#ThanksBaby

The Day My Life Changed Forever: The Dawn of Fatherhood #ThanksBaby

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Me and Sophia in her very early days.

Do you remember the moment? That seminal instant that you were told you were going to be a dad? Maybe you’re a to-be dad and just found out this week, this month, today. It’s a moment that is hard to forget. You know what other moment is impossible to forget? The birth of your child. That.changes.everything.

My life has never been the same since Sophia was born in February 2011. It changed even more once Maddie came along in August 2013. It’s hard to really wrap my head around just how much things have changed. I sit and I ponder what I did before we had the girls. What did I actually do with all that free time?

Me and Maddie in her early days.

Me and Maddie in her early days.

Yes, that free time was great. I could do anything I wanted. And waste hours on end. Now? The vast majority of my time is dedicated to Sophia and Maddie. Whether it’s taking the four hours required to get them to actually eat a meal, telling them to stop fighting over a toy, or convincing them that bedtime is a time for sleep–without Mommy or Daddy, that’s where my time goes. Oh, I really only just mentioned the tough parts didn’t I? While those things really do take up A LOT of time, they’re really the little inconveniences that come along with being a parent.

There is so much awesome that comes with being a dad. A million reasons I can say #ThanksBaby to my little girls. From the moment they were both born, there have been millions of laughs, lots of kissing boo-boos, SO MANY diapers changed. Inside jokes, outside jokes, dad jokes (ALL THE DAD JOKES), tears, kisses, silly games, cuddles, and everything in between.

Sisters meet for the first time.

Sisters meet for the first time.

What I never expected when I became a dad was that it would be how I identify. That’s really hard for me to believe. My life is about being a dad. For better or worse. Through all my mistakes, hiccups, and failures, being a father is who I am.

I will never, and I mean NEVER, forget the day we brought the girls home. I was terrified. We got Sophia in the car and I thought to myself “What now?! I’m in no way qualified to do this! WHAT IF I BREAK HER?!” With Maddie, I felt a little more at-ease than that, but damned if I wasn’t scared I’d break her too. Well, 5 and almost 3 years, respectively each, I haven’t broken them (ok, there was that one time I knocked Maddie down the stairs by accident, LAY OFF ME!)

This video created by Pampers is definitely worth a watch, too. If you want to see the kind of bond and relationship that comes about between baby and father at birth, this will show you. I love it. A lot.

What I do know, more than any other thing, is that no matter what I’m going to be there for these kids. Through all the tampers, frustrations, fights, future “I HATE YOU DAD” taunts, the giggles, the laughs, the love, and the amazing, I’m going to be there. Every step of the way.

If it weren’t for these two beautiful daughters, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this right now. I don’t even know what my identity would be. This is my chance to say #ThanksBaby to them both–for making me a father, for teaching me everything they teach me daily.

Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.

Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.

Just like I love thanking my daughters, I want to help spread that love to the masses. I’m doing that with Pampers–who honors dads for just being dads and thanks them for all the amazing things, big and small, they do to help little ones have a better, loving, more fulfilling life. 

Please join us by tweeting why you are most thankful for baby with the hashtag #ThanksBaby.

Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your baby get the most out of love, sleep and play.

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad  and Pampers for this promotion.

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I Will Literally Sleep ANYWHERE…Just Dub Me The #KingOfRest

Look, I don’t know about the rest of the you, but in my house sleep is a premium. What do I mean by that? Basically, that if I’m actually getting a full night of sleep then chances are my kids are nowhere to be found. Where could they be? Mayhaps, by some miracle they decided it would be a good idea to actually spend the entire night in their own bed. HAHAHA Who am I even trying to kid? They never do that. If they’re spending the night elsewhere, then a relaxing night of sleep will be had… minus the whole worrying if they’re behaving, or sleeping, or will come home sleep-deprived and miserable (like me most days!). Continue reading

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DadFail: That Time I Knocked My 2-Year Old Down the Steps

Listen, no one ever said  that parenting was all wins. If you’re a parent and you’ve experienced nothing but wins thus far in your parenting “career”, well I’d like to meet you. And push you down the stairs because you’re a liar. Every day, something is going to make you feel like you’re failing as a parent. Oftentimes, it’s more than once a day.

There are also those “oh shit, what the hell did I just do” moments. ParentFails. I had a nice little DadFail a few weeks ago. It’s still fresh in my mind. What was it? Well, if you haven’t read the title of this post yet, let me fill you in… I accidentally knocked Maddie down an entire flight of hardwood stairs.  Continue reading

I Mean, Honestly, Who Throws A Shoe?!

I Mean, HonestlyWho Throws a Shoe-!

Have you ever had to run from someone throwing things at you? Say, it was a relationship gone sour and your ex wants nothing more but to fling objects in your direction–you run, you dodge, you duck to avoid taking a plate, or a vase, or maybe a football, to the head. Now, imagine that was happening while you were driving. But the objects were flying FROM THE BACK SEAT. Only it isn’t a jaded ex-flame flinging things at you. It’s a raving-mad, inconsolable 5-year old who hasn’t gotten their way. Continue reading

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On Life, Legacy, and Lessons From Dad2.0 Summit

I cried this weekend. Scratch that. I cried a lot this weekend. I’m not ashamed to admit that. Why did I cry? I stubbed my toe, obviously… You want the real reason? I spent four days in Washington, DC for Dad2.0 Summit. And it.was.amazing. Honestly, it was up there in the pantheon of great experiences of my life. And before you ask, no it doesn’t top the births of my kids or my wedding day. But, it’s up there. Continue reading

#YokaiWatch

Toying With The Imagination

If you’ve known me for any period of time, you’d know that if there were two things I loved as a kid, they were toys and cartoons. And not just on their own. Together. If I was watching my favorite show when I was a kid, chances are I was sitting on the floor playing along with the toys. It’s just what I did.

What?! No, I don’t do that now… Ok, FINE, I still do it, but not all the time, ok?! Lay off me, you guys. I’m still a kid at heart. Or am I just immature? I hear both things about myself all the time, so neither is surprising. Anyway, where was I? Oh right: toys and TV. Most times, my play would continue long after the episode had ended. Ya know, like any normal kid. I’d make up my own story lines and keep that little party going. And, that is something I’ve tried to instill in the girls. Why? Because it’s awesome, that’s why!

They’ve taken hold of that idea and really run wild. Like SERIOUSLY wild. Half the time, I have no idea what they’re even talking about. Sophia’s busy saying “sweetie” over and over, while Maddie sits there mimicking her and laughing up a storm. It really doesn’t matter that the show they were watching has been over for two hours. If they’re into it, they just keep.on.playing.

That’s one of the reasons I was super-excited to partner with Hasbro for this really cool Yo-kai Watch campaign. Not only did they send us this big ol’ box of toys from their Yo-kai Watch line, BUT, they also sent us the first four episodes of the show to watch. They literally joined together two of our favorite activities in one neat (ok REALLY messy) package. I figured the girls would love it. Umm, duh, of course they did!

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Toys everywhere.

So, we did what any sane parent would do. We had a small, informal viewing party consisting of the girls and me. I’ll be honest with you: I had never heard of Yo-kai Watch before. What is it? Good question! The story centers around a young boy, Nate, who finds a special watch that allows him to find and summon some mysterious–and funny–Yo-kai. They help him solve problems–which are usually the fault of those other trouble-making Yo-kai.

Sophia laughed so much while watching the episodes. Also, she laughed hysterically while pulling toy-after-toy out of the box and immediately ripping open the packaging.

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Their favorite toys–for both of them–was the actual watch that comes up with a character medal that can be slotted inside the watch. Press the button and the watch plays the character’s name and tribe song. What’s pretty cool about the medals, is that there are a lot of them. LIKE A LOT. And, there is a Medallium Collection Book, too, so the kids–or you, I’m not judging–can keep the medals all in one place. Ya know, to keep your house clean.

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What was fun about watching the episodes and playing with the toy line is that the girls went absolutely nuts. They didn’t even know what the show or toys were, and there they were yelling “kai Watch!!!” Because, I guess yelling “Yo-kai Watch!!” was too much?

They played with the watches, running around like crazy people, changing medals, pretending that their were some trouble-making Yo-kai hanging ’round the house–and even gave them weird names. I don’t know, man, kids do weird things with their imaginations. And that’s kind of the point, right? Toys and cartoons do that. I want the girls to be creative and imaginative. And if they don’t like a story line, make up their own. It’s one of the best parts about being a kid. Play on, little ladies, play on.

If you want to check out the first episode, watch this video.

If you–or your kids I guess–want to check out the series, it airs on Disney X D on Mondays at 5pm Eastern.

Yo-kai Watch World

Youtube- Yo-kai Watch Official Channel

Facebook- Yo-kai Official Facebook Page

Twitter- Yo-kai Watch News

Hasbro Twitter

I was compensated both financially and in product by Hasbro for the #YokaiWatch campaign. All opinions mentioned above and below are 100% my own.

#FlatoutIsMyCanvas (1)

Snacking For The Picky Eater: #FlatoutIsMyCanvas

Eating healthy can be a challenge. Not just for us, as adults, but for kids, too. I don’t know how it works in your house, but in ours, Sophia is the pickiest eater I have ever met. Well, expect for me as a kid (and well into adulthood), that is. She has her few foods that we know she will eat and not fight us over. The standard kid stuff: chicken nuggets, pizza, mac & cheese, hot dogs, etc. So, trying to get her to try new things has been a bit of a challenge. Maddie, on the other hand? That girl will eat anything we give her and ALWAYS wants to try something new.

As you can see, with these two, meal time can be a challenge. Heck, even snack time can be tough. We’ve seen what happens when we give them sweet or salty snacks to hold them over between meals. They crash really hard in a short amount of time. Which is tough when there are things we need to get done. Sophia has ballet class and needs to have her energy up for that. Plus, she’s in Pre-K now, so homework has to get done after school. YES HOMEWORK IN PRE-K.

So, with the help of Flatout Flatbread, we started trying to come up with some healthy snack ideas that maybe, just maybe would appeal to Sophia–even at her most picky. First, we thought if we she at least got in the kitchen with us and helped make her own food, it would help her at least want to try something. Second, we thought of ingredients that she liked on their own and figured out a way to combine them that she would like.

So, we came up with these tasty little Apple Peanut Butter Rollups. Check out the recipe and instructions below the image.

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Ingredients

  • 1 Flatout Light Original flatbread
  • 1 small apple (flavor of choice)
  • Peanut butter

Instructions

  • Lay flatbread flat and spread peanut butter generously 
  • Dice apple into small 1″ squares
  • Lay apple squares into two lines, a quarter of the way in from each end 
  • Roll flatbread from one end to the next
  • Cut into six pieces

That’s it. It’s pretty simple and was really tasty. Sophia actually loved them and gave them a thumbs up. Plus, she had an absolute blast putting them together.

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You can see that Flatout breads are a great blank canvas in the kitchen and the possibilities are virtually endless. So, grab some Flatout flatbreads, grab your kids, and get in the kitchen and start creating the perfect food masterpiece. Maybe Don’t try to hang these on your fridge though… Remember, #FlatoutIsMyCanvas!

To find a store near you that carries Flatout, visit the store locator:  and try a $.50 off coupon.

If you want some more  delicious recipe ideas, check out the Flatout Facebook page to see what they–and other bloggers–have come up with.

**I was compensated by Flatout Flatbread for this post, however the recipe and views are our own**