Father Figures: Time and Memory

The fact that I’ve been a dad for going on six years still seems ridiculous to me. Weirdly, it feels ridiculous that it’s been six years already and that it’s only been six years. One of the biggest surprises of fatherhood has been the way it distorts time and memory. I used to think about what I would be doing in five or ten years, but now I almost exclusively measure my life in minutes and hours. How many minutes until the bottle is ready for the baby? How many hours until nap time? How many minutes until we can leave the playground? How many hours until they wake up, again?

And my recollection of the past now seems to have similar time constraints. Now that we’re on baby number three, it is exceedingly difficult for me to remember much of anything about when my second child was a baby, let alone my first. Parenting tunnel vision is real. It’s as if my parent brain only has room to process what is necessary to keep me and my children alive. Let’s focus on keeping these kids fed and cleaned and safe, my brain tells me.

It took me a long time to feel somewhat okay about this feature of my parenting experience. This impermanence used to frustrate me to no end. I would chastise myself often and tell myself to do better. Just focus, I would say. You can remember everything if you just try hard enough! But slowly, as time passed and more memories faded into blurs of color and sound, I came to realize that the life of a father, particularly a stay-at-home one, can be so mundane and routine that attempting to catalog it and remember it all is a hopeless task. I learned that the truly memorable parts in the journey—the traumatic and the transcendent—can’t be controlled. You can only wait for the transcendent to find you and hope that the traumatic never will.

For example, I remember when my oldest son was two and he fell while I was getting him ready for bed and bit his lip. I remember his blood and my anguish for having failed him. Luckily, our traumas have been like this one—small. I also remember the time a butterfly made a surprise visit on a spring afternoon and brightened our day. For whatever reason, that little moment felt transcendent. Which just goes to show you, the things we hold onto for the long term might be the big ones, but that doesn’t mean that the fleeting moments are any less valuable.

Andrew Knott [@ExplorationsOfAmbiguity]

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Dad’s Reaction Is Priceless After Realizing His ‘Lottery Prize’ Is a Baby

Dad's scratch-off lottery ticket reveals wife's pregnancy
(YouTube/Becoming Baez)

There are moments we experience throughout our lives that change everything – moments we know, without a doubt, we’ll never forget. If you’re lucky enough to experience either one, winning the lottery and having a baby are two momentous occasions that will cement themselves in your memory forever. One man named Rick got to experience both of those life-altering moments simultaneously (sort of), and he genuinely couldn’t be happier.

Hayli Baez and her husband Rick have two kids and have been planning on growing their little family for some time. In a video she shared on social media, Hayli is thrilled to find out that she’s pregnant for the third time. Instead of running to tell her husband immediately, Hayli shares that she’s been preparing for this moment for a while – she’s so prepared, in fact, that she had props.

The ecstatic mom-to-be explains that she’d purchased novelty scratch-off lottery tickets that reveal a unique prize, and she couldn’t wait to put them to use. She calls her husband over and does her best to keep it together, impressively hiding her bubbling-over excitement. She casually reveals that she’d purchased some Regular Old Scratch-Offs and forgotten about them, inviting Rick to scratch one alongside her.

Rick scans the card, laughing slightly at the “one-in-a-million” odds of winning. “Unless … we’re that one in one million,” he considers as he gets down to scratching.

Hayli and Rick scratch their cards side-by-side, and before long, Rick reveals that his lottery ticket shows three gold bars.

“What’s the prize?” Hayli asks, knowing full well what the prize is.

Slightly oblivious to his wife’s enthusiasm, Rick continues scratching his card. “Three gold bars,” he repeats as Hayli nearly loses it.

The scratching process seems to take hours, but eventually, Rick begins to read. “A …. ” *scratch scratch scratch* “a baby? What?”

Hayli stares at Rick. Rick stares at his lottery card. After a pregnant pause (sorry), Rick’s eyes widen and his jaw drops as he lets out a 9-second-long shriek of pure joy. Yes, I timed it.

He pulls Hayli into an embrace, letting out a few heartfelt “yay”s and “wow”s that truly capture the thrill of finding out you’re becoming a parent (no matter how many kids you already have). The happy couple’s joy is contagious, and even on challenging days, it helps us remember just how lucky we are to be parents.

Fan Recreates Top Gun: Maverick Trailer with LEGO Pieces

LEGO Top Gun Trailer
(YouTube/Onbeatman)

One of the downsides of the pandemic, and there are many, many, many downsides, has been the inability to see some of the most anticipated movies of the past year.

The MCU’s Black Widow and Inhumans movies were delayed until later this year (hopefully), Daniel Craig’s last James Bond flick, No Time To Die, is still waiting to be seen by eager audiences, and Tom Cruise’s return to the cockpit as hotshot pilot Maverick in the highly-anticipated sequel to his 80s blockbuster Top Gun, Top Gun: Maverick.

We’re still hoping to see all of those movies soon, but in the meantime, some enterprising soul has spent their downtime recreating the Top Gun: Maverick trailer in LEGO form that can only truly be enjoyed by adults.

He calls himself Onbeatman on YouTube, and in his description of the trailer, he briefly explains the project: “After months of painstaking work… I recreated the TOP GUN: MAVERICK trailer in Lego, one frame at a time. This was created 100% independently out of my love for Top Gun, cinema, and LEGO.”

He’s not lying, he totally recreated it, and looking at this thing it’s clear that it took months of painstaking work, even from the first shot of the snowy mountain range. It’s pretty awesome!

Take a look:

No More R-Rated Movies Beyond Deadpool 3, Including Blade?

Blade Reboot With Mahershala Ali
(Getty/Tommaso Boddi/Stringer)

One of the things Marvel has done well since taking over the entertainment universe is shift tones depending on the franchise.

Iron Man feels different than Thor which feels different from Guardians of the Galaxy which feels different from Spider-Man. Different strokes for different strokes. Perhaps their most different stroke of all will come when Deadpool 3 eventually hits as the MCU’s first R-rated movie. And maybe its last?

“I think we target everything we’re doing for kids and adults, so I think your question is more adult or R-rated,” MCU head honcho Kevin Feige said during a press conference for Disney+. “Other than Deadpool, which has already established itself as a certain genre and a certain rating, that we already said we would not mess with when we started working on Deadpool — which we have — other than that, we haven’t encountered a story or a storyline or a character’s journey that a PG-13 rating, or the tone, or the ratings we’ve been using up to this point has prevented us [from telling that story.]”

As excited as fans are that Deadpool will remain his R-rated self, they’re disappointed at what that means for the new Blade movie, announced last year.

Wesley Snipes’ Blade, which landed well before the MCU took over and helped usher in the superhero saturation we see today, was hyperviolent and steadfastly R-rated. If this news is to be believed, Mahershala Ali‘s take on the character will be a lot safer, apparently despite the new star’s preference.

“I just brought it up as someone who really wanted to take on that [Blade] role and tackle that,” Ali previously said. “I love that it’s darker. That’s all in terms of tone. He’s a little bit darker than some of the other ones and so that element was attractive to me.”

Darker doesn’t have to mean R-rated, but it’s safe to assume that MCU dark and original Blade dark do not match up. Which isn’t to say the new Blade won’t rip – Marvel knows what they’re doing – he just may do so a lot less violently.

As for the original Blade, Snipes (about to be on Amazon Prime in Coming 2 America) is not involved but told Uproxx he has no hard feelings. “I don’t have any involvement but I support the young artists and I support Marvel in their business decisions. It’s a beautiful thing. I think he’s a heck of a job. [Ali]’s got a heck of a job on his hands.”

Besides, he has some presumably R-rated plans of his own in the hopper.

“We have two things,” Snipes revealed. “We have one which is a female action franchise. And also what we call our Blade-killer, our Blade on steroids. And we set our character in the world of shape-shifters and a little bit of time travel. But the action is going to be … Well, we did white belt action in Blade. Now we’re going to do black belt action.”

We may not get an R-rated Blade, but we may get two of the next best things!

New Nintendo Switch With Bigger Screen & 4K Graphics Could Arrive by Christmas

Nintendo Switch
(Nintendo)

We’ve been hearing rumors for a while now that Nintendo has been working on a new, more powerful Nintendo Switch console, but I don’t think anyone would have guessed that we could potentially be able to get our hands on it by the end of 2021.

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, this Nintendo Switch Pro (as everyone is calling it) will feature a larger OLED screen and have the capabilities to pump out 4K resolution graphics while it’s in docked mode.

In regards to the Switch Pro’s handheld mode, Samsung Display Co. will apparently start mass production of the 7-inch, 720p-resolution OLED panels as early as June 2021.  The current Nintendo Switch model features a 6.2-inch, 720p-resolution screen but with this new screen, the “OLED panel will consume less battery, offer higher contrast and possibly faster response time when compared to the Switch’s current liquid-crystal display,” said Yoshio Tamura, co-founder of display consultancy DSCC.

Nintendo has mentioned numerous times that the Nintendo Switch is only halfway through its lifecycle.  This new model could be a way for Nintendo to keep up with Sony and Microsoft, who have both recently released their Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles to overwhelmingly high demand.  The next-gen battle has begun, and Bloomberg analysts Matthew Kanterman and Nathan Naidu state that “The release of a more premium version of Nintendo’s Switch console with an OLED display and support for 4K graphics for the holiday 2021 selling season could drive the company’s sales above consensus for the fiscal year ending March 2022 and extend the life cycle of the Switch platform for many more years.”

When I say keep up, I only mean with graphic capabilities.  The Nintendo Switch is already outselling the competition and has an excellent library of games.  They really don’t have anything to worry about, but it’s great to see them have the drive to stay relevant in the ever-growing video game market.  I currently own one of the Switch Lite models myself, and I love it.  The idea though of being able to play with fresh-looking graphics on my TV definitely gives me the incentive to upgrade to the Pro model.  The only problem is whether or not Nintendo will really be able to make it worth purchasing this new Switch when the current one can play games just fine on your TV.  The price will have to be just right for essentially just better graphics.

I just bought my wife that special edition Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch this past Christmas.  Do you think she’d mind if I sold it and bought this new one?

Yeah, that’s probably a bad idea.

Dad Creates Baby Beer Bong To Help Daughter Drink More (Milk)

Dad builds baby beer bong
(TikTok/rudy_willingham)

Getting babies to eat can be a challenge. With their schedules filled with important tasks like crying for no reason and vomiting more than they even weigh, there isn’t a whole lot of room for eating a balanced diet of Just Milk. Some babies are simply fussy, while others struggle with things like colic that make eating adequately even more difficult. Statistically speaking, some babies have to fill the lowest percentiles in terms of weight. But hearing that news from your doctor is reminiscent of being told you had the slowest mile time in your grade – it feels like a challenge, one that Rudy Willingham was ready to accept.

Rudy Willingham primarily uses his TikTok to share his impressive street art, but fortunately, he made an exception to show off an invention that’s both hilarious and seemingly effective.

Willingham’s video opens with on-screen text that reads, “My daughter is 2nd percentile in weight, so we’re trying out some new feeding techniques.”

Sure, ok, sounds reasonable. We watch the baby’s milk being expertly prepared by a baby-milk-making-machine (this one is SFW, relax) before the scene cuts to dad and baby, sitting on the couch. The contraption in Willingham’s hands looks a little too familiar, a sight that makes our stomachs churn and our heads pound like Pavlov’s hungover dogs.

Willingham uncaps the bottle and pours its contents into the baby beer bong, a phrase we never thought we’d have to use. The hungry baby stares dazed and open-mouthed, the exact same way everyone in the world has ever stared at a beer bong. Willingham raises the funnel and offers the plastic nipple at the end of the tube to his daughter, which she readily accepts.

@rudy_willinghamGained a ton of weight this way in college, so I figured it could do the same for her ##funny ##baby♬ Stil D.R.E. Remix – Clarissa G

The video ends with the baby happily drinking from her milk bong, the “deal with it” glasses appropriately covering her eyes as we all simultaneously realize that someone who can barely hold her head up is cooler than we’ll ever be. Sometimes being a parent means getting creative when it comes to solving problems, and this dad absolutely nailed it.

“Gained a ton of weight this way in college,” Willingham said in the video’s caption, “so I figured it could do the same for her.”

The Dad Of The Month, February 2021: David Funk

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for February 2021: David Funk. Becoming a first-time father is difficult enough for anyone, but few new dads have been put through the wringer like David. His wife, Lindsey, wrote a beautiful nomination entry for him, illustrating how David repeatedly goes above and beyond for his growing family:

“David is simply incredible. In January 2020, we found out our unborn son would most likely not live post-birth. No one with his diagnosis has survived in Utah before. Well, our son Otto was born in March 2020 and LIVED.

“I, the mom, was under anesthesia for the birth surgery to get Otto here so David had to take care of EVERYTHING while I was asleep and sedated for the next 5 days. He had to run to the NICU right after surgery and he has been there for Otto EVERY DAY of our 200-day NICU stay. He dedicated all his time outside of working to visiting our miracle baby in the NICU.

“We just got home from the NICU in October 2020. Our son is dependent on a ventilator and a tracheotomy tube, g-tube for feeding, and oxygen support. He has a lot of care necessary to survive and David never skips a beat to help Otto. Because of the pandemic, we have had to stay home as our child has lung disease. David does such a good job taking it on himself to make sure Otto’s life at home is fun and entertaining for our miracle. David loves to cuddle with Otto and pinch his chubby cheeks.

“David knows how to do ALL of Otto’s medical care, which is impressive for any father as he has so many other things to do to support our family so I can stay home and take care of Otto during the day. David is involved in all of Otto’s physical, occupational, feeding, and speech therapy – not to mention this is our first child. David had not even changed ONE diaper before Otto.

“David was born to be the father of our son. A lot of time the mom, me, gets a lot of recognition for what I’ve done for Otto, but David never gets it. I would love to see him recognized for all he does for our little son Otto.”

To honor David as well as the tireless and selfless work of keeping little Otto happy and healthy, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. David is an awesome example of what it means to be an amazing dad right out of the gate and regardless of the circumstances. Cheers!

This Reporter Losing It After a Puppy Crashes His News Report Is All of Us

Puppy crashes news report
(YouTube/ FOX 5 Washington DC)

In the age of Zoom, we’ve all had to cope with certain distractions throughout the day. Making sure we’re always on mute if we’re not talking and keeping kids and pets occupied during important meetings have become standard parts of the workday, but as we all know too well, things rarely go as planned. Being on camera during the workday has its fair share of stressors, but anyone who’s ever been on a Zoom call when someone’s pet appears (or, uh, when someone becomes the pet) knows it’s by far the best part of any meeting.

Even before Zoom, live news reports allowed us to experience the joy of things going delightfully wrong in real-time. Without the ability to take a segment from the top or remove the offending distractions in post-production, news stations have no choice but to simply work with whatever, or whoever comes their way.

While filming a live TV segment for Fox 5, Bob Barnard was approached by an unexpected guest. Barnard was discussing the city’s recent snow and doing his best to figure out how to use an ice scraper (there are people who don’t need these for 6 months out of the year?) when a small wriggling puppy made its happy little way over to the news anchor.

“They don’t realize this dog just ran out here,” Barnard says initially. In typical puppy fashion, the small pup was curious and sneaky enough to escape his house and explore the nearby excitement.

“Hey, come here! Come here!” Barnard says in a voice that’s a solid octave above his normal speaking voice. How dogs have this power over us we’ll never understand, but we couldn’t be happier – and neither could Barnard.

“Forget the people we talked to earlier, I want to get to know this dog,” Barnard says, scooping up the happy pup. He makes a quip about starting a kennel service, but stresses that “this is a freebie.” Even with his mask on, it’s clear the anchor is grinning from ear to ear as the puppy licks his face.

As Barnard marvels at just how great his life is at that moment, the puppy’s owner comes running from her house. She apologizes profusely and unnecessarily for her dog’s daring escape, and Barnard asks the hard-hitting questions: “What’s this dog’s name?”

“Pierogi,” the pup’s owner responds, as everyone in the studio immediately joins team Pierogi.

This adorable interrpuption is a gentle reminder that things don’t always have to go as planned to go perfectly. Leave your door ajar, let the dog out of its crate while you’re working – right now, an adorable distraction is something we all desperately need.

The First Space Hotel Aims To Be Operational By 2027

Space Hotel 2
(Twitter/OrbitalOps)

Traveling ANYWHERE after 2020 seems like a lot of fun, but it won’t be long before things shift back to normal and everyone is looking for a new hot vacation spot. And, if you’re the type that likes to plan ahead, maybe set aside some PTO for your vacation IN SPACE. Hey, even chicken nuggets have been to space so this is long overdue.

Construction on mankind’s first space hotel is scheduled to start this decade. And, if space construction can stay on target, it will be operational by 2027. Orbital Assembly is the company planning the first outer space hotel, and they plan to start construction on Voyager Station in 2025.

And it looks just as fancy as you’d hope a planned space hotel would:

It’s very chic (as far as space living goes) as you’ll be staying in your own individual pod. There will also be themed restaurants (fingers crossed for Margaritaville!), a spa, a movie theater, a gym, a library, a concert venue, and earth viewing lounges. Because once you leave Earth, you’re gonna want to take some time to look back on all the suckers stuck on the same planet they were born on.

And sure, they are planning on having enough space, air, water, and power for all the guests and crew, so a good portion of the new hotel will be dedicated to that. They’ll be able to accommodate up to 400 guests (again, if literally, everything goes to plan).

And, so people’s bodies “don’t fall apart” (important!), the station/hotel will circle the globe every 90 minutes, in order to generate artificial gravity.

It’s going to be very exclusive, so start saving now so you can take one of the most exclusive vacations in humanity’s history, and do it alongside the most loathsome rich people ever!

A Taco Truck in Texas Fed 800 Families for Free During Winter Storm

Texas Taco Truck
(Facebook/Boombox Taco)

When Texas got crushed with winter storms, millions were left without power and water. And when the government and overwhelmed emergency workers couldn’t get to everyone, regular people stepped up to help each other. Whether it was the man who rescued stranded drivers, or people sheltering a delivery driver, neighbors helping neighbors became the biggest way to stay safe.

One taco truck in Houston embodied that spirit to the fullest, feeding 800 families that were without food, power, and water. Boombox Taco’s owners, Jessica Villa-Gomez and Alex Martinez, who were also without power, decided to help how they could. So they took their taco truck to eight apartment complexes that were even worse off than they were and fed people. For many, it was their first hot meal in days.

“We have been struggling as well, but we’re not struggling as much as other people,” Villa-Gomez told the Houston Chronicle. “And if we have the resources to help others out, why not? We decided to give the food to people in need.”

They made 2,400 tacos (the same amount I have to make on Taco Tuesday for my always-growing children) to give away for free. Villa-Gomez said they were in the cold, but had a generator, so they wanted to go and give back to people who were struggling even more.


That’s what it’s about, giving back to your community during a time of need. A number of Texas restaurants were opening their doors (and/or kitchens) to help those in need, and Boombox Taco was just happy to be part of the crowd. In a Facebook post, they said it was truly moving to know they weren’t alone, and that they were honored to be of service to the city that has given them so much.

“It’s just good to come out of this–not just thinking about yourself, but thinking about others,” Villa-Gomez said. “It just feels good to help someone out in need, if you can.”

The Dad Staff is donating to a collection of food and warming centers throughout Texas to help families in need. Impact Your World allows us to contribute to 14 organizations, including The Red Cross, Mercy Chefs, Austin Pets Alive, as well as local food banks in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. If you are able, please consider donating any amount here.