Archive for the ‘ Must Read ’ Category

Trying On Daddy’s Shoes (And Mommy’s Too!)

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I suppose it’s just universal that, as a little boy, you naturally like to try on your daddy’s shoes. I mean, it wasn’t that difficult for me to dig up a picture of myself in 1983, as a 2 year-old, wearing my dad’s boots. (Pictured above.)

You know it’s funny when you’re doing it, yet I can see you really like to imagine what it would be like to be my size.

Last week you turned to me randomly and said, “Daddy, you’re big? You’re big.”

I’m 5′ 9″, but hey, I’ll take the compliment.

This morning as we were all getting ready in Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom, you snuck into the closet.

I wasn’t really paying attention; not to mention, I was barely awake, but then I heard you laughing… like you knew you were being a rascal.

Turns out, I was right.

You proudly walked out to Mommy and me in your Sacramento State football player t-shirt, a diaper, and a pair of mommy’s heels.

Oh, and to top it off, you were holding your monster truck.

You were quite the walking contradiction, literally.

There are plenty of times when you are hilarious and don’t know why. Today was not one of those times.

So you are now looking at the new wallpaper on my cell phone. Well done, Son.






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My Son’s Alter Ego Is A Schlubby Dinosaur

Monday, April 29th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

This past weekend while your cousin Calla visited us, your best friend from school, Sophie, also met us at your favorite indoor playground called Shipwrecked.

It was interesting to see which costumes the three of you chose to wear during the two and half hour play date.

You did your best to find the most masculine, mess-making one they had. Turns out, Superman was already taken; though personally, I say Batman is superior to the alien in red underwear any day.

So you chose…

(Yes, that is a reference to House Hunters on HGTV.)

…Baby Bop from my least favorite (meaning I despise it!) kids TV show, Barney & Friends.

(Make sure you check out all the pictures of the event by clicking on this link to The Dadabase’s Facebook page. Go to the folder called Shipwrecked With Cousin Calla and Gal Pal Sophie; showing many more hilarious snapshots of the ordeal.)

Just imagine, you ran around an indoor playground for 2 and a half hours wearing that mascot of a costume.

Normally, a person’s alter ego would be a stronger, faster, more intelligent version… with super powers.

At least you were able to accidentally swing your massive tail at other kids as you ran pass them.

However, I think your cousin Calla’s alter ego choice was even more bizarre: Batman.

Not only is Calla a girl, but she’s a girly girl; always wearing pink or purple and carrying around a baby doll and a kitten.

So as to how exactly she felt Batman, who I’ve already alluded to is my favorite comic book (and movie) superhero, is puzzling to me.

She walked around like Frankenstein, arms out, possibly attempting to fly.

We’ll have to ask her about that one day.

At least Sophie’s alter ego choice made perfect sense: She was a pink poodle.

Sophie already sort of reminds me of a cute little playful puppy anyway; always so happy to see you at school. Plus, she has the curly hair thing going on too, so the costume was a good match all around.

I especially was entertained when you and Sophie (top picture) decided to read to each other, simultaneously, while dressed as Baby Bop and a pink poodle.

What was particularly interesting was the fact you were reading a book that featured a young child dressed up in a dinosaur costume.

I would have to say that this experiment was a success. All three of you were able to display your alter ego… for better or for worse; or weird.







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What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life?

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Thursday on the drive to school, I popped in one of my favorite CD’s ever, Mat Kearney’s Young Love.

In a random and successful effort to find a new way to entertain you, I handed over the jewel case with the lyrics; which instantly became a storybook to you.

While I’ve heard every one of those songs at least 273 times, a phrase from the very first song, “Hey Mama,” caught my attention:

“What are you doing for the rest of your life?”

It’s such an understated question. Naturally, though, the answer is simple:

You and Mommy. In other words, whatever I am doing for the rest of my life, it revolves around the two of you.

Granted, I had obviously given plenty of prior thought of spending the rest of my life with Mommy nearly five years ago when we got married.

But as for you, I hadn’t truly consciously put you in that same category; at least not since you were a newborn.

No matter what my calender says, your name is on every day for the rest of my life. There will never be a day that you don’t consume my thoughts.

It’s one of those things that every dad-to-be dwells on. I can remember now, how for the months leading up to your birth, I would constantly think about how you would forever change my life.

I would think about how my existence in this world would now cause a ripple effect which would be undeniable- simply because I was responsible in bringing you into this world, and more importantly, because the way I would raise you would make who you would become; for better or for worse.

So yeah, I haven’t given too much thought about that in the past nearly two and a half years. I’ve had so many other dad-related thoughts to consume my mind since then.

And that just goes to show you… you’re what I’m doing for the rest of my life.





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The Compartmentalization Of A Little Boy’s Brain

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I am told on a weekly basis, by family members, by friends, by co-workers, and readers, that I am a very “black-and-white, cut-and-dry” person; that there is no gray with me.

It’s as if I put every situation and event in it’s own compartment in my brain; as if history always repeats itself.

Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m a vegan. All or nothing, right?

Maybe that’s why I make a living by discovering performance formulas for my company to help them become more efficient.

I look at what does work, separate it from what doesn’t work, then check for reoccurring patterns.

Sure, I realize the world isn’t categorized in perfectly organized compartments, but I work to help make it that way as much as possible.

Son, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be a lot like me in those regards. In fact, I’m pretty sure you already are that way.

Sunday afternoon as Mommy was preparing dinner, you got upset because she wasn’t able to play trains with you like I was. After about 90 seconds of a breakdown because you couldn’t stand to be playing without her though she was only 10 feet away, I had to take action.

You and I went upstairs to play. You had to be moved out of the compartment of “Mommy, play with me!” to “Me and Daddy are playing like boys!”

By the time we stepped into your room, you were fine with Mommy being downstairs… in a “different compartment.”

The base of our papasan rocking chair broke, only leaving the dome-shaped seat part intact.

As I spun you around and quickly swayed you, it magically became a yellow submarine, a monster truck, and a horsey.

Together, you and I were loud, rough, and technically violent in our Daddy-son compartment.

You stripped yourself down to your pro-wrestler/superhero attire, which is a diaper and nothing else.

But once Mommy entered the room, you became a different little boy; a little boy who wanted to read and wear clothes, not play.

I’ve also noticed that everyday when I drop you off at school, you get quiet the moment I hand you over to your teacher, not speaking or showing emotion again until after I’m out of sight.

Different compartments.

Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m drawing too many conclusions; because after all, I’ve already established that I look for patterns and formulas in everything.

Maybe little girls can just as easily be the same way. I wouldn’t know about that; no history to build on since you don’t have a sister.







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The Public Demand For Vegan Chocolate

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago in “5 Reasons Your Facebook Friends Are Going Vegan,” I mentioned that you and Mommy were practicing recipes for cupcakes for my 32nd birthday.

The outcome: Mommy and I agree that my vegan cupcakes (the Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes With Almond Buttercream ones from the vegan recipe blog, Oh She Glows) were so good, they were actually better than those trendy “$4 cupcakes” that we used to buy.

We were able to enjoy all the physical and psychological thrills of eating chocolate cupcakes, but without the guilt hangover afterwards. (The fat in the cupcakes comes from almond milk and olive oil, not animal products or bi-products.)

They were so perfecto, we’re going to make them again this weekend. Lucky us!

(Yes, I meant to say perfecto.)

As a vegan, it is nearly impossible to find vegan chocolate.

It’s one thing to find chocolate that just so happens to not contain milk or eggs, or even honey, but that’s not good enough for most vegans like me.

I also will not accept high fructose corn syrup (Monsanto much?) nor food dyes derived from bugs (Carmine or Crimson Lake) or petroleum (Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6).

As I’ve mentioned before, 2.5 percent of the country  now identifies themselves as “vegan,” up from 1 percent in 2009.

In other words, the public’s demand for vegan chocolate, as well as chocolate treats and snacks, has more than doubled in the past 3 years; in theory, at least.

So even if I sound extreme in my search for vegan chocolate, I’m clearly not alone.

Annie’s Homegrown, an admirable brand that keeps finding its name randomly mentioned by me on a regularly basis, is clever enough they actually have a “Vegan Snacks” tab on their website, featuring my personal favorite: Chocolate Bunny Grahams.

I should point out that Annie’s Homegrown is the only affordable and easily obtainable vegan snack source I have been exposed to so far.

For example, for my birthday Mommy bought me these awesome coconut cocoa ball truffles from some fancy vegan company, but they probably cost as much as a couple of bald eagle heads.

In other words, affordable vegan chocolate is a rare find.

Even if the major food companies ever pick up on this growing demand, I doubt they will be able to make a product in which vegans approve.

It’s probably not worth it to them to market to the 3% of the population who (I assume, if they’re like me) generally distrusts food companies who use petroleum and bugs in their food designed for children to eat.

We’ll stick with the plant-based stuff; even if we have to make it ourselves.







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