Building a Beach in a Box with the DIYZ App

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with DIYZ. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own.

Sand. It’s the worst. When it comes to the things that my kids love to play with that I hate with the fire of a thousand suns, the list has three items: sand, glitter, and play-doh. But sand, man, it’s the worst. It was great when the girls would only want to play in it when we were at the beach. But, with the invention of things like kinetic sand, they wanna play with it ALL.THE.TIME.

It gets everywhere. Outside. Inside. Upside. Downside. In short, the sand goes everywhere. Could that be because we didn’t have a proper place for them to play–AND LEAVE–said sand? I say yes. I hope I’m right.

So what’s a dad-of-sand-lovers to do? Answer: Sandbox. Continue reading

#KingOfSoup: How Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups Transformed My Kitchen To A Steakhouse

I don’t know about you guys, but a night out at a steakhouse is one of my favorite dining experiences. Walking into a nice restaurant, and instantly hearing the faint sizzle of a steak on a grill, smelling the succulent scents of meats, potatoes, and fresh veggies. It’s just an experience that I love, every single time. There’s one problem. It’s.So.Expensive. And I’m not made of money.

So, what do I do? It’s a conundrum, right? Wanting to have that same experience of dining out at a nice steakhouse, without shelling out an arm and a leg. It’s no secret that I’m a steak and potato guy. It is, without a doubt, my favorite all-time meal. When Sarah and I want a treat, we grill steak and bake, mash, saute, etc potatoes. But, we’re also pretty partial to a great bowl of potato soup. Seriously, have you ever had really good potato soup? It’s awesome! Continue reading

I Will Literally Sleep ANYWHERE…Just Dub Me The #KingOfRest

Look, I don’t know about the rest of the you, but in my house sleep is a premium. What do I mean by that? Basically, that if I’m actually getting a full night of sleep then chances are my kids are nowhere to be found. Where could they be? Mayhaps, by some miracle they decided it would be a good idea to actually spend the entire night in their own bed. HAHAHA Who am I even trying to kid? They never do that. If they’re spending the night elsewhere, then a relaxing night of sleep will be had… minus the whole worrying if they’re behaving, or sleeping, or will come home sleep-deprived and miserable (like me most days!). Continue reading

DadFail: That Time I Knocked My 2-Year Old Down the Steps

Listen, no one ever said  that parenting was all wins. If you’re a parent and you’ve experienced nothing but wins thus far in your parenting “career”, well I’d like to meet you. And push you down the stairs because you’re a liar. Every day, something is going to make you feel like you’re failing as a parent. Oftentimes, it’s more than once a day.

There are also those “oh shit, what the hell did I just do” moments. ParentFails. I had a nice little DadFail a few weeks ago. It’s still fresh in my mind. What was it? Well, if you haven’t read the title of this post yet, let me fill you in… I accidentally knocked Maddie down an entire flight of hardwood stairs.  Continue reading

Call Me a Babysitter One More Time

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There’s this notion. This little bit of language that people use when they see a dad out and about with their kids–alone. What is it? It’s the idea that because there is no mother present that the dad is babysitting. Have you run into this situation before?

You’re walking through the mall, or Target, or are at the park with your kids in tow. And a stranger stops you.

“Oh, your kids are so cute. How’s Daddy doing babysitting you?”

Or, you’re out in public and one or all of your kids are having a meltdown. Someone approaches.

“Don’t worry kids, mommy will be back soon.”

It has happened to me. Thankfully it hasn’t happened a ton. But it has happened enough that it pisses me off to no end. I’m sorry? Did you just ask me if I was babysitting MY OWN KIDS?! Walk away. Walk away now.

This isn’t something that was planning on writing about, to be honest. But it’s long been something that annoys the hell out of me. Yesterday I read a post on Scary Mommy that is asserting the same thing that I am–and it really got me thinking about the subject again. Admittedly, I don’t usually care for most of the content that Scary Mommy puts out. But this one? It hit the nail on the head and I was really glad they published it. Dads are not babysitters. We are parents.

Is there somebody else giving me money that I am not aware of to take care of my children? That’s a big bag of nope! If someone wants to give me money, though, that’s cool. I like money.

But Nick, you say, why is it so bad to ask a dad if they are babysitting? They don’t mean anything by it. No. Just no. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t trying to be insulting or aren’t trying to insinuate that I’m less of a parent than my wife. But guess what? That’s exactly what you’re doing. I bust my ass to be the best damn dad I can be to Sophia and Maddie. And I’m damn proud to be their dad. If you haven’t noticed by the things I’ve written or the insane amount of pictures, quotes, and videos that I share of them, being a dad is my life. So, if you want to devalue that by calling me a babysitter, we’re going to have a problem.

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That’s Chris Routly from Daddy Doctrines, proudly rocking his shirt from the National At-Home Dad Network. Image courtesy City Dads Group.

Look, I’m not saying that I’m going to explode in your face if you call me a babysitter. But you’ll get a death stare from me and probably a few words that you’ll wish I hadn’t said. Stop perpetuating the archaic stereotype that dads are the lesser of the parents. Guess what? Parenting is typically a team sport. And the team is usually 50/50. So, call me a dad, a father, ask me how my day of parenting my kids is going. Just don’t call me a babysitter. You’re better than that.

No Toy Left Behind

notoyleftHow’s that saying go? All’s fair in love and toys? No, that’s not how it goes? Well, it should be how it goes. At least for kids. How many times have your kids insisted on leaving the house with toys in tow? A lot? A LOT?? I can’t tell you how many times we’re leaving to go somewhere and Sophia insists on grabbing this toy or that. Many times, it’s when we’re heading out in the morning to go to daycare.

We tell her that she can bring them in the car, but not into school, because we don’t want her to lose them or forget them. Toys are expensive, man! That changes on Fridays, though. Friday is “Sharing Day” at daycare. Meaning, all the kids can bring in a toy or two to share with their friends. It’s cool, it’s sweet, it helps teach them to share–hence the name. Continue reading

Who Did It? #CollegeOrKids

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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.