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Photo Diary: March 2017 Part 2

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 98

pop poppa nap cast logoGood golly it’s been a long time since I did one of these! The 98th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast features some stuff I recorded back in April and then follows it up with an update from this week! It’s not a complete update, but you’ll get the deets on both kids’ birthday parties, the swingset construction and more!

kite day

Guys, first off, Kite Day was more fun than I expected. Kites are rad, even cheapo ones from the drug store (just don’t get those crazy-long tails tangled up).

crawfishSpeaking of rad, crawfish parties are in that same category. I really miss hanging out with my friends, so these get-togethers are super important to me.

Both the Princess Power Barbie doll and DVD get the Pop Poppa Seal of Approval from this guy!

Charlie-and-Lola_0I talked about the Charlie & Lola cartoons back in PPNC #84, but here’s a look at the artwork I mentioned.

Charlie and Lola art sample

Birthdays! Cakes make kids even cuter. It’s a law of nature.

lu's partyHere‘s the list of tips I came up with for throwing a solid pre-schooler birthday party. It’s pretty much the best thing you’ll read all day.

organized garage

And finally, behold the glory of a more organized garage!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, Comic Book Resources, Geek.com and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

10 Tips For Throwing A Successful Pre-School Birthday Party

swingsetA few weeks back we celebrated our daughter’s fourth birthday with a lot of her friends from school. I don’t mind saying that it was a huge success and I take basically no responsibility for that. My wife was the mastermind behind the festivities from invitations to decorations and games, but she doesn’t have a blog and I do, so I’m the one who’s going to throw down some advice. Continue reading

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 76

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 76 kicks off a new weekly release schedule, gives an update on the house stuff and chronicles Lu’s first kinda-sorta first day of school.

The Castle in Chester, NY is a great place for birthday parties if you’re young or old! The ball room is called Ballocity, check it out here.

tom

Tom by Tomie dePaolo is a pretty weird book that creeps me out, but my kid loves it.

Over the Hedge and My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales both get the thumb’s up from Lu and the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval from me.  If you’re interested in my original thoughts on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, check them out here. The MLP movie I mentioned that’s on Netflix is called .

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 48

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The 48th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast recounts my experiences down at Toy Fair (sore feet and all) and our strange developments with the potty and bathtub.

Doesn’t seem like I mentioned much in the way of link-worthy notes, but I hope you still enjoy the show!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 31

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There’s a whole lotta New York Comic Con talk on this episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast, which happens to be the 31st episode if you’re counting.

The article I mentioned about moms taking it easier on themselves and each other is called “Moms When Are You Going To Learn?” and was posted on So Wonderful, So Marvelous.

My review for The Frighteners can be read over on UnitedMonkee.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the exact Cinderella crown on Amazon, so I can’t link to it right now, but I’ll keep looking and let you know when/if I do track it down.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 30

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 30 features talk of business, a fun wedding excursion packed with friends and some praise for a DVD player holder and film. The last 10 minutes or so of the episode sound static- y, but it’s actually the rain. Sorry about that!

terry crews expendables

If you’re not familiar, this is Terry Crews from The Expendables. You can check out my full interview with him over on CBR. My interview with Ultimate Spider-Man producer Cort Lane is up there as well. I also mentioned Danny Trejo who I interviewed way back in 2009.

Bob_Evans_white_logoWe’re big fans of Bob Evans. Check out their site  to see if there’s one near you!

The McDonald’s toys I mentioned were called McRobots and you can see them in the above ad.

Super Why is no  , but it’s still pretty neat and Lu likes it.

The portable DVD player holder that earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval is called Case Logic PDVD-9 7-9-Inch Dual Screen DVD Player Case, Black. The player itself is an Insignia model that’s probably five or six years old at this point but still works well.meet_the_robinsons

Turns out I never did actually get around to reviewing Disney’s Meet The Robinsons. I should probably remedy that.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 25

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 25 runs the gamut, talking about two different kinds of Spider-Man, enjoying That 70s Show with Lucy and The League on my own and lots and lots of free plugs for Netflix.

famous covers spider-man nap time

Apparently you can still buy Famous Covers Spider-Man and Electro 2-pack on Amazon!

I reviewed the first two seasons of FX’s The League over on UnitedMonkee.com. The fourth season hits Netflix on September 3rd and the fifth season kicks off on FXX the next day.

To read the full 10 Ways Living With A Toddler Is Like Being In Prison, head on over to HuffPo.Itchy_&_Scratchy_&_Marge_33

I’m embarrassed to say that I referred to Marge as Maggie while talking about The Simpsons episode “Itchy & Scratchie & Marge.” Let’s blame it on the cold, shall we?

uncle ben amazing spider-man

The Pop Poppa Of The Week is none other than Uncle Ben as played by Martin Sheen in The Amazing Spider-Men, a film I reviewed over on UnitedMonkee.com.

pocoyo

Peep Pocoyo and his pals above.

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To see the Disney cartoons I mentioned, check out Walt Disney Animation Vol. 1: Mickey And The Beanstalk and Vol. 3: The Prince & The Pauper.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 23

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The 23rd episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast deals with keys, phones, potties and more!

keys

Above you can see my keys and the dog leash swivel clip I was talking about. Like I said, any clip-type key chain will work!

scooby doo knight

Lu thought THIS guy was Superman! I’m gonna have my work cut out for me with this kid.

emos potty time

If you have a kid at potty training age who also likes Elmo and Sesame Street, do yourself a favor and buy Sesame Street – Elmo’s Potty Time.

boardbook

This week the Board Book Photo Album – Black gets the Pop Poppa Seal of Approval!

elmo and his dad

And congrats to Elmo’s dad for earning the Pop Poppa Of The Week!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 21

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast’s 21st episode is trying to stay more positive. I talk about some of the great stuff Lucy has been up to, one difficult incident last week while I was trying to work and some plusses and minuses when it comes to Disney and their Blu-rays.

To read the actual interview I talk about in the episode, head on over to CBR.

If you think your kid might fall asleep while you play video games, give Skate 3 a try. I briefly reviewed the game on United Monkee last year and still play that game more than any other.

merida

You can get your own Merida 20-inch plush doll, check it out at the Disney Store.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Pop Poppa Of The Week recipient Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book work, check out the official Image Comics site and The Private Eye on Panel Syndicate.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 16

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 16 runs the gamut from parental visits and Father’s Day fun to Lu’s upcoming first trip to daycare.

If you want to read the first entry in my recurring “Ultimate Spider-Man” interview series, click this link.

The official Stormville Flea Market website.

Above you can see the three books I mentioned in the podcast: If I Ran The Circus, The Disney Junior Encyclopedia Of Animated Characters and The Amazing Spider-Man Look and Find. Follow those links to Amazon if they sound like something you’d like to check out.

The Adventure Time Blu-ray review I mentioned can be seen here. If you want to buy them for yourself, click the following links:

And here’s the short piece I wrote for Spinoff Online about Girl Meets World getting officially picked up by Disney.

I wrote this piece about how Superman changed my life and this one  about Man of Steel.

Read more of me on UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com and on Twitter @PoppaDietsch.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 15

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A busy week packed with a family trip down to New York City and a parent-only journey to Long Island for a wedding makes for a travel-packed episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast.

I wrote about my wife’s hospital stay in my Photo Diary posts last November, you can read them here, here, here, here, here and here.

If you’re in New York City and have a few hours to kill you can do a lot worse than the Central Park Zoo. And that’s coming from someone who’s not a fan of the form.

I wrote about my love of Batman Returns over on my pop culture blog UnitedMonkee.

A look back at Lu’s previous Disney-based petting zoo experience .

This week’s Pop Poppa Seal of Approval recipient, Aqueduck Faucet Extender, Aqua can be purchased through the previous link.

I write for Comic Book Resources and Spinoff Online  and also run UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com and am on Twitter @PoppaDietsch.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 11

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This week’s Pop Poppa Nap Cast deals with our recent trip to Walt Disney World before moving into the world of toddler ear infections and a look behind what makes me tick.

For our Disney World trip we rented a stroller from Kingdom Strollers because they’re much more comfortable looking than the ones Disney rents. It was waiting for us at our hotel’s concierge desk and we highly recommend their servies.

I didn’t mention it in the podcast, but we also ordered groceries for our room through Garden Grocer. You just go to their site, click all the things you want and they deliver them to your hotel! We wound up getting way more than we needed, but it was nice having a few more familiar foods in the room (including beer!) on the rare occasion we found ourselves there and not falling right into bed, exhausted.

If you’re interested in the Disney Backstage Magic tour, head on over here for more details.

I wrote about the audiobook version of Brad Meltzer’s The Millionaires over on UnitedMonkee a while back, but I first read the book back in the early 2000s or so.

 

Story Time At The Cornwall Library

A few months back, my wife told me about a series of storytimes at the nearby Cornwall Library. Since we’re not residents we had to wait a few days to sign up, but lucked out and got one of the last spots in the Tuesday morning 9:30 AM class which included kids from 18 to 36 months. When I went to sign up the lady tried to get me to do the 18 month and under, but I stuck to my guns for two reasons: 1) a woman and her daughter from our birth class was going to take that class and 2) I thought it would be better for her to be around older kids instead of being the oldest baby.

My wife’s been taking Lu to a weekend music class to give them some mommy and me time and also get her out there with other kids, something she doesn’t always get staying home with me all day. She’s told me how social Lu is at those classes, running around with the others, playing with kids, sharing and even cleaning up, so I thought that would be the case with this story group.

That wasn’t really the case, though for some reason. We’d get to every class and sit around in a circle with books set out beforehand. The kids would walk around, look at the books or stick with their parents. Lu almost always stuck with me. Then there were a few songs that were a bit over her head, but did involve clapping which she’s awesome at. Eventually we’d get to the story and then a few more songs, a game of sorts and then it ended.

I was kind of surprised at how shy and standoffish she was during the class. She gets like that even with her grandparents when they first get her for visits, but usually warms up pretty quickly. She didn’t really get there with this class, though. She’s also gotten really good at a lot of different sign language signs, but wouldn’t do a single one while we were out. I wonder if she’s shy or just wary of people. Either one she probably gets from me. I wonder if that’s in the genes or something she’s picked up on from being around me so much.

A new group of classes starts back up in January. I’m definitely going to sign us back up for that. Hopefully in another couple months she’ll be more social and communicative. I’m still proud of her for being curious about other people, approaching some of them and getting wicked good and putting on and taking off her “Lucy” name tag.

Another Storm Weathered Successfully

No matter where you are in the world, you’ve probably heard of Sandy, the too-nicely-named storm that smashed good parts of New Jersey, New York and has moved inland and up-land. We thankfully didn’t have much to deal with here aside from preparation, wind and worrying that something was going to fly through the window sending shards of glass throughout the house at any moment. I couldn’t believe that we didn’t lose power, something that’s happened at least once a year since we moved in back in 2006, including around Halloween last year.

We actually got prepped pretty well ahead of time, finishing a few things up on Sunday, so most of Monday was just spent waiting around for Sandy to hit. The time table moved up and up and things started getting nasty, but as I said, we mostly just had to deal with wind here. Still, it’s nerve-wracking sitting in any room of the house when it’s night out and you can hear these intense wind gusts, but not see what’s going on.

Lu didn’t seem to notice anything different about the last few days aside from the fact that her mom was home two extra days which was nice. I’m really glad that most of the businesses around here had enough foresight to close down even though the worst of it didn’t wind up hitting until after business hours. You’ve got to do what you can to keep people safe and most of the places I heard about did just that.

I also give a lot of credit to the news stations covering the storm, especially NBC, our preferred window on the world. They did a great job covering the system and letting people know how dangerous it could be without going overboard. Plus, I’m always impressed by the newscasters who brave the storm to let you know what’s happening. I’m not quite sure why a guy had to be outside to tell us the airports were closed due to water on the runway, but I guess that’s what you get when you take that job.

In addition to watching the news, I also kept my eyes on twitter. Between friends, random follows, celebrities and retweets, I saw even more than I expected. That crane that flipped over itself and dangled all night? I saw that first on Penn Jillette’s twitter feed. The destruction of the Jersey Shore? Andrew Zimmern retweeted JWOWW. It’s such an interesting way to augment the reports sent out via the newscasts.

Lastly, I want to pass along my condolences to everyone who got hit much harder. The devastation this storm brought continues to find its way to my home by way of those same newscasters and more tweets. I’m honestly shocked at what happened in places like the Jersey Shore and Long Island and hope the best for the people dealing with that devastation. The scenes of water filled streets, parking garages and subway stations will stick with me for a while.

My First Weekend Away From Lu

Last weekend was the New York Comic Con. That’s one of the bigger comic book shows on the planet and since NYC is only a train ride away from me, I’ve been there in some capacity every year it’s been around. This year, like last, I covered the show for Comic Book Resources, my main source of freelance work. Those guys know how to do it up, so we mostly work out of a skybox overlooking the insane crowd when not in the labyrinth below covering panels. I’ve worked that show for a few different places and those guys do it the best, hands down.

Last year I took the train back and forth every day and actually worked Thursday through Sunday. It was a rough four days, especially with all that train riding. I basically got home, kissed Em and Lu goodnight (if I made it home before they went to bed), went to sleep and got back on the train. This year I asked around to see if I could crash on someone’s floor and struck out, so I figured I’d be in for much of the same. Then my benefactor Jonah Weiland, the head honcho over at CBR, came to my rescue and offered me the accidental extra bed in his room. I was psyched but also a little sad. This was the first time I spent more than a day away from Lu and I think it might have been my first weekend away from Em, now that I think about it.

And you know what? It wasn’t too bad. Of course, I missed the both of them, but I was also incredibly busy, hanging out with friends and doing as much sleeping as I could (in a bed all by myself, which was admittedly pretty awesome). The key, really, was keeping myself busy. Had I been just sitting around a hotel room the whole time or something along those lines, it would have been rough. Thankfully that wasn’t the case and, better yet, I got to spend time with a lot of friends I see only about once a year anymore.