Posts Tagged ‘ fun ’

The Pet Store Is The Cheap Version Of The Zoo

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

This past Saturday afternoon, as Mommy was gone for a few hours to explore the possibility of becoming a demo singer on the side (we do live in Nashville, after all…), you woke up early from your nap.

We were both in the mood to explore; not to play Legos, cars, or trains.

I decided it was a good time for us to have a fun, free dadventure. It was even more fun because I let you stay in your pajamas.

While our zoo pass is still good for another week or so, I decided to take you by the exotic pet store right down the road from our house, called The Aquatic Critter.

Good call.

So much so, that Mommy decided to go with us again on Sunday.

One of our family favorites was the “Black Dogface Puffer.” It reminded me of Falcor, the flying dog from The Neverending Story.

But for 199 bucks, I have a feeling we won’t be making him our family pet any time soon; even if he was the perfect mix between a dog and a fish…

Strangely enough, the pet store also has some “not for sale” pets that they keep on display for the potential customers.

You know, like an alligator and some rhino iguanas.

I’m always looking for new ways to introduce you to the world. I want to find ways to mix things up.

Sure, the exotic pet store is technically the poor man’s zoo, but it’s a hit.

We’re not at the right place in life to actually consider having a pet; except possibly a beta fish.

But for now, it’s more fun (and a lot less responsibility) to just visit the pet store and pretend all those cool (and weird) animals are your pets that you visit on the weekend.




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Taking My Kid To Downtown Nashville For The 1st Time

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I don’t want the general public to know this, but Nashville truly is one of the coolest places to live in America. Our town keeps showing up in articles as an “it place” to live.

The economy here is great, the people are diverse and friendly, there’s plenty of awesome entertainment, and the weather is…

Well, the weather is decent, yet a bit all over the place. Just two weeks ago I encountered 4 different seasons in the same hour. Literally, it snowed, then it was mild, then it was hot and sunny, then it cold fairly cold again.

Despite the fact we actually live in the Nashville city limits, only 12.2 miles from downtown, until this past Saturday, we’ve never actually taken you to Broadway, where all the “Nashvegas” action happens.

Mommy had found out about a free puppet show going on at the downtown library. She had me at “free.”

Two of your friends from school, and their parents, met us there for the excitement.

You got to witness your very first puppet show; it was a Native American tale called Sky Bear.

That actually was the first time I myself had seen a marionette-style puppet show.

Next, you and your friends made your way to the big window and saw “the Batman building” in the background.

Lucky for you, one of your friends’ parents suggested we check out the candy store on Broadway, called Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.

As you and your friends walked hand in hand, you were able to see many Nashvegas wonders… like a pink school bus, a convertible limo, and some kind of weird man-powered trolley in which over a dozen people peddled sideways to make the thing go… called Sprocket Rocket.

Yeah, because that’s apparently what’s normally going on during a typical Saturday morning at 11:23 on Broadway in Nashville.

Amidst all the exotic sights and sounds, we eventually reached our destination. I’m very familiar with the saying, “like a kid in the candy store.” Well, that was you and your friends.

You ended up with a bag full fully of jelly beans. Your friend Madison chose a giant lollipop… and it only cost $3.50.

It was quite an eventful morning. Of course, by noon, it was time for all three 3 year-olds to head home for lunch and nap.

You’re a lucky boy. You got to experience the splendor of downtown Nashville, accompanied by two of the cutest brunettes you know.




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Do 3 Year-Old Little Boys Love Monster Jam Trucks?

Monday, March 17th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday my friend Scott asked me about my plans for the weekend. When I told him, he replied, “Nick, sorry, but you just don’t seem like someone who would be into monster trucks.”

I smiled, then gave him a reasonable explanation: “I have a 3 year-old son who is into monster trucks, therefore, I am into monster trucks.”

Mommy and I had been wanting to take you to see the monster trucks for quite a while now. We actually were considering taking you last year, but back then at age 2, we figured you might not be ready for something so big and… epic. 

And then back in January, Monster Jam came through Nashville where we live, but the show was too late in the afternoon so it would have disrupted your all-important bedtime schedule.

So as crazy as it sounds, we decided to drive nearly an hour and a half to Huntsville, AL to see a daytime Monster Jam show.

Do I even need to come out and say, that you loved it!?

Probably not. It’s a given.

We arrived early enough to be there for the pit party; where we had the opportunity to check out the monster trucks up close, as well as a chance to meet the drivers.

I thought it was funny how happy you were to meet the mascot for Jack’s restaurant (a Southern burger joint chain); you thought it was the red M&M! I didn’t tell you otherwise.

Leading up to the trip, I had three different people warn/remind me to buy you ear plugs for the show. Good thing, because I definitely wouldn’t have thought of that on my own.

At one point, you used two Monster Jam trucks as earplugs over your actual earplugs.

But earplugs are the price to pay to actually see these toys come to life. There were some fun ones there too- like Higher Education (the school bus) and Monster Mutt (the dog).

I was for certain that for a souvenir, you’d pick Monster Mutt, but I was wrong- you chose Mechanical Mischief, a gray monster truck. I think you chose him mainly because you recently learned how to say “gray” in Spanish… gris.

A lot of the letters I write to you are a way of preserving memories from your firsts. Well, this first of seeing a monster truck show was a first for Mommy and me as well.

And for the record, I’m not into monster trucks simply because of you, but I definitely have a valid excuse now!





Note: Tickets for this story were provided courtesy of Monster Jam.

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Hey! Scout, Want To Come To My House Today and Play?

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

On the drive to school Friday morning, I heard you turn on your LeapFrog cell phone and start talking to My Pal Scout:

“Hey! Scout, want to come to my house today and play?”

After the call ended, you explained to me, “Daddy, Scout’s coming over for dinner and he’s sleeping in my bed tonight!”

I wanted to make sure it actually happened, even if you forgot about it later on in the day.

As soon as we got home, I reminded you about Scout coming over.

You can see here in this picture, you gave Scout a reminder call about the plans for the evening.

Minutes later, the doorbell rang.

“Jack! Come answer the door! It’s for you!” I yelled out from the other room.

You screamed with amazement.

There he was… Scout was waiting for you near the doorstep!

(And he happened to be sitting on a paper towel, for some reason.)

As I opened the door for you and Scout, I could see how surprised you were that Scout actually showed up after you called him on the phone!

By the time you made your way to the living room to play with him, though, you asked me with a confused look on your face, “I have two Scouts? Daddy, will you go get my other Scout upstairs?”

Oops. Busted.

So I did my best to explain that was the same Scout.

For me, the whole thing was an experiment to see how much of the story you’d go along with.

I wanted to know if you knew the whole thing was pretend, tracing all the way back to when you called Scout that morning.

Even now, I’m not totally sure. I mean, I’m pretty sure you know that I was just perpetuating your story line.

Either way, I was committed to make your make-believe story come true.

You said Scout was eating dinner with us and sleeping in the bed with you. So I had to make sure Scout “followed” you around, from playtime…

…to dinner…

  …to bedtime. 

You and Scout had a fun sleepover Friday night and it’s all because you called him and invited him over!

Plus, I might have had a thing or two to do with it.





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My Kid Turns Playtime Into Manual Labor

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

2 years, 8 month.

Dear Jack,

At one point last week on our family vacation in California, I ended up becoming the official “adult in charge of all the kids” for about an hour.

It just so happened that you and your cousins discovered the random packs of balloons sitting on a shelf in the garage… along with the water hose behind the house.

Who was I to deny your rights to create and destroy water balloons?

My motto is that “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission.”

I wasn’t sure if Grandma, or any of the other parents of your cousins, would have a problem with it, but I took my chances.

Turns out, Grandma (Mommy’s Mommy) later told me that’s why those balloons were there- to make water balloons.

Look at this picture of you holding one. It’s hilarious, ridiculous, and pretty awesome, actually.

You look like an Austrian weight lifter.

I started out by making you legitimate sized water balloons, but I could tell you wanted more of a challenge.

So I started filling them up so full of water that you could barely carry them, because you were so inspired to keep them from dropping and bursting, that it become like a competition to you.

Or at least good ole fashioned manual labor.

And it wasn’t just the water balloons.

You took great pride each day in washing your Thomas the Train tricycle.

I mean… your monster truck.

If I had to calculate the percentage of time you spent actually riding it versus how much time you spent giving it a wash, I would say 30% riding versus 70% washing.

So that means the majority of the time you were “playing” with your tricycle, you were technically working instead.

When it comes to playtime, you don’t play around.








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