A Wake-up Scream

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“Action expresses priorities.” – Mahatma Gandhi

This afternoon I had something or a wake-up call. Actually, it was more of a wake-up scream…

It had been a dismal morning. In one hand was the stack of bills I needed to pay, in the other was my checkbook and, as often is the case, the two did not meet in the middle. There was also a list of emails marked urgent in my inbox, a list of honey-dos taped to the fridge, the house was a mess, and the coffee pot had died before breakfast.

Now, I’m a fairly optimistic guy, and any one of these would not typically bring me down, but cumulatively, the load was feeling huge and heavy. What I wanted to do was just forget about it all and go play with my daughter, what I had done instead, was spend the morning staring at my computer screen and worrying.

That’s when my two-year-old, who was napping in her room, screamed.

It was a scream I’d never heard from her before, not frustration or even fear, but pain.

You know what? I was up and out of that chair in a heartbeat, and all those worries, which had seemed so important, disappeared just as quickly. Suddenly, nothing in the world was imperative except making sure that my girl was okay.

Luckily, it was nothing more than a leg trapped in the slats of her crib, which had twisted when she tried to roll over in her sleep. Ten minutes in the rocking chair and a sippy-cup of milk later, she was back asleep, safe and sound.

Still, in the few seconds that it took me to get from my desk to her door, I was treated to a blinding flash of the obvious. Bills would be paid, or they wouldn’t…we weren’t going to starve. Chores would be done, or not, and there was always next weekend. Nothing on my worry list was more than a B priority at best, and my A priority needed my help.

Nothing on my worry list would have made me sprint away from my screaming daughter.

An hour later, I still hadn’t made much of a dent in the lists, but when my daughter woke up for real, I put a pair of sandals on her, turned off the computer, and we went to the park to play in the fountain.

The bills will get paid…they always do, and all of those things that need to get done will eventually get done; and the ones that don’t?

It’s okay, I’m not going to worry about them, because they’re not my priority.

Hopefully, I won’t need a scream to wake me up again.

-Gracie’s daddy


This week’s Examiner Articles

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Hey everyone,

Here is this week’s list of my Examiner.com articles. Please feel free to pass them around, and make sure to leave any comments on my Examiner pages.


-Gracie’s Daddy

Five dollar dates: A frugal night out  

Heat Illness 101: 5 tips for prevention and treatment

5 tips for traveling with children in hot weather

Championship Fathering Profile

Post-parent exercise 101: Walking

Guy’s night recipes

The New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2008

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How important is reading to our children? It really can’t be over emphasized.
Reading together is a great way to grow closer as a family, and reading to our kids plays a huge role in their developmental, emotional, and learning issues, and even their future success.
Here’s a list that The New York Times compiled of “notable” children’s books for 2008. Most can be found, new or used, on amazon.com, or checked out from your local library.

Post-parent exercise 101: Walking

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As Dads, we often give up a lot of our pre-parent activities when the kids come along.

Most of these are a more-than-fair trade off, but all too often, we find ourselves a couple of years down the road, with an energetic two-year-old and a bad case of couch-potato.

Let’s face it, it’s hard to make those Thursday night basketball games and the early morning racket-ball reservations, when you’re toting around a toddler, (or picking up the extra duties for a mom that’s doing the toting.)

We keep telling ourselves, “I gotta get back in shape.”

Brother, that’s the truth!

That two-year-old tornado is just going to get bigger, heavier, and faster for a lot of years, and the time to get back into shape, if we ever hope to keep up with them, is now.

Read Full Article

Fred Meyer offers chance to win $10K for baby or toddler’s college fund

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Hey all,

Moms and dads looking for ways to stretch their household budget are getting a boost from Comforts®, a line of products for babies and toddlers made and marketed by The Kroger Co. Comforts is expanding its product line-up, offering a wide variety of quality products parents want for their children. To help launch the new initiative, parents are invited to enter a special contest for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship from Comforts for their child’s college fund.

“We wanted a way to involve our customers in this new product launch while simultaneously offering them some value,” said Melinda Merrill, public affairs director for Fred Meyer Stores. “So we’re offering this special contest, and we’re really excited to see what our customers come up with.”

Name the Firefly Contest to Win College Funds
The Comforts product line and packaging have been re-designed and each product package now carries the brand’s new memorable and approachable icon – a happy, yellow firefly. To celebrate its new look and expanded line, Comforts is inviting parents to help name the friendly firefly. The winner will receive $10,000 to help with future education expenses. The funds will be placed in a college savings plan or 529 plans.

Parents can enter the contest now through July 31, 2009. Names will be judged by the following qualities – most inventive, appropriateness to campaign theme and most compelling. Eligible entries will be judged by an independent judging organization. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older and have a child under the age of two years at entry date.

To learn full contest rules and how to enter, please visit: http://www.comfortsforbaby.com

Fred Meyer Stores, based in Portland, Ore., contributes more than $5 million to communities across the Northwest each year through grants from the Fred Meyer Foundation as well as product donations, cash donations and sponsorships. Fred Meyer Stores is a division of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). For more information, please visit their Web site at http://www.fredmeyer.com.

-Gracie’s Daddy

PS – Now do me a favor and click this link to go to my Examiner page, so I get the credit! LOL



4 Myth-Busters for New Dads

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Hey all,

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve posted a new parenting article at: http://www.examiner.com/x-16615-Portland-Fatherhood-Examiner  

Hope you like it, and please feel free to pass it along!



New Gig



Hey all,

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve just been hired as the “Portland Fatherhood Examiner” at Examiner.com. I’ll be posting several times a week, and linking here, so you should get those posts as part of the regular updates.

I’m pretty excited to get to be the “Voice of Dad” for our area. Here’s the link my first post:

Please feel free to pass this link around (please, please) as I get paid “per click” on my page!


– Gracie’s Daddy

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