Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Nick Boyle ( @DinnerbyDad ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 480th Dad in the Limelight is Nick Boyle. I want to thank Nick for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Nick-Boyle1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Nick Boyle and I’m a mid-20s first-time Dad. Why/How am I in the limelight? I don’t know… you tell me! I currently work as an SEO Manager for a luxury fashion brand during the day, then rush home to be with my partner and son, Isaac for the rest of the evening. In my spare time, I document my experiences over at Dinner by Dad to share the highs and lows of fatherhood with my readers.
It’s a real balancing act – but I love it. Coming home to that little man at the end of every day is just the best feeling anyone could imagine.
2) Tell me about your family
My family still has its ‘L’ plates on! We’ve jumped headfirst into parenthood and both love all the joys and challenges it has thrown our way. My partner, Nikki, is on maternity leave as I write this – and she’s a fantastic mum to Isaac. We met around 10 years ago on our first day of college – and despite going our separate ways for a few years, we found ourselves together and were soon buying a house and expecting our first baby!
Nick-Boyle3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
To put it simply: going to work. Leaving the little man and Nikki behind in the morning is really difficult – even after 7 months. Sure, there have been loads of other challenges (nappies, feeding, projectile vomiting, etc.), but missing out on small yet significant developments is pretty tough. Nikki does a great job with recording the mischief Isaac gets up to – but I can’t help harbouring a slight feeling of jealousy at times that I wasn’t physically there to see something.
That being said, there’s no other (acceptable) way to earn money than to head out and work; and knowing that I’m putting food on the plates of my family gives me a growing sense of pride and responsibility. I work hard to ensure my family are safe and healthy, so despite not enjoying leaving in the morning, my motivation has never been stronger.
The drive home from work always starts off a little downbeat after a stressful day, but by the time I’m turning that final corner into the driveway I’ll have a big smile on my face!
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My first piece of advice is: love every minute; love every smile, every gurgle, every burp, every snore. Just love it all.
My second piece of advice is to be patient. Sure, your little one may have been screaming for 30 minutes straight… but it’s their only way to communicate how they feel at that moment. Patience, my friend, will get you through. Remember that your child doesn’t know as much as you, so don’t get frustrated when they fling a tomato-based meal over your cream carpet, they didn’t mean to!
Nick-Boyle
My final piece of advice is based on teamwork. You and your partner have entered this together – so no matter how tired you are, how hungry you are or how annoyed you may get at each other, you a part of a team; a team that your little one wholly relies on. Work together to get things done; ask each other what you find difficult and come to a joint solution. Not only will you both grow together, but you’ll convey a powerful and meaningful message to your child – one that will stick with them forever. Remember, they are part of your team too – so never leave them stranded.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
Before Isaac was born, Nikki and I had a chat about how we’d retain certain elements of the lives we had become accustomed to. I would continue to go to the football (soccer, for those of you based in America) on a Saturday to cheer on Preston North End, and Nikki would continue to go out for meals with friends, etc.
In reality, this has been a little more difficult as parenthood takes over; but it’s something we’re working on! We still have ‘date nights’ every week, which is great. We’ll put Isaac down to bed then put a movie on and have a nice tea; having that time together is really important.
Nick-Boyle6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Friendship and a strong collective identity. Dads are fantastic friends to have; whenever something isn’t going right, just like your closest friends, they will be there to pick you up. I’ve been touched by how welcoming and open many fathers have been and how strong the community is. The year of the Dad Blogger is upon us… #Dadpower
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Remember that your child is your child – so when someone says “I would do this”, or “You should do that”… take it with a pinch of salt and just smile in response. You make the calls, you make the shots – don’t let other people’s opinions govern the way you father your child.
I’ve been told how to father my child by many a passer-by. Sure, they may just be offering harmless help, but they don’t really have a right to tell me how to look after Isaac. It’s the one thing that annoys me about some people’s perceptions of fathers. I will proudly say that I am a good father; I work hard to pave a happy future for my family and I regularly show my son the unconditional love he deserves.
There we go, it’s off my chest now!
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
So far, it has to be Isaac’s transition into crawling. He spent so long trying to move across the room, only to be floundered by his own arms getting in the way. Seeing him actually move in the direction he wanted for the first time filled me with pride… and tears! Now, though, we can’t stop him – he’s absolutely rapid when he wants to be and a nightmare to catch sometimes! I’m so proud of my son – he’s taught me so much about what really matters in life in such a short space of time. Never did I think I could love someone so much.

If you have any questions for Nick, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Chris ( @DadUnderfire ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 481st Dad in the Limelight is Chris from DadUnderFire.com. I want to thank Chris for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

 

Chris-dadunderfire.com1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is Chris and I’m 34 years old and a recently separated dad of two amazing boys, Lucas (5) and Jack (2). I am also a professional firefighter in one of the top 5 largest Fire Departments in North America. When I’m not working or spending time with my boys, you can find me watching sports or playing them. Besides playing hockey and baseball, I enjoy running and try to fit in at least one half-marathon a year. I also like to paint and write and I have created an outlet for that on my website DadUnderFire.com which I plan on returning to after a small hiatus.
2) Tell me about your family

My family is literally the reason I get up in the morning. They are the reason I am here today. When you go through a separation, you can find yourself in some dark places with only your thoughts. Being with my wife for 16 years makes being single again a real challenge. Whenever I’m depressed, I look at pictures of Lucas and Jack and I’m instantly reminded what my purpose is. They give meaning to my most meaningless moments. They are at such an awesome age right now, both with their very own personalities and mannerisms. Gone are the days of babydom and here are the days of jokes and silliness.

Chris-dadunderfire.com
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

Without question, my largest challenge as a father, is trying to tightrope walk the fine line of being a good dad, while avoiding the mistakes my dad made. My relationship with my father is rocky at the best of times. I will always say he raised me to be a successful and respectable human being. Sadly, our father/son relationship suffered for it. I am completely independent because of him, and completely handicapped emotionally at the same time. It allows me the freedom to do the job I have without breaking down (most of the time) but often creates pitfalls when it comes to my own boys. It’s a balancing act that I don’t foresee levelling out anytime soon.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

My best advice is that just because you fathered a child, it doesn’t mean you’re a complete “father”. Every new milestone my boys reach, I’m reminded how much more I have to learn. Early on, it was a matter of making sure my son was clean, full of food and safe. Now that he’s older, I have to worry about the example I’m setting for him. He’s fully aware of right and wrong now and I can no longer just talk-the-talk, I have to actually walk-the-walk it as well. He’s constantly keeping me in check for things I’ve said to him. You slowly progress from Do as I say to Do as I do and it’s scary but fulfilling at the same time. As my son learns to become a man, I learn to become a better man. Don’t ever forget that. No one is above improving themselves while in the process of improving others.

Chris-dadunderfire.com
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 

For me, my outside life involves mostly my time at the Firehouse. I work 24 hour shifts and over a year, it means being away close to 100 days. It’s very difficult when trying to raise a family and work schedules but the credit goes to my ex-wife. She is an amazing mother and she does a great job at ensuring the boys are handled when neither of us is available because of work. It’s also important to maintain a social life after babies. Being separated has allowed both my ex and me to go out more and meet new people. It’s scary, but helps mentally on those days and nights where things at home are incredibly stressful. The best way to balance it all is to not be afraid to ask for help. It really does take a village to raise a child. The sooner you accept that the sooner the stress will ease.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

I’ve learned that dads are awesome and very capable of raising their children. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is the way mainstream media gives the illusion that dads/husbands/boyfriends in general, are just big kids who don’t make good decisions. To advertisers, it’s funnier if we don’t know how to dress our kids or change a diaper. That’s why it’s refreshing to see dad bloggers and websites like DadOfDivas that are out there giving us dads a respectable voice for what we do. Twitter alone is filled with incredible dads that would be an advertiser’s nightmare because of how capable they are at being an amazing Dad/Husband/Boyfriend.

black and white
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Looking back on my first 5 years as a Father, I would have to say, for every one day filled with stress and angst, there are 4-5 more days of fun and happiness. It challenges you every day and while you may not realize it at the time, you are becoming a better person for it and not in spite of it. The early years are when you pay your dues. You get little glimpses of the dividends throughout, like first steps or first words and as the challenges get more difficult, the rewards get more special. I’m not looking forward to those teen years, but I cannot wait to see my boys get married, start their own families and careers and improve upon the mistakes I will undoubtedly make myself along the way.

Chris-dadunderfire.com
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

One of the things I will always remember is the excitement on my oldest son’s face when he caught his first fish. There was so much excitement in his voice and the smile on his face was huge. I was so incredibly proud of him and how he handled the whole thing. There was no fear and when it was over, he couldn’t wait to catch another one. That was a moment when I saw him change from my son to my fishing buddy and that was an incredible feeling.

 

If you have any questions for Chris, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Matthew King ( @mking021 ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 479th Dad in the Limelight is Matthew King. I want to thank Matthew for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Matthew-King1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

Hi my name is Matthew King. This coming Tuesday, June 24th, I’ll be turning 58 years young. I am a divorced gay Christian Dad, storyteller, humorist, writer, actor, teacher, lover of books & strong supporter of LGBTQ people & their challenges. I don’t know how or why I was chosen to write about myself & my daughter, but I’m truly honored. If you got past this first paragraph without any anti-gay twitches or sudden stomach sicknesses, then I guess I’m still in the “limelight”.

 

2) Tell me about your family

My family consists of me, my ex-wife, who by the way is still my best friend, & my daughter. I have joint custody of my daughter, Mikayla. I moved back to the same town, in the same state, to be closer to her. Mikayla turned 12 in May…pray for me…& is adopted. Through a unique set of events & God, when my ex & I were married, we got Mikayla’s birth-mom into an adoption program & were with her throughout the entire pregnancy. We have been her legal parents since her birth. We had an open adoption & Mikayla knows about her birth-mom through pics on the internet. She knows she can see her anytime the time is right for her & her birth-mom. We celebrate her adoption birthday as well as her actual birthday.

 

Matthew-King3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

The largest challenge I have had so far in being a father is keeping communication open between my daughter & me. Staying connected to her interests, friends, style of music & text message lingo. Remaining relatable at my age is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it & I’m glad it’s me. One other thing I would mention is for me to work hard at being consistent, fair & flexible when it comes to handing out proper discipline when it is needed.

 

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

One piece of advice I would give to other fathers who find themselves in similar circumstances in raising a 12 year old is to laugh a whole lot. I love funny & try to always make my girl smile or laugh every day I get to see her. Learn to joke about things & not take life so seriously. Another thing I try to do as she is getting older & more independent, is to choose my battles carefully. Things that will come up are they battles or wars. If it concerns someone hurting or trying to hurt my girl, then it’s an all-out war, no questions asked. If it’s dealing with whether she wants a tattoo, her hair color changed or a body piercing, those to me are battles which can be talked out & come to some sort of compromise. Another important thing for me which I try always to do is to keep my word, my promises to her, if at all possible. My word to her should mean something very special & important. If I keep my word & do what I say, then she can trust me one more day. I want to always be on her side & I want her always to be on my side. One more thing I’ll add & that is to continue to create great positive memories for your children. Do simple, fun things with them & take pics along the way.

Matthew-King

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

Balancing parenthood & outside life for me right now is somewhat easy. My daughter lives with her Mom, so I will keep her on weekends, take her to school every day & take her swimming in the summer on occasion. I’m also working part-time, so if needed, I can help her Mom if something comes up.

 

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

I haven’t had much interaction at all with other dads. The people I hang with are mostly not married & don’t have kids for the obvious absurd reason in my humble but accurate opinion. There, I’ve said it; I’m for marriage equality & equal rights of all humans on this planet. Anyway, enough of that stuff. Sorry for spewing, but thanks for reading.

 

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Being a parent is a hard job. It’s never easy because it’s always changing, the age of your child that is. For me, I have to be flexible, give them some breathing room & growing space. Allow them to fail & be nearby when they need your support or need a shoulder to cry on. Always love them Matthew-Kingunconditionally, regardless what might happen to them in their lives. They are always your children, whether through natural child birth or through the adoption process. Always encourage them, support them, daily say encouraging words to them, smile & laugh with them, touch, hug, kiss, love on them as much as they will let you. Share your faith in God with them, but allow them to find & have their own.

 

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

The most memorable experiences I’ve had so far as a father happened just recently on Father’s Day. My ex & I created a memory for our daughter Mikayla. We went out to eat celebrating Father’s Day early, because they were going out of town on that Sunday. Not only did we have a great meal & lots of laughter, my daughter surprised me with a Father’s Day gift. It was a homemade card that she colored, drew & wrote on. On the front of the card in big bold letters, it says I LOVE YOU! On the inside it says Things You Love & she listed them, along with pics she drew & signed it. I was in tears. That meant more to me than any fancy tie or bow tie she could have given me. Remember, she is 12, but sometimes she acts younger. That’s ok by me. I will keep that homemade card & look at it often for a very long time.
If you have any questions for Matthew, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Matthew-KingAlso, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – David Richman ( @RichmanND ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 478th Dad in the Limelight is David Richman. I want to thank David for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

david-richman1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

My name is David. I am a self employed automation technologist working in the petroleum engineering field and am currently working as an engineering manager. I’ve been married for 28 years to Tracy, a beautiful lady I was lucky enough to meet in Grade 11. I’m the happy father of four teenage children – Christopher, Michael, Thomas and Katherine. A graduate of the Outward Bounds wilderness survival school I love hiking and camping in the Canadian Rockies.
Seven years ago I started to write a book for my reluctant reader son, Michael. I worked with him to create a plot and writing style that held his interest. Since then, the book blossomed into the Boulton Quest Series. I’ve published two books in the series and have started to write the third. The series has become a favourite of pre-teen readers throughout the world and in particular has caught the eye of parents looking for reading material that holds their child’s interest.
2) Tell me about your family
david-richmanI met my wife, Tracy, in Grade 11. We weren’t close friends but chatted every morning in the hallways of our high school. After graduating from high school I tracked her down (literally – I didn’t even know her last name), and three years later we were married at the age of 21. This is a great age to get married – Tracy and I had ten years of fun and growth together before the children entered our lives.
We have four children, three boys and a girl and all teenagers. Three of them were competitive Irish dancers and one of them is a black belt in Karate, an avid reader, and writer. They all work for their spending money and are active in sports.
There’s always been a dog in our lives and right now we have two Bernese Mountain dogs. In all, a handful for my wife and I but well worth the life experiences.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The largest challenge in being a father is balance. I want to do it all; I want to share everything with my wife and kids and I wanted to give my wife the choice of staying at home and raising the children. These desires, by their very nature, require one to work. I became a self employed contractor because I wanted to afford a membership at the Calgary Winter Club – a private family and sports facility. Leaving career opportunities behind was a difficult choice at the time. In the end, however, the results have shown the decisions were the right ones. My children are athletic, hard working, and confident. And yes, they are normal too and go through difficult stages in life as all young people do.
david-richman4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
I recently wrote a blog post on advice to fathers. You can find it here:
In general,  be involved in everything – not just the good stuff. The stinky stuff, the hard stuff, the emotional stuff. Go to work tired because you’ve been up all night rocking the baby. Clean the bathrooms, change the diapers, stay at home with the sick kids, and get them to help you with the cleaning, the building, and the fixing. The good times are important and positive but, if you really want to know your kids, share the hard times with them too.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
When the children were little, I dropped everything – golf, reading, volunteering, going out with the guys. This wasn’t hard, it was simply something I had to do and I was happy to do it. As the kids got older I took up activities with them. For example, Karate. I also gave up sleep (seriously) – living on less than five hours a night. I continued to work out and stay in shape but started my workout at 6Am so it wouldn’t interfere with family time. As the kids became teens and active in Irish Dance, Football, Basketball, and Volleyball I worked late every evening they were in class or practicing. Now, the kids drag me to the gym with them. In general, I work 50 hours plus a week but I still get to the games and competitions, and are at home when they are.
david-richmanOh, and when do I write? Whenever I can and not nearly as much as I’d like to.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I’m amazed by the fathers I know. They work hard, are involved with the kids, the house, the finances and the cooking. The one item I most commonly find with dads is that they rarely complain – regardless of how difficult the balance is, whether they’re getting along with their spouses, or if life is not what they had intended. Outside of the home, with the guys, and away from their wives – they never complain. I find this very admirable and a positive trait.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I’d like to share two things I could have done better:
When children reach ten years of age they became more independent. It seems they don’t want to lie down with dad every night and talk about their days – every question is answered with a one word sentence. Although it’s important to give children room to grow, given the opportunity to do it again, I wouldn’t have given in so easily. Though your children don’t want to be babied at this age they still want to know you’re there when they need you. Keep asking them questions, even if they don’t answer in full sentences.
david-richman
Listen – don’t respond. Don’t criticize easily. Kids are not perfect but my goodness, neither are adults. Your children will not talk to you if they fear a critical response. And yes, it’s important to correct them when they’ve done wrong, but pick the battles and don’t criticize them for mistakes – talk to them about it.
Show, don’t tell.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I’d like to say I don’t remember enough. We’ve all heard that time flies but one can only understand the rapidity of time upon experiencing a lifetime of parenting, and then it’s too late to change your behaviour. Don’t look back after nineteen years and wish you’d spent more time with your kids.
The most memorable experience was a two week holiday our family, and my mother-in-law, took in Nova Scotia when the children were all under ten years of age. The cabins, the ocean, the people, the sights, the music, the play, the food, the live lobsters, the whale watching, the scenery and most importantly the impact these things had on us as a family. We sang, we laughed, we ate, we toured, we played. To this day, my kids still talk about that holiday.
Take time off, forget about work, turn off your cell phone, and have a great holiday with your family.

If you have any questions for David, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Darrell Humphrey ( @DarrellHumphrey ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 477th Dad in the Limelight is Darrell Humphrey. I want to thank Darrell for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Darrell-Humphrey1) Tell me about yourself
My  name is Darrell Humphrey, 30; I’m a  Stay at Home Dad both on purpose and on accident.  I’m a Chaplain and a Minister all by trade, but the great gift I have right now, during this season of my life is staying at home with my boys.  It has been one of the most rewarding, scary and yet enjoyable and fun seasons of my life ever.  I mean who wouldn’t love going to the river to fish with their kids, or pet unusual animals at a museum?
2) Tell me about your family
My wife, Meredith, and I have been married almost 4 years.  We got started late with having kids until after we got our Masters degrees.  We have 2 boys, for now, Ethan Warren who is 2 1/2 and Owen Joseph who is 4 months old.  Ethan loves playing outside with our dog Jayden Darby, and with his dump trucks and cars.  Owen likes to eat, poop and sleep right now.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The greatest challenge of being a father, besides being a non-stereoypical stay at home dad, is being at home.  I often underestimate most days how a mom would do it.  I’m lucky some days to even eat lunch sometimes.  Someone once said about parenting, “What you wanted from your parents growing up, is what your kids want from you.”  I wanted time with my dad and I’m grateful and blessed to offer my boys what I wanted from dad and being able to give them my time.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
My advice for father’s is three fold:
  1. Darrell-HumphreyAsk yourself what you wanted or missed from your parents, because that’s what your kids need from you.  They want time, affection, they want “good jobs” and “way to go’s” on even some of the most random stuff ever.  They crave it. Be okay with failing in front of your kid, they want to see you non-perfect and someone who makes mistakes, yet figures it out and learns from it. Help them get dirty and into trouble. 
  2. Howard Thurman once said, “Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go and do that, because what the world really needs is you fully alive.”  I know my kids have no clue what they want to be when they grows up, but my responsibility as their Father is to help them figure that out, encourage, strengthen in, and then release it into the world to be fully alive.
  3. Learn to say “yes” more.  I think this speaks for itself.  Say yes when your kids want to blow up fireworks, (as long as you are with them), say yes to the tea parties with your little girls, put down the iDevices and get on the floor with them at their level and tickle them, play with them, and enjoy their company.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
This one is a hard one because of our new born.  Life seems to be surrounded by his multiple naps a day and bottle feeding and all of that.  When the opportunity comes to get out and go hang out with the guys, I do it.  And the great thing is my wife knows I need that time apart from them so i can come back stronger for them.  It doesn’t happen as much as i would like it to be, but when it happens, man I jump on it.
Darrell-Humphrey6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
The dads I’ve interacted with in my life have been living examples of what it means to be a dad.  My dad wasn’t around much in growing up so I didn’t know what it meant to have a dad around.  Things have changed a lot in the past few years and now we have a relationship that is thriving.  But because I didn’t have my dad around growing up, there were the baseball coaches, the youth pastors, professors at school and many others who filled in the gaps.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Being a dad is tough.  Staying present with them is even harder.  In this day and age with the devices and tv’s and everything else pulling my attention away from them is very tough.  Trying to be an example to them by getting off the devices seems counter-intuitive sometimes because then they want to use your device and get lost into the cyber world.
Because I have boys, I can only speak about being a dad to boys, but boys are so much fun to be with.  I mean you get to be a boy again.  Skipping rocks and the lake, playing in mud puddles and having fun and all sorts of things.  They both want and crave my attention to them and time.  Even as I write this up my oldest is sitting on the back of the couch with his legs over my shoulders waiting for me to play with him.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Every day there is a new memory.  Last week I never thought I’d have the memory of my son putting sugar in a toaster and turning it on.  But, now I do.  Every moment of every day is a new memory.  Watching my boys be born is one of the greatest memories, because without their births I’d not be a dad and get the chance to be a great Father to them.

If you have any questions for Darrell, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Sam Gras ( @CosplaydadSam ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 476th Dad in the Limelight is Sam Gras. I want to thank Sam for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

sam-gras1) Tell me about yourself
My Name is Sam Gras and I’m a Father, Cosplayer and all around Geek. I’m always working on creative projects and as a father most of my projects include my daughter. I am known as the “CosplayDad” Cosplay is a combination of the words Costume and Play. My costumes are designed as a father/ daughter team and based off characters we like. In the past I have made Batman & Robin, Transformers: Soundwave & Rumble, Yo Gabba Gabba DJ Lance & DJ TIZ, and Ninja Turtles. We have won Several contests including the New York Comic Con for Most difficult Costume and AOL Live for fan Favorite. Currently, I am working on a LEGOIdeas project. If we get 10,000 people to support my 1966 LEGO Batmobile they will consider producing it. I built the car for my daughter because she was upset Robin could not ride along side Batman.
2) Tell me about your family
I’m a single father.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Saying “NO” Like most parents I want my daughter to have everything but I also don’t want to spoil her.
sam-gras4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Find activities that you enjoy doing together.

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? 
I’m still working on that one! I do everything with my daughter. From Concerts, to Comic-Cons there are few activities I don’t plan to do with her.

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Be yourself.

sam-gras
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Being a Father can be tough. Hire a babysitter when you need a night off!

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Every milestone is a huge ordeal but for me watching my daughter learn to tie her her shoes and start reading have been amazing.

sam-grasIf you have any questions for Sam, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Mike Armstrong ( @mikedaddyreal ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 475th Dad in the Limelight is Mike Armstrong. I want to thank Mike for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Mike-Armstrong1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
What’s up! First, I just wanted to say that it is real cool to be apart of such a great, long-running series, that’s featured some amazing people!

I’m from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Husband and dad, with a day job at a lumber distribution company.  Recently, in my spare time, I’ve become involved in the world of Dad Bloggers with my blog, daddyrealness.com.  It’s mainly me talking about some of the difficulties I’ve experienced as a parent, with a humorous spin. Well, humorous to me, anyway.

2) Tell me about your family
I’ve been married for five years now to my awesome wife, who’s a school teacher. We have a son, who’s four years old, and is the maniac in our family, and a daughter, who’s two, and is the sassy one in the house.  We got the blended family thing going on, as I’m black, and my wife is white.
 photo mikeolivestudio_zps0599cb5f.jpg

Photo courtesy of Olive Studio

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?

Man, it was definitely that initial period after our son was born, and actually being a father.  Becoming a parent was a huge adjustment.  Going from living life one way, to doing basically a 180, because you’re now responsible for this tiny, totally dependent human being who you love more than anything, was hard. With our daughter, there was still a big adjustment, but it wasn’t as extreme. It was just different.

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
There’s so much advice and information out there, that it can really seem like other fathers have it easier than you do (Cheap plug! I wrote a post about this recently, where I sought some advice, and the tips that I got didn’t work out so well: http://daddyrealness.com/?p=622).  I would say to other fathers – be patient, and don’t let other people’s situations get you down. I’m sure that we all struggle differently, so all that we can do is find out what works for dealing with our own kids, and go with it.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
Luckily, my wife is a teacher, so she is the one with the organizational skills in our household! We both work five days a week during the day, so we are home during the evenings and on weekends. From there, we’re a pretty active family.  Something is almost always going on. Family comes first, of course, and I try to spend as much time with the kids as I can.   I do think it’s important to make a little bit of time for yourself too, though. My wife and I both get involved in various activities occasionally (mainly sports), on our own, just for that little bit of down time.
Mike-Armstrong6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
You know what? Based on my fairly limited experiences with other Dad Bloggers, I’ve learned that my time management skills kind of suck, in comparison!
In all honesty, since I’ve become a dad, I have found myself picking the brains and sharing ‘horror’ stories with other dads that I know (friends, co-workers).  As messed up as I think something is, with my kids, other dudes  that I talk to have had something similar happen to them, with their kids. So that’s been one main thing that I’ve learned – that I’m really not alone in my experiences. If I’m struggling or at my wit’s end, there’s  almost always someone  else who can relate to what I’m dealing with.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
It ain’t easy, it’s a constant struggle, but it’s the greatest feeling in the world……thus far!
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I think, like a lot of fathers, the most memorable experiences have been the ‘firsts’.
The first steps, first words, first day of school, first time someone looked at my son and asked how old ‘she’ was, first time my son hit me in the groin as a joke, first time my daughter rolled her eyes like a teenager and said “No, daddy!” etc.  Stuff like that, I’ll remember forever.

If you have any questions for Mike, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Joseph Pollifrone #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 474th Dad in the Limelight is Owner of Joseph’s Florist in Secaucus, NJ and BloomNation.com florist, Joseph Pollifrone. I want to thank Joseph for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

bloomnation1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
I was brought up in an Italian family in Jersey City, NJ.  I became a special education teacher at the age of 21, and at 28 I opened my first flower shop.  I will be retiring from teaching in January 2015, but I assume, depending on my health, that I will be working at my flower shop, Joseph’s Florist, until I can’t any longer.

2) Tell me about your family
My mother is 92 and still very active.  She cooks and shops every day and most recently fired her cleaning lady and began doing her own cleaning.  My sister recently retired from her career as a superintendent of schools.  My wife of 34 years works in the flower shops with me.  I have three children; Nicole is my oldest, she is 31, a teacher and a guidance counselor.  Marc, 27, is a writer and a musician.  And Amanda, 23, is a graduate student, soon to be a school psychologist.

josepollifronefamily3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
I think the largest challenge in being a father has been learning to step back and allowing my children to learn life lessons on their own, it is the most challenging, but it’s also the most rewarding aspect.

4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
I’ll just say that life is often much messier than most people would come to believe, but it is also more beautiful at the same time.

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
In our case, children were the priority.  Being in retail requires a lot of hours so sometimes balancing was difficult, but it got easier as time went on.

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I listened to a close friend who also had 3 children who were older than mine.  He thought patience, listening, and learning when and how to challenge kids without making it so easy that they didn’t learn or so hard that they would fail were vital aspects of parenting.

7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
Every age of the kids has had its fun and its challenges.  They were great as babies, as children, as adolescents, as teenagers and as adults.  Probably my favorite ongoing experience is that they really care about each other.

If you have any questions for Joseph, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Dads in the Limelight ( #limelightdads ) – Matt Vail ( @dcathomedad ) #dadchat

Dads in the Limelight Series

Our 473rd  Dad in the Limelight is Matt Vail. I want to thank Matt for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.

 

Matt-vail1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)

Stay at home dad to 2 girls, former politico.

 

2) Tell me about your family

Wife and 2 girls. Met my wife on a governors race down south. Asked her to marry me the night we won.

Our 2 girls were born in DC. We now live in STL.

Matt-vail

3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Patience.

 

Matt-vail4) What advice would you give to other fathers?

Be patient

 

5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?

What outside life?!

 

6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?

That everyone parents differently

 

Matt-vail7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?

Life would be flat without my family

 

8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?

The birth of my 2 girls

 

If you have any questions for Matt, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Dad of Divas, dadofdivas.com

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Cedar Point ( @CedarPoint ) Announces New Roller Coaster

cedar-point

Cedar Point, The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!®, will introduce a dynamically new riding experience when it unleashes Rougarou™ in the spring of 2015!

 

Named after a terrifying werewolf-like creature in French folklore, Rougarou [roo-guh-roo] feeds on screams and lurks in and around the swampy lagoon at the center of the park, shared with other coasters like Iron Dragon and Top Thrill Dragster.

 

Rougarou’s floorless trains will take riders on an epic journey at speeds reaching 60 mph as their feet dangle just inches above the track and the murky waters below. The trains will be manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland, the same team behind rides like Raptor and GateKeeper, and will transform the ride experience dramatically while utilizing the structure and track of the former Mantis roller coaster.

The ride begins with a climb to the top of the 145-foot-tall first hill, providing amazing views of the Cedar Point skyline. After reaching the apex, the trains will make a 180-degree turn to the right and plummet 137 feet, at a 52-degree angle, to within inches above the water. Thrill-seekers caught in Rougarou’s grasp will then be flipped upside-down by a 119-foot-tall vertical loop, spun around a 103-foot-tall dive loop, whipped around a highly-banked 360-degree turn and then twisted upside-down again by the world’s only inclined loop on a floorless coaster, angled at a wicked 45 degrees. Just when guests think the ride is over, the steel beast will take them through a 360-degree flat spin, tight and twisty turns and a figure-eight finale. Riders must be 54” tall to ride Rougarou.

Rougarou

“Rougarou is going to be a fantastic addition to our coaster lineup and our guests are going to love it,” said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “With the swampy waters below, the vibrant colors of the supports and track, lighting and other effects, it will be a ride like no other at the park.”

2015 will also mark the debut of the newly-renovated Hotel Breakers. Located along the mile-long Cedar Point Beach, Hotel Breakers will complete its two-year transformation into the ultimate resort destination. Along with a new exterior, the modernized hotel will have a new entrance portal, classic interior finishes, newly-furnished and remodeled rooms with LCD TV’s, new furniture, bedding and décor, and many other amenities and offerings. Additional enhancements include a new Starbucks and the Surf Lounge bar inside the famous rotunda, widened exterior green space with panoramic views of Lake Erie and an outdoor water play area with zero depth entry and splash features.

Rougarou

“We want to provide a well-rounded and complete vacation experience for our guests, and the enhancements at the Hotel Breakers will help them have just that,” said Jason McClure. “It will have a fun and fresh feel, is steps away from the park and it’s a great place to start new family traditions.”

Other amenities include two pools and Jacuzzis, access to the Cedar Point Beach and Boardwalk, a gift shop, arcade, exercise room, three restaurants, Early Entry (access to some of the biggest rides and coasters before the park opens to the general public), discounted Cedar Point admission tickets, complimentary Wi-Fi and the comfort and convenience of staying right next to the rides and roller coasters of Cedar Point. Reservations for the 2015 season can be placed now online at cedarpoint.com/hotelbreakers or by phone at (419) 627-2106.

Rougarou

The charming waterfront hotel first opened its doors in 1905 as the “largest and greatest hotel on the Great Lakes.” Known for its breathtaking views and cool summer breezes, Hotel Breakers has been an important part of any complete Cedar Point experience. Notable guests over the years have included celebrities such as sharpshooter Annie Oakley, comedians Abbott and Costello, composer John Philip Sousa and six U.S. presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

 

Located on a sandy peninsula along the shore of Lake Erie, Cedar Point has been named as one of the best amusement parks in the world by USA Today, TripAdvisor, The Travel Channel and more. Cedar Point’s amazing lineup of roller coasters has received top billing by CBS News, Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times and many more.

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