The Dogs Dinner

In a couple of my earlier diary entries, I’ve told you all about our 2 Dalmatian dogs, Remus and Gracie. They really are part of our family, our first born.

Quite ironically, the fact that Remus had fathered Gracie (with a little coercion), was one of the elements that led John and I to the decision ourselves, to become parents! If Remus could manage it, why on earth couldn’t we (with a little coercion)?

Well, It didn’t take me too long in my return to diary writing to plug my now, first book, Eighteen Moons. You know, I have written three books at this stage. This first story is the story of how two blokes (John and me) went about becoming a family of seven, nine if you include Remus and Gracie. Available through Amazon, simply by searching Andi Webb, that’s Andi with an ‘I’… it really is the most amazing story, filled with a whole myriad of emotions! But we persevered against huge odds, and here we are, several years on, living my big crazy family life!

So, Now is the time to reacquaint you with our two rapscallion hounds! Both a little crazy, and both act like they are still pups of 6 months old. Especially Remus, he has a very dear heart and is 100% devoted to me, and the family.

He has always been my constant, my shadow. Always there, always beside me, always needing to know that I am there for him. And Gracie applies the same tactic more or less! A dog really is for life, aren’t they?

Right, back to the dogs dinner!

I have previously explained that our dogs are on a 23 and a half hour day. Their dinnertime was 4pm around 3 years ago. But given that they would whine for an hour before they got their food, daily. After a few months their dinner would be brought forward by 30 minutes… a few months would pass, and again, given the sheer amount of whining, another jump forward of 30 minutes.

When I stopped my regular diary updates in October of 2020, Remus and Gracie’s dinner was at midday, no longer 4pm!

Well, in this more recent time, they did whine, whine, whine!

Now guess when their dinner is, these spotty dogs of mine?

A month just past, it had settled at nine…

Okay, no more rhyming, I promise!

Today the dogs dinner is in fact as soon as I get up, be that 7am or 7.30 – unbearable really as they whine at the bedroom door for the longest time!

At present, they are snuggled up beside me on the sofa. Tara watching the television, Thor, Amritsar and Aaliyah drawing at the kitchen table and Caleb, well, Caleb is running around like a headless chicken as he often does!

Just a small story today, to ease myself back into the rhythm of diary writing. Thank you for reading, and wishing you all a lovely evening.

I wonder what the weekend has in store!

The Wolf Moon 🌙 and a Return to My Diary

With Monday’s full moon in 2 days, the Wolf Moon, and the first full moon of 2022, I return to my ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’!!!

This will be the 16th full moon since I stopped my regular diary record in October of 2020.

With all of the children so established in their Monday to Friday schooling, I ask myself, will I have enough content for this diary blog? And the short answer is yes!

Our weekends are always so full of fun and the joys and the dramas of living a big crazy family life…

At this point, I should say sorry for not contributing more to my ‘high days and holidays’ promise to sharing something to this diary these last sixteen moons.

So with that said and done! Expect to see me in your feeds a little more often. And I will make you a deal! If spending this absent time from blogging in getting to grips with Instagram has taught me anything! I sincerely promise you – if you send a blog post of mine a like, I will courteously respond to your blog by reading your latest post and liking it in return. The same can be said about comments! If you comment on my post, I will respond by paying you with the very same attention and commenting back on your latest post.

It will be great to get reacquainted with you all. And hopefully our friendships will blossom once again…

My first entry on diaryofagaydad.net is a happy one as it is Daddy’s (John’s) birthday today. We have just enjoyed Birthday Cake in the kitchen and the children are all now settled and watching a movie. Sindy our nanny is still with us you will be happy to know. And she is very kindly coming in this evening to babysit, allowing Daddy and Dadda to venture out for a meal at one of our favourite local restaurants.

An update on that tomorrow perhaps. It’s lovely to be back guys.

So, now can I finally take this moment to say ‘Wishing you all a wonderful 2022’ and let us all continue to dare to dream…

A Guest Feature from Amanda Henderson ‘Moving House with Young Children – A Parents Perspective’!

Photo via pexcels

Tips for Buying and Selling a Home as a New Parent

Buying and selling a home at the same time is stressful enough as it is. For new or expecting parents, the process can be completely overwhelming! There are just so many things to consider, decisions to make, and demanding tasks to check off your to-do list. Thankfully, we’ve assembled a few resources to help you navigate the buying and selling process while keeping your stress levels to a minimum. 

Get Help Finding Your Perfect Home

House hunting isn’t easy, especially when you have young kids to think about. Get help from a local professional to find a home that’s perfectly suited for your growing family.

● Keep an eye out for family-friendly neighborhoods where you can raise your kids. ● Look for home features that will accommodate your growing family, like a big kitchen, a safe backyard space, and access to fast and reliable internet service.● Consider hiring professional movers to make your relocation as quick and reasonably painless as possible.

Don’t Blow Your Budget

Sticking to a home buying budget is essential for ensuring your new home is affordable both now and in the long run. Review your mortgage options to get a better idea of your home affordability. ● Review your various options to determine the best mortgage rates today.● Start saving for your house deposit as soon as possible.● An online mortgage calculator can help you determine your monthly payments. ● Budget with your baby’s expenses in mind.● Know what to do if your mortgage application is declined.

Get the Most From Your Home Sale

From pricing your home correctly to cleaning and staging, a little upfront work will pay off big time when it’s time to sell.● Leverage effective pricing strategies to get maximum value for your home.● Have some strategies to get your home show-ready with young kids underfoot, like keeping a laundry basket ready for quick pick-ups and saving room for it in the trunk of your car when there’s a last-minute showing.● Enlist a few good negotiation strategies to get the most money for your home when you sell.● Take steps to reduce stress when selling your home;learn some breathing exercises for tough moments, engage in meditation or yoga, and apply some aromatherapy to your day.

Buying and selling a home with kids on the way is bound to be more than a little stressful. Try not to stress over the small details. Take everything one step at a time and you’ll be moving into your new home before you know it!

Amanda Henderson and Nursery Safely (Guest Post)

Once again, thank you Amanda for today’s guest post regarding safety in your nursery! A very informative read. And something that will assist all parents with small children…

Setting Up a Nursery: Budget-Friendly Tips

When you’re expecting a baby, it’s important to think of the best ways to save money. After all, having kids is expensive! You also want to ensure that everything you choose for your child is safe and will help him learn and grow while he stays healthy; however, merging all those things can sometimes be difficult. When designing a nursery for your baby, you want to choose items that will help carry your child through several stages. This way, you get more bang for your buck. 

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to save money while designing the nursery of your dreams. The key is to start looking for deals before you make any purchases. Many stores offer discounts and coupons that can help you save while getting everything you need for the baby. You can also set up a registry, which will keep you organized while getting you a discount on the items that are left on the list after a baby shower or other celebration.

Scout Out Deals

Start looking for the best deals on all the things you need for the nursery as early as possible. You can use savings and promo codes for various online retailers, and daily deals from Amazon and weekly ads for Target offer additional ways to save money. The key is to keep your eyes open for ways to keep your budget in check while getting all the things you need. It’s also important to pay attention to reviews; for example, if you decide you want to go for a space-saving mini-crib, you need to know which ones are perfect for your child and your nursery.

Also, make repairs to the room as needed, and don’t be afraid to call in professionals. For instance, if the window in your nursery could use some TLC before the baby arrives, budget around $290 and call in a window specialist to make sure the job is done correctly. Search for “window repair near me” online and use Angi to help you decide which pro to call.

Invest in Items That will Grow with Your Child

It’s a good idea to invest in things that your child can use for years to come; for instance, buy an infant seat that can be converted as your little one grows and, as Mother.ly notes, learning toys that have more than one use. There are many options on the market these days, from bathtime tools to bouncy seats, and each one has pros and cons. Do some research before making any decisions, and read reviews on sites like Amazon so you can see what other parents have to say — especially with regard to safety. When you’re ready to purchase something, use sites like Honey to help you keep those costs down.

Saving money on toys and essentials can allow you to invest more in nursery decor items like wallpaper. You can visit a website like Spoonflower and purchase made-to-order wallpaper in just about any design you wish. You can also look at ideas for wallpaper designs for the nursery if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options. While there are many “universal” designs that are suitable for all ages, you can pick removable wallpaper (either a smooth or woven fabric) in a design that represents a specific stage of your child’s life (e.g., newborn), then simply replace the wallpaper with a different design as your child grows.

Start a Baby Registry

Setting up a baby registry will help you get all the things you need for your child’s nursery without spending a ton of money. Make sure you add small and large items so that your friends and family will have a good variety to choose from as far as price range, and ask the store about discounts on things that are left on the registry afterward. You can even set up a baby registry through retailers such as Walmart to help everyone save a little money.

Make Sure Everything’s Safe

It’s important to not only find the right toys and equipment for your baby’s educational needs but Mayo Clinic suggests also finding the right items for his safety. Think about more than just the things you’ll use every day; consider window blinds, outlets, cords, and other hazards that can be easily taken care of. 

Baby-proofing the nursery is imperative and doesn’t have to cost a lot; look online for the best safety items for your needs and price-check at a couple of different stores.

Setting up the nursery of your dreams doesn’t have to break the bank. Start with a little planning, and look both online and in-store to find the right items for your needs. It may also be helpful to check on the items you want around the holidays, as many stores will have major discounts during that time. With some preparation and a little help from friends and family, you can build the nursery you’ve always wanted and have it all ready for your little bundle of joy.

Guest Post from Amanda Henderson

Yet again, Amanda has delivered a very informed article. On this occasion: Home safety for children!

Home Safety Tips for Kids of All Ages

From the moment you learn you’re expecting to the day you drop your teen off at college, your child’s safety is a top priority. However, while most parents know the home safety basics, they miss some important parts of keeping kids safe at home. Whether you’re anxiously awaiting your first child or already have a full house, Andi Webb presents home safety resources you need.

Home Safety for Babies and Toddlers

From basic babyproofing to bringing your little one out into the world, this is what you need to know for the infant and toddler years.

Babyproofing checklist: Before your baby comes home.

How to toddler-proof your home.

6 safety tips to not forget your child in the car.

Pedestrian safety, children ages one to four years.

Raising Safety-Conscious Elementary Schoolers

As kids grow more independent, parents’ safety concerns change. These resources will help you decide when and how to give your growing kids more independence.

Online safety advice for young children.

When can you leave your kids home alone? Here are the laws in every state.

When can my child switch from a booster seat to seat belts alone?

Teach your kids to walk, bike, and cross streets safely.

Keeping Your Teens Safe

When it comes to teens, you don’t have to worry about sharp edges and electrical outlets. However, there are still some safety concerns when it comes to parenting teens and tweens.

5 internet safety tips for teens and tweens.

Learn more about online safety by studying computer science online.

What parents should know about teens, drinking, and drugs.

Independent teens: 9 safety tips for going out alone.

You can’t follow your kids everywhere they go to protect them from danger. However, there is a lot you can do to raise safe and happy children. From instilling a sense of safety in toddlers to raising responsible teens and tweens, these resources are a must-have for kids of all ages. 

Image via Unsplash

Guest Post on Disability and Parenting by Lacie Martin

http://raisethemwell.org/

Home Modifications That Will Ensure Safety for Parents with Disabilities

Parenting is the toughest job anyone can undertake. It requires equal parts devotion, patience, and wisdom, qualities that members of the disabled community possess in abundance. The skills needed to make one’s way through a differently enabled world have direct application to raising children. Of course, being a parent presents many challenges. One of these is overcoming the limitations posed by physical disabilities.

Accessibility and Child Safety

Making your home as accessible, and as safe, as possible takes on added importance when children come into the picture. It’s important to consider all the possible risks to your child, both the obvious and the less apparent. The National Safety Council and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend the following guidelines:● Keep small objects out of your child’s reach. Seemingly harmless items such as watch batteries, coins, and even cooking spices can become deadly in children’s hands. If you’re unable to reach high shelves, then consider installing locking cabinets or other safeguards.● Control access to areas of the home such as stairways, workshops, bathrooms, and kitchens by using safety gates or similar measures.● Install slip-resistant flooring such as cork, linoleum, or tile. Avoid stone, ceramic, or porcelain materials, which pose slip hazards. If new flooring is beyond your budget, then consider using rubber-backed anti-fatigue mats around sinks and cooking areas. Another option, suggested by DIY Network, is to apply anti-slip coatings to your existing floors.● Consider using offset hinges, also known as expandable hinges, for interior doorways. These can free up as much as two to three inches in a typical hallway, which is a boon for both rambunctious children and disabled adults.● Wheelchair-accessible cribs are available in a range of colors and styles. Whatever crib you use, never add blankets, toys, pillows, or other objects that can impair the child’s breathing.

Making Stairs Safer

Stair-related accidents cost up to $12 billion a year in medical bills and lost work time, according to the Los Angeles Times. Making stairways as safe as possible for children and adults is crucial for parenting preparation. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:● Adding ramps if feasible. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines specify a maximum of one inch of rise for each foot of ramp. ● Using rubber mats for each step to add extra slip resistance.● Using handrails. There are many options for making rails both attractive and easy to use.● Keeping stairs free of objects that can cause slipping or trip hazards.

Other Options to Consider

These ideas may require special equipment or the services of a remodeler. However, they’re worth considering as part of an overall home safety plan:● Using the ground floor as much as possible for sleeping, cooking, and other daily activities.● Installing closed-circuit television cameras to monitor activities inside and outside your home.● Replacing conventional bathtubs with walk-in models.

Financial or Other Assistance

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for financial aid for some of these modifications. This is especially true if you’re buying a home, as you may qualify as a first-time homebuyer.

Possible sources include:● Federal, state, or city grants.● Aid from private foundations.● Home improvement loans from commercial lenders.

When applying for these programs, focus on the practical rather than the aesthetic advantages of the renovations. Also, be aware that the grantor may have stringent requirements for the choice of contractor. Review any offer of aid thoroughly before accepting.

It takes a big person to take on the job of parenting. Your willingness to assume this role says far more about your character and abilities that any physical challenge ever could.

Guest Post on Parenting and Business by Laura Pearson

How to Launch a Thriving Business as a Stay at Home Parent. A guest Post by Laura Pearson.

Image from Pexels

Just a couple of decades ago, parents had to choose between work and staying home with their children. Today, stay-at-home parents have countless opportunities to earn income and pursue their professional passions. Launching a business has never been easier! 

If you’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur, consider starting a business while you’re at home with the little ones. This quick guide will walk you through the steps involved in launching a home-based business and how to make it work as a busy stay-at-home parent. 

Choose a Fitting Business Idea

Your business idea can make or break your business. Before going into this major undertaking, make sure your business idea is right for you. The best business ideas are born from one’s own skills and experience, so start by looking inward and thinking about what you do best — as well as what you love! Passion is a key ingredient when it comes to business success, but that’s not all. It’s just as important to find a need for your product or service in the real world.

Stay at home parents are in a unique position to identify the key issues plaguing other parents, so consider building your business idea around challenges you experience in your own life. For example, running an at-home daycare could be a great way to help out other working parents in your community. Business Idea Insight recommends several other business ideas for stay at home parents, including dog walking, toddler education, and virtual parenting guidance. You could even launch a school meal prep subscription service. Your options are endless!

Establish Your Business

Once you’re set on a business idea, the real work starts. Your first task is to establish the legal framework for your business. Choose a business name, register your business with your state, and call your local permit department to find out which laws and regulations apply to your business. This is also a good time to find out if you will need to apply for a business license. Certain professionals, including mechanics, accountants, and cosmetologists, must be licensed to operate legally. 

As you get established, consider forming an LLC to protect yourself from personal liabilities and gain access to special tax advantages. As ZenBusiness explains, the process of forming an LLC differs from state to state, so make sure you read up on the requirements that apply to you before moving forward. 

Find Your Balance

Running a business and raising kids is a delicate juggling act, but it’s not impossible. Your success in this department will depend on your ability to manage your time effectively. Think about all of the things that are going to demand your time throughout the day, whether it’s preparing meals, cleaning the house, or dropping off and picking up kids. Establish a regular schedule that accounts for all of these time constraints and include certain hours of the day when you can direct 100% of your focus to your business. 

Know When to Hire Help

One of the most important skills you can have as a home-based entrepreneur is knowing when to hire help. There will come a time when the demands of your business exceed your availability. When you reach this point, trying to do everything yourself just isn’t realistic. 

Consider hiring freelancers to handle lower-level tasks so you can focus on other aspects of your business. Hiring professional contractors is also a great way to access expertise that you may lack, whether it’s web development, copywriting, or marketing. If you do decide to hire freelancers, make sure they sign an independent contractor agreement so you can avoid issues with employment laws. 

If you want to start a business, you might be wondering just how you’re going to juggle the demands of parenting and business ownership at the same time. Make sure you have all the tools you need to rise to the challenge! Choose a business idea that you’re passionate about, plan ahead, practice effective time management, and hire help when it’s needed. 

Are you looking for more relatable content about the joys and struggles of stay-at-home parenting? Look to Andi Webb for fun blog posts and advice from one parent to another.