Book Review and Giveaway: Dads Behaving Dadly 2

I’m pleased to announce that I was one of my blog entries was included as part of the book Dads Behaving Dadly 2: 72 more truths, tears and triumphs of modern fatherhood.

Tallest SAHD/blogger in America!

Tallest SAHD/blogger in America!

You might recall that last year I wrote about being included in the first Dadly book. Co-authors and fellow Stay At Home Dads Hogan Hilling and Al Watts enjoyed the book writing process so much that they did it again and were gracious enough to include my story among the 72 in this second book. Both of these books were written by dads about pretty much anything and everything that relates to being a father. I’ll give you fair warning, though. Have some tissues within reach because the stories these guys share can will evoke some pretty emotional responses. We all had different experiences with our own fathers, some good, some bad, but the submissions in both books will move you and motivate you to be a better dad (or mom, I guess). While this book can be read in short bursts, if you’re like me at all you’re going to have a hard time putting it down once you start. Right from the Introduction by Al Watts, the President of the National At Home Dad Network, you will be drawn in as he shares about what happened to his then 11 year old daughter on a horse trail ride at Yellowstone National Park. Then the 72 stories are divided into seven parts as follows.

  1. Our Fathers
  2. Becoming Dad
  3. Built Dad Tough
  4. Do It Yourself Dad
  5. Imperfect Hero
  6. The Good, The Dad and The Ugly
  7. Proud Dads

My submission was placed in the last section and it’s entitled Actions Speak Louder.

It’s an edited and expanded (hopefully even improved!) version of one of my blog posts from 2014 in which I shared about my oldest daughter who is talented singer and songwriter. The very condensed version is that she wrote a song, recorded it on her phone and sent it to me across the country since she moved almost 2,000 miles away after high school graduation. The song moved me to tears because it helped me to understand how my actions as a father had impacted my daughter a few years prior as well as at that moment. (I’m purposely not telling the full story here because I really want you to get the book for yourself.)

Look, do yourself, or any dad in your life, a favor and get this book. If you’re looking for a meaningful and motivational gift for Father’s Day this is a great book to get. If you didn’t get the first Dadly book then grab both of them. You can go to the DadsBehavingDadly website and buy the book(s) directly from Hogan and Al or through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. There is an e-book version available through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The links are all on this page. If you buy directly from the Dadly website you’ll get $5 off the regular price of each individual book or even more savings if you buy both books at once.

GIVEAWAY: If you have read this far (THANKS!) then please leave a comment here on my blog page or my BigCheeseDad Facebook page to be entered to win a copy of this book. I will select one winner at random at 10 pm (Pacific time) on Father’s Day (June 21, 2015) to receive a signed copy of Dads Behaving Dadly 2.

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Dads Behaving Dadly

At the National At Home Dad Network Convention in Denver last year I met many fellow Stay At Home Dads from around the country. Two of the guys that I met, Al Watts and Hogan Hilling, shared their dream about a book they were writing together. They were soliciting submissions from dads who were willing to share stories about being dads. At that time I hadn’t really written very much since my college days. I hadn’t even started my blog yet and, to be completely honest, wasn’t sure if I had anything to offer them. Well, I started my blog a few weeks later and realized how much I enjoyed writing about my life as a SAHD of six kids. Then, shortly after the calendar flipped to 2014 I received an email from Hogan asking if I’d consider submitting something to their book project. I still didn’t know what to do as I didn’t think my writing was really worthy of consideration. After a few months of mulling his offer over I got over my own insecurities and emailed him my blog post from February, entitled Bad Dad: Seeking Forgiveness. Amazingly, I received word that they liked it enough to include an edited form of it in their book. I was going to be a published (contributing) author! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would ever happen. Yet, they sent word that the book was going to be released in June.

Dad book cover

Dads Behaving Dadly: 67 Truths, Tears and Triumphs of Modern Fatherhood is a collection of stories from dads around the world. But they’re more than just stories. They collectively show how modern dads are dealing with every day life in a more hands-on manner than ever before. Gone are the days where dads went off to work and returned home to read the paper while having a mixed drink before dinner was ready. This isn’t your grandfather’s book. From the very first entry clear through to the last one I was moved by the honesty and raw emotions in this book. Be warned. Have a box of tissues nearby. This isn’t a collection of feel-good stories that paint an unattainable picture of the perfect father. These 67 stories run the gamut of real-life experiences: the joy of birth and the agony of miscarriage; depression; divorce and blended families; parenting wins and parenting fails. The book stands on its own as a great representation of what it means to be a father in the 21st Century. As I read this book I was amazed by the many great things my peers are doing in their families and was inspired to be a better husband and father as a result. This is not a book just about SAHDs. Many of the men who contributed to the book work outside of the house. The common thread we all share is being a dad. While I’m proud of the overall book I’m humbled and honored to be a small part of it as a contributing author. It’s truly a dream come true to see my name in print.

book page

I bought several copies when Dads Behaving Dadly was released earlier this year and have been giving them away as gifts to family and friends. If you’re looking for a gift for any dad (or dad-to-be) this would be a fantastic idea. It’s available on Amazon (click here to order) for $17.28. (Free shipping if you have Prime membership.) This past weekend the New York Times published a wonderful article about the brotherhood of the Stay At Home Dad. Their reporter/photographer was at the convention in Denver this September to interview several of the conference attendees and book contributors while we had a book signing. The photo below appeared in the NYTimes and showed me signing the book. I was in the New York Times! How cool is that?

That's my bald dome in the lower right signing the book.

That’s my bald dome in the lower left signing the book. Hogan is in the middle and Al is next to him.

With Hogan at the book signing.

With Hogan at the book signing.

I'm honored to call these guys friends. They're also SAHDs and contributing authors to the book.

I’m honored to call these guys friends. They’re also SAHDs and contributing authors to the book.

Since I have enjoyed this book so much I want to give you, my readers, a chance to win your own autographed (yeah, I’ll sign it!) copy of this book. Simply enter through this Rafflecopter giveaway. Contest ends at midnight on December 1, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Please share this post with anyone you know who would benefit from and be inspired by a fantastic book about modern fatherhood.

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Disclosure: I was not paid or compensated by Hogan or Al in any way for this post. The views represented are 100% mine.

Book Review: Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments

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Author Mike Adamick has done it again, following up his successful Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects with the newly released Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an advance copy of his book a few weeks ago. Upon opening the package from Amazon the book was literally yanked from my hands by my children so they could check it out. It was music to my ears to hear them excitedly discussing which experiments they were going to do that afternoon. You see, before I became a Stay At Home Dad I had a short (5 year) career as a 7th grade Science teacher. So, naturally, I try to encourage the natural curiosity in my children through formal and informal experiments. One of the things that I really like about this book is that Mr. Adamick encourages us to “have fun, try, fail, learn and try again” in our experimentation. The 30 experiments are divided into five categories: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Planet Earth and The Human Body. There are colorful pictures and excellent explanations for each experiment. As a bonus, there are several suggestions for extensions or additional challenges. Some of the labs are designed for immediate payoff and others take days or weeks to complete. As a Science teacher it was always fun to gauge an experiment’s success based on the “AAAAH” factor. Several of the experiments my kids tried delivered it in a big way.

The first experiment they decided to try was Volcano Time!, which is pictured above. We happened to have a flask in the basement so I used that to make it look more scientific. For fun I also let the kids use a tall shot glass  “graduated cylinder”. The results were similarly fantastic. While I could have done a more professional job I found it pretty nice that my kids, ages 12, 9 and 3, were able to set this up with minimal help from me. While it still worked out, I observed that using two-ply TP like we did made the experiment take a little longer. (Video of Volcano Time!) If I did it again I would simply separate the TP into one-ply thickness. And adding food coloring made it just a little bit more fun for the kids.

The second experiment we tried was the Floating Grape. Using three glasses of water we were able to successfully float a red grape at three different levels by adding varying amounts of sugar to the water, changing the density and causing the grape to float. This didn’t have the “aahh” factor but it was fun to see my 3 year old’s reaction when the grape finally floated. It took a surprising amount of sugar and she was getting a little discouraged that it wouldn’t work. But she kept going with it and, fueled by a spoonful or two of sugar in her own mouth, she achieved success! Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the floating grapes so you’ll have to trust me that it worked.

The final experiment my kids tried for this review is another classic: Mentos and (Diet) Coke Rocket. While we had the materials at home to make the rocket, my kids lacked the motivation to actually create one. So it ended up being a Diet Coke geyser in the back yard, which was still pretty cool. (Video: Mentos and Diet Coke) The only drawback was that the person putting the Mentos into the bottle had to move away pretty quickly or get a Diet Coke shower.

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In summation, I would highly recommend getting a copy of Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments for your child(ren). You can order it on Amazon starting on April 18, 2014. But be warned: If you get this book and your kids see it they’re probably not going to leave you alone until you make a lot of fun (and possibly messy!) memories while you experiment together.

 

 

****Author’s Note****

I, Carl Wilke, am not being paid to endorse this book in any way, although I wish I were! The thoughts expressed are my own and were in no way coerced. The only “compensation” I received was a complimentary advance copy to review.