Dad Jokes Abound

Hello Friends,

It seemed like everyone was getting in the Dad jokes this year. I starting hearing them last week, bandied about on radio programs, used in email contests, and, of course, enjoyed between Fathers in preparation for the big day. The Cricket latched on to a particularly “good” one, so here goes:

“What do you call a bear with no teeth?”

“A gummy bear!”

Even better than the joke itself is Cricket’s delivery. She doesn’t always wait for the “What?” after the opening question, and rapid fires the punchline at you. Of course, she’s cracking up regardless of your response.

I hope that the weekend, especially yesterday, was excellent, and that this week is starting off well too. Stay away from those real “groaner” jokes, but stay open to the funny ones!

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Happy Father’s Day!

Hello Friends,

And a special hello to all my Father’s out there! Wife, the girls, and I all hope you are having a great day, surrounded by family and doing those things that bring you joy.

My day started with cards and gifts from my girls, followed by breakfast in bed. We scheduled everything for later in the morning, so it was a nice and easy start.

We took my Father, “Grandpa”, out for some brunch. Despite the crowd, we had a slow visit and enjoyed some good food.

Cards went out to all the Dads in our lives, many well-wishes went out via text as well. And now here is our blog wish to all you Dads out there, but especially the stay-at-home Dads out there. This one’s for you, men-Happy Father’s Day!

Funds Run

Hello Friends,

I want to tell you a little about the girls raising some money for their school, and a lot about the support of our friends and family.

The girls just completed the 2019 Boosterthon “Fun Run” at the school. This fundraising event combines school-wide activities, online adventures, donation solicitation, and physical activity to benefit the school. This year the funds will help St. Viator School blend classical classroom learning with technological tools while modifying the classroom layout. We are adding stations, smart boards and computer-based tools to our book and desk classroom situation. Pretty neat stuff.

Boosterthon is the company that organizes this fundraising event. They have a website where students set up a video (which both Sweetie and the Cricket enjoyed making), send out solicitation emails, and track their progress on a rudimentary dashboard. Staff members with catchy codenames (like “Adventure Abbey”) spend time in the school hyping the kids up and building enthusiasm. As the students reach fundraising benchmarks they earn a variety of prizes. These are mostly knickknacks, but they tend to revolve around physical activity and play. This flurry of activity swirls around the school for two weeks until the actual day of the run.

Boosterthon handles all the staging, lighting, and entertainment for the run as well. Parent volunteers count/tally laps while others come out to cheer on the runners. The goal for all students is thirty-five laps around the course, a good balance between challenging and fun.

It’s been eye-opening to learn how our tuition covers the operation and the maintenance of the school, but not necessarily innovation. The money raised through the Boosterthon fun run helps on that front. Combined, the girls raised $875 dollars, all donated by family and friends. So we say a big “Thank you!” to all of you who supported the girls and pledged to their run. We definitely appreciate you and your donations.

The Fun Run has been successful the past three years, so I imagine we’ll do it again next year. The girls were proud of their contribution to the school, and they had a great time running. Need a good fundraising event for your school? Maybe check out Boosterthon to see if they operate in your area. In the event that you are interested in supporting us next year, you can contact me through the comments or at dadsdiaperdetour@gmail.com, and I will add your email to the contact list. We’ll see you out there!

May the 4th Fun

Hello Friends,

Yes, I know we are already days past, but May the 4th be with you! We had such a fun, full weekend that I couldn’t get this out to you all on Saturday. Our May 4th plans weren’t extensive, but they were fun, so I thought I’d share.Our main Star Wars celebration was heading to the local Barnes & Nobles for a May 4th Star Wars Lego build event. Bins of various pieces greeted the children, who had free reign to build.There was product on display, of course, as if the kids needed motivation to join the fun. They also had an activity booklet for the kids to color and complete. Sweetie and I ventured in while Cricket napped in the car.So here’s Sweetie’s finished escape pod. All MOCs were turned in to the staff for photographing and posting on their Instagram feed. It was kind of a bummer that the kids couldn’t keep their builds, but a giant poster of Star Wars alphabet helped ease that pain.The girls are Star Wars fans and Lego fans. They are not quiet to the convention/public cosplay level just yet, so the Barnes & Nobles event was just right. It was great to be out and about, and attending the event helped “launch” an adventurous afternoon.I hope you guys had a good weekend, and today started your week off well. We’ll see you out there!

The Spring Break We Were Looking For?

Hello Friends,

Yep, that’s where I’ve been for the past two weeks: spring break. For some families, this meant a trip to the warmer parts of the U.S.. For others, an overdue trip to international beaches. And for us?

Local. Definitely local. And any of you watching the news over the past two weeks (or living here) knows we started this Chicago spring break with a snow storm and just about ended with one too! That was followed by some fevers, coughs, and rain. All challenging, but definitely not the end of our story.

We had to get healthy and get creative. So our adventures included a trip to the Atheneum Theater to see the Emerald City Theater’s performance of Corduroy;

lunch and an afternoon spent at Lincoln Park Zoo;

an egg hunt and activities at the Kilbourn Park Community Garden;

Our own Easter celebration, full of eggs, family and food;

and, thankfully, some time spent in the yard.

The sun came out later in our break than we anticipated. The warmth, even later yet. Again, those of you living here with us know how weirdly Chicago Spring can act.

Sweetie headed back to school last week for Thursday and Friday. Two days, end of the week, with an assembly…yeah, they didn’t really count. Cricket went to work with Wife on Thursday, then used Friday and Saturday to work on getting healthy…again. So today, when the bell rang at 7:50 AM, into the school they went! 40°, rain, and all!

Did you all have a goood spring break? Is yours still pending, even later than ours? I hope you have a chance to relax, recharge, clean out, really, do whatever you need to on your break. Did we have the spring break we were looking for? Eh, not too sure about that. Thankfully, I was too busy enjoying the spring break we got to worry about it!

We’ll see you out there, friends!

The Balance Unicorn

Hello Friends,

Allow me to share a glimpse into our morning routine. This is another event where I resort to a fixed schedule in order to get something done. Specifically, get the girls to brush their teeth to finish getting ready for school and get out the door on time. They get a turn brushing, then comes mine:

“Open your mouth”-brush inside. (spit)

“Close your teeth”-brush outside. (spit)

“Stick out your tongue”-brush tongue. (spit)

Rinse.

Dr. Johnny told us to brush for two minutes, twice a day. So, repeat this each morning after breakfast and each evening before bed. That’s fourteen times a week, for the past three years, and always with the same script.

Why then am I writing about the brushing of teeth like it’s some monumental accomplishment? This is an exercise that should be easy for us, take us four to five minutes, twice a day. Most times, though, it is a much longer ordeal. The girls will often fall off script, Cricket in particular. With her it feels like every other day I remind her of the brushing order. So I got to thinking, “Why is that?” I mean, all the books say that kids need routine, that they respond well to routine, they like routine. And the only answer I can come up with is, “Sometimes, particularly with children, that’s just how it goes.”

And there it is; that’s why I’m writing about our tooth brushing routine. Because it is my routine, not the girls’, so sometimes they don’t follow it (nor seem compelled to). Regardless of how long we have practiced these steps, we stray from the plan. Or rather, they stray. And sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Some days it is the tooth brushing routine; sometimes it is when we leave for school; other days it is the classroom routine at school; still others it is with toilet use. They aren’t acting on a choice, exercising their agency, pushing back, acting out or anything like that. They’re just doing, and it happens to be in a different direction than I’m doing. So lately I’ve been quietly reminding myself that sometimes, that’s just how it goes.

Admittedly, sometimes I tell that voice (still quietly) to go to hell. Those are the days when patience is not high on my list. Days when we’ve squandered our morning and have to sprint out the door, or when I think a four-year-old should use the toilet every time. These are days when my expectations might exceed our reality.

This brings up more questions, namely, “Where are you going with this, man?” And that answer is “balance.” I think the key here is to find a balance with your little ones. As much as I would love to control every move, every minute, that’s not a reality. But I also think it is unrealistic to resign yourself to chaos and let your kids follow every whim. So, balance. You know, like Mary Poppins making a game out of cleaning up the nursery. Yeah, balance. Man, this feels like I’m sitting back in Parenting 101.

I know this post wanders around a bit, friends, so thanks for sticking through to the end. I was recently reminded that children need room to be children, or else they seek out another outlet. I guess that means sometimes wiggling at the dinner table, making a mess of a room, being loud in general, etc.. Clearly, I’m still chomping on that comment, but wandering around this post has helped me to process.

I can’t help feeling like I am searching for a unicorn, though. I mean, there are entire sections of the bookstore dedicated to finding balance in your life. And then add your kids’ lives? Whew! Anyway, thanks again for reading my ramblings, I wish you all the best in finding your own balance.

I hope you are having a great day, we’ll see you out there!