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Dry Cupcakes with Excessive Frosting

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My wife came home the other day after picking our kids up from school and she walked in the front door with a flabbergasted look on her face. Dropping all of their bags and lunchboxes on the floor, she held up a handful of envelopes. Looking at me she said, “You have got to be kidding me….four more!”

Horrified, I smashed my face into the pillows on the couch and screamed “NO NO NO!” 

Four more birthday invitations from the kids at school. Dear GAWD no!

A couple of days prior our son came home with 3 other invites, and last month we had to go to 2 birthday parties. Add all of these wonderful party passes up and our weekends are suddenly being consumed with shindigs for goofy classmates that we’ve never even heard of. Parents, are you reading this nodding your heads because you’re experiencing the same frustration? The constant flow of colorful card stock inviting excited peers and annoyed parents to an afternoon of luke-warm pizza, and cupcakes with excessive frosting.

Invites

The invites that are surprising me the most are the ones that are coming from our daughter's pre-school friends. Tiny little 3 and 4 years olds pining for attention at their Frozen themed festivities - and yes they’re ALL Frozen themed. All of them.

We’ve definitely noticed that birthday invites are starting to trend younger and younger.  My guess is not at the request of the little pip-squeaks either, but rather Pinterest parents competing to outdo each other in the world of competitive celebrations. Gone are the days of waiting until your child is pencils deep into elementary school before group birthday parties start - nowadays parents get bombarded by bombastic bashes for little blobs that still poo their pants. Talk about excessive frosting.

Fun right?

And let’s talk cost - start adding up gifts for these sweet little angel children.  Twenty bucks a pop seems to be the going rate for a gift (more if you want to look like the top parent at the party). Add that up over our kids 2 classes and you get roughly 35 gifts that we have to supply (be boo bop boo - math) you’re looking at $700 bucks a year to bestow presents to kids that your child probably doesn’t even like!

My buddy Dom from the radio show came up with a GREAT suggestion on how to alleviate some of the stress and headaches of having to go to so many of these delightful events. I’m totally on board with his recommendation, how about creating 2 massive birthday celebrations that encompass all of the students at once? One for spring and summer birthdays and then one later in the year for fall and winter babies. How great is that idea!? You’re able to knock out a huge chunk of kids all at once - then you’re only ruining two Saturdays a year instead of a couple months worth. And the presents? Either cancel the gifts altogether or maybe adopt this “fiver party” idea that I’ve seen some news outlets covering. In lieu of material gifts, guests can bring five dollar bills to give to the birthday boy/girl. The child can then take their haul from the 10 kids they invited to their party and buy a $50 gift of their choosing - or save the money! The kids learn a little money management and there is far less stress on the gift giver and a whole lot less money spent on these joyous celebrations. You dig it?


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My Wife Has A Gas Problem

Gas Problem

My wife - I love her, I really do. Mostly because she keeps THIS goofy dude in line. I give her mad props for dealing with all of my annoying behaviors, weird smells, and my tendency to spend way too much money on guy gadgets that I’m lusting after. Interrogations about Cabela’s and Amazon purchases on the credit card are fairly typical occurrences at my house - I usually just play dumb and then run and hide in the basement.

My latest purchase - that didn’t go over very well. #PitBoss

My latest purchase - that didn’t go over very well. #PitBoss

(If you want hear more about my spending issues check out the “Marriage Quid Pro Quo” podcast from the morning show - it’s pretty funny! Click HERE)

She also hates it when I don’t clean the microwave after something explodes, my hoodies are always on the floor, and crumbs on the coffee table, ya - those aren’t mine.

In addition to some of my idiosyncrasies, she blames me all the ding-dang time for having “man-vision” around the house. You know what I’m talking about - I’m looking in the cupboard for the peanut butter searching searching searching - I can’t find it! Frustrated I yell out “where is the PEANUT BUTTER?!” She calmly walks over and takes a quick look on the second shelf of the cupboard and BOOM pulls out the giant tub of deliciously creamy JIFF. Turning slowly in my direction, she shoots me a glare and walks away. Whoops, that’s embarrassing.

Needless to say she puts up with a lot from me, but it’s time to turn the tables on my smooth skinned lover. Yep, I admit I have a few minor irritations that she has to put up with, but they all pale in comparison to the ONE BIG annoyance that I’m sick of dealing with.

Honey we need to talk…why is it that you NEVER fill up your car with gas?

EVER!!

This is a gas pump. Use this device to put gas in your vehicle. It’s very simple to use.

This is a gas pump. Use this device to put gas in your vehicle. It’s very simple to use.

Dudes that are skimming this post - are you with me? Does the wonderful woman in your life neglect her parched vehicle and just cruise by every gas station?

Survey says? YES!

I’ve asked some of my other friends and it seems to be an epidemic. None of their wives or girlfriends fill up either! Thirsty gas tanks all around the country are being neglected due to a blatant disregard of that little needle on your dash - pointing directly to the giant E. Is it laziness or is she just not familiar with how an automobile works? “Oh so that’s what that little door on the side of my car is for…”

I was always taught to never get below a quarter tank just in case you have to leave in an emergency. Maybe you’ll get stuck in a traffic jam and you have to idle for awhile, or what if you get stuck in one of our Colorado snow storms? You want that baby full - you’ll need that petroleum power!

I’ll tell you when it gets super annoying is on the weekends when we load up the family to head out for some fun and errands and I look down to see her gas light on. Why can’t she just fill up Friday after work on her way home? It takes about 10 mins of your time and it would avoid our weekly driveway argument - I’m sure our nosy neighbors would appreciate the quiet.

Maybe I’m over reacting, or maybe I’m an enabler because I’ll go fill it up for her when it’s low - because I’m a gentlemen. I think she’s set in her ways and I might have to chalk this up to one of life’s big mysteries.

I just wish that one of these times when I go out to use her car, I fire it up to find that needle pointing to the F. Which in this case would not mean “FULL” but instead, “FINALLY!”


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Give This Student An Award

Student Award

I reached into my ridiculously tight skinny jeans a couple of hours ago and pulled out my dated 6S that was buzzing like a hive of bees - I spotted a text coming in from a buddy of mine that I hadn’t talked to in awhile. His name is Chad and he’s the Art Director at a middle school out in the Highlands Ranch area. American Academy - Lincoln Meadows to be exact - great school - great people! We went back and forth with a handful of cordial salutations consisting of “hey how have you been” and “we need to catch up”… yadda yadda yadda. Then, at about 6 messages deep, he surprised me with an image from what he calls “my biggest fan.”

Backstory: Chad has a student in his 6th grade art class named Emily. She was assigned the task of creating a piece of art based off a drawing rubric that he had created in an effort to challenge Emily to demonstrate her mastery of wicked good pencil skills. Encouraging her to focus on key components like coming up with an idea, working on composition, perfecting shading, and focusing on details and craftsmanship. You know, fancy art lingo type stuff that most people would probably just call “doodling”. From there, Emily’s job was to then take a real world person that inspires her and brings her joy - and turn that person into a lovely drawing that could then be displayed for the whole school to see. Chad left it completely up to his student to pick anyone she would like.

Text message #6 was an image that brought the biggest smile to my face. “Check this out, you’ll get a kick out of this!” Chad said.

Sweet little Emily had chosen ME to be the subject of her drawing. How cute is that, right?! Chad explained to me that she picked my goofy mug because she loves listening to me every morning on the show and that I make her family crack up on a daily basis. The drawing was displayed proudly in the halls of the school with a little Mix 100 shout-out scribbled in the corner. What a fun project and what a sweet gesture from this 6th grader - I’m truly flattered. I’m planning on making a little trip down to the school soon to meet Emily and her class and to thank her personally for her amazing work. I just hope that my buddy Chad gives this girl and A+ on the project and some sort of 1st place ribbon. She has definitely mastered her drawing techniques - I mean just look at the details of my giant teeth!


If you’d like to enjoy additional artwork from the students at American Academy - Lincoln Meadows click HERE. Talented kids!


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Hairy Head Holes

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I’m a few months shy of the big 4-0 and all of the sudden my nose holes have turned into tropical grottoes for dozens of new follicles. I was playing a little game of peekaboo with myself in the bathroom mirror the other day when I placed a single finger on the tip of my nose and gently pulled up. When what to my wondering eyes did appear but miniature hairs all up in here… what the HELL is happening? GOOD NIGHT - feelings of straight up disgust starting running through my mind!

How come NO ONE pointed this out to me - my wife, my mom, co workers?

Nope, not a peep - help your buddy Jer-Bear out! I’m having visions of turning into that creepy hairy dude in the office that everyone talks about. Do I whistle when I breathe and I haven’t noticed? How about inhabitants, what kind of creepy crawly things are able to call this forest home? Is nose lice a thing? Gross.

I’ve never logged onto my phone faster than at this moment. I quickly opened up my Amazon app and within 5 minutes had purchased the mac daddy of professional nose hair trimmers. This bad boy was going to get a workout in exactly 2 days - arriving before 8 pm. Thanks Prime!

Below you’ll find the product review of my tiny little man machine - and I think you’ll enjoy the end result. Stick around until the end to see how this weed wacker performed. And ladies, if you have a man in your life that is starting to grow giant sequoias in his face holes - TELL HIM, we don’t want you looking at that mess.


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Stop Calling Me "SIR"

SIR

I guess I’m either really uncomfortable with aging or I’m just deep down NOT a morning person – but the security guard in our building has me super irritated lately. It all comes down to one word… “SIR” and it’s not sitting well with me. I’ve always been under the impression that using that title was reserved for a man with years and years and YEARS of life experience or a man that has held a position of great prestige or respect. You know, police officers, doctors, firefighters, Sean Connery.

Someone with some sort of authority – not a goofy radio dude wandering into the radio studio with crusty goo still in his eye.

Before you freak out on me - I understand that “sir” is a term of endearment and used for general social politeness aka – social lubricant – BUT it’s not for me. It makes me feel old and super awkward. Would it be acceptable for me to tell Paul Blart to stop calling me that or do I just go with the flow and politely nod as I saunter past the security desk?

Turned out to be a pretty funny discussion on the Dom and Jeremy show – especially when it came to alternate ideas on what we should call guys - take a listen.


Damn Girl I'm Thirsty

Thirsty

In an effort to keep you in the know AND to understand what in the world your pimply face teenager is talking about – so-called “experts” have released a list of the top slang terms that you might be hearing if you accidentally wander into a Forever 21. 

A few of these are new to me like the slang term “tea” or “spilling the tea.”  It’s basically the 2019 way of saying that you’re gossiping about someone – or talking behind their back.  Example: “did you hear that Tina in HR has like 9 cats at her house – she’s SO gross” or “I hear Brent in the accounting department loves to fill his bellybutton with Nutella, he’s such a weirdo.”

 See, I totally spilled some tea there.

 Or how about the expression "Gucci"?  It basically just means good - so if you really like something you say that it’s “Gucci.” Example: “OH mama this Hot-Pocket is SO Gucci”!

 I think I’m using it correctly.

 Focusing on the audio clip below, one of the teen terms on the list was “thirsty” and for some reason, this one hit my funny bone pretty hard. If you’re over 30 and not familiar “thirsty” either means you desperately want approval OR desperately want to get it on with someone in an R-rated way. Bow chicka wow wow!  The latter definition is what really got us laughing on the morning show; and of course a little role-playing was in order.

 If you’re “thirsty” for some laughs check out the audio below from the Dom and Jeremy show – it’s damn “Gucci.”



Fitness Persuasion

Fitness

“NEW YEAR NEW ME”

If you ever hear me spew out that goofy line - please go full Bruce Lee and punch me directly in the throat. I won’t even be mad.

I’m not one of those people that regurgitates the same scripted cliche at the beginning of each new year. I’m also not a resolutions kinda guy either - but with all that being said - I am making some “lifestyle choices” that will affect my overall well-being in 2019.

One of my choices is to ditch my current gym membership because I’ve been going to the same joint for over 20 years. Seeing the same people and the same equipment for that long has greatly diminished my motivation to get a solid upper body workout. Not a fan of leg day. Toothpicks.

So, it’s time for a little gym shopping and luckily a fancy new facility just opened up near my house. I was super excited to start fresh, meet new people and get my fitness on. Grunt grunt - spot me.

I was in a pretty peppy mood when I went in for the consultation… peppy until I heard what they had to say about their fitness program and the personal training staff. I was fed a line (multiple times) that is guaranteed to be in their corporate training manual.

Check out the clip from the Dom and Jeremy show below. Enjoy!




Alkaline Alarm!

Alarm

I had a stressful little morning the other day when the alarm company called to inform me that one of their sensors had detected a breach at the house!  What followed was the gossip jackpot for my nosy neighbors – the police came rolling into my hood - with guns a’blazing and kicked in my front door!

It was like something out of the movies - except for when you hear what was causing the alarm, and seriously... what was up with all the flirting after the 459 was handled? (That's fancy cop talk for a burglary in progress.)

ALWAYS Check The Pockets

Hot Wax

I thought I was helping... I really did.  My wife had been swamped at work and the mundane chores around the house were starting to pile up. Being the good hubby that I am - I scooped up the kid's laundry and headed down to the basement to fire up the ol' washer and dryer.  Unfortunately, I didn't get an "atta-boy" from my wife - but instead, I received a quick lesson in how to make tie-dye clothing! Take a listen and find out how I ruined an entire load of clothes!

I'm Feeling a Little THORny.

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When you've been in a serious relationship for like a bazillion years, it's always fun to sit down with your significant other and play a little game of "who would you like to sleep with"!?

Although some puckered people might pooh-pooh this idea, Dom and Jeremy fully embrace (and I mean FULLY EMBRACE) the thought of pushing your lover to the side and running off with your celebrity crush. Meow!

I'm Cool Now

My 20-year high school reunion is quickly approaching, and my enthusiasm for this momentous occasion is mediocre at best. Back in 1998 I wasn't exactly the coolest kid in our graduating class, but now a couple decades later - former students are recruiting me for help! Take a listen as I lament about the position I'm in, and Dom gives me HELL for sitting on the fence.

Class of 98 BCHS

You Smell Rank

Jeremy's Garlic

One of the things that I love about our morning show is that we can take the most mundane of topics and somehow turn them into a conversation that is mildly entertaining.  While other shows are using their trending/celebrity segment to talk about all the BS going on in Hollywood, we would rather talk about one of the worlds greatest spices. Take a few minutes and celebrate National Garlic Day with your BOYZ IN DA MORNING! Smell ya later.


The Vanishing Shoes

As my wife and I muddle through our day-to-day routines, we try our very best to lead by example for our young children. After all, monkey see, monkey do is the perfect idiom for life as a parent. Little eyes are constantly watching our every move and duplicating our habits with limited concern for consequences.

We model the biggies: Never swear in front of the kids—how embarrassing it is to have unnecessary colorful language repeated at church or in the grocery check-out line. We serve fruits or veggies at every meal, and slicing, dicing, and cubing are always a team effort. We always buckle up in the car and try to never speed. Tiny backseat drivers are quick to point out those California stops and are eager to remind us that the police are always watching! 

But it isn’t just the big social norms that our kids observe; they watch our mundane daily tasks, too. We recently discovered this at our house, after shoes began disappearing.

My wife Nicole purchased three new pairs of shoes for our two-year-old daughter Lyla: some girly sandals and a couple pairs of new tennis shoes for running around the park—about 60 bucks total. After a week of sporting her new kicks, one by one, the shoes began disappearing. We searched the house over and over, turning our place upside down, checking every corner and crevasse for the missing footwear. Even a sweep of the backyard and the garage turned up zilch in the sneaker department.

We quizzed Lyla as to the whereabouts of the disappearing shoes. But interviewing our two-year-old is like asking a new puppy where his ball is. She just stared back with her head tilted to one side with a quizzical look.

So where had the shoes gone?

One afternoon, I was watching television in our living room when Lyla toddled in. She grabbed the TV remote and then walked back into the kitchen. I quietly got up and snuck around the corner to see what she was doing with the remote. I watched as she scampered over to our stainless steel kitchen trash can, pushed her little foot down on the lid opener, and tossed the remote into the garbage.

Our little mystery had just been solved.

Turns out, Lyla had been watching the normal day-to-day routine of us throwing away trash and took it upon herself to start tossing items from around the house. Only she hadn’t yet learned what was and what wasn’t trash.

Somewhere in a Waste Management facility are three pairs of perfectly good size 7 shoes waiting to be turned into compost—along with who knows what else Lyla decided to surreptitiously toss.

A trip back to the store and three new pairs of shoes later, we’re keeping a close eye on all shoe-related activity in our house.

It’s hard to be mad at her since all she was doing was observing mom and dad using the trash can during our normal daily routine. I guess in the end, we did get a pretty darn good family story out of the whole fiasco - and as I scan the room while writing this I apologize, I must quickly wrap up.  I can’t seem to spot my stapler, cell phone, iPad, or the cat!  I’ll be up in the kitchen if you need me.

Featured In Colorado Parent Magazine September 2017

Modern Family Camper

Modern Family Camper

“That there is an RV!” An iconic line from the screwball character Cousin Eddie in the classic 1989 movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.  Eddie, in a braggadocios tone, persuading Clark Griswold “not to fall in love” with that there RV in his driveway - insinuating that he was living the dream and you should be totally jealous.

Fast forward to 2017.

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“That there is an RV Nicole!” A NOT so iconic line that was being blurted from my mouth an excessive number of times at the local RV dealership; so many times in fact that my wife Nicole had to tell me to “STOP” because it was becoming “incredibly embarrassing”.

I couldn’t help it, I was excited to finally be RV shopping.  Giddy at the thought of being able to pull a mobile family command base around the country.

I reluctantly stifled my fun little movie quote game and turned my focus back to signing the paperwork for our brand new recreational vehicle. Who knew going into debt could be so exciting!   With a hand shake and a quick walk around tutorial on trailer basics, we hitched up the ol’ F-150 and we were off.  Ready to start exploring the American landscape in 24 feet of pure adventure following me in the rearview mirror. 

Now somewhere in the official handbook for being a Colorado family is a section dedicated to camping.  It’s a law here ya know. You MUST take your kids camping.  Period.  It’s in our DNA, I spent my entire youth hitting the hills with my family pretending to be vagabonds by roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on dirty sticks, chopping firewood with a rusty old ax, and sneaking off to dig a hole in the ground for your mile high bathroom break.

It’s funny that we count possible Giardia outbreaks from brushing our teeth in a dirty stream as quality family time.  And of course, camping allows you to use hip and trendy exercise buzzwords like “active lifestyle” and “health conscious” because you get all hot and sweaty during an afternoon hike. Making it a competition to see who smells the worst when you arrive back home on Sunday evening. 

However, now that I’m getting older and wiser the days of lying on rocks and praying that your tent doesn’t blow away during midnight rain storms are well behind me.  I’m perfectly fine with raising a couple of spoiled campers and totally embracing the “glamping” lifestyle.  Many of the RV’s out there right now are larger than most of our first apartments.  This summer we’re going to be able to stroll into campsites push a button and roll out the automatic awning - for just the right amount of shade, and then fire up the outdoor Bluetooth speakers with a little Chris Stapleton country music to set the mood.

 If the kids get hungry throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave while they relax on their own bunk beds, catching up on their favorite Netflix shows on the iPad with the built in Wi-Fi.  And don’t forget to fire up the heated floors and heated memory foam mattress for mom and dad so it’s nice and toasty at night!  We’ve entered a new era of camping that includes granite counter tops, jetted tubs, built in fireplaces and leather recliners - the idea of roughing it is long gone.

So if you happen to roll into a campground this summer and see a family of 4 enjoying a little Filet Mignon with their feet up in electric massage chairs out by the campfire – please stop by and say hello - I might show you around the digs, because that there is an RV!

 

Featured in Colorado Parent Magazine June 2017

Sleep. What's That?

This month in Jeremy's exciting world of parenting, I want to fill you in on why I'm only getting 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night.  Brutal right?

If you've been listening to the morning show at all you've heard me talk about my sweet little almost 2-year-old Lyla who has now decided that she no longer wants to sleep.

It starts at about 10 PM every night and lasts until about four or five in the morning. Her new nightly routine is to stand in her crib and scream her head off becoming completely inconsolable. This goes on for hours and hours - her poor little voice becoming hoarse and her eyes bloodshot from all the crying.  No matter how much we try to rock her and calm her - the temper tantrums stay in control and we miss out on valuable sleep, creating two extremely exhausted and frustrated parents. We are really  at a loss as to how to help her because as soon as the sun goes down she wants nothing to do with us.

We’ve been trying to take some action to end this madness by talking with a couple of parents who have experienced the same issue. Warm milk before bed, or maybe a bedtime story? No. Try socks - try no socks? Try again.  Maybe a night-light in her room or how about a sound machine? Nope sorry.  Nothing works!   

We’ve also have had a couple trips to our family doctor to make sure she doesn’t have an ear infection or teeth problems. Sorry Doc. Everything is normal.

The only conclusion we have come to is that she might have something called “Sleep Regression”.  A natural occurrence that you usually hear happening to younger babies but can also happen to older toddlers as well.  Their little minds can’t shut off at night and they fear they are missing out on some sort of fun while they lay in bed. Lucky us!

This sleep regression issue is by far the hardest thing we've had to deal with when it comes to parenting. We dread bedtimes now. Counting the minutes until the nocturnal meltdowns occur. Lyla has traded in her soft pillows, Care Bear sleeping friend, and numerous comfy blankets for horrific temper tantrums and mid-evil meltdowns. 

My wife and I keep joking - "it's just a phase, it's just a phase, it's just a phase..." and then we try to cry ourselves to sleep.

If you're a parent dealing with this same situation, I feel your pain. I'm sharing the bags under my eyes with you and the quick afternoon catch up naps.  Stay calm and try to laugh off the craziness -there is no fix for this but to just wait it out. Invest in Red Bull and keep the number for a good exorcist on hand …maybe they can help release the no sleep demons lurking in the next room.

 

Featured in Colorado Parent Magazine Feb 2017

Sick of Being Sick

A long time ago, when I had more hair and my wife had a pristine uterus, we used to hang out with a couple of close friends named Chris and Abby. They were our partners in crime and we had a ton of fun together!  They were our go-to couple when we felt like tearing up the town a little. I have a lot of great memories with them— concerts, holiday parties, and happy hours. Life was good!

Then something horrible happened. Chris and Abby had kids and we never saw them again.

Ever. Again. Done.

No more fun times, no more laughs, and no more memories.  My dear friends were now trapped at home with little mucus monsters—children that were picking up every type of illness known to man from their daycare. Again, at the time I was kid-less and really could not understand why in the world they always had something wrong with them! Coughing, sneezing, and aches and pains now ruled Chris and Abby’s lives. Our days of Jagermeister shots had now turned into shots of Dayquil and Robitussin.

I would always sarcastically joke to them saying “Geez why don’t you start treating yourselves better! Take your vitamin C and eat healthier. I’m sick of you being sick all the time—your illness is affecting my social life!”

Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

Fast forward now about six years and I’m sitting here writing a blog post with a blanket around me and the smell of Vaporub under my nose. Two kids upstairs coughing away as I quietly sip my nightcap of Tylenol PM.

I want to officially apologize to Chris and Abby for all the crap I gave them about being sick. I totally get it now. I have two phlegm factories of my own now that have brought every strange ailment, illness, virus, and some sort of oddly colored crusty skin rash that smells funny, through our front door.

Over the past couple years we’ve been blessed with Croup, Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, Tonsillitis, eye cysts, inflamed Eczema, and maybe a common cold thrown in here and there.

I’ve been to the doctor more this year than I have in the entire 37 years of my life! We’re in a constant sick family rotation. One kid will get something funky and then pass it on to the sibling and then inevitably mom and dad get it. I’ve had things that I’ve never even heard of before. Shingles? Don’t those go on your roof? Never did I imagine that I’d be spending so much time in my life wiping various fluids from other people’s faces… and rear ends. Yeesh. I think we are single-handedly keeping the Lysol industry in business. Every surface here at home has some sort of disinfectant on it. I have drawers full of medicines and creams that I can’t even pronounce. Our hall closet is fully stocked with Vicks, vaporizers, Kleenex, and cans of chicken soup ready for the winter flu season.

So here’s to my friends Chris and Abby—although we never see each other anymore, I think of you every time I feel a sniffle coming on. To all of you new parents reading this, best of luck raising your little germ incubators. Wash your sheets, wash your hands, and wash your children, because kids are GROSS!


The Frightful, Fitful Fives

Forget the terrible twos and the horrible threes – let’s talk about the little monster that appears when your child turns 5!

The clock struck midnight a few weeks ago and the transformation began. Smoke came billowing out of my son’s room accompanied by flashes of lighting and a thunderous roar. Within seconds a switch had been flipped and we found ourselves living with a pint sized jerk-store. Happy 5th birthday, son.

Our once sweet little boy who was known for his nurturing and caring heart had now turned into an opinionated, sarcastic, back talking little turd!

Are other parents going through this? Where did we go wrong? How did this change happen so fast!? I thought boys didn’t start becoming hormonal nightmares until their teenage years.

The worst part about this negative attitude transformation is that it’s not just confined to our home where we can control it a little easier. We cautiously venture out into the world to run errands just waiting for our little temper tantrum time bomb to explode. What horrific scene will he cause in public today? At grocery stores, at the park, in the mall… nowhere is safe. Where can we hide? We’ve even had an instructor at Reid’s rock climbing class say to him, “You need to chill out, dude”.

Oh, and this is new and fun too – if our little back-talker doesn’t get his way he has no problem throwing himself on the ground with clenched fists and flailing limbs, rockin’ moves that you wouldn’t even see in a Zumba class. The words “NO” and “STOP IT” just don’t seem to work anymore. “QUIET” and “STOP CRYING” won’t even get a reaction. And don’t even bother trying “GO TO YOUR ROOM.” He laughs them all off with a sarcastic little sneer. Our punishments lost all effectiveness the moment he took a bite of his 5th birthday cake.

To combat mister whiny-pants’ new style our parental reactions have had to become a little more creative. We’ve had to adapt to new punishment tactics. Taking away some of this favorite things have seemed to be a worthy violation of his little world. Threats of no more outdoor swimming pool time or no more Paw Patrol on TV have seemed to work just a bit. And if we really need to, we lay the hammer down threatening to – gasp…. take away the Mac ‘n Cheese! Nooooo!

Another great tool we’ve found that has helped curtail the nightmarish behavior is the chore chart!  We have a couple posted on the wall in our kitchen that have really helped with the behaviors and responsibilities that we expect around the house.

Simple tasks like feeding the dog and picking up after yourself now get rewarded with star stickers and smiley faces that can be rewarded with time at the water park or maybe a little toy the next time we’re at Walmart. So far the chore chart has been working – so if you’ve been experiencing some of the same problems that I have, I highly recommend it. It’s a nice visual diagram that your kid can look at and they can see how their good behavior is paying off! You can find a ton of premade templates online if you’re stumped as how to make one. Hope it works for you as much as it has for us – the only downside is that I don’t get all that extra Mac ‘n Cheese we have laying around the house anymore!


Nurturers and Knuckle Heads

I was skimming the website whattoexpect.com a few days ago for some parenting advice, and I came across an interesting article on different parenting styles.  The blog regurgitated some chatter from The American Academy of Pediatrics, talking about how dads can be a positive influence on their children’s development. Citing research that said "when kids bond with their dads they feel more secure and curious, and less likely to lose it when they get frustrated."

I can't agree more and I've certainly noticed this with my kids. Having a more laid back attitude has translated into more laughter and fewer psycho kid meltdowns. That's what dads are here for- we're here to break mom's rules, build pillow forts, have shopping cart races, and ignore the recommend age limits on Nerf guns.  Babies love those, right?

Every Friday I try to sneak out of the radio station a little early to pick up my son Reid from school.  It's my little slice of father son time that I really enjoy since my wife gets this duty the rest of the week. Reid loves it too because it's the one time of the week he can talk ol' dad into cheating on moms healthy life style. Instead of carrot sticks and hummus for lunch, we hit Micky D's for milkshakes and Happy Meals! Much to my wife's chagrin we arrive home with smiles on our faces and trans fats in our systems. Everything in moderation I try to explain, ignoring her soapbox lectures of a balanced diets and caloric intakes. Mom knows best - but dad knows how to have fun!

Looking back on my own youth mom was always the nurturing and caring one. Quick to help with homework, making sure you had your nightly bath, and she always had Kleenex and Band-Aids in her purse for boogers and bruises.  Dad however, encouraged rough-housing, problem solving, and farmer blows. An oddly delicate parental balance every child should embrace.

 And then there are the stories...dads tell the best goofy stories! Eye rolls from my wife are a daily occurrence as I summon up the most ridiculous anecdotes just to mess with my kids.  Dads have an incredible ability to look you straight in the eye and fill your head with total BS. I think we all have little stories of what our dads did to us, or told us when we were growing up. I know that these tall tales helped shape my sense of humor as an adult - allowing me to learn not to take life, and myself so seriously.

A friend of mine has a great story from when he was little - all the neighborhood kids would go running outside in the summer when they heard the ice-cream man rounding the corner with that familiar sugar induced music belting from the speakers. He never understood why all the kids would get so excited when they heard that music, what was the big deal? His dad had pulled him aside one afternoon and told him that when you hear the ice-cream music it meant that the truck was OUT of ice-cream. To this day he still gets a chuckle every time he hears that goofy music, that dang tuck is ALWAYS out of ice-cream!

I'll also never forget the years that I started losing teeth. I was always so worried that I would swallow a tooth as it was becoming loose. I didn't fear that I would miss out on a couple easy bucks from the Tooth Fairy, I was instead freaked out that I would grow teeth inside me! My dad had told me that if I were to swallow my loose teeth in the middle of the night, I would grow an entire mouth inside my stomach, and that I would be able to chew my food twice! You can imagine the wide eyed look I must have given him, totally freaked out...I can't WAIT to use the same story on my son, fully expecting the protective glares from the misses.

Parenting is a trip. Here's a salute to my fellow parents out there with their own unique parenting styles, all of us wondering if we're doing it right. Here's to the nurturers and the knuckle heads - each bringing a very important aspect to your child's life. Have fun, make mistakes, make your kids eat their veggies - and make sure they always chew them with both of their mouths. 


Zombie Parents

I LOVE technology. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always been a techno-nerd, scooping up all the latest tech toys, video game systems, car stereos and the fastest computers! The more buttons and touch screens I have, the happier I am!

We live in a pretty cool world right now where information is just a few taps and swipes away. I’ve ordered a pizza from my iPad while sitting on my back porch. I’ve purchased a car from Illinois while sitting at the breakfast table. And I’ve planned a Minions-themed birthday party for my son with a few clicks on Amazon. Free 2-day shipping – SCORE!

We’re pretty blessed to have all of these conveniences and I can’t imagine having to go back to phone books, encyclopedias and a world without GPS. Yuck.

Now with all this gizmo-gushing aside, I want to explore something with you that my wife and I have both noticed and it breaks our hearts: the darker side of technology that is ruining our relationships with our children.

A quick societal glance reveals a multitude of zombie parents looking down at their smart phones while their kids are vying for their attention. Mouth-breathing with the occasional courtesy grunt, looking at the world through a tiny screen rather than focusing on the enjoyment in their kids’ faces. It’s an observation I have made at numerous locations. Below are a couple of examples:

We like to take our kids to a gym class at our local rec center. A good 30 kids and their parents show up to burn off some energy on trampolines, foam pits and jungle gyms. Parents are encouraged to participate with their kids helping them develop good physical habits. BUT, if you were to do a quick 360 of the gym you’d see parents looking down buried in their phones ignoring the requests from the kids to come run around and play with them. No conversation, no laughter, no encouragement. Sad.

Another observation that has really stuck with me was a time we took our son over to Yogurtland for a little frozen yogurt treat. Every kid loves a trip out with mom and dad for some frozen sugary delight, right?! (Side note: the red velvet frozen yogurt is to die for,  I highly recommend it). Anyway, we gathered our treats and snagged a table near some other parents. While we tucked our phones away and focused on conversation, you guessed it – all the other tables around us had children happily experiencing brain freeze while their parents were neck down updating statuses and scrolling through the Twitterverse. One little girl said “mommy” about 15 times before mom actually looked up to acknowledge what her little girl had to say. It really did hurt my heart to see these kids being ignored by their parents.

I don’t want to turn this blog post into a complain-fest, I just want parents to be aware of how we’re interacting with our kids. I’m afraid of the future and how this is going to affect them when they become adults. Will they have the proper skills to carry on conversations? Will they have good physical habits and be able to excel in the workplace? I’m really beginning to wonder if they won’t. Take some time to think about the QUALITY time you’re spending with your kiddos. Some of this time you’ll never ever get back. Take an hour to focus on them, make conversation and make eye contact for goodness sake. Tuck the technology away and be present, because if you don’t… I’ll be silently judging you from the corner of the ice cream shop.


Featured in Colorado Parent Magazine April 2016

Mom of the Year

We recently had a topic on the morning show that we called “mom of the year,” referring in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way to the one time that you totally failed at being a parent!  Whether it was just pure laziness on your part, maybe a slip of the tongue letting a curse word fly in front of your 3-year-old, or taking your kids to the grocery store with messed up hair in their PJs because it was just too much work to get them dressed.  It was a great topic and pretty darn funny when the calls started rolling in! This parenting gig is pretty exhausting and sometimes no matter how hard we try to be the perfect parent, things are inevitably going to go wrong.

One of the best calls we received was from a woman who was busting herself because she let her daughter have numerous bowls of super sugary cereal for dinner, all while she sat on the couch and had a bottle of wine! She just wasn’t in the mood to force her daughter to eat her vegetables that night.  Don’t feel bad moms, not every dinner can have the complete food pyramid in it. Consider that little Pinot Grigio vacation on the couch a much needed mental health break.

My sweet little Grandma has a great story that she loves to tell as well. When my dad was a baby, he fell asleep in the middle of her bed. My grandma tiptoed out of the room to get a couple chores done thinking that he would be perfectly safe. About 10 minutes later she came back into the room and my dad had vanished!  Where did the baby go? Panicked, she heard a little whimpering, and went closer to the bed to investigate. Turns out my dad decided to roll on the bed and slid right down into the little crack between the mattress and the wall and was stuck like a little cork.  Total “mom of the year” moment that my grandma laughs about now although it was really frightening at the time.

And I would totally kick myself if I didn’t have a chance to bust my wife on something as well. Our own little 10-month-old, Lyla, is in a rolling mood of her own. Not yet able to crawl, she rolls all around the floor to get where she needs to go. She was laying in the middle of our living room floor nice and safe when my wife decided to zip into the kitchen to make her a bottle. During the couple minutes alone, Lyla decided to roll over to our dog who was chewing on a rawhide bone. She scooped it away from him and then proceeded to place the slimy, gooey, chewed up end into her own mouth and began suckling away. My wife came back in horrified not knowing what to do. She tried her best to rinse out Lyla’s mouth finally chalking the incident up to a “mom of the year” moment.

The nasty dog bone mishap happened a couple weekends ago and so far Lyla seems to be doing just fine. Although, for some reason every time the doorbell rings she starts barking and she won’t stop dragging her butt across the floor! Weird.


Featured In Colorado Parent Magazine Feb 2016