15 Minutes of Fame

What a few weeks. Your neighborhood Dad Blogger became the newest viral sensation. I was a Kardashian (minus 40 billion dollars). I was Barstool Sports when they hit it big. I was everywhere you turned… no, but really.. it was fun while it lasted:

independant record

The number of online articles, magazines, newspapers and news outlets that picked up the story was amazing.  Some wanted interviews and others just a few quotes about the project, but it was a lot of fun feeling famous for a few minutes! (and let’s face it nothing beats being the #1 best blog on “Stairs”).

Besides having a bunch of great articles written about the project, there were just as many amazing comments on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest:

Going viral isn’t always a good thing… just look at whats happening with… well anyone who does something stupid on Facebook Live or Twitter… but in this case… going viral was pretty cool… it definitely provided me with a way to connect with people all over the world that I would otherwise not have been able to.  New Harry Potter fans and a lot of new readers on the blog are a direct result of this project… which is pretty cool!

Some of the Facebook posts had literally hundreds of thousands of interactions:

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The “Love What Matters” post and article has had over 10,000 unique interactions

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My original post on my Facebook account (where all the hoopla started) has had over 3,000 likes and shares.

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After the Parents Magazine article, they posted the video review of the project which has had over 120,000 views.

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People from everywhere were commenting on the project.  The world was my oyster for about two weeks…

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The shaded areas show where Chronicles of a New Dad was viewed in the few days after the Cupboard Under the Stairs blog was published. (Darker the color the more views there were
Here are links to some of the better articles and interviews that were written:
  1. https://www.fatherly.com/play/father-builds-replica-cupboard-under-stairs-harry-potter/
  2. https://www.popsugar.com/moms/Dad-Re-creates-Harry-Potter-Cupboard-Under-Stairs-44489977
  3. https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/everything-kids/dad-recreated-the-cupboard-under-the-stairs-from-harry-potter/
  4. http://www.scarymommy.com/harry-potter-cupboard-under-stairs-reading-nook/
  5. https://www.babble.com/parenting/peter-fragola-harry-potter-cupboard-under-the-stairs/
  6. https://www.purewow.com/news/dad-recreates-harry-potter-cupboard-under-the-stairs
  7. http://www.yuryz.com/youve-got-to-see-this-dads-harry-potter-inspired-cupboard-under-the-stairs/
  8. https://www.simplemost.com/dad-remakes-harry-potter-cupboard-under-stairs/
  9. https://www.beano.com/posts/someones-dad-has-given-their-cupboard-under-the-stairs-a-harry-potter-makeover
  10. https://www.thebump.com/news/dad-builds-harry-potter-cupboard-under-the-stairs
  11. http://www.cluebees.com/more/just-in/this-father-recreated-the-Harry-Potters-room
  12. http://diply.com/dad-creates-harry-potter-cupboard?publisher=different-solutions&config=21
  13. http://helenair.com/lifestyles/simplemost/dad-recreated-harry-potter-s-cupboard-under-the-stairs-for/article_2de9793e-d097-5a08-b5e8-5c9811c4dac1.html
  14. http://www.morefm.co.nz/home/trending/2018/01/dad-builds-sons-the-perfect-harry-potter-reading-corner-under-th.html
  15. https://vipleyo.com/america/baby/2018/01/11/this-dads-harry-potter-cupboard-under-the-stairs-is-all-sorts-of-amazing/
  16. https://www.magicmum.com/dads-recreation-of-harry-potters-room-is-what-dreams-are-made-of/http://www.morefm.co.nz/home/trending/2018/01/dad-builds-sons-the-perfect-harry-potter-reading-corner-under-th.html
  17. http://harrypotter.trendolizer.com/2018/01/dad-recreated-the-cupboard-under-the-stairs-from-harry-potter-for-his-sons.html
  18. http://www.kidspot.com.au/parenting/parenthood/dads/dad-builds-a-potteresque-cupboard-under-the-stairs-and-we-want-one/news-story/d5feb87822f3f27eb077b51b46425c93

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

There was something about this house that stood out the first time I walked inside… it wasn’t the normal things that people might notice like a kitchen, bathroom or storage space… it was The Cupboard Under the Stairs that stood out for me.   Immediately I knew I would have some pretty big plans to carry out. As an elementary school principal and former teacher I know how important it is for children to have a space of their own to read and do school work, and a space where they feel comfortable.  Clearly I took my inspiration from the famous cupboard where Harry Potter spent most of his childhood.

The project took about two weeks total to complete (as I was doing a little bit of work each night after Jackson and Oliver went to bed).  The first and most difficult part was the actual planning of the project.  With so many amazing Harry Potter related ideas floating around in my head it was hard to narrow it down to a few so that the boys could actually fit in there.  The before was a blank canvas… just a bare, cold storage space that was not very inviting:

I wanted to give the room a warm feeling, especially since these cold winter months here in CT are a great time to get comfortable and read your favorite book.  I chose to go with Harry’s school colors: Gryffindor maroon and gold. The Harry Potter series provided us with so many amazing quotes, so I wanted to have some of my favorite visible each time you walk into the cupboard.  They are a good reminder for the boys… “have fun, work hard, and stay true and honest.”

The walls had a few scribbles from the previous owners, but were otherwise bare and white. What better way to get to know some of the most beloved characters in the series than to have them represented collage style? The Daily Prophet front pages provided a perfect way to feel the ups and downs of the seven books… from Harry Potter winning the Tri-Wizard Tournament to The Dark Lord Returning… these front page newspaper headlines did just that!  (I used Mod Podge to seal the walls in case sticky little toddler fingers sneak in a snack at some point!)

Completing the walls and with the Daily Prophet headlines, brought us to a big decsion… did Jackson (as the oldest he had final decision making powers) want a window in his newly created Cupboard Under the Stairs????  Of course the answer was a resounding, “YES!” and why not… its not like his dad lacks any type of real wood working skills… (just kidding, I had no idea what I was doing!)  But, honestly it wasn’t that hard… I found a really cool looking picture frame that utilized a window shutter design and just installed that on the existing wall and presto (magical pun intended!):

… add in some faux brick to give it a, “your about to enter Diagon Alley look” and the cupboard was complete with a working window:

The ceiling was full of nails and staples from the hard wood above… and if my sons inherited any of the “clumsy gene” from their father, it would not be long before we were bandaging children’s heads… so with some work from a hammer and a great second hand find, (Harry Potter Quidditch sheets), the ceiling seemed safe enough while also providing a great view of the Golden Snitch about to be caught! (I covered the header beams with parts of the Marauder’s Map in case the boys needed to see what was going on at Hogwarts as well.)

Of course no reading room can have a hard wood floor… you need a plush carpet to curl up and read on… if you take out the face that the guy at Home Depot needed three hours to figure out how to work the carpet cutter… this part was pretty easy to do.

Lastly, no Harry Potter themed room is complete without its very own Hedwig, and as Prof. Lockhart would say, a troublesome Cornish Pixie. Add in a few pillows and a Marauders’ Map blanket and Jackson and Oliver will be off reading about Harry Potter and friends in no time!!!

Now we could just get the kids to dress like this all the time we’d be all set! LOL

PS: why does the Harry Potter series resinate with me so much… read about that here:

https://chroniclesofanewdad.com/2016/07/26/visiting-with-an-old-friend-harry-potter/

Visiting an Old Friend: Harry Potter

Hubris

Me after listening to eight hours of crying


I thought I had this parenting thing all figured a while back when Jackson hit a groove and was easing up on requiring parental services for every part of this life.  When the new guy came along we hit our stride pretty quickly and got a routine up and running the minute we were home from the hospital. For the first few weeks, the baby would sleep in the doc-a-tot thing or even in the Rock and play. I had no worries of long sleepless nights and knew once Oliver checked out A-OK for allergies this was going to be a piece of cake. 

I had False visions of a snoring little bundle of joy, peacefully dreaming while I watched his little face smiling back at me.  I’d be able to look over emails and complete teacher observation write-ups. I’d be able to binge watch on Netflix and get back to writing on a more consistent basis. Heck I’d even maybe up my to reading a more than two books a month. 

That was until I realized that my son was being possessed by Voldemort… before I came to the conclusion that he was housing a piece of Voldemort’s souls inside him… before I spent eight straight hours bouncing, walking, soothing, or rocking this evil little dark wizard from 9-5pm every night… before I heard the decibels of screaming that this child’s tiny voice box could produce… before I went three straight weeks with little to no sleep. 

And you know what… that’s my bad. I shouldn’t have been so cocky. I shouldn’t have counted my eggs before they hatched. I should have banked as much sleep as I could early on. And that’s what happens when you fly too close to the sun. Too much confidence will “melt the wax on your wings” and send you to a certain death. It happened to Icarus and its now happened to me. 

Birthday Thanks

I have never been a huge fan of birthdays.  I’m just not someone who enjoys he spotlight or wants to draw attention to mysel…… hahhahahaa I almost got through that with out laughing out loud.   

I wanted to share some of my more enjoyable birthday wishes…   

pretty much sums me up

 

it’s like looking into a mirror

#Truth

Facebook is basically my calandet

  

Who needs enemies wwhen you have friends like this

  

This would be awesome ##DeathEatersAsClowns #IHateClowns

    

Gotta love family

  

Birthdays used to be about me… Not that I ever really was all about birthdays anyway.  But, years ago I only had to share my bday with Kate Upton and Judy Garland and that C- minus comedian Bill Burr (kidding Burr is freaking hilarious).  

Now, my birthday is another day I get to spend with this little weirdo:  

   

In all reality… This is all I need for my birthday:  

Santa vs He Who Must Not Be Named

Christmas Eve day and my kid is sick. I’m quite sure this is the real Fragola Family Christmas tradition. Without a doubt, every single Christmas I was sick.

*There was the year I was so out of it that I opened presents from my deathbed (the couch) while Uncle Vinny and Auntie Tricia handed me presents.
*There was the year I had strep throat and a fever during Christmas Eve mass.
*Of course there was the year Santa brought me the sony home stereo with dual tape decks and I was too sick to weak to walk down to the basement to see it all set up.
*And who could forget the year I spent the majority of Christmas puking and had a handful of Imodium as my Xmas dinner.

I’ll say this though, when it comes to being sick I’m a big baby… Stuffy nose? I’m dying. Upset stomach? I have the plague. Fever and a cough? Just fill out my death certificate now.

But Jax… This kid is a trooper. He sounds like Voldemort with all his wheezing… But he’s not letting anything stand in his way of his first Christmas. Stay strong little man… Stay strong!

Green Bay Packers Owners

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We’re watching our first #Packers game together! Jax got really excited when #JamesStarks scored their 1st TD. #ProudPapa #GreenBayPackers #FatherAndSonTime #NFL#GoPackGo

 

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I know I’ve posted about this before, but there are few bonds stronger than that formed between a father and son through sports. However, watching some preseason games with him, talking to Jax about the players, fantasy football and autographs hanging on the walls doesn’t guarantee he will want to be an owner and fan of the greatest franchise in professional sports (along with the NYY of course) the Green Bay Packers.

That’s why we bought Jax one of those Dream Scape lights that shine cute little shapes on the ceiling for them to stare at while falling asleep… Except this light shines the GREEN AND GOLD “G” brightly for my little man to enjoy and comfort him as he dreams of Lombardi Trophies… Multiple ones.

We can only hope for the best for our children. Choices and fate and what ever else you believe in are always in play. So we have to sometimes step in as parents and ensure we are pulling the right strings… Steering things in the right direction. Sort of like Dumbledore does throughout the Harry Potter series… Please… like the greatest wizard of all time didn’t know He Who Must Not Be Named was growing under Quirell’s turban.