Happy Birthday Abby Doodles!

IMG00196I can still remember that morning. Destiny had been up most of the night in pain, however she didn’t bother me about it at all. She should have though because she was in labor and just a few hours after she woke me up that morning we would be holding our baby girl.

The night before we went on a nice walk in Creve Coeur Park. We watched a beautiful sunset and then went home and had a nice dinner. We were still expecting our new arrival in about a week. Little did we know she would be coming the next day.

Abernathy Ann arrived around noon on August 26th at 5 pounds 9 ounces and was completely amazing. The next two days were spent at the hospital which is pretty much standard procedure in our area. We could not wait to get our little Abby home for the first time.

IMG_0061Over the next five years Abby has grown into an amazingly creative little girl. Her imagination runs wild with ideas for crafts, videos, and other little projects. She sets up scenarios with her toys and brings them to life.

It will be an adventure to see where the next five years will take us. I’m sure there will be laughs, and tears. Fights with her brother and sleep overs with friends. There will be school and events with family, and I hope to capture her growth through it all.

Happy Birthday Abby Doodles, we hope all of your wishes come true.

Cookies and Stains

chewy.comThis month Chewy.com sent over two products that were well received in my house. The first item was Merrick’s Jerky Chip Treats. They are oven-baked cookies for dogs. We tried out the Real Beef Recipe with Miss Lady and Clark. Needless to say they really enjoyed the treats. I don’t think there is anything they won’t eat. We typically reward our dogs when they are being good. Such as when we are eating dinner. If they do not hound us for food and instead lay in another room, then we will reward them with a treat like these cookies.

I like the idea of the dog treats in the form of a cookie. They look a lot like the real deal, so much in fact we had to put these high up on the shelf so our kids did not see them. They do not know how to read yet, and because these look so much like cookies I know they would immediately want some. I am pretty sure if my daughter took a big bite out of one of these, she probably wouldn’t trust any cookie I give her. I wouldn’t blame her. These are definitely for dogs only.

IMG_4574The next item Chewy sent over was Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator. Unfortunately our dogs have had accidents in the house in the past. We have gotten the carpets cleaned and we have even purchased our own steam cleaner. Surprisingly, it took me a few weeks before I even had a chance to use the spray. Which is a good thing. Nobody wants to clean their carpets from pet stains. Luckily, the bottle says that it has a”Natural bio-enzymatic formula, permanently eliminates pet urine odor”. So when I finally had the chance to try it out I was very surprised at how well it worked. The spray itself smelled pretty good. So I followed the directions and after 20 minutes I could not tell that Clark had left his business on my floor. That was the only chance I’ve had to use it, so a win for Miss Lady and Clark in that category.

It’s also a big win for Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. They have a nice spray here and I definitely recommend picking up a bottle if your pet has any indoor accidents. Chewy.com really has pretty much everything you need for your pet, and I want to hear about them. So be sure to comment below and tell us about your furry children!

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!

Back To School: Basic Guidelines for Success

4794889717_999004eece_zBack to school season is in the air! Schools are preparing for our kids to jump back into classrooms, and parents are preparing schedules for their children. It’s a time where we might be excited for the upcoming school year, but disappointed that the relaxing summer months with our kids is about to end. Stress may be high during this time of year, as we are having to arrange schedules with others to coordinate transporting our kids to school as well as extracurricular activities. One thing to keep in mind this year is the safety of our children. We often become so busy and caught up in the madness of back to school, that we forget one of the most important aspects of our kid’s well-being. Be sure you prepare for the year by taking necessary steps to ensure your child’s safety in, and out of school. There are many places that pose threats for injury or illness- from the playground at recess, to the soccer fields after school. Keeping our children healthy and in a state of well-being will make our year much less stressful, and will allow for a smoother transition into our new schedules.

In fact, a large portion of child injuries result from recess time at schools. Other areas to be sure to recognize include areas like school busses, cafeterias, and carpool lines. In addition, with the rise in technology, cyber bullying can be an area for mental injury to our children, as they become older. A great resource for identifying these different types of injuries, and ways to identify and treat them is the Child Safety Guide. As parents, we are unaware of many injuries, or ways to treat them. Keeping a guide like this is important for this year.

stayalivegameBe sure to also speak with older kids and teens regarding potential dangers that they could face this year as well. There are many resources online that can identify these threats. One of the biggest problem areas for teens who are driving is engaging in distracted driving while traveling to school. Teen texting and driving actually causes more serious injuries than drunk driving alone.

An excellent resource to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving, that can be implemented into your conversations with teens is the Stay Alive Game. This would be an excellent conversation piece to initiate talks with teens about the threats that they face while texting and driving.

Be sure to start the school year off on a healthy, positive note. Let’s set guidelines and routines for all that will ensure safety and reduce any risks for dangers among our kids. Stay safe this year!

This guest post was written by Landon Biehl. Photo credit to Lord Jim.

My Kids are My Superheros

1400_Comic Book Kids SepiaEach and everyday I wake up thinking that today is going to be a good day. It doesn’t matter what kind of night or day I had before, I try and stay positive. My reason for being this way, my kids. Without even knowing it they help me every single day. They help me feel like today is going to be one for the books. They are the ones who help raise a smile on my face before I leave for work. Even though they are most likely still sleeping, it is these two little wonders of imagination that are my superheros.

I find it incredible how a child can change your mood in a matter of seconds. You can easily go from happy to mad when they are getting into something. But more often than not, I would like to think these little replicas of ourselves bring in an abundant amount of joy into our lives.

In the scene below from the movie Jaws, Chief Brody appears to be in deep thought about this killer shark, he’s vulnerable and has his back against the wall. He doesn’t even notice that his son is mimicking his every move. Then once he does, he plays into it. Escaping if even for just a few seconds from the terror that lurks in the water.

In this instance it isn’t the parent comforting the child. It is the child that is comforting the parent, just by doing what they do best, having fun. This is how I see my kids. I might be in an off mood or had a long day at work and the silliness of these kids is all that it takes to bring me out of my slump. Brody tells his son to give him a kiss and his son asks “why”. Brody responds with “because I need it.” He did need that kiss, just like any dad or mom having a tough day, no matter the circumstances, “because I need it” is the perfect reason.

1379 SepiaThere are other ways my kids can be included in the Williams Family Justice League of St. Louis. Many days before I head out to work, I will (if she is awake) ask Abby to be a super big helper for mommy while dad is at work. And when I get home and get the daily rundown from mom, there are always positive remarks about how helpful Abby was all day.

Alex on the otherhand cannot do much in regards to being a big helper or really even following directions. He is still learning those concepts, but he shows his true super hero colors when giving dad and mom kisses becomes a game to him. First mom, then dad, then mom, then dad again and so on and so forth. His little personality shines through when he wants, and it just melts my heart.

Even if they look to me as their Super Dad, they (and my wife of course!) are the reason I get up out of bed every morning. They are the reason I smile. They are my little superheros.

Do you have your own little superhero? What kind of things do they do to help save the day? Comment below!

1361_Soft BW color pop

It’s not always easy being super…