Dear Jack: This Was Definitely Your Biggest Halloween Ever!

7 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

It was supposed to start raining around dinner time on Halloween. I really hated that for you; that it would be nearly impossible to visit many houses on the one day each year we attempt to visit every neighbor in our neighborhood with their front porch light on.

Amazingly though, it was perfect weather outside; for any day of the year, actually.

It was about 66 degrees and the wind was barely blowing.

Not to mention, more neighbors were giving out candy this year, compared to the previous Halloweens we’ve lived in our neighborhood.

We literally visited every single house with the light on.

And when we got back to our own house, there was no room left in your bucket, even for another pack of Skittles.

Maybe your dinosaur costume scared them into giving you a little more candy this time?

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

4 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

Dear Jack,

Being the daddy blogger who denounces artificial food dyes in food, I must admit it is quite convenient that my almost 5 year-old son has willingly chosen to use his Halloween candy for science experiments, as opposed to actually eating it.

This was completely your idea. It was the convenient timing of you rediscovering your Magic Science kit that Mommy and I got you’re a year ago for your 4th birthday.

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

Saturday morning, which was Halloween, you and I took a walk at the park and you found a green acorn; which you referred to as a coconut.

You announced to me: “Daddy, when we get home, I’m going to put this coconut in the water with peanut butter!” 

That’s exactly what we did. (Featured in the collage below.)

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

I supervised as you randomly mixed the ingredients included in the kit, with the “coconut” as well as some peanut butter. Needless to say, you weren’t following the instructions included in the kit at all. Fortunately, no explosions occurred…

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

Even during dinner, as you ate the pizza Mommy made, you were constantly checking on the progress of your science experiments. (Not to mention, you had previously dunked some of the uncooked pizza dough into some chemicals as well; as part of its own experiment; as seen below.)

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

We then took about a 90 minute break to actually, you know… go trick-or-treating.

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

It meant so much to me to finally go trick-or-treating in our own neighborhood; since we moved in our new home back in January. When we lived in the townhouse community before, it just wasn’t the ideal environment like our neighborhood is now, for something like this.

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

Needless to say, after we got home from church on Sunday, you spent all of your time testing all types of the candy you earned the night before.

I think you favorite to dissolve were the Nerds. You explained to me:

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

“Daddy, the Nerds turn in to crystals!” You scooped them out from the bottom of the cup, using a plastic spoon; revealing the now colorless pieces of sugar.

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

It was also interesting to see Runts without their coloring as well. And the Laffy Taffy looked like a brain.

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

A dentist in our neighborhood is buying back Halloween candy; paying $1 per pound, then sending the candy overseas the U.S. troops.

Dear Jack: Using Halloween Candy for Science Experiments Instead of Eating It

You were planning on selling most of your candy so you could use the money to buy a toy.

Instead, it looks like you’d rather use the candy for scientist experiments; as opposed to selling it, or even crazier… actually eating it.

Love,

Daddy

Baby Names: Jack vs. Frank


In naming our first child, my wife and I were very careful to choose a name that fit several important criteria: a) it has to be familiar, yet not overused or trendy; b)  there can only be one obvious way to spell it; c) there can only be one obvious way to say it; d) it has to be a “classic” American name; e) it has to be a strong name, f) it has to sound good with my last name(“Alex Shell” couldn’t work because it sounds like “Alec Shell”- same thing with “Max”). So Jack was the most obvious choice.  But as we have daydreamed about what to name another boy if we were to have one, we’ve had trouble finding another boy name that would fit our criteria.

All I could come up with is Frank.  But here’s the problem with Frank.  It’s not a cool name these days.  You can’t name your baby Frank.  Despite all the cool, classic, all-American Frank’s in our nation’s history, Frank isn’t a cool name for a baby in the 2010’s.  Even Frank Sinatra’s legacy of coolness can’t change that.

So why has Jack remained cool but Frank has not?  I’ve only got ridiculous theories.  But here they are:


1. Frank is another word for “hot dog”.  Jack is not.

2. Not a lot of cool young names start with “fr”.  Like Fred, for example.  But a lot of cool young names do start with “j”.  Like Josh, Jerome, and Jake.

3. Frank is pretty similar to the f-word.  So is Chuck.

4. Frank sounds rhymes with both “stank” and “rank”, which indicate bad odor.

5. It’s not easy to think of a recent, young Frank who is cool.  The closest I can come up with is the Jewish Frank from the Ali Fedotowsky season of The Bachelorette.  But by referencing that TV show, it obviously is an indication of “not cool”.  (So what does that say about me for admitting I watch the show?…)

6. It’s easy to think of cool Jack’s- like Jack Donaghy (30 Rock), Jack Tripper (Three’s Company), and if this were 2003, Jack Black.

7. I can’t think of any negative associations with Jack, where I obviously easily was able to with Frank.

8.  As you continue eating leftover Halloween candy, keep this in mind: Jack O’ lanterns are cooler than Frankenstein.