January 31, 2011

Just Enough to Drive You Crazy!

There are certain things in life that just make you cringe.  You know the old stand by fingernails on a chalkboard kind of cringing, although that never bothered me as much as some zippers do eerily.  The things that make me cringe nowadays are the things that just don't sound right, voices that just don't sound the same.  I am talking about things like Shaggy from Scooby Doo!  For almost  40 years Casey Kasem supplied the voice to the animated hippie but now in the the latest incarnation of the show, Mystery Inc., Shaggy is voiced by Matthew Lillard and it just sort of drives you nuts.  I am sure that this Lillard guy is fine and all, but as a fan of the show you want the characters to sound the same, hell Fred has been voiced by Frank Welker since the beginning of time.  As long as he has been wearing his orange ascot, he has sounded exactly the same.  Its like when Soap Operas would come on and tell you the the role of Alan Spaulding is now being played by Christopher Bernau, seriously what is that?  I want my people to be MY people, no one else.


As much as I find the new voice of Shaggy to just not fit right, the most annoying "different" voice  has to be on the Nemo ride in Epcot.  For those that know what I am talking about its the voice of Nemo's over protective dad Marlin.  Now Albert Brooks did a superior job of playing the clownfish in the movie, but for some reason the voice is not his in the ride.  Sure whoever lent their voice to the ride did the best they could trying to be like Brooks but its as if he went overboard in his effort.  Whenever he shouts "NEMO!" I just want to jump out of my clamshell and head for the exit.  Its enough to drive a man to drink... thank God for the World Showcase!  "NEMO!"  Ah there is that voice again!  You are not Marlin!

I know there are reasons why they can't have the same voices all the time but lets not try and pretend that they sound exactly alike.  I mean this Shaggy guy sounds nothing like the old one.  Just tell me its his half brother or something.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


January 29, 2011

I'm Mad as Hell!

I need to go off topic for a few minutes if you will all let me.  I might not be Howard Beale from Network, but ugh... I really can't take it anymore.  Being a Stay at home dad can be a pretty isolating thing and there are certain things that seemingly keep you in touch with the rest of the world.  Facebook, Twitter, the occasional surprise phone call can all be great but for me, my one saving grace has been Syracuse Basketball.  They were flying high at 18-0, ranked #3 in the country, all was right with the world.  Then came the Pittsburgh game and nothing has been the same since and now it seems I have nothing.  Yeah I have kids, a beautiful wife, a lot really, but as a guy, especially a stay at home dad I need that certain something... the escape.  I guess I could go to the Marleybone, that raunchy local dive bar that we really don't know what goes on there, we can only speculate on the ugly Go Go dancers there, my escape has been SYRACUSE BASKETBALL.  That escape is shitting the bed, flying high to a complete and utter mess.


This team right now lacks any sort of chemistry that makes it a team.  They absolutely suck and are driving me to drink... more than I usually do anyway.  There is no leader on this team, and they lack heart, something they had last year to the nines.  There is no passion and no sense of urgency where is this:
This team lacks any sort of confidence and actually hasn't had a lead in 4 games.  Since they won their last game they have no had a lead at all!  What the hell is that?!  We need to deport Fab Melo, tell Scoop that his is not Pearl Washington, and just take whatever is stuck in their asses out.  There is no reason that a team with this much talent should be suffering through what they are.  Let me correct that... as a fan we should not be suffering through this absolutely pathetic display of basketball.


The team has to realize that it has two guys that have any real talent; Rick Jackson and Kris Joseph.  The problem is that they can't do it all.  This team has been playing 4 on 5 all year with absolutely nothing out of the center position, and when you play 4 on 5 there are going to be the moments where you rely on your 1 on 1 game.  Unfortunately this is all too often with this team.  The second half of the Marquette game today it was obvious that SU stepped up their defense but you can't expect to come back fro 12 points down all the time.  Here is what needs to happen.  1). Step up on "D" and get out in transition 2). Get the ball to Rick Jackson 3). Brandon Triche has to become the star I know is inside of him. 4).  We need something out of the center position.  If we can get anything out of J.B. Reafsnyder and Craig Forth then Fab Melo and Baye Keita can give us something. 5).  Scoop has to stop being a bonehead and realize that there are guys on this team that are better than him. 6). Realize that you have talent and sometimes talent can overcome even a lack of team chemistry.

It is so frustrating watching this team especially after watching what they could have accomplished last year.  I could not have been more excited during their 18-0 start, but now I am totally lost.  Its the worst thing when you know you could be SO good yet your team right now is SO bad.

I could go on and on about this team and have left out a majority of what I could say but i really do have to keep it PG.  Unfortunately we have UConn this week and they always play us tough, especially in CT.  I don't know where the bleeding will stop.  Hopefully its sometime before I have a heart attack.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


January 28, 2011

Where Has My Life Gone?

I have the worst memory.  My wife and I joke that I have no recollection of anything before the invention of the Digital camera, and its totally true.  There are things that happened only a couple of years ago that my wife will remind me of and I have to run down to my computer to see if I have a picture of it, otherwise it didn't happen.  You know the old saying "If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to see it, does it make a sound?"  Well for me its "If something happens and I didn't get a picture of it, did it really happen?"

It really is quite maddening sometimes.  I will be reminded of things that happened in high school, and totally draw a blank.  It's as if everything before my 25th birthday,  sans some things that stick out in college, never happened.  I think that if I kept a journal of my life, I would look at it now and swear I must be reading about someone else's life.  I can't even remember my parents names!  Its totally frustrating.  Things that are to happen in the future that my wife tells me about somehow go in one ear and out the other too.  She thinks that its selective listening, I just think that there is nothing up there to absorb what she has told me.  It's why we keep a calendar.  If it's not on the calendar, I can't be responsible for not knowing we had plans.

Now I take pictures of everything in hopes of remembering my life, and my kids lives for that matter.  I must have taken about 15,000 pictures in the six years since I have had kids, I really don't want to miss a thing.  Thank God for the digital camera and the Iphone.  I would probably forget everything that happened yesterday.  Remember when we used to go to the drug store and get our film processed, I actually remember that!  I still have some rolls laying around the house that haven't been developed.  Maybe thats where all these memories have gone, in the film canisters that I keep digging out of boxes in my storage room.  If only I had gotten them developed all those years ago, I wouldn't have this problem.  Stupid film... I'll be right back I have to go get my life developed.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


January 26, 2011

Up, Up and Away in Our Beaut... POP!

There are two things as a stay at home dad I have come to learn over the past few months.  First, always have an extra pair of socks, as you never know when you are going to come across some sort of indoor play place.  Second and most important, NEVER GET YOUR KIDS A BALLOON.  Its a pretty simple rule but one that a lot of people ignore.  You see balloons do one of two things; they either float away or they pop, and what happens next is you end up with a screaming child, and we certainly don't want that.  I guess there is one other thing that a balloon does if you have one of those big mylar ones, they float to the top of your vaulted ceiling in your house and they never come down.  I think we still have one up there from when Tyler turned two (he will be 7 in July).  NOTHING GOOD CAN EVER COME FROM A BALLOON!


At a Family Fun Fest last Friday night one lady was making all kinds of balloon shapes for the kids, and while it is great to see everyone look like Unicorn or have a cute little puppy dog they can pop with a dart, this lady didn't not know what she was getting herself into.  While she must have thought she was some sort of balloon fairy, in the end she was most certainly going to be the evil ballon witch that makes every little girl and boy cry themselves to sleep.  Kids will soon find out that all balloon giraffes do not live forever.  I have seen my boys cry for hours over a lightsabre that popped, even though I was able to turn what was left into some sort of magic bird.  Of course the bird too does not last forever as he joins the many balloon creatures in the balloon heaven somewhere, or make that HELL. 


Sure balloons in the right setting can be OK.  Could you imagine the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade without them?  It just wouldn't be the same.  But alas, I would never go out and get my kid an oversized Snoopy balloon, those things take like 50 people to make sure they don't float away.  But sometimes those balloons don't make it either and I would hate to see my kids reaction to that.  OH DEER!


John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


January 25, 2011

A New and Improved Blog?

I have moved the location of the blog to blogger.  People told me that I have to take advantage of the world wide web to make money.  Well with my vast amount of followers I should be rolling in the dough somewhere around the turn of the next century.  This location is a much easier site to navigate and will allow me to post the blog more along the lines of the way I want to.


I have been waiting until my kids or I do something stupid that warrants a blog post, and a few things have come up in the past couple of days. So as soon as I can ditch Carter for a couple of minutes I will put the pen to paper, well not really a PEN but you get the idea.  Also an easier way to locate the blog is by visiting "Daddyincharge.com" and it will take you right there. I realize the new site is DADDY'S in charge as opposed to the old site DADDY in charge, well lets just say that title was already taken by someone who does not use it.  She is obviously squatting it in hopes that I give her all of my future fortunes I will most certainly make.  Its not a huge change and the idea is still there, but now I will be able to license tons of more merchandise.  If only I knew how.


John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


I Am a Fat Pig!

Watch out you fat pig!
Somewhere along the way it happened, I turned into a fat pig.  Now don’t get me wrong I am not one of those people that you see on The Biggest Loser, but I expect a flock of Angry Birds to be attacking me sometime soon.  Its been a gradual increase over the past ten years and one that has seemed to get out of hand in the last six months or so.  

I actually have some fat pants now because I don’t want to go to the store and get an entirely new wardrobe for fear that I would get too comfortable being THAT big.  What comes after that?  Buying even bigger clothes and I do not want to do that.

So NOT Sexy
I have gone up one pant size in the past 10 years but I am starting to get that belly that hangs over the waistline on my jeans and my feet are starting to disappear.  I don’t even know what color shoes I have on half the time.  I joke about that but I am afraid that's where I am headed without a change in lifestyle. 

I eat too much! 

I make the boys dinner every night and you know how kids are, they eat about a third of what you give them and then who eats the rest?  The fat guy wearing the fleece pants.  While those pants are quite comfortable I have to get out of them.  I need to make better food choices indeed. I notice the change most when I put on those pants I wear every three months, like a suit or dress pants.  The waist just doesn’t seem to close anymore, I am like a half an inch to an inch short.  Its disgusting and I am disgusted in my self, certainly not the father I want to be to my kids.  

No one wants to be the fat father.  

I always prided myself in being able to get down and dirty while playing with my kids, but I just don’t fit into those tunnels at the playground anymore, and the monkey bars, I gave them up years ago. 

Off to the Gym. 

I know that I am not the only man facing this problem as a I can look at a lot of people around me with the same issues.  Its hard to notice a problem when everyone you know has a few more inches on the belly and an extra chin than they used to.  I guess I look normal in comparison.  Maybe I was in denial, so admitting there is a problem is a great first step.  The second step is getting my fat ass to the gym, thats if I can squeeze myself through the front door. 

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


Who Wears Short Shorts?

A curious new problem has arisen at my house, and I have no idea where it came from.  My youngest son Carter has decided that he wants to only wear shorts.  Now, I don’t live in Florida or Hawaii where that might be acceptable, this is New Jersey where in the past month we have gotten close to three feet of snow and todays high temperature was a whopping 27 degrees.  I have no idea where he got this crazy idea that we could wear shorts in the winter.  Sometimes when we comeback from vacation there is a little bit of transitioning that takes place and he forgets he is back home.  That I can understand but we have not been on vacation since early November.

Among the Quirks

Of course these sort of things aren’t new with this boy.  Before his obsession with shorts he would only wear sweatpants or those Old Navy fleece pants, which I might add are quite comfy.  Needless to say we have very nice clothes that we have been lucky enough to inherit over the years but they sit in his closet as the 7 pairs of fleece take turns keeping his legs warm.  Carter has not worn a pair of sneakers in God knows how long.  I have purchased a couple of pairs of them in the past year and the only thing to grace his feet are a pair of Buzz Lightyear Crocs that he has been wearing since the springtime.  I don’t know how there is anything left to these shoes.

Carter at Tyler at WeddingIt was so bad that at a recent wedding that he was asked to be the ring bearer in, he wore the tuxedo but insisted on wearing his Crocs.  For fear of ruining the entire wedding with a screaming three year old we obviously let him, and boy was it quite the fashion statement.  He didn’t end up walking down the aisle, of course that is a different story, but there he was with his blue sandals.  In retrospect we probably should have done a better job of getting rid of those shoes, but yet again we give in.  Then of course he has a problem with his socks everyday, none seem to fit him right, he thinks they have holes in them, or something is wrong with the color.  Something must be seriously wrong with this boys legs to put me through the stress of getting him dressed and out the door everyday.

Only one Solution
I don’t know what will happen when he outgrows these crocs.  Maybe his feet will always stay a size 8-9 who knows.  As for the present and Carters wanting to wear shorts and crocs all the time, the only solution that I can come up with besides chopping his legs off, is move to a warmer climate.  It certainly beats having to deal with the pain everyday of getting him dressed. My only concern then is he might not want to wear clothes at all.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


The Internal Clock

I just don’t understand my kids sometimes, make that most of the time, with regards to TIME. I know that I am not alone in this but it doesn’t matter what time they go to sleep they are always up way too early. The only exception to this is times when we HAVE to get up early. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to wake these kids up for school all groggy and cranky. Today of course was a snowday and we knew that going into last night, but what time did the boys get up? A full 45 minutes before they should have. Now I have to admit that my wife was home this morning and I did lay in bed an extra half an hour before getting up. Why do they get up so early? Is it to sit at the kitchen table not eating a breakfast that they asked for or to just yell and scream more than they usually do?
I have tried to trick them on the weekends by telling them we have to get up real early for something but that doesn’t work. Its always the same thing, when there is nothing to do in the morning the earlier they arise even if they did go to sleep at 11:00. At what point in your life to you go from being excited about getting up in the morning to looking forward to sleeping in? That day can’t come soon enough.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


Budding Superstars?

I think that it is every fathers dream that their son grows up to be a great athlete, I was one of those dads.  I still am to a degree but I see where my kids passions are and can only hope that they succeed in what ever they do.  I know that my oldest son is only six, but I can see that sports is just not his calling card.  He could be one of those really smart players that beats other kids with his brains, but judging by this link its going to take a great deal of practice. 
Tyler has a creative gift.  He was putting big lego sets together when he was three and was the first one in his class to be able to draw people.  To this day he still amazes me with his art, even though all of it seems to be Star Wars related.  Thats is just what Tyler does.  He is very into movies and has the most amazing imagination.  If I have to go to a movie premiere or an art exhibit of his, I will be the most proud father I could be.  Its not a baseball game, but whatever he likes is fine by me.
Carter on the other had has a little bit of his brothers creative side as you can see by this picture that he drew a couple of moths ago.  But I think that things like this frustrate him a little.  He is the more active child but really likes to do whatever his brother is doing. The challenge that I have is that I can see that Carter has a great deal of athletic ability, as you can see by this link with his swimming abilities a few moths ago, but since he likes to do what his big brother does how do you harness that talent? There are obviously classes that he can take and soccer for him will start in the spring but he has a hard time doing things without mommy or daddy right by his side and I don’t think they will let me play four year old soccer as fun as that would be.
I have signed Tyler up for a few sports classes at the YMCA and he plays soccer in the spring and fall.  Now I like him to like playing sports and obviously being active is important, but I also want to have Carter see him do these sort of things.  Tyler doesn’t know it yet but he just might be responsible for the greatest athlete of our time.  I don’t want to push it on my kids but I do want them to be good at sports.  Sometimes I get it in my head that they should be captain of the football team by now, but i guess things will come at their own pace.  Although it couldn’t happen soon enough.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


Who Knew? Adventures in Dentistry

When I agreed to switch the boys dentist appointment to Monday morning at 8:00 am I definitely wasn’t thinking right.  Monday morning is normally not the best time for my kids as I am sure it isn’t with a lot of parents, and now I am going to add some poking and prodding with sharp instruments in my boys mouths to the mix, yikes!  The routine for Carterone of them who shall remain nameless, normally starts off with him screaming for mommy, followed by yelling that his socks don’t fit right and ending with the usual “talk” about how he doesn’t want to go to school.  Monday morning WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?  Somebody just shoot me so I don’t have to deal with the craziness!  There is a reason why things are as bad as pulling teeth.


After an unusual morning fight over wanting to wear shorts(???) something magical happened after passing through the door of the dentist office.  My little men acted like just that, MEN.  What the heck was I getting all worked up about. Conversations of tooth tickling and Star Wars helped ease the time.  I don’t know what the boys were talking about;)  No one made a peep and seemed to actually enjoy it.  Well maybe I am getting a little carried away.

As you can see by these photos there was no screaming, punching or throwing things… just open wide, spit, and rinse. 


This was my first time taking the boys to the dentist so I had no idea how they would react, I just expected the worst.  The lesson learned here is not so much to expect more from your kids, but make sure that you brush your kids teeth well every day because you don’t want to end up on a three month recall.  Twice a year is tempting fate and six months from now someone will end up getting a tooth knocked out.  Certainly I would not want that to happen to either hygienist.


John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


Attack of the Boy Eating Tarantula!

Nobody wants to be woken up in the middle of the night… in this case it was 5:30, but its still too early to get out of bed.  At least for the kids anyway.  It turns out Tyler was having a nightmare of the most unimaginable kind.

He was being attacked by a TARANTULA!

Not knowing at this early hour where these goliaths are from, I assured him that they only live in jungles and the closest jungle was somewhere in South America and that he should go back to sleep.  All was quiet until he thought that maybe they could get on a boat to Canada.  Now certainly that could be possible although highly unlikely I thought.  They could get on the boat when people are not looking, he told me, and head on the long voyage to the great white north.

Now if that could happen he must really be dreaming.

He wasn’t scared of just the big wooly monsters, he told me of a spider with a diamond shape on his head that ate an entire goats head.  Hell if I ran across something like that I would have nightmares too!  It was way too early to take all of this in.

Not Just Spiders!

It didn’t end with the spiders, he was also being attacked by crabs.  Now we didn’t get into the size of these crabs as I was too focused on the tarantula, but the idea of a crab breaking into our house making his way upstairs to my sons room and attacking him just seems preposterous. Unless of course they were Crabus Gigandus, huge man eating crabs that only existed on a small island off the coast of Spain.

What is it with these multilegged beasts attacking my son?

The only spiders I know of live in our garage and while they are pretty big, one stomp of the shoe sends them to their grave. As far as thecrabs, there is only one logical explanation, my kids have been watching way too much Scooby Doo.  Its time to start watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse again, although i am afraid that mice will start breaking into our house in the middle of the night… and who wants that?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


It's More Than a Tooth

It was another one of those momentous days that kind of kicks you in the pants.  You expect that it is coming but you never really are prepared for how you are going to feel when it arrives.  My big boy Tyler finally lost his first tooth.

He was the last of his friends to lose a tooth and I kind of liked it that way.  He has the perfect little smile for a six year old kid, I guess now its perfect minus one little lower chomper.

As a Stay at Home Dad, I see my son more than most fathers and never really appreciate just what a big kid Tyler is becoming.  Going through the daily minutia, I never sit back and think about him growing up.  Sure he can read now, figure out video games that I would have no clue whats going on, and facetime mommy from my iphone, but all of those things came gradually. This whole tooth losing thing really hit me.  It got me to thinking.
I have a hard time with the kids growing up.  In the spring after the last of the snow melts I think about how its going to be another year before they can go sledding again. In the summertime its when the fireflies are no longer out and you don’t know if the next summer they will care about chasing them down.  In the fall its when you go apple and pumpkin picking for that one day knowing its going to be a whole year before THAT happens again.  Winter hits me hard, the same day Tyler lost his tooth was also the same day I took down the Christmas tree.  No one ever wants that magic to end, and I can only think that there will be a little less excitement each and every year.

So I know that it is only a tooth and there will be more that fall out. There are certainly going to be other moments that sneak up on me.  I need to enjoy those moments more.  He IS growing up and there is nothing I can do stop it regardless of the amount of coffee I pour down his throat or the number of cigarettes we smoke together.  I jest of course, but if I could keep him just the way he is I would.  I said that of course when he was four months old, and three years old and so on.  I am sure I will say the same thing when he is 10.  Everything with him only gets better, and I only get more proud with each passing day.

I created this blog to share with you my  misadventures with my kids.  Some posts will be more benign than others.. I only hope that you will enjoy watching my kids grow up as much as I do.  Thanks for reading! 

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


A New Obsession?

They come along every few months or so and I never see it coming. It hits, it sticks, we get every toy ever made for it. The boys latest obsession seems like it could be Harry Potter.

It started off with Indiana Jones, went to Star Wars, to Toy Story, back to Star Wars, and now the boy wizard. I don’t know if my basement can take anymore… Just when were starting to run out of toys to get them Mr. Potter casts an evil spell on my boys. It’s evil because I know them too well, along comes the latest- I know Harry Potter has been around awhile- thing to occupy their brain and my boys forget about everything they have ever liked in the past.

I know I should be happy about this as the Harry Potter books should be great fun… But I look at the mounds of toys piling up in the basement, from Higglytown Heroes, to Cars, to Toy Story, to Star Wars that will certainly be pushed aside as we enter Hogwart Hell.
So long Anakin Skywalker, hello Harry Potter.  Welcome to my boys brains... wait a minute Scooby Doo is on TV.  Uh oh, could it all be happening again?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


January 15, 2011

I Phone Icon

For those of you with an Iphone that would like to keep the Daddysincharge.com website on your phone , you can now get a custom icon for your home screen, much like the other Apps that you have, take us on the go with you.  You must be viewing us on the full site not the mobile version.  Click the add to home screen button and you will able to add a wonderful picture of my two boys right to your phone.  Its as easy as that.  Besides who wouldn't want to carry around a picture of my two boys with them in their pockets at all times?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


January 10, 2011

About Me

My name is John Willey.  I have two awesome kids; Tyler and Carter.  Between the two of them I have my hands full everyday... but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I don't claim to have all the answers about fatherhood, every dad has their own way of doing things, but I can share my stories to let you know that you are not alone out there.  By no means should any advice I give out be used as gospel.  I AM NOT A DOCTOR, nor would I ever claim to know as much.  No one knows your kid as much as you do and you have to follow your own instincts.  My instincts don't always turn out for the best, parenthood is not a simple thing with yes and no answers.  Hopefully you will read what I have to offer and realize there is no perfect way to raise a child even though there are sites that will claim otherwise.  There are no books or websites that will tell you how to be a great parent, and this is certainly not one of them.  As long as you love your child and they love you, that is all you can ask for.  Life happens, take the time to grow with your child, have fun and be the dad that your kid thinks is the best.

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John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?