Category Archives: Dad Stuff

Jasmine note

Sticky Notes for Santa (and select others)

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Notes for Santa under the tree

My daughter has moved from writing her alphabet to full words and phrases, and evidence of her recent practice explosion has been popping up everywhere. It all started as a desperate attempt to communicate her Christmas wish list to Santa.

Guardian of the Santa Notes

Guardian of the Santa Notes

After finally exhausting all Christmas wants and desires, she continued her momentum with a barrage of notes addressed to our pets. We found notes left for the animals on their food bowls.

Dog NotesWe also found notes on the animals.

Jasmine note

It’s been fun finding notes all over our house, but by far my favorite note is the very last one I found while tucking myself into bed after a looong day.

Bear Note

DIxie Cup Tower

Playing Hard is my #PowerOfDad

DIxie Cup Tower

I admit, I’ve been acting very childishly these last few years. I’ve spent a lot of time engaging in really silly, pointless stuff, like stacking Dixie Cups as high as the laws of physics will allow. I hide in the shadows with my Nerf Arsenal, sweating through the inevitable charley horses, yet remaining silent and motionless until my next victim strolls by.

My television diet consists almost entirely of cartoons, while my actual diet has recently featured ice cream after every dinner. Don’t worry though, I’ve been spending a lot of time on breakfast, the healthiest meal of the day, because it does take a really long time to make pancakes into the shapes of animals, comic book characters, and my kid’s names. Speaking of comic books, I’ve started collecting them again for the first time since I was a teen. The kids and I never miss our weekly Wednesday pilgrimage to the local comic book store. Some comics we read together, others are just for daddy. I haven’t just been wasting time though. I’ve become a master at many of life’s most useful skills, like papier-mâché, kite-flying, and all things bubble.

Bigger bubbles = Bigger smiles! @OralB #Powerofdad @lifeofdad

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Yeah, so that’s what I’ve been busy doing. Playing. I’ve been playing harder than ever. Having been an only child who was trying way too hard to act like a grown-up, it’s nice to have a second chance to play like a kid again. I have a great excuse, too, because these priceless, everyday opportunities to bond with my children belong just as much to them as they do me. I’m teaching my kids that it’s important for everyone, not just kids, to make time for play. I want them to smile wide and often. This is my #powerofdad.

The folks at P&G Oral Care get that it’s the day-to-day little moments in fatherhood that bring the biggest smiles.  That’s why they are teaming up with both the March of Dimes as well as “Football’s First Family,” New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning, his father Archie, and his daughter Ava, to encourage healthy and happy families and to celebrate wonderful fatherhood moments with their #powerofdad campaign. Check out their video that celebrates just that, and join in by sharing your own favorite fatherhood moments using the hashtag #powerofdad.

As Father’s Day approaches, I can’t think of a better way to keep the special father in your life smiling brightly than with the Oral-B 7000 BLACK toothbrush. This toothbrush is packed with industry leading technology that features 8,800 oscillations per minute, signaling for switching quadrants, a SmartGuide wireless display that lets you know you when have brushed thoroughly for the suggested amount of time, and Indicator® bristles that lets you know when to replace the brush heads. Did I mention that this baby accelerates to its top speed faster than an actual race car?

I’ve been supremely happy with my own Oral-B toothbrush (an older model), and was proudly surprised when my last two dentists asked what my secret was to super clean teeth. I’ve put it through the ringer for the last several years, but now it’s time for an upgrade and I’m stoked about the Oral-B 7000 BLACK. Fortunately, I can scoop up the #powerofdad coupon (and you can too!) for a fast $7 off the Oral-B 7000 BLACK toothbrush!  Pick one up for the special father in your life, and don’t forget to keep playing, smiling, and making those precious fatherhood memories!

Some last minute Memorial Day shopping. @LifeofDadShow @OralB #PowerofDad

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Disclosure: I partnered with Oral-B and Life of Dad, LLC for the #PowerofDad Father’s Day promotion and was compensated for my involvement.

Fashion for Fashionless Dads: Lee Modern Series Jeans Review

Lee Modern Series StraightIt seems that the conventional sentiment regarding fashion sensibilities of new dads is: they have none. Sadly enough, I often have no right debating this common assertion. I used to believe that I had exceptional style, but lately I’ve been delighted with myself just for getting into clothes that pass the “sniff test.”

Can you relate, dads? Do you reach for your favorite “holy” jogging pants and highly stained “World’s Best Dad” t-shirts so you can switch from rough-housing with the kids, to mowing the lawn, to taking out the trash? Has raising kids reinforced your stance of comfort over style? What’s the point of wearing a suit when your son is going to fling a banana peel at your front side, while your daughter is stamping you with markers on your backside, and your wife is pointing out the half-eaten meatball currently stuck to your bottom side? Yes, that may have actually happened.

During our newborn days in particular, I committed fashion faux pas with the same regularity as taking out the trash. Once, when leaving for work, I forgot to swap my red slippers with my dress shoes. I can now state with authority that Dorothy is a nickname that never gets old with co-workers.

Far worse was the time I was running late to work and left wearing two hats. I was on my way out the door when I spotted my favorite hat on the floor. My arms were too full to carry everything, so I threw it on top of the hat I was already wearing, thinking I’d stop and drop it off as I passed the coat rack. Efficient thinking, right? My irritation due to lack of sleep and always being late would soon be supplemented by the rude people who kept staring at me as I pumped gas. People have no manners nowadays, I thought. It wasn’t until after I paid my bill and was getting back into my car that I caught the reflection of the idiot wearing two hats.

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Granted, fashion takes a back seat when it comes to parenting, but there are times when you’ve got to step it up. The good news is clothing designers are beginning to cater to such needs. Take, for example, the Lees Modern Series line of jeans, which I had the opportunity to test out on a music gig last weekend. When playing music, comfort is a must, but it also has to be balanced with the reality that you’re on stage for all to see. Indeed, this would be the ultimate test!

So, how did my Lee Modern Series jeans rate providing style and comfort on stage? Well, the modern style wasn’t uncomfortable at all, as I had previously feared. The fabric had some stretch in it, unlike my usual baggy jeans. They were also softer than my old jeans right out of the box. I had some reservations when I realized that the waistline was lower than what I’m used to, but I adjusted quickly and the thought left my mind. Now, I don’t want to give the impression that I work the stage like dance fitness instructor, but I do need to move around quite a bit, and I was able to do so with ease and comfort. Because I can always be certain that I’ll look and feel great when I wear these, it will make being confident on stage that much easier.

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All in all, I’m extremely happy to find a pair of snazzy, modern jeans that don’t sacrifice comfort. I’m making them my go-to pair of jeans for casual music gigs, as well as for any other times when I need to look and feel my best. The only things I don’t plan on wearing my new Lee jeans with are red slippers or multiple hats.

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Final verdict: I give the Lee Modern Series jeans a Secret Dad Society seal of approval for both style and comfort!

Disclosure: Lee provided me with a pair of jeans for this review.

Find me on Facebook and Twitter for more Secret Dad Society content!

Holiday Gifts for Dads – Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities

Looking for a truly unique holiday gift for dads? Then check out Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities, which is available for pre-order on Amazon, shipping just in time for Christmas (12/17 according to Amazon, although the author expects preorders to ship in the first week of December). Inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog, the contents of Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities include a curated list from ten years of user reviewed tools, gadgets, and more featured on the Cool Tools website. Cool tools are described as “the best, the cheapest, or the only thing that works.” I can’t wait to get my own copy, which is precisely why I’ve already preordered it as an early Christmas gift to myself! I’m dreaming about perusing it with my kids on my lap, imagining all of the possibilities for future projects, and the adventures that will ensue.

The Unicorn Horn

Amera

My daughter was thrilled to pick up a “unicorn” for a whopping fifty cents at a yard sale this weekend. Wasting no time, I felt it my fatherly duty to explain to my her that, without a horn, it was technically just a pretty white horse.

Pretty White Horse

My daughter was having none of it. Meanwhile, I realized this to be a parenting blunder that could have easily been avoided if I’d just kept my stupid mouth shut. Next, just to seal my fate, I arranged a quick check of the Barbie of Swan Lake DVD cover, which further confirmed my daughter’s worst fear: Daddy was right. She had, in fact, bought just another pretty white horse.

There was no need to fear, however, because I’d already devised a plan to get myself out of this predicament and to make all parties happy. I had a stash of polymer clay sitting in the craft drawer for several months now, without an ounce inspiration for how to use it. A few globs of clay, a small screw, and fifteen minutes in the oven, and Amera was born (If my memory serves me right, the unicorn in the Barbie movie was named Lila. Not that it matters – I’m partial to Amera).

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Thank you, Mr. Bow Tie Guy

Bow Tie CarToday I happily took my son along with me to the comic book store to pick up the second issue of Jeff Lemire’s great new mini-series, Trillium. While I was helping little man out of his car seat, I couldn’t help but notice a smartly dressed man leaving the store, who happened to be looking our way and smiling. Of course, I thought to myself, “That’s right, my son and I ARE totally cute going to the comic book store together! And then we’re going to Wendy’s for Frostys!” A second glance, however, revealed that he was actually just admiring my front plate, because he too, was donning a sweet bow tie of his own. Even better!

After driving around for nearly six months since my car’s makeover, this genuine, unsolicited nod of approval just made my day. So, thank you, Mr. Bow Tie guy. Keep being cool.

Frosty time!

Frosty time!

Previously:

Introducing…Simon and his Red Bow Tie