Monday, August 24, 2015

Kid Friendly/Adult Approved Party Mix Vol. 1 - Dj RyB

One thing that I am a fanatic about for a party or BBQ is good music. It makes all the difference between a fun party or a boring one.  Even if the songs are good, it can still be a flop if it doesn't have good flow. Nothing aggravates me more than hearing an uptempo song, to be followed by something slow or depressing.

Obviously my DJ background makes me care a little more than most people but I think it does make a huge difference when the music is good and accessible to people with varying degrees of musical taste. Most people don't care that much or have no control because they hit Random Play on iTunes or use Pandora which is all over the place.

I think you should start to care so that is why I decided to make it easy for you by putting together my new "Kid Friendly/Adult Approved" mixes on Spotify. If you like them, just "Follow" the playlist and you'll have an instant party mix ready to go for your next gathering.

Hit the Spotify button in the player above or use the following link:

I'll try and put a new one out every few weeks and if you have any suggestions or songs you want to here, just let me know. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

"The Barn is Full of Walkers"

Glenn to the group: "So, uh, guys? The barn's full of walkers." - The Walking Dead

That's kind of how I felt after I took this video of Patrick walking for the first time the other day.

It was an awesome milestone and he was so damn happy to finally do it after weeks of struggling, but at the same time, I knew our lives had just changed drastically. Ish just got real!  My recent article about 'How to Handle Multiple Kids Using Basketball Defenses' just became even more relevant for myself. I need to take my own advice and really step up the D!

We now have three boys under the age of 5 that are not only walking, but ready to wrestle and tackle each other at the drop of a hat. They think it's hysterical. My wife and I just cringe as we let them get their energy out and have some fun but also watching for sharp objects and breakables in the area.

"It's a very difficult situation" to quote Tony Soprano.

We've already had a "hole in the wall" incident from some wrestling and horse play before bed and that was almost a year ago! I now have a house full of Baby Gronk's who love beating each other up for fun and they get more agile, faster, and stronger by the day. My head already hurts just thinking about the fights I am going to have to break up.
I don't even want to think about how many things I'm going to have to replace or fix over the next few years such as walls, stairs, and windows. Our food bill is also ready to double and then triple in a short time too.

We are so screwed!  Please pray for me and my wife!  HA.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Funny Things My Kids Say - #2 - The People

John (in whiny voice): Daddy, James hit me!
Me (in annoyed questioning tone): How? He's over here with me.

John (thinking for a new target): The chair hit me!
Me (getting more annoyed): John, that's not even possible. Did you walk into it? 

John (dead serious): The PEOPLE hit me!
Me (getting confused and a little freaked out): What...People?!

John: The Invisible People. 
Me (eyes popping out): Um, OK. Let's just go in the other room. 

Yikes! I had no idea how to handle that one.

On one hand, I was a little pissed because he was lying and just trying to get me riled up.

On the other hand, I was wondering, "Is he really seeing ghosts or something? Is our house haunted?"

All I could think of was that creepy kid in The Sixth Sense. I definitely don't want him to be this kid:

Does anyone out there have a similar "ghost" story from their kids? I have a funny feeling that this happens more often than people want to admit or talk about. Drop a comment with any good stories...

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Control Your Own Children Using Basketball Defenses

I'm going to explain this whole kid situation the best I know how which is using sports metaphors and basketball lingo. Even though I'm a hoops guy, I think anyone that has ever played or enjoys watching sports can understand this. These are things other people fail to tell you before you have kids so I'm trying to make it easier for parents out there as they consider having 1, or even 1 more. 

Open Jumpers and Fast Breaks - 0 Children aka 0 vs. 2
This is married life. You might miss a few shots and the occasional wide open layup but in all reality, this is not real life for any couple eventually planning to have kids. Enjoy your DINK (Dual Income No Kids) lifestyle and get that fun time in now. Go on as many vacations as possible, go out to dinner, get drunk at BBQ's, have lots of sex, etc. Do what you gotta do because this time is limited. Go out for 81 points on 46 shots like Kobe in 2006 because you are going to get old quick and rack up some major injuries in the near future. Enjoy your prime while it lasts.  

Full Court Press and Corner Trapping - 1 Child aka 1 vs. 2
Now you have your first child. Good for you. Your life has changed but in all honesty, things are still pretty damn easy. Anyone that says having one kid is hard is delusional.  You will look back on this time and realize how good you had it. You might even whisper to your oldest when you are alone with them and reminisce about the good times and say "Remember when it was just me and you? Wasn't that way more fun?"

When both parents are forced to play a little D, you can prevent this one child from doing anything bad or life threatening. You are exerting little defensive effort like you are the parental version of James Harden. Even when things get hectic, you always have help D. You can trap them in the corner when they start crawling or walking and they will never get to break anything or mess up your house. This child will most likely be the most well behaved and smartest because they will get one parent's full attention, if not both. Things are good.
Worst case scenario, one parent can cherry pick on the offensive end and let the other go Man to Man. Cherry picking allows you to get some quality alone time if needed like going to the gym, binge watching Netflix, playing video games, getting errands done, etc. You are still racking up points, but you have more contested shots so your shooting percentage might slightly decrease. You are still scoring 20-25 per game, although you are at the tail end of your prime and your stats will go down over time.  

Man to Man Defense - 2 Children aka 2 vs. 2
$h!t is getting real now. No one has free time and you have no subs. You still have to run a hard man to man, often starting full or 3/4 court but you are running on fumes. Your back and body hurts from foot fires (quick feet to avoid toys and other baby related landmines) and defensive stances (aka bending over picking up toys, carrying crying children, breaking up fights, etc.). This is the NBA Playoffs every day. You can't take a day off because your main goal in life is to make sure you keep these children alive and they don't break a bone or lose an eyeball.

 If one parent has to leave for any extended amount of time, you have to drop back into a 1-2 zone. You might be able to break up a few passes, and block a few shots, but most likely, you are getting scored on often and are committing crazy fouls just to stop the game and catch your breath. Don't be against trash talk and hoping to provoke one of your children into a temper tantrum so you can give them a Technical Foul and send them to their room or the time out chair. It's not pretty, but at least you can catch your breath and go back to a relaxed man to man.  

Zone Defense - 3 Children aka 3 vs. 2
You are officially outnumbered. All you can do is hope to prevent a score on every possession but most likely, you are getting blown out almost every game.  You are starting to look like the 2014-2015 Sixers except you are not trying to tank.  You just lose every game even with your best effort.

Your head needs to be on a swivel constantly as you run the baseline or cover the wings or top of the key. No matter how you set up the zone, you are always leaving a man open and you are screwed if you lose track of the scorer or hot shooter. If they make the right pass, you are pretty much giving up a bucket 70% of the time.

The scorer is usually the youngest child because they are way too good at dropping behind the zone or to the far corner and out of your peripheral vision. They have quickly learned how to beat the zone in their short career by using just a few quick pump fakes and go to moves. They have never experienced a true man to man or trap for more than a few moments at a time, so getting open is like Child's Play (yes, I said it, and this cliche was finally used properly).
They are often the quickest and dirtiest player, as well. They are always out to make it hurt as much as possible. The only thing you can do is know where the ball is at all times. If you aren't quick enough on your feet later in the game/day, at least keep an eye on this 3rd kid and try and see man and ball (aka dangerous targets like stairs, sharp objects, TV's, bathrooms/toilets, etc.).
You are essentially in a Prevent Defense, to bring in some football terminology to the mix. You know that you are giving up major yardage each down but you are just trying to prevent a late score before bedtime. You aren't winning the game. You are just trying to keep it from being a blowout. I suggest calling for subs or backup as much as possible but most players won't want to come in to the game. They see your pain and don't want any part of this blowout. All of that help that you got on Defense when you had just one kid and didn't really need it, is few and far between. You are pretty much on your own and all family and friends think you are crazy for deciding to even participate in this game.

Crazy Defense - 4+ Kids aka 4+ vs. 2 

There isn't even a defensive analogy for this situation. If you have more than three kids, you are just crazy. Waive the white towel now because you are going to get buried by the blitz on the first play of the game. Fast break dunks on your head all day. You will feel like this guy after D. Rose just hit a ridiculous game winner in OT.

I think that about wraps it up but if you can think of any other scenarios or relevant defenses that I missed, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Funny Things My Kids Say - #1 - Doritos & Adulthood

 I think the title is pretty obvious on this one but just in case you need an explanation, this will be a recurring post on random $h!t that my kids say.  I'm sure most of you can relate since kids say some crazy things, especially when it's inappropriate or "adult" funny.  You know you really shouldn't be laughing because it will just make them do it more but you can't help it because it's too ridiculous.  

My oldest son, John, is currently 4 1/2 years old and has some serious gems that I've been writing down since he started talking a few years ago.  My middle son, James, is 2 and just finding his stride with his speech but he will be showing up in these posts soon enough. He's got some solid comedy chops himself.  

Anyhow, here is the first installment.  This actually happened this week on vacation so it's fresh on my mind. I don't know where he comes up with this stuff.

Me: OK, John. That's enough Doritos. You need to eat dinner soon.

John: But you are still eating them. That's not fair.

Me: When you are older and become a Daddy like me, you can have as many as you want.

John: When I grow up and I'm a Grandpa and live by myself, I'm gonna have no rules! Then I'll eat all the Doritos I want.

This was all I could picture in my head after he said that:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Minivans are Awesome

Yes, you heard me right.  I think minivans are AWESOME.  I never thought I would say this considering how much I used to make fun of them growing up but after a year driving one, I think it is a legit option option for families with 2+ kids.  If you have 3 or more, it's a no-brainer. 

A couple of years ago, my wife and I decided that it was time to trade in one of our cars for something a little bit bigger since we had child number 3 on the way.  We had a Jeep Grand Cherokee which sounds like it should be big enough for three car seats, but I ran into an issue. It turns out there are only a small number of car seats that can fit 3 across (more on this issue in a future post) and to complicate things, we were hiring a full time Nanny.  We wanted her to have a reliable car that was big enough for all of the kids, and not have to keep 3 car seats in her own vehicle all the time so a third vehicle was the only real option.

Owning three cars is a bit ridiculous but it's something that made the most sense for us since my wife and I were both working and we each needed a vehicle to commute to work.  I looked around for quite a bit and noticed that any of the bigger SUV's with a 3rd row ended up being a lot more expensive than the minivan option so I decided to make the minivan my focus, even though the wife was extremely reluctant to own such a "Nerd Mobile".

Along with the cost savings, I realized there were a lot of other advantages to the minivan once we finally owned it.  I ended up with a pretty loaded 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and got it for a decent price.  Although it had around 80,000 miles and was almost 7 years old, the thing was in great shape and was hooked up with all of the options you could imagine. 

We got 2 separate DVD players, 2 pull down screens, a built in Hard Drive for music and pictures, dual climate control, pull down sun visors on the back windows, fold into the floor rear seats, about a thousand cup holders, and more storage than you could ever imagine.  If you didn't know you were driving in a minivan, you would think it was a luxury SUV.

On top of the hook ups, I soon learned that it was a lot easier to get the kids in and out since the floor is lower to the ground compared to an SUV, so the older boys could actually get in on their own.  Our bigger SUV (GMC Acadia) takes more effort on our part to help them up into the car because of it's height and you also have to fold down one of the seats to get in the back and buckle the kids in. It's just a pain in the ass for someone like myself who's 6'2" and not exactly skinny enough these days to just shimmy myself into the back row.  You can also fit WAY more stuff in the back of the third row which is huge for big strollers or when going on vacation and bringing all the crap you need for 3 kids.  Since the floor goes even lower to allow the third row seats to fold into the floor, you can actually fit a ton of stuff stacked all the way to the ceiling. 

If we were only dealing with 2 cars and I could afford a brand new one, I could imagine how much more I would love the minivan since the tech, options, and styling would be even more up to date.  I would have absolutely no problem driving one as my main vehicle, especially if it is the higher end version with all of the amenities.  I've even noticed that a lot of these 3rd row SUVs are stealing the style and looks of the minivans, and the minivans are morphing more towards the SUVs.  They seem to meet somewhere in the middle and there isn't as much of a difference as everyone thinks.

I think we were all traumatized as kids with those ugly thing that "soccer moms" drove around and no kid wanted to be caught dead in.  A lot of us grew up with the awful Dodge Caravans with the wood on the side, or the Ford Aerostars that just looked and performed awful but there should be serious consideration for the newer Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravans, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna, among others.  If you have a growing family and are planning 2 or more kids in the near future, you should give a minivan serious consideration.  I promise, you won't be disappointed.  You just have to own it and have confidence when you drive.

I'd recommend getting a custom license plate like me to take it to the next level and really own it.  Is this badass or what?!?!  HA! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

What is All About?

The first post of a blog is always the weirdest but also the most invigorating for a blogger. It's the beginning of something new and exciting but you're not really sure where it's going to go or how successful it might be. is the collision of my two worlds which is being a DJ, sports fan, and sneakerhead, mixed in with my family life. 

Since most of you out there probably have no idea who I am, or will never collide with my other online properties, I guess now would be the time to introduce myself. My name is Chris but my DJ name and online persona is Dj RyB (pronounced Dee Jay Ry-Bee). This might seem random, but I think the background is necessary since you will see lots of connections to my former life on

I began DJing back in college around 1998 and continued on for the next 10 years until I retired from my regular DJ'n gig and decided to focus on my Sales career, and eventually start a family. During my DJ life, things were good, as I had some extra spending money to buy all things I wanted but didn't really need like Sneakers, Clothes, video games, and gadgets.

Fast forward another 7-8 years and things are going pretty well but extremely different. I've got a nice life with a beautiful wife, 3 awesome boys, a good job, and a nice house. I can't complain one bit but I honestly never thought this is where my life would be at this point in time.

Anyhow, the point of this site is to put my unique thoughts on paper, give a different vibe on the under-served Dad perspective online, and hopefully provide some advice, tips, and guidance for other fathers and families that might be dealing with similar issues. I'm sure there are a lot of other guys out there that grew up in the 80s and went to college in the late 90s that will be familiar with a lot of the things I talk about. 

I've tried almost every child related product and gadget known to man so hopefully my mistakes and experience provide some value to at least a few people out there. My life and family are crazy but I wouldn't change a thing. Hopefully you enjoy what I share, when I actually have time to post something in between working 9-5 every day, then coming home and changing diapers, potty training, breaking up fights, and anything else you can think of when you are dealing with a working wife and three young kids at home.

Here are some ideas and themes you will be seeing on

$h!t my Kids Say
Kid Friendly Party Mixes that Adults will Enjoy
Sports Connections and Metaphors to Parenting
Things My Kids Do to Annoy Me
How to Travel/Vacation with Multiple Young Children
Advice for Dad's from a Real Dad
The "Cool Dad" Podcast