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Alleke is 5 years old

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Hi, my name is Kelly and I write about being a dad. Let me tell you more about me...

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89% of fathers go to the mother of their child as their main source of help to be a better father

Fatherhood.org says that 89% of fathers go to the mother of their child as their main source of help to be a better father. This Father’s Day give dad a book on fatherhood: http://becomingdadbook.com

Father's Day Gift Idea: Book on Fatherhood for New Fathers

Belly Art

Watch our midwife draw the baby on April’s belly for our son Teo…

Free ebook for New Fathers

I recently published a book called Becoming Dad: A True Story of One Man’s Transformation from Clueless Husband to Involved and Nurturing Father. I’m giving away a big chunk of the book (the pregnancy section) as a free ebook.

http://www.becomingdadbook.com/free-ebook/

Enjoy!

Parenting Book for a New Generation of Involved and Nurturing Fathers

Within weeks of getting pregnant, April had a stack of parenting books waiting on my nightstand, complete with neat, hand-written bookmarks telling me which chapters I needed to read. In nine months, I had learned everything about April giving birth, becoming a mother, and how I could support her. What I wanted and couldn’t find was a book by a normal guy telling me about becoming a dad. The last thing I needed was more expert advice, a ten-step plan or fancy pie charts. I just wanted someone to give it to me straight, “What was parenting going to be like for me?”

To answer this question, I started this blog in 2006 as a way of sharing my experience with other new dads and also hearing their stories through their comments, emails and blogs. What I discovered was that I was not alone. In fact, there was a growing number of clueless husbands out there like me that wanted to become involved and nurturing fathers. They had no idea how they were going to do it, but they were determined. These dads inspired me to start writing a book, which is called Becoming Dad. It’s not your typical parenting book, by design. Instead, the book maps out the process of becoming a dad for a new generation of fathers through a collection of stories.

Take a minute to flip through Becoming Dad for yourself over at Amazon.com.

This blog post was sponsored by Giraffe Childcare Dublin.

Children’s Book featuring Alleke

Book Cover: Clara Has a Baby Brother

I’ll be doing my first ever book signing this Saturday in Madrid. It’s a children’s book called Clara Has a Baby Brother. It’s bilingual in English and Spanish, and Alleke is the protagonist. Also, Alejandra Quiceno (www.kalakita.com) will be showing 12 of her illustrations for kids and also doing face painting. We’ll see if I can convince April to make some of her famous chocolate-chip cookies!

If you’re so unlucky as not to live in Madrid, and thus, will not be in attendance this Saturday, BUT you’re still eagerly awaiting the chance to get your hands on this fine piece of literature for the very youngest of readers, well, there’s hope for you! The book should magically appear on Amazon in the next couple weeks. I’ll keep you posted! Also, if there’s interest in getting a peek at the book online before it’s officially released, leave a comment, and I’ll see what I can do!

Dear John

Spain Dad, a baby blog celebrated its fifth birthday in February. This milestone has given me the chance to reflect on my original purpose for this blog. In 2006 when April first got pregnant, I remember she had a stack of parenting books waiting on my nightstand, complete with neat, hand-written bookmarks telling me which chapters I needed to read.

In nine months, I learned everything about my wife giving birth, becoming a mother, and how I could support her. What I wanted and couldn’t find was the story of a first-time dad discovering how to be an involved and nurturing parent. The last thing I needed was more expert advice, a ten-step plan or fancy pie charts. I just wanted someone to give it to me straight, “What was parenting going to be like for me?”

Spain Dad, a baby blog is the story I wanted and couldn’t find.

At the same time that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve also been working on a book with the same purpose. Many of your favorite stories from this blog are featured in the book, but they’ve been put through the rigorous editorial process necessary for print publication. New material has been written exclusively for the book. Also, the collection of stories has been reworked as a whole to tell a cohesive story with a clear sense of plot, theme and character development.

For now, I’ve decided to stop writing on this blog in order to give my full time and attention to getting the book published, as well as a handful of children’s books that feature Alleke as the main character. In the future, I do plan on starting a new blog, but I’m not sure yet what it will be about. If you would like to receive news about the progress of these books or the new blog, leave your email address in the blank below and click “Subscribe.”

I would like to receive your updates…

Thanks for reading!

Kelly Crull

Peek-a-Boo, Jesus

I think Teo thinks prayer is just another game of Peek-a-Boo…

Kissing Disease

an outtake from our engagement photos, 1999

How romantic is it that just before Valentine’s Day I caught a virus called the kissing disease? Or maybe it’s not romantic at all since April didn’t get it too. Hmmm…

Anyway, this morning while I was lying on the couch resting, April had the following conversation with one of the grandmas that drops her granddaughter off at school.

“How’s your husband? Is he feeling any better?”

“About the same,” April said.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” the grandma said, and then turned to one of the other grandmas and whispered, “He has the same thing I had…but for men.”

I’m still giggling as I write this down. I’m not sure what this grandma thinks I have, but considering she seems to know everyone and their dog in our neighborhood, let’s hope that tomorrow morning when I go to the café for a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice and a tostada con tomate, I don’t overhear the waiters whispering to each other, “Isn’t he the guy going through menopause?”

The Sun is a Planet

Alleke's drawing of the Solar System

Alleke's drawing of the Solar System

Alleke has been trying to convince me all week that the sun is a planet. When I dug out our set of cardboard planets, laid them out on the table in front of her, and asked her to explain why there was no sun, she ignored my question, and instead returned to her original argument, which she had been beating like a dead horse. “Elena told me the sun is a planet,” Alleke said, referring to her teacher who had recently begun teaching the class about the solar system.

I even looked up the definition of a planet according to the International Astronomical Union, commonly referring to as the IAU, but Alleke still insisted that Elena, her teacher, was the final authority.

So, of course, I decided to go to the source. I told Alleke to go back to school after lunch and ask her teacher again if the sun was a planet. She came home from school that afternoon and told me that Elena had confirmed that indeed the sun was a planet.

This morning, as a last resort, I told Alleke to ask Elena if the sun was a planet while Mom was still at school, so that we had a witness.

April returned from school, and I said, “And?…”

April bit her lip and grinned. “Well, Elena said that here in Spain they teach about los planetas or “the planets,” and they say the sun is part of them.”

*********************

Having lived outside of my country for the last eight years, I’ve grown accustomed to having my basic beliefs questioned. For example, when I was asked how many continents there are in the world, I said seven, and everyone else said six. I had never heard of the continent of Eurasia. So, actually, I’m not at all surprised to find out that Alleke’s teacher thinks the sun is a planet. I’ve learned how to slaughter my sacred cows.

What I’ve come to realize, however, is that I’m at a disadvantage as a parent. In this case, I don’t know if I should believe Elena. Maybe everyone in Spain does think the sun is a planet…or maybe Elena is full of it. I don’t know what to believe because April and I have chosen to raise our kids in a culture where we didn’t grow up. While other parents rely on the conventional wisdom passed down to them from their culture, April and I have to fact-check, constantly.

The fact that I can’t assume anything to be true or that I’m on the same page as the teacher makes me less confident as a parent.

Microteatro Por Dinero

What does it say about me and my friends that when we heard the bedrooms in an old brothel had been converted into miniature kids’ theaters with 15 min. shows for 3 euros, we all turned to each other and said in unison, “Why didn’t I think of that!”

Despite the fact that we had to push our baby strollers down a street lined with prostitutes to get to the theater, one of the moms still asked the woman at the ticket counter if she could get a job there.

Alleke liked the puppet show where the kids had to look for the moon under the pillows they were sitting on, and then got invited to the moon’s birthday party where they got to hollar the Happy Birthday Song. As we were walking out, Alleke was hanging on my arm and saying, “Please, please, please can we see another one.”

I said no because the puppet show was still expensive. All four of us had to pay to see the play, even Teo who is one. Plus, I’ve discovered all kinds of activities for kids on the weekends that don’t cost money, and I can’t justify the cost when money is tight.

Still, I had to bring my kids to this ex-whore house with baby strollers parked out front. Of course the kids don’t know anything about the history behind those bedrooms—and trust me, I don’t want them to for a very long time—but I still wanted them to be a part of it. I wanted them to bring their innocence and laughter into this place because after all, I’m a sucker for hope. I suppose all these years following Jesus have led me to believe that even in the darkest places, there is always Hope. Plants have a way of growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk, if you know what I mean.

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