Time to Mouse Up – Walt Disney World Tips from the latest Trip

epcot mission space monorail track

As this terrible Maine winter just got colder and it became harder and harder to miss our home away from home, it was clear it was time to Mouse Up. That’s right. My family packed up and went back to Walt Disney World. Tom Petty said the waiting is the hardest part, and he’s right. The kids were super excited and had been reading their Birnbaum’s books, making park bucket lists, looking over and over at pictures of the resort. Hell, my wife and I were making bucket lists of our own like a couple of kids. Our youngest turned his toy trains into a Walt Disney World monorail. We wanted it to be like the first time our family went in 2009, eager to recreate the magic of that visit. Our family had been twice since that trip, but we felt like we had two less-than-perfect vacations to make… read more

Pirates, Dungeons and Dragons, and LARPing – A Geek Dad Moment

pirates or privateers, pirate ship like Jacques Francois Morin operated in French waters

Pirates: they’re in our blood Pirates are trendy in the geek community, geek chic, I guess you could say. And my son and I have pirates in our blood. A distant cousin of mine, Jacques François Morin dit Bonsecours, was a privateer in New France in the early 1700s. His ship, crew, and logs of his takes are documented. He did have French consent to board English ships, but other accounts of his exploits portray him as ruthless, nothing but a pirate. Argh, mateys. What would that be in French? I also have Viking roots in another line. Badass. B thinks it’s cool that he has pirates in his bloodline. J thinks so, too, but technically being a stepson, he does not. He’s part Asian, though, so he does wonder if he has ninjas somewhere in his tree. We will make that a genealogy project for another day. An appropriate… read more

Hitting things with other things, and why my kids can’t have summers like mine

Fridge chart our four year old uses to help plan his day.

I read a great blog post yesterday, Top 10 Ways To Give Your Kid a 1970’s Summer on Mommypage.com. It immediately got me all nostalgic for my summers in the 1970’s and 1980’s. My siblings, my friends and I, we did 9 out of the 10 ways mentioned in the article. We did not really have a good movie theater where I grew up, so that one was out. Summers were filled with fun, freedom and dirt. They simply oozed sugar, sweat and late bedtimes. We stayed outside from morning until after dark, playing dodgeball and frisbee tag while simultaneously chasing fireflies. Our games were always made up, and often not all that safe by todays standards. As I recalled stories of those summers to our middle child, J, I came to the realization that a lot of the really fun stuff I did when I was a kid involved… read more

Parenting a child with autism – What a good day looks like

Autism can be chaos inside the mind

I’m a member of a few online dad blogger groups, and occasionally I’ll post something about a difficult day with my 11 year old boy. J happens to have Asperger Syndrome, also known as high-functioning autism. I know that I’m not the only autism dad in the group, and a few have shared similar experiences. The comments have all been very empathetic and supportive, which I appreciate very much. I also get comments from dads expressing that they don’t know how those “Autism Dads” do it on a daily basis. To any parent of a child with autism, this kind of a day will sound very familiar. Hopefully it will provide parents of typically developing children some insight into what we deal with on a daily basis. Every child is different, but I know that other autism parents will get what I mean. Morning: I get up with our 3… read more