When The Wind Blows

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Family | Posted on 28-02-2011

When the wind blows, we move with it

When the wind blows, we move with it

Have you heard the news??? If you follow my Twitter or Facebook, then no doubt, you probably have.  If not, then start following, so that you aren’t the last to the party next time.  Okay, time to fill you in: We’re moving!!!!!!  No, not the Daddy’s Fish Bowl site, but our actual residence.  Our family is packing up and high tailing it from the great state of North Carolina all the way across the country to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  Well I guess that isn’t all away across the country (I was never good in geography), but hey you get the point. 

Little Tikes Auto Pitch Batting Trainer – Toy Review

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Tre, Tre’s Thursday Toy Review | Posted on 24-02-2011

Tre’s Thursday Toy Review 2-24-11
Little Tikes Auto Pitch Batting Trainer

 

Name: Little Tikes Auto Pitch Batting Trainer

Manufacturer: Little Tikes

Price: $27.99

Length of Ownership: 3 months

Rating: 5 stars

Toy Review: This toy is phenomenal!!! With an opening statement like that, I better have some evidence to back it up right?  Well, just look at the video, Tre’s enthusiasm shows bright and clear, and trust me folks, that wasn’t an act for the camera.  We’ve had this toy since Christmas and he has literally played with it every day with the same level of excitement shown in the video.  He loves it and I love Little Tikes for producing it, since we’ve had such a great time playing with it together.

Let’s get into a few specifics; as you can see, the auto pitcher is a 2in1 Tball set.  It acts as a standalone Tee, and once your child is ready to move up to the big leagues, it transforms into a pitching device, GENIUS!!!  It comes equipped with 5 balls as well as a plastic bat, all of the equipment required to train the next Barry Bonds comes packed with this set. 

The standard Tball portion acts as advertised, really no bells and whistles here, but it gets the job done.  Where Little Tikes really shines is when the toy is switched over to auto pitch mode, a transition that is seamless by the way.  In auto pitch mode, the pitcher gives a countdown in the form of beeps to let your child know that the ball is about to come out.  After the last beep, the ball flies into the air and your kid can swing their little hearts out.  The speed is just right for a up and coming toddler and the height is perfect. What more could you ask for? 

This toy is Tre tested and Daddy Approved! Buy It Now!!!

When The Magic Fades

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Activities, Play Stories, Tre, Ty | Posted on 22-02-2011

As a kid we are taught to dream big, we all did it, spent hours thinking of ways to fulfill our dreams; dreams that for most of us, never came true.  For most of us, there comes a moment when you realize that your dream is exactly that, a dream; one that will most likely never become a realization.  Ty just recently went through this traumatic experience and unfortunately, it came at the hands of his very own little brother.  Tre crushed one of Ty’s hopes and dreams, and I was left to do damage control and pick up the pieces.

Cadaco My First Magic Set – Toy Review

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Ty, Ty’s Tuesday Toy Review | Posted on 22-02-2011

Ty’s Tuesday Toy Review 2-22-11
Cadaco My First Magic Set

 

 

 Name: My First Magic Set with DVD Instructions

Manufacturer: Cadaco

Price: $15.99

Length of Ownership: 3 months

Rating: 5 stars

Toy Review: I honestly must say that this is one of the best magic sets available for a young child.  It has a plethora of different tricks, many of which can be mixed and matched to add additional flare.  All of the tricks are easy to perform and simple to understand, which is excellent for those kindergarten magicians.  The tricks range from the usual “make something disappear” to magically changing the color of different items.  There are a total of 10 tricks to learn, but as I said, most items are interchangeable, which adds a bit of shelf life extension to the experience. Everything is housed in a corrugate carrying case which makes taking your magic show on the road a breeze. In addition to all of the props and written instructions there is also a DVD that comes with this set.  The DVD does an excellent job of showing how the trick is performed, and then going back and explaining step by step how to pull it off.  My son has been able to watch that DVD and perform a few tricks on his own without any parental assistance.  This is a big boost because it really makes him feel like a true magician who never has to reveal his secrets.  I would definitely recommend this magic set to any parent that has a child who has shown the slightest bit of interest in magic.

A Horrifying Fairy Tale

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Activities, Play Stories, Tre | Posted on 21-02-2011

You know the old saying “sleep is the cousin of death?” Well apparently, Tre heard this saying and is doing all he can to avoid any family member of that pesky noun “death”. Lately, the boy has been fighting his sleep as if it were a punching bag and he was Muhammad Ali.  Most of the things contributing to his abrasion to night night time are internal factors; things such as curiosity, nosiness, and an over active imagination. However, there are also external factors that played a part in the demise of this young toddler’s sleeping habits. Those external factors were contributed by none other than yours truly!  Yes, I made a fatal mistake at bedtime and instead of regulating my son’s sleep pattern, I hindered it. I’m not proud of it, but I do stand by my actions.

Love Is Always On Time…

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Activities, Fefe, Holidays | Posted on 16-02-2011

Romantic Candle Lit Dinner

Romantic Candle Lit Dinner

However, blog posts are not.  Yes, this is a Valentine’s Day recap post and I know it’s a little late, but hey, I’ve been busy, so sue me.  This year, Vday was a little different, mainly due to the fact that I spent it shacked up in a hotel room.  Wait a minute, I’ve spent many a Valentine’s Day shacked up in a hotel room, so I guess that doesn’t make this one much different, so let me rephrase: I spent it shacked up in a hotel room ALONE.  Due to business reasons, I was on a whirlwind tour of the Midwest during the early portion of this week.  Or maybe, I was out gallivanting with my other woman, as that post shows, I’ve been known to be a cheating husband.  Even though I was away from the wife on Vday this year, I made sure we were able to celebrate and have a great time before I left.

Leapfrog TAG Reading System – Toy Review

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Ty, Ty’s Tuesday Toy Review | Posted on 08-02-2011

Ty’s Tuesday Toy Review 2-8-11
Leapfrog TAG Reading System

 

 

 

 

Name: LeapFrog TAG Reading System – Green

Manufacturer: Leapfrog

Price: $39.99

Length of Ownership: 2 months

Rating: 2.5 stars

Toy Review:  We all want our kids to grow up and be excellent readers right?  Well the Leapfrog TAG Reading system is another tool that will help your child along the path to reading glory.  But is the TAG Reading System all it’s cracked up to be, or is it another gimmick that feeds on parents’ yearning for increasing their child’s potential to learn? Let’s take a look at the meat and potatoes of this “toy” (and I use that loosely) and attempt to answer that question.

If you are not familiar with the TAG Reading System, here’s a brief overview.  It is a system that has specialized books, which allows you to take a “reader pen” and perform specific tasks.  Those tasks include reading the entire book, pronouncing specific words, and playing mini-games related to the story.  Sounds pretty action packed doesn’t it?

Let me start by saying the TAG Reading System does its job and it does it fairly well.  The reader pen is extremely responsive and can detect each word without a hitch. It is simple to use, pretty much point and press on the page in the appropriate area and you will hear the associated word, phrase, or description that you have selected.  Ty had no issues with utilization of the reading system at all.

Previously, I mentioned using the word “toy” loosely; let me touch on that a bit.  Most of the books for the TAG Reading System include several different games, meant to break up the monotony of reading.  The games are easy to play and we’ve found that they don’t offer up much excitement for a kindergartner.  There is also a rewards system, it unlocks different rewards based on your child’s progress, and you can connect your reader pen to the computer to view these rewards.  I’ve found that this feature has added very little to the experience.  Ty has never said “time to play TAG, so I can earn more rewards”.

In terms of an educational tool, I have to say that I am not very impressed.  For a kindergartener, this is not something that you can just let your child venture off on their own to explore.  They’ll need guidance to learn how to properly use the reading system; otherwise, they will just click on each word, without attempting to read them first.  That isn’t teaching them much is it?  The fact that the system can read the entire book to them, kind of felt like this is a parent replacement.  If the TAG system can read the book to my child, what do they need me for?  I personally enjoy reading time with my children and feel as though this system could potentially infringe on that quality time.  To be fair, as parents, we cannot devote all of our time to reading with our children, so this is a good replacement to help them along the way when we are not available.

The TAG Reading System does exactly what it says it will do; it assists with reading skills, reads to your child, and provides an entertainment factor.  The question is, are all of these things which can easily be provided by the parent value added?  Based on the cost of the books,  my answer would have to be no.

Stay At Home Mom vs. The Working Dad

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Advice, Family, Fefe | Posted on 03-02-2011

and the WINNER is.....

and the WINNER is.....

Okay DFB family, time for a serious topic here at the bowl. As I write this, I have my vodka & cranberry sitting next to the computer; attempting to recover from the events that just took place in my household. Timeout, I know you may be thinking how dare he bring up a serious topic while under the influence? My response: some of the greatest ideas known to man were created while in a bar & written on a cocktail napkin! I’ve even included a reference. (editor’s note: the events actually took place 2 nights ago.  I guess there was more vodka than cranberry in that drink and I didn’t get a chance to finish the post).

The Phone Call – Young Dialing

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Advice, Ty | Posted on 01-02-2011

Too Young To Dial???

Too Young To Dial???

Drunk dialing is a thing of the past folks! Okay, well maybe that isn’t totally true, from my Twitter timeline this weekend, I’m quite sure there was a substantial amount of drunk dialing going on. So although drunk dialing isn’t dead, it does have some fierce competition from the new phenomenon called Young Dialing.  Allow me to introduce you to it.

How many of you remember the first time you called someone of the opposite sex?  Was it a pleasant experience?  Did you have someone there coaching you along?  Hopefully, you were a smooth operator and didn’t get hung up on.  Unless you possessed the oh so delicate art of what I like to call “phone finesse”, you probably did get hung up on at one point in time.  You see, phone finesse is the ability to speak in a pleasing manner; that means a deep manly voice for the fellas and a cute, sexy voice for the ladies.  Phone finesse also requires being able to come up with conversation topics at the drop of a dime if the line goes cold.  Lastly, and this is very important, you must be able to hold out as long as humanly possible during the dreadful “you hang up first” battle.  All of these skills are typically learned through years of experience and careful mentoring, usually provided by an older sibling.  If you missed out on these valuable life lessons, I welcome you to join us as we briefly touch on them while discussing the disaster which will forever be known as Young Dialing.