A few weeks ago I invited all my readers to send me their family’s holiday cards, so I can display them on my refrigerator. I explained that the cards would not only serve as a cool decoration and a way for me to meet Dadabase fans, but also as entries for upcoming giveaways.
So now it’s time to check it out in action.
Today, Zazzle is giving one lucky Dadabase reader a free personalized ornament through their website. It’s really cool because you can put a picture of your kid on the ornament. We got one for Jack and it should be arriving in a few days.
Now, as for the winner, we’re letting Jack decide. I’ve put all the holiday cards in a hat and now Jack will draw a winner…
See? That was fun. So if you haven’t already mailed me your family’s holiday card, take a minute to do that right now and join the cool club. You will become eligible for the next prize giveaway. Here’s the address again:
Last week when my son turned a year old, he was lucky enough to have his official birthday cupcake three different times. Therefore, I have three different pictures of the event: one with just our family of three, one with his extended party with friends and family, and one at his daycare, KinderCare.
Jack’s main teacher, Ty, had his classmates sign his birthday crown that she made for him. In case you’re wondering, the way toddlers sign things is by using their thumbprint. I have these pictures hanging up now at my cubicle at work. So while I’m listening to some weirdo on the phone tell me his life story, I can look over and catch a glimpse of what life must be like for my son in Baby Land.
I never have to question whether or not Jack is okay there at his daycare or whether or not he’s been well taken care of. After all, I’m not “that dad” who has to suppress my anxieties about my son when a non-family member is taking care of him.
He is okay. He’s more than fine. In fact, I’m pretty solid in knowing that he’s a smarter little boy because of Ty’s guidance and teaching; as compared to if he was under my care for 40 hours a week instead.
Despite an already impressive book collection at our house, we don’t spend nearly as much time as we’d like reading to Jack. But when we do, it’s very apparent that he is accustomed to being read to because of Ty. He sits there and enjoys the book when we read it to him.
Because of Ty, he now knows how to use his thumb and index finger to pick up pieces of food and bring them to his mouth. This same learned skill has also helped him to turn on the Wii when I’m not looking.
Jack has learned to find confidence and independence through Ty’s guidance. I can tell that he not only thinks the world of her, but that he also respects her.
She was telling me last week that when he starts to get into some trouble or into a mess of some sort, she will say, “Jack… no, no.” Then he starts doing his fake cry. But he is learning boundaries from her.
My wife and I are very thankful for Ty taking care of our tyke. (She creatively found ways to avoid my camera in the midst of writing this post.) It’s sad to think that in the near future he will be moving out of her age/stage group. She has been there to see him learn to walk. But the boy must grow up.
Thank God for good teachers who help our kids along the way when we parents can’t be there for every minute of it.
This week I gave Ty a copy of the brand-new book, God’s Promises for the Teacher. It is a new addition to Thomas Nelson’s best-selling God’s Promises series. The book serves as a quick devotional for teachers, using specific motivational Scriptures for 45 different topics including patience, wisdom, peace, and courage.
You guessed it. One lucky reader will win a free copy of God’s Promises for the Teacher to give to a special teacher in their child’s life.
Just be the first person to A) leave a comment on this post saying you want it and B) send me an email including your mailing address to email@example.com.
*Congrats to Wendy P. of Houston, TX on winning this!
Let’s get something straight: Right now I want you put me on your list of people who you will be mailing your family’s holiday cards to. Bonus points if you’re all wearing sweaters in the picture!
It can be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa; even just a basic “Happy Holidays” card. If it’s got a picture of your family on it, wishing me happiness this holiday season, I want it.
Fine, I’ll even accept a family snapshot you printed off from your computer on a piece of regular printer paper. Emailed cards won’t work for this, though; it has to already be printed out when I receive it.
You see, it’s not fair; this whole Dadabase thing. You are able to see pictures of my family everyday and read our stories, yet I never see you. That sort of makes you a stalker.
I don’t want this to be a one way street. I want to meet you, readers.
So I’m going to make this thing interesting. As your family holiday cards start rolling in, I will be sticking them on my fridge and regularly taking pictures of the growing collection.
That’s right; you’ll see your own family here on The Dadabase. (As you can see, currently there are zero cards on my fridge- just some of Jack’s artwork.)
Plus, by mailing your card to me, you will be entering yourself for my upcoming book giveaways. I usually give the featured book to the first commenter. Well, that’s not how it will work for the next little while.
Each time there’s a post where I am giving a way a new book (or prize of any kind) I will toss all the card entries into a hat. Then, Jack will draw a winner. If he picks your family’s holiday card, I’ll look to see your address from the card and have the prize sent to you.
Sound like fun? That’s because it is. So right now add me to your list of people who will receive your family’s holiday card. Here’s the address, which is not where I actually live:
Nick Shell c/o The Dadabase
300 Seaboard Lane #5
Franklin, TN 37067
Seriously, stop stalking me and make this a mutual thing. I already know enough creepy people in my life.
Exactly a year ago today, after 22 and half hours of “coaching” my wife in labor, which consisted of me proclaiming stock phrases like “Oh look, here’s the head!” for the final three hours of the delivery, along with, “Baby, I’m so proud of you!” my wife finally gave birth to our dark Mexican baby. I will always remember the way he was silently starving for air as soon as the doctor pulled him out. He looked so mad.
Granted, he eventually morphed into the Norwegian little boy we know today as “Jack-Man.”
A few weeks later we moved him to Alabama, suffered mutual unemployment, then singular employment but still couldn’t afford to pay the bills, Parents.com contacted me about switching my daddy blog “Dad from Day One” to their website and so The Dadabase was born, then we moved back to Nashville and got our old jobs back, we had to buy my wife a new (used) car, then tried to move back into our townhouse but realized there was serious water damage that destroyed part of our living room ceiling, and I guess that leads us to where we are today: Finally, we have sense of normalcy that we’ve been desperate for.
And Jack has been along for the ride the whole way through, both oblivious to the chaos and eager for more excitement.
I admit, I don’t exactly know how to act. I mean, everything’s actually going pretty well right now. We’re officially moved back into our home and made it ours again. And I’m nervous to even say it- what if I jinx it?
Wouldn’t this be such an appropriate time to learn, “Surprise! We’re having another baby!” For the record, that is not the case. All I mean is that I’m so accustomed to life being crazy with some kind of constant fiasco, that I almost expect some kind of shocking surprise like that.
Wow, we as parents, have survived our first year! Sure, it’s awesome that our son is now a year old; so cool. But seriously, we not only survived raising him thus far but we made it through a lot of wacko stuff since then.
We as a family have made it through; thank God. Going through a whirlwind year like this has surely left us with unsettled psychological issues that we need to sort out with Jason Seaver (the psychiatrist dad from Growing Pains) but until then, I’ll continue using my writings here on The Dadabase to serve as my own psychiatrist.
After becoming a dad last year, I quickly learned that certain things in my life which were previously important had become nearly irrelevant. The funny thing is, I’m so used to my new state of normalcy that I actually forgot that at one point these things even mattered at all. So to celebrate my recent maturity as a dad and as a human being, I now share the top seven things I stopped caring about when I became a dad.
1. Drool: Today at work I looked down at my jacket and saw what appeared to be dried slobber. It’s amazing how much I didn’t care. Maybe there’s something about changing so many diapers in those first couple months that caused me to not even think twice about something as harmless as a little bit of baby drool- whether it’s wet on my hand or dried on my clothing.
2. Sleep: At this point, my son sleeps from 7PM until 6:30 AM every day; but I’m so accustomed to those days of so little sleep for my family of three, that six solid hours each night is plenty good for me. You would think I would crash slightly after he does each night, but I guess I have to feel like I have some kind of life outside of being a dad- like staying up until midnight to publish this blog post.
3. Watching movies: Watching TV shows is different because that is so much more of a passive event. Movies require a sense of commitment- averaging from 90 minutes to two hours. Free time matters so much more to me now; movies just don’t hold their value in my new economy of time.
4. What time I eat: Dinner could be at 6PM… or maybe 7:30… 8 o’clock… it’s anybody’s guess. Coordinating my son’s own eating schedule along with putting him to bed for the night then actually cooking the meal for us parents and then sitting down to eat it; well, it’s the kind of thing that just has to be flexible. I eat when I can, not when I’m hungry.
5. Being on time, in general: I can manage to get to work on time each day despite being the one to drop him off at day care. However, making it to church on time is a whole other blog post. We used to be the people who showed up to events on time. Now the motto is “better late than never.” People seem to understand, though: We have the “parent pass.”
6. Weekend plans: Does it really matter what I’m doing this weekend? Will I be getting any more sleep than a weekday? Will it be any more relaxing than being at work all day instead? I think I just answered my own questions.
7. The perception of being in control: I feel like B.C. (before child) I actually believed I had a decent amount of control over my life. Now, controlling my own life essentially revolves around trying to control my son’s life. Ultimately, if I can keep him from chewing on the power cord to the vacuum cleaner today, then I’ll gladly count that as “being in control.”