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…

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.

Between a Self and a Village

Hello Friends,

I started this post back in January with, “Been thinking a lot about gratitude lately, and just how many things I am thankful for these days.” Today I’m coming off a good week with three posts uploaded, some new followers and many new comments. So I’m right there again, feeling grateful. High time I said something.

Each one of you, my readers, is included in these thoughts, and I try to tell you that each year. A blog without readers is a journal, and that’s personal and doesn’t contribute to the tribe’s knowledge base. Your presence on the blog moves us out of the personal and into the public space.

Thank you.

That’s thanks for clicking on a post, reading, commenting, liking us on Facebook, following, telling your friends, asking about the blog, and all the other things you do in support of Dad’s Diaper Detour – thank you.

When I was mulling over the blog-gratitude dynamic I was reminded of two phrases that get thrown around lot, dare I say, two “cliches”?

The first is the notion of “self-made”. Often brandished by successful business owners, I find this concept falls apart when you hear the back story about the starter-loan from a grandparent or the free room and board from family. I get the idea behind the phrase, but we don’t live in a vacuum, so there is always some part of our current situation that is “made” by another. Parenting, no matter how successful, always involves an “other”; a spouse, someone for advice, a helping hand, getting some work done, etc..

The second phrase is “it takes village”. This is pretty easy to dissect. Nobody knows everything about anything. Getting specific to at-home parenting, no parent, especially a new parent, knows what the detour has in store for them. I didn’t. I have relied on Wife, my parents, siblings, in-laws, friends, and fellow parents for guidance and an extra set of hands. I turn to the internet community for help. I look to parents who have published books. I definitely benefit from a village.

So I repeat: thank you. To all of you who have guided and followed, and made the space for me to do the same. You have been the “other” who has helped to make this blog, and the village that supports us. Of course, you should tell your friends and families about about Dad’s Diaper Detour and keep liking, commenting and following, either through WordPress or Facebook.

The summer is in full effect here in Chicago. We’ll be on the detour and I hope we see you out there.

Welcome new year

Winter break is now over. Sweetie is in bed, all ready to go back to school tomorrow. Wife is already back to work, ending many days where we were spoiled with her presence. Cricket and I are looking forward to activities starting back up and getting back to a daily routine. And so begins 2017 on the detour.

I am not going to list a bunch of resolutions here, mainly because I don’t believe in New Years’ resolutions. And by “belief” I mean that I historically don’t put enough energy into my resolutions to make them an active part of my life. I historically don’t choose concrete resolutions that I can engage. But I do believe in challenges, so I will share two with you all.

My first challenge for January 2017 is to publish two new posts a week. Ideally, this will be Mondays and Thursdays. I have a list of topics to write about, and I have the house renovation to catch you all up on, so the material is here. Now to make the time. As I write this the Cricket is crying herself NOT to sleep, thereby eating up the few hours that should not have two small bodies running all over them. No excuse though – such is the life of a parent. And thank goodness for Wife – hey, good transition!

A second challenge for me this month is to live my gratitude. Our attitudes effected our life situations, so I am going to try to put forth a grateful attitude and drive my situations accordingly. I might even do a morning mantra to set my mind right. Let me start now by saying, “Thank you,” to all of you reading out there. An internet existence is dependent on “likes” and followers and visits. And I am grateful for all of you out there that provide any and all of these to the detour. Besides that, your presence here helps to shore me up, helps me deal with the tough days and the creative blocks.

And so welcome 2017! I hope you all are looking forward to all of the challenges and gifts that are sure to come this year. This is like a throwback post to the early blog posts – no pictures. No fear though, Sweetie and Cricket are right here as always and I promise at least one pic for the next post. Until then…

Happy New Year!?!

In my previous post I said I did not know how many installments I would write for the D-3 “Christmas Survival Guide”. Yeah, it came out to that one post – definitely an opportunity for improvement in 2016. Honestly, if I knew that was my last post for 2015 I would have wished you, my dear readership, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. But that’s why I’m writing this post!

Would you believe that the delay was part of my plan? That I didn’t want to share holiday internet space with everyone else, but instead wanted to wait until mid-January to share pictures of the girls? That way, there’s no competition and you can focus solely on them. No, I’m not buying it either, and I’m writing it. Anyway, here they are:

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To tell the truth, we had a strangely busy holiday season. Most of Wife’s family were travelling and out of town, and everyone local on my side got together on the same day. But our foursome stayed busy throughout. And what a great problem to have! We spent a bunch of time together as a family. Movie nights, lots of playtime, some Christmas adventures. It was great.

And now we’re in the new year. I don’t know about you guys, but mine is starting off at full-pace – I can’t believe we are already 3 weeks in. I was just able to read over the year-end numbers from WordPress to see how this blog did last year. I was a bit disappointed to see that I posted 5 fewer entries than in 2014 – that’s on me. I was very excited to see that the site hits had gone way up though. And that is because of all of you, my dear readership!

So let me put a great big “THANK YOU” to all of you out there who take the time to read, comment, like, follow, re-post and all of that other stuff that shows support for the detour. That’s big thanks to my family and friends for their continued support; to the new followers who came on board; to the people using the comments section, particularly BDB; to my girls for the continuous, sometimes overwhelming, font of material; and to Wife, my top supporter, most constructive challenger, thorough editor, available sounding board and the best partner ever. All of you help to get me in front of the computer to write these entries and share these stories and I appreciate your support of this blog and this family.

And so we’re off and running. I think it is customary to feel nostalgic during this time of year. I get that feeling around November and it usually lasts until February. So I am going to use it to re-visit some notes and stories from earlier in the year. You know, make up for stuff I didn’t do in 2015 (even though I don’t believe you really can). With Sweetie’s PreK-3 rolling into it’s second half, and Cricket’s everyday adventures continuing to ramp-up, there is a lot of new stuff to write about also. So again, thanks for taking the detour with us, and please continue to enjoy the trip.

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Sayin’ my thanks (yes, again)

This post has been trying to come out for eight months now, essentially since Sweetie had her 1 year check up. Fast forward to today – Sweetie’s 18 month check-up. And once again we were out of the doctor’s office in no time. No problems, no issues, nothing bad at all. We walked out with the doctor’s blessings and “we’ll see you in eight months”. But not everyone has it this way.

Doctor visit days are like vacation days in a way. Wife takes the day off and we all travel together. After the visit we get into adventures of some sort. Last visit we went Downtown with Big Daddy B, Momma Z and Linda. Today we spent the day with Abuelo and Abuela. Whatever we get into, we get into as a family. And again, not everyone has it this way.

And so I am saying my thanks. Thank you to wife and to Sweetie. And thank you to the universe in general. “Thinking” my thanks did not feel like it was cutting it, so I hashed out this post. I know some of those people who don’t have these same experiences. Their doctor’s visits are full of challenges and bad news. Or they are doing this parenting thing without a partner’s help. But our family doesn’t have it that way and I am grateful for it.

Since I am handing out thanks, I want to thank those of you who have joined the detour through the Facebook page. We all know that in the Interweb and social media paradigms, “Likes” and “Follows” are currency. It means a lot folks and it is nice to see consistent visits to the blog. Aw heck, for those of you who have followed from jump, lots of thanks too!

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. I hope it spurns you to thank your important people and whatever higher power you talk to. Tomorrow is a new day with its own adventures.