Saturday, October 23, 2021

SING YOUR SONG

the harmonica pocket sing your song

As my kids have entered middle-school, we've had some tear jerking moments regarding bullying and peer pressure that have put them in some tough situations. The tween and teen-aged years are a time of finding self-identity and it can be hard for kids to stay true to their self nature as they feel compelled to fit in with the crowd. This can cause anxiety, misbehavior and other troubles as kids try to be who others want them to be. 

That is why establishing a good foundation of self worth and confidence with children in their preschool and elementary school years is so important. One way of doing that is exposing them to uplifting messaging while having an entertaining time by the family enjoying kindie rock together. With that in mind, I wanted to give a plug to the newest album from The Harmonica Pocket titled SING YOUR SONG which is filled with music that is not just fun to listen to but has content to promote the value of self-identity and being proud to be your own person with children.

the harmonica pocket

The Harmonic Pocket is led by singer-songwriter Keeth Monta Apgar. He is joined by a number of musical artists in this album made for families to enjoy together. SING YOUR SONG revolves around the theme of "being yourself, in hopes of empowering young people," Apgar mentioned in pitching the album to a Geek Daddy. “The primary message could be summed up in this couplet from the title song: ‘You may not sound like everybody else/But you sound just like yourself.’ In other words, be yourself because you’re the only one who can sing the song that lives inside your heart.”

One of Apgar’s favorite vocalists, Renee Stahl, of Renee & Jeremy, sings harmony on the title track. Renee and Apgar are accompanied on electric bass by beloved children’s musician Johnny Bregar and by first-call Seattle drummer Eric Eagle. Check out a special solo acoustic performance of the title track Sing Your Song by Apgar that is a little bit unique from the song on the album:



Other highlights of the album include a giddy nonsense number, “Everything Is Everywhere,” sung as a duet by Apgar and his childhood friend Tom Gilhuley, backed by Johnny Bregar and Nashville percussionist Kevin Rapillo, who has, for nearly two decades, played drums for country music star Rodney Atkins. “I Can Be The Princess” challenges some of the outdated gender roles that people still tend to slip into, while celebrating the imaginative play of children. The lovely “Wee A Tilly” is so evocative of traditional Celtic folksong that it inspired Apgar’s collaboration with Russian illustrator Ekaterina Bogdan on a beautiful music video. The Harmonica Pocket’s version of “Stand By Me” is a masterful rendition of one of the most memorable songs of the sixties. Apgar noted, “I love this song’s simple message of sticking together despite – and because of – our differences.”



The Harmonica Pocket SING YOUR SONG is available on Amazon.com. Buy it with a Geek Daddy affiliate link and this dad blogger will receive a small commission at no additional expense to your purchase.

Courtesy of Keeth Monta Apgar, a Geek Daddy also has 3 copies of The Harmonica Pocket's SING YOUR SONG to giveaway. Our lucky winner's can choose to receive a digital download of the album r have Apgar's publicist mail you a compact disc of The Harmonica Pocket's SING YOUR SONG. Just complete the rafflecopter entries below before 11:59pm ET on November 7, 2021 for a chance to win. Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to participate in this promotion. Good luck!

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Thursday, October 21, 2021

DISNEY'S THE LION KING RETURNS TO DETROIT OPERA HOUSE IN 2022

disney lion king

Tickets for the long-awaited return engagement to Detroit of Disney’s The Lion King will go on sale to the public on Friday, October 22, 2021. Your favorite characters from the Disney animated movie come to life and will leap onto the Detroit Opera House stage beginning January 27, 2022 for a limited engagement that runs through Sunday, February 20, 2022. The show’s four-week engagement in 2017 played a sold-out run at the Detroit Opera House. 

This Detroit Opera House engagement of The Lion King will play Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Premium Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a souvenir program and an exclusive cinch bag, are also available. You can purchase tickets at the Fisher Theatre Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com or BroadwayInDetroit.com. Ticket prices start at $25. Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling 313-871-1132. 

A special Open Captioned performance will be Sunday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice. Broadway In Detroit uses Ticketmaster as its sole, authorized ticketing agent. Individual tickets purchased from a ticket broker or “third party” ticket reseller involves risk and may not be authentic, sold at box office prices, or with correct performance and venue information. Broadway In Detroit box offices cannot verify tickets sold through a third party or ticket reseller. Broadway In Detroit is also unable to contact third party purchasers with pertinent updates or changes regarding performances. 

disney lion king

Following the lead of Broadway and concert venues across the country, Broadway In Detroit theatre patrons will be required to show proof of a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the performance date or proof of full Covid-19 vaccination before they will be admitted into the venue. Additionally, all patrons will be required to wear a mask while inside the theatre regardless of one’s vaccination status. 

Disney on Broadway performances are recommended for a general audience. As an advisory to adults who might bring young people, Disney recommends its productions for ages 6 and up. Children under the age of 2 will not be admitted to The Lion King tour performances. Children ages 2-11 will not need to show proof of negative Covid test or vaccine to attend The Lion King at the Detroit Opera House. 

All persons entering the theater, regardless of age, must have a ticket and will be required to wear a mask at all times except when actively eating or drinking. All ticket purchasers will receive a Broadway In Detroit Health & Safety Guide via email in the weeks prior to their performance. This guide will also be posted on the company’s website (BroadwayInDetroit.com) and available at the Fisher Theatre box office. It will have the latest information on the company’s health and safety protocols as well as information on what to expect when you arrive at the theatre. 

detroit theater

The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 20 million theatergoers. Having already played more than 90 cities across North America, The Lion King now proudly returns to Detroit at the Detroit Opera House.

Photos courtesy of Broadway In Detroit. All rights reserved.

IMPORTANT TECHNIQUES YOUR BABYSITTER SHOULD KNOW

babysitting tips

Hiring a babysitter can be an easy way to get some time off. But as a parent, you need to ensure your babysitter knows the basics of child care before leaving your children with them. Here are five baby care techniques your babysitter should know about: 

Feeding and Burping the Baby 

Feeding and burping the baby is a crucial part of taking care of your infant. Your babysitter should know how to do this properly, as it can help prevent several problems. 

If the babysitter is feeding your infant formula or breast milk from a bottle, they should know how to hold the bottle for your baby. The babysitter needs to make sure that they are holding it at a 45-degree angle when feeding and never tilt it downwards, which can cause choking or ear infections. 

When the babysitter is lying down, they should use one hand to support the baby’s head and neck. When sitting up, the babysitter should hold your baby with their arm under their bottom, using their other hand to gently pat or rub them on the back until your child burps. Equally, your babysitter needs to be well acquainted with various ways of relieving baby congestion

Checking the Body Vitals 

The babysitter should know how to check the baby’s pulse rate, respiration, and temperature. Checking these vitals will allow them to monitor and detect if your child is experiencing any health problems or discomfort that they may not communicate verbally just yet. 

The faster you know of a problem, the more likely you can manage it successfully before it gets out of hand. For example, infants’ body temperatures have less leeway before becoming dangerous, so knowing what feels normal and determining when something isn’t right is imperative in preventing injury or illness from occurring. 

Soothing/Lulling the Baby 

Your babysitter must know how to soothe the baby. They should know a variety of different techniques and be able to use them at any time accordingly. 

The first technique is swaddling, which involves tightly wrapping the child in a blanket or cloth that is appropriate for their age and size. Swaddling helps babies feel safe, as if you are still holding them. In addition, swaddling can help with both types of problematic behaviors: fussy behavior or self-soothing behaviors. 

Another way a babysitter might try soothing the child is by using a pacifier. This is a great technique to help soothe the baby, but it can be difficult if they are not used to using one already. Your babysitter must know when and how much pressure should be applied.

In addition to these two techniques, create a calm environment with dim lighting and soft lullabies playing in the background, massage therapy may also prove effective for soothing/lulling an infant into sleep mode! 

Playing With the Baby 

Your babysitter should know how to play with your baby. This means they should be able to understand the basics of what makes them happy and replicate this in different scenarios to keep your child’s moods high while you’re out at work or on vacation. 

Playing peek-a-boo – Babies love surprises! They will get a huge kick out of it when someone throws a blanket over themselves then pops back up like magic. Peekaboo also builds trust between the babysitter and your baby by showing no monsters hiding under the bed. 

Playing with toys – Babies are never too young to start playing! They love it when things move, so rattles and mobiles are excellent choices for babysitters who want to keep them happy. 

Integrating the Baby With Siblings 

When you have a newborn, it can be hard to find time for yourself. Consider getting a babysitter who will help integrate your newborn into the family as well as helping take care of other children in an efficient way. If you have an older child, it’s a good idea to let them help choose the babysitter. This will make your children feel more comfortable around their new caregiver and give them a chance to get acquainted with the routine before the baby comes home! 

Conclusion 

The babysitting job is critical and requires an understanding of how to keep your children safe. You may have thought about what different skills you would look for in a sitter. These techniques are fundamental for the babysitter to know. So, it would help if you were sure that your sitter is familiar with them before hiring them. If they do not, it may be time to look elsewhere!

CELEBRATE THE HOWL-OWEEN SEASON WITH ZOO GUARDIANS

zoo guardians
Who else enjoys playing ZOO GUARDIANS? This game for Apple and Android mobile devices lets players build their own zoos with some guidance from the Smithsonian National Zoo. Become a Zoo Guardian of endangered animals as you learn about conservation and fun facts about the creatures you are carrying for. My kids and I love visiting zoos and our whole family has been geeked about this game that lets us design our own zoological parks.

During Howl-oween you can be a BOO Guardian. Enjoy this exclusive promo code Boo2021 which will let you unlock some cool Zoo animals. The code is only valid until November 7, 2021 so don't wait around to take advantage of it.

For more information or to download the game, head over to zooguardians.com 


Sunday, October 17, 2021

GALAXY QUEST THE INSIDE STORY

Galaxy Quest

By Grabthar’s hammer! For more than two decades the crew of the Protector has delighted sci-fi fans with their high jinks in the movie Galaxy Quest. Intended as a parody of sci-fi television shows and movies, Galaxy Quest not only provides audiences with laughs but a quality science fiction story in its own right. Learn the inside story about the creation of Galaxy Quest from the cast and crew who worked on producing this film that expanded beyond a comedy to develop its own a cult following of diehard sci-fi fans who love the flick in a new book from Hero Collector.

Thanks to Hero Collector for providing a Galaxy Quest: The Inside Story for this blog to review and a copy of the book for a Geek Daddy to giveaway. This 200 page hardcover book is sure to delight science fiction fan who enjoys delving into the movie magic behind Hollywood motion pictures. This authorized book takes readers through the whole process of making the movie from concept art used in crafting the imagery of the film to the marketing materials utilized in promoting Galaxy Quest to the public. Start off your journey delving into the making of Galaxy Quest with a foreword by the movie's director Dean Parisot as the beginning of the book.

Galaxy Quest The Inside Story

Inspired by Star Trek actors who seemed forever type cast into their role, David Howard an office temp by day and aspiring writer by night who moved to California with the dream of making it big in Hollywood penned a screenplay called "Captain Starshine." It was the story of "a guy hopelessly mired in the role of being a sci-fi hero." The chance of his script being picked up by a Hollywood studio was 1 in 10,000 but five years later his story now named "Galaxy Quest" was showing on movie theater screens around the world and featured a stellar cast that included Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver and Tony Shalhoub.

Tim Allen

Your chance to learn more about this fantastic story is much better than 1 in 10,000 if you enter to win a copy of Galaxy Quest: The Inside Story from a Geek Daddy. Simply complete the rafflecopter entries below before 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, October 24, 2021. Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to participate in this promotion. Good luck!

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Fortunately for Galaxy Quest fans, Howard's script caught the attention of fledgling Hollywood studio Dream Works which was looking for family-friendly stories that would capture the attention and dollars of movie goers. Steven Spielberg who was moving beyond directing to executive producing films for Dream Works was captivated by the concept of "Captain Starshine" and greenlighted the project. Two years later Galaxy Quest was on the silver screen.

Galaxy Quest: The Inside Story includes over 60 interviews with the movie's cast and crew, including Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell and Dean Parisot as well as previously unpublished photos and concept art from the film's production. It also provides an in-depth look into the film's audio and visual effects. Artists at ILM and Stan Winston Studio share with readers how a mixture of miniatures, puppets, prosthetics and CGI brought to life the incredible monsters and starships of Galaxy Quest.

the making of Galaxy Quest
pig lizard

This book earned a Geek Daddy nod of approval because of the amazing content it is chock full of. Inside stories about last minute changes to the script, behind-the-scenes pictures of modelers creating the Protector, artwork that inspired the costumes and sets used in filming are just a few of the topics covered in this wonderful book. Whether you are a movie buff or a science fiction junkie, Galaxy Quest: The Inside Story provides an insightful look into the making of a fantastic movie. 

galaxy quest

Buy Galaxy Quest: The Inside Story utilizing a Geek Daddy affiliate link and this blogger will receive a small commission at no additional expense to your purchase. Commissions are reinvested into the blog to provide non-sponsored content to share with you. Your support of ageekdaddy.com is appreciated!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A FAMILY CAR

family car buying tips

Finding a safe family car can be difficult chore. These days there are so many factors to consider, from safety ratings to size and design for the family. Here are five things that parents should look for when looking for a safe vehicle for their family to transport children in. 

Vehicle Safety 

Safety is the number one priority for any car, and it is much more complex than just strapping on seatbelts. Parents should look at the safety ratings of each vehicle they are considering to ensure that their children will be safe riding in them. They should also consider additional safety features such as autonomous braking systems, which can help avoid crashes or mitigate damage when a collision does occur. It is easier than ever to review vehicle safety information by doing some research online. 

Cool Gadgets 

Cool gadgets are an absolute must in a family vehicle. If your kids are constantly on their devices or watching movies, having a family vehicle with charging ports for multiple devices will help keep them entertained without draining your battery life. Another option would be to look at cars that offer built-in high-quality sound systems which allow each child to play their music through Bluetooth or auxiliary cables. Also, look for vehicles with modern infotainment systems like Apple CarPlay

Sufficient Space 

Space in a family car is vital. Not only for your child's safety but also for their comfort and ability to enjoy the ride. If you have multiple children, it may be beneficial to look at cars that offer third-row seating, which allows up to three additional passengers. Long family trips require enough space to prevent family members from becoming irritable. Larger vehicles also have the added advantage of more cargo space for vacations or larger items like strollers. 

Car Seat Compatibility 

If you have a child under the age of eight, car seat compatibility is critical. Not only will it keep your children safe in an accident, but it also makes their ride more comfortable and enjoyable by allowing them to sit comfortably. Make sure that when looking at family vehicles, they are compatible with respected car seat brands. If you are not sure how to check information like child car seat compatibility, be sure to get in touch with a car dealer like edmunds, who can provide you with the correct information. 

Fuel Efficiency 

Fuel efficiency is an often-overlooked factor in family cars. However, it should be considered due to the sheer amount of time your child will spend riding in their vehicle. Look for cars that offer high fuel economy without sacrificing too much on size or safety features. This will help save you money on gas and make long trips more manageable and less costly. Instead of spending money on gas, use the savings to make special memories with your family or use it to finance an interesting activity. 

In conclusion, finding a safe family car can be time consuming but is worth the effort of doing your due diligence to ensure you pick a vehicle that meets your family's need and comfort level. Parents should keep these five things in mind before making their final choice. Don't rush in and suffer buyer's remorse a day or two later.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU BALANCE WORK WITH A NEW BABY

balancing work with a new baby

Juggling the responsibilities that come with your job as well as handling a new baby can sometimes feel like an impossible task. That being said, there are things that you can do to try and make it easier on yourself. Here are a few dad life tips for balancing work with a new baby. 

Set up a Calendar 

Having a place where everyone’s schedules meet up with one another properly will really help you to manage everything. You need to try and keep an eye on everyone’s comings and goings. You also need to try and make sure that you manage the chaos that comes with family life. 

At a glance, you need to be able to see what you are doing that week. Ideally, you will document things for the whole family, including your new baby. Create a shared calendar, which can be either on Google or even on a family organizer app. Doing this will allow you to access your calendar on your phone when on the go or you can easily keep track of things when around the house. 

Your calendar should ideally make it clear, who is going to be picking up your child from daycare on any given day. It should also note any additional changes, whether there is going to be a doctor’s appointment or whether there are going to be any other commitments. Daycare closings and work obligations are important and therefore should be listed and highlighted. 

Find Good Childcare 

One way for you to try and alleviate a lot of the stress and the guilt about going to work is finding great childcare. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a nanny or whether you choose to go to a large daycare center because you have to try and do your research. You need to get recommendations and you also need to interview any day centers if you can. By doing this, you can then make sure that everyone is going to be happy with the decision and you can also communicate any concerns that you might have. Remember that a child being in daycare doesn't mean you still won't be a huge part of his or her life. 

Divide and Conquer 

Sharing your responsibilities can help to make a lot of difference. Try and get your partner involved as much as possible and also make sure that you are both on the same page. Coordinate any of your schedules and also make sure that you discuss any childcare arrangements. 

Don’t forget to make a sick day plan too. If your child gets sick and they need to go to the doctor then you need to find out who is going to handle that, and who is going to leave work early. If you can anticipate needs like this, then you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to try and stay on top of things. 

Have a Babysitter 

Even the best-laid plans can fall through from time to time. That is why it is a good idea for you to have a babysitter in place. You need someone who can step in if your current babysitter cancels or if you find that your daycare is closed. If you can anticipate needs like this, then you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to get the best result out of your hard work. Look out for the signs of baby growth spurts to prepare for any extra food or clothing they may need to avoid potential difficulties for your caregiver while you are at work. 

Make your Mornings Easy 

Create a routine that is consistent if you can. Ideally, your routine needs to be consistent for your child and any other family members. If you can do this, then you will be able to get out of the door faster or if you work from home, you will be able to get a much faster start. 

Babies and children tend to be unpredictable, so try and be realistic and also be flexible with your schedule. If you can do this, then you will soon find that you can deal with any situation. Try and do all your preparation the night before so you aren't rushed in the morning. This can include packing up lunches and snacks, but it can also include preparing bottles and even laying out everyone’s clothes. It may also include showering, getting a diaper bag ready and just being organized in general. If you can do this, then you will soon find life is a whole lot easier.

Work Support 

Make sure that you have an honest and open relationship with your employer if you can. Talk to them about illness and ask them, when you do get back to work, what their policies are for sick children. You might want to ask them if you can work from home if your child does fall ill, or if it is possible for you to work a flexible schedule. The same should apply to any doctor’s appointments. If you need two hours at an appointment, is it possible for you to make up that time in the future? 

Ask About Leave 

Ask about leave as well. Leave policies don’t tend to be standardized at all, so talk with your employer about baby bonding, paternity leave, personal leave, unpaid leave, sick leave and more. If you are able to do all of this then everyone will know where they stand and you may even find that it is more than possible for you to get the support you need, when you need it.