Top Ten Summer Activities



I love summer. After watching Blake for the last 14 months, I am convinced he does too. When I was in elementary school I would always look forward to summer and create a top ten list of things I wanted to do before school started back. Now, I have a full-time job, I am in college, and I don’t have the summers off anymore. But, since we had Blake, some of that youthful anticipation has come back.


So, I have decided to post a top ten list. This isn’t your average David Letterman top ten list. Neither it is a top ten best things to do with your toddler. It is simply a top ten list of things that I plan to do with my family this summer. If it inspires you to do some of these things, great. If it inspires you to create your own top ten, then I have done my job.


Here they are:


10. Go Fishing

We tackled this one early. We took Blake to Papa Kelly’s private pond last weekend and he loved it. You should have seen his face when the bobber disappeared and the bass jumped around. Of course, he did have a little help from Meme pulling it in.

9. Go to a Park and Feed the Ducks

This one will be coming up pretty soon. He has already visited with Gammy.

8. Find a Pet Turtle

His first big word was turtle. He was going into the pediatrician’s office (yeah, the same one!) and said “tut tul”. My mom (Meme) didn’t know what he was saying at the time until he went in and pointed at the turtle aquarium in the waiting room and said it again. Ever since he has been fascinated with all things turtle.

7. Take Bono (The Dog) to a State Forest

We have a state forest just down the road from us and we have been meaning to do this for a long time.

6. Go to the Beach

Technically, we have already don this one too. He was just a few months old, though so he wasn’t able to enjoy it as much. The next three items  are repeats of this trip, as well. However, they are definitely worth repeating.

5. Ride a Boat/Ferry

When we go to the beach it is a tradition to ride the ferry . I am sure we will do it again.

4. Visit a State Aquarium

Blake loves to watch marine animals. Now, he will be able to walk around and enjoy the hands-on exhibits.

3. Eat a Britt’s Donut

092212120246 If you’ve never had the chance to eat one, do it. They are the stuff legends are made of!

2. Make a Craft Together

I’m not sure what this is yet. I just know that it will be fun.


And the number one thing to do this summer….


1. Go Camping

Yeah, that one might be more for Mommy and Daddy to enjoy, but I think he will like it too.


What are some things you plan on doing with your family this summer? Leave a comment and inspire others!

Hey, Dads Change Diapers Too!



It’s true. Dads do change diapers. When mother nature calls a kid, the kid don’t know how to send that call to voicemail. You could be out to dinner, at a baseball game, or even in Wal-Mart. When the kid has to go, he’ll usually go. Yes, we are working on potty training but it is a work in progress. It doesn’t matter where you are, if the kid poops his pants his diaper needs changing.  In fact, sometimes dads are out with their little one on their own and need to change a diaper. This happened to me on a recent trip to the pediatrician’s office. Let me repeat that…the PEDIATRICIAN’S OFFICE! I was about 30 minutes early because I picked Blake up from daycare and wasn’t sure how long it would take. Anyone that travels I-40 in the Raleigh, NC area knows what I mean. Anyway, we did our usual tour of the waiting room and visited the turtles. Blake’s first word besides mama and dada was turtle and was spoken in that very waiting room. Suddenly, I caught a whiff of what I thought might have been a dead turtle but upon further sniffing found that we had a dirty diaper to change. I walked over to the counter and asked where the restroom was so I could change him. To my utter shock and amazement, the nurse looked at me perplexed and said “ the men’s room is around the corner but it doesn’t have a changing station.” I looked at her with the same look she gave me and said “ well this is a dad friendly place, huh?”  She sad that she would try to get me in a room early so I could change him. I wanted to say that she was welcome to take him into the women’s restroom and change him, but my mama taught me to be nice so I just said “that will be great, thanks.”


I went in a changed his diaper and waited for the doctor to come by. While I was waiting, I got to thinking…How many places have a changing station in the men’s room? I know I have been amazed at some of the places that do. I once went to a bar that had one in there. Some concert venues do. The pediatrician’s office…nope, nada. I’m thinking it’s time to switch pediatricians.


Do you know places that are dad friendly? How about some strange places that are dad friendly? Let me know in the comments below.

Using Google Calendar for Date Night



All parents look for a getaway at some point. Kids are great, but we all need mommy and daddy time occasionally, right? I have started using a shared Google calendar to schedule a date a week with my wife. Just me and her. Sometimes we go out to eat. Sometimes we go get groceries. Hey, we have to get them sometime, right?


You may not think of going to the grocery store as a date, but when it is just you and your wife it can be. We have some of our best conversations in the grocery aisles. The point is, any time that we can spend together is cherished.


As I mentioned, we plan at least one date night a week. Usually, it is on Thursday night because Blake stays with Gammy on Thursday night and she keeps him on Fridays. There are some times when it doesn’t work out, but that is the schedule most of the time. The important thing is to use Google calendar to schedule it. This helps tremendously when you share it with the grandparents. If your parents re like ours, they will look for any time they can spend with the grandson! If that isn’t the case for you, you might consider sharing a calendar with a babysitter.


This is how it works:

1. Create a Google Calendar – You can name it whatever you want. I named ours Blake time.

2. Choose to Make it Public or Private – I chose to leave mine private and add the email address of those I want to share it.

3. Add Email Addresses of  Specific People to Share With – In our case we are just sharing with the grandmothers.

4. Add Permissions – You can choose to allow someone to manage the calendar and sharing, make changes to the events, see all event details, or  see only the free /busy times. In order for people to use it the way I want, they need to make changes to events.

5. Click Create Calendar – Now the only thing left is to schedule. I create an event called date night on the calendar and everyone can see it. If one of the grandmothers want to take care of Blake that night, they can add that to the event. Of course, we communicate outside of the calendar, but it does give us a snapshot of who wants to babysit while we have a little alone time.


You can add other event details to the calendar that you want everyone that is sharing to know about. For instance, Julie and I use it to manage our school work. We will usually put an event that allows the other to know not to plan anything because one of us has a paper to write or something. That means that Blake gets to some bonding time with the parent that isn’t hitting the books that night.


So, do you have a date night with your spouse on a regular basis? If not, it can be easy to start and the benefits are well worth the scheduling time. If you do, what are some things that you like to do on your date night? You can join the conversation below. I would love to hear your ideas.

Learning to Share



Today was our son’s first birthday party. We will have his second, first birthday party in a couple of weeks. It worked out great because our dog turns three this week. Yes, we celebrate our dog’s birthday. We also call him brother when we refer to him in front of Blake, our son. Don’t judge me.


Anyway, I have heard a lot of people say that it is hard for an only child to learn to share because they have everything to themselves. I disagree with this for two reasons. One, I am an only child and I am sharing this valuable information with anyone that reads this. Also, Blake loves to share with his brother, Bono the dog. Today as he was eating his lunch, he would take a bite and pass a bite to the dog. In fact, every time he eats, he shares something with the dog. We have repeatedly tried to stop this habit but have succumbed to the fact that he is just sharing with his buddy. We constantly see the two of them sharing their toys. Blake has a toy box and so does Bono. We have  found Blake’s toys in Bono’s box numerous times. Bono’s tennis ball seems to always be in Blake’s toy box. I think playing fetch is their favorite thing to do together. They play it a little different, though. Bono will bounce the ball and bat it away with his snout. Blake will go get it and bring it back so Bono can do it again.


At the party today, we had a few members of family over and everyone enjoyed playing with Blake and Bono. After all of the play, both of them had a bath. Separately, of course. After the baths they came out and were getting sleepy. What happened next was priceless. Blake grabbed his plush rabbit and took it over to where Bono was laying on the floor as if to say “ Here, this is more comfortable than the floor.” Bono looked at it and scooted over to it, laid down on it, and fell asleep.


Yes, an only child does know how to share.


Feel free to share these posts if you are an only child, or even if you aren’t  The world needs more sharers. You can also subscribe by RSS or email.




I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Dad Blogs.