty cool and the only thing you have to pay for on the tour. This house was a main area of fighting during the battle and they have tried to keep it in it's original form. You can still see all the bullett holes which we all agreed was badass. History note: muskets seem to be a bad shot. I can't speak on the inside tour as we didn't take it. The younger ones (3 and under) might have had a hard time not wrecking the place.

I think the kids really liked this. We had two 1 year olds with us and two 3 year olds with us. They got along well and seemed to have a really good time on the battlefield itself while the Dad's got to soak up some history.

The North end of the battlefield is the Masonic College which was the Union Headquarters. This is known as College Park. It's big attraction is a cannon from Old Ironsides, the Union steel ship. The college building itself no longer exists.

I would skip this section of the battlefield. There are picnic tables there and a playground. However, none of it appears well kept. The playground's ground mulch has worn away and weeds are rampant. The equipment was rusted in a lot of places. There were wasps everywhere. We ate a quick bite there and then took off. The cannon is worth to see but not the rest of it.

All in all, it was a nice day trip for the history buffs and I would take my kids there again. I would give it a B, not the best I've ever seen but not the worst. Interesting enough to go back again when the kids are older.

The Rest of the Town:
As you are in Lexington, you might want to check out the other things that they have to see there which could be very interesting. Look at the website to give you an idea of the other things. I can't comment on them all but I can tell you what we did.

The Courthouse:
This is totally worth a quick visit because there is actually a cannon ball stuck in the top left column. That is pretty awesome and one of the highlights of our trips.

SALUDA MEMORIAL at HERITAGE PARK: Skip this one. It's a bit hard to find and get to and we found it just by accident. It commemorates the worst steamboat disaster on the Missouri. It's a neat idea but bad location. Not worth it unless you just drive by.

Old Neighborhoods on Franklin St.: Mixed review on this one. It's a walking tour so grab your stroller. The houses seemed to range from 1830 to 1900. Some of them are just awesome. You can really see the style and appreciate. Most of the houses have a sign on them to let you know when they were built. I dig this. However, everything is privately owned and alot of people still live in them. Which means that some of them are in need of some repair. But it's a good stroll to take after lunch, which we had in the downtown area.

Scenic Route 224: This was an intersting road that leads back towards Kansas City. It follows the river but you don't get to see all that much of it. There are two points to stop and lookout but nothing closeup and a lot of it was blocked by trees. But it's a relaxing drive if you want to take it. A lot of farmland out there.

Final review: Lexington is worth an adventure. Plenty to see and you can get done in about 2 hours and head on home. There are also a lot of Wineries and Orchards up there that we didn't get to see but would love to. I do feel that I have to mention the people. About as nice as they could be. Friendly, willing to go out of thier way to show you around.

Recipe: Frittata

This came up at playgroup the other day so I thought I would go ahead and post the recipe for everyone.

If you have never had a Frittata before, give it a shot. It's a great breakfast dish that is easy to prepare and a little something different than poptarts. Not knocking on the poptarts, god knows that I love them, but variety is always good.

For those not familiar with what a Frittata is, think of it as a big baked omlet.

Note: This recipe is from a cookbook called America's Test Kitchen. If you don't have this one, get it.

Ingredients: Serves 4
6 Large Eggs
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped up
2 tablespoons of minced parsley, basil, dill, tarragon and/or mint.

To Cook

1. Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350.

2. In a 10 inch nonstick skillet, add the onion and oil and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.

3. Beat the eggs, the cheese, salt and pepper together. Add to the pan with the onion. Throw in the parsley. Stir gently until the eggs on the bottom are set and firm, about 30 to 40 seconds.

4. Gently pull the eggs back from one edge of the skillet and tilt the pan, allowing any uncooked egg to run to the cleared edge of the skillet. Repeat this process, working your way around the skillet until the egg on top is mostly set but still moist.

5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the top is set and dry to the touch, about 3 minutes.

6. Run a spatula around the skillet edge to losen and then invert onto a serving plate.

That's all there is to it. Try your own variations. I have used spinach and the kids don't notice the difference. I also like a lot of meat in mine and breakfast sausage or ham goes real well with this. If you have any other variations, add in the comment section. Enjoy!

Playgroup: July 15. From the Kids Perspective

Insanity. But always in a good way.

Kids running, running, gotta get there, gotta play hard, gotta play fast. Oh, look there is the trampoline, gotta jump, gotta jump high and gotta jump hard. Ouch, I busted my lip. I don't want to get down, you can't make me get down. Ok, I'll get down and you take me to my dad and I'll show him my bloody lip. Look dad, I have a bloody lip, I'm a real man now, gotta get back.

The swing set, that's cool, gotta sing on it, gotta swing high and hard. Let's climb to the top because that's really high. Now down the slide, WEEEEEEEE, that was cool, let's do that again. But I want to climb up the slide and I can't with my flip flops on. Here dad take these, they are a pain, stupid shoes, let me go shoeless like Tom Sawyer, he was cool, I'm cool, I want to go rafting. Where did my shoes go?

Oh, what's that over there? That's rabbits. Hey dad, hey dad, hey dad, hey dad. HEY DAD! LOOOK!!!! There are rabbits over here!!! Hey DAD! RABBITS! RIGHT HERE! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

Gotta go potty, where is the potty, hey someone take me potty. I gotta go over here! You there, tall guy, you look like a dad, take me to the potty before I ruin this carpet. Ya know, I don't really care one way or another. But I gotta go, now are you going to take me?

Now I'm dancing, because dancing is cool. Look Dad, I'm doing the Charleston. See dad, see dad, see dad, PAY ATTENTION TO ME! I'm dancing. Hey, now everyone dance, see we're all dancing. And we're next to the kiddie pool. Can I get in? Please dad? Can I please get in? I'm going to get in. What you mean no! That's not right, I want to get in the pool, let me in the pool, I don't need my dress on, here, let me take it off. Let go of ME! NO! I WANT TO GO IN THE POOL! Put me down. I swear I'll kick you in the junk! Put me down! I don't want to get in the car, I don't want to go home.

I'm tired.

Daddy, have you seen where my underwear is?