Get to Know a Mama… errr Dad! Kenny from Smonk You!

– What is your name and birthday?
Kenny, August 31 and I’m heading towards forty in a few years.

– Where are you located?
In the twin cities metro area… But a suburb… I live in a freaking suburb… I’m suburban.


– Where can we find you (on the web): and occasionally


– What are the names and ages of your children?

Miloh – 1.5 years young

– Why did you start a blog?
Because a friend told me I should since I have no filter and say what I want. Although I do have a filter and chose not to use it. I also did it as another creative outlet and an experiment that I’m not sure what I’m expecting to find or when it will be over. 

– Any blogging tips to share?

Don’t read blogs… I think that’s the opposite of the first rule of blogging but I really believe it. And I don’t mean read none… I mean don’t read the ones that are like the one you want to create… Maybe check them out before you start one but then stop… Or visit once a month. Once a year.

I didn’t read a single mommy, daddy blog or personal blog before I started writing mine… I also didn’t read my first daddy blog until I’d been writing for about a year… Maybe it shows. But I made my own thing and I like it.

I still read surprisingly few mommy/daddy blogs regularly… If someone reading this wonders if I read their blog the answer is yes. It’s the other ones I don’t read.

A lot of that has to do with time… If I have time to read it’s usually news or industry stuff (advertising, marketing and design).

Oh… And watermark your photos… People steal.


– Where do you see this whole crazy world of “mommy/daddy blogging” headed?

It’s hard for me to answer this without being cynical. The Wild West days are over… It’s pretty saturated and a lot of the terrain has been touched. That’s not to say there won’t be growth… But there’s more noise in there before you find good stuff. The over saturation also makes it easy for marketers (my world) to get really cheap advertising. I’m sure the ROI is pretty good for the impressions they get.

But people are reading more so maybe my cynicism is not warranted. I sound all negative about blogs but I do like them.

– Are there certain things you wont write about on your blog?

Yeah… A lot of stuff… I don’t get too personal… I try to not mention my wife a lot… She’s nicer than me and I don’t need to drag her into my sometimes cynical, sarcastic and snarky world anymore than I already do… And I really try to limit pics of Miloh now… I add a few but it get’s less and less and I’m selective… There are creeps out there. And I realize few or no kid pics is probably breaking a rule in dad blog land.


– What do you think of Vlogging?

I don’t care for it. I did two of them. One is me asking Miloh questions when he was three weeks old… He’s basically Jell-O® at that age so it’s funny. The other is a reprise. You will most likely not see me on camera… I’m better in person or in written word. Also I’m accustomed to being on the other side of the lens.

– Can you give us a list of things you recommend and why?

My wife finds the good stuff for Miloh as far as clothes and such. So I don’t have a good list.

I buy a lot of art for Miloh’s room and our house. I love posters and go to OMG Posters to find what’s new. A lot of great art posters, rock posters and occasional kid-worthy posters. I use it as inspiration and a way to spend cash.

From OMGPosters I found Megabolt. It’s an awesome project in which when you buy a sketchbook they give one to a kid in a hospital. Kind of a Tom’s shoes thing.

Also for art/posters I say check out
Ledouxville. He’s an amazing illustrator who I had the honor to work with on an awesome project. And now he’s a good friend. Also for every million dollars in sales he can attribute to me I get fifty cents.

I won’t go into my fave mommy bloggers because that get’s highschoolish if you don’t mention someone and they get upset… But here are some fave blogs. illustrations of missed connections notices Bogusky’s new project about consumerism, marketing and being concerned citizens… And I’m totally killing that description of them… Just check them out. street art. cool and inspiring.

– List a couple things on your mommy wish list:

I want a waterproof point and shoot camera… TBD on the brand. I have too many cameras but will most likely get one.
A Canon 35mm 1.4 lens but I’ll probably go cheap and get the f/2
Never buy a lens from Amazon… They don’t know how to pack the shipping box correctly. I sent one back three times. I pretty much only buy from B&H.
I want to go on a good snowboard trip this year… But we’re doing Mexico… Still I’ll get something decent in.
More time to do infographics
I wish I drank more wine. I love Red Guitar Navvara… Cheap but great.
I really wish I could find a great cup of espresso nearby but that’s just a crazy dream that won’t be fulfilled.

– Any favorite local area shops you’d like to give a shout out to?

Not really. I had fave local shops in Chicago. Not so much here. 

– Can we get a couple links to a few of your FAVORITE blog posts you’ve done?

This was an infamous one when I got a ridiculous comment… Pretty old though
I like this newer Day in the Life one
And here’s two good clips posts.

Questions from your very lovely readers:

Cheese and shoes and alcohol and food stuff:

– Do you s
hop online or do you go to stores for your shoes and clothing? Name your sources.
I go to Nordstrom Rack a lot. Then Banana Republic and maybe some other places. I also like Veer’s shirts and sweatshirts. Zappos and Puma for shoes.

– How many pairs of shoes does he own and is his wife jealous?

I have about five pairs of sneakers I wear regularly and 2 dress-ish shoes I wear when needed. But an off-hand count I have at least 15 sneakers and 4 dress shoes.

She probably is jealous of quantity but not style.

– Are you really allergic to cheese and/or eggs, or do you just despise them?

Technically I’m allergic to milk so I’d be allergic to cheese. But really it’s just totally disgusting in every way. That’s why I don’t eat it. As far as eggs I never liked them and don’t see why you’d eat one that wasn’t in a baked good.

– When going to a restaurant, does he request to sit in the “no cheese” section?

No, out of fear that Kristen Bell would be at said restaurant and I wouldn’t meet her since she would be in the cheese section.

– What’s your favorite kind of popcorn. Ball, loose, or caramel?

Popcorn on the stove in a pot with oil. A little salt on it. Maybe butter. I prefer those cool popcorns you get at a apple farm or specialty store but mostly do the normal stuff since it’s easier to find.

– Can he really grill, or does he just like showing off his tools?

I grill veggies and such. I used to make an awesome homemade veggie burger but the recipe escapes me… Once I figure that I’ll be a vegetarian grilling master again.

– What is your favorite ‘adult beverage’? 🙂

I would normally say Guinness for beer and a Salty Dog (vodka and grapefruit juice with a salted rim). But I had an awesome Rush River Unforgiven ale recently and that freaking rocked.

– Does he get carded for Alcohol? Not based on age, based on sanity.



– What is his worst and best dad moment?

I don’t think I’ve had a worst moment. I mean something had to be it technically but I can’t think of one. Best moments are when he’s going to sleep and I lie my head on his bed. He picks it up, looks me in the eyes and smiles. Then puts my head down.

– What is something that he thinks dad’s do better than mom’s?

We worry less about the small things.

– Why did you want to be a dad?

I don’t know. Societally I think we’re programmed to want kids. But I also think I wanted a little me running around and that looks like what we got.

– Is there any talk about a baby #2?

Yes and the answer is no. I always wanted one birth whether it was one kid or fifty. So I’m done. I feel we got really lucky with a healthy cool kid and don’t see why to have another. Plus we have some really close friends with a 5.5 year old so it’s like he has a brother from another mother and another father.

– What freaks you out the most about having a toddler?

Other kids. Kids I don’t know freak me out. Some kids I do know freak me out.

– How often do you change diapers… REALLY?

48 percent of the time. Staci and I switch of morning and night responsibilities pretty equally. I knocked it down by two percent since he get’s his diapers changed at school and such.

– Have you ever been pooped on? What about peed?

No poo. Almost peed on. It’s really skill and not luck.

– As a fellow dad, I’d like to know what your favorite dad workout is. I mean, we gotta stay “hot” for our ladies, right?

I don’t work out. I should because I’m getting to that age. In spring and fall I bike. In winter I snowboard. Once in a bit I decide to do Wii Fit often. I actually lost six pounds in 6 weeks doing it. 

– What has been your most embarrassing dad moment?

I had him on a flight alone once. The flight was supposed to be full but wasn’t. I was sitting next to a girl and said that they allowed people to get new seats because I wouldn’t want to sit next to a kid.

It was good advice because he was so freaking crazy active. His previous flights he slept. This one he turned on and off the light, opened and closed the window shade, threw his snacks on the ground, stood up and waved to everyone and more. I was embarrassed but he wasn’t doing any of it in a bad tantrum way. So at the end of the flight people said he was really good and that I was good with him… Still a bit embarrassing at the time.

– Were you a fan of Montessori before meeting the wife?

No, and she wasn’t all Montessori until we were married. Before she got her degree and became a Montessori teacher I thought Montessori kids were geeks. That’s probably just because the few at my school growing up that went to Montessori happened to be geeks.

– What’s up with all this floor bed stuff? i kinda want to do it too.

Floor beds are awesome in my opinion… But it’s also not easy. The basic idea is you make their whole room into a safe space so in reality that becomes the crib. It gives the kid a better sense of their environment and ownership of their space. It also allows them to explore in the morning, and whenever, so when they wake they don’t always cry to get you. They can move around their space instead of being in a crib they want to escape. My posts are here. Staci loves Sew Liberated as an at home Montessori source.

I recommend them, but it was tough with Miloh because he’s so active… Still I’d do it again but it’s easier when he is at his grandparents in the pack and play.

– What is your favorite way to de-stress?

Taking and processing photos (I shoot RAW), playing Wii and watching Netflix

– Favorite movie?
That depends on the day. I love Dead Man, Memento, and Shallow Grave. I also love Office Space. But I watch a lot of documentaries too, the only one I can think of right now since I’m tired is Exit Through The Gift Shop.

– Favorite book?
I love Malcolm Gladwells stuff… Also Devil in the White City, Siddhartha and Narcissus and Goldmund

– Favorite animal?

– Boxers or briefs?
Boxer briefs

– What makes you get all mushy inside?

Not sure… Miloh I suppose… Sounds cliche though.

– Did you have to threaten Chelsey with legalities to get on her blog like you did over at HarpersHappenings?! lol

I can’t talk about it… No actually I think she found me out in fear that I would threaten her with a lawsuit. She was lucky because my lawyer was drawing up the papers.

– If you and miloh were in a rock band together, what would your name be?

Lost Cat. Because if you had a show you’d just have to put the date on lost cat signs that were already up in your neighborhood… A friend and I thought of the idea years ago.

– Kenny if you had to be in a reality show which one would you be in and why?

Hmmm… Did you know I made the last call for the first Real World back in ‘92? Because I did. I wouldn’t mind doing Amazing Race. I’d also love to do something with Gordon Ramsey because while he’s an ass on the American shows he’s a super smart guy that really gets his business… Problem is it’s not my industry.

– If you could go back to your own birth, and be in charge of naming yourself, what name would you give… you? Or, would it still be Kenny?

At birth I’d probably name myself WAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH. But in reality I did change my name to Kenny. I changed my last name years ago and at the last minute decided to change from Kenneth to Kenny because I never liked Kenneth.

– There was a bird stuck in my garage today. How would he handle it?

I probably wouldn’t handle it because it has diseases like rabies, salmonella and ebola. Also because it’s in your garage and not mine so it isn’t bothering me.

– What is the dumbest question anyone has asked you?

It was actually to someone I worked with when I worked at a photo store… This was well before digital was in the hands of folks. A woman said that she lost her prints that she picked up and can we reprint them. We said sure but she needs to bring in the film. Then she said that she lost the film with the prints… Had no idea why we couldn’t reprint.

And, what every mom/dad wants to know: 😉

– Do you have a censored curse word you like to use in front of baby?

No. I swear in front of him. I should stop. I’m thinking “Freaking and Stuff” instead of “Fuck and Shit”. It’s because a camp counselor made us say them instead. Although I’m also thinking of saying “Funk with a C”

– Where is your favorite place in your home to get away from it all (like the baby meltdowns or to take a break)?

We have decent square footage at our place but not a good getaway since it’s a rowhouse. So I’m not really sure… If one of us needs to get away we let the other do that. When it’s me I head to a coffee house.

– What is your favorite parent related word (example: naptime)?

Ta-da. Maybe it’s not totally parent related but I taught it to Miloh for when I flip him around. He says it now and sometimes comes to me with arms extended and says it.

– What is you least favorite parent related word (example: poopy)?

Potty… It seems very feminine, probably because women more than men.

Thanks Kenny for being so awesome and answering all those questions! You are amazing. Don’t forget to visit him at Smonk You.

If you’d like to see my past Get to Know a Mama interviews… click here!


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One comment

  • Mirpal on said:

    Congratz for your blog, cool and useful stuff here, I love your articles, keep going.

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