Stop. Look. Listen. Take in the Moments

Time moves fast. One minute, you’re sitting in the hospital doing your first skin-to-skin bonding with your brand-new baby girl, the next you’re taking pictures for the last day of Kindergarten. No, I’m not crying, YOU ARE.

Ever since Sophia was born–and again when Maddie was born–my life has changed. I know, what an obvious thing to say. Kids change your life, everyone knows that. But I’m not talking about the always going, never stopping, plans change at a moment’s notice kind of change.

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Building a Beach in a Box with the DIYZ App

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with DIYZ. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own.

Sand. It’s the worst. When it comes to the things that my kids love to play with that I hate with the fire of a thousand suns, the list has three items: sand, glitter, and play-doh. But sand, man, it’s the worst. It was great when the girls would only want to play in it when we were at the beach. But, with the invention of things like kinetic sand, they wanna play with it ALL.THE.TIME.

It gets everywhere. Outside. Inside. Upside. Downside. In short, the sand goes everywhere. Could that be because we didn’t have a proper place for them to play–AND LEAVE–said sand? I say yes. I hope I’m right.

So what’s a dad-of-sand-lovers to do? Answer: Sandbox. Continue reading

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.

The Fat Five Slamwich #FrozenChefMadness

Fat-Five-SlamwichWho doesn’t love amazing apps when they settle in to watch all the madness unfold during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament games? Everybody loves them. But what if you could have all of your mouthwatering starters in one fantastic dish? I’m giving you just that with my entry into the #FrozenChefMadness challenge presented by Life of Dad and Easy Home Meals.

I present to you “The Fat Five Slamwich”! A crispy combination of mozzarella sticks, french fries, chicken tenders, sitting nestled atop a delectable cheesteak. This all sits nicely inside a halved Italian roll. He fakes right, crosses over left, takes it to the hole and SCORES with the Fat Five Slamwich!

photo(2)For my dish, I chose to use Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Fast Food Fries, Tyson Anytizers Chicken Fries, and TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks.

Head over to the Frozen Chef Madness contest page to enter, read full instructions, and get your chance to win $800! Do you have what it takes to top me? Step up to the line and sink your shot!

I have partnered with Life of Dad, LLC for the#FrozenChefMadness promotion.  Sponsored by NFRA ( https://www.nfraweb.org/), the #FrozenChefMadness promotion gives anybody the chance to win a $800 Visa gift card.

The Sweet Taste of Victory – #FrozenChefMadness Challenge

Finding food Sophia will eat can be a challenge.

Finding food Sophia will eat can be a challenge.

Anyone that knows me can attest to this: I am competitive. VERY competitive. Am I any good at sports? Big fat no to that one, dear readers. Even so, I hate to lose. My competitiveness also comes into play in a big way when it comes to rooting for sports. I’m a diehard Philadelphia sports fan, and if you aren’t, you’re a fan of someone else, we’ll end up having words. Nothing beats some friendly sports banter! With this time of year, one of the best sports months of the year is about to be upon us. I talk, of course, about the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tourney. Tourney time is awesome. Cinderella stories abound, underdogs become the most rooted for teams, and game-watching parties are planned and attended.

When it comes to settling in on the couch for a long day of watching hoops–or any game for that matter–food plays a HUGE part. Now, as a parent, I have to be mindful of the food that we’re going to make and eat for a game. And, with Sophia being quite the picky eater, we have to be extra careful of what we’re putting together. After all, we don’t want our snacks and game-time apps going to waste. She loves snacks, chips, pretzels, and more, but we want her to try new things, so, we try to come up with interesting things to create and cook, hoping she’ll give them a try. Continue reading

Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast Ep. 3: Talkin’ Toddler and Babies

Our guest host for episode 3. She was a natural!

Our guest host for episode 3. She was a natural!

Sunday morning we recorded Episode 3 of The Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast. You can listen to it here or you can head on over to LifeofDad.com, where we are now a part of their podcast network and give it a listen there, as well.

We had a very special guest host this week, as well. Sophia lent us her broadcasting talents for the show and she did a great job. Granted, half the time she was playing games or watching Netflix on my phone, but when she wasn’t she “was making radio with Daddy!”  Continue reading

Technological Toddlers: They Know More Than I Do

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Sophia using the iPad while Maddie sleeps.

The rate at which technology is expanding is insane. No sooner do I learn how to use something, it changes. VCRs gave way to DVD players which gave way to Blu-ray players which will give way to God knows what next. Do yourself a favor and look back at the computers you used as a kid and then take a look down at the iPad or laptop or all-in-one or smartphone that you’re reading this post on. Did you ever think for one second that what you’re reading this on right now would be the norm? I know that I didn’t. But technology isn’t going to slow down and we’re going to have to adapt with it. OK, Nick, why are you talking about the ever-evolving nature of technology on your dad blog? Good question. Let’s find out. Continue reading