Archive for the ‘ Home Life ’ Category

I Think I Can, I Think I Can…Ride The Zoo Train

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

As we anticipated our 2nd trip to the Louisville Zoo, I had been trying to hype up the train ride they have, since we didn’t get a chance to ride it last time.

Your response:

“No, I don’t want to ride that train.”

I didn’t believe you. I figured maybe you just didn’t know for sure what I was talking about.

After all, how could a little boy who is obsessed with Chugginton and Thomas & Friends not want to actually ride a little train around the zoo?

But Z-Day came and you held true to your word: You still didn’t want to ride it, adding, “I scared!”

However, you weren’t given a choice. There we were in line for the train ride with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, and your girl cousin who is 7 months younger than you.

You were getting on that train. Whether or not you would allow yourself to enjoy it, that was the part I didn’t know.

For the first minute or so of the ride, you buried your head in Mommy’s shoulder.

Then you heard all the fun happening around and you just couldn’t pretend not to be there anymore. It was nearly immediately that you began screaming with excitement.

We blasted through a series of tunnels, which from what I can remember, sort of looked like the rainbow graffiti-looking artwork on the Coldplay album, Mylo Xyloto.

With the zoo being decorated in a Fall/Halloween theme, there were plenty of other interesting things to distract you from the fact that just minutes before you were somewhat terrified.

I remember we saw some giant spiders and goofy monsters.

You loved the train ride.

It was a challenge for you, though. It placed you out of your comfort zone.

I’m not fully convinced you won’t be afraid to ride the next zoo train you encounter, but at least now I know that you enjoyed the ride in the end.

Thanks for being a brave little toaster. I mean, the little engine that could.





P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013. 

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Thank You For Letting Me Sleep In On Our Vacation!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Going into last weekend’s mini-road trip and vacation, I kept my expectations extremely low, as I’ve learned to do based on previous overnight family trips.

I kept in mind, as Clark Griswold puts it, that a family vacation is not a vacation, but instead a quest for fun.

The thing that most worried me was the sleeping situation in the 3 bedroom house we rented to fit my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and your cousin, as well:

Mommy made a pallet (a Southern term for bed of blankets) for you on the floor next to our bed.

So that I wouldn’t be disappointed, I just went ahead and assumed that you would wake up in the middle of the night, realize Mommy and I were in the same room as you, and cry until we let you sleep in the bed with us…

Which would soon after result in me sleeping on the couch because I wouldn’t get any sleep because you never actually sleep if you’re in bed with us; instead you cry/play.

Not only did you sleep through the night on Day 1, but on the 2nd day you actually slept in! Mommy and I got to sleep for over 9 hours in a California King-sized bed!

That is miraculous!

I actually got an abundance of rest while on an overnight family trip? Thank you, Son.

Not only that, but our family actually got to chill out. At one point, Mommy took the Sienna for a spin to Starbucks, and you and I watched Monsters, Inc., or at least the first 42 minutes of it.

Peaceful. How cool.

So, here’s to hoping our “pallet plan” works for next time, and every future next time.

Noted: You sleep better on the floor when we’re in a strange house.




P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013.


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We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip…Minivan Style!

Friday, October 11th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

 Dear Jack,

So let me catch you up… back in July I was invited to the Sienna AdVANtures Tour in Las Vegas where everyday dads like me were asked to test out the 2013 Toyota Sienna and all its new features.

Hey, I’ve never been to Vegas… I would have loved to have gone; except the dates interfered with our family vacation in Sacramento.

However, I think it all worked out all right, because… we get to test drive the Sienna for a whole week, 3 days of which will include our family’s road trip from Nashville to Lousville with my side of the family.

Yes, there will be 8 of us, but there will be enough seats for me to be able to shuttle us around Louisville, KY. The zoo is our special stop!

Needless to say, you’ve been loving getting to cruise to school in a minivan.

The concept of “the ceiling window” (moonroof) is something totally foreign to you; as well as the huge window next to you so you can look rare sights… like the pink flatbed truck we saw and the three hot air balloons, which were landing dangerously close to the Interstate.

We even got to see 3 deer crossing the road on the way home the first day.

That’s what you’ve enjoyed the most so far about the van; getting a great view of what’s going on as we drive.

And there are a couple of other things I’ve enjoyed watching you be fascinated by, too…

Like being able to see what’s behind us with the integrated backup camera that automatically replaces the GPS whenever the vehicle is in reverse. You were confused by how I got things to appear on there, so I got Mommy to wave at you for a few seconds, while I obviously kept my foot on the brake, for the quick demonstration.

That cleared things up a little; but then you asked to watch her on there the next morning after she had left for work.

And you think’s really cool being able to open the sliding doors by pressing a button.

As for me, I have found the blind spot monitor to be especially snazzy. This little orange light pops up on the outer side of the rearview mirrors whenever another vehicle is passing me or trying to get by.


Now that we’ve tested it out for a few days, we get to leave in the morning for our family road trip, minivan style.

What an interesting time for this to happen, considering that for the past two weeks we’ve watched your new favorite movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a minimum of 23 times now.

You are totally enthralled by the thought of such a magical car.

I think, in your mind, the van we get to have for our Louisville road trip is our real life version of a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car.

In other words, you’re a fan of the minivan! I’ll write more about our family road trip as the adventure begins.

To be continued…





Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.

P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013.

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I Thought We Were At The Playground To Actually Play…

Monday, October 7th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Saturday morning after we watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the 23rd time, I’ll mention more about that later, Mommy and I decided it was time for you, I mean, our family, to burn off some extra energy at Granny White Park- or as you call it, “The Dinosaur Park.”

(It has like three different plastic dinosaurs you can climb on.)

I thought we were going to the playground to actually play, but once we got there, all your jittery energy strangely transformed you into a sluggish state of wonder.

You decided you wanted to “people watch” instead.

And I have to admit- there was a lot to see. Nearby, there was a birthday party going on in which all the little boys were dressed up in superhero costumes.

“Daddy, there’s two Spidermans?” you asked.

You didn’t want to go down the slide, or crawl through the tunnel, or even try out the cool pirate ship teeter-totter.

However, you were willing to let Mommy and me push you on the swing, which is the most passive activity to do at the park; other than sitting on the plastic dinosaurs and watching the other kids have fun.

Seriously, you looked so sad.

I get it that you may have just been a little bit intimidated by all the other kids you didn’t know.

Or maybe that, like me sometimes, you just felt like being philosophical and introspective.

But after about 12 minutes of you being the swing, I myself was getting antsy.

So with the superheros now playing behind you where you couldn’t see them anymore, I suggested we move around a bit- in the form of a family walk.

Didn’t work.

After about five steps, you said it:

“Mommy! Hold me!”

You clearly weren’t too tired to walk. The whole point in us being there was for you to burn off all the extra energy you had back at the house.

So I grabbed you and ran far into the vacant soccer field, therefore forcing you to have to run; either because I was chasing you or you were chasing me.

It worked.

For about a minute.

Then you made your way to Mommy again and it was back to sitting in the swing. And sitting on the dinosaurs.

Oh well, I tried.












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I Just Wanted To Say, I’m Proud of You

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Every morning as we’re getting ready to leave the house, one of the last things I do is put on your shoes.

Today, though, I came back from brushing my teeth to see you smiling on the stairs, with your new Sketchers already on.

In theory, I may have made a bigger of a deal out of it that necessary, but I had never considered that you could put your shoes on yourself.

I’ve always done that for you… everyday since I can remember.

You loved the fact you surprised me with this new skill of yours.

Then, shortly after, you sang your ABC’s all the way through, without messing up. That’s the first time I’ve heard you do that so flawlessly.

I’m proud of you. I just want to say that.

To be clear, I don’t just simply mean publicly. Sure, I’m proud of you like that, too.

But what I am really getting at is, privately, without the world watching or aware, I am proud of you.

As in, you make me proud, as my son.

I was thinking about this morning all day. During my lunch break, I stopped by Target to try to find you a 97 cent FJ Cruiser or Hummer; two SUV’s you are currently obsessed with.

You have way too many Hot Wheels cars already, but I just wanted to express my feelings to you. Turns out, I found neither car at the store, but just know I was so impressed by you that I at least tried.

Letting you know I’m proud of you is something I always want to keep at the forefront of our relationship. It’s important to me that you always know how I feel about you.

If I end up saying it too much, so be it.




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