Deciding To Share Responsibility With My Son

Some of my family thought I was crazy when I told them I wasn’t going to put the bike together prior to Christmas morning.  I mean, I did want to see Gus’s face when the bike was ready to go and we hop on and go for a ride.

But I wanted to experience putting a bike together with Gus for the first time.  We had a blast!  Here are some pictures to share.

Gus and I spent roughly about a half hour walking through each part of the bike learning the names and way they fit together. Luckily, this bike fit together like a puzzle with several large pieces assembled.

Now we are ready to ride!

 

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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Starting a Tradition of Picking Out a Christmas Tree

Gus and Lucas Shaffer at the Christmas Tree

The days after Thanksgiving is now Christmas Tree day as long as I am in charge…well, in a decision making position.

Whitney, Gus and I visited a local Tree farm and found out just how hard it is to pick out the perfect tree.  I had a flashback with the Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” movie when they were in the snow driven woods with a chainsaw.

We found a 9 footer.  It was well rounded and had a full set of limbs and everyone agreed it would look nice.

Gus did have an accident.  He was pacing through the trees trying to get around and hit a small hill.  His foot got caught and he dove, head first, into a small patch of rocks, dirt and grass.  A little bit of blood on his upper lip, mouth full of grass, a moment of surprise and brushing off his clothes and he was off again.

All together, we had a wonderful experience.  And we can’t wait to do it next year…already.  🙂  Let’s just call it a new tradition.

Merry Christmas!

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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Building a Memory in an Afternoon

Lucas Shaffer and his son Gus

We had a wonderful afternoon putting together our new Masterbuilt grill.  Gus and I spent almost an hour and half interacting with tools and discovering many of the simple ideas around pieces of this puzzle.

When we were putting this together, we had to follow directions.  I really sat down with Gus and laid out the details and taught a bit of patience.  He seemed to want to take the piping of the legs and try to put them end to end.

Once we completed the grill, we sat back and smiled.  It was truly our first time we were able to handle screwdrivers and nuts and bolts to accomplish something together.

Our new grill has already created many new rules in the house.  For instance, no touching the grill with daddy is cooking.  No running around the ‘hot’ grill.  It seems early, simple rules but the grill has given me and my son a place to hang around outside and has added a much needed flavor option for our meats.

I hope this will be a memory he will remember because I know I will never forget.  🙂

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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Trying To Teach The Basics: Home Activities

Gus playing Modern Warfare with daddy

Gus and Daddy learning to wash dishes

I haven’t written in a while but I wanted to check in and report the activities Gus and I can now participate in because he is a little older.  At 2 and a half, Gus can navigate a conversation, wash dishes and know which button on the controller does what.

The big question is, “What are the most important things to concentrate on when spending time at the house?” To me, there is a urgent need to get away from the computer and put some background ‘Diego’ on and try to participate in the many motor skill related tasks that Gus is carrying around with him.

It can be anything from building blocks, vacuuming or running outside. But the most enjoyable time is washing dishes. I don’t think he fully understands that dishes eventually become clean and the need to re-wash over and over is a bit redundant.  But we continue.

I wonder what all the other parents out there are doing in the house.  I wonder sometimes if living in close quarters (aka apartments) has been a big difference in our child’s development.  I mean, he is always at arms length.  It may be a hustle but we is always talking, always bringing me things and ALWAYS in to something.

If we would’ve had a bigger space to live in I wonder where his development would be. We never put a TV in his room.  This decision was ultimately the wife’s but I agree. Shoving our son in a room to watch hours of ‘Barney’ is a nice fall back with our tablet, but it can become a bit of a crutch as we turn it into an acceptable habit.

Here is a list of some of the home activities we participate in together:

Gus playing Modern Warfare with daddy

  • Washing dishes
  • Playing Modern Warfare
  • Vacuuming
  • Picking up and trash and taking it out
  • Laundry
  • and Cooking (certain items)

We usually get stuck inside a lot due to our budget constraints but we make the most of it.

Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes I wonder if we lived in a big old house and didn’t live on top of each other, how would we be.  At this point, I think Gus is an easy 4 year old in a 2.5 year old body.  His communication is top notch and his imagination is a bit alarming some times.

Overall, teaching the basics for living at home is something I may not have had when I was young. But I am sure my parents did what they could to put these basic home activities out there for me to participate.  I enjoy spending this time with Gus and look forward to doing ‘chores’ with him.

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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August Cool History at The National Civil War Naval Museum

The National Civil War Naval Museum presents its final Cool History event of the summer, Infernal Machines, on August 4, 2012 from 1-4 p.m.

The August Cool History programs, in conjunction with National Inventor’s Month, focus on technology and innovation in the Civil War Navies. This year, we’ll be focusing on torpedoes (or what we know today as mines), their construction and use, and some famous examples of their implementation during the War.

For more information, please see the attached press release, or contact the Museum at 706-327-9798 or the info below.

Download PDF Here

Jon Ezzell

Director of Communications

The National Civil War Naval Museum

portcolumbus.org | facebook.com/cwnavy

706-327-9798

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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Joint US Navy / National Civil War Naval Museum Exhibit Opens This Weekend

COLUMBUS, GA – This weekend, the National Civil War Naval Museum unveils a new exhibit created in conjunction with the National Museum of the US Navy, focusing on the Navy connections between the War of 1812 and the American Civil War.

Though 49 years apart in time, the War of 1812 and the American Civil War have common links in their Navies; the ships, the men who sailed them and the seas they sailed. This joint US Navy/National Civil War Naval Museum exhibit looks at the naval components of the War of 1812 and illuminates naval connections between that conflict and the Civil War.

Visitors will find information on Civil War ships and men with connections to the War of 1812 — David G. Farragut, Josiah Tattnall, Matthew C. Perry, Captain David Porter, the USS Constitution, USS United States and the USS Saratoga — as well as six free standing interpretive panels detailing specific role and exploits of United States Naval forces in the War of 1812, courtesy of the United States Navy.

In addition to this new exhibit, Museum guests will see the Nation’s largest display of Civil War Naval flags, rare and unique artifacts including an original cutter (ship’s boat) from the famed USS Hartford, recreated ship environments and the remains of two Civil War ships, including the CSS Jackson, a large ironclad gunboat built in Columbus, GA.

Port Columbus is located at 1002 Victory Drive in Columbus, Georgia, and is open seven days a week. For hours and more information, visit www.portcolumbus.org or call 706-327-9798

For immediate release

Contact:    Jon Ezzell

(706) 327-9798 or (800) 742-2811

[email protected]

 

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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Zoodles: The Greatest App For Kids (And Parents)

Example of the main screen

Zoodles.com - WebsiteI’ve been meaning to write this post for a while.

For the past year, Gus and I have had one heck of time exploring a ‘kid-safe’ tablet application called Zoodles. We’ve watched Elmo dance and sing, Jason Mraz on YouTube.com and even interacted with puzzles, games and drawings.

Zoodles is a smart idea.  The builders of Zoodles took on one big task that my other tablet applications seem to suffer from….multi-touch screen mistakes.  The problem stems from apps like NetFlix or YouTube itself.  Everything is fine until you touch it.  One slide of the finger on NetFlix and the movie pauses.  Venture further and it exits. Very frustrating for a toddler and for the parent.

Zoodles utilizes the ‘lock’ feature disabling certain system calls. It’s a brilliant idea and even though they didn’t create it they provided youngster specific information in a non-intrusive manner.

As I will show in a picture below, it can provide many facets of the imagination including video sing-a-longs, counting games and even finger painting.  So, the genius part is that it is all tracked to show progress.

Every week I get an email that gives me clear and precise data on the subject matter of the games and selections made.  Everything from Amount of Time spent on Cognitive Development (see below) to Life Skills.  It will even send you small thumbnails of the drawings that have been made.

To get to the point, Zoodles has been a big part of our life allowing my son to learn, have fun and use the tablet ‘like dada’. It gives him great confidence when he is able to pop the virtual bubbles or catch all the monkeys. I do believe it has been a development tool that has been unparalleled to most other devices.

I highly recommend anyone out there to grab this download and try it yourself. Within a few minutes, you can be enjoying hundreds of thousands pre-screened activities for your child that you can monitor.

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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Free Comic Book Day Sale Saturday May 5, 2012 10am

Short notice but looks like a good time at the Coca Cola Space Science Center.  You must visit!

More info here:  http://columbusbookexchangeandcomics.net/FCBD.html

Saturday May 5th 10 am – 6 pm
Coca Cola Space Science Center

Columbus Book Exchange Annual Sale
All Back Issue Comic Books 35% Off
Graphic Novels 20% Off
99 cent comics discounted to 50 cents

For every $5 spent, you can pick out a
FREE comic book

1st 100 paying customers receive a
special FCBD Avengers hero clix

Jim Lee FCBD T -shirt will be for sale


 

Visit the Columbus Book Exchange Online here for more information.

Columbus Book Exchange Website

Columbus Book Exchange Facebook

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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Naval Museum explores sailor life during RiverBlast 2012

 

 

 

 

COLUMBUS, GA – Each spring, sailors and marines both Union and Confederate gather at Port Columbus for RiverBlast! This living history weekend is Port Columbus’ largest living history event, and draws reenactors from around the country. This year’s theme is “The Sailor’s Life: From Recruit to Old Salt,” and will take a special look at the recruitment, training and daily life aboard ship of the Civil War sailor.

From combat and weapons training to entertainment, guests will get a glimpse of shipboard life from the perspective of those who lived it.

Both Saturday and Sunday will feature weapons drill and demonstration, cannon firings, naval landing party demonstrations, and much more. In addition, Saturday’s festivities will also include a uniformed presentation on sailor life, performance by the ColumbusBrass, and in conjunction with April being National Poetry Month, we will showcase a collection of period and contemporary civil war poetry.

 RiverBlast! 2012

Saturday, April 14: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 15: 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

(Detailed schedule is available online)

Cost: Regular Admission

Port Columbus is located at 1002 Victory Drive in Columbus, Georgia, and is open daily from 9 to 5. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.portcolumbus.org or call 706-327-9798

Contact:    Jon Ezzell

(706) 327-9798 or (800) 742-2811

[email protected]

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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Dada’s First Day of Daycare

Gus and Dada

Gus and Dada

grumble grumble…says the anxiety in my belly.

Today was the hardest day of being a Father to date. Today, I have become emotionally wounded by the events that occurred below. In no way was the great staff at our daycare responsible, but man, if it was going to go wrong, today was the day for me.

I will say that I was prepared. I was running through my head over and over that I was going to be able to walk away and trust in Gus’s ability to handle interaction outside the family circle. I knew it was going to be hard. I knew it was going to be emotional. What I didn’t account for was the ratio of worse case scenarios versus preparation versus coincidence versus me.

Let’s say that 100 kids get dropped off at day care for the first time. 50% of the kids cry, parents cry, everything is fine. 49% of the kids cry, parents cry, everything is ‘OK’. 1% of the kids cry, parents cry and every small thing seems to just make it all worse.

Well, today…I was the 1%. Dropping Gus off a bit early snapped me in the face right off the bat and left me in a state of uncertainty. When we arrived, we entertained him for a bit, gave the wave ‘bye-bye’ and snuck out to the office area to finalize registration. To my demise we were just early enough that we had to wait for the attendant to arrive. It was only 5-10 minutes but after about the first 60 seconds we began to hear what I can only describe as scream crying. ‘I want my dadaaaaa….’ came echoing down the hall. I look at Whitney and we both recognize the cry for help. My heart dropped and all I heard was a low bass in my ears.  Wait.  I wasn’t prepared for this…

After a solid seven minutes of echoing hysteria right outside the door I could no longer take it. I was torn from ‘saving the day’ and rescuing Gus with a shiny, super smile or sit listening to my heart get pounded into a paralyzed mush. I got up…and walked out the front door.

After a minute or two, I saw our admin arrive and came back in to fill out the paperwork. I wasn’t really trying to hide anything but I wasn’t sure what to expect next. My entire day was shot at this point and I really couldn’t find motivation throughout the day. The day was spent with the starch memory of Gus crying out for me. ugh.

Needless to say, I went to pick him up early and he was fine.  A little shook up, a little disheveled…but he was fine.  Dada is happy…  phew….

Tomorrow is another day.

Lucas Shaffer

I am a working father who loves to spend time with my son, Gus. I created this site to give other dads an outlet to share their adventures with their kids. I have a lovely wife, Whitney and spend most of my work time as an entrepreneur, blogger, programmer, designer and podcaster. Follow me on twitter; @lucaslshaffer

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