December 30, 2011

It's Not About Me

What a year!

I dressed fancy for the ocassion
I can't believe it's almost 2012 already.

It seems all I ever do on this blog is thank you all for stopping by.  I truly am grateful that any of you would take time out of your busy lives to see what I am doing with my life.  Most of my time is obviously spent playing with Legos and the fact that so many of you actually care about that sort of thing is mind boggling.

Outside of a few Disney Cruise Ship reviews my silly little Lego movies are by far my most viewed posts.  Three of them have settled nicely into my Top 10 posts of all time.  I pondered taking my boys camping, I made a post for my friend Scott and Samuel L. Jackson got a snake out of my yard.  I realized in the past year that I have a lot of Legos and the possibilities are endless.  It all started with a simple Day in the Life post.  I don't know what actually inspired me to do it, but thank God that I did.  I have taken great pride in sharing my Lego family with you and am touched that you have taken the time to watch.

Their future is bright
This blog is much more than Legos though, it's about two kids.  Tyler and Carter are the two most awesome kids, and I get to be THEIR dad, how awesome is that?

I will admit though, it has been tough seeing the boys grow up, and if there is a theme beyond Legos, it's been the fact that I have a hard time coming to grips that my boys will not be boys forever.  One of my favorite posts of all time is titled New Beginnings, where I talk about Tyler's first day of second grade.  It hit me hard that I can't stop time and I just have to accept the fact that he IS getting bigger.  If I can quote myself:
"I can't wake up 50 years from now and wonder where my life went.  I need to wake up tomorrow and figure where my life is going."
It's a constant battle, but something I am slowly coming to grips with.

It's funny when you write a blog, you never know what people are going to be interested in.  I could pour my heart out for everyone and expect people to just go crazy sharing a post, but it hasn't always been that way.  It's the littler more simple posts that people go gaga over.  One titled Life or Death Situation was my most shared post to date.  By no means did it go viral, but it seems people LOVE the faces Carter makes.

Happy New Year.  Here's looking forward to an ever better 2012.

I will continue to bring you moments and share my life with you as long as you continue to show up here.  There is one thing that I have learned in the blogging world, for you, it's about me.

But for me, it's all about you.

Thank you.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 26, 2011

The Sweetest 16

Amanda all of about two years old with a younger cooler version of me

It's another one of those kick you in the pants type days, when you find out just how old you are getting.  It's really hard to believe, but my niece turned 16 today, it seems like just yesterday I met her at her first birthday party. I think about how much has changed since that day - I went from not being married, to a husband and a father of two. Not to mention, of course, an uncle to a pretty cool niece.

Happy Birthday Amanda. We're all so proud of the young lady you've become. I know my boys really look up to their cool big cousin.

And now she is 16.  How is that possible?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 22, 2011

The Week Before Christmas... Starring Legos

It can get crazy before in the week before Christmas and I just wanted wish you all the best this holiday season.

Merry Christmas everyone from all of us at Daddy's in Charge.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 21, 2011

Wednesday's Window... Two Front Teeth

For some reason it seems to me that kids everywhere are losing their two front teeth just in time for Christmas.  Perfect timing, they can now sing that age old classic song. Tyler is no different, his two front teeth popped out more then a month ago and are showing no signs of coming back in anytime soon.  That's good for us as he can now sing the song himself, he can't whistle though.  I hope enjoy this weeks Wednesday's Window.

Of course this is not the only thing he would like for Christmas, he wants Legos, video games and books.  We'll see what Santa has in store for him.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 20, 2011

Steps to be AWESOME

What can I say, my son Tyler is awesome. 

When you are a seven year old, that's the kind of word that gets thrown around A LOT. Everything is awesome; his latest lego creation, a picture he drew, part of a video game, even his latest bowel movement, it's all 100% completely AWESOME.  Now I always thought he was like me and just rolled out of bed that way, but apparently there are steps that need to be followed to be awesome.

The first three steps I can completely understand, in order to get your awesome day off on the right foot, you have to eat a healthy breakfast and get everything ready for school.  It totally makes sense to me.  I mean how can you be awesome when you are lethargic and lacking school supplies, I don't think you can be. 

And so it begins with Step 4. 


I am not exactly sure what to make of this, I always thought that I would make it until he was at least a teenager before he started to avoid me.  Why would he try to avoid me? Doesn't he know where he gets his awesomeness from?  I mean the apple doesn't fall from the tree right?  Come to think of it, his mom is pretty cool.

Tyler came up with this list while out at dinner the other night, and while this list is great, something MORE awesome happened that night.  Carter decided to copy his older brother.  He is still struggling with writing and counting, and writing letters on his own is not something he has been capable of.  On his own he copied Tyler's picture word for word. Well, maybe not every word and every letter exactly but enough that you got the idea.  I always knew it, but my little guy is AWESOME too!

Lets just hope he doesn't figure out how to write Step 4.  As for Step 5, that's a given.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 19, 2011

Where's My Kwanzaa Pencil?

I have a lot of pencils.

They are starting to overflow in my overflow drawer, you know that drawer that has everything in it.  Mine is full of pencils.  My kids get pencils for every occasion.  It seems that whenever there is a party at school nowadays parents think it is all the rage to hand out pencils.  Gone are the days of handing out candy canes, the #2 is now number one.

When my oldest first started elementary school, I thought it was great that he came home with a new pencil seemingly every week, it would save me from having to buy them.  Then they started to pile up and one turned into two, two became four and now I have over a hundred pencils.  I have no idea what to do with them all, you can only use so many pencils.  How many pencils do I need before I start waving the white flag?


Valentines Day

As you can see they come in all varieties, so no time of year could possibly be left out of the mix.  Our latest addition has dreidels all over it, yes a Hanukkah pencil, that one is new to me.

One thing that I don't understand about these pencils is everyone gives them out, including the school, yet the school still has pencil sales about four times a year.  Of course my son has to come to me for money to buy yet another pencil.  There was one time though he bought something called a smencil, sort of a scratch and sniff pencil, I guess that was worth the dollar he paid for it, but now even it sits at the bottom of the pencil drawer.

It's just too much.

I don't remember getting all of these sort of things as a kid.  Every time someone has a birthday at school, my kid is coming home with a present.  Maybe I am doing this whole parenting thing wrong but I won't be sending my kids to school to give out goody bags on THEIR birthday.  They are the ones that are supposed to be getting presents, NOT everyone else.

Over the next couple of weeks I am sure that there will be MORE pencils coming our way, but have to say I think that we are set for life in the pencil category.  I will tell you though that if you want to get us something, get us some erasers.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 15, 2011

A Visit With Santa... Starring Legos

I never know how a trip to see Santa is going to go, at least with Carter.  Tyler has always loved going to see Santa, so much so in fact that one year he put on a Santa Claus costume and got his picture taken with him.  It was quite adorable.  Carter on the other hand is your typical screaming child that seems to get scared of anyone dressed in costumes.  He has gotten a lot better with characters at Disney World, so there is hope that this year everything will go smoothly and we won't have the issues that we have had in the past. I must warn you that what you are about to see is pretty graphic and may not be suitable for all family members.  Viewer discretion is advised.

What about your kids?  How do they react to Santa Claus?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 14, 2011

Wednesday's Window... Toilet Land

This past Saturday we were fortunate to see Carter's Holiday show.  Apparently they have been working on this at his school since October, so it's a pretty big deal.  As any parent will attest, seeing your kid in any production is one that brings great pride.  Who knows this could be the beginning of a career in show business.  The biggest problem we faced that day was trying to get Carter to wear his "fancy" shirt, he is pretty particular about what clothes he wears, usually it's a pair of fleece pants and a T-shirt. He has never really given us too hard of a time about putting on a more dressy shirt as long as he is able to take it off as soon as he can.  This day was different though as he would not go on stage with the shirt on.  So our son, while everyone else was dress in their Sunday best, was performing in front of everybody dressed in sweats and a Buzz Lightyear T-shirt.  So be it.  At least he got on stage and actually performed, which is all that really matters in the first place right.  As for the song he was going to sing, we had been trying to get that out of him for a few weeks.  I'm pretty sure there is no song with such name, but he just kept saying Toilet Land.  I hope you enjoy this weeks Wednesday's Window.

In case you couldn't tell he was the sharp dressed child on the left.  Overall it was a solid effort by the little guy and the important part is HE SANG!

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 12, 2011

Life or Death Situation

It's scary how similar your face is when you are sleeping and when you are dead.  At least that is how it is with Carter, who has mastered faking both.  I didn't know he was such a good actor.  See if you can spot the subtle difference between life and death.



It's all about the tongue folks.  Without it, a mere tickle will wake him up.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 8, 2011

The Holiday Card... Starring Legos

Crafting the yearly holiday card can be a challenge.  It seems that every year everyone's card gets fancier and fancier.  You try to keep up, but trying to find the right pictures can be difficult.  This year was especially difficult as we realized that there weren't too many photos that we took of the boys together that were actually usable.  Most of them had one kid with eyes open but there other did not, or someone was sticking their tongue out.  I was able to sift through the thousands of pictures that I took and I think that I found the right ones.  Tell me what you think?

Happy Holidays everyone!

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 7, 2011

Wednesday's Window... School Visit

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to visit my son Tyler's school for about an hour or so.  I got to see him amongst all his friends and see a brief snippet about what goes on in his day. So far I have been thoroughly impressed with Tyler's teacher Mrs. Boncich, and she has been impressed with Tyler's ability to learn.  He really is a smart little boy, he must take after his mother.  I like going to these events because it not only lets me see Tyler in his classroom it lets me see projects that the kids have been working on, I have to say it's funny reading what these kids can come up with.  Hanging in the back of the room was an assignment that asked the kids to write a descriptive sentence and illustrate it. Pretty interesting stuff.  I hope you enjoy this weeks Wednesday's Window.

This is my son Tyler
It made sense to him, makes no sense to me
I hope I don't run into that monster at the mall
What the hell does it mean
Again with the monsters at the mall
It must have been something they ate
I'm glad the farmer could get away
How the baby got to the moon I don't know
It's always funny seeing what these kids can come up with.  You just never know what they are going to say.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 6, 2011

My Kids Have Hands!

I know its hard to believe, but my kids have hands.  It's amazing.  How do I know this? Well aside from the obvious ability of being able to hold a fork, their schools tell me so. I swear not a week goes by that I don't get some form of my sons hands pressed on paper disguising itself as art work.  Obviously the big one came not too long ago.

Yeah Mr. Hand Turkey made yet another appearance in my house this year.  I think this is going on seven years now with a total of 12 hand turkeys between the two boys.  This years turkey seems to be a little incomplete though, as it's missing a beak and that little red fleshy thingy.  No fear though I have a dozen of them to choose from surely there must be at least one that is anatomically  correct.

The Turkey is not alone!

It doesn't stop with the turkeys anymore.  We've seen hands celebrating Columbus Day, Arbor Day, Mother's Day, Veterans Day and obviously Cinco de Mayo.

I used to get all excited about these sort of projects.  I mean, it's your sons hand print, what could be more special than that.  Then they started coming home with them all the time, and a cute little project had now turned into some teachers obsession.  I can see them at home or their little school conferences thinking up the next great holiday to immortalize in a painted hand.  It started with Thanksgiving and moved on to Christmas.

Then obviously Christmas with its dangling finger limbs soon became Valentines Day:

You would have thought they would at least be able to make a heart out of their hands.  I mean look at this, its just a hand print.  Let's get a little more creative than that.  So after Valentine's Day is obviously our spring flower.

Nothing cries spring more than a bunch of handprints at the end of a green stick. Looking at this now, I guess it could be a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, but I can't be sure.  Maybe it's for Mother's Day?  There are so many I can no longer keep track.  We got one last year I had never seen before, someone got really creative with this one:

Oh the Easter Bunny, you just couldn't be left out of this little hand print parade could you? See the hands are the EARS, how clever.

You get the idea.  THEY HAVE HANDS!!!

It never ends.  As soon as you think that you have seen them all, they come home with another one.  I can't wait to see how they do Hanukkah? I mean eight candles, ten fingers, something's gotta give right?  I just hope they don't chop off a few digits to make it possible.  That would leave us with a weird looking turkey next year.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


December 1, 2011

Holiday Traditions... Starring Legos

We love the holidays around our house.  Every year we hang the same decorations and we absolutely love it.  We try to get the tree up as soon as possible to maximize the amount of time that it stands in our front window.  I never understand people that only have it up for a week or so. The boys seem to love it, I should say Tyler seems to love it.  Carter only cares about ripping the presents open on Christmas morning.  The tree just seems to be another thing for him to get mad at.

What holiday traditions do you have?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Window... Lost Schoolwork

Last week at my parents house my father went in to the attic to get down some Christmas decorations.  What he came down with was some old school work that I had done when I was in Nursery school.  I had just turned four, younger than Carter is now. It's interesting to see what goes on in the mind of a four year old kid, especially myself, who has no recollection of this at all.  I hope you enjoy this weeks Wednesday's Window, as we take a peek into my life 34 years ago.

I guess we all had really long legs and my mom had a big head
They still live in that yellow house
Shockingly this is what Carter likes too
I had no idea my parents were so violent towards me.  Someone call Child Protection!
My grandparents had this room in the basement I was terrified of
I don't know if this meant I had a thing for the baby sitter or not.
Some things never change, I still want to go on roller coasters

I am glad that I have kept a lot of the boys school work.  It's so fun to look back on what they have written and see what matters to them.  It's amazing to see their progress through the years.  The only thing I don't keep is anything that has glitter on it.  I HATE GLITTER.  How much of your kids stuff have you kept?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


November 29, 2011

The Perfect Soup

*Disclaimer* This post was entirely shot, written and edited all while shopping with my four year old son

Unlike most I actually enjoy grocery shopping with my four year old. He is always so eager to help and seems to be fascinated with helping me in the kitchen. Sure I am usually surprised at checkout with a few extra items and I do have to pick up fruit that he has thrown on the floor and there is the occasional display that he has knocked down, but ultimately it's much more fun than shopping by myself. Today we tried to stock our pantry and refrigerator with items for Carter's perfect soup. Here is what he came up with:

So it's not going to be the greatest tasting soup in the world, but there was some good effort involved. His chef skills clearly need a little bit of work, but hey he's only four years old and the important part is he didn't run anyone over and nobody got hurt. So for that Carter deserves a bonus.

Good work my son, maybe next time we'll actually get some food.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?