June 30, 2011

Greetings From Camp Hiawatha


I am sure you can picture those words being screamed as loud as humanly possible. Now picture them echoing off the walls of my house through the mouth of a certain four year old.  Yeah the screams could be heard for miles.

I knew it was too easy dropping Carter off on his first day of summer camp. Everything went too smoothly.  He barely said a word as I handed him off to his camp counselor.  My biggest worry was getting his shoes on, and he never said boo.  Huh?  This certainly could not be my child.  He was a little bit cranky after camp, but that is to be understood.  He was gone from 9:00 in the morning until I picked him up at 3:30 in the afternoon, but again, camp was great he told me.  Of course everything is great though... at first.


How quickly things can change.  There was no camp Tuesday as I have only put my kids in a three day program at the YMCA Camp.  I mean I am a stay at home parent right, and I should be with my kids a little bit.  Three days is enough time for me to play golf, go to the beach, and head to Atlantic City, I mean do the laundry, clean the house, and mow the lawn.  I knew it was coming, it was only a matter of time.


Yeah I heard you the first time.

I get it, I am such a fun person to be around that he would rather hang out with me getting a massage, I mean power washing the house, than going to camp.  What could possibly be wrong with a place that forces you to go swimming twice a day, makes you go fishing, and straps you in a boat against your will.  They probably serve him ice cream in the afternoon too!  Oh the humanity!

What I wouldn't give to spend my summers in a canoe

I know that this is going to be a battle all summer long.  It was the same way with school this year.  Not a day went by that he didn't mention something about not wanting to go to school.  I made the mistake of actually listening to him then and I won't do the same thing this summer.  I have fish to catch and ball games to watch, I mean weeds to pull and floors to vacuum.


Camp Sam Wood
Seriously?  When I was a kid I loved camp, I am sure my mom would probably say otherwise as I don't really know if I gave her a hard time or not.  Who wouldn't love camp?  I remember Camp Sam Wood where every year we would all fight for something called the Sam Wood Pickle.  It was a watermelon.  I can totally recall doing archery, rifling, swimming, you name it.  If there was a merit badge for it, the Boy Scout that I was, I was doing it.  AND I LOVED IT!!!  You could have sent me to camp for the entire summer, in fact I would probably still be there if I didn't get married and have kids.

OK so Carter is only four and he won't be handling any guns (THANK GOD) at camp and there won't be any Johnny Appleseed competitions, which I won by the way, but he LOVES to go swimming and this place has an awesome pool.  Did I mention that the boy is a little fish!

So Wednesday was the second day of camp for my boys and you know what, there was no argument.  Carter had no issue with going to camp.    Of course the minute he woke up his first words were that he didn't want to go to camp.  But when it actually came time to go, he didn't say a word.  I don't get this kid sometimes, he is so Jeckyll and Hyde to the extreme.  What is going to happen on day three?  I don't know but I can hear it already.


Enough!  I have a 10:00 AM tee time, I mean I have to go get the car fixed.

Keep it up and you are headed to Military Camp

I am entered in a competition to find the best blogger on the web.  It's a small thing but it would mean a lot to me to win it please click on the banner below and there will be a poll with my name on it, JOHN WILLEY, if you could vote for me I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks so much.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 29, 2011

Wednesday's Window

This week we are taking you to the beach.  We started off in Ocean Grove and ended up in Asbury Park, two towns separated only by small lake.  These towns however could not be further from one another in terms of beliefs and atmosphere.  I hope you enjoy this weeks Wednesday's Window. 

We won't have to worry about this today
The corner of the beach universe
Pinwheels spin in the ocean breezes
In line for the beach badges
Carter waiting for the water to come in
Nemo buckets waiting to be put to good use
Tyler on his way to China
Footsteps in the sand
Fortunately there were no rescues this day
One of many bands offering their sounds to the boardwalk
An artist hangs his talents to dry
I have my favorite, which one is yours?

As some of you may know, voting starts today for Blogger Idol 2011.  I am fortunate to be one of the finalists in this very important competition and ask that you all support me in the coming weeks.  I cannot win without the support of my loyal readers, so please take a moment today and Thursday to vote me through to the next round.  There are some very good bloggers with huge followings so every vote is going to count.  Lets do this for the little guy!  Please take a moment and vote HERE.  Thank You very much!

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 28, 2011

Summer Safety Series #2... Starring Legos

Fireworks Safety

We all know that the Fourth of July is next week, so this week we are going to take a look at the precautions you should take when handling fireworks.  Fireworks are illegal in many states so make sure you know the laws.  For those where it is legal please watch the following Public Service Announcement.

The Movie
Disclaimer:  No legos were harmed in the filming of this video

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 27, 2011

The Future of Brands... Dads?

Let's face it, stay at home moms far outnumber the stay at home dads.  I don't think that is going to change anytime soon, if ever.  But with the increasing amount of dads staying home to help raise their children, Consumer Package Goods companies like Unilever and Proctor and Gamble have an opportunity to target a huge untapped market.  Now, obviously they do focus some of their advertising to us, but it's usually in the form of mens products.  That's all fine and good but as a stay at home dad I am not only shopping for myself but the entire family as well.  It's not just moms strolling the supermarket aisles looking for diapers and medicines, I can tell you I see more men in the grocery store every single week.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 24, 2011

Blogger Idol 2011

Well the votes are in for the finalists for Blogger Idol 2011, and guess what,  I AM ONE OF 12 FINALISTS!!!  I have no idea what this actually means as this is a new concept, but heck anytime you can be included in the top 12 of anything is pretty awesome.  I am not entirely sure what I had to do to enter this competition other than writing an audition piece and then having them look at my blog.  Out of the millions of bloggers that entered, actually there were like 50, I was chosen to compete in the finals.  Obviously I would rather be the Kelly Clarkson of this competition than the Sanjaya Malakar, but hey just being in the top 12 is something.  I think if I get to the top 10 I get to go on tour with the other finalists or get my name in lights somewhere.  Here is my entry that I submitted to audition for this competition:

And the winner of Blogger Idol 2011 is…..

Well who knows?

Anyone can be a writer, it's just a matter of putting your fingers to the keyboard.

When I started out in the blogging world, after quitting my job in television news to raise my two boys, I had no idea who would even consider reading my blog.  I had two devout readers, my sister in law and my niece.  I was able to make them laugh and I was loving it. Then hits started coming in from China and Bulgaria and Tennessee and I realized that despite the distance and difference in beliefs, the entire world had something in common, we all just wanted to be entertained.  Somehow I was now acting as a sort of United Nations, minus the diplomatic immunity of course.

How could I, a stay at home dad from New Jersey have anything in common with a reader in Bangladesh?  Well it's simple, we are really not that different after all.  We all have the same problems with our kids, our in laws, our spouses, our pets, and the only thing that separates us is in the distance between us.  Somehow the billions of us on this planet are connected, there just happens to be a few walls in the way of letting people see that.

I don't claim to be the best writer or blogger, that is for others to decide, people read blogs for different reasons.  I have my opinions as to what makes a great blog and I am sure that you do to.  What I consider interesting or funny might not appeal to everyone else, it's what makes the world go around.  Am I worthy of being the winner of Blogger Idol 2011?  I don't know.  I might not have the reach that some of the "big blogs" have, but if I have at least one reader out there in Shanghai, Sofia, or Knoxville that wants to read what I have to say, then you can call me a winner.

I feel like I just gave up some trade secrets.  Oh well.  How cool would that be if you knew the guy that won Blogger Idol 2011?  It would be awesome for me because I see that guy in the mirror everyday! I don't think that I have won anything since I was a cub scout.  I was undefeated in the Pinewood Derby in my three years in scouts and was pretty proud of that.  Of course the difference is that my parents and grandfather helped me build those cars, and I don't think that I am going to ask my mom to help me write anything in this competition.  I am on my own now, just me.  I should say me and my loyal readers.


John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 23, 2011

Sweet Caroline

Jesse Eisenberg could take lessons from this guy
We have new pet bird in our house and he is teaching my son to dance.  You might recall Blu the domesticated Macaw from the movie Rio, well he has swooped in and made my son a regular Fred Astaire.  Well maybe that is stretching things a little bit, but for a kid with a father with no rhythm it's the closest thing I can compare him to, if Fred Astaire was a hyped up naked four year old.  Every night for the past week Carter has decided the thing to do before bedtime is play with this McDonald's toy, you see it makes music when you push a button.  If you have kids who force you to go to the McDonald's play place then you have probably seen it.  I will tell you, there is much more life to this bird than there was in the movie.

I guess the dancing helps him sleep
The other night Carter decided to step up his game a little bit.  Somehow he managed to turn on the radio in his brothers room, something I have yet to even figure out, and dance.  Now this was not some sweet little child performing a charming waltz, he was a stripped down, literally naked, out of his mind, whacko going crazy to the sounds of "Sweet Caroline", you know the sing along anthem sung most notably at Red Sox games.  I am pretty sure that Neil Diamond didn't have my son in mind when he penned the lyrics to this song.  Nonetheless there we were singing along and dancing, only one of us was naked.

There are a lot of good times that we tend to forget over the years.  My wife constantly reminds me of things that seemingly happened yesterday.  We wish we could capture our kids lives even more than we do, but as is often the case some of the most memorable things happen when the camera is not turned on.  We remember good times when we visit places or see old faces.  Sometimes a song comes on the radio that brings us back to a good time we don't want to forget.  I think I found that song, and I have definitely found that moment.

"Oh, sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good."

So good!

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 22, 2011

Wednesday's Window

Every Wednesday I am going to share with you my favorite images that I have taken over the past week.  Some pictures will be meaningful, others will be beautiful, some will be both.  It will give an insight as to how I see the world, a virtual window to my world.  I hope you enjoy Wednesday's Window.

My Nephew Dylan clearly enjoying a roller coaster
Early morning, Belmont Park
Getting ready to roast Marshmallows
Tyler's card he made me for Father's Day
Holmdel Park meadow
Wonder twin powers activate!
This tree clearly knows who is in charge!
I have my favorite.  Which one is yours?  Feel free to comment below.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 21, 2011

Summer Safety Series #1... Starring Legos

Now that the kids are home from school, it's important that we insure their safety over the summer months. We want to make sure that the kids are having fun, but also let them know of the dangers lurking out there.  It's important that they come home in one piece!

This week we tackle the topic of water safety and how important it is to know your surroundings.

The Movie

Please take a moment to support me in a blogging contest that I am entered in.  Click HERE and scroll down to John Willey and click vote.  Very simple.  Thank you so much!

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 20, 2011

School is Out For Summer

It's hard to believe that the school year is coming to a close.  I know it sounds cliche to say it seems just like yesterday we sent Tyler off on the bus for his first day of school, but it really does.  And to see him go off as this shy timid little boy and come back a much more confident big kid is amazing.  He has always been a smart kid but to see him now, I couldn't be more proud.  He had no idea what to expect that first day and you could see it in his face, almost frightened to meet a bunch of new kids, and somewhat scared as to what awaited him when he got off the bus at school.  I was nervous for him, things like this can be a big adjustment.

Tyler on his first day of school

He came back from that first day of school, and you know what, he actually wanted to go back the second day, and the third, and everyday since!  He has met a bunch of great kids in the process and has learned so much.  The smartest kid in the world, just got smarter!  On top of all  that you could see the confidence growing in him everyday. In nine short months, my boy has grown seemingly nine years older.  He has one more week of school before he officially becomes a second grader.  My kid, a second grader? Wasn't he just born?

Tyler with five days of school left
For those of you that have visited this site before you will notice that it has undergone a design change.  This is just the beginning of some changes I hope to implement as I continue to get more comfortable with HTML and all that you can accomplish by manipulating it.  I have decided to remove all ads from the site as really it was only making me pennies a day if I was lucky, and it really looked like a cluttered mess.  Maybe someday we can get ads back on here when all the Fortune 500 companies discover me, but in the meantime I think it looks a whole lot cleaner.  Please take the time to let me know what you think by commenting below and don't forget to check out the video in the upper right hand corner as to why daddy is in charge.  Thank you so much for reading, it really means a lot to me!

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 18, 2011

Father's Day

I have never been a big fan of Father's Day.  I am not one to take praise or seek it in anyway.  I just like to go on doing my job knowing that my boys are getting the best life possible.  If Father's Day was like the other 364 days in the year, that would be fine by me.  I really don't want anyone to fuss over me and the best present that anyone could give me is a simple "Thank You."  That being said, I would think that my father is the same way, so to him I say:

Thank You

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 17, 2011

Hero of the Week... Jose Morales

To familiarize you with this concept, I am honoring someone that has come in contact with my kids in a positive way. Not all heroes are fighting in wars or rescuing people from burning buildings. They can be everyday folks that go about their jobs to ensure that our lives are a little more fulfilled. Heroes big and small, we thank you!

This weeks "Hero of the Week" is Tyler's soccer coach Jose Morales.

Coach Jose Morales encouraging Team Spain

Like all the other coaches in our league Coach Morales is a volunteer. They give up their own time to make sure that kids are taught the proper fundamentals and have fun doing it. What a lot of people didn't know is that Coach Morales took time off from work to make this happen. Evening practices meant he had to take his own vacation time to make sure that the kids would have the proper coaching.

Throughout the course of the season I could see the frustration building as Tyler's team was the worst in the league. That did not dampen Coach Morales' enthusiasm for the game though as he was cheering them on even as there was not much to cheer about. I know the sacrifices made to be a coach, as I attempted to coach my other son and a bunch of other four year olds. It's not an easy job and one that Coach Morales deserves a lot of credit for. Thank you Coach for taking the time to teach my son a thing or two about soccer, you are this weeks "Hero of the Week."

They didn't win a game but Team Spain played hard

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 15, 2011

Snakes Alive! Starring Legos

I don't like snakes, never have, never will.  There is just something about them not having arms or legs but they can still move super fast across my lawn.  I have never touched one but I can imagine that they feel really weird.  It's not something I will be doing anytime soon.  My kids know I hate snakes and they make fun of me because of it.  So be it, those slithery little beast can stay away from me.  So what do you do when you find a snake in your yard?  You call for help.

I really hope we get rid of this guy.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 14, 2011

Daddy's in Charge Foolproof Recipe

Let's face it unless you have a menu planned, and what dad does, dinner jumps up on you everynight. I can't tell you how many times I look at the clock and have no idea how it got to be so late. This is a foolproof recipe that works everytime, although I would not use it all of the time, just as a last resort, when there is nothing else in your house, which seems to be way too often in mine.

Yes we are talking about boxed Macaroni and Cheese. In my case I bought mine at Wegmans, which by the way is the worlds greatest grocery store, but you can probably find in at any store. There is a brand name Kraft you might have heard of. Make sure you have the People magazine on hand as there is a lot of down time with this.

The first step is to boil water. You will know you have accomplished this task by seeing the water start to bubble when that happens you mist add the macaroni.

Normally I would not let my son do this part because we are talking about an open flame on the stove and I don't want him to get burned, but for the sake of the blog I wanted to show a cute child. I was told that puppies and babies sell, but it would be kind of weird to see a dog pour macaroni into water, so in this case a child will suffice.

Boil your macaroni for eight minutes. This is crucial as experiments have shown me that the macaroni will have the absolute right tenderness in this amount of time. Also it affords you the opportunity to read about how Ashley was hurt to hear some of the things that her prospective husbands had to say on the Bachelor.  Poor girl, I was sick watching it.

When the pasta is done you must drain all the water out of the pot. Then you are going to add about eight pounds of butter and a little bit of milk. I tend to find that it tastes exponentially better with each pat of butter added, but obviously this can be done to your taste.

The most crucial ingredient is the last one, it's what gives this meal it's name. We are of course talking about the cheese. Otherwise we have a dish of pasta with butter, another classic dish the kids will love.

Once this is all mixed together make sure that you spoon equal amounts into each bowl you are serving. Kids will somehow know that they got less in their bowl than the other one. Now you can sit back and watch the kids eat while you enjoy the rest of your People Magazine.

Suggested Pairings:
I would offer this with a nice cold glass of 1% milk or some sort of juice like apple

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 13, 2011

My Wife is a Bag Lady

I love my wife, I really do.  But there are some things that just drive me crazy.  When you have been together for 15 years it's bound to be the case.  She has some habits that I don't like, none more so than her addiction to bags.  She is not unlike a lot of women I am sure who collect bags like they are going out of style.  The difference though is that while some women have a bunch of Gucci or Coach bags, my wife has a huge collection of gym bags, plastic bags, and reusable shopping bags.  They are all over my house, each filled with a little bit of something.  Everyday she comes home with a new bag, and everyday it drives me a little more nuts.

An AOL bag doubling as a briefcase
A gym bag with some dirty laundry
A reusable shopping bag filled with shoes
A Macy's bag filled with MORE shoes
A ziplock bag with hair rollers
Another ziplock bag filled with hair and skin products
Another gym bag with smelly gym clothes
Thankfully this ISN'T a collection of Gucci or Coach bags as that would be a very expensive addiction.  I just have to remind myself of that.  There is one bag in our house that I hope she doesn't find.  If she did, she just might have a heart attack at the thought of what she could do with it.
Of course a bag full of bags that I HOPE she doesn't use

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?