collegeorkids

Who Did It? #CollegeOrKids

collegeorkids

Did you go to college? (Insert your mom went to college joke)… Okay, well if you didn’t, then have you ever seen a movie about college? Or how about heard a story that starts “this one time, when I was in college, I got so drunk…”? If you answered yes to any of them, then you will understand what I’m about to say. Kids in college do some really stupid shit. Like, really stupid. I never did, nope, not me. FINE, I did my fair share of stupid things, while I had been drinking.

Living in a dorm, or even in a house or apartment with other people in college will lead to witnessing some insane things. Such as? How about some random person opening your dorm room door, walking into your room, and peeing in your trash can? That happened. More than once.

You may be asking yourself, Nick, what the hell is your point? Everyone knows that college kids do stupid crap. Yeah, but did you know that when you think about it, ridiculous things that little kids do could ALSO have been done by drunken college kids. Yeah, they’re one in the same.

Need proof? OH I GOT PROOF. Check out some of these tweets that I’ve (and one from Ben) been sending out over the interwebs recently using the #CollegeOrKids.

Do you see what I’m getting at? There are a ton more examples that could be and SHOULD BE tweeted and shared, too! Now it’s your turn, my oh-so-witty readers. I wanna see what you come up with for #CollegeOrKids. Tweet them @brownie_22 using that hashtag. Or you can comment here, or on my Facebook page.

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Paybacks Are a Bitch: Sophia is Just Like Me As a Kid

IMG_6111“I hope one day when you have kids, they’re just like you.”

Do you want to know who said that to me? My mom. I was a bit, how-do-you-say, energetic. At all times. Even when I would be sleeping, my mouth would be running. I was always on the go, always moving, bouncing around, yapping, and just a big ol’ ball of energy. Plus, I was adorable. I mean, just look at that picture! I know. What happened, right?!

Why am I talking about myself as a kid? You mean aside from the fact that I was awesome? Because, my friends, I’ve been dealt paybacks. Paybacks in the form of having a child that is almost exactly like I was as a kid. And you know what else? Holy crap would I have HATED me as a kid! Ok, not really, but I probably would’ve wanted to lasso kid Nick and tell him to sloooooooooow doooooooown.

From the time she wakes up. Ok, well, from the time we force her out of bed in the morning to the time she passes out, she is always go, go, go, going. She’s over here, she’s over there, and whoooooooosh she’s gone! Now, I know, I’m really describing most toddlers. But, something about her being just like me when I was a kid, man. I don’t know, it’s just, I deserve it.

Not only is she all energy, all the time, but she’s also super picky about food. You know who else was? ME. Mealtime is always an adventure. The other night while having dinner, while she wouldn’t listen or sit still, I repeated a line my mom used on me many a time. “You’re giving me agita!” Granted, I did this while my mom was actually at the table. And it was also on purpose to get a reaction from my mom. But, still. Just one other reminder of how that little girl is entirely too much like me as a kid.

Plus, she’s goofy. Singing, dancing, making up her own words to songs, rockin’ silly voices. THOSE are some of my favorite characteristics. She does and says ridiculous things. Like the other morning when she said the following.

Yeah, dude. She said she has old knees. What in the what?! She’s four! How does she know what the hell old knees are?? It cracked me up. I’m still laughing about it.

Paybacks, they are a bitch. But you know what else they are? Pretty damn awesome!

not the mama

No, Maddie, My Name is Daddy

not the mamaKids are something else, man. They start out as these little blobs. Okay, they start as babies, not blobs. But come on, they look a little bit like blobs, right? RIGHT?? And then, in what seems like an instant, they become these mobile, talkative little people.

The way they move is downright hilarious. Maddie, at all of 18-months, looks like she’s trying to charge through a locked door every time she gets moving. Shoulders slightly forward, legs a churnin, and a head of steam going full force. It cracks me up just thinking about it.

And then, there are the words. They speak, eventually. Did you know that? They do, I swear. The words they start to spout are even funnier. They try to say things, and you think you know what they mean, but come on, do you really what all that gibberish means? Oh you do? Well, carry on then…

Anyway… One of Maddie’s first words was Da-Da. And yeah, that’s pretty damn awesome. Was she talking to me? I mean, I guess so, but she could have just been saying it because she knew no other words, so everything was Da-Da. Maybe she was singing. You never really know, do you? That brings us to now. The present. Maddie knows a few words, even knows the name of her daycare teacher. Milk, blanket, bottle, more. And, she knows Mommy. You know who she calls Mommy? She calls Mommy, Mommy. You know who else she calls Mommy? ME. Yes, she calls Daddy by Mommy.

10940984_10100634127066430_5894384896721366086_nAnd it’s not just like she’s looking past me. She’s looking right AT me. Yesterday, when I arrived at daycare to pick the girls up, I heard the pitter patter of running, tiny feet coming behind me down the hallway. And do you know what I heard? Guess. I’ll give you a minute…………………………

“Mommy!!!!! Mommmmmmyyyyyyyyyy!!!!”

Do you know who wasn’t with me? Sarah, aka Mommy. Nope. It was Daddy. Her teacher told me that she saw Maddie start running and heard her yelling Mommy–“but I only saw the back of your head and you aren’t Mommy”–is what she told me. So, there is that.

Maddie, if you’re reading this (and since you’re my daughter you must be able to read by now, right?), my name is Daddy. That’s D-A-D-D-Y. Ask Sophia, she knows how to say it and how to spell it. She also knows that it’s my name. She’s your big sister, it’s her job to help you out with these things.

I know, the time will come, relatively soon I’m sure, where Maddie will call me by my name. Hell, I won’t be surprised if she starts calling me Nick before she starts calling me Daddy. But, in the meantime, I’ll suck it up and I guess I’ll be called Mommy for a while. I’ll still point to myself and say “No, Daddy!” every.single.time, though!

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The Finality of Life: A Tribute to Oren

orenLife is finite. That is a fact. But coming to that realization is difficult.

In late October of 2013, Ben and I had just started doing our podcast, The Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast. Shortly thereafter, we were introduced to the guys at Life of Dad. They quickly invited us to join a Facebook group for Dad Bloggers. Little did I know at the time, but that group was about to become a major piece of my life.

The man who started that group in 2012, Oren Miller had this idea “so crazy it might just work” to bring dad bloggers from across the globe together, as one. What started small is now a group over 1,000 men strong. It’s a place for dads of all backgrounds to come together, work on our craft, hone our skills, find support, vent, and almost anything else under the sun. It’s a place for debate, for friendship, for fatherhood. It is because of the members of this group–and part of Oren’s brainchild–that the idea of the modern father is shifting. The bumbling, hapless dad is being kicked to the curb–hopefully for good.

Why am I telling you all this? Last May, Oren let us know that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He penned a post while in the hospital that was so beautiful, so inspiring, and so breathtaking that it brought me to tears while I sat at my desk reading it. At that point, his fight was just beginning. At that point, we as a group wanted to give Oren and his family one last vacation before his treatments began. The goal was to raise $5000. As I sit here right now, we’ve raise over $35,000 for Oren and his family. If you’d like to help them, visit here.

Fast-forward to two days ago. Many of the members of the Dad Bloggers group had just returned from attending the Dad 2.0 Summit–a place where an announcement was made that the scholarship to help fund dads in need attend the summit was renamed in Oren’s name–to hear from Oren that his fight was over. There were no treatments. Chemo was doing more harm than good. This was it. Days, maybe weeks were left for him. It turned out to be five days. Oren passed on Saturday, February 28.

I’ve been sitting here since Oren broke the news to us, not knowing what to say. I’ve never met Oren Miller in my life. I’ve spoken to him online, plenty. I read his posts. He’s read mine. We’ve conversed many times in the Dad Bloggers group.

I’m filled with so much sadness for him. For his wife, Beth. For his young son and daughter. His kids are around the same age as Sophia and Maddie. Oren isn’t much older than I am. I keep trying to put myself in those shoes. And I can’t do it. The pain is difficult to fathom. Oren has seemingly handled it with such grace that it leaves me in awe. I don’t want to say goodbye. Selfishly. I don’t want to see Oren’s name stop showing up in comments. I don’t want to see the beautiful words that he writes go away.

Thank you, Oren, for starting something that means so much to so many. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. And thank you for letting your words when you were diagnosed resonate with so many. You’re going to be missed more than words can ever describe, but the legacy and community you have built will live on forever. We’ll see to that, my friend.

5 years ago

For My Wife – The Hall to My Oates

Why yes, that is Sarah and I dressed as Hall and Oates... ROCKED IT.

Why yes, that is Sarah and I dressed as Hall and Oates… ROCKED IT.

A lot of parents like to refer to raising kids as a team sport. And, in a lot of ways, it is. A lot of us need a tag-team partner in this wrestling ring of parenthood. Having the right partner who knows when to tag themselves in, or tag you out for a break, can go a long way in your hunt for that ever-elusive Parenthood Championship Belt. Continue reading

Just a small sampling of all the Frozen gifts Sophia got this year.

I’ve Been Frozen Out

Just a small sampling of all the Frozen gifts Sophia got this year.

Just a small sampling of all the Frozen gifts Sophia got this year.

If you don’t count the million-plus times I’ve enjoyed watching been tortured with watching Disney’s Frozen, you can say that I really didn’t have that much of Frozen in my life. Yeah, Sophia had a few dolls, a dress, and couple knick-knacks, and will sing “Let it Go” for hours on end, but now things have been taken to entirely new level.

Folks, after this Christmas, I have officially been Frozen out. I’m not kidding. Like, at all. All of Sophia’s gifts were wrapped in Frozen wrapping paper. All she wanted from Santa were “an Elsa doll and an Elsa dress”. And, of course she got it, from her aunt and uncle. Did I mention that this specific dress lights up and plays “Let it Go”? Oh, I didn’t? Yeah, it does that. She wants to wear it to bed, all day long, inside, and outside. The song has played so many times that I’m ready to rip the battery out. And that’s only after two days…  Continue reading

via IMDB.com

Bruce Springsteen, Santa, and Memories of Christmases Gone By

We’ve been listening to a ton of Christmas music. As you do this time of year. Every morning and every evening, to and from daycare with the girls. Sophia sings along to the ones she knows, while Maddie taps her foot and bobs her head along to the beat.

Rudolph, Frosty, Little Drummer Boy, Last Christmas, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock. You name it, we’ve listened to it, sung along with it, and danced to it. I figured that Sophia has been listening to and singing Christmas songs at daycare, as well. The other night, she started singing Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town–which is one of my all-time favorites. Only while she sang the chorus, she sang “Santa Claus is coming to town” faster than in the classic. I said to Sarah that I thought she was singing the Bruce Springsteen version. We hadn’t heard that one in the car. So I asked her. I quickly pulled the song up on YouTube and played it. I asked her if that was the version she heard at school and was singing. She said it was! Continue reading