James R.C. Smith or something you find in dirty diaper. We aren't sure.

James R.C. Smith

6 Dad Bloggers Share Memories of the Day They Became Dads

6 Dad Bloggers Share Memories
(Supplied/James R.C. Smith/KC Proctor)

To many of us, myself included, the day we become fathers is a pivotal and hugely emotional life milestone.

The route to pregnancy for us was long and treacherous with doctor appointments, uncertainty, and fear that it might not happen for us. My wife bravely took hundreds of injections of expensive IVF medication. I helped where I could and was there to either sit with her or sometimes administer the medicine. My job was often to just clean up all the antibacterial wipes and empty vials.

We read the books, we’d watched videos, and heard everyone’s “valuable” advice, but when it came down to it, this was something my wife would have to brave through while I stood by and offered encouragement and support.

I remember when I got the call from my wife that she was having a backache every 20 minutes. I was in my usual Monday morning Marketing team meeting and my workmates knew I was on-call. I picked it up, heard the news that she said was “probably nothing”, and drove home. I continued to work while my wife reported to me when she felt something. I wrote every iteration down and watched as it went from every twenty minutes, down to every ten, to every 2 minutes at 6 pm that evening. We left for the hospital and I was a bundle of nerves.

When we arrived at the Vancouver Women’s Hospital, the staff said that she’d have to wait in the empty waiting room. They gave her a preliminary check over but nothing in-depth. She was in pain and we couldn’t do anything. While other women were brought in on gurneys, we waited. She was in labor and I couldn’t do anything. After two hours and a number of calls for assistance, they checked her in one of their rooms and she was seven centimeters dilated! There was blood and I was fuming. I knew that giving the nurses any attitude wasn’t going to help anyone, so I bit my tongue, hard. They brought us up to the delivery room, with no time for drugs. 15 minutes later, I was a dad. My wife was getting stitches as our little girl came out like a cat being taken to the vet – claws out.

(James Smith / SocialDad.ca)

There was a lot of looking at our new baby, making sure she’s alright, and plenty of listening to the incredible nurses and doctors about tips, how to bathe the baby, and also helping my heroic wife recover. All those tips also helped me come up with content ideas for my new dad-blog, SocialDad.ca.

We’ve all got unique stories, so I asked a few fellow Dad-Bloggers about the day their world changed:

KC ProcterFitDadLife.com – “I remember changing our daughter’s first diaper. She was 3 weeks early so she was less than 7 lbs and looked so tiny. She seemed like a little toy baby doll. My hands were shaking because I was so nervous and I took too long so she started crying because she was getting cold. When I finished securing the last tab on the diaper and swaddled her in the blanket, she calmed down and as I held her I thought ‘I never knew what unconditional love felt like until this moment.'”

(KC Proctor / FitDadLife.com)

Toby Walsh, GoodBadDad.com – “She was our fifth, so I knew what I was doing – I thought. After the hoopla of labor, I settled into the hospital’s rock-hard lounger for a little ESPN and rest as my wife and newborn slept. WRONG! I remember the sound of my tightly swaddled little girl turning from side-to-side rhythmically. When I hovered over her bassinet, I looked into her somehow alert, blue eyes. She stared up as to say, ‘Are you going to pick me up or what, Dad?’ I was in love and in awe. The first night was supposed to be easy – the baby should be lethargic, right? No, not here, not today – she wanted to move! Now, three years later, her boundless energy hasn’t changed and neither has my love for her.”

Aron Haris, DadRockDad.com – “I remember everything about the days both of my kids were born but the day my firstborn son arrived was pretty damn long. My wife was in active labor for around a day and a half. We arrived at the hospital while it was still dark on an early Friday morning in November.

I describe the time he was born around the same time the musical guest on SNL plays their second song. The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens in overtime that night. No, I didn’t actually watch the game. I cried my eyes out when he finally arrived and was interrupted from that, the most emotional moment of my life to date, to be forced to cut my son’s umbilical cord by one of the nurses. Through tears of joy, I told her I didn’t want to but she told me I’d regret it for my entire life if I didn’t. So, with shaking hands, I cut his cord. When my daughter was born, our birth plan distinctly stated that I would not be cutting the cord.”

(Aron Harris)

Tyler Ingram, ADadsAdventures.ca – “My wife was induced twice over the course of 2-3 days, never progressing more than 1cm in dilation. Went in for the 3rd course but before administering it, the nursing staff had a steady indication of something was amiss with the baby’s O2 levels and heart-rate, the OBGYN came in and gave us two options: 1) Have the emergency c-section now or b) have a Pictocin drip for 8-hours where then afterwards an emergency c-section then. We opted for the first choice. Within 5 minutes my wife was prepped and whisked away to the OR. I came in the OR about 15 minutes later to witness the surgical teams’ hands in my wife’s abdomen. About 10 minutes later our first child was born. The cord was wrapped around his neck and each time my wife had a contraction, it was strangling him. Without that nursing/surgical staff, my son would not be here today.”

Mike Soltys, TheseAreMyOffspring.com –  “I sat there staring at these animals in their glass cases in the NICU. Like lions in the zoo exhibit, they just slept. Not sure what I was expecting, but after about 10 minutes, I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do. For the next 20 minutes, I looked at nurses and fellow new parents through reflections in the glass wondering when is it too early to go back up and check on my wife. So after 30 minutes, I’m back upstairs to be met with the encouraging words of, ‘Why are you back already?'”

What was your first day as a Dad like? Let us know in the comments section on Facebook.

Pickle Chips are a Forthcoming Snack You’ll Relish

(Vlasic)

Pickles, you either love them or you’re wrong. Fried pickles, pickle dip, and even pickle-flavored ice cream. Ok, that last one went too far, but pickle chips are finally heading to stores thanks to Conagra Brands. While there isn’t a release date yet, they’re in development and pickle-lovers are already getting excited.

According to Food Business News, pickles are a $1.1 billion industry. Thomas M. McGough, Co-Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP of Conagra Brands said “Pickles has always been a flavor that people have loved in snacks, whether it’s potato chips or even in our Bigs Vlasic dill sunflower seeds,” he said. “But pickles themselves are a great snack, essentially no calories or carbs. But eating pickles out of a conventional jar is inconvenient and messy, and pickle snacks are actually becoming a thing, particularly in c-stores. So we’ve created Vlasic single-serve pickle slices and also a Vlasic vacuum-fried pickle chips that taste absolutely fantastic.”

Raw pickles aren’t bad for you, in fact, they’re low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. They’re also a good source of vitamin A, iron, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin K and calcium (source). That said, they aren’t perfect – they’re pretty high in sodium.

But will pickles in chip format deliver a similar nutritional punch? Yes, you’ll just have to eat your pickle chips with a side of pickles.

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

Three Things to Do With Your Kids
(Getty/Digital Vision./Hero Images Food Network)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. The weekend is all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Get the Pool Out

Kid's in Pool
(Getty/Digital Vision.)

Hooray for it finally being sunny enough to spend evenings outdoors (in some areas of N. America at least). Get a few cold beverages in the cooler and give the kids enough toys to keep them busy for a while. Lather on the sunscreen, get the hats and shades on and spend your weekend outside. You can pick up an inexpensive inflatable pool for as low as $30 at Amazon. Sure it might only last the season, but that saves on storing it away through the winter, so who cares!

A few ideas that’ll keep the kids in the pool and away from their screens, how about:

  • Ping Pong Race – Empty a bag of ping pong balls in the water and get the kids to act like Hungry Hungry Hippos and race to gather the most
  • Atomic Whirlpool – All the kids run in the same direction around the inside edge of the pool to get the water spinning. Then let them get swept around or try to swim against it.
  • Sponge Toss – Unload a few big car-washing sponges and let them throw them around. They’ll quickly get water-logged and fun to splash around.

Backyard Camping and Outdoor Movie

Backyard Camping
(Getty/Hero Images)

You don’t have to travel far to have the same fun as going on a family camping trip, and they’ll have the benefit of on-site bathrooms, snacks, and the comfort of their own beds if they get chilly at night.

Set up a tent and let them bring all their blankets, pillows, cuddly toys, flashlights, and some food to get them into the evening at least. Make it really memorable by setting up a projector and drape a white sheet over a wall to create an outdoor movie theatre. Bring popcorn and all the goodies they need. Even if they don’t stay out the whole night, they’ll surely have a great time.

Make Spider Burgers

(Food Network.ca)

Ok, well they’re not technically spider burgers. They look more like octopus burgers. Either way, your kids will love them, probably! They’re super-easy to make too, which is always a winner in my book. Here’s the recipe, thanks to FoodNetwork.

Ingredients:

  • Hot dog wieners
  • vegetable oil
  • Small hamburger buns as wieners
  • Condiments for burgers

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or foil.

2. To cut wieners so they will cook into “spiders”, begin about an inch down from one end of each wiener, use a small sharp knife to cut along the length of the wiener into halves, then make two lengthwise cuts into each half, making 6 “legs” total. Try to make each “leg” the same thickness. The wieners should be intact at one end and have with 6 “legs” dangling from it.

3. Put sliced wieners in a bowl. Add drizzle vegetable oil (1 tsp for every 4 wieners) and toss to coat weiners.

4. Splay wieners onto lined baking sheets by spreading “legs” out like spokes from the intact end of the wiener. You can fit 4 to 5 wieners onto each baking sheet. Bake on middle racks of the oven for 6 minutes, or until “legs” curl up and wieners look lightly roasted.

5. Tuck wieners into hamburger buns. Set out with self-serve hamburger condiments.

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

3 Things to do With Your Kids
(Getty/India Picture/harpazo_hope/jennifer judd-mcgee)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. The weekend is all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Say “Yes!” to Everything

Say "Yes" to everything!
(Getty/India Picture)

You heard me, you have to agree to everything asked of you. Take it in turns to plan out the day or play it by ear and see where the day takes you.

There are a few rules:

  1. Nothing mean, permanent, dangerous, or painful
  2. You have to say ‘yes!’
  3. That’s it.

Stuck for questions? How about:

  • Can I do your hair?
  • Can we go to the pool?
  • Can we have breakfast for dinner?
  • Can you say ‘without my pants’ after every sentence?

Playground Olympics

Playground Olympics
(Getty/harpazo_hope)

Round up the gang, hit your local playground and let the games begin! Everyone can help devise a few rounds of fun competition on the equipment.

Possible events:

  • Timed hang from monkey bars
  • Synchronized swinging on the swings
  • Fastest to go climb up and then slide back down on all slides
  • Fastest to dig a 2-foot hole in the sandbox

Get creative and make sure to bring your stopwatch coach, timing is of the essence!

Reward your Olympians with some frozen treats from a corner store after.

Paint Some Rocks

While it sounds a little boring at first, let the kids’ imaginations go wild. They can paint them like bugs, faces, a rainbow of color, or spell out sentences with a word on each one.

Once they’re painted and dried, coat them in weather-proof varnish and let re-dry. Now go around the neighborhood and carefully place them in driveways, on doorsteps, and next to roadside mailboxes. Eventually, they’ll get discovered but nobody will know how they got there and you’ll make people smile!

Paint Some Rocks
(Getty/jennifer judd-mcgee)

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

3 Things to Do With Your Kids
(Getty/Tetra Images/Hannes Eichinger/Hero Images)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. This one is a bit special, as it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, 12th May and you’d better not forget! The weekend is all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Make Mom a Gift

Daughter Making Mom Mother's Day Gift
(Getty/Tetra Images)

Of course, if you ask her, the Mom in your life will say that she doesn’t want anything….translation: get ready for a weekend of pampering her and get the family involved.

Depending on their age, gift-making can be as simple as a few scribbles on a card and some flowers they picked from the garden or using some of their allowances to buying something small like movie tickets or a much-needed bottle of adult grape juice.

If you’re looking for a few ideas to get crafty, This Crafty Home has you covered with 80 Mother’s Day crafts.

Prepare Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in Bed for Mother's Day
(Getty/Hannes Eichinger/EyeEm)

This needs a little preparation. Get the kids to help you at the grocery store on Saturday and find all the things Mom would like. Will it be croissants and coffee or a hearty cooked breakfast with plenty of bacon and eggs?

While you prepare the cooked food, the little ones can decorate a tray with flowers, ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ cards, and cutlery and a couple of napkins to mop up any mess from when she’s trying to eat with kids climbing on her.

Family Photo Shoot

I know that my wife loves making photobooks and printing out special memories, and her favorites are always the Mother’s Day photos. Get everyone dressed in their Sunday best and find a nice location outside. I always like colorfully painted walls or flower-filled gardens. If you need to bring bribes (candy!) in order to get some smiles, do it.

Here are a few tips for getting a great family portrait:

  • Imperfect is perfect – don’t worry if everyone’s doing their own thing in some of the photos. They often show real character and make a more interesting photo. Take photos when no one is paying attention.
  • Think about the surroundings – try to find a quiet spot so you don’t have anyone else in the background. Try a mixture of locations, sit on some steps, or lean against a tree.
  • Tell them what to do – Ask them to squeeze together, sit on laps, smile, and count-down, etc.
  • Avoid direct sunlight – Head to a shady spot to avoid shadows on their smiling faces. Overcast days are optimal for photos!
  • Bring a tripod – Otherwise, how will you be in the photos? But definitely take some fun selfies.
Mother's Day Photoshoot
(Getty/Hero Images)

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

 

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

3 Things to do This Weekend
(Getty/monkeybusinessimages/Juice Images Amazon)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. It’s all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Make Ice Cream

Family Making Ice Cream
(Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Everybody loves ice cream. Making your own flavors is a great way to try new foods, mix ingredients, and make a huge mess. It’s also delicious, mostly.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own (makes 3 pints, so feel free to make smaller recipes into differently flavored batches):

  • 2 cups (16oz/450ml ) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 14 ounces (1 Can/ 400ml) sweetened condensed milk (fat-free or regular), cold
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional)

Directions:

  1. Keep the sweetened condensed milk in the fridge.
  2. Whip the cold cream on medium/high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Turn off the machine and pour the cold condensed milk into the whipped cream.
  4. Whisk at high speed until the mixture is thick and stiff peaks form. Turn off the machine and stir in vanilla extract (optional).
  5. Add your own ingredients. I love marshmallows, broken up pieces of chocolate, a little fudge, or cookies.
  6. Put your ice cream mixture to an airtight container or silicone tray with a plastic film cover and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight before eating.

Make a Time Capsule

Get the kids to think about what the future might be like. Will there be flying cars yet? I mean, I’ve been waiting for these since I was a boy and am still hoping! Let them explore their imagination and draw, paint, or write down an image of life 10 years from now. Then get them to make a list their favorite stuff. Maybe they add a few tiny toys or write letters to their futures selves. Include a family photo and make sure to include a newspaper dated the day you buried it.

You’re going to need an airtight metal container for this. We’ve all heard stories about an excavated time capsule that disintegrated or the contents got destroyed by moisture.  A paint can works if you’re able to seal it completely and it’s not a bad idea to individually seal other documents inside for added insurance.

Or put your mind at ease and grab a heavy duty one you won’t have to worry about for 200 years.

Dig a hole next to a tree or memorable spot and decide on a specific date you’ll dig it up.

Make Giant Bubbles

Playing with bubbles never gets old, but let’s take things up a notch. The bigger the bubble, the more fun it is to pop them.

Here’s how to make your own:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup ultra-concentrated dish soap
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (not baking soda)
  • 1 tbsp Glycerine (or “personal” lubricant)

Directions:

  1. Dissolve cornstarch in the water
  2. Gently stir in the remaining ingredients. Don’t make too much froth
  3. Allow your mixture to sit for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Make bubble wands by tying two drinking straws or plastic tubes on a loop with string. Or if you want to go really big, this bubble wand from Amazon is sure to impress.


Father And Daughter Making Giant Bubbles In Countryside
(Getty/Juice Images)

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

3 Things to Do
(Disney/Marvel Getty/Paul Mansfield)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it and this one has an Avengers Endgame theme. It’s all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

See Endgame (or Prepare For it)

(Disney/ Marvel)

It’s been a long time coming, with plots, sub-plots, and supporting storylines all coming to a dramatic end. The finale of the Avengers movies has been released and we get to see who survives, who doesn’t, and what happens to Thanos.

Since 2008’s Iron Man, we’ve been brought along for thrill and been enticed into theorizing the next twists along the path to save the universe from monsters and really, really bad guys.

Getting tickets on the opening weekend might be challenging for some, so the next best thing would be to prepare by hosting an Infinity War fam jam. Or choose a few of the 22 other Marvel movies we suggested in a previous edition. Oh, and make sure to brush up on the complete array of post-credit scenes here.

Water Fight!

Dad Squirted by Water Guns
(Getty/paul mansfield photography)

Spring has sprung so fill up some water balloons and break out the water guns. And since it’s a superhero-themed weekend your kids can pretend to be their favorite Avenger. Then they can pick a supervillain target. Maybe dad can be Thanos and your kids can TRY to take him down once or for all.

Make a Comic Book

(Picklebums)

Every awesome superhero movie originated as a comic book so it’s time your kids channeled their inner Stan Lee. Have the kids create their own hero, change an ending or even introduce themselves into a story. Use one of these printable templates from Picklebums to bring a new story to life. They’re also perfect for bringing to school and sharing with friends on Monday morning.

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

3 Things to Do
(Getty/Helen Marsden/kali9/Hero Images)

Hooray for another weekend, and this one is a long one or three-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. It’s all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Easter Egg Hunt 2.0

Easter Egg Hunt 2.0
(Getty/Helen Marsden)

It’s a long weekend, which is perfect for indulging in yet another excuse for too much chocolate. Hide little eggs around the garden, up trees, or underneath plant pots. Better yet, make it more interesting with one of these twists:

  1. A treasure map with clues for the next treat. Pro tip: To make a piece of paper look suitably old and pirate-y, drag some wet tea bags over it and let it dry before writing on it. Then singe the edges for added effect.
  2. Hunt in the dark. Go outside or run through the house with all the lights off. Use flashlights to help find the eggs.
  3. Blindfold egg hunt. Shout instructions and let the kids stumble around for the eggs. Add a few hazards like eggs buried in Jello or wet gummy worms.

Remember, the longer the kids are kept busy, the more time you have to eat your own chocolate in peace.

Easter Games

There are plenty of games to play over the Easter long weekend, so here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Egg and spoon race – balance an egg on a spoon and run! First to finish, wins! You can also use water balloons instead of the eggs.
  2. Egg rolling contest – the furthest egg roll without breaking is the winner.
  3. Egg painting – poke a small hole in the top and the bottom of a raw egg and blow the contents out into a bowl. Then paint.
  4. Chocolate egg on a string. Push a chopstick through the sides of chocolate eggs and push a string through, (similar to the donuts on a string game). Line them up and let the kids race to eat theirs, without their hands!

Here’s even more:

Family Picnic

Take advantage of the long weekend and spend as much time as you can (weather permitting) outside. Now that Spring has sprung, it’s picnic season, which means heading to the park, a field, your own garden, or your living room if it’s raining. Pack some sandwiches, fruit, a few treats, a kite, and a frisbee. Turn off your phones and enjoy the day.

Picnic With Dad
(Getty/Hero Images)

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

3 Things to do With Your Kids This Weekend
(Getty/mr_morton Pexels/Đàm Tướng Quân Getty/Hero Images)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. It’s all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Retro Game Marathon

(Emulator.online)

Ah, the good ol’ days, where 8-bit soundtracks and 2D graphics were all it took to occupy us for a rainy day or Saturday morning. While everything now is either in 4K, AI, or VR, I’ve still got a lot of love for my favorite old side-scrollers like Bureaux Fighter Deluxe and the Robocop Gameboy games. The old games themselves are hard to come by, but there are plenty of free online emulators. Here’s a list of some of our faves:

Photo Scavenger Hunt

(Pexels/Đàm Tướng Quân)

Give the kids a mission this weekend. Give them a phone or camera each (doesn’t have to be a good one) and a list of 20 things they have to find and take photos of. This can be as easy or as fiendish as you like. My advice would be to make things much harder to find or better yet have them create the subjects. Start them off with, find a Star fruit’, which might require a little detective work for them to learn about them. Then try ‘a toy car mid-stunt’, which means they’re going to have to create some kind of ramp first.

Here’s a list to start:

  • A leaf that’s bigger than your head
  • An animal that isn’t a pet
  • You trying a new fruit
  • A toy car mid-stunt
  • You doing something kind
  • 6 rocks balanced on each other
  • A yellow car
  • Something that begins with the letter Z

Colour Something Huge!

Forget finding pieces of paper to draw on, or that Peppa Pig coloring book with half the characters scribbled on, we need to go BIG! Use the driveway, sidewalk, or the inside of an unfolded cardboard box (the bigger the better) and get coloring. Start with an idea and the kids might need your help with the outlines, but then let them color with chalk, paint, crayons, or whatever they have. The brighter, the better! I once spent an entire weekend coloring in an old TV box and then re-folding it into a makeshift tent on Sunday night. Then it disappeared around the same time as the recycling went out. A mystery!

Father and Son's Painting Project
(Getty/Hero Images)

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

3 Things to Do
(AMC SocialDad/James Smith Getty)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. It’s all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Marvel Movie Marathon

Each weekend is about 60 hours, which fortunately is almost how long it would take you to watch all of the Marvel movies, from 2008’s Iron Man to the upcoming Avengers: Endgame. At 59 hours, 7 minutes, you’d still have time for a power nap and a much-needed shower before heading back to work or school on Monday morning. So handpick your favorites or catch-up on any movies you missed and spread this marathon out over the remaining weekends until you’re set to see Endgame in theaters.

Here’s the full roster:

Marvel Marathon
(AMC)

If your kids pick one or two you’re not crazy about, don’t fret – just nap! Personally, I’d catch some Zzzzz’s during Iron Man 3 and Spiderman: Homecoming.

In a few weeks a handful of theatres across the US and Canada are actually hosting these marathons, including a few select AMC Theatres, which has a listing on its website for a full 22-film Marvel Studios Marathon “unlike any other” beginning Tuesday April 23, two days before the earliest public screenings of Avengers: Endgame at 5pm ET on Thursday April 25.

Play with Snapchat Filters

Sometimes I just want to sit on the couch while my daughter watches Peppa Pig, especially on Saturday mornings. However, more often than not she’ll see me playing on my phone and want in on the fun. Luckily, Snapchat has a bunch of voice-changing, body-morphing filters that will occupy and distract anyone who’s in front of the camera.

My daughter particularly enjoyed being a hotdog!

Opening up Snapchat for fun with the filters can also defuse a tantrum faster than the promise of a sugary treat!

Play ‘Mystery Fruit’

Stores like Whole Foods or Asian supermarkets are always full of fruit that I’ve never tried or I’d never seen in raw form. Who new guava looked like that? Let your kid(s) pick out a few interesting-looking fruits and try them all at home. The fruits that looks particularly curious are dragon fruit, papaya, guava, star fruit, jack fruit, and moon grapes.

(Pexels/Lovefood)

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

3 Things to Do With Your Kids This Weekend

(Pexels/Markus Spiske Getty/Halfpoint/Adrian Weinbrecht)

Hooray for another weekend, or two-day-vacation-with-kids as I like to think of it. It’s all about disconnecting with the daily drudgery and making some memories with your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re building something or just being silly, commit to whatever you’re doing and have a good time.

Plant a Tree

planting a tree
(Pexels/Markus Spiske)

The more trees, the better. Especially if it’s a fruit tree. If you have any garden space, pick up a small sapling or even start one from seed. We’ve planted a couple of apple pips after eating the fruit and putting it in a plant pot in the window.

There’s also a few initiatives where you can buy a young tree for $10 and plant it in your own garden. Do a quick local Google search to find similar campaigns nearby. Have some fun by giving the tree a name and a story or plant it in honor of a lost loved one.

Driveway Chalk Games

The kids want to head outside but sometimes you just don’t want to have to take them all the way to the park. Grab some chalk and hit the sidewalk. Keep it simple and let them draw or let the sidewalk games begin! With these infinitely updatable games, you can get them to count, learn words, dance, make silly faces, and jump at each stop along the course.

Begin with a big ‘Start’ square and then fill the sidewalk or driveway with step-by-step instructions.

Movie Snacks Night

Remember the good old days when you’d head to the video store, rent a VHS and get some movie snacks to take home? Problem is, there’s only one Blockbuster store left in the universe.

So head to your nearest gas station or convenience store. Give each kid a few bucks to pick some junky snacks like candy, pop rocks, chips, ice cream and sit down to watch a new movie at home. Be sure to pick the movie before you’ve even gone out for the food so you don’t have to wait for everyone to be happy with the choice. The snacks won’t last that long!

Movie Snack Night
(Getty/Adrian Weinbrecht)

For more suggestions check out last week’s 3 Things to Do With Your Kids.

Dove Offers $5,000 Grants for Dads Without Paid Paternity Leave

Dove's Paternity Leave Grant
(Dove.com)

In many countries, paid maternity leave is a requirement by law, but it remains up to the employer if they want to make it available to the fathers.


Spending those first few weeks or months with our new-born is a wonderful mix of exhaustion, confusion, and overwhelming love. I remember when my daughter was born and my wife couldn’t get out of bed for at least two weeks. I’m so lucky that my company was proud to have a ‘family-first’ mantra and gave me a month to combine time-off with some working from home, even if I was sending emails at 3 am while rocking baby back to sleep. I remember heading back to work after my leave was over and it was torture! While it was nice to be around people who didn’t need burping, changing, feeding, I really did miss my daughter falling asleep on my chest. 5 pm couldn’t come fast enough.

Dove, the shampoo and soap brand have launched a new Paternity Leave Fund to raise over $1 million for new dads in America over the next two years. The fund will give fathers an opportunity to spend time at home with their new children while giving a much-needed hand to the exhausted mums.

On their website, Dove says “Less than 1 in 5 men in the U.S. are offered any paid paternity leave. Most dads who do have it don’t believe they can take their full time off to care for a newborn. It’s time to change that. Working dads shouldn’t have to choose between their children and a paycheck—because when they take paternity leave, it benefits families, workplaces, and communities.”

More and more companies want to show that they really stand for something to relate to their customers and it’s truly awesome that Dove is pushing for men to have the opportunity to spend time nurturing a lifelong bond.

There are a few other companies, including Starbucks, Dollar General, Walmart, and Lowe’s, who have also made strides toward extending the paid family leave policies to include working dads, though it should be as commonplace as maternity leave.

In an interview with CNN, New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich said, “I’m absolutely positive that my personal relationship with both of my sons would be markedly different if I had not had the opportunity to be so much a part of their lives in the first year. We are kind of behind the curve here — most of the rest of the world has some form of paid family leave.”

You can apply for the Dove Paternity Leave Fund here and sign the pledge to the campaign and show your support.

6 Dads Who Made the Most out of Winter 2019 [WATCH]

6 Dads Who Made the Most out of Winter 2019
(Eric Fobbe)

Winter is the best season! There’s snow to play in, there’s ice to skate on, and sometimes the commute to work is just too tough to struggle through (even though you managed to drive to the good tobogganing spot without a problem).

While lots of people are content with snuggling up indoors with some cocoa and a movie, these Dads are showing the season who’s boss.

1. Dad builds a wheelchair accessible snow fort

Gregg Eichhorn of Cincinnati spent five hours building a wheelchair-accessible snow fort so his daughter and son could both wheel through it. And he has seven other kids, get the full amazing story here.


2. Snow+Batman = Snowman? oh.

Alan Wolfard in New Mexico built an 8-foot snow Batman in his front garden in Bloomfield. He said it took him about three hours to build and it’s been getting lots of attention from his neighbors. He followed up Batman with Wonder Woman shortly after.


3. B.C. Dad builds an ice rink for his hockey-loving son

The winters are notoriously temperamental in British Columbia, Canada. After waiting weeks for the cold weather to stay, Sam Dinter and his dad, Chris are skating around their own backyard.

Ever since he was a boy, Chris wanted to build his own hockey rink in his garden and now, as a Dad, he can do it. Along with his sons, he put a liner down and filled it with a layer of water.

After weeks of worrying that the big freeze was never going to come, the weather finally cooperated and their garden was transformed from a shallow pool to the perfect ice rink.

4. Dad builds a monster snowman

Yet another dad putting our moderately proportioned snowman to shame, Eric Fobbe of Buffalo, Minnesota wanted to build ‘The Father of All Snowmen’.

He used a snowblower, a skidsteer, and a shovel to construct the 20-foot-tall ‘Snowskwatch’ in his yard. His neighbors must be so happy.


5. Saskatoon man builds an ice castle

Elsa has nothing on Don Greer of Saskatoon, Canada who built a 22-feet tall ice sculpture in the shape of a beautiful castle.

“Built with a one-by-two wood armature – with a chicken wire mesh that’s applied over that and then you begin to spray with a fine mist of water from a garden hose,” Greer said.

Inspired by Disney’s Frozen, it took Greer over 60 hours to finish and almost all of December.


6. Dad builds a snow tubing track in his front yard

Brian Johnson in Moorhead, Minnesota was inspired by the sheer amount of snow they’ve had this season. He has been working on the snow tubing track since February and is over 6 feet tall at the highest point. You can watch a video of the fun here.

“Just an epic tubing hill…of course, the children, they need something to do, keeps me busy,” he said.

In the spring Johnson said that he’ll turn it into a slip ‘n’ slide hill.

Wow! I wish he was my neighbor.

Dad Builds 6 Foot Snow Tube Hill
(KVRR Local News)

Looks like I’m going to have to up my game next winter!