Celebrate Half Christmas in St. Louis

When I started this blog I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, and when I started getting emails from other dads saying they liked what I wrote, I knew that I was going down the right path. One of the first emails I received was from St. Louis native Ryan Nusbickel. He wanted to give me a shout out to let me know that he enjoyed my blog. He also was kind enough to send me two children’s books that he had written and illustrated. I have been sitting on these books waiting for the right time to post about them… Since today is Half Christmas it seemed like the perfect time to write about one of them in particular.

stlnightbeforechristmasThe St. Louis Night Before Christmas is a fantastic story that takes you on a journey through all of the great locations found in our area. The illustrations are hilarious and fit the theme of the book perfectly. As you can imagine the story is in the style of The Night Before Christmas poem written by Clement Clarke Moore. The rhyming and imagery make this a must own story for anyone familiar with the St. Louis area. Plus it’s not expensive!

My kids thought this book was great. According to my daughter, Santa and her are currently BFF’s, so if she says this is seriously entertaining, then why miss out for another year?

So do yourself a favor this Half Christmas and pick up this excellent book. Ryan’s website is StLouisChildrensBooks.com and NusbickelBooks.com. Either link will take you to the same place. Don’t want to order online? His book is also available in select retail locations. Check out the list here!

“The St. Louis Night Before Christmas is #1 Selling Children’s Book in St Louis For the 2014 Holiday Season” – The St. Louis Post Dispatch

I Forgot I Had Kids

I totally forgot that we have kids... (1)Well for a few days at least… It is an awesome thing to have family and friends that will take your kids over night. If you do, cherish those people, as they are your saviors. For the last few days my two kids have been spending time at their Aunt and Uncle’s house. This has allowed my wife and I much needed time to unwind. Usually, we both are always doing something. I may be at work all day but then come home and work for a few more hours, while she may be going to the library, the grocery store, or some other type of errand. We find that there isn’t a lot of down time when we have the kids home. Planning for a break can be difficult as well. We needed to make sure everything was done so we would have the most relaxing break possible. I still have to go to work but at least when I get home I have nothing to do.

IMG_5922We Spent the first night having a few drinks, watched some episodes from the new season of Orange is The New Black (we don’t binge watch), and snacked on a few Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Those things are amazing if you put them in the fridge and get em all nice and cold. Anyways, the next night one of my clients had an emergency so I spent a few hours working with him but then enjoyed a nice dinner with my wife and we watched a movie. The following night we went out and did a little summer shopping. Picked up a new cooler, some summer clothes, a few other odds and ins. Then we went out for a nice dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was mighty tasty. When we got home it was quiet, much like it has been the last few days. We didn’t have to pick up toys, clean a sink full of dishes, or wash a pile of laundry. With how quiet it has been I totally forgot that we had kids. It was very quiet, very calm, and very relaxing. Do we have to take them back?

Who am I kidding though? I love my kids more than anything, and I miss the loud noises. When it’s too quiet I always feel like something might be wrong. Because typically, when the kids are home and it does get oddly quiet, they are getting into something. I will never forget that I have kids. They are just too awesome to be forgettable.

Tug of War is No More

chewy.comChewy had sent me a really cool dog toy to try out with my fur babies.   What I got was a KONG Squeezz Rope with a squeaky ball at the end to check out and review. My boxer Clark is always trying to chew on something in our house. The KONG Squeezz Rope was a good idea while it lasted. Clark loved playing tug of war with me using the KONG. The handle held up well while I was using it and the ball and rope never seemed to give away during our tug of war matches. It was comfortable in my grip and I felt like I had good leverage up against this determined boxer.

Sadly, it only took 3 days for Clark to destroy it. More than likely it is my own fault for the KONG not surviving the week.  In my own stupidity I let Clark continue to chew on the toy well after we were done playing. So it did not take long for Clark to rip the handle off and then also chew through the rope.

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I ended up cutting the rest of the rope off and now Clark has a nice tough squeaky ball. The ball has held up nicely and we use it to fetch and keep his chewing contained. When you order one of these KONG Squeezz Ropes be sure to choose between medium and large depending on your dog’s size. The color of the KONG will be selected at random according to the product page on Chewy’s website. If your dog is an active chewer this product may not be right for you.

If your dog likes to play tug of war and fetch but doesn’t really have an interest in chewing, then this is definitely for you. If you do have a chewer I would recommend the bone or ball specific KONG toy products. The handle on this one is great for humans, but not so much for doggies. Particularly larger dogs. I do not have a small to medium sized dog but I can imagine that they would not be able to destroy the handle as fast as a larger dog.

IMG_4109Chewy had also sent over a Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Chew Beef Tendon dog chew. I gave this treat to my other fur baby Miss Lady. She is an American Pit Bull mix. She loves dog chews like these and there were absolutely no complaints from her with this chew. This dog chew is 100% natural and are made from dried beef tendons. I would highly recommend this product over a traditional rawhide chew. I would say that the biggest issue I had with this dog chew as trying to keep Clark from taking it away from Miss Lady. You just can’t go wrong with dog chews like these. Be sure to purchase the larger pack though, this one dog chew just wasn’t enough for my doggies!

Chewy.com provided St. Louis Dad with these products as compensation in exchange for an honest review. Please visit Chewy.com for more toys, treats, and other items needed for your pets!

Happy Father’s Day Dad

8th Grade GraduationFifteen years ago my dad passed away. He had lost his battle with cancer and went on his way. I think about him often and how things have changed since the last time I seen him. I wonder what he would think about mp3s, blogs, and the internet in general. Then there were no iPhones or Spotify. Facebook and YouTube was nonexistent. Phone books were how you looked people up, and you were lucky to get a hour out of your Walkman back then.

More than likely I can see him really liking it. When I was younger my dad would make radio show style mixtapes of classic rock music. He would have some comedy bits played between and have this whole production laid out for each tape. This is old school style of making a podcast. Except not many people heard his tapes. They were made as gifts for family. As time passed most of these tapes have been lost. I personally only have two. Check out a little preview below.

Happy Father’s Day Dad. I know you would have loved the way things have progressed. You would have been an awesome grandfather to all of your grandchildren. You are forever missed, and I hope one day I will get to see you again.


15 years and still miss ya. #ripdad

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