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

I Mean, Honestly, Who Throws A Shoe?!

I Mean, HonestlyWho Throws a Shoe-!

Have you ever had to run from someone throwing things at you? Say, it was a relationship gone sour and your ex wants nothing more but to fling objects in your direction–you run, you dodge, you duck to avoid taking a plate, or a vase, or maybe a football, to the head. Now, imagine that was happening while you were driving. But the objects were flying FROM THE BACK SEAT. Only it isn’t a jaded ex-flame flinging things at you. It’s a raving-mad, inconsolable 5-year old who hasn’t gotten their way. Continue reading

Snacking For The Picky Eater: #FlatoutIsMyCanvas

Eating healthy can be a challenge. Not just for us, as adults, but for kids, too. I don’t know how it works in your house, but in ours, Sophia is the pickiest eater I have ever met. Well, expect for me as a kid (and well into adulthood), that is. She has her few foods that we know she will eat and not fight us over. The standard kid stuff: chicken nuggets, pizza, mac & cheese, hot dogs, etc. So, trying to get her to try new things has been a bit of a challenge. Maddie, on the other hand? That girl will eat anything we give her and ALWAYS wants to try something new.

As you can see, with these two, meal time can be a challenge. Heck, even snack time can be tough. We’ve seen what happens when we give them sweet or salty snacks to hold them over between meals. They crash really hard in a short amount of time. Which is tough when there are things we need to get done. Sophia has ballet class and needs to have her energy up for that. Plus, she’s in Pre-K now, so homework has to get done after school. YES HOMEWORK IN PRE-K.

So, with the help of Flatout Flatbread, we started trying to come up with some healthy snack ideas that maybe, just maybe would appeal to Sophia–even at her most picky. First, we thought if we she at least got in the kitchen with us and helped make her own food, it would help her at least want to try something. Second, we thought of ingredients that she liked on their own and figured out a way to combine them that she would like.

So, we came up with these tasty little Apple Peanut Butter Rollups. Check out the recipe and instructions below the image.

File_000

Ingredients

  • 1 Flatout Light Original flatbread
  • 1 small apple (flavor of choice)
  • Peanut butter

Instructions

  • Lay flatbread flat and spread peanut butter generously 
  • Dice apple into small 1″ squares
  • Lay apple squares into two lines, a quarter of the way in from each end 
  • Roll flatbread from one end to the next
  • Cut into six pieces

That’s it. It’s pretty simple and was really tasty. Sophia actually loved them and gave them a thumbs up. Plus, she had an absolute blast putting them together.

Flatourismycanvas

You can see that Flatout breads are a great blank canvas in the kitchen and the possibilities are virtually endless. So, grab some Flatout flatbreads, grab your kids, and get in the kitchen and start creating the perfect food masterpiece. Maybe Don’t try to hang these on your fridge though… Remember, #FlatoutIsMyCanvas!

To find a store near you that carries Flatout, visit the store locator:  and try a $.50 off coupon.

If you want some more  delicious recipe ideas, check out the Flatout Facebook page to see what they–and other bloggers–have come up with.

**I was compensated by Flatout Flatbread for this post, however the recipe and views are our own**

Oh NO – The “No” Phase Has Begun

You guys, we have a problem. My sweet, lovable, nearly two-year old Maddie has discovered the word no. And I don’t mean in the cute kind of way, either.

She already hit and passed that stage. She was an adorable mini-Mutombo. She even had the finger wag down pat. She looked basically just like this:

dikembo gif

And IT.WAS.ADORABLE. She said it all the time. She told Sophia no A LOT. Which was great for us. I mean, it saved us the trouble. We were gonna say no anyway, but having her preempt our no with a no of her own was great. OR, she’d reinforce our no with a no of her own. #Adorbs

But now? This week, HOLY HELL. She wakes up, is happy and running around. But then it’s time to get dressed. Change her diaper. Put on clothes. Brush hair and teeth. It’s then that her inner-Daniel Bryan circa 2012 comes out. What do I mean? Just take a look at the gif below. You’ll get the idea.

db no

Need a more audible illustration? Fine. This oughta do the trick.

Seriously. She just started doing it this week. We’re both just like, “WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” “WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT US?!” It’s a whole thing. I blame Sophia.

I know, I KNOW, it’s just a phase. One that will last probably right through her formative years. Right up until FOREVER. You wanna know how Sarah and I are reacting to this when it happens? Take a gander, dear friends.

 

tina gif

Or how about this one:

stop it

You catch my drift? It’s OUT OF CONTROL. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go start chanting YES! in the face of my soon-to-be two-year-old child…

db yes gifLike this post? Follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Flight Plan: Kids on a Motherf*ckin’ Plane

Not-so-bright and early Friday morning, we’ll wake up, load up the car and head for the airport. Sarah’s sister is getting married in Jamaica and we’re all going–Sophia and Maddie included. What, no! I’m not nervous! How could you… why would you… I can’t believe you’d think such a thing… Ok, ok, I’m a little–what’s the word I’m looking for–terri-nervou-scare-afraid. Yes, that seems about right.

It’s not the boarding a plane part that worries me. It’s the taking two small children on a plane for the first time that does. Sophia took one flight, when she was eight-months old. To Florida. She was great there and back. But, that was a different time. We were fresh-faced parents with just one baby in tow. Now? DOUBLE TODDLER TIME! Continue reading

Don’t Call It a Re-Run – Diving into Cartoons with My Kids

Inspector-Gadget

Back in my day…

Oh, no, tell me I didn’t just start a post with that line. Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen, okay? Keep it between us, internet. As I was saying… When I was a kid, waking up on Saturday morning and watching my favorite cartoons was probably the highlight of my week. Because SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS, DUDE! I loved them. I mean, honestly, what kids didn’t love watching cartoons on a Saturday morning? G.I. Joe, Inspector Gadget, Transformers, Hammer Man (Yeah, I watched the MC Hammer cartoon, what of it?!), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and my personal all-time favorite M.A.S.K. They were awesome and terrible all at the same time. I loved every single minute of it. Continue reading

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

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.

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!

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