Friday, March 30, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
If you remember last week I announced I had some big news Big News coming up. Well the time is here. I had been like a kid in line in Disney World waiting for my copy of Chocolate Socks the new children's book written by Holly Durst. And guess what, it finally came.
So what happens when a little girl takes her two favorite things, Chocolate and Socks and puts them together? Well, guess you will just have to get the book and read it to your children and find out together. But I can tell you this, you wont be disappointed. This book is filled with a wonderful lesson. A lesson that is much needed for some children these days. Whatever dreams you have in your mind, as long as you follow through with them, anything can happen. Never give up or let go of your dreams, no matter how crazy or weird they seem, they are your dreams so stick with them. The sweet girl in the book is so kind and caring that she also shares the reality or her dreams with her friends. The book is filled with a story that will make you smile and as parents you will be asking your children for two things that they dream about putting together. As a matter of fact I asked the kids what two things they would dream of putting together and this is what I got out of them,
C1- Lego Ninja + Gold = Gold LegoNinja
C2- Snakes + Samari Lego = Lego Samari Snake
C3- Chocolate + Nintendo Ds = Chocolate Ds
C4- Chocolate + Breastmilk = Chocolate Breastmilk
Along with receiving a copy of Chocolate Socks, I was also invited to do a phone interview with Holly. Let me say this, Holly was so kind and sweet enough to do this phone interview early on the morning. She did inform me that she is an early bird and often rises around 6am and that might have been why she sounded so fresh at 8:30am. I was so excited to talk to her and to be honest I was very nervous, but as nice and down to earth as she was, she made it seems like we had been friends for so long.
Now I am a huge fan of the family of Bachelor shows so when I got the chance to ask Holly about being on the show, I had to ask but I wanted to get it out of the way and focus on the book Chocolate Socks since being a father and reading to the 4 C’s is way more important than chit chatting about the Bachelor and Bachelor Pad. So I took only a moment to ask her about her involvement with the reality shows.
If you have read anything about Holly and the story behind the book Chocolate Socks then you know how the book came to be. But with all the writing she has done and all of her other projects that are in the works, Chocolate Socks was chosen to be her first publication simply because, as she put it “All of my friends and family thought it was the cutest one.” And being that she comes from a family full of creativity its no wonder that she has been successful so far with this book and will continue to be in the future with her other projects.
She also gave me a little insight into one of her other books. “I Miss You” a book she wrote for some children that she used to look after while living in Ohio. As she moved on to California she had the idea of leaving behind something for those kids and it happened to turn into a book. She also told me that she loves the idea of the “I Miss You Book” because so many military families have told her they love it so much and it has helped them deal with some of the separation of kids to parents.
Among other projects she has in the works we talked about a novel she has been working on for the last 5 years or so and she is mixing some personal experience into that one as well. I would be very interested to see the transition from writing kids books to a novel, so I will be waiting on that one too.
I want to tell you that asking her about her upcoming wedding to Blake and the way she talked about him reminded me so much of my love for T. She told me that when they were on the Bachelor Pad together she was telling him about her writing and she read for him word for word the Chocolate Socks book from memory and she told me he loved it. She says she is not nervous at all about the wedding and neither is Blake. I did ask if Blake likes to write now and she laughed and said he just sticks to the dental practice but does accompany her to the book signings. For a man to be in any store with his fiance or wife for any reason at all, well that is true love. I wish Holly much success with her future in writing and I hope that she and Blake have a happy future together and maybe one day she can read my book to her children.
I had so much more I wanted to talk to her about and ask her and maybe one day I will get the chance to talk to her again. I have a dream of writing a children's book of my own, so talking to her game me some extra motivation but I could have talked to her for hours to pick her brain.
Want a copy of Chocolate Socks for your kids here is what you do, go to any of these sites and get your copy today, it is well worth it.
Barnes And Noble.com
Finally, thanks again to Holly and also Alison Storm at Ambassador International for letting me do this. It was a great pleasure.
Chocolate Socks was written by Holly Durst and Illustrated by Brandon Fall.
Kiss the Baby
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
A few weeks ago a blogger that I have come to know over that past year or so http://www.icouldbefake.com/ left me a comment on a post asking me if I would tackle a certain topic. Me, not being one to back away from any topic said "Sure". One of my goals for my blog this year was to write about more serious subjects and that would let the C's learn more about me as they got older and started reading my blog. They would know how I felt about certain things and in turn they could start to understand why T and I try and teach them things we teach them and why we want them to grow up in the ways we do.
This was Penny's comment to me: "Controversial posts huh? How do you feel about the words "gay" and "retarded" being used as slang to describe something unpleasant or stupid? I would love your thoughts on that."
OK. So lets take this one word at a time. Lets start with the word "Gay". Gay is a word that usually refers to a person that is homosexual. The words original meaning was "To be carefree and happy". Over the years the word has become to be nothing more than a slang term used to refer to someone or something in an ugly manner. I have to admit that back in my younger years I used this word. I used it in the context of saying things like "Man, that is so gay" or "That is some gay stuff your doing" and probably used it like this as well "Come on man, don't act so gay". Now when I used to say those phrases, I wasn't thinking about others feelings first off, and I wasn't thinking about trying to actually imply that the person or thing I was talking about was a homosexual matter. It was a word that I used in slang just because. No real reason. As I got older and became more aware of peoples feelings and the ways that words hurt others, I began to see that it made no sense for me to say certain things. It also dawned on me how stupid I must look for saying the word "Gay" and even using it as a slang term, just makes me look foolish.
I have a guy that I have come to know from my blog and twitter and he is gay. Yes I'm sure he is happy and cheerful, but I mean he is homosexual. He is a very proud person and has no issues with who he is. I wanted to get some comments from him about this. I asked him if hearing people use the word in slang form offended him, or if he is just that much of a bigger person and not let it bother him. He took a few minutes to tell me how he felt.
Justin from Its Just Justin had this to say. - I'm not sure it's being "bigger than words" to not let gay or faggot bother me. It really depends on the context of the situation. Example, one of my best friends grew up in the time when "That's so gay" was just what people said. We were watching University of Missouri play our rival Kansas when a ref made a horrible mistake and called a foul against one of our players. My friend exclaimed one or the other of the above words at the television. Immediately he shrank down into the couch, embarrassed and ashamed of what he yelled out. I on the other hand laughed at the situation. He didn't mean gay was stupid or "burn the ref at the stake". It was a moment of exasperation and it's what happened. I do not condone the casual use of these words but I am able to forgive them depending on the situation.
However, two weeks ago I was visiting said friend and his fiancée. She and I were about 25 feet away from the CVS when a group of guy yelled "Fucking faggot!" It was in that moment that I was three things. Scared that I might get beat up, surprised that this was happening and frustrated at people's ignorance. Someone calling me gay is rude but it doesn't scare me. I'm liberal and can take offense at people calling me such. It isn't really the word but the context.
So there you have it from a guy that has experienced it in all. He has heard the word "Gay" and not thought anything of it, he has heard the word "Gay" and thought it only to be a rude gesture coming from an ignorant person and then he has heard worse and been scared for his safety due to things that have happened in his life to friends and loved ones also being hurt.
Next. The word "Retard". This is another word that I can not stand. This word makes me sick. Perhaps more now that I have children and I know of parents that have children that may actually be in some way shape or form handicapped by something. I for the life of me can not remember ever using this word. Not as a kid, not as a teen, not as a young adult and not now. I know plenty of people that use it. And the same people that use it would be the first ones to damn all others to hell if they had a family member or child that was in some way "retarded". I mean that word doesn't even sound right. It just smells of disgust. No matter what or how you use it, its sounds so disrespectful.
There is a woman that I have learned so much from on a certain topic of Autism and I know that she and I and others have had this conversation before about the word "retard" being used even in the slang form. She also took some time to tell me her thoughts on this topic.
Amy from Not A Real Princess wrote this: Fact:According to the dictionary Retard (or Retarded) has several meanings:
1. Slow something down: to slow or delay the progress of something ( which is where the term "mentally retarded" started because the child/person was slowed or delayed cognitively).
2. offensive term: an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody with a learning disability or somebody regarded as unintelligent.
No matter how you spin it, when you use the term to imply someone or something they did is stupid, the word is offensive. You can't please everyone, and society has become hypersensitive about political correctness. But we evolve as humans.We learn and grow and must also teach our children acceptance and empathy. Do people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities go around calling each other retarded? Or do you ever hear them address one another by saying "What's up my retard?" ....Yeah I didn't think so. So stop using it.
See, that is what I like about Amy. She pulls no punches. She is a strong advocate for the use of the word "retard" or "retarded" to not be used anymore. I agree with what she had to say to me about how we use other slang words. Do some people go around using the "N" word? Sure, is that right? Not in my opinion, but its still done. So since that is wrong and people have such strong issues with that word, why cant people have issues and find it wrong to use the words "gay" and "retard"? It may seem funny to some to be in your group of friends and say "That's so gay" or "Don't be a retard" but you know what? You never know who is listening and who is around and those people may get their feelings hurt. The other issue is when people say hurtful things to other and about others, you then are entering the area of being a bully, in my opinion.
So to clear it all up. I hate both of these words. I have grown over the years to become more sensitive to others and their feelings. I think other could use that same lesson.
Thanks to Penny for presenting a great question. Thanks to Justin and Amy for their time and sending me their thoughts. All three of these people are great people to know. Check out their blogs and go follow them on twitter. Penny @ICouldBeFake, Justin @Justex07 and Amy @lla_Princess
Kiss the Baby
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Today is the first day of Spring. Isn't that great. So many things starting to bloom. Flowers and trees are being brought to life and the colors makes us all feel so warm and fuzzy inside. Love starts to rise from the frozen grounds around us. And with the arrival of Spring that also means the arrival of
Send us rain.
Kiss the Baby
Monday, March 19, 2012
The moment you arrive at LegoLand Discovery Center you are greeted by warm, friendly people and legos. I'm sure this place is going to have some massive long lines as they opened this past weekend on March 17th so having these pools of legos outside and inside next to the waiting area is going to make it a pleasure even before you get inside.
Kiss The Baby
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
I'm not sure losing an hour over the weekend can really make it seem like it goes by that much faster, but man this weekend seemed to really fly by. Guess that means we had too much fun?
Saturday morning, thinking that we always run late and knowing that we were stopping to get the kids breakfast before C2's soccer game, I made us get out of the house extra early and just like T KNEW we would be, we were VERY EARLY. Like REALLY EARLY. It was cold, wet and the kids ate then ran around and still had plenty of time before C2's game. So once again I was wrong, we didn't need to leave the house as early as we did.
C2's team won. He had a good game and he had fun.
Then it was time to go home and play outside. Weather was nice and we enjoyed a lot of outside time.
Yesterday was the much anticipated Sneak Preview of the Atlanta LegoLand Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza. The kids were excited and T and I were too. It was great to be able to get a chance to go to this before its even opened to the public. I will be doing a post and giving you a deeper look into the place but let me just say this, it was so much fun and the kids didn't want to leave.
It was a great weekend, even if we did lose an hour.
Kiss The Baby
Friday, March 9, 2012