Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Letter From Caleb's Teacher to Parents

The picture below is a scanned copy of the letter that Caleb's preschool teacher gave to parents on the first day of school. It was very moving, and yes, I cried a little the second time I read it. Man enough to admit it! I just wanted to share this with everyone. I think it is great to have teachers who understand completely the emotions tied to leaving your kids at school for the first time, and to also have teachers who are willing to come out and say that they have love for their students in a way that makes them feel at home when they are there, and makes you feel better when leaving the kiddos behind. We are blessed to have gotten to know his teachers before he was enrolled. They are great people with big hearts and a passion for what they do. Here is the letter we received. Thanks to Caleb's teachers for making us feel comfortable, making Caleb feel welcomed, and wearing your hearts and passions on your sleeves for all parents to see.

The Challenge is Made: What Do I Do Now?

For those who don't know, Aaron from fatherfolk.com recently posted a letter on the site entitled "And Open Letter to the Dad Revolution". Click on the link to read the letter in its entirety before moving on with this response. It is important to read it all the way through and see what the letter was all about to begin with. There is also a good response to this written by James over at SAHD in Portland, which I think you should also read. A great take on what has been said as well. 

Read them?

Read them all the way through?

Okay, we can move on then. My take on the letter:

First off, let me say, that I deeply respect the opinions of others, and I am a big fan of what goes on over at fatherfolk.com ... I read them daily and hopefully will be meeting with a few folks this month. And I deeply respect the ideology behind the challenge that was made in the letter.

I do, however, disagree that writing about what we do is "the new just showing up". There are millions upon millions of dads who do not show up at all, and many of whom probably can't even tell you their children's middle names.  The ratio of uninvolved dads to engaged, knowledgeable dads is still way off the charts, though the trend towards more dads becoming involved with their children is becoming very apparent. Most of the bloggers I know, those at Dad Revolution, and all around the online dadosphere are engaged dads. Writing about what we do  and our experiences is just our medium for sharing with others. The return of this, of course, is a great network of dads who support each other, listen to each other's experiences and learn from each other as well all are along for the ride of parenting.

I agree with Aaron, and many other dads, that being "good enough" is NOT good enough. Not for this guy anyway. I don't want my wife to be able to say "oh well he is good enough as a dad". I want to be known as a great dad, an involved dad, a dad who knows his children and is capable of raising them and being the dad that they need. It is a struggle, yes, but it IS possible to be more than "good enough". 

The term "revolutionary" means so many things to so many people. Though, my personal belief as the term relates to being a member of Dad Revolution, is not that of trying to change the world on a greater scale so it is better when my children grow up, but something on a smaller scale. Like, my children smaller. The "Dad Revolution", to me, is not about making a statement about the grander social scale, but playing on the level of dads everywhere. I do not think it is possible to change the world as it is, but it IS possible for us to raise our children, as the future of the world, to be more understanding, to look for similarities between them and others, not the differences. I believe if we want to see the world change, then the change begins with us, and how we raise our children.

I accept the challenge from  Aaron on this level: As a member of Dad Revolution, and just a dad in general, I will do more to show other dads what I believe it to mean to be an involved parent. I will be more proactive in encouraging and challenging other dads to become more engaged with their children, and more active in their roles as parents. We can teach our children equality, we can teach them to love, to be gentle, and to be kind. We can help other dads who seek to be the best dad they can be in understanding that as the future or the world, the way we raise our children, and who we raise our children to be, will be what the world is in the future.

How do you change a whole world full of dads? I have no clue. I know how I can change myself, and share that change with other dads, and I will continue to try and encourage other dads to be more than "good enough" and to be the best dad they can be. I will try to live a life that is in accord with what I write, and what I believe in, as "walking the walk" is more important than "talking the talk". Anyone can say anything, but we are called to do more than just talk!

Aaron, thank you for the spirit of challenge, and for pointing out to us that no, being good enough is not good enough, and that we are in positions, as dads, to directly influence the future of this world, and the way that dads the world over perceive their roles. Surely this will be something I think on a little bit more each day, and perhaps a good topic of conversation when we meet. I accept the challenge to be more than just one who writes about experience, but one who encourages and engages with others, so that we may raise the future of this world to be a bright future, and not the same world we grew up into. 
Monday, August 30, 2010

Letter to Caleb on his First Day of School

Today is Caleb's first day at preschool, but sadly I am at work right now and cannot be there to see him off on his big day. But I have a few words to say to him, so Caleb, get mommy to read this to you before you go to school. I love you and will see you when I get home this afternoon.

My Dearest Son on your first day of school,

I am sorry that Daddy cannot be here this morning to see you off on your big day. You are becoming such a big boy and I am so proud of you. Today you start another new adventure in your life. Your first day of school. The time seems to have flown since you were born, and I have cherished and loved every moment that I have had with you. You are my baby boy, always and forever. You will always be MY son and nothing, nobody, no time, can take that fact away.

As you head off with the other kids to start this new chapter, remember that Daddy loves you very much. I am so proud of the little man you are becoming and so proud of all the achievements you have had recently. I hope you have lots of fun today playing with the other kids and meeting your teachers. I know you will do well because you have such a wild imagination and friendly soul. Make lots of new friends today, and show them the best you can be.  Play hard, learn hard, and start this new adventure with an awesome first day.

I love you, Caleb, my son. Daddy is very proud of you, and very sorry I can't be here today. I can't wait to come home and hear about all you did and all the new friends you made. Have a great first day of school. I love you!

With love and adoration,
Friday, August 27, 2010

Missing the First Time

This is just a quick post about something I have been thinking about for the last week or so. I am at home by myself right now while the kiddos and Mommy are out at a birthday party and I have started doing too much thinking again. So this is one of those posts where I just kind of get something off my mind, then go back to my regularly scheduled program. This time, it is about missing the first time.

As a dad, it is always a proud moment when my kid have one of their first times. I was there for my son's first smile and laugh, for my daughter's first steps, and for both of them, there for their first breaths, first kisses and first nosies. And there was nothing more incredible than being present at that moment and having those memories stay so fresh in my mind.

But their are some memories that I do not have, because I could not be there. My son's first birthday and first birthday party. Marlee's first time saying "daddy". And this week, I will miss another one. My son starts his very first year at preschool, and daddy will not be here to see him off.

I talked to my mom about this earlier, actually, and she talked about how that is how it was when I was younger and when she was younger and so on. It has been that way for a long time. Mother's getting their kids ready for the first day of school while daddy heads off to work. It is nothing new. So why do I feel so down about it?

I have tried being involved with my kiddos as much as possible. Taking over duties from mommy every now and then so she can get things done, watching them while my wife is at her weekly college class. Feeding them, changing them, bathing them, and of course, playing with them. I love being a dad and love being in the presence of my children. I always want to be with them and share in the moments that make their life history's imprints on my mind. And sadly I have had to, and will probably continue to have to, miss so many of those moments, and it makes me sad.

I guess it's just that strong desire to always want to be with them.  I seriously think I will have a harder time than mommy when they get to the age that we are not the most important people to them anymore, and they want their freedoms away from the home. Which may be the reason I always want to be there right now. Who knows right? Life is like that.

I guess there really is no way to close this post out. I just wanted to put that out in the open, see it written out for myself, and publish it and send it on its way so maybe I will think just a little clearer tonight. Thanks for taking a minute to listen to me ramble. It is always just just to say it. Have a great weekend and I will catch you all later!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Reason is Love

  • Some days are the longest days of my life. Work is rough, I miss my family, my feet hurt, my arms hurt and my brain hurts. I’m almost out of gas and I’m almost out of patience. I come home and don’t even have time to fart before the kids are grabbing at me. Little Girl wants to be held and Little Man. wants to show me something really bad. I always have to take that moment and stop.  The moment they both get their “shoogie” I know the reason I do it all is love and all is well. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Abstract Art By Caleb done in Microsoft Paint

Tweeps Helping Peeps: Say Hello to Ty!

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the second post in the "Tweeps Helping Peeps" series. Today it is my great pleasure to introduce you to a wonderful little man with a big heart and a great love for adventure. 

Everyone, say hello to Ty! Ty is 7 (and 3/4) years old. He loves adventure, loves his family,  and just loves life in general. Ty also has Down Syndrome. He is such an active little man, loves going to school (especially PE and Computer class) and loves to share his adventures with his mom who writes them down for him in her blog, Ty's Adventures. Be sure to check out all he has to say about his family, his friends, and life in general. You can go to the blog by clicking the image at the bottom of the post. 

Now I would like to let you hear a little bit from Ty, in his words. So get up out of your seats, stop your feet and clap your hands, and give a great big DaddyYo Blog welcome, to TY!!!!
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Monday Madness: Everyone is Running Scared

Try and tell me you didn't freak out something EPIC when you first became a dad. Just go ahead, save the trouble and admit it. We were all scared out our minds! I felt like I had no clue what was really going on, worried (and still do) about not being a good dad, and of course, scared to drop them!

Fear is natural, especially when you are a parent. Falls, scraped knees, slight cough, they all can make us go crazy and we tend to take things a little more stressed than we should. I hear my kids cough, sneeze, wheeze, or scrape  knees, I still get a faster heart rate than 3 cups of coffee. So, thinking about this, I decided to put the call out for other dads to share what they feared. Thanks to all the guys who shared there fears. Mad props!
Friday, August 20, 2010

Marlee In Her Own Words

Check 1! Check  1 2! Check! Okay, check it out! I have been offered a totally AWESOME opportunity to team up with Huggies to help promote their Little Movers diapers as a Highchair Critics dad.  Over the next few weeks you will be able to catch me commenting on all types of stuff from around the babyspere. All of the opinions found in the writing are entirely of my own.  For this particular post, however, I decided it would be fun to give my daughter Marlee a voice and let her post on the blog. She always has a lot, and I mean A LOT to say and I thought I would let her babble off to me, and I would be her interpreter and publisher. So Ladies and Gentleman, readers from far and wide, for the first time ever, I present to you: Marlee, in her words!

I have a big brother, Caleb. He is really cool, and he is very smart. He is older than I am and can do so many things that I can't do yet. He can go up and down the stairs by himself, go play in his room by himself, count, say his ABC's. I wish I could do all those things, but I am still too little. I am 1 year old right now. I don't know how many that is though. I will have to ask (whenever I can talk in complete sentences). I enjoy milk, bubbles, naptime, and food. I am ALWAYS eating. At some time I figure I will get some more of those teeth things and I can eat more and more with them! I like going shopping. I like to be the center of attention, although some of the big people that talk to me make me scared, then I just go to mommy or daddy. Music is really cool too! I like to watch daddy sing and dance with Caleb because it is really funny. Those two don't know how goofy they look. What a bunch of clowns!

I love to follow Caleb around though, and trying to learn to do some of the things he can. Now that I can walk, and kind of run, I can chase him, and he chases me around. We play "I’m going to skit you" and have a lot of fun. I have become quite the little mover since I learned how to walk. I do a lot of running, and jumping, and climbing with Caleb, so mommy and daddy are always armed with a diaper that has that perfect fit for my on the go-ness.  I am only 1 year old so I don't know yet how to use the potty, and I am not sure I even know what the potty is yet. Whatever it is sounds scary. It's big, it's white, and it opens it's mouth really REALLY WIDE!!! Every time Caleb sits on it (as he is potty training now) it looks like he will fall in! I must keep up my attempts to be in there at all times he is to keep an eye on him! When I don't make it in there, like when I am desperately seeking out my sippy cup, I get really scared he might not come back! I hear the big white thing ROAR and I close my eyes until I hear him come running out. Only then do I know he is okay.

We are always on the move, Caleb and me. I like to try to be like him and copy what he does and says. I will learn a lot from him as I grow up and so does he. We will hopefully be good friends, not just brother and sissy. Although when I start to go to school, I can't let my friends know. They will think I am a dork.  I
am little. I can't do everything Caleb does, or go everywhere he goes. But I always try (whether I am supposed to or not) and I will continue to look up to him and try to be like him. Caleb is my big brother and I love him very much. Maybe when I am bigger he will teach me how to do all the things I can't do while I am still little. Until then, I will look up to him, chase him, learn from him, and love him. Because he is my big brother, and that's at little sisters do!

I hope I get to be a mommy some day, though this baby thing is an easy job that I could get used to.
Wonder if I can get paid for it? Daddy is already wrapped around my finger getting me cheesies
anytime I give him the pouty eyes and say "chehseeeee" so maybe I can get some cash out of him too. I don't know too much, but what I do know is that I love being me! I love my mommy and I love my daddy. I love Caleb too!

The world is so big and scary, but it is also so much fun. I will learn how to drive when I can reach the buttons on the floor of the car. I will eat real big food like the sandwiches daddy eats and the meals that mommy makes. I will go to school and learn things like my ABC's and how to write. There is much to learn and much to discover. As soon as I take a nap and get a diaper change, I will get to it all!

**Disclosure: I have partnered with the Huggies brand to help promote Huggies Little Movers Diapers. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program. HOWEVER, my opinions are entirely my own and I have NOT been paid to publish positive comments**

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fatherhood Friday Blog Hop Courtesy of Dad at The Chalkboard

GOOD FRIDAY MORNING! Hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend coming up. I know those of you in my area and the surrounding areas are gearing up for race weekend over at Bristol Motor Speedway. If you are going, be careful and be smart. As for me, I will be off today, but back to work tomorrow. Weekends off are a rarity for me. But I digress.

Friday is a great time in the online dadosphere. Lots of great posts about dadhood going up in honor of Fatherhood Friday. But what about those of us, like me, who find themselves in the midst of a brain fart on Friday? The answer is simple! IT'S A BLOG HOP!!! Brian ( @SpinyNorman ) to the rescue with his 2nd Fatherhood Friday blog hop over at Dad at the Chalkboard.

The dads have been talking, they have been writing, but most important, they have been sharing. Here is your chance to share with the rest of the dadosphere and keep the community growing and supported. The online community of dads is an amazing group, and is always ready to welcome anything another day may have to share. Here is the 411 on how to get hopping!!!! (via Dad at the Chalkboard)

The Guidlines

1. You need to be a father. New father, old father, soon to be father, want some day to be a father, father...doesn't matter. You just need to be a dad. (Or a really awesome mom!)

2. You must own and maintain your own blog.

3. If you meet the requirements for rules one and two, look back over your posts from the past week, from Friday to Friday. Re-read them all.

4. Choose the post you feel was your particular BEST for the week. It can be funny, helpful, sad, dramatic, deep, light...whatever. Pick the post that most reflects you and what your awesome blog has to offer.

5. Follow the host. That's me. It's quick and painless and I always follow back. (This part is optional, but oh so appreciated!)

6. Put your blog address and a short description of the post in the Linky link located below. Be short but concise. (You know...like twitter!)

7. After you are on the list, surf the posts of the other dads and follow as many as you can. Read and above all else COMMENT! We all know that comments are to bloggers what a keg of Dear Park water is to a desert nomad.

8. Grab the code below, create a new post on your blog, and enter it so you can share the growing list with all your followers. Then just sit back and let it grow!

Join us this Friday and share with the other dads of the web your favorite post from your blog. And of course, enjoy the weekend with your family. Remember that yesterday is just a memory, and tomorrow is but a prayer. We are never guaranteed the time, so don't sit back and stare.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Introducing: Dads Talking - Because Mommy Lets Daddy Talk Sometimes

It  has been said many times by many people: 2010 is the Year of the Dads! The force of dads in the social media world and the ever changing face of dads the world over has been a powerful force in 2010. We have seen an explosion of dad bloggers, such as myself, media outlets talking about the roles that many dads are taking on in their family life, articles about SAHDs redifining the roles of fatherhood. Dads are everywhere!

There is another aspect of dadhood that is being seen now as well: dads are talking! Dads the country and world over are talking, and doing a lot of it. Talking everything from family values, to their own roles
in their families, to the struggles of mainting a balance between work and dadhood. All over the internet,
dads are banding together to support one another, talk with one another, and an amazing online community of dads is being built. It has truly been an amazing thing to be a part of.

This week, DadsTalking.com was launched by Jim Turner (@Genuine). A site dedicated to all things dad and what dads the world over are talking about. The #DadsTalking hashtag on Twitter has also become a huge community with more and more dads getting in on the discussions and the silliness. Now note: this is Dads TALKING not Dad STALKING haha. The website featured a kick off chat bash on saturday with 101 dads total joining in over a 5 hour streaming chat! That's AMAZING!!!

Dads Talking is much more than a web site though, it is quickly becoming a huge movement and will take you by storm! Check out the web site, check out the hashtag on twitter #DadsTalking , and join the
movement of dads who are becoming active in their children's lives and aren't afraid to say so!

On the web;




Use TweetChat.com and check out the hashtag #DadsTalking

You can also check out what dads are saying on the #DadsTalking hashtag right here from the blog and on the DadsTalking.com website!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trading Places & Daddy Takes Over: Day 2

So many words come to mind when I think about how Day 2 of being the at home parent went. But only one word will suffice as the lead off to this post: TRYING! If there was ever a specific day that I could say my highest and total respect for at home parents was given, it was today. I'm just going to say it: I don't think I could ever be the at home parent (unless absolutely had to) and I really have to give it up for my wife and the incredible job she does as a SAHM. Couldn't ask for a better mommy for my kiddos. Now, to continue, here is the recap of Day 2.

Trading Places & Daddy Takes Over: Day 1

BEWARE! Daddy has taken over for two days being the at home parent! Insanity is soon to follow! Okay, so it wasn't that bad. But, it definitely was a new experience and there was much to learn from just the first day.

Let's break down what's up with it all. The Wifey is getting ready to start fall classes at the college. Most of them from at home so she will still be home with the kiddos and I will still be working the regular, relentless hours I usually do. Yesterday and today are the orientation days for her at the college, so naturally, I took two days off from work to keep the kiddos. It is important to note at this point that the kiddos have never been left alone with me for more than a couple of hours. Let alone 9 hours alone with daddy. This post is the recap of Day 1 of daddy takes over the house!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Music that Defines My Heart

"Don't you know you are my everything. And don't you know you make my heart sing. You've turned my world inside out. Now I know what life is all about. And it's you that I can't live without ..."
-Stretch Arm Strong "For Now" - from the album "Rituals of Life"

*Note* - The above lyrics are a little out of context of the rest of the song, but looking at the quotation above, those exact words, are my exact thoughts when it comes to my children and family, put to ROCKING music.

Today I am following (to a degree) a format of a series of posts seen recently on the blog of @JRReedradio ... Sex and the Single Dad, about music that defines his life. Stretch Arm Strong, as a band, the lyrics, the music, have always had a very profound impact on me. From the time I first listened to them, until right now as I listen to them while I write this. From the first time I saw them live, to the last, just before I moved to Virginia, they have had so much of an impact on my life, more than the members will ever know.

I was listening as I was thinking about topics for upcoming posts, and the above quote came out of my tiny laptop speakers, and just echoed through my mind as I sat and thought about my children. Those words, those exact words, that exact quote, is the written example of everything my children are to me, and the impact they have had on my life.
Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Commitment to The DaddyYo Blog

I started writing The DaddyYo Blog back in April of this year. Didn't really think about where I would go with it at that time, just that I wanted to start writing about my experiences and thoughts about being a dad and sharing  it with others. This was when I had only 29 followers on Twitter too. Now, 4 short months later, I have over 400 followers, and the blog has come into its own. I have had so much fun with it, and I am truly blessed for the connections I have made with others through the blog and twitter.

I was talkin to my boss the other day about it. I told him "If there is anything in the world that I could chose to do, love it, get paid enough to support a family, and do it for a long time, it would be writing about being a dad. It's my passion, my joy, and my honor. Obviously, it is a very hard job to write a dad blog and get paid enough to support a family of 4, and I don't really expect it to happen. So where am I going with this?

 I told my wife a few months back, and now I am telling you about my commitment. I have made the comittment to writing The DaddyYo Blog until the last child has moved out of the house. That's right, for the next however many years it is, I will continue to write this blog, every week, until the day the last child moves out. Let's put that in perspective. My youngest is a year old. Giving an average of 4 years in college and moving out that same year, thats 21 years from now. At an average of 3 posts per week, that's 3,276 posts until then.

Why the commitment? The journey through dadhood is a never ending trip. It is a quest of sorts. I will always have new experiences and knowledge to write about and share with others. There will be the first day of school, first date, first turn down, the struggles or adolesence and puberty, prom, graduation, college selection, weddings, and the time for leaving the nest.  There will be a lot of experiences and growing during that time. There will be many times of joy, many times of sadness, and many times of all out, stick you to the walls silly stuff. There will be much to share and much to write. Only when they move out is my job as dad, preparing them to step into the world on their own, be complete. Obviously I will still be dad, but my job will be complete.

When it is all said and done, I will write one final post. A farewell and thanks for the memories. I will look back on all my years raising my children and on the posts and the memories attached to them. I may never do this for a full time living. I may never see a single penny from it all. But what I will get from it is the opportunity to share my life as a dad with the world. To let people into my life, my home, my mind, and share what I learn, what I do, and the joys that come with being "Daddy". It has been so much fun so far, and I look forward to many many more years of bringing my experience as a dad to you, and to look back as time goes by at where I was, to where I am, and think of where I am going. When it is all said and done, it will have been a fantastic ride, and worth every second of it.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Five F's of Fatherhood - Post Revived

This is a post from my very first blog "Hell Hath No Fury like Half a Stale Cheesy". . As I have been thinking about my own dadhood recently and the upcoming Fatherhood Friday, I thought I would revive this post and put it back out there, because it sums up exactly what I have been thinking of my life recently. Enjoy!

So as the week ends and the weekend is getting ready to be in full swing, I thought I would take today to write a post about the letter of the day: the letter "F". It's Friday. On Twitter it is FollowFriday and to dads everywhere and over at Dad-Blogs.com it is Fatherhood Friday. So what better letter to write about today than the letter "F". So without further delay I present you with DaddyYo's "Five F's of Fatherhood"
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tweeps Helping Peeps : Cassie and Sam, The Power of Social Media

"Twitter is stupid." 

"Social media will be the downfall of our society." 

"Nobody cares what you had for lunch."  

You've heard it all, haven't you?  Maybe you've even said it.  But I can prove you wrong.  Well, at least on the first two...  I really don't care what you had for lunch.  My name is Cassie Sartin and John asked me to write a guest post for this here DaddyYo Blog about "Tweeps Helping Peeps."  And John's a good guy so here we are. 
Monday, August 2, 2010

Guest Post: Eric (@BetterHusbands) "Being The Best Husband You Can Be"

Men typically have two important roles in their life.  These roles are so intertwined that you can hardly tell where one ends and the other begins.  Also, success in one is largely dependent on success in the other. Of course I am talking about roles of Husband and Father.
Over at my blog, Better Husbands and Fathers, I write about both roles, their relationship to each other, and how to be better at each of them.  So, naturally when John asked me to write on what it means to me to be the “best husband” I can be, I was excited - Here’s my simple answer: Effort.  You see, there is a reason why I didn’t name my blog “Great Husbands and Fathers” or “Perfect Husbands and Fathers.”  This is because the key to being the best husband you can be is in the process of trying to be better, in other words, it’s the mentality of continuous improvement. The word “better” implies a never-ending process, and that’s exactly what it is. If you think you are already the best husband you can be, you need to try harder!
There are, however, some specific things that you can do (or areas where you should focus this effort):
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Late Night Thoughts

It is shortly before 1am right now and i find myself awake and thinking once again. Everyone else is asleep and I am lying here wide awake. Times like these i do the most thinking.

I think about my kids and my job as a dad and how I am doing with it. Are they happy? Are they healthy? Do they know that daddy loves them? Am I a good dad, bad dad, okay dad, or average dad? These and many more questions run through my mind on these late nights.

I hope my children know that I love them and that they feel this love from me at all times. I hope that my parenting skills have helped to ensure that they are in good health. And I hope that I have done what it takes to make them happy. Sure they are so young, but happiness is something everyone at every age is entitled to.

Perhaps I spend too much time thinking. Maybe I have nothing to worry about. I through these doubts and fears to the wind and try to clear myself of worry. Nobody said it would be easy. They just said it would be.