Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday - The Acronym Post

Today is Thankful Thursday here at The DaddyYo Blog. Every Thursday my posts will be about being thankful for people, places, and things in my life. Today, it's family using acronyms!


Many smiles and laughs that we have shared
All the joy that you bring to my life
Rocking to music when you are feeling "daddyfied"
Love that can only be shared between dad and daughter
Every day that I have with you
Eternity of always having you in my life to love and cherish


Continuous energy that reminds me to sometimes just be a child myself
All the good times and bad times that have made our bond stronger and helped me be a better dad
Lots and lots of sugies and noseys
Every time we have danced or just lounged around on the couch.
Bringing joy to my life since the day you were born.


All the memories we have and the ones we will continue to make.
Perseverance through the toughest of trials that have only made our love grow stronger.
Road trips where we miss our destination, but it doesn't matter because we are together.
Immeasurable love I feel every time I look into your eyes
Loving me despite my flaws

**Photos by Pretty Please Photography. Thanks for the fun session we had and the awesome pics!**

Wordless Wednesday Post - Why I Do What I Do

Monday, April 26, 2010

Following the Footsteps

"Baby, there's something I need to tell you."
"What is it honey? Everything okay?"
"I'm pregnant"
*long pause*
"Honey are you okay?"

Yes, if you have children then you know that feeling that you get during the *long pause* part of that conversation. Many feelings, in fact, come along with it: fear, anxiety, joy, gratefulness, and the very common brain fart that follows when trying to find the right words to answer back with.

Being a new father is definitely one of the most confusing, trying, and at the same time, joyous and awe inspiring times in ones life.It can be more so when you are on the younger end of the age spectrum as well when the news of a new baby is announced to you. But for new fathers, younger and older alike, there is good news: There are plenty of dads who have come before, and plenty of dads going through the same emotional ride. You are not alone.

I have always felt blessed to have such great examples of what it truly means to be a dad in my life. My great grandfather, both my mom's dad and dad's dad, and of course my father , have all been such inspiration when it comes to what it means to be a daddy. Jim, Bo, and Hermann are no longer with us anymore, but the memories of these men and what they did for their families will always live on with me, and my father who I know I can always turn to when I'm stuck, or feeling inadequate as a father. They have all lived their lives for their families, and have been examples of what it means to be a dad to many.

I was 24 when my son was born, and becoming a dad was very exciting, yet scary to me. I found myself in a tornado of emotions. From happy and excited, to scared out of my pants. I questioned myself (as I still often do) about how good of a dad I would be. Would my children grow up to love me? Will they think I am a good father? How will I know what they need when they need it and know how to take care of them? Many, many questions raced through my mind both times my wife made the announcement of being pregnant. I think we all have questioned ourselves as dads, and many of us still do.

This day and age, we are now blessed with things like Twitter, Facebook, and, for new dads and nervous dads, Dad-Blogs galore! I have really enjoyed the connections with other dads online and have learned much from reading other dad blogs. There is a wealth of information to be found online, as well as the content to be found in knowing that you are never alone.

As dads the world (and web) over seek to redefine the roll of the Dad and become more engaged in the lives of their children, it is awesome to know that for new and for younger dads, there are people out there who can tell you "I've been there" and "I know exactly what you are going through". I have found that generally, I am 7 to 15 years younger than the majority of other dad and dad-bloggers I talk to online. It is great to know that I can read their past blog posts, or just chat them up and learn from their experience and knowledge. It's a great outlet for all new and young fathers alike when the feelings become too much, and you feel like losing it.

So young and new dads learn this: You are NEVER alone in your fears and anxieties. There are dads who have come before us. There are our own dads, granddads, and dads online that have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. There are footsteps to follow so you will never be on a path untraveled. And as we grow older, and our children start to go through the same things, we can live our lives as examples to them, so that they too, will not be alone.

**Original Picture (before edit and border) by Pretty Please Photography. Thanks for the awesome pictures and the fun time that we had!**
Friday, April 23, 2010

My Personal Declaration of Revolution

My Goals:
*To rid myself of vices that harm my body and commit to taking better care of myself not just for my sake, but for my children, my wife, and my family, so I will be around for them for many more years to come.
*To become the best dad my children have seen me be so they may know that I am more than just a "father figure". I am their DaddyYo and I will always be their DaddyYo.
*To be more involved in the lives of my kids. Not just giving more baths, or being there for more feedings. But to truly be involved and dedicated to them. To learn more about them, their likes and dislikes, routines, ect. To make myself more available to them whenever they are hurt, scared, or just want to play.
*To take on more duties when it comes to the care of my children and household responsibilities. To relieve my wife of more duties and show my children that I am more than just a working stiff and playmate. To be more involved in the daily aspects of family life and responsibilities.
*To become a better husband for my wife. To be more committed to her happiness. To be a better listener and helper. To work with her, and not against her. To commit to the vows I took and the promises I made with my heart to her. To love her fully and unconditionally from now till death.
*To live my life with integrity, with conviction, and to the fullest. To live my life not only as I wish to, but as an example to others. To live my life according to my beliefs and convictions and not according to anyone's opinion. To make the most of my life, and treasure it as it is a gift, not a guarantee.

I admit that I have not lived my life the way I wish I had. I admit that I can better myself, and in turn, become a better dad, husband, and friend.

I realize that the path will not be easy, and I may fall along the way. I understand that if I want to succeed in revolutionizing myself and evolving in to the man, the dad, and the husband I wish to be, that I must be strong willed, and I must ask for the support needed to accomplish my goals.

I commit myself to being the best father, husband and friend that I can be. To let nothing hold me back in life. I commit myself to the standards I have set for myself and to never letting these standards fall to the back burner.

I promise myself, my children, my wife, my family and friends to always be there for them. To being a source of strength and hope to my children, a source of love and security for my wife. I promise my family and friends to always be a man of love and integrity, to being there in times of need and supporting in times of triumph.

From this day forward, I commit myself to revolutionizing my heart, soul, and mind, and to becoming the man I have been called to be in life. To being the dad that my children deserve, and the husband my wife needs me to be and commited her life to.

This is my declaration of revolution. This is my promise.

Time for Change - Revolution of Soul (Where do we go from here?)

The whole purpose of this short series of blogs "Revolution of Soul" was to put my personal thoughts out for public view. I hope that maybe some people who viewed the series got something from it, and if not, oh well. I feel better for having put it out there anyway. I am not a professional of any field and I fully understand that some people may have viewed this series as absolute absurdity. Makes no difference to me.

So now that it is over, where do we go from here? I have written about personal revolution, setting goals and obtaining the support that it takes to make life changes. But what happens when the pen is laid down? What happens when our computers and phones are off and the hype and talk of "The year of the Dad" isn't constantly in our faces? Can we keep the revolution personal and keep the fire with us without it being accesible by means other than our hearts and minds?

Conviction, personal will, and support. As with quitting smoking, giving up vices, religious awakenings, or what have you, conviction, personal will, and support are all vital to carrying on and achieving the goals we set for ourselves. We have to have the personal conviction and personal will power to say, I WILL and I CAN do this, and see it through until the desired goals are achieved. These two qualities are essential, not just for achieving short term goals, but for seeing it through and carrying the accomplishment with you for a lifetime. If you can't make a commitment to yourself, then you can't make a commitment to anyone.

And as with any decision that affects you for a lifetime, support is a must. Family, friends, pastors or other religious leaders, online friends and support groups. It is my belief that support from the outside can be the difference between success and failure. We cannot be afraid to let people know of major decisions we have made, and ask for their support, however they can give it, to help us make it through.

Now let us go out, show the world that we are not just your average dad. Let us go out and show the world we are evolving personally. We are dads of integrity, dads of conviction, dads with purpose. We are the modern age dad. We change diapers, give baths, play and care for our children. We are dads committed to being more and more involved in the lives of our children and willing to take on more roles in our fatherhood than dads before us. Let us revolutionize our hearts and souls, and evolve into being more than just a father. Let us be the dads we want to be, and let nothing stand in our way.

And as always, let us KEEP ROCKIN!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time for Change - Revolution of Soul (goals)

Revolution without goals is nothing short of complete chaos.

It's all great to sit around and talk of revolution and evolution and becoming better people, but it has no basis without goals. Whether it's personal goals, family goals, marital goals, and so on, without a goal, there is no point in trying to better ourselves.

So how does this relate to the Dad Revolution and the Revolution of Soul? Well, we are wanting to change the way the world views fathers, and we are in the process wanting to better ourselves and our own roles as fathers. To do this, we must know what it is we want to achieve. Where are we wanting our lives to go and what direction are we wanting to take our fatherhood roles in? What exactly are we hoping to achieve when all is said and done and the history has been written?

There have been many goals that I have set for myself during my life, and in total honestly, I have failed at reaching the majority of them. However, none have seemed as important to me as becoming a more engaged and involved father. So I sit here, thinking while I type, what exactly do I want to accomplish? Who is this father that I want to become?  How is he me evolved? and more important, how am I going to get there?

It all starts with setting realistic goals. I know I won't instantly wake up and be "father of the year" and loved the world over by parenting experts. And honestly, I don't think I will ever become my mind's model of "the perfect father". But there are some ways I KNOW I can better myself, and it will take setting the right goals and taking the right steps to get there.

Life is not easy, and as my mom has always told me, pipe dreams are under the bed. Setting small, realistic goals, instead of the big picture goal, will help us ensure that we transform ourselves and transcend the typical "TVDad" image. Revolution and evolution of self cannot be obtained from simply wishing.

Set goals for yourself. Think about what steps you will need to take to reach these goals. Talk to your family members, friends, blog followers, whoever you feel comfortable with, and get support as you take these steps. Remember why you are doing this in the first place, set your eyes forward, don't look down and don't look back.

and of course, KEEP ROCKIN!

Time for Change - Revolution of Soul (What the revolution means personally)

Revolution has many different meanings. One meaning taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is "a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something". Very well put as it relates to the dad revolution that is sweeping into the dad-blog world. A change in the way of thinking about something. This dad revolution is about changing the way fathers are viewed and they way we are thought of by mainstream society. But the revolution, to me, is defined in so many ways. So as it relates to this series of posts, this is how I view it.
I want to become the best father that I can be. And I can honestly admit that I m not that father right now. (and it may be possible I never will be). But in order to become a better father, there are parts of my life that have to change. I have to "revolt" against different ideas, beliefs, habits, and thoughts and become firm in who it is I want to become as a father.

A recent post,  @Wrath66** talks about like this "I don’t know that I feel the need to revolt so much as evolveAs I’ve thought about becoming a father over the past eight months, I’ve consistently thought of it in terms more evolutionary than revolutionary"I have thought on it all morning this morning and it has, in some ways, reshaped my views on what is going on. I mentioned to him later on that I can see it as the need to "revolt" against the me I am now in order to "evolve" into the father I desire to be.

When most people think of the word "revolution" they associate it with politics, violence, changes in power or social structure. As it relates to the Dad Revolution, it means changing the view the world in general has of the rolls of a father and the father's way of thinking about his own roll. Revolution has to start in the heart and soul. You cannot expect the world (or your closest circle of friends for that matter) to believe in what you are saying and doing if you cannot believe in it yourself.

In the sense of "evolution", the Dad Revolution not only calls for a change in the way others view us as fathers, but it challenges us to evolve in our fatherhood to be so much more than how we are viewed. For myself, it means growing in to a father of integrity. A father of equal importance in his childrens' lives as his female counterpart. To become a more engaged and involved father, no matter how it is seen to everyone else. 

In order for all this to be achieved, no matter what you want to call the movement going on, we must decide in our hearts that we want to be the best father we can be, and we will no longer let other areas of our lives, or views of the world, stand in our way of becoming this "new and improved" daddy. We must believe in our hearts the words we write and speak. We must decide in our minds that this is what we want, and nothing, not even our current selves, is going to keep us from becoming a better father, and the kind of father we desire to be. We must be able to stand up, with absolute conviction, and say "Today, I make the decision that I will be more than the father I have been. And the world will see this and wake up to the new roll fathers all over the world are taking on". 

The revolution must start in the heart, it must be personal and real. It must be more than a social movement, it must be a personal movement as well. Without our hearts being at the forefront, we have no leg to stand on. Fathers of the Dad Revolution, let us be in this with our hearts and souls. Let us not only revolt, but evolve personally and let the world not only see that we are not the fathers portrayed, but we are not, personally, the fathers we were before.

Thanks for your time, and as always, KEEP ROCKIN!!!

**Take a few minutes to check out the blog from @Wrath66. A lot of good stuff going on there. Check it out! Thanks man for letting me cite you in this post and for the thought provoking post on your blog. Keep ROCKIN!**

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Time for change - Revolution of the Soul (the introduction)

A lot of ROCKIN stuff has been taking place in the world of the daddy blogger and it has everyone fired up. As well they should be. With the upcoming Modern Media Man Summit in Atlanta this September and the launch of the Dad Revolution site, there is plenty to be fired up about. I myself am pretty stoked to see these come about and I throw my full support behind both.

So I started thinking about what it means to me to "revolutionize" my fatherhood and what it says of me to say that I am one to support all this. I am all for seeing the typical "TVDad" model of fatherhood smashed into a thousand pieces in the street and run over by every child who owns a tricycle. I think it's great to see so many dads and dad bloggers standing up to say that we are engaged fathers who take great joy in the role we have in life and in the fact we can hold up just as well (or almost as well) as our counterparts.

Then I dug really deep and realized : This is not just about revolutionizing the way fatherhood and fathers are viewed, but this is the perfect opportunity for us to revolutionize ourselves. It's a great time to take inventory of our lives, our hopes, our goals, our standards and beliefs. Time to take the revolution truly to the heart and soul and not only carry the torch of the "face of fatherhood" but to challenge ourselves to be the best we can be, not just as fathers, but as human beings.

In the next few posts I will discuss different ways in which we can revolutionize our souls, as well as the image of fatherhood, and will open myself to you and share the revolution that is taking place in my own life. We all want to be the best fathers we can, but it is my belief that revolution has to happen in the heart and the soul, before it can become the wildfire of change in society.

Thanks for your time and as always, KEEP ROCKIN!

You Want a Revolution?

This was written and originally posted on my Tumblr a few days ago. I moved it here today. 

Original Post from

This morning something totally ROCKIN happened : The Dad Revolution was launched. A group of dads who have started the movement to change the image of what it is to be “daddy”. Fathers coming together to break the mold created by the typical “TVDad” image portrayed in media and tv and show that there are plenty of fathers out there who can change a diaper, make great clothing choices for their kids, take care of and nurture their kids, just like their female counterparts. Here is my take on what is going on.

Let me first state this: I am in NO WAY against the writes of women and mothers. I am not here to put them down or take away from the glory they deserve. We all know we wouldn’t be here without a mother. Maybe that’s why we have Mother’s Day (just saying). And I can easily acknowledge that my wife generally knows more about what’s up with our two kiddos more than I do. But let’s not let that mean that I know nothing. The reason behind the revolution in the first place.

I consider myself a “decent” father. My children stay fed, they are healthy, learning in leaps and bounds, and they know they are loved. I view my role as father like this: It is my responsibility to make sure my children (and my wife) have the basic necessities of life. It is my responsibility to make sure I do everything in my power to provide for them in any way possible. It is up to me to make sure my children know how much their father loves them, and to be here when they are hurt and to uplift them in times of triumph. 
I am here to share the parenting responsibilities with my wife, to be an equal member of the parenting team when it comes to the care of our children. I am here for bedtime, naptime, bath time, play time, outside time, inside time. 

I think it is important for dads who are engaged with their children and in their role as a father to embrace the awesomeness that is “dadhood” and show the world that we are not just merely men who work and father babies. We are daddies. We are committed to our children, to being the best  daddy we can be, and to showing the world that “parenting” isn’t just for mommy anymore.

I am very proud to be a father to my two wonderful, beautiful, smart, messy, funny, annoying, sometimes smelly children. And I am very proud of the fact that I can take care of when mommy is gone. Proud that nothing gets broken or smeared everywhere. Proud that we spend a lot of time laughing and playing and eating junk food when mommy is gone. Proud of the fact that my children know I am their daddy and that daddy is always here for them.

Proud fathers, join us. Show the world that we do know what we are doing, that we do love our children with a love that cannot be outlived or outdone. That we are involved fathers who take joy in the daily grind of dadhood and at the end of the day, realize that it was all worth it, and worth doing again tomorrow. 

Being Someone Great - Hopes for my Children

All fathers have their own fears for their children when they are born. 
Mine were the fear they wouldn’t love me, the fear they were 
“breakable” and the most defining fear for me : The fear they would 
end up just like me. Not  physically, but in the sense of who they would 
become later on in life.

My reasoning behind this fear: I am 27 years old, a college dropout, 
working at Applebees making only 75 cents more than  I did when I 
started 2 1/2 years ago. I have no clue what I would want to do if I went 
back to school because I honestly don’t know what I would be good at. I 
am constantly trying to be a mediator in a battle of paycheck vs bills 
every 2 weeks.

Not the best way to be living, although don’t get me wrong, I know I am 
a lot better off than a lot of people, and I’ve been a lot lower in my own 
life to be able to still appreciate things like a roof, a shower, and of 
course having my family near me. 

I know when I die, most people won’t remember my name, or where I 
have worked, or even what I was most known for. I do hope people will 
remember what kind of spirit I had (if they think it’s a kind one) and what 
I did in my life for other people.

For my children, though, I do not want them to grow up and have to 
struggle. I do not want them to have to know the frustration, the stress, 
and the strain on life that exists in the world. I want them to go on to 
much better things than I have in my life.

I don’t wish for them to be famous movies stars, athletes, or musicians. 
I don’t wish for them to have a large bank account that affords them the 
riches they will never need. But I wish for their greatness.

Greatness defined : When my children have grown old and passed, I 
want people to remember them. I want them to have been people of 
integrity, people of immeasurable kindness, people of unshakable 
conviction. I want people to stand around and remember them as 
people who always put family first and did what they had to for their 
family. I want them to be known the world around for their acts of love 
and their words of truth. 

I want them to shine I light on the world that will never fade, never grow 
dim, and never be unseen. I want them to shower the world with a love 
that can be felt by all and a greatness that can really be admired. Not for 
 their worth, or talents, or products.

I sometimes feel I have failed my children in that I haven’t lived my life 
like this, and thus I have a fear they will end up like me. I feel that my 
inabilities and instablilties will not show them a life of “greatness” like I 
spoke of earlier. I pray for the strength to change myself to live with 
this greatness for the hopes that my children will one day be great. 

Top Ten Lessons I have Learned from my Kiddos

 I have been a proud father for 3 years now. Doesn’t seem like that long but in dad years it is. And in those 3 years I have learned many many things from my children. These are the top 10.

10) Cranky = Powerful … I know what you are thinking: “No cranky equals ANNOYING!”. Yes this is a true statement, but being the most easily determined observation, it blinds us to the secret power that lies behind the tears and screaming, and lurks under the time out chair like a snake waiting in tall grass. Under times of extreme stress, most parents have found themselves doing whatever it takes to calm their children down. And yes, even the best parents in the world can say they have given in before and met every demand until peace had filled the dwelling place, or eating establishment, or airport, or wherever the tantrum takes place. This gives the child ultimate control (and for the effort put forth) the power they feel when it is all over. 

9) Cuteness = Even more Power … Part 2 to the aboved mentioned power comes the power of being just too darn cute for their britches. After most heated battles in our house between parent and child (most the time my 3yo) comes acts of cuteness, and kidness, and I’m talking sugar, spice, all things rice. It gets laid on us like a 100 pound sack of wet rice, and both my wife and I tend to become putty. It’s the power to bring your shields completely down as well as gain their much wanted love, affection, and for the most part, attention. The wide puppy dog eyes, the slow walk over to you, the bear hug, and the soft “sugie” are weapons of mass destruction on your defensive front for control of the house.

8) They meant it! … Long before their language skills are developed enough to ramble on for hours about their favorite toy, children communicate through babble and gibberish and when it seems like they are letting you have it, they probably are!!! Okay, maybe not fussing at you, but when they look serious about what they are trying to communicate, they know exactly what they are saying and they mean it! 

7) Anything you can do I can do too! … Children develop very quick and in no time you find yourself with a “mini-you” following your every footstep, hanging onto every word you say, and closely studying your every move. And ultimately this means everything you do and say, your children will do their best to do and say as well. Everything from “Uh-oh” and “Pee-Pie” to The electric bill is HOW MUCH?!?!’ your children will try desperately to repeat. Not only an excellent way to try to learn and use new language skills, but to try to be just like the people they love and depend on the most. Everything from the way you dance, to shaving, to your body language when you talk, they will try their best to do. Any body language you display quickly becomes a part of their communications (and occasionally becomes a dance skill to them). Then of course is what they consider “cool adult stuff”. No, not that. Talking about washing dishes, talking on the phone, using the hair dryer. These are fascinating actions to go through for them and it is none the cooler to be able to perfectly imitate them to you for your approval.

6) No matter what your friends, your boss, or your parents tell you, you can be anything or anybody you want to be … Playing ball, playing Spiderman, playing house, playing school. These are just a small sampling of answers you could get to the question “what are you doing?” A child’s imagination is wild and ,sometimes, flat out entertaining and hilarious. They have the ability to be whoever they want and do whatever they want, at just about any time that they want to. It is fascinating to watch all the different people they can be and places they can go without ever leaving the living room. If they want to be the soccer monster, then they are the soccer monster. If they say the stuffed elephant is a dinosaur, then it is. When Caleb walks out of the room and says he’s going to the house, then that’s where he is going. In the land of the imagination, everything is possible. You can be anything, anybody, anywhere, any time you want.

5) Bedtime does not always mean peace and quiet, relaxation time, or alone time … Ah, the night sky has risen, the crickets are chirping and the kiddos are tucked away in bed for the *whining on the baby monitor* … I’ll be right back … Okay where was I? Oh yes, *whining on the monitor again* … Excuse me. “Caleb lay down and go to sleep you don’t need any water.” ….. As I was saying, the kiddos are tucked in bed and I’m now praying with all my might they will sleep now till sunrise. The downside to bedtime with children, and adults for that matter, is that you never know when a tummy ache, nightmare, or a good ole sleep walking incident will interrupt what could easily be the best part of any young parent’s day. Night time is the time you look forward to the most when there can be silence and peacefullness. But we all have those nights where it just seems that it’s written in stone that you will look like a raccoon with bags under your eyes the next day. 

4) You are a hero no matter how much you feel you have failed … All of us parents go through times where we feel like we have ultimately failed our children. When they get hurt, when they are angry at us, or when things just don’t seem to be going right at all in life. But no matter what is going on in your life, you are always a hero to your children. You are superhuman to them. Our children depend on us for their well being as well as their emotional stability. When they get a boo boo and you kiss it better, you are their hero. When they are sad and you can find a way to make them laugh, you are their hero. Even when all you have done is something they consider extraordinary and super cool, you are their hero. No matter what life is throwing at you and how difficult it is to handle, you are still a hero to them. And with that, you can have a little peace of mind even in the toughest of situations just knowing that someone in this world still thinks you are a hero.

3) Actions speak louder than words … Everything from the discipline of our children, to arguments with our spouses, to cheering for our children at their soccer games, actions we display speak to them a lot louder than our words. Just as much as they are watching and trying to imitate everything we do, children are also trying to learn when to use certain actions and words. And most the time, the actions are more easily used than the language skills. They will learn about flailing their arms, hitting things, the action of putting your finger to your nose in an attempt to silence them. What to do in stressful situations, or happy occasions, or in times of sadness, are all things our children will learn from us before learning anywhere else. ALL of our actions are observed and repeated. And this should call us to be vigilant and choose carefully our actions for they will affect evn the littlest of people, the kiddos.

2) Faith like a Child … Kids will believe just about anything you tell them. “Daddy, I wanna watch football birds”. “Sorry son, football birds is broken. Why don’t we watch Blues Clues?” … “ALRIGHT!!!” See how easy it was to change the programming choice? The same rings true with almost anything you tell a child. Children have a blind faith that the Vatican only wish it had. Children cannot see around little lies and truth bending we do to avoid certain situations. They have blindness to real world events and hardcore adult feelings. If you tell them you are okay, then you are. If you tell them you are sad, then you are. Even in play time, you tell them you are a dragon that’s going to “skit” them, then you are a big fire breathing dragon. A child trusts their parents and cloase relatives and friends because they do not no anything different. All the way from first time spending the night away from home to the first night spent in their college dorm, our children trust our judgement and our words withh 100% blind faith, a faith we seem to lose when we grow up and become aware of a lot more. But it’s a faith that is not to be taken for granted, to be inspired by, and to remain in awe of.

And the most important lesson I have learned from my children: To love without boundaries, is to love without hesitation, without question, and with an open heart. All parents love their children with a love like none other. Stronger even than the love you have for a spouse, or family member, or family pet. And the love children have for their parents is without a doubt a love that can never be explained, never be reciprocated, and always make you feel better than a triple stacked ice cream cone on a hot southern afternoon. A child’s love is as blind as the faith that allows this love to exist. It’s a love that says you will never know how much you mean to me and how much I appreciate you in my life. A love that reminds us all, that in the face of uncertainty, and in a world that seems to crumble away day by day, there is a reason for hope, and a reason to look towards the future with blind ambition. 

What it Means to be "Daddy" and "Hubby"

So I recently began noticing this trend on the web concerning fatherhood. This trend that fathers do not get the respect that they deserve and everything is geared towards mommy. That as dads we should stand up and be noticed in the roll of child raising and responsibility we carry. That we should fight against the mommy geared world and let our voice be heard. 
Maybe being a father doesn’t exactly strike gold at an interview or in social outlets, but it does mean more than a world of gold to our children and wives. And I think we have lost focus of that. Maybe I am alone in this thought but I figured I would share my view anyway.

Being a father and being a husband should not be categorized the same way being as they are two different worlds that must be balanced in your life. Fatherhood may not have the same glitter to it that it used to, but you can’t be too busy blaming this and that for it. Instead I think we should be more active in our own parenthood so that our children and wives do not view us as the rest of the world may.

As a father the primary focus should be what your children think of you, not networks and retail stores. I know very well that the world is always more “mommy friendly” but that doesn’t mean our children are. Stay at home dad, or working dad like myself, we are all fathers, and that is the bottom line. 

I may not know as much as my wife, who is a stay at home mother, because I don’t have the interaction time she does with my children. But I do not view this as an obstacle to overcome in my life. I view it as an opportunity. Any time that I am home, or I am out with my children is a time for them to see what kind of father they have. I am by no means father of the year, but I try my best to make sure my children know that no matter what, I am always here for them to protect them, teach them, guide them, and play with them. I am here to nurture them when I can and show them that the love their father has is unmatched by any other. 
My wife knows more about what size clothes they wear, where the best deals are on diapers and wipes, and how to discern the different cries. She knows their facial expressions and mannerisms  better than I may ever know them. But I do not resent her for that, nor do I think I should fight against people who think the same thing. It does not make me a bad father that she knows more. 

Husbanddom is the same. I support my wife no matter what. I do not resent her for the knowledge of my children she has and I would never fight against anything that is a benefit to her. I think that as a husband, it is my job to listen, to put aside the outside views and be the best husband I can be. To love her, support her, and praise her for the roll she has in our family. 

I do not think it is right to spend much time arguing that I am not equal to her, because in a lot of ways I am not, and that’s the way it is. Instead, I think we should be more pro-active in supporting and uplifting our wives for their rolls, whether it means admitting they know more or you are equal to them. The real sign of a man is being one who can humble themselves and acknowledge that they may not be equal in all aspects and that is okay.

I know this seems like a ramble, but I think another voice in this whole “mommy vs daddy” struggle needed to be heard. Please comment with your opinion whether you agree or not. I’m curious as to how people feel about this.

Hell Hath No Fury like Half a Stale Cheesie

My son was just over a year old when his real passion for cheesies became full blown.

Those orange, crunchy, messy, delicious little snacks that just about every child in america has eaten by the age of 2.

He loved those things. (still does!) After a long day of running circles around the apartment and wearing daddy out, the time had come to call in the elite task force of cheesies to occupy him so I could relax a moment.

I laid a few cheesies on the floor and immediately he has one in each hand and his face is the color of a basketball. I use this opportunity to use the bathroom in peace and catch a cig under the exhaust fan.

I look back down just in time to find the little booger pulling half a cheesie from under the edge of the fridge and slowly bringing it to his mouth. My instant reaction: LORD KNOWS HOW LONG THAT HAS BEEN DOWN THERE!!!

I snatch the above mentioned cheesie from his hand and in a cute voice say “Ewww, thats nassy!”. And then it hit me: My sons hand comes in swift contact with my leg, his eyes fill up with tears, and the crying commences.

In great desperation to calm him down I drop this cheesie back on the floor to pick him up. Before I can get my hands in his armpits, the cheesie is in his mouth, he is quiet and content.

That is when I learned one of parenthoods greatest lessons: Hell hath no fury like half a stale cheesie.

Kiddos Love it When Daddy Acts Stupid

In my 3 years being a father there is one lesson out of the thousands I have learned that can save you in the most sanity-testing situations you may find yourself in. The lesson is silly yet simple: Cranky babies love it when daddy acts stupid.

Of course the preferred choice of distraction still remains snacks, jumping on the bed, or watching YouTube videos, but sometimes that doesn't work and you find yourself developing a very serious case of "Ohmygoshthesekidsaredrivingmenutsitus". It was during a heavy episode of above mentioned condition that I found myself feeling and acting stupid and my kids LOVED IT!

A few tips on how digressing o the mentality of the children will not only calm them down and solve your sanity issue of the time, but remind you what it is like to be a child and allow you to live a few moments with not a care in the world.

Exhibit A: Caleb has just finished a 10 minute lap race around the downstairs of the apartment and in his tired state has run straight into the wall, head first. He comes running up, eyes full of tears, barely able to catch a breath between screams and says "Daddy my head! Daddy my head!". My very first attempt to calm him with "awww my poor buggaboo it's okay" was an epic fail and the tears continued. So then I tried "Would you like some cheesies or some gummies?". Once again, epic fail. The crying continued.

Thinking he might be really hurt I ask him what hurts. "My head" he says. So I start to play doctor with him. After looking his head over thoroughly with a few hmmmm's and aha's I notice he is starting to grin. So I pull back from him real fast and yell "AHA!!! IT'S YO HEAD!!!" ... and he loses it. Laughter cannot be contained and I thought he was going to explode. I do this over and over and over till he gets the hiccups. Acting stupid cured it!

Exhibit B: Everyone knows there is nothing funnier than the sound made while breaking wind. Especially if you are a kid. My daughter Marlee, having just learned to pull up, is easily distracted by having "poot poots" blown on her feet. This comes in handy quite often as she learns the hard way what she can and can't do yet.

The stairs offered a new challenge to her just a few weeks ago. After a few tries she finally gets in standing position with her legs up against the bottom stair. And, as nature calls for, gravity set in and the Pooties went down. She quickly sits up, looks at me with those adorable, yet sad, puppy dog eyes, and the wailing begins.

I rush over and pick her up as quick as possible. Immediately I realize "it's okay" is not going to work. So I do the only thing I can think of. I lay Marlee down on her back and grab her feet. In the silliest voice possible I say "Isa ..... gonnna....BLOW POOT POOTS ON YOUR FEET!!" and blow a raspberry on her foot. The tears recede, the angelic smile returns, and the laughter begins. I never knew such a little human was capable of such laughs. To add to this, she breaks a little wind of her own while laughing and Caleb hears it. Trying not to fall over from laughing so hard he runs over to me, proudly opens his mouth and says "MARLEE YOU FARTED!!!". Loving her brother so much, and always wanting to imitate, she squeals with delight and laughs till she spits up.

I love my children. They are my world and my life. And I have learned so much from them, not just about parenting, but about how to be a child every now and then and just let the fears of the world subside in your mind. Whether rich, or poor, big city, or country bumpkin, if you have children, there is an escape from the world like none other. By being my silliest (and sometimes my dumbest) I digress back to a time where the worst that could happen was my favorite ball going down the gutter, or hey wait, nobody is watching me. To a time where the most important thing is playtime. Where I am free to be who I want, when I want. To be the child, laughing, running in circles, jumping on the bed, and blowing bubbles in the bathtub.

Kids like it when you act stupid in front of them. Maybe it's a keen sense of feeling smarter than you or the sense of I'm not different. But I think it's the bond that is made when you allow yourself to not only be a parent, but a best friend. The world doesn't always have to be so grown up, and sometimes, neither should we.