History of Lego in Our Life

Hello Friends,

We all have our favorite toys from childhood, and mine are those colorful interlocking blocks – Lego (or more affectionately, “Legos”). They stuck around the longest for me, well after He-Man, G.I. Joe, Transformers & Go-Bots and M.U.S.C.L.E. fell off my radar. Man, the 80’s toy game was strong! But I digress…Lego. Yes, I was a big fan as a child and have rekindled my love for these blocks through my girls. Am I pushing their interest in them? Just a bit.

Taking us back to the early 80’s, my first “set” was Lego number 722, a general building set comprised of a box of bricks and an instructional manual with five different builds. In case you’re wondering how I can be so specific with this history, I still have the book:

This was my main interest until the Fourth Grade, when Cap’n Jack showed me the joy of constructing Lego spaceships. Always more of a free builder than I was (and a better free builder at that), Cap’n Jack stoked my Lego interest from an ember to a full on “Lego Maniac” Bonfire. In the mid-80’s “Zack” was a “Lego Maniac” (it was a commercial)- the kid my ten-year-old-self wanted to be, with the Lego collection I wanted to own.

But enough about me, the girls’ introduction to Lego starts with Duplo and, once again, Cap’n Jack. He gifted Sweetie her first Duplo set for her First Birthday. Want to guess what his son will be getting for his First Birthday? Needless to say, it took her a while to realize the blocks were not food, but fun. And things grew from there.

The Cricket wanted to play with whatever cool toy Sweetie was playing with. While she inherited the Duplo blocks, whose numbers had grown significantly, she would look to her sister and the smaller bricks.

Sweetie moved back and forth between, but her transition was sealed on her Fifth Birthday, when Moana’s Canoe arrived.

The girls’ collection really started growing after that birthday, with Lego sets becoming a go-to gift for many occasions. We also started adding the “Family Collection” to our house. That was five moving boxes and three copy-paper boxes full of built sets, bricks, plates, mini-figures (of course), and a plastic three-drawer organizer for the build manuals.

The Family Collection started when i was in Junior High and packed up my Lego city. My nephews and nieces took the collection from there and added the sets they collected over the past fifteen years. The girls have seen the Family Collection, but only get access to a bit at a time.

Thankfully, they are content with the bricks they have on hand.

Our latest addition, a dedicated table, adds some accessible play-ability as well as some organization to our Lego play (I’ll share some pics of that project later). Wife and I kept the layout simple to encourage free building, but there is a lower shelf to encourage Lego brick storage. As much as my heart loves these plastic blocks, the bottoms of my feet do not!

Did you grow up playing with Lego bricks (again, “playing Legos”)? Have you passed this interest on to your child(ren)? Or, like me, gently forced it upon them through continued encouragement? It’s great to see the following Lego has, and to see the community that enjoys these toys. I know they’ll be in our lives for many years to come, and we’ll be sure to share that with you.

Be safe, friends, we’ll see you out there.

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Cookies for All!

Hello Friends,

The main push of Sweetie’s Girl Scout Cookie sales has wrapped, and we are now tasked with sorting orders and delivering the goods. Here’s a snapshot of our house:

I want to thank all of you who bought cookies this year in support of Sweetie, the Daisy Scouts and Girl Scouts in general. This first wave of sales had Sweetie structuring a website (with Wife’s assistance), making cold-calls (okay, I dialed), and even working the ground game. If you connected with her via these efforts, you helped her reach 75% of her sales goal. Thank you.

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Now don’t fret if you are reading this and wishing you could get some Girl Scout Cookies. I can still hook you up, but there’s a catch. The cookies would have to be ordered through Sweetie’s online sales page and would be delivered to your home. All good there. The downside is that under this option, you would have to pay delivery. Boo. If ya’ gotta have ’em though, hit me up at dadsdiaperdetour@gmail.com and I will send you the link.

Take care, friends. We’ll see you out there. Now to exercise some self-control!

A Different Ice

Hello Friends,

Those of you in and around Chicago know all about ice and cold. I think anyone watching the news has heard about the polar vortex that parked over Chicago last week, and many of you lived it, so I want to talk about a different kind of ice. This kind of ice that comes with songs, characters, $15 snow cones and “merch”. I want to shift the focus and share with you our weekend adventure at Disney on Ice.

We went to the show titled “Mickey’s Search Party”, currently playing at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. This particular show revolves around Mickey Mouse and friends collecting magic from a variety of items in order to free Tinkerbell from a lamp prison. Each item comes from a different Disney story and invites characters from six different stories to join the adventure. Of course, each story brings its songs, with all the hits, including, “Be Our Guest” ( Beauty and the Beast), “Let it Go” (Frozen), and “Remember Me” (Coco).

This is not the first Disney ice show we have attended. At the beginning of the show Sweetie, now six (steadily approaching seven) seemed a bit removed, almost bored. Once the songs started, though, she was into the show. I even caught her singing along.

The Cricket, on the other hand, was in full “Disney Magic” mode right from jump. Her four-year-old self was swept up by the spectacle, from the variety of merch to the costumes, actors, and characters. She was freely singing, with the abandon that youth exercises.

At these ages this type of gift: a song and dance character extravaganza, filled with visual entertainment, was awesome. The girls had a great time and were wiped out afterward from the excitement and the fun. All props to the Allstate Arena, champions at moving people and traffic and keeping a crowded parking lot orderly. A big thanks for the tickets, a wonderful Christmas gift to the girls. This type of show may not be for everyone, it can be a bit much. But this is one of those experiences that makes a shared memory for our entire family unit. And no one is safe from the Disney Magic…

Cookie Sales

Hello Friends,

We are wrapping up the annual Girl Scout Cookie sales and I realized I did not tell many of you about it. That’s right, cookies available since the first of the year, and you’re just now hearing it from me.

Straight to the point: Sweetie is a Daisy Scout (second year), and she’s selling cookies. Just like last year, they are $5 a box. If you don’t have a cookie connection, and you just have to get some, contact me.

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Sweetie’s troop will use these funds to fix up their Scout Room, a cozy, shared space in the school Rec Center that is rocking a late 70’s/early 80’s deco. Additionally, they fund service and learning trips, like the one they took this fall to a downtown animal shelter.

For those of you who know me and have my personal email, feel free to reach out to me there. If you don’t have that info, then reach out to me at DadsDiaperDetour@gmail.com. I can forward you the online link, or we can speak directly. Whatever you prefer, I got you.

As always, I hope you all are doing well out there. Thank you for the ongoing support!

Looking Forward to the Year

Hello Friends,

Happy New Year to you all! I hope the first week of the new year is going well for you. Our week has been good, and Monday marked the end of Winter Break and the girls’ return to school. Overall, the girls are in good spirits, our house is happy.

My ideas for the new year are coming together, bits and pieces linking up to form a blog plan for 2019. I made mention of some of this before, but bear with me while I share a bit:

This school year marked a significant shift in my detour. Being the “at-home” parent is different with both of the girls at school during the day. It’s time for me to start talking about this shift and using this blog to process the changes. Plus, there are future plans to create.

I have been working on various projects throughout the years, like the playhouse. My interest in DIY projects has grown along with my skills. It only takes a few minutes online to see that many others share an interest in projects. I want to show more of these projects and grow this part of the conversation.

I want to continue to share and deepen my commitment to this blog and your readership. December brought some “circle of life” notices to me and our family. Thankfully, birth announcements were part of the news (hence the “circle”). As I found myself thinking over the friends who will be fathers this year, and their coming children, I thought about all the stuff I wanted to share. Advice? Six years ago I would not have dared to say that. Today, more than ever, I feel that I want to share the experiences I’ve collected, the different gear I’ve tried, the various classes and activities. And share the learning curve that I still encounter.

And video content. I’ve mentioned it before, but I want to add video content. The girls provide too much fodder, historically and currently, for me to capture it all in writing alone. If you guys like the pictures of the girls, you will roll with videos of their antics.

I thanked you all at the end of last year, but really, I can’t say it enough times. At least when I write out “Thank you”, you can sit with it on the screen in front of you and let it sink in. I write this blog for my family and my role in it. All of you, my readership, play a part in shaping that role. I am inspired by your stories, motivated by your interest, challenged by your feedback. Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing you on the detour throughout 2019.

Tonight and Tomorrow – Last Chance!

Hello Friends,

That’s right, tonight and tomorrow are the last two nights of the Stairway to Insanity!

Again, amatuer haunt, good value at $10. I’m headed up at 6:30 tonight. Hope to see you there!

New Sticker for the Ride

Hello Friends,

I’ve never been one to put stickers on my cars. This is strange to me because I have put them just on just about everything else I own. Bicycles, guitar cases, water bottles, notebooks, toolboxes – all decorated with a variety of stickers. I finally found one I could commit to however, and today put it on the ride.

This is the second year that Sweetie enrolled in Daisy Scouts through the school. She has two great troop leaders and a bunch of other Moms who step in to assist. Their focus is on crafts, activities and friendship. Of course they sell cookies, but they don’t fixate on the sales. Funny how many stories I hear of that ruining the experience.

I was a Cub Scout and Webelo growing up, so I dig her participation. While I don’t know how much knot-tying and fire-starting the girls are going to learn, they are off to a great start. Trips to nature centers and animal shelters, and singing at the school Winterfest are just a couple of the things they get into besides their meetings.

Got a scout (Cub, Boy, Daisy, Brownie, Girl, etc.)? I hope their/your experience is as good as ours has been. Remember to support ’em, those cookies don’t sell themselves! Ok, well, they kinda do! We’ll see you out there, friends.