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I couldn't have done it without you!
There is so much going at Dad Blogs it is ridiculous. First, we have had a ton of new folks sign up. Apparently we were right when we said that Dad Bloggers are the up and coming genre on the net. There are so many high quality bloggers joining the Dad Blogging ranks every day it is truly exciting to witness.
There are a lot of updates. First, you may have noticed the new Facebook like bar at the bottom of Dad Blogs. It includes a chat feature and hot buttons that wisk you away to great places all around the site. Those hot buttons are important to remember because when you add videos, photos, reviews (I'll get into those i a second) and update your profile--you get karma. What's so important about karma? Karma can get you paid. Stay tuned because we are giving away loot in an awesome contest starting Sept 1st.
We used to be big into reviews for like a week there, but they are now back. The review section is completely revamped and totally awesome. You can review everything from toys for your kids, to parenting books, to TV shows for grown ups and beer. Basically, just take a spin through review land and see what I mean. The great thing about reviews is that they are great places to earn karma and weigh heavily in that area--remember you can get paid to be karma king.
Yeah, we experimented with moving it around, but folks didn't seem to keen on that. So, group chat is back where it always was. One of the things that makes Dad Blogs so special is the ability for people to connect through avenues like group chat and we will never take that away.
There are two contest announcements for Dad Blogs. First, the current contest. PJ from realmendriveminivans and an illustrious columnist at Dad Blogs is hosting a contest to giveaway a children's music CD. The question you need to ask yourself is, "Do I want to win something fun and cool for my offspring?" If the answer is 'yes' proceed to the contest post and enter to win the new album from Milkshake. They are from my home town of Baltimore (go Ravens) and have been on PBS Kids, Noggin and Discovery Kids (their superstars--to your kids).
The next contest is forthcoming so this bit of info is meant to be a teaser. So, what I am going to say is that you can win money or a ticket to the upcoming Dad Blogs Conference. That's right--it's booked. Details are forthcoming so you can save the date. Anyways, the contest--yeah, you can also win a t-shirt if you come in 2nd or 3rd which isn't a bad consolation prize if you ask me.
The First Annual Dad Blogs Conference
This will be huge. Dad. Blogs. Conference. I just like the way that sounds. We are planning useful, informative sessions during the day, cocktail hours at night and much more. The conference is set for Chicago, Illinois from July 15-18. It will be all that and a bag of chips (chips not included). The first conference will have an emphasis on fellowship, networking and getting to know each other--like a big family reunion. The objective is to steal some of BlogHer's thunder and point the spotlight on the guys for a change. If anyone has any suggestion or amazing corporate sponsors that would love to throw money at the convention--let us know. Also, wait for the official post before you go etching dates on the side of your car door.
So, keep an eye on Dad Blogs. Big things are going down and we want each of you to be a part of it.
I hope I can be a part of it. After all, what better way to discover what dads want to read, write or talk about then to attend a conference that they created? Besides, this blog was just listed in the Top Dad Blogs directory over at The Daily Reviewer so they've just gotta let me in now!
"I'm more than a foot taller than Sharon...When we're hugging over something happy, she stands on a chair so she can squeeze my neck and I can kiss hers. When I'm feeling romantic (or reasonable variations thereof), I walk up behind her and wrap my arms around her shoulders. When we're making up after an argument, Sharon sits on the couch, I get on my knees in front of her, and I dive in to bury my face in her neck."
"If my life could be measured with the same kind of line graph economists use to measure stock performance on Wall Street, there would be a huge spike at the moment I kissed Sharon's soft, sweet lips for the first time."Danny writes from the heart. He writes with passion and full disclosure as he sorts through the emotions and experiences of truly finding himself after reaching the deep end. Readers will travel with him on this journey as he explores the depths of his despair and reaches new heights with his recovery and through the eyes of his children.
"The sight of two caring, special human beings - that I helped to create - displaying kindness and love to one another (without being asked) shattered the mold of what I thought I was, what I thought a Man was. Just as the case was with the onset of my depression a few years earlier, the feeling I had at that moment was unlike anything I'd encountered before. And just like depression, that vision rocked me to the core and forced me to take stock of what was happening around me. The one obvious difference between these two moments was that the former left me awash in numbness and confusion. The latter flooded me with a sense that perhaps my life was just beginning..."
"I lost my son three and a half years ago to a senseless backyard swing set accident. Wesley was playing on a swing set that should have been pulled from the market in the mid 1970's when the first injury was reported. Instead, swing set manufacturers (knowing the design was a risk to children) continued to market and perpetuate this design in to backyards all over the country. As a result, scores of children have had horrific injuries--and my son is dead.
I have fought my guts out--along with Wesley's mother and sister and our families--to get this design banned from the U.S. market. And we have prevailed. Never again will the design be made.
The fight was horrible. Swing set manufacturers (including the manufacturer who provided the Obama children with their new White House lawn swing set) fought us with personal attacks and campaigns that were tremendously painful--all for money.
We won. But it cost us much.
But there's another phase in the fight. A crucial phase. And I need you to join with me in helping me.
While we were successful in the ban--the truth remains that TENS OF THOUSANDS OF THE SAME TYPE OF SWING SETS that killed our Wesley still remain in backyards all over the country.
That means that children are still at risk. And the CONSUMER PRODUCTS SAFETY COMMISSION refuses to issue a nation-wide warning so that parents who have this design in their back yards can make the necessary modifications to protect their children.
THE CPSC IS DROPPING THE BALL and WE MUST DEMAND THEY DO THEIR JOB AND ISSUE AN ALERT. Even when I first called the CPSC days after Wesley's accident, I got a shove-off and a huge reluctance to even look in to this case. I simply will NOT take no for an answer. No grieving parent would or should.
Watch the latest tv report about this and GO VIRAL WITH IT. PLEASE--IN THE NAME OF MY BEAUTIFUL SON WESLEY--FORWARD THIS E MAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. PLEASE. GO VIRAL in e mails and on your Facebook pages. TWITTER the WSVN LINK. IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE TO HELP. ASK EVERYONE TO CONTACT THE CPSC AND ASK THEM TO ISSUE A NATIONWIDE ALERT TO PARENTS.
WHEN YOU CONTACT THE CPSC-- GO TO: INFO@CPSC.GOV
FLOOD THEM. THEY ARE FAILING IN THIS INSTANCE. REMIND THEM THAT IN THEIR VERY OWN BI-LAWS--THEIR VERY EXISTENCE AND PURPOSE IS TO WARN THE PUBLIC. My son has been gone three and a half years. It's HIGH TIME the warning happen.
If they do not do this soon---I will hold a national press conference to say that the CPSC is dropping the ball here. Their credibility is on the line. Remind them to reclaim it.
1) You started your blog in 2004. Had you done any other writing prior to that?
I had not. In fact, for the first year or two I didn’t even consider what I was putting on my blog as “writing.” Over the years, however, I have come to love the writing aspect. Many of my posts are told in story form or there is a setup to a punch-line and I enjoy crafting those posts.
2) How has blogging changed (for you) since then?
Blogging has changed a lot since I started my blog. My cousin Maggie (Mightygirl.net) turned me onto blogging and back then not many people knew what blogging was. Back then there was a relatively small amount of parent bloggers and we all seemed to be having kids or had young kids. We would add each other to our blog rolls and comment on each other’s blogs and that’s how we built up readership. Now there are so many blogs that it’s very difficult to stand out.
3) Please share the story of how you came to be a speaker on the upcoming panel at this year’s BlogHer.
I’m still not sure how I became a speaker on the BlogHer panel! I was looking at the BlogHer website shortly after registering and noticed there was a proposal for a panel called Vaginally Challenged – The Men of BlogHer. It was proposed by Adam Avitable of Avitable.com. I think I clicked on something that volunteered me for the panel but then I completely forgot about it. Until I got an email saying I had been selected to sit on the panel. I’m very excited about to experience my first BlogHer conference from this perspective.
4) Please share your children’s (nick)names, age and gender.
5) How do you maintain a healthy relationship with your children? With your wife?
I have maintained a healthy relationship with my children by being as involved in parenting my children as my wife. As a father, I think it’s important that my children see me in a similar way that they see my wife. I also try to maintain consistency with my kids from my wife to me. The kids know that my wife and I will back each other up and that we will consistently enforce rules so there is no pitting mom vs. dad going on.
My kids also know that I am there for them. I keep my promises to them and I think they know they can count on me.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with my wife has been much more difficult. Having twins was extremely challenging for us and the first year, especially, was the most difficult year of our lives. Our relationship certainly took a back seat. We are only now beginning to try and schedule time for the two of us that doesn’t involve kids because it’s so important to keep our relationship strong.
6) Kids say the cutest things. What is the funniest story you recall about each of your children?
Kisses, in our family, have magical healing powers. Boo boos are kissed and made better. One day, my son fell on his butt and when I tried to soothe him, he turned around, stuck his butt in the air and yelled, “KISS IT DADDY! KISS IT!” I did.
My daughter is a devious one who is learning how she can play Daddy like a cheap violin. Just recently she caught me off guard by telling me what a good job I do as a daddy and giving me a piece of chocolate as my reward. I was so touched that my little girl was reaching out to me like that. She then asked for a bite.
7) What is your proudest parenting moment?
I don’t have just one moment. I am proud that my kids see me as an equal parent and that I am equally responsible for the upbringing of my children. I’m proud that I have made the decision to make my children a top priority all of the time.
8) What is your biggest parenting challenge?
My biggest parenting challenge is balancing time for me, my work, my wife and my kids. I always feel like one is suffering and often times it’s the “me time.” I’m trying to figure that one out. If you know the answer, please let me know!
9) What’s your favorite family-friendly restaurant in
? San Diego
My favorite family-friendly restaurant in
is Chick-Fil-A. I can get healthy alternatives for the kids, the kids often get a balloon and they can play in the play structure while I eat fries and drink milk shakes. San Diego
10) What’s your favorite activity you enjoy with your child(ren)?
I love going to the park with the kids. I love watching my kids take risks on the playground equipment, interact with other kids and then I often play along too. It’s fun being out and about with my kids and I hope I can keep doing well into the future.
11) What advice would you give to new or expecting parents? And to those expecting twins?
New parents need to talk about their parenting philosophy before they have kids. Both parents need to be on the same page about what’s important and what’s not. I think also that moms should help dads become more involved in the parenting – particularly if the dad isn’t sure what his role will be.
As for parenting twins, I think it’s extremely important to get the kids on the same feeding and sleeping schedule from the get go. It will make your life so much easier.
12) Who or where do you go to for parenting advice?
I read blogs and I read books but the biggest person I go to for advice is my wife. She’s an extremely intuitive person and she is a big researcher who has the ability to take information and make it relevant. I don’t know how I would be as parent if I didn’t have her support.
13) How would your children describe you?
My children would describe me as silly, a bad dancer, and someone who loves hugs and kisses.
If you have any other questions about Matthew, his family, his writing, or his appearance at BlogHer, head on over to Child's Play X2. You can discover all you need - or would ever want - to know about him by checking out his list of 100 Things.
Avitable: "I'm the only whore here."Many great conversations were sparked in this session and the women who asked questions added much to the topic. We got to talking about the men of our generation being more involved as fathers and more willing to share their stories and talk about their experiences in a more open manner than our own dads may have. We talked about the husbands who do not blog - or share as openly - and understand that the reason that blogging has brought us all together (online and to Chicago this weekend) is because there is a passion and an understanding amongst all of us writers that extends beyond our title (mommy blogger, daddy blogger, humor blogger).
BusyDadBlog: "I thought I pioneered the idea of daddy blogging."
"I'd love to get a book contract."
"I'm here because my friends are here."
"I only exploited my kid once."
ChildsPlayX2: "We're trying to break through the glass ceiling of parenting."
"I've always had more female friends."
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