Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve at Denny's



I want to share my most cherished Christmas Tradition with you.

It is Christmas Eve, and tonight I am going to Denny's.

Let me tell you a little story. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

My UPS Christmas Story

You may not know this, but I worked for UPS from 2004 to 2012. I started as an inbound customer service agent, promoted up through the ranks, and eventually ended up helping manage the customer side of their social media. I also handled calls and letters for the CEO and management committee. 

As you can imagine, Christmas at UPS is a really busy time. On the customer service side especially, it was a very difficult time. Sometimes packages don't make it on time. Sometimes we missed Christmas. Around this time every year, after hours and hours of very angry, and sometimes cruel, people calling to explain how I personally had ruined Christmas, I would declare my faith to humanity lost. Usually it was around the 20th of December. But one year, a gentlemen called me to say thank you and completely turned my December around. Here's his story as best as I can retell it. 

The man, whose name I don't recall, had a special needs son who stayed home during the day. One of the things that brought his son joy was seeing his UPS driver bringing a package to the door. Whenever he knew a package was coming, he would watch out the window all morning for the big brown truck to pull up. When he would see the driver arrive and get out of his truck, the boy would run to the door and wait for the driver. Then, caring very little about the package itself, the boy would high-five the driver. His father, who worked from home and got a lot of packages, said that that the high five from his driver was the highlight of his son's week. 

Well, like I mentioned before, things get really busy this time of year at UPS. Depending on the route, a driver's package load can double. Everyone works overtime, and everyone pitches in, but sometimes the personal touch gets left behind. 


Very, very busy.

The boy was expecting Christmas presents from his grandmother, and had spent the entire morning looking out the window. His knew the driver usually came around eleven, and when one o' clock rolled around his nose was still poking up against the cold glass.  His dad was working on his computer in the living room, and would continually glance over at his son. After awhile he noticed that he was shuffling back and forth. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pocket Speakers Make Christmas Carols Portable

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. 

This awesome pocket speaker fills a whole room with Christmas cheer! #PocketBoom, #shop, #cbias


As most of you know, I get paid to try out various products from time to time This month I got the opportunity to try out the extra small, extra loud, and remarkably portable pocket speaker by Carbon Audio. It's currently available exclusively for purchase in all of the brick and mortar Apple Store and on line. It is also, and I say this without hesitation and under no influence of the fact that I get paid for this, a really nice product. 

Make a Wish and Jaxon's FROG Foundation

A few weeks ago we had a little contest on the Ask Your Dad Facebook page. I promised that if we hit 5000 likes I would share my most embarrassing childhood photo asked readers to do the same. Whoever shared the most embarrassing photo got to pick who I featured on Five Dollar Friday. Ladies and gentlemen, I present... our indisputable winner.

Our winner Jennifer! (Not creepy ET)

Through Jennifer's willingness to share her incredibly creepy ET picture with us, and her subsequent victory, I had the honor of getting to learn a little bit more about Jaxon. Jaxon is the son or Jennifer's friend. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, and passed away in November of 2012, but not before leaving an amazing footprint on the world. Here is his story, as told by his mom.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What can a dad can teach his daughter better than a mom?



I received a reader question a little while back, and since my answer became the length of a standard blog post, I figured I would share it here. 


Dear Dad,


What do you think it is easier for a man to teach a little girl compared to a woman teaching a little girl.


- Anonymous 


Dear Anonymous, 


Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Power of Saying Thank You

Instead of writing a long, emotional list of all the thinks in this world I am thankful for, instead I'd like to share with you why just the act of being thankful is so transformative and important. 

First, watch this video by Soul Pancake - all seven minutes and fourteen seconds. It is worth it. I promise. Then, meet me in the text under the video. 




OK! Here's the plan!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ask Your Dad's 100th Post


This is my 100th post. I'm not sure what that means. I don't get an award for it, nor should I. It is kind of an arbitrary number, but since I didn't write about my one year blogiversary, mainly because the word "blogiversary" makes me throw up in my soul a little bit every time I type it, I thought that I would take a minute and do what I swore to myself I would never do when I started this blog – blog about blogging. Blog blog blog. If you say it enough times it just sounds silly. Anyway… on with the self indulgence. I promise to only do this every hundred posts or so. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Dollar Friday - Movember - Dad on the Run

Hi everyone! Dad (John) here. Has your Facebook feed been transformed into a bunch of guys posting pictures of their mustaches? Mine has. November is Men's Health month, and in support of Men's Health organizations, many of my dad blogger friends are raising money with their mouths, well... their upper lips. Here is where the money goes. Since I am going to be taking on a rather larger fundraiser starting in December (more details to come), and despite my ability to grow a bitchen mustache, I have decided to forgo my own Movember and feature a few of my dad blogger buddies on Five Dollar Fridays. Up this week, Eric of Dad on the Run. Here's a message from Eric about why you should donate your lunch money to his charity:


Dad on the Run Logo


This is my first year being involved with Movember, though I am quite proud of my trucker ‘stache. I grew up in the south and saw man after man in my life succumb to one illness or another (often more than one at a time) and saw many of them suffer from mental health issues as well. The “macho” way of thinking prevents so many men from taking care of themselves, thinking about prevention, being informed or even seeing a doctor for anything. I have battled those ideas myself and am still working on it, to be honest. I see Movember as the most effective movement today helping to bring down these walls that do so much harm, which is why I joined up and plan on doing so for years to come. If you care about the men in your life, tell them it’s not only “OK” to take care of themselves and face their potential health issues, but that it is necessary. Help them understand with Movember, get them involved personally, talk to them about prevention, donate to the cause so we can help get the word out as well. Let’s be done with the Marlboro Man, the new “macho” man is the guy who wants to stick around as long as possible to support his family, watch his children grow up, be there for them when they need him, grow old with his spouse and bounce his grand-children (and even great-grandchildren) on his lap. Here’s to a long, healthy life men! Remember, Remember 5 bucks for Movember! Thank you for your support!

Sincerely, 
Dad on the Run





He usually smiles a lot. I promise.

P.S. John here again. If you haven't met Eric before or read his blog, I highly encourage it, especially this post. He is a great writer, and a great friend. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter. But go donate five dollars first!! I did:



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Prayer for My Son



First, Lord: bend the brim of his ball caps and remove the stickers. Or, please, at least allow that silly trend to have passed by the time he can afford his own hats.

Let him sleep under a blanket of comic books with the light on, because he fell asleep reading. Drop the right books in his lap at the library, and make the librarian nice enough to let him lie down on the floor to read them. Dear Lord, let libraries still exist!

Protect him from the stupidity of childhood. Hide from his knowledge such games as "Shoot the arrow straight up in the air and run around while trying not to die" and "Let's see who can get the biggest icicle off the roof with our hands" and "I bet if we duct tape these fireworks together it will make them much cooler and louder."

Whisper in his head that he's not nearly as fat or skinny or ugly as he thinks he is. Nobody talks to boys about these things, and they worry about them as much as girls do. Maybe just light up a bush nearby him and tell him he's a good looking dude. That would be helpful, and will probably scare the hell out of him. It's a good idea to keep him on his toes.

And lead him not into believing the bullshit his teenage friends tell him about their "experiences" with women. They are lying and are worthy of smite. Granted, I don't know what smiting is. Is it like a God-smack on the wrist? If so, smite them. If not, maybe just give them diarrhea for a week or two.

Protect him from the hard drugs and help him to realize that soft ones may not destroy his brain, but will steal his time. Show him that time is precious, and that video games are a perfectly good use of precious time as long as they are good video games. Also, while I have you here, please tell EA to start making good video games again.

Let him be good enough at sports to be picked third or fourth, but not good enough to want to play on expensive club teams or have unrealistic dreams of being a professional athlete. We don't have the money for that, and the Kinnears are JV athletes in their prime.

And give him words God. Give him words to take what is inside and bring it out. Give him words to write his happiness, and pain, and joys, and poems so high school girls will think he is deep and sexy in a Keroack kind of way, not creepy and damaged in a Bukowski kind of way.

And if he must have heartbreak, please let him have good friends to comfort him,  hug him, and eventually tell him that he needs to take a shower and shut up about "so and so" because he is getting annoying, and people are starting to talk about the smell.

O Lord, give my boy a college scholarship so that I may take the $4,500 dollars I've saved, that won't even come close to paying for college anyway, and spend it on something nice for me – like a new refrigerator. Sigh… please let me think of something better to spend $4,500 on than a refrigerator.

And Lord, make my right arm strong so that no matter how old, weak, and senile I get, my boy will never beat me in an arm wrestling match. Let my unending arm strength confound him from childhood to adulthood so that when I leave this mortal coil my tombstone will read:
John Kinnear 1981-2081
Wise and kind father, Loving husband, Unnaturally strong right arm. His son loved him and also never beat him in an arm wrestling match.
And lastly Lord, in his darkest, lonely moments, when no one is around and his thoughts feel more like walls closing in than the sky opening up – allow me to appear via cloud, a la Muffassa in the Lion King, and tell him that I love him… and to take a shower. People are starting to talk.

Thanks God.

Oh yeah… Amen

Oh, P.S. Lord

Please let Tina Fey know that I'm sorry for stealing her format.

This is inspired by Tina Fey's "A Prayer for A Daughter" from her book, Bossypants and was originally published on Lifetime Mom's. You can read more of my work for Lifetime Mom's here

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Put Our Kids to Bed - Part 175

Hi everyone. Our bedtime routine with the kids continues to change as we adapt to Duchess and Captain getting older. Since I wrote the previous definitive guide to putting your kid to bed seven months ago, pretty much everything has changed at least 173 times. Stevie has been kind enough to write an update on the most recent changes. Enjoy!

- Dad (John)

There was a unique challenge that John and I hadn't anticipated when having two kids share a room. That was getting two kids to fall asleep in the same room. The life of Duchess's go-to-bed habits have peaks and valleys. We'll go weeks and have it be the most awwwww-inducing moment of the day; full of “I love you mommy!” and “just one more kiss, daddy”. But then there's her low points. Her it's-ten-o-clock-and-you're-nuts-if-you-think-I'm-staying-in-this-bed nights. Nights where she magically has to pee 17 times. Nights where she can't go to bed because she needs to be in the living room staring out the window for an indefinite amount of time. Nights where she knows it's time for bed and runs and hides in adorably obvious places. 


These nights.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five Dollar Friday - Movember - Chris Bernholdt

Hi everyone! Dad (John) here. Has your Facebook feed been transformed into a bunch of guys posting pictures of their mustaches? Mine has. November is Men's Health month, and in support of Men's Health, many of my dad blogger friends are raising money with their mouths, well... their upper lips. Since I am going to be taking on a rather larger fundraiser starting in December (more details to come), and despite my ability to grow a bitchen mustache, I have decided to forgo my own Movember and feature a few of my dad blogger buddies on Five Dollar Fridays. Up this week, Chris Bernhodlt of Dad in Charge. Here's a message from Chris about why you should donate your lunch money to his charity:


Chris and his dad.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Marriage is for me. And you. And the kids. And the dog.

Yes. I've read the newest viral post “Marriage isn't for you.” And yes, I like the idea of selflessness and devotion. And I love the idea of dedicating myself and my life to my wife and children. All of those sentiments are lovely. But I am not the sole giver of joy in the marriage. I am also a receiver. And I am not ashamed to admit that when I think about my marriage, and I think about my obligations to my wife and children, I also think about my obligation to myself.

See, if I am not happy, if I am not fulfilled, if I am a bank account with all withdrawals and no deposits, then things are going to get really shitty, really fast. And while, yes, every decision I make is absolutely tempered by the positive or negative effects it will have on my family, I think it is absolutely ludicrous to say that I, me, should not be a part of that equation. It isn't fair to me, and it isn't fair to my family. 

I’m not a martyr; I’m a husband and a father. I am not the savior of the family. I am a part of the family. I am not the solution. I am part of the equation. And EVERYONE in our family has the right to be happy, including me. So yes, marriage is for me. And it is for Stevie. And it is for Duchess and Captain. And what the hell, it can be for our dog, Riley, too.

Stevie doesn't want a husband whose sole focus is providing an endless supply of smiles. Stevie wants a husband who is happy and self-assured, as well as devoted and kind. She wants me to consider myself AND her and our kids. She wants me to be honest with her much more than she wants me to make her smile every day. How do I know this? Because we have talked about what we want out of our relationship. Yes. I have told her what I want, and she has told me what she wants. And together, we work to make each other AND ourselves happy. 

So call me selfish. I am selfish, and I’m proud of it. My happiness is their happiness, as theirs is mine. 

And I’ll be honest with you, we’re pretty damn happy.

End Rant

Dad (John)


See look! We're smiling. Happy AND selfish. 

P.S. If you're not currently a fan of the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page, but you like the blog, I highly encourage you to consider it. It's not just a place where I post new posts from the blog. I also post smaller, humorous content, pictures and interesting articles. We laugh... we cry... we hug. (We don't actually hug.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Duchess gets a Monsters University Party

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.


Duchess and Sully #shop

Sometimes being a blogger is hard work. Other times you get a free copy of Monsters University, a giant Stuffed Sully doll, and the opportunity to throw your daughter a fantastic sleepover movie watching party that you otherwise would not have been able to afford. So yeah, blogging has its perks at times. I don't mind.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Walmart Family Mobile Follow Up - Stevie is Still Horrible at Fantasy Football

BUT... she is much better at Candy Crush Saga. Hooray. 

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.


Text message about Fantasy Football #FamilyMobileSaves, #cbias #shop

Remember my post about a month ago about the awesome phone we were able to get Stevie? (Pics here) Well, we've spent a month with our new Galaxy S4 on the Walmart Family Mobile Plan. Our goal was to find a cheap wireless plan and still have a nice phone. Here are my immediate takeaways.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Breastfeeding is Really Hard

by Mom (Stevie)

This post has been a long time coming. When we had Captain, John said “You should write a post about breastfeeding”. And I said “You're right, I should.”

When I was having a hard time with it, I said “Maybe I could write a blog post about the difficulties I'm having. I’m sure others can relate,” and John said “You’re right. You should.”

When I gave up breastfeeding, I said “I’m not writing that post. It’s too hard.”

So this post has had many versions. I've basically gone through every level of acceptance. The first post was fun but unfinished. The second was whiny. The third was angsty. The fourth was depressing. The fifth version had the word "nipple" in it so often that even I began to feel awkward. So here it is, all laid out.

I said from the beginning that I would breastfeed Captain as long as I could. I breastfed Duchess for almost a year and loved it. It was hard in the beginning with Duchess. It was very, very hard. I had to adjust both physically and mentally. Not only is it incredibly painful in the beginning, it takes a toll on your body the entire time you are breastfeeding. Sure, you lose some baby weight faster. But your hormones are out.of.control. Your gums are sensitive. Your boobs are VERY sensitive. In fact, they are off limits to everything but your baby. And emotionally, you have to decide what you are comfortable with. Will you breastfeed in front of friends? Family? In public? What will you do if the baby gets hungry at the restaurant and you don’t have a cover? You basically have a full year of these physical and mental challenges.


Iron = FE, Man = Male, therefore Iron Man = Female

I didn't have that with Captain. I was a breast feeding champ. I knew when my milk was going to come in and how to prepare for it. I knew that I was going to soak through every bra/shirt combination I had. So I stocked up on bra pads. Costco-sized boxes of bra pads. I had no qualms about breastfeeding in front of anyone. We’re in the mall and Captain is hungry? Done. No cover? Who cares?  I had it DOWN. It was an art, really.

But there was something different about my breastfeeding adventure with Captain – exhaustion. Home life was hectic with a newborn and a toddler. I had a new job this time around. A job I love but definitely a job with more stress and more responsibility. It was harder to get away to pump. I quickly fell behind in my “stash” and found myself resenting the daycare when they gave him four bottles of milk and I’d only pumped three that day. At seven months, I finally just made the decision to stop pumping at work and let him get formula at daycare. It was definitely an easier decision to make with Captain than with Duchess. Duchess was on formula exclusively at the very end, for about a month. It took 11 months to convince myself that I wasn't a terrible mother for letting her have formula. It took much less time with Captain.

So we worked with that plan and it was great. For about a month. And then….biting. Oh lord the biting. I don’t remember having that problem with Duchess. But with Captain, that kid is like an alligator. Seriously, have you ever seen an alligator lock their jaw on a prey and do the barrel roll of death? That’s my kid. He drew blood on many an occasion.

I finally had come to the end. I was having anxiety attacks the entire time I was nursing him. Just waiting for him to bite with those little sharp baby teeth. I had to quit nursing. That was really hard for me. You see, I had actually said months earlier that I would be willing to go as long as 18 months with Captain (whereas I put the cutoff at one year with Duchess). I knew what I was doing, and I was good at it. But then life happened. I cried my tears and held my boy close and apologized profusely (all while whispering “really this is your fault, kid”).

But then do you know what happened? With the help of my friends and that husband of mine, I realized that I’m awesome. I nursed my kid for 8 months. He got a damn good start to life. So to all those mamas out there are struggling with nursing: you’re a good mom. If you keep on with it, you’re a good mom. If you need to supplement here and there, you’re a good mom. If you've never nursed at all, you’re a good mom.

Just keep being awesome. High f*cking five. You ladies all rock.

Love, Mom (Stevie)

P.S. Also, here are some tears for you all. (This post is not sponsored by Johnson's, it's just a great commercial) 




P.S.S. John wants me to remind you to follow Ask Your Dad on Facebook. He works really hard to make it a fun and engaging community that doesn't just spam your news feed with cat pictures. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Things We Learn As Parents Lesson 273 - Comic

Things We Learn As Parents - Comic - Barmy Rootstock

This week's guest comic comes from the fantastic Barmy Rootstock. I've known Barmy for awhile, and am a huge fan of his blog "I've Become My Parents". It is that perfect mix of tender and funny that I strive for here on Ask Your Dad, but rarely accomplish with the grace that he makes look effortless. Here's a little about Barmy in his own words:

Barmy Rootstock is a humorist and parent, blogging at IveBecomeMyParents.com. He became a cartoonist when he started his blog, mostly because he was too lazy to track down images he could use legally online. He has come to the realization that he has become his parents and his blog is a last-ditch effort to stop his son from suffering the same fate.

You can find and follow Barmy at his parenting blog, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Talking to Poop

This post talks about poop a lot. In fact, it talks TO poop. If the title, and the fact that I've mentioned poop four times now isn't warning enough for those of you who prefer not to read about poop, than that is more of a you problem than a me problem. Poop. 


------

Potty training has been a strange journey. Stranger, I would say, than any other part of my parenting experience thus far. This was starkly accented last night when I had to have an imaginary telephone conversation with the poop inside my daughter's bum. I'll set the scene. 

Duchess and I were 95% through her bedtime ritual and well into what I like to call "The Danger Zone." I don't call it "The Danger Zone" because that is when I sing a lullaby version of the Kenny Loggins' song from Top Gun, which I do, but because when we're five percent away from bedtime Duchess will look for any excuse to reset to 0%. Last night the excuse was poop. 

Poop is a valid excuse for stalling bedtime. Duchess looked at me with her droopy, bedtime eyes and said, "Daddy, I have to go potty so I don't go poop in my bed." Enough said. She could be lying 9/10 times, and if it prevented 1 bed wetting, or worse, pooping incident, it would be worth 10 trips to the bathroom. Away, to the bathroom we went! She peed right away. Trip validated. Then things got weird. 


screen shot from Galaxy S4


"Hello? Poop? Are you there?" She was talking to what looked to be an imaginary phone in her hand. 

"What are you doing honey?" 

"I'm calling the poop in my butt. Helloooo? Poop? Are you coming out to play?"

"We don't play with poop."

"I know that daddy." 

The best part of her response was that she moved the imaginary poop phone away from her face so that the poop in her butt didn't hear that she actually had no intention of playing with it. She was lying to her poop to get it to come out. Sly devil.  

"Do you want to talk to my poop daddy?"

"Nope." That answer was not hard to find. It just kind of fell out of my mouth.

"He wants to talk to you!"

"Your poop is a boy?" I don't know why I asked. 

"No. He is a poop."

This was getting too weird. She was obviously not going to poop. I decided I would need to hop on the line to end the poop conference call. So I took the imaginary phone out of my daughter's hand and had an imaginary conversation with the imaginary(?) poop in her butt. Sometimes being a dad is SO GLAMOROUS.  

"Hello, poop?"

"Hi daddy!" Oh. My. God. It answered me. Duchess had upped the pitch of her voice and was going to be the poop side of the conversation. Aaaand the poop was calling me daddy. Awesome. 

"Hi poop. Are… you… going to come out and play?"

"I'm sad." 

Oh Jesus. Was I seriously going to have to address my kid's poop's depression in order to help it overcome its fecal agoraphobia? No. It was too much. I am not a poop psychiatrist. 

"Why are you sad?" 

I should have said "I have to go now. Bye poop." I should have said "Duchess, it is time for bed. Quit doing your creepy high-pitched 'I'm a poop voice' and let's go sing songs from the hit movie, Top Gun." But nooo, I said "Why are you sad" because, honestly, at this point, I was kind of curious why her poop was sad.  

"I hit my head." Bed time could wait. Now it was getting interesting.  

"Where did you hit your head?" (More importantly, does my daughter think little poop people live in her butt with arms and legs and heads?)

"I hit it inside Duchess's butt." Well, I guess that was the obvious answer. I don't know what I expected. 

It was at this point that I realized that I had been talking to Duchess's poop longer than Duchess had been talking to it. I WAS THE WEIRD ONE. I decided to end it.

"I'm sorry you're sad poop. Are you going to come out?" Please remember, I am holding an imaginary poop phone to my ear this ENTIRE time. 

"No. I think I'll come out tomorrow."

"Ok. Good night poop."

"Good night daddy. I love you." Ahhh shit. Really? OK...

"I love you too poop."

And that was it. We hung up our poop phones and Duchess went to bed. She slept through the night with no accidents, and I went to work before she woke up in the morning. 

I'm not sure how her poop is dealing with his depression, or if he has come out to play yet. I might try and call him on my lunch… just to check in and see if he's feeling better.

Love, Dad (John)  

If you liked this post and want exclusive, smaller, and even funnier posts, come like Ask Your Dad On Facebook. Less poop. I promise. 



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lessons from My Nephew's First College Football Game

Quick note: This was written last year, but I just recently found it and since it is college football season, I thought I would put it on the blog. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. - Dad (John)

My nephew taught me an important lesson this weekend. Well, to clarify, he reminded of me of a lesson I already knew but had forgotten a long time ago. 

Stevie and I had tickets to see the Utes play on Saturday, but due to a poorly timed fever, Stevie had to stay home with a sick Duchess on instead. Deciding not to let the tickets go to waste, I had the privilege of taking my nephew to his first Utah Football game.

The second I picked him up from his aunt's house the questions began.

“Why are we wearing red?”
“Because Utah wears red.”

“What color is the other team?”
“I’m not sure.”

“Are we the good guys and they’re the bad guys?”
“Yes. Kind of. Well I guess they’re not bad, but we want beat them.”

"So who is the bad guys?"
"BYU is the bad guys." (BYU are our rivals.)
"Oh yeah. My dad says BYU sucks."
"Suck isn't a very nice word."
“OK”






We got to our tailgate and my nephew immediately made friends with the kids from the neighboring tailgate spots. They played what appeared to be a mix of football, freeze tag, and hide-and-go-seek. Later, during the walk to the stadium the questions continued.

“Uncle John, Can I sit with those kids?”
“No probably not, the stadium is really big and they’re probably not sitting by us”

“Uncle John, Is the stadium really big?”
“Yes, it’s very, very big.”

“Uncle John… how big?”
“One million billion big.”

“Oh. Wow.”

At the game my nephew came to life. He wanted to know everything about the game: rules, player’s names, when he could be loud. He liked being loud the most. On every defensive third down, everyone in Rice-Eccles Stadium screams as loud as they can to try and disrupt the visiting team. Being able to scream as loud as he can blew my nephew's mind!





“Uncle John, Can we be loud now?”
“Yes.”

“Uncle John, Can we be loud now?”
“Yes”

“Uncle John, Can we be loud now?”
“Yes”

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!”
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!”

The game went down hill in the third quarter. Utah started turning over the ball. Some calls didn't go our way. The other team scored. A lot. Still, every time I wanted to curse at our team, or scream at the refs, or hang my head and get angry, there was my nephew screaming.

“GO UTES!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!”



And suddenly it all clicked. Suddenly I was walking into the Metrodome for the first time with my Grandpa to watch a Minnesota Twins game. Suddenly I was watching the Salt Lake Trappers play some unknown, Pioneer League team at Dirk's Field. I was clapping at a Timberwolves Game at the Target Center. I was standing in the south end zone of the old Rice Stadium stomping and jumping and screaming “Utah! Utah! Utah! AHHHH”

Honestly, I couldn't tell you a single, final score from any of those games from my childhood. 

Utah lost Saturday’s game. We exited the stadium with a horde of grumbling fans. I kept my nephew on my shoulders so I wouldn't lose him in the crowd. He was singing his own version of the Utah fight song.

“U-tah U-tah Dah ta dah ta dah”

“Uncle John, Did we win?”
“No buddy, we didn't win.”

“But that’s ok right?”
“Did you have fun?”
“YEAH!! I DID!”
“Then that’s ok.”

“Uncle John, can I come to every Utah Game?”
“Probably not every one, but I’ll see what I can do.”
“OK”

“Uncle John, does BYU really suck?”
“Suck is not a very nice word buddy… but yes, BYU sucks.”




Friday, October 4, 2013

Stevie Loses at Fantasy Football but Wins With Walmart Family Mobile's Unlimited Plan

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Did I ever tell you about the time that Apple Maps send Stevie and I to a field outside of Portland Oregon? If I did, did I remember to mention the two, screaming children in the back seat of our rental car? It was so much fun. SO. MUCH. FUN. At that moment, I swore on my children's tears that I would forsake my iPhone and move on to a new chapter in my life. And while I was at it, I would explore new cheap wireless plans while trying to keep an unlimited plan for our data usage.

As you all may remember, I am a member of an online community of bloggers that on occasion will review services and products. I get paid to do these, but the opinions are mine. I also get to pick and choose what I review. Well, when the chance to give the Galaxy S4 on Walmart Family Mobile came up, I jumped at the chance. I was ready to get rid of my iPhone, and here was the chance to try something new for half the price of my monthly AT&T payment, and no contract. Win/Win. Speaking of winning, have I mentioned how much I love Fantasy Football? I love fantasy football as much as I hate awkward transitions in blog posts. Sorry about that by the way.

#FamilyMobileSaves, #cbias #shop

But really, and I'm not kidding here. I love fantasy football, and so does Stevie. We're sadly (or joyfully) obsessed with it. Most of our Sundays are spent streaming games and checking our score. Stevie loses pretty much every week. Honestly, she is truly horrible at Fantasy Football and should probably quit forever. Bad bad bad.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Duchess - The Birth Story


Well hello Ask Your Dad readers! A little context is needed for this post. I wrote it a long time ago, before Ask Your Dad was even a thought in the back of my mind. It is my half of Duchess's birth story. The first half, written by Stevie, has been lost to time. It basically said that she ate spicy Italian food, got a belly ache, and it turned out she was in labor. We went to the hospital, walked around for an hour to help labor progress, and then she was admitted to the hospital. She wrote it much more eloquently than that, I promise. Anyway...

The following is an accounting of Duchess's birth. It was written April 9, 2011. My wife first requested that I write it in September of 2010. I hope you enjoy it.   

Love, Dad (John)
Duchess's "going home" outfit. Taken the night Stevie went into labor. 

Duchess - The Birth Story

Monday, September 30, 2013

How to get on the Ellen DeGeneres Show - Guest Post

Hey gang! Dad (John) here. I want you all to meet my buddy Joel. Joel is a dad. Joel doesn't have a blog. Weird huh? I thought we all had blogs. The tragic part of Joel not having a blog is that he is a really good writer, and a really funny guy. So today, and hopefully more in the future, I am going to publish a bit of his writing. Please show him some love! And without further adieu...

How to get on the Ellen DeGeneres Show 
by Blogless Joel


E-mail from Ellen Producer

Monday, September 23, 2013

7 Tips for Dating My Three Year Old Daughter

"Michael is cute."

Those three words are the actual sound of my heart collapsing in on itself. If you had held a stethoscope to my chest yesterday morning, you would have heard my heart's rhythmic thu-thump cease and then eerily echo the exact words that had just came out of Duchess's mouth as my left and right ventricles squeezed in on each other and turned my heart into a pathetic heart raisin.

Michael is the little towhead jerk face from Duchess's daycare, who I now hate with every fiber of my being. He is also NOT cute. And I hate him. Have I mentioned that I hate him? Because I do.

Sigh…

OK, he's cute. Fine. What three year old isn't cute? And I don't really hate him. But what is a dad to do? Our kids are going to love who they love, and any amount of pushing I do is going to send my daughter straight into Michael's stubby little toddler arms. I suppose their love is inevitable. So here you go MICHAEL FROM DAYCARE. This is for you. Take good care of her.



7 Tips for Dating My 3 Year Old Daughter

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bed Time Poem

I tried to think of another way
To help you go to sleep
We'd read a book and sung a song 
And counted all your sheep

And then we read another book
And sang another song
And you wanted a glass of water
And wanted to come along

And when I poured the water wrong
You SCREAMED and told me why
Two pieces of ice were the acceptable way
To prevent your impending cry

You wanted your blanket, the pink, not the blue
You wanted your baby doll
You wanted your bear with the bunny ears
You wanted the light in the hall

You wanted to sing just one more song
After "Rainbow" and "Stay awake"
You wanted a hug and kiss AND A HUG 
You wanted a piece of cake

When I told you "no," you cried and kicked
Oh no, not this. No more!
I placed you screaming in your bed 
And sprinted for the door.  

"DADDY NO!" you cried out to me
While leaping from your bed
As you slipped, and tripped, and slammed the top 
Of your tiny little head

My impatience vanished. My frustration gone
When I heard the thump and your cry
I rushed to your side, pulled your head to my chest
And kissed your swelling eye

And in a bit, when you were over it
And your stuttered sobs collected
The weeps crept away and you ended your day
Curled up in my arms, protected

Sometimes it's rough keeping up with your moods
Sometimes I don't know if I'll make it
Sometimes it takes an hour to put you to bed
Sometimes I just have to fake it

But

Sometimes  you're staring into my eyes
As I finish the verse of a song
And sometimes you're tracking the words on the page
And I know that you're reading along

And

Sometimes, not always, you fall asleep in my arms
And even on the nights that are bad
There's nothing on earth that brings me more joy
Than knowing that I am your dad. 

I love you. Good night.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hey Ya! Guest Comic by Raised by my Daughter

Remember this Facebook Status?




Well, my friend Neal over at Raised by my Daughter converted it to an awesome comic!!





Here's a little about Neal in his own words:
You know Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird? I’m part Boo, a recluse with a (mostly) good heart. And you know Randall Munroe from the xkcd comics? I’m like a low-rent, parenting version of him. And you know that scene in Superman, where Lois Lane and the Man of Steel are flying hand-in-hand through the clouds? Well, I’m Lois, and my daughter is Superman, and as I clutch her little paw in mine, she lifts me to places that take my breath away. When she’s not locked down in time-out, that is.
I highly encourage you to check Neal's blog out. He's got more comics and some really great writing. You can find him on his blog, Raised by my Daughter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Be sure to tell him I sent you!

If you are an artist and are interested in having your work featured on Ask Your Dad, send me a note through the contact form!