turns out i’m not good at challenges

I used to be great at challenges. I mean, I shaved my head because I hit a $5000 fundraising challenge 10+ years ago. I drank 10 shots of flaming alcohol in one night because the server told me I could keep ordering them as long as I could still say the name of the shot: ROCKET FUEL. Notice my future wife happens to be on a date the first night we actually met: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

And now… not so much. Write 30 days in a row? Nope. I thought about writing every day, though. Post a picture every day for a year? Nuh uh. But I have been taking them every day.

Anyway, there’s always the 101 things in 1001 days list that I always tinker around with. It’s not a challenge, but more of a to-do list. Come to think of it, I’m not so good at those either. The last check in was mid-December and 14 out of the 101 things had been crossed off as complete. It’s been three months and I have no idea what, if anything, has changed.

Here’s the massive list in its entirety.

3. Read at least one book, on average, every month of this project. I’m at 22 books read out of my goal of 33 books by the end of this project. So close to nailing this one if I could just finish up the last 20% of this crappy business-type book that I can’t make myself finish. But when I’ve started a book, I have to finish it so I can put it on this damn list.

18. Make two things from Pinterest. I built our firepit this summer and let’s not forget the stupid calm down jar that has now been taken away for good because he somehow caused it to leak.

19. Go out with friends in some fashion at least once a month. 2017 is not off to a very social start. In January, I hung out with co-workers a couple of times at happy hours, which I’m counting because a) I have cool co-workers and 2) it still counts as socializing. My February social time was also work-related, but food and drinks with co-workers while setting up for a massive event was super great. We also went to a Valentine’s Day party hosted by the Family Equality Council. For my sanity and somewhat extroverted self, I need to do better on this guy.

20. Date night with my wife at least once a month. We saw a movie in the theater for the first time since the last Hunger Games movie in January. It was glorious. We also had brunch one morning before we had a doctor’s appointment. Twice in one month! Zero in February.

81. Complete the 365 Photo Project. I’m still going at over 70 days into the year. They’re just sitting on my phone, so I need to figure out a better way to upload them on time and also a way to organize them. I think it’d be cool to print them all out in a tiny book when I’m done just to see my progress on something tangible.

That’s it. That’s all I got. I feel like some of these could be self care related. I need to keep that in mind.

he’s a man with a plan 

Me: What do you want to do today?

Oz: Robby’s. (That’s his clearly awesome daycare person.)

Me: We can’t. She’s sick and it’s Saturday. 

Oz: Okay. Target. Target. Target. 

Little does he know that urgent care is our first stop on today’s list. The three grown ups that he spends the most time around have all been diagnosed with strep throat in the last 10 days. He slept for 14 hours last night and had a 101 degree fever for most of the night. 
But he did ask for a second waffle this morning and was sure to let me know that the noise that just came from his butt was a fart and not poop. 
Parents get a bonus check at the end of every year, right? I mean, it doesn’t necessarily need to be performance based or anything. Just like something like, “hey, nice effort, pal!” I’d accept a certificate as well. 

mommyblogging about my pinterest project


I’m not kidding anyone with this, am I? The only Pinterest board I have for my blurry toddler is one with witty t-shirts that I’m certain he needs and some thing where you take a ton of empty toilet paper tubes and shove Matchbox cars in them. Pinterest has helped me realize my limitations on all things considered “do it yourself”, because it usually ends up being a “do it yourself” with your wife jumping into help because you keep using very LOUD WORDS that aren’t appropriate for neighbors or young ears.

Oh, well, not tonight, friends. I made this kid what all the cool moms call a “calm down bottle”.

Do you know how hard it is to find glitter glue? Apparently the cool thing to do with glue is to make slime (?), so neither Walgreen’s or Target had glitter glue. GLITTER GLUE. When I was in school, you got one glue – white Elmer’s glue. And you know what you did with it? Ate it. Or put it all over your hands, let it dry and peel it off to freak out your little brother.

We finally went to Wal-Mart tonight to get all the crap we needed for this magical tool that internet mommies have very strong opinions about. I hate craft sections and craft stores, okay? Michael and JoAnn are no friends of mine, even if they do have ridiculous coupons all the time. They smell like pine cones and I’m always scared I’ll walk out of there covered in glitter and buying pinking shears and I don’t even know what those are used for.

And then, by golly gee wiliker, we needed a bottle of some nature to put this nonsense in, so we stopped by the gas station to get some plastic bottles of ARTESIAN WATER FROM NORWAY.  Only the best for our little Norwegian-named baby, you know?

(Also, some parents put these things in glass bottles. Why in the holy hell would you give a kid that needs a CALM DOWN BOTTLE something that’s made out of GLASS? I hope you enjoy your hipster mason jar before it gets shattered on your beautiful engineered wood floors. If you’re reading this and you made one of these out of glass, I didn’t mean you.)

Here’s what you buy:

  • Glitter glue
  • Extra glitter (also known as the herpes of the craft world)
  • Empty bottle of some sort to put this stuff in
  • Water
  • Food coloring

Here’s what you do:

  • Pour 3 ounces of glitter glue in your water bottle
  • Keep your toddler from throwing the glitter all over the house
  • Convince him to help squeeze the glue long enough to capture this special moment
  • Pour some warm water to the top
  • Add some glitter
  • Add some food coloring
  • Show your toddler and he’s all “WOW”!
  • Shake it up for him and ask him to do the rest
  • Watch him shake it for 30 seconds
  • Watch him throw it at an adult’s face
  • Take it away
  • Give it back
  • Stop him from trying to stand on it
  • Take it away again

I now resign from my position at mommyblogging pinteresting without a two week notice. Another two weeks of this and I might super glue this kid to the ceiling fan for funsies.

a 30 day challenge has been issued

It was actually issued a week and a half ago, but I had a Gigantic Event Hangover, followed by strep throat for the first time in at least my adult life. Then, my car thought me stopping at a stop sign meant the entire engine should stop and I’ve only thought about that bill every minute of every hour for the past two days. 

(Please send your spare change to the Danger the 2007 Pontiac Vibe Life Support Fund and I’ll make sure he sends you a signed 8×10 if he makes it out alive.)

The challenge went something like this: do something for 30 days. Doesn’t matter what. Just do it. 

My challenge: I’m writing more. 

Twitter and Facebook don’t count. Neither do emails, even though I could easily use that word count to complete a novel. My to-do list at work doesn’t count and neither do all of the things I should be writing in my kid’s baby book and don’t. Where else does that leave me to write? 

RIGHT HERE, BABY. I can’t turn down a challenge. 

The challenge wasn’t about quality or meaning or importance. It was about doing one thing for 30 days, so this is my attempt at being more intentional about something I used to do allllllllllllll the time. Plus blogging every day for a month has been on my personal 101 things to do in 1001 days every single time I’ve created one and yet never checked off. 

Here we go again. Reminders are always welcome. 

2016 Wrapup

Chele had been reminding me (and Jenni) to do this for years, so I can’t let her down! I was able to find mine all the way back to 2007, but I think this end of the year tradition is probably older than that.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Graduated with my Bachelors Degree.
Graduated from the West St. Paul/Mendota Heights Citizen Police Academy.
Became a Reserve Police Officer.
Went to my 1st SHRM Conference.
Went to Duluth for a couple of nights.
Had high blood pressure.
Went to Bemidji.
Went to my 20th class reunion.
Shot a handgun. (And I was really good, you guys.)

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
Don’t make ’em. Unsubscribe.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Some of my co-workers had some terribly awesome babies this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My dog.

5. What countries did you visit?
The usual, which is only this one.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
My dog. More traveling, more organization in my life.

7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day Riley died, my grandma’s 90th birthday, surprising Jenni for her birthday, seeing Ozzy’s face at Disney when he recognized some of the characters he knew (also the same day Prince died), election night.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Continuing to co-raise a little boy, who’s turning into a really great toddler. Getting a college degree and a promotion are cool and all, but they don’t hold a candle to that little guy.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing my prescription sunglasses. They were like $15, man.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
High blood pressure, the start of some weird ass thyroid thing that’ll flare up sometime or other. Old people stuff.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My best tactical backpack. Anything travel related.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My wife’s. It seems like it does every year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I’m looking at you, Trump voters.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Our house. Our kid. And now savings because we’re scared shitless about what money we might need when Obama’s no longer in office.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Lynx winning the championship again this year. Being in an airplane going anywhere. Anytime my kid does something for the first time.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
I don’t even know. I don’t listen to music in the car anymore! Maybe Hamilton stuff, though?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) Fatter or thinner: Thinner.
b) Richer or poorer: Probably the same.
c) Happier or less happy: Happier.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Learning. Teaching. Moving. Doing.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being a lazy ass.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Missouri with family, like we always do.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
I did. I do.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Fixer Upper. And then I learned that Chip and Jojo give money to queer-hatin’ Republicans and it makes me so sad because I JUST LOVE SHIPLAP. I don’t even know what TV programs are on right now and we’re ditching cable next month, so I’m always gonna be mad at this question from now on. Stranger Things was great.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word. But then again, I’ve never felt so much hate in my life with the way things are in America right now.

24. What was the best book you read?
You guys, I actually read books. Like 14 of them. None for school. I mean, I should have read four for school, but I didn’t.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery of 2016?
The Hamilton soundtrack. I heard it for the first time playing a game with Matt and Jenni and I couldn’t even pay attention to the game because I wanted to read along to all the lyrics.

26. What did you want and get?
A promotion. A degree. A healthy son.

27. What did you want and not get?
A positive pregnancy test. A briefcase full of large unmarked bills.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don’t think I saw a movie this year that wasn’t animated.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 38. And I don’t really remember what I did.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Different election results.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Sweater vests are coming back, you guys. I know it.

32. What kept you sane?
My kid’s laugh. My wife. My friends. Oddly, my boss.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Michelle Obama. Dem guns, you know?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
My potential lack of individual freedom for the next four years tend to stir me a little bit. Russia blowing the United States off the face of the earth. People being shot or punished or, oh, what’s that word… oh, discriminated against because of who they are. I mean, nothing too big.

35. Who did you miss?
My dog. My grandma. My family in Missouri. My friends that I can’t just call up and be like, “hey, wanna go to brunch?”

36. Who was the best new person you met?
We met a handful of queer parents at a random play date earlier in the year and it was awesome to finally find a group of like-minded parents with toddlers. My new co-workers.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
Uninstall those weather apps when you’re on vacation in Key West and be the person on a bike with no shoes on riding down Duval Street laughing out loud because it’s pouring down rain.