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The 2011 Holiday Shopping Season is officially underway for Toys "R" Us, as the company invited shoppers to''Join Geoffrey for the Ultimate Kick Off to Christmas'' at it's stores yesterday afternoon. As we did for Geoffrey the Giraffe's Birthday Celebration back in September, we made it a family affair and headed out to the local TRU store so that the little one could meet Geoffrey once more, and we'd set her up for a Holiday Wish List - for which TRU had pledged to donate $1 for every list created to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

hitLogoMy daughter loves most of the shows put out by UK-based HIT Entertainment, and currently aired here in the U.S. on SPROUT. There's FIREMAN SAM, BOB THE BUILDER, ANGELINA BALLERINA, BARNEY, and the big-money machine - THOMAS & FRIENDS. Today comes news that toymaker MATTEL has purchased HIT Entertainment for $680M (less than it was going for) rescuing the company from a vast amount of debt (and probably mis-management).

pumpkinspiceAs a big fan of Starbucks' Annual Pumpkin Spice Latte (or just about anything pumpkin this time of year), I've been hunting for the perfect recipe to make some Pumpkin Spice at home. A little Pumpkin Spice without the $5 price has been a mission, then earlier this month, the Redeye here in Chicago published a recipe that I tried out and have been tweaking a bit as well. Below the jump you can find out what you'll need to start brewing your own. While the Starbucks version is said to contain ''four pumps of flavored syrup,'' The Rock Father™ is sharing a version that tastes a lot more pumpkin-y, because it uses real pumpkin.

Saturday, September 17 2011 19:00

The Toddler Jukebox: THE MELVINS - "Revolve" (sorta)...

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stonerwitchGenerally when I do The Toddler Jukebox, it's about my daughter randomly pulling a CD from the archives and me being forced to spin it. This one's a little different in that the little one didn't specifically choose the song - but she sure as hell digs it. From the MELVINS' 1994 album STONER WITCH comes a little song called Revolve - a song that she happened to catch me playing acoustically yesterday morning while jamming in my office. Yes, I was rocking out some Melvins in a half-assed style when she walked into the room smiling and dancing. So I let her hear the real version of the song.

SeasickThe little one just turned two last week, and with the turn of age comes even more curiosity. As she inspects her surroundings, The Toddler Jukebox is growing - a selection of albums (literally) hand-picked by my little daughter. The way it works is simple: she pulls an album from the archives and Daddy has to listen to it. It's an interesting way to re-discover some music that I may not have spun for quite some time. Today's pick? IMPERIAL TEEN - SEASICK.

220px-AnthraxAmongTheLivingRaising the future of rock is a daily adventure, often marked by what music will be providing the soundtrack to our day. The Toddler Jukebox happened by accident - thousands of albums on CD and Vinyl filed neatly on shelves within The Rock Father's office, many within reach of curious hands. I created a new rule a few weeks back, that if my daughter (22 months young) pulled an album, that meant I had to listen to it. With a lot of music collecting dust, this would be an opportunity to revisit some titles from the past. Today's Jukebox is a curious pair - if only for the fact that their combined names could stike fear into the hearts of the TSA, CDC, and NSA combined: ANTHRAX and BIOHAZARD.

cars2posterMuch to the delight of children everywhere, DISNEY/PIXAR have finally released CARS 2, the sequel to the 2006 hit that features a host of colorful anthropomorphic autos on a globetrotting adventure. As goes with the territory, there's a merchandise explosion, with nearly every store bursting at the seams with licensed CARS 2 toys, clothing, games, and more. While the film features a female 'lead' of sorts with the purple car HOLLEY SHIFTWELL (voiced by Emily Mortimer) joining the story along with SALLY CARRERA (voiced by Bonnie Hunt) and LIZZIE (voiced by Katherine Helmond) from the original CARS - good luck finding any tie-in merch aimed at little girls.

The Rock FatherWhen I became a Father for the first time nearly two years ago, I had no idea that my adventures in parenting would somehow crossover into my online writing. After finding myself a new addition to the growing number of Work-at-Home Dads, I found that while 'Daddy Blogs' exist online, they're far fewer in number than the parenting blogs geared toward women, and that few appealed to my own interests.

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