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Millennial Problems for a 33 Year Old

 

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Today is my birthday and depending on who you’re asking, my age range fits into the millennial category. I feel like I fit closer in the Gen X category but whatever. This year I turn 33 years old and I can feel it. No more are the days where I am limber and have cat like reflexes. These days you can find my reflexes are much more comfortable in the speed reduction zone. My knees creak and it doesn’t take much to put my back out of commission. Maybe I’m just unhealthy or maybe it’s just old age. Whatever it is, it sucks.

So I’m getting older and as time marches on I am minimizing my life. I have already cleared up a lot of wall and shelf space in my office. I have since taken down a lot of my older toys and nick-nacks and have stored them away. My office looks a lot cleaner now because of it but there’s still a lot of work to do. I still have my comic collection but even that is getting the minimal setup. I have reduced the amount of comics that I collect significantly. I have finished off stories and ended their run in appropriate fashion but no longer continued with several series. It’s just something that comes with age I suppose.

80s-STLDAD-AbbyWhat’s weird about getting older is that when I take a trip back to nostalgiaville I’m not getting as sucked back into whatever it is as much as I have in the past. Making that switch was much needed but I’m surprised that it came so natural. There are times when nostalgia still hits hard and I start pining for whatever it is. Currently, I have been watching a lot of old Bone Brigade videos and other skate videos. I’d love to get back into skating. It’s been a long time since I have done an ollie. Who knows if I can even get up in the air but I really want to try. The winter weather is doing an excellent job of holding me back because there’s no way I want to go out in the cold. So we’ll see if by spring time if I am still itching to skate. If so then maybe I will give it a go. Until then I will just keep watching Powell Peralta videos.

It’s getting dark earlier and earlier and Christmas is just around the corner. After that we end the year and start another. So many say that 2016 was a pretty bad year. While I think there were plenty of moments that just sucked, it couldn’t have been that horrible. You’re still here right? If anything, I am excited for 2017. It will be a great year. I hope to do more interesting things with the blog, write more about the family, and maybe review some more interesting products. I promised Abby that we will start season 2 of Abby Doodles TV so expect that sometime next year as well. We want to go a little bigger than season 1. So we will see how that goes.

80s-STLDAD-Alex

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Why Should Mom Have All The Fun?

IMG_4711This has been the tagline of St. Louis Dad since I created this website almost two years ago. What does it even mean; Why should mom have all the fun? I will tell you exactly what it means.

Over time mothers have typically been the primary caregiver for children. They have done an amazing job raising the kids. Children over the existence of mankind have grown up and have done great things thanks to having a positive motherly influence in their life.

There is absolutely no doubt that the majority of mothers know what is best for their children. There is a lot of truth to the saying, “mother knows best”, “choosy mom’s choose Jif”, “kid tested, mother approved”, etc, etc…

Times however are changing and fathers are now becoming more involved than ever in their children’s lives. Even more fathers are now staying at home with the kids while mom does the 9 to 5. It is changing the landscape of parenting and it is time for many to recognize this.

IMG_4580The stereotype used to be that dads are always mucking everything up. There is no way for them to be able to handle all of the same responsibilities as a mother. While this may be true for some dads at home, and most dads on sitcom T.V., the number of dads who do actually have their shit together has increased substantially. I don’t have any data to back up my claims but look around. You will see changing tables in more men’s restrooms, more dads at the park, store, you name it. This is because us dads want to be a part of kids lives and they’re not just babysitting! They are parenting!

Many of us dads spend all day at work stressing over whatever it is we do to help pay the bills. Then we get home and get to hear about all the fun stuff mom and the kids got to do. I know moms do not have it easy being at home all day. It’s a beautiful mess managing kids. But they do get to have some fun. They get to enjoy a good portion of the sunshine. Toys and games and dance parties… And here I am monitoring firewall logs, auditing user accounts, and hard drive usage… important but boring. I’d rather help make a mess at home with some play-doh or slime. Granted a mom’s life isn’t all fun and games. I know all about it from my own wife’s gripe sessions. But ya gotta admit there is some fun to be had!

So why should mom have all the fun? It shouldn’t be an exclusive club. All should be welcomed. Dads are awesome too and many of us are doing what needs to be done to get involved with our kids. If you’re a dad and you’re not having fun with your kids then it’s time to get started. Don’t miss out on getting into your child’s world. It’s a big imaginative play place and you’re totally invited!

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Learning All About Disappointment at Target

IMG_6670Now that Halloween has settled down and the candy bowl has started down a path of depletion, I wanted to take a moment to write about something that happened over the weekend that I thought was a good life lesson for my kids.

This past weekend, Target had a Saturday Spooktacular event. Where kids can get a free Shopkins or Grossery Gang Trick or Treat bag for all the giveaway goodies that were being handed out through-out the store. I had an hour to do something with the kids before we had to go to a wedding shower. Target is only a few minutes away from our house. So I loaded up the kiddos into the car and gave them the run down of what we were doing. I told them how important it was for them to be on their best behavior and all of that good stuff.

When we arrived at Target and entered the store there was only one family in line in front of us to pick up their Trick or Treat bag. I could see that there were only two bags left on the table and that the two kids in front of us were going to get them. I thought maybe they had a few extra bags that weren’t set out but I was wrong. The clerk was sorry that they had ran out of bags so fast but my kids could still have a piece of candy if they wanted.

shopkins-targetMy son really didn’t care, he is still little enough to where he can get past disappointment fairly quickly. My daughter however, she really wanted a Shopkins trick or treat bag. I had actually just told her “no” on a Shopkins bag the day before at the Halloween store. So I felt bad that we didn’t get the bag at Target but I also knew that free stuff can go fast, so I explained to my daughter that sometimes we don’t get the things that we want and we may need to pick something else. I told her that we can pick out a different Trick or Treat bag and I would pay for it. So we headed down the aisle to the Halloween stuff and we could not find any canvas bags for candy at all. There were plenty of pumpkin buckets but that’s not enough room for candy!

So instead of a bag we just got a couple of coloring books, some tattoos, and a few pieces of candy and went home. We learned a lot about disappointment that day, and while it’s not Target’s fault for running out of their cool Shopkins bags, I did hear from a friend that went earlier that morning that she seen several parents grabbing a bag for their kids that were not even with them. It’s not my business but I do think that is a little unfair for the kids that did actually go with their mom or dad so they could get a bag… Might I suggest not giving freebies away to adults when they don’t have a child present with them.

Anyways, it’s just a bag, the kids have already gotten over it and filled a different bag that we picked up from a different store with a few hundred pieces of candy. I’m just happy that all I had to deal with was a little boy crawling on Target’s tile floor like a snake and I didn’t have to deal with my kids having a meltdown in the middle of Target.

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We’re Not Awesome Parents

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A lot of people compliment my wife and I at how awesome of parents we are and all of the cool activities we do with our kids. We play with cars, trains, robots and superheros. We craft with paint, glue, glitter, and paper. We have dance parties and watch movies. We go on adventures out in the world and in our own backyard. It seems awesome, but it’s not. It is a lot of work parenting like this. It would be so easy to just tell the kids to play with their toys in front of the t.v.

But that’s not what my wife and I are after, and it’s definitely not easy. What pictures don’t show are the moments where Alex is having a breakdown because he can’t use Abby’s yellow paint, or Abby crying because Alex pulled her hair for the fiftieth time. There is always a story in between the camera flashes.

IMG_1307Moments like those are what test your patience and make you wonder why you even got the paint out in the first place. I will say that it is worth it even if it begins and ends with a meltdown. The reason it’s worthwhile is simple. Doing these activities is what will shape our kids in the future. If we don’t do anything then where will our kids learn from, school? Most kids don’t even start school until they are five, sometimes even six. That’s five years worth of learning they are missing out on. Learning is forever and not only are your kids constantly learning but so are you. Keeping these activities going takes a lot out of you and at first it’s difficult, but you learn what works and what doesn’t and you get better at handling your children when it comes to projects.

We’re not awesome parents by any stretch of the imagination. We’re just doing what we need to do to make sure our kids are independently equipped for whatever their future holds, whatever path they choose they will be ready. So when you see me or my family posting pictures from a fun activity going down at our house or from a night out, just know in that particular moment all was well, but there’s a 99.9999% chance that there was a meltdown before if not after that flash went off.

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