Photo Diary: April 2018


The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 101 Featuring Geof Grubb

pop poppa nap cast logoOn the 101st episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast, I’m joined by my longtime friend and internet superstar Geof Grubb. You can check out his Reddit (I don’t really know what that means) here and also the Instagram account he set up for the patches he draws on for his daughter Layla every day here. In the episode we talk about everything from being stay-at-home dads to the joys of spending some mindless decompression time with video games.

There aren’t much in the way of show notes this time around, so I’ll embarrass both of us by posting this picture of Geof and I from high school. This is us before prom our senior year. I cut out the ladies because I haven’t seen them in over a decade.

geof and me prom senior year

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 85

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Apologies once again for the late episode, but the 85th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast covers pre-Christmas preparations, our continued sleep issues and Lu’s adventures with my Star Wars toys.

My original Itzbeen post can be found here.

2 Alices really is the best, they just opened up a second location in Newburgh. Check it out if you’re in the Orange County area!

Here’s a few Star Wars toy photos. First, you’ve got Lu going through the box, then Mighty Mugg Mace Windu. The red-armored Luke figure I mentioned is officially called Luke Skywalker in Imperial Guard Disguise according to

Lu and Jack both got in on the Christmas tree-decorating action.

tj and brett love christmas

If you want to hear more about Eggbert, check out the Christmas podcast I did with my pal Brett a few weeks back.

sassy spill and fill

The Pop Poppa Seal of Approval made a killer comeback thanks to the Sassy Spill & Fill which you can buy on Amazon here.

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 83

pop poppa nap cast logo The Pop Poppa Nap Cast returns with episode 83 which covers packing up the old condo, the big move, my parents getting out here and our new way of life.

You can’t tell me this Bubble Guppies song isn’t catchy as all get out.

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 79

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 79 covers Jack’s continued teething problems, Lu’s new school friend and me sharing my thoughts on the #HeForShe campaign.

Most of the horror movies I mentioned seeing were done during kiddo nap time, though a few were watched after everyone went to bed. If you only see one newer scary movie this year, make it Resolution!

The book I mentioned really enjoying on my phone is R.L. Stein’s Red Rain. Great stuff so far.


There’s just something about Little Princess that gets under my skin. Lu loves it though. sleeping beauty diamond edition

Disney’s Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition is fantastic. Pre-order a copy or just wait until it hits stores next week on Oct. 7th.

Here’s a video of Emma Watson’s UN speech as well as the blog post supporting stay at home dads by Aaron Gouveia over at And, for a funnier view on the whole thing, read Dead and Buried’s “Just Say No To Parenting Equality.”

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 75

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Late as it may be, the 75th episode of the Pop Poppa Nap Cast praises DVD projectors, chronicles a trip to the flea market and more!

A note to listeners before jumping in, I recorded this episode last Wednesday, but the editing process got away from me, hence the lateness. Looking forward, I’m most likely going to switch up the posting schedule for the podcast. I’m just running into so many roadblocks when it comes to posting halfway through the week on Wednesdays. I’m thinking it might make sense to record throughout the week and give myself until Friday to get the show up and ready. That being said, I’m hoping to double-ship this week and hope to have another episode up by this Friday at 3:00PM. Wish me luck!

Epson MovieMate 62

The projector we use is the Epson MovieMate 62. It’s pretty great.

Check out Stormville if you live in the area!

As this posts, Lu is on her way back from her first sorta-first day of school, which I will talk about in Friday’s episode.


The League is fantastic. Check it out on Netflix or FXX!

Heh, I already stopped using that nap spreadsheet.

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 70

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 70 is pretty scattered thanks to Jack’s repeated interupptions, but I do talk about not getting the house we were looking at, our continued search and a few things about this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con. My apologies for changes in tone and voice, plus all the ums and uhhhs.

The phone interview I mentioned doing last week was for this story posted on CBR about the cool new Mondo toys!


If you’re interested in bidding on Iron Fist’s first appearance or lots of Iron Fist and/or Power Man & Iron Fist, go check out my ebay auctions.

The park we hit up in PA is called Firefly Field. It’s worth checking out if you have kids.

lu and lisa

If you’re in the area, do yourself a favor and check out Dutchess Marketplace in Fishkill, NY! Here’s Lu and her new, old Lisa Simpson doll.

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 69

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast 69 not only features a guest host in Jack Dietsch, but also gives an update on the moving situation and talks about kiddie troubles.


Here’s Lu playing with her new Avengers toys!

Batman: Brave & The Bold is the best kid-friendly Batman cartoon in ages. Check it out on Netflix or buy it on Amazon through that link.

batman brave and the bold

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 43

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In the 43rd episode of the Pop Poppa Nap Cast you find out the sex of our new baby, hear me talk about how different the second pregnancy is over the first and the eternal problem of finding a good boy name.

little baby boy

Here’s the little guy in the flesh!

The TED Talk I mentioned in this episode was originally mentioned back on Episode 39. Follow that link to get the full video.

lu's sleep reward sticker chart

Above you can see Lu’s sleeping-in-her-own-bed sticker chart.

clean living room

Here’s what the newly organized living room looked like. I feel the most like Batman when cleaning this room. I know I won’t stop the mess forever, but I can at least make a different tonight. Just like the Dark Knight when it comes to criminals.

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 26

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Thanks for your patience once again regarding this holiday-belated episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast. The 26th episode covers the Labor Day Weekend, taking care of house business and my thoughts on gender and how niceness comes into play.

You can read Catherine Newman’s complete article, titled “I Do Not Want My Daughter To Be ‘Nice'” over on The New York Times sitemagic trackpad

Apple’s Magic Trackpad earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval this week. As an added piece of goodness, I used this bad boy to help while recording and editing the episode. The-League-Kevin and ellie

Finally, here’s Kevin MacArthur (Steve Rannazzisi) with his daughter Ellie from The League also known as this episode’s Pop Poppa Of The Week.

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

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 9

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In the latest episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast, the nice weather gets me all twitterpated, Lu gets her first haircut and we talk about bathies.

If you’re interested, here’s my review of Red Dawn from

I can’t seem to find the full speech that Brett Cullen’s Tom Eckert gives to his boys in the movie, but part of it’s in this clip:

If the Fisher-Price Little People Splash ‘n Scoop Bath Bar sounds like your cup of tea, check it out through this link.

Baby Update: 16 Months And Counting

One of these days, I’ll get the hang of coming up with posts on a regular basis for Pop Poppa. One of the problems I have in coming up with topics is that parenting a child who’s not even two yet is both the same every day and always changing, which means while a topic might sound interesting one day, it’s changed a few days later or I’ve become so used to it, it doesn’t seem worth writing about. Anyway, I figured now was as good a time as any to update readers on where Lu’s at with a few things here and there, many of the topics I’ve written about previously or talked about in various Photo Diary posts.

We’re still working with the cloth diapers and wipes and my wife does that laundry every other day. As I mentioned in a somewhat recent post, we’ve been trying elimination communication which is still a little tricky. Lu doesn’t mind using her potty and sometimes we can get into a good rhythm where I get her on the potty every hour or so and she holds it until then, but sometimes my timing’s off. She’s also not really doing the sign to let us know when she has to use the bathroom which makes the whole process more difficult. Still, she’s doing well and I think she’ll catch on to the sign soon.

Speaking of signs, we’ve actually had some pretty impressive leaps in that department lately. Lu’s had the ones for “eat” and “all done” down for a while and we do our best to accomodate her when she uses them so she knows that we’re listening. She’s also got “hot,” “cold” and a few others down. The biggest surprise was when she started using the sign for “cat.” She’s been able to actually say “kitty” for a while now, so we figured there wasn’t much point continuing to use the sign, but out of the blue a few weeks back she started using her version of “cat” and does it while saying “kitty” which is pretty neat. She’s also talking pretty well and learning new words all the time, my personal favorite so far is “touchdown” which she says while raising both arms straight up in the air.

The kid walks like a champ. She’s getting pretty good at going up and down hills and is even learning how to use steps while either holding a railing or our hands. For a while, she had no interest in hand holding and would yank hers away if we tried, but she’s getting better at that too. She still gets a little antsy when we’re out running errands or at the grocery store, but even that’s getting a little better, though I’m also getting faster at the latter.

Lu still breastfeeds, but only in the morning, to go to bed and when she wakes up in the early morning. Though our freezer is packed with homemade baby food, these days Lu either eats what we’re eating or gets her own meal when we eat out. I’m been surprised to find that she’s more interested in spicy foods than my wife or I would have thought and only seems sensitive to temperature (which is why we taught her the signs for “hot” and “cold”). She tries just about everything, but isn’t the biggest fan of leafy greens and some other vegetables, but I think she makes up for it nutrition-wise thanks to her intense fruit addiction, I can barely keep the stuff in the house and even had to move our fruit bowl up high because she was taking bites out of everything from plums to oranges.

Naps have never been an exact science with us, though I have gotten her into a pretty regular schedule of going down for about an hour between 10 and 11AM. If I’m lucky, I get some work done and a shower in in that time. If I’m even luckier, when she wakes up crying, I can pick her back up and get her to fall back asleep. She usually wakes up crying if I try to put her back in her crib, so I’ve been placing her on a blanket on the floor in the living room and going about my business. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. At night, she’s going down between 8 and 9PM and sleeps through to about 5:30AM. At that point I bring her into bed and she nurses until she falls back asleep. Just when I think she’s starting to sleep in more or switch things up, it turns out to be a fluke, but I still hope to get to the day where she’ll let her fall asleep for naps and the like on her own instead of fighting like crazy to stay awake.

One of my favorite things Lu seems to be learning is an appreciation of music. When it’s on she dances around and really seems to enjoy herself. She likes when I play guitar and is even starting to learn the rhythms to the songs a few of her toys play. My wife even signed up for a weekly class that the two of them are going to take that revolves around different music and instruments. It’s becoming pretty evident that the kid has good timing.

I try to limit the amount of TV watching in a day and have been doing an okay job of it, though some days are better than others. Our morning TV routine includes Sesame Street, The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake And The Neverland Pirates and Doc McStuffins. None of those shows are too annoying, though I am starting to notice reruns, something I’m not too happy with considering we’ve only been watching these shows for a few months. After that I get her down for a nap and then have the TV off for most of the middle of the day while I get work done. In the afternoon, I usually turn it back on to distract her a bit while I cook, but it rarely works. Maybe I need to just start blasting tunes!

So that’s a pretty general idea of where we’re at. If you have any more specific questions, drop me a comment and I’ll either respond there, or do another post answering them.

Single Handedly Taking Care Of A Baby, Or: How To Take Care Of A Kid After You Stupidly Cut Your Thumb

You get the joke in the title right? I added the secondary title to make sure people understand that I’m not the only person taking care of my daughter, but that I am quite literally doing it with one hand after injuring myself. Now that I’ve explained away every last drop of humor, I’ll explain myself a little better.

Last weekend I planned on making perogies (delicious Polish potato dumplings) but after making the dough on Saturday night I lost my steam. To make it up to my wife who was looking forward to the delish dish, I decided to get the filling together during the day and then serve them when she got home (you’ve got to basically make mashed potatoes then put that in little dough cutouts, boil them and then cook them in butter). It’s a long and labor-intensive process, but the results are usually pretty tasty.

So, the other day I was working on mashing the potatoes. I had already peeled them and they were boiling away in water pre-mashing. I was shredding cheese for the filling and wanted to see how much I had so I went to grab the tiny kitchen scale on the counter. Turns out, one of the legs was stuck under the knife block, so when I pulled on the scale the block tipped over. I’m not sure exactly what happened next, but I tried uprighting the block, my hand slipped and I felt my right thumb hit something. I looked down and blood was starting to come out of my newly sliced thumbnail.

I really don’t want to get too graphic because I myself  am quite squeamish. I actually used to pass out at the sight of my own blood, but haven’t had that problem lately, thank goodness. Oh, did I mention that Lucy was playing right outside the kitchen when this went down? I tried keeping my calm, but I had to quickly grab and wet some paper towels to stop the bleeding. She started crying pretty soon after I cut myself–or maybe even before, she tends to cry and want attention when I’m cooking–and wouldn’t stop. So, it would not be an understatement to say that this was a fairly intense situation.

Trying to keep myself calm (my head felt light and my stomach twisty, but I held on okay) while also trying to patch myself up and verbally soothe the baby was no small task. I called my mom because she’s a nurse and I wanted to make sure it was okay to put gauze on the wound and then wrap it up with medical tape. I have this gut-wrenching fear of the sticky parts of bandaids or tape actually getting stuck on cuts as well as further pain from absentmindedly bumping cuts. Mom suggested putting some Neosporin on there which I did.

At some point, I grabbed Lu and put her on the bad while I wrapped the finger and talked to my mom on speaker. I wound up being okay, though I did smash the thumb into a table that night trying to cut a piece of salami for a snack, not a good feeling. I even went on to finish a batch of perogies for that night’s dinner. I’ve been airing it out occasionally, but mostly keep the cut wrapped up in a simple bandaid. I bump it every now and then which smarts (the nail is cut, but still all attached), but I get really nervous every time I got to pick Lu up. I know she wouldn’t do it on purpose, but she kicks her legs like crazy and I’d rather not have that sting of pain surge up my arm into my brain if I can avoid it.

It’s been a bit of a challenge and I’ve had to get out of that paranoid-about-pain part of my brain to take care of her day, but I think I’m doing pretty good. If ever there was an obvious, slap-me-in-the-face example of how being a dad can change you and how you think about yourself, I guess this is it. So worried about getting hurt am I that I was literally shaking when my wife wanted to look at the cut the other night. It’s a deep, possibly inborn part of myself that I’m doing my best to ignore/evolve while taking care of Lucy. At the end of the day I will try to avoid my injury getting hurt, but I won’t let that worry get in the way of feeding, dressing or taking care of my baby. I guess that’s a sign of maturity, though I’d rather have learned this one without bloodshed, I think.

The Nightly Routine

Over the past few weeks–maybe month–my wife has gotten into a pretty solid routine for getting Lucy to go to sleep. For a while there, we were just staying up with her until 10 or so when she’d get tired, the missus would take her into the bedroom, breastfeed and she’d be out soon enough. After a while, she moved the time table up to 9PM, because it seemed like Lucy would take to it, but also because my wife wanted to theoretically have some time in the evening to relax a little. Or pump. Or do work. You get the idea.

The general drill includes one of us turning on a not-very-bright nightlight so my wife and I can see what’s going on in the middle of the night if we wake up or Lucy does. The Itzbeen and a cup of water are placed on the bedside table, then my wife grabs her Breast Friend (which she only uses for nighttime feedings), a burp rag and of course the baby and starts the process. Basically, she feeds the baby in the dimly lit room until the kid falls asleep. Once sleep is achieved, Lucy is placed in a Velcro-assisted swaddle and placed in the bassinet next to our bed. We learned pretty early on with our daughter that, at least for now, she needs to be wrapped up, otherwise she’ll accidentally smack herself in the face and wake up in a few minutes.

As I wrote this, I can hear that it’s not going well. My wife has been back there for almost 90 minutes, which is 30-40 more than usual. I’m not sure what the deal is. Sometimes the cat wakes her up just as she’s about to fall asleep. Sometimes the baby just doesn’t want to go down. I can relate. Sleep doesn’t always come to me easily and almost never when I have to work within someone else’s schedule. I hope my genes aren’t wreaking too much havoc in that little peanut. Let’s just blame the cat.