Easing Into the Holiday Spirit: Santa And His Super Hero

Since diving into this Dad blogging universe, I’ve been given incredible opportunities to work with different companies and dads to either promote or spread their messaging.

Often times, I am fortunate enough to be sent items to either test or keep. This is something that I am tremendously grateful for, and it is something that was totally unexpected when I first started this whole dad blog thing.

But sometimes, it is not just about getting tangible things – sometimes what I get out of connecting with others goes beyond that.

This is something that goes beyond.

santa

Earlier this week, a dad reached out through the site and asked if I wanted to spread the word on a book that he and his son wrote together. As a now avid book reader to my daughter, how could I say no to that?

In speaking to Keven, he gave me a bit more background on what he was doing with this book, and it was something that went beyond just promoting a story. Net proceeds of the sale of his book will go to the BC Burn Fund – which is pretty awesome.

After we spoke Keven had sent me the rest of the details of this campaign which you can find at the end of this post. Feel free to check it out, as 1), the story is pretty darn cute; and 2) it’s for a great great cause.

I have to admit, I’m too keen on celebrating Christmas this early in the year. But spreading the word really warms up the Grinch inside of me.

🙂

Here’s Keven’s email and the full details of his book Santa and His Super Hero:

My website is http://www.santaandhissuperhero.ca  .  I have a ”School” page on there that is actually the give-away page. http://www.santaandhissuperhero.ca/schools  The intent of this page is for schools to give the book to their students as a gift.  After filling out the form it will take you to another page that will have the link for the Kindle version as well as the downloadable PDF.  This page will be completed by the end of the day.  My goal is to give away more than 1 million copies next weekend of the eBook.

The books available at CreateSpace at http://bit.ly/SantasBook.  This is the preferred method of distribution as this will give the BC Burn Fund a bit more money.  I also have a promo Code that is valid thru December 15th for 10% off the printed version of the book.  That promo code is KJZ82H62

The Kindle version is available on Amazon.ca at http://bit.ly/SantaBookCanada  The eBook will be free from November 25th to November 29th.  The price of that book is $6.70CDN

Both the Kindle version and the printed book are also available on Amazon.com at http://SantaBookUSA  Again the eBook will be free from November 25th to November 29th.  During that time, Amazon will also be giving out a number of books randomly to shoppers who get the printed copy.

The price on Amazon.com for the eBook is $4.95 and the printed book is $10.95.

 

Best Vacation…Ever

 

Last month I wrote a guest post on Canadian Dad. I received a bunch of positive response from this post and I’m really glad I was able to highlight what’s it like to be on leave. Below is the original version of my post.

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“So you’re going to be off for five month eh? You’ll have plenty of time to catch up on Netflix!”

“Five months? You’re going to be playing so much COD (Call of Duty)!”

“That’s a long time, won’t you get bored?”

 

Before going on my parental leave, that was the typical response I received when I told family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers that I was taking close to half a year off for the birth of our daughter.

I began to think that being a dad for the first time was going to be a sweet vacation. I mean, I won’t have to be with the baby all the time, right?

I can binge watch a little, work on that photography project that I wanted to do for years, or play videogames like I did when I was a teenager.

This is going to be an awesome, awesome vacation!

Then on Christmas night- as cliché as it can be – our 7lbs 14oz bundle of joy arrived.

And in an instant, all of those silly thoughts disappeared.

I’m sure many of you parents can agree: the first month is a write-off. Your mind, body, and soul belongs to your new little blob. You can also agree that, though the first month is difficult for dad, it is 100 times more difficult for the new mom.

For my wife and I, we made use of the fact that I was going to be off for five months by ensuring that I would be as involved as possible.

We made sure that I was earning every single moment of this vacation.

The truth is, though my job and Employment Insurance (Go Canada!) allowed me to take more time than most others, we are still taking a hit financially to make it work. Not all families have this option, and I can understand the raised eyebrows when people learn how much time I’m taking off.

Of course, there are those who go a little further and undermine the decision that I’ve made, as they are perhaps even little jealous of my situation. Through their eyes, they see me as some lucky dude who has the luxury of taking five months off as a vacation.

However.

They don’t understand that when you’re off on parental leave, it’s not a vacation and that you also become more involved and accountable for your growing family unit. They don’t see the side where you are immediately available to take your wife and baby to the Emergency Room; or where you are able to call an ambulance in the middle of the night without having to tell your boss you won’t be in; or where you don’t have to ask a co-worker to cover for you after speaking to a tele-health nurse about your daughter’s fever.

They don’t see those things, and I suppose it may be my fault for only showing the good side. To them they only see the fruits of the work I put in – you know, those silly photos, status updates that I post on social media. The thing is this was not me bragging about my situation, this was just me relishing the hard earned vacation I was having.

Me having fun with my daughter
Me having fun with my daughter

 

I love (and am loving) every minute of it. If we have another kid and if it were financially feasible, I will no doubt choose to take the same or more time off.

You see, there’s also an added benefit to being there from the get-go: I am damn confident in my dad abilities.

She needs a changing after front and back poop… in the dark? Boom. Done.
She’s wearing button-on shirt today, with jeans and socks? Boom. Done.
She won’t burp? Burp. Done.
Mom needs to go out all day to help a friend? Done, and I’ll have dinner ready by six.

There’s no better feeling than to feel confident and competent as a father and husband. I sincerely feel that had I taken only a few weeks off, I don’t think I would feel the way that I feel right now.

Every day I am rewarded with something new from my daughter. Whether it was her first smile, first laugh, or most recently her first babbling conversation: I’m here to witness it.

And there’s no better thing in the world, and it was simply the best decision I ever made.

Now with two months left to go on my parental leave, it truly does feel like a vacation. Instead of binge-watching Netflix, I binge-watch my daughter figuring out the world. Instead of playing videogames at night, I play how do we get her to sleep through the night.

I truly do not want it to end, as it really has become an awesome, awesome vacation.

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Yes Baby Punch Your Mommy!

Chinese parents have a phrase that directly translates to “don’t move your hands and feet.”  When my brother and I would get into a scuffle, my mom would angrily shout that phrase to us telling us to stop hitting each other.

The funny thing is, right now, we are saying the complete opposite to our baby.

“Alright little baby kick and punch to all your little heart’s content!”

“It’s just your mom’s innards, don’t worry!”

We encourage the movements.  The sudden “oofffs” coming from my wife is quite reassuring.  Cause those days when baby is not as active, my day becomes…well scary.

So far I’ve learned that the moment you become a parent, you just naturally worry.  Even though we are only 23 weeks in, I’ve already grown a few grey hairs and I anticipate losing a few existing hair as well.

jchanhairfall
Well if it is good enough for Jacky…

The days when I ask my wife, how’s baby today I’m really asking for my own sake.

I’m actually surprised by how easily a thought bubble can escalate to paranoia.  But I guess this is only the beginning right?

Pretty soon I’ll start asking questions like:

“Is baby sleeping well?”
“Is formula safe?”
“Is the room too cold? Too hot?
“Is this the right car seat?”
“Is this the right daycare?”
“Is that kid bullying our kid?”
“Is our kid bullying the other kid?”
“Is that a face tattoo?”

 

Channeling Iron Mike
Channeling Iron Mike Inside the Womb

(Yep our baby is going to have a pretty badass first year…tattoos and all.)

So many questions and worries.  So much paranoia, so many more greys and so much more hair loss to come.  But you know what?

This is only fair.

If there’s one thing that this pregnancy has taught me, it is that I really need to appreciate what my folks had to go through mentally just to make sure both my brother and I end up where we are today.

What’s crazier is that our kid will not understand what we are going through, until they eventually become parents.

And I guess that truly is the sucky thing.  When you’re a parent, your kids will not understand the sacrifices and worries you’ve endured for them.

And when they’re old enough to understand, they’ll simply repeat the same cycle.

This is like a cycle of parental appreciation ignorance.