Episode #40 – Sleep Extravaganza!!!

Have you had trouble getting your child to sleep?  Have you ever had trouble KEEPING you child asleep?  Have you ever had trouble waking your child up?  These answers and more!  Just tune in.

Getting them to sleep:

  • Some children (John’s) needed background noise such as running water.
  • Letting the kids into your bed can be fun (and snuggly) as a treat, but we don’t recommend ever letting it happen two nights in a row.  Then the habit sets in and you will have to fight to change it back.
  • Please include bedtime reading for just SO many reasons.
  • Don’t listen to websites/magazines full of obvious advice.  Do you really need someone to tell you not to give you kid caffeine before bedtime?
  • The Ferber Method is a good compromise between you and your wife if simply letting them ‘cry it out’ seems to harsh.  With this method you are still letting them cry it out but you are doing it with science!

Keeping them asleep:

  • No super ideas here other than ‘be firm’.
  • John likened this to weight loss – you know what you need to do but that doesn’t make it easy.
  • Matt emphasized that it is really hard to make good decisions when sleep deprived!

Waking them up:

  • Try being nice first – if that doesn’t work steal the blankets and turn on the light.
  • As early as they can take it, make it the KIDS responsibility to get up on time.  If they are late for school, they will have to go to the office – not you!

In other news, after all my complaining, Luke slept right through the night in his own bed last night.  Apparently the solution to getting him to sleep is to talk about it on a podcast!

Amazon – You saw the banner.  Most of our purchases have been marked as ‘ineligible’.  Oh well.  You can listen to my rant, but the bottom line is that Amazon still rocks.  However I am not happy about their policy of using a ‘proprietary model’ to determine eligibility.  C’mon Amazon it is 2013!  Secret algorithms are soooo 2007 (financial crisis).

No rants this episode and I think we kept it to under an hour!  See you next episode!!!!


Engineering Fatherhood Episode 40


Episode #39 – Christmas Round Up and Kids Birthday Parties

Welcome to 2013!   Hear about the best toys of Christmas by age.   Did you know that power wheels (battery powered kids vehicles – Jeeps in our cases) are actually motorized vehicles in the eyes of the law?  That means they must obey the speed limit of course.  And as the safety nerd points out, they are insurance nightmares.  Should we put a jeep on a trampoline and really blow his mind?  Skylanders are another big hit with both dads and children.  Musical gifts such as drums and guitars are also big hits.

Then we covered birthday parties.  Matt is going to have a house party!  This is an awesome way to go.  All families should do this at least once.  It will probably be a real pain, but they will always have the fun memories.  Mark had some of these in the past and said they were fun, but they were worth it in their way.  So… Go Matt!  I hope the Jackster has a great time!  We decided that gift bags were ‘too much’.  When they are young and the classes are small, it is appropriate to invite the whole class, but when they get older (elementary school) it is probably too much.  Mark does ‘sleepover parties’ with the older kids and that seems to make the kids happy while still keeping within budget/hassle limits.

That is all.  We are working to make some improvements in 2013.  Mark vows to get more guests and to find better music.  Matt will round up the listeners.

So there you go.  Another fine episode of Engineering Fatherhood.  Have a great week!


Engineering Fatherhood Episode 39

Amazon Link – Help Support Engineering Fatherhood

Hello all,

I am trying to set this up so that we can support EF with all our Amazon purchases.  This is a hot topic for WordPress blogs because Wordpress does not allow merchant websites, but I found the following text on their Affliliate links Support Page (http://en.support.wordpress.com/affiliate-links/)

There are exceptions to this policy. Amazon.com and other select affiliate links are permitted so long as they are not the primary content of the blog in question. Other exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Obviously the primary purpose of this blog is to support the awesome Podcast – Engineering Fatherhood.  The Amazon Banner is just a side thingy that might (at best) help us to pay for the WordPress annual hosting fees.


If you buy stuff from Amazon (we know you do!) and you want to support EF, just click through the banner on the right before making your purchase.  Its as easy as that!  Thanks Amazon. I wish I had done this before xmas!



Episode #38 – Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from EF HQ!  We talk about Christmas preparations, Christmas letter dos and don’ts, how great Amazon is and all that.  Oh and that dratted elf!  Tune in for some quick dorky fun.

Also, listen to our moments and rants.

We Owens Brothers thank you for listening all year and wish you a very dorky Christmas.


Three Brothers

Three Brothers

Episode #37 – Sibling Rivalry

Matt and I were arguing about who would write this, but I (Mark) won…HA!  Its mine… All mine!  (I am doing the final edit … it’s mine (Matt))

Sibling rivalry is not simply when your children are competitive, it is when they bug each other senselessly and thus argue and thus annoying you, the parent.  We listened to some funny examples of this!  Of course they are only funny in retrospect.  Rivalry is a real pain, especially for parents of children close together in age.  Here are the solutions we came up with:

  • Let them work it out – If you can stand it, this is a good option (ear plugs are cheap).
  • Separate them – This is not always possible, but when you can it is nice.
  • Watch secretly so you can see who the instigator is – The instigator will likely get all lawyer on you and say ‘I was only waving my arms near her’.  Stick with the intent and not the law.  If one child was essentially starting the whole thing, they should get in trouble.
  • Let kids keep ownership of their possessions – This is a touchy one.  The fighting commonly occurs when one child has something the other wants.  Still, if one child ‘owns’ the desired toy, you have to let them judge whether to share.  (Here you can listen to John moan about his boss mustang hot wheels car that Mark ruined…)

As always, we did not solve all the problems relating to sibling rivalry, but we worked through it and gave some good advice I think.

Rants, moments, etc.  And lots of fun was had by all,

Thanks for listening – give us a like on facebook (Engineering Fatherhood) or subscribe on iTunes.  Also – send us a guest rant.  We love those…


Episode #36 – Three Under Four

Announcing Andrew Paul Owens – Hurricane Baby.  He blew in to Matt’s house on October 27 and we hear all about it.  It sounds like all went well and he is a good baby.  Still ‘three under four’ is a challenge.

Mark chimed in with some goofy stuff from parenting.com and we had three weeks of rants to share.

Tune in and check it out!


Engineering Fatherhood Episode 36

Episode #35 – Comedian Justin Worsham

Justin Wosham joins us on this episode.  What a blast!  We talk to him about being a comedian and being a father, but mostly we just had a bunch of laughs.

We also talk about how Mary is about to pop and John’s injury prone weekend.  All this was comedy gold when Justin got ahold of it.  Seriously, if there is one episode to listen to, this is the one. We recommend wearing a diaper (we all have them, right?) cuz you are gonna pee your pants!

Highlights –

  • Matt and the the 38 minutes (conception or delivery – I’ll bet you can guess…)
  • Justin is prime for the Hunger Games with mad arrow making (fletching?) skills
  • John makes actuarial calculations of california traffic gun violence
  • Mark gripes about cutlery cleanliness.

Justin (Husband, Father, Jerk), is the host of The Dad Podcast.  Astute listeners might realize that Mark was a guest on his show a few weeks back.  Therefore we got him to join us, exchange student style (without the language barrier).

Jason splits his time between being Mr. Mom and being a traveling funny man.  In some odd way that seems a perfect fit.  Hopefully he is coming to a city near you. A native of Modesto, California, Justin has been performing comedy in front of live audiences for over 15 years. In addition to performing in comedy clubs all over the country, teaching improv and hosting numerous live events, Justin was featured on Showtime’s Comics Without Borders with Russell Peters. Both of Justin’s albums, Paternally Challenged and Justin Worsham: I’m a Good Husband can be heard daily on Blue Collar Radio on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Check him out at justinworsham.com.  There you can find out about his podcasts, his comedy albums and even check out his schedule to find out when he will be in your part of the country.

This is a pretty long episode.  Just another way you get more from your money here at Engineering Fatherhood.  Still, you might want to bring an extra diaper.

Thanks Justin!

Mark Owens
EF Intern
EF Headquarters
Somewhere on the internet

Engineering Fatherhood Episode 35

Comedian Justin Worsham