Posts Tagged ‘ holidays ’

The Obligatory Facebook Picture Of Your Kid With Santa

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Yesterday Mommy and I took you to the Bass Pro Shop to get your picture made (for free!) with Santa. Despite our low expectations about how you would react, it went very well…

We were first in line, out of hundreds. More importantly, to my surprise, you didn’t cry.

Granted, I warned/prepared you all week:

“Jack, do you want to meet Santa on Saturday? Do you want Santa to hold you?”

Your response was always a grunted version of yes.

The more I thought about the concept all week, the more I realized how going to meet Santa Claus is sort of…peculiar.

There is no other situation where parents encourage their kids to sit on a stranger’s lap and get their picture taken.

At best, it compares a little bit to Halloween; how parents take their kids around the neighborhood peddling for candy. Under any other circumstances, that would never happen.

Still, I think going to visit Santa is a very cool and memorable thing.

Something that especially stood out to me when we met Santa at the Bass Pro Shop is that the last thing he said to you was “I love you.” And he said it like he meant it; like a grandfather would say it. He said it like he was waiting for a response.

I think about all the children who went after you in the Santa line. Not all of them hear “I love you” from a father figure as much as you do.

So here it is; this is the obligatory picture of you with Santa that I shared on Facebook. You may not remember it happening. Either way, I’m sure we’ll be back at Bass Pro Shops again for your Santa picture next year.





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You May Have Just Won a Zazzle Christmas Ornament!

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

One year.

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:

Nick Shell c/o The Dadabase

300 Seaboard Lane #5

Franklin, TN 37067

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Thankfulness for My Toddler’s Teacher, Ty

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

One year.

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.

Unexpected Bonus!

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

*Congrats to Wendy P. of Houston, TX on winning this!

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Send Me Your Family’s Holiday Cards for My Fridge

Monday, November 21st, 2011

One year.

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.

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Happy 1st Birthday to My Son, Jack-Man!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

One year old, today!

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, 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.

Oh yeah, and in the midst of all this, my wife and I both turned 30. What a year to turn 30!

Okay, back to my son… He’s a year old today! Happy Birthday Jack!

Man, I am so in love with him. He’s the best baby/puppy/robot/Ewok/Red Hot Chili Peppers fan/gummy bear I’ve ever had for a son.

I think we’re all gonna be okay.

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