Dear Jack: You Graduated Kindergarten This Week!

6 and a half years.

Dear Jack,

This Tuesday, just a few days after you won your Math Award in front of the entire school, Mommy and I made our way back- this time, to watch our 6 and a half year-old son graduate Kindergarten.

The festivities began with a presentation in which your entire Kindergarten grade sang a song, which reviewed to us parents all that you learned this year.

Afterwards, we made our way to your classroom, where your (pregnant) teacher presented each individual student with a specific award.

What’s funny about this is that before we all left the house that morning, I took your picture while you held a small chalkboard reading, “When I grow up, I want to be an artist.”

There’s no way that when Mommy came up with the idea for me to take that picture of you, she could have known your teacher would be presenting you with the Amazing Artist Award!

You teacher then presented a 15 minute slideshow on Power Point, which reviewed all the fun your class had this year. And sure enough, she had a picture further reconfirming your focus on becoming an artist when you grow up.

During the presentation, you stood next to your best friend, Duncan. Amazingly, Duncan’s parents were the only other parents in the Lamaze class we were in, 7 years ago.

Imagine the chances that our sons would not only end up in the same Kindergarten class, and naturally end up becoming best friends.

And we didn’t even discover that we knew Duncan’s parents until about a month or so ago, when Duncan’s Mommy figured it out.

What a cool story!

Alright then, you are no longer a Kindergartner. You are our awesome soon-to-be 1st grader! Mommy and I are so proud of you. You are some kid.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Evolve into the Snubbull Pokemon When You Get “Hangry” (Hungry + Angry)

1 year, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

I admit- it’s a rare thing to ever see you upset about anything. You’re just a happy, beboppin’ little girl.

You assume the world is all marshmallows and unicorns, and I feel that Mommy and I do our best to make sure that is indeed the case, as best we can.

Undeniably, you are the kind of the baby girl who I just naturally want to make happy. You’re low-maintenance- and of course, you’re adorable! You’re the epitome of cuteness.

With that being said, thanks to your 6 and a half year-old brother, I am now quite familiar with the fundamentals of Pokemon characters; how many of them have the ability to evolve into stronger, fiercer versions of themselves.

Every single day when your brother comes home from school, he eagerly shows me the newest Pokemon cards he received by trading some others that he had just received days before.

As I was flipping through the 4 new cards he got that day, Snubbull immediately stopped me in my tracks:

“Why does this one look so familiar?” I thought to myself. I just couldn’t figure it out.

But just a few days later, I came home from work, to a beautiful strawberry-blonde little girl who was literally changing colors, as she morphed into an angry red version of her usual self.

That was a result of you being equally hungry and tired, yet Mommy and I couldn’t get you fastened into your high chair fast enough.

It wasn’t until I took these pictures later that day that the theory presented itself: that you evolve into Snubbull, the Pokemon fairy, when you are “hangry”.

I don’t want my little girl to have to evolve into a Pokemon character. It’s just too sad to see you upset. I just want to keep you happy, Sweetie!

Love,

Daddy

Netflix’s “Anne With An E” is the Next Show You Should Binge Watch, Even If No One’s Buzzing about It on Facebook

Though my wife and I have been thoroughly enjoying the fact our 1 year-old daughter has been sleeping through the night for the past 7 months, and therefore enabling us to go to bed by 10 o’clock each night, we found a reason to stay up a little bit past our bed time.

I am of course referring to a new show on Netflix that your friends aren’t talking about on Facebook, but should be: Anne With An E.

The series is somewhat loosely based on the 1908 novel, Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Despite maintaining a TV-PG rating, this version of the story is a bit darker and edgier than the book, and especially more so than the 1985 miniseries.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the premise, here’s the concept:

Back in the days of trains, horses, general stores, and doctors who made house calls, an aging brother and sister in Canada choose to adopt a teenage boy to help them work their farm.

However, the orphanage sends them a girl instead; likely in an attempt to get rid of her.

She’s skinny, red headed, and freckle-faced. She also full of imagination, a chatter box, and extremely intelligent.

Anne is an orphan girl who has never been adopted by a family before and truly doesn’t know what it is to actually be loved by anyone she’s ever met; as her parents died when she was a baby.

Here’s why my wife and I love this show so much, having watched the entire season in less than a week:

Annie With An E is the story of an unloved girl who doesn’t know how to fit in, but who finds a way to win the hearts of the people she encounters. For me, a good story is based on character arc more than anything.

This series does an excellent job of showing how the main characters change for the better from episode to episode- and how forgiveness, along with open-mindedness, are crucial for this evolution.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, I’ll simply leave you with the opening sequence and theme song for Netflix’s Anne with an E.

Dear Jack: You Received the Certificate of Excellence in Mathematics Award for Your Kindergarten Class

6 and a half years.

Dear Jack,

For weeks, Mommy and I had been curious to know the details, as to why your teacher had texted Mommy and me that you would be presented with a special award in front of your school.

I tried to imagine which unique award you might have earned from your Kindergarten teacher. Naturally, I assumed it was either for your creative artwork, your effortless reading skills, or your ability to positively communicate and get along with your classmates.

You were the first student in your class to receive the Student of Month award from your teacher, back in September, so I figured it might have something to do with good behavior.

But instead, last Thursday, Mommy and I pleased to see you walk up in front of your entire elementary school and receive the Certificate of Excellence in Mathematics from your principal. What this means is that out of your entire Kindergarten class, you are the most skilled at Math.

Obviously, I’m very proud. I am so proud.

Yet honestly, I can’t be too surprised. I’ve been saying for months now, how you are able to count, add, and subtract numbers that I wasn’t able to until 2nd or 3rd grade.

I just figured that the entire Kindergarten curriculum had advanced a few grades, since 30 years ago when I was in Kindergarten myself.

And while I’m sure that’s the case, I now must fully accept that you are exceptionally advanced when it comes to your math skills. Your teacher recognized this to the point that you specifically were the one she chose.

The irony here is that the very reason I ended up getting my college degree in English is because I was so bad at math.

I don’t know I ended with a junior math whiz for a son, but I’m glad I did!

Love,

Daddy

I am Giving Away a Brand-New Dynatrap DT2000 XL Insect Trap on May 31st, 2017

My wife was born and raised near Sacramento, California. Even though we’ve been married nearly 9 years now, it wasn’t until we moved into our new house in 2015 that I learned this from her: In California, they don’t really have bugs… like we do here in Tennessee.

Yeah, apparently, she didn’t grow up having to worry about mosquitos, flies, wasps, and yellow jackets. I can’t imagine!

But now that we have a home with a decent sized backyard, she has been dealing with the dilemma of wanting our family to be able to hang out on the back porch, yet knowing… there will be bugs.

Lucky for me, in the midst of this, Dynatrap reached out to me a few weeks ago, asking me if I’d be interested in receiving a free indoor/outdoor Dynatrap XL Insect Trap for my family to enjoy. Plus, they asked me if I would mind hosting a giveaway here on my blog.

It was a no-brainer. And what perfect timing!

We are so grateful to now have a “bug zapper” to help clear the air from pesky bugs as we enjoy our outdoor living room.

To enter my Dynatrap XL Insect Trap Giveaway, leave a comment on my Facebook page for Family Friendly Daddy Blog where I promoted this blog post.

On Wednesday, May 31th, 2017, I will print out all the comments, then draw the winner’s name out of a hat. I will do this in a video so you can be just as surprised as I am, as to who the winner is.

This gives everyone an entire week to put in their name to win.

If you are the lucky winner, I will contact you through Facebook, so I can get your mailing address and pass it along to Dynatrap, who will mail a brand-new Dynatrap XL Insect Trap to your family.

How fun is this? Alright, do your thing.

Go leave a comment here to enter.

Dear Holly: You Hunted and Gathered Some “Baby Biscuits” for Breakfast Saturday Morning

1 year.

Dear Holly,

These are the days of you scouting underneath the kitchen table for any Cheerios you may have dropped earlier. You’re very good at finding them, by the way. And every time you discover a forsaken Cheerio, you proudly extend your little hand and pick it up like a crane machine lifting a toy out of the machine at Mellow Mushroom.

It is very obvious that at your school, you are learning to eat with your hands. I’ve noticed here recently that when I try to feed you veggie and fruit puree with the spoon, you’re starting to resist my help.

As if to sternly yet politely tell me, “Thank you, Daddy, for trying to help me eat dinner. But as you can see, I am actually able to feed myself…”

Often this leads to you cupping your hands to scoop the food out of the bowl. Yeah, it makes a mess, but I’m happy to see you attempt to be a girl her who can feed herself.

But you don’t simply snoop around for Cheerios to feed yourself, as I learned this past Saturday.

As Mommy was shopping for groceries at Kroger, you and I were upstairs in the bonus room with Jack, who was watching a dinosaur documentary on Netflix called Dinotasia.

For a while, you were content to just walk between the red footstool and the couch, as you braced yourself when necessary. You were so quiet, as to respect the fact your brother was in the zone as he learned more about dinosaurs.

Then I heard the rattling of a plastic wrapper for the non-GMO fig bars your brother eats: Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars. I didn’t think much of it. I just figured you liked manipulating the sound that an empty wrapper could make.

But then the rattling ceased, and I saw your little fist clenching one of the bars, and I saw how it was soggy on one end…

You had taken it upon yourself to find your own breakfast! I continued to watch you, and sure enough, you were able to successfully download the food you had found, just lying there.

Since you did such a good job finding and eating your own “baby biscuit”, I ran downstairs and got you a new pack of them.

Without surprise, you were able to chew and slobber your way through those baby biscuits as well, with just those two teeth on bottom and three coming in through the top.

Holly is a hunter-gatherer!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Unashamed Obsession with the Dinosaur Documentary, Dinotasia

  1. 6 and a half years.

Dear Jack,

Saturday morning as Mommy bought the groceries at Kroger, I stayed home with you and your sister, letting you pick something to watch on Netflix until Mommy got back.

We scrolled through the “Because You Watched Jurassic Park” suggestions and came across a seemingly appropriate selection: Dinotasia. As opposed to being a movie like you’re used to watching, it’s more of a documentary that shows what life was like for dinosaurs, featuring CGI cartoons, as opposed to interviews with paleontologists.

So I explained that to you before I clicked play, “This is a dinosaur documentary.”

As I assume all Kindergarten boys are, you are thoroughly obsessed with dinosaurs with the same degree of passion as you are with Pokemon characters.

Every night before bed, I read to you from your giant Dinosaurs book, as you learn the names and unique features of each dinosaur.

So by watching Dinotasia, you were able to correctly shout out, “Hey Daddy, that’s a Pachycephalosaurus!”

I know I’ve said this a lot before, but you really are a smart kid.

We were able to finish the documentary before Mommy got back with the groceries. And of course, you bombarded her when she came through the door, as you told her all about the dinosaur documentary we had just watched.

Then the next morning on Sunday, you woke up early to watch Dinotasia, a 2nd time; this time with Mommy.

Later that day, as we were leaving from church, Mommy asked you what you did in your group class, which includes some kids that are a bit older than you.

“I told them about the dinosaur documentary, Dinotasia. There was this older girl who thought I was only 3 years old and she didn’t think a 3 year-old could watch a documentary, but I told her I am in Kindergarten.”

We typically talk about what we value. You obviously value Dinotasia. I like having a son who proudly watches dinosaur documentaries.

Love,

Daddy