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.