You mean we have to entertain the kid?

Image of a thunderstorm line (in dBZ) seen on ...

Image of a thunderstorm line (in dBZ) seen on a 0.7 degree elevation PPI (NOAA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thunderstorms, I don’t like them. Not because of the thunder, lightning and possible windshield-damaging hail. But for the loss of cable. No TV, no internet, no home phone. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

If you have small children, and experienced a loss of electricity or cable, this story is for you.

Last night we experienced rather intense thunderstorms. Dramatic lightning, window-pounding hail, wind gusts I care not to discuss, torrential rain, and thunder. Oh the thunder.

It’s not enough that my wife is terrified of thunderstorms. We had to lose our electronic connection to the outside world too. How depressing not being able to watch the map on the Weather Channel app as the storm is happening. As Little A sat and pointed at the TV every two minutes, I wondered what was I going to do.

My one saving grace was Little A’s desire to play with every toy we own. Fortunately I was able to keep him occupied with various plastic rings, musical things and an empty plastic water bottle. The idea I would have to entertain my son without television never dawned on me.

This is not to say all we do is have him watch TV.  Between 7:30 and 8:00 pm, is time to relax however. Mommy and daddy need a breather from the day. The educational cartoons on PBSkids, buy us that reprieve.

So while my son is staring at a blank TV, the thunder is shaking the foundation, mommy is sitting in the recliner with white knuckles and closed eyes, daddy is left to ponder how he ended up in this situation. I’m grateful this wasn’t taking place in the dark, but I learned how dependent child-rearing is on technology.

I’m sure there’s a lesson in this somewhere. For now, I’m just glad I’m back on blogging about it.

I hope you enjoyed this post. All comments and feedback are welcome and encouraged.





What Labor Day Means To Family

For me, Labor Day is a unique holiday. Why? The meaning behind it is family oriented in my opinion. This history of Labor Day finds it’s beginning in the Labor Movement. Check out the History of Labor Day on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website. Labor Day allows many workers to spend time with their families. I’m one such worker.

We don’t have any significant plans this first Monday in September. But for myself, I’m grateful I get to spend an extra day with my son. In today’s world, it is easy to lose sight of the truly important things. If you are fortunate to have work, we easily get caught up in our work.

I always like to say, I work to live, not live to work.

Of course today gives me time to think about what Little A will do for work himself in the future. Which of course leads me to think about his education. Which of course leads to thinking about college. In some upcoming posts I’ll talk about college and more importantly funding college. We’ll see how that goes.

For now, I’ll enjoy today with the family. Maybe take in a Thomas and Friends movie on Netflix.

A happy Labor Day to all!

I hope you enjoyed this post. As always comments are welcome and encouraged!


Life In the Inflatable Family Pool

My wife and I purchased an inflatable pool with the hope Little A would like to take a dip. Unfortunately, when proceeding to lower him in, he simultaneously raises his legs and begins to cry.

He wants nothing to do with the pool.

We’ve tried several times with no luck. I only filled it with maybe two inches of water. The same result each time. While one of us lowers him in to what he believes is the Atlantic Ocean, he looks at the other parent and cries.

So, what do any self-respecting parents do? We went for a swim ourselves. The pool is 110-inches so it’s more a family size pool and not conducive to actually swimming. Nothing spectacular to say the least.

While sitting in our inflatable pool, bathing suits and all, my wife and I looked at each other and realized, this just wasn’t what we hoped it would be. Pools, at least in the back yard, really are more for the kids. I’m sure we looked just as ridiculous as we felt, but there is a point to this: enjoy it.

It was a small moment in life where mommy and daddy got to enjoy a ridiculous but humorous few minutes together. Instead of taking some time to stop and smell the roses, we stopped and sat in the inflatable pool.

Life is surely too short to not enjoy these moments together. It helps to foster the relationship which in turn makes a happier home for the little one. This was a win-win situation to me.

As for Little A and the pool, there’s always next summer.

I hope you enjoyed this post. As always comments are welcome and encouraged!

One Grunt and My Son’s Turning Into A True Man, According To My Wife

Little A is truly developing a personality. His various grunts and noises are rather amusing. Baby talk doesn’t work on the guy anymore, which is good, but his responses are what makes us laugh. It’s time to work on the language skills.

According to my wife, he’s turning into a man because he doesn’t respond clearly. Usually we’ll get a grunt and a twist of the head. For example, I asked him where his ball was, and he looked at me, then motioned his head towards the ball while giving a “uh” sound.

I refuse to debate with my wife if this is typical male behavior, as I know that is an argument I won’t win. But, I will say, this dad is proud of his little man. Shh…don’t tell the wife.

Of course, I will continue to make sure he uses his words and proper associations. Not to mention using “uh” as a response won’t get him very far in life. For the time being, I’m going to enjoy his one-grunt responses and associated gestures. Once he actually starts talking, it’s all down hill from there.


Humor In the House: A Sunday Morning Musing

Laughter is the best medicine. We’ve all heard this before. I promised myself when I started writing The Evolving Dad I was going to have as much humor in the blog as possible. Well, as with any journey, I’ve touched on many topics, many of which not so funny.

But I’m fortunate to live in a home with much laughter and humor. Having a one-year-old supplies most of the material. For example, we prefer Little A stay out of the kitchen. Who knows what’s living on that floor despite our best cleaning efforts. The way from the living room to the kitchen is an odd angle for an inexpensive (I’m frugal, not cheap)baby gate. So we blocked the path with diaper boxes. Do you think this stopped the little guy?

After pulling himself up and surveying the land beyond the boxes, he sat down, grabbed the corner of the box and pulled. Eventually he got his way. As he smiled at his amused and frustrated parents from kitchen land, we realized at least he can problem solve.

Here we were, two adults, educated, and taking our parenting abilities seriously. Only, Little A was able to outsmart us. Master’s degrees be damned.

I won’t admit this to the wife, but it’s rather entertaining watching the little one discover new ways to get around. I guess that’s the joy in all this. The best of all, is that grin he gives. He can’t say it, but that look speaks a thousand words. I got you daddy, try again.

At least I can laugh about it.

What Do I Know About Oatmeal Bath Wash?


Oatmeal (Photo credit: desegura89)

Oatmeal bath wash, I have no idea what it is. Never heard of it. But, I still get to provide input on the purchase of such a product. Yes, what am I supposed to say when my wife calls me and asks which oatmeal bath wash we should get Little A?

I realized a while back there is nothing beyond the realm of a dad. Nothing. Not hand and face wipes, Boogie Wipes, catching the little one’s drool with your hand, and now colloidal oatmeal. Life has come full circle.

Of course I want Little A to feel better and have his rash clear up. But this is honestly new territory for daddy. I appreciate my wife making the actual purchase, as I’m sure I would have the deer-in-headlights look. At least I would provide much humor to a potentially drab existence of a teenage cashier. But I feel in some way, unqualified to provide adequate insight. I need time to research, to learn, talk to other parents! But no, a random call answered with a hurried reply. My initial response: “huh?” I suspect I’ll be spoken to about that when she returns.

I further suspect we are the proud owners of several versions of said baby oatmeal bath wash. There is a lesson in all this, I just don’t know what it is. Maybe I’ll find the answer in my bowl of breakfast oatmeal tomorrow morning. The irony isn’t lost on this dad.

The Top 5 Things Every New Dad Needs To Have

When my wife was expecting, the most advice I received was to get my sleep now. The intent of this advice was good, but catching up on my sleep before I was going to need it served no purpose. Second, it didn’t prepare me for the trials and tribulations of fatherhood. So for all the new dad’s out there, here are five things you will definitely need:

  1. Infant gas medicine. Check with your pediatrician first, but when junior is screaming his head off at 2 am and you don’t know why, chances are he’s got gas.
  2. The baby’s favorite song or tune. The sooner you figure out what type of musical ditty your baby likes, go with it. Memorize it, write it down, download it, you get the idea.
  3. A musical toy device. For example, a toy play mat we had for Little A came with an electronic star that played music. This worked every time no matter what. Especially if you tire of performing number 2 above.
  4. The baby’s favorite stuffed animal, blanket, whatever item that makes them comfortable when sleeping. Trust me.
  5. A pacifier strap. The mommy may not want this nifty little item, and that’s fine. Then she will need to find the way to quite the child. Once the pacifier is out, good luck. Amazon sells these for as low as $3.99.

The list above comes from my experience. If other’s have ideas, please share, (Mommy’s are welcome too).

Good luck to the new dad’s out there.


A Future Version Of My Son?

Babies are fascinating in many ways and in many random moments. Last night, was one such moment. I saw the future of my son, but I won’t be there to really see it.

I don’t know if what I saw will become reality. Honestly, I hope not in some ways. Let me begin by saying I hope he lives a long and healthy life. I truly hope he grows to be an old man.

What I saw, however, was a vision of said old man. Crawling on the floor, in a green tee-shirt and shorts, with brown monkeys on them, was my son. His slightly disheveled hair gave him the look of an 80-something just waking from a midday nap. His diaper stuck out over the back of his shorts. Sufficiently covering his back to prevent additional laundry for mommy.

He was completely content crawling towards his basket of books. I envision him moving slowly towards his recliner searching for a remote. I hope he won’t need diapers and definitely hope he goes with striped pajamas or plaid rather than monkeys.

Of course I then realize this is only one potential scenario on the space-time continuum. None of us can know the future. Fortunately for Little A, his future is just beginning. Maybe if he ever reads this post, it will motivate him to make sure he never needs added protection to prevent additional laundry. If anything, he won’t buy any clothing involving monkeys.

How Much Would The Cat In the Hat’s Thinga-ma-jigger Cost?

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, 1957

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, 1957 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We watch The Cat In the Hat Knows A lot About That incessantly in my house. The most impressive thing about the Cat is his Thinga-ma-jigger. This all-inclusive, can do anything, adventure machine is one piece of engineering I would like to have. So I wondered how much would such a vehicle cost? The best way to get an approximate idea of the cost is to break down the features.

  1. The Float-a-ma-boater option: Wouldn’t we all want this for our cars? With the flip of the spring-loaded Thinga-ma-whizzer, Cat’s road cruising machine can swim with the best of them. I would suspect such an option would cost upwards of $20,000.00.
  2. The Shrink-a-madoodle option: An ingenious idea. Simply reduce the size of vehicle and crew to near microscopic size. This option would work wonders for medical science. Factoring in economies of scale and the ability to reverse the process (Rick Moranis eat your heart out), approximate cost $500,000.00.
  3. Fish bowl carrying ledge: Who wouldn’t love to take your pet fish on vacation? The Thinga-ma-jigger comes fully equipped with carrying ledge for Cat’s friend Fish. Cost: part of design of vehicle, so data is not available.
  4. The Space-a-ma-racer option: For those with deep pockets, you can purchase travel through Virgin for $20 million per ride. Or, install the Space-a-ma-racer option on your Prius for an affordable $1.2 million. No space suits needed and Fish is comfortable in his bowl too!
  5. The Submarine option: I didn’t want to spell this, but having the ability to go under the sea is truly phenomenal. Not as costly as orbiting ability, but pricey none-the-less. Cost $1 million.
  6. Thing 1 and Thing 2: I don’t believe you can clone these zany, problem solving individuals, but space for them aboard is comfortable and well equipped. Nothing but the best for these two: Bose speakers, organic fruit juice rack, and assorted bean bags for nap time. Cost: $50,000.00.
  7. Voice by Martin Short: I’m sure, for the right price, you could have Martin Short record all voice commands and options to play in your vehicle. Warning: this may get old quickly. Cost: Unknown.
  8. Assorted do-dads: a plethora of options, too numerous to list comes standard. Whatever Cat needs, Cat gets. Cost: to expensive to measure.

The Thinga-ma-jigger is truly one of the best vehicles out there in my humble opinion. Yes, the cost is high, but imagine what you could do? Ultimately, Cat’s vehicle is priceless. Why? Memories. My son enjoys watching Cat, Sally, Nick, Fish, and all the crazy characters. I enjoy watching with him. The mind of Dr. Seuss was truly unique, and his characters stand the test of time.

I hope my summary of available options will be useful if you consider purchasing a Thinga-ma-jigger of your own.

Fathers, Sons, And Baseball

IronBirds vs Renegades Baseball # 1

IronBirds vs Renegades Baseball # 1 (Photo credit: Randy Pertiet)

Fathers, sons, and baseball, what could be better? There is something inherently unique about the game of baseball. At the same time, there is an inherent uniqueness to the relationship between fathers and sons. I don’t know how to describe it, but both go hand-in-hand.

Go anywhere in America and you will hear stories told by sons about baseball and their fathers. Go anywhere in America, and you will hear fathers tell stories about their sons and baseball.

I one day hope to have many stories about my son and baseball.

Years ago, 1994 to be exact, the Hudson Valley Renegades came to town. My dad wasn’t the biggest baseball fan in the world. But I was. He knew I was excited about the Single A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, (in 1996 the Tampa Bay Rays organization took over the team. Names like Josh Hamilton, Scott Podsednik, and Evan Longoria all graced the field in Fishkill, New York). One day, my dad came to me and asked if I would like to go to a Renegades game. I said sure. He said, how about opening night? My dad got up early one morning and waited on line for those first tickets. The very first game the Renegades took the field for, I was there with my dad, my best friend and his dad.

My dad took me to Yankee Stadium and the old Shea Stadium over the years. But my warmest memory of baseball and my dad was opening night at the Hudson Valley Renegades almost twenty years ago. He wanted to do it for me. He wanted to build a memory in me that would last a lifetime. Since I’m blogging about it today, I think his plan worked.

I still have the ticket stubs of that first game. When my son is old enough, I’ll show them to him. And maybe, take him to a Renegades game of our own.

Fathers, sons, and baseball. There is nothing better.