A Month with our New Puppy

We’re a little over a month in to our life with our new puppy Zelda. She’s a handful. Her dad is a Boxador and her mom’s a Feist, which we hope make for a great mix of dog…eventually. Right now she’s still trying to figure out where the bathroom is.

Of course, having a puppy is crazy. Sometimes I find myself asking why in the world I did this and sometimes I find myself enjoying the sweet snuggles of a puppy.

Anyway, since this month is up, I thought I’d reflect on some of the things I’ve noticed from having a puppy. Hope you enjoy.

  1. Training is HARD WORK! – The kids wish that the dog would just obey and behave from day one. I’ll admit, I do, too. But I know that it takes time and hard work to help her learn all the things she needs to know…sounds a lot like parenting to me.
  2. Kids act like kids, not adults – I want my kids to act like adults and be responsible with her, but sometimes I forget that they’re not used to having a little puppy to take care of, and I have to help them think through the things they need to do in order to care for her. I have to remember that this is a learning experience for them as well.
  3. Sometimes you get hurt (Puppy teeth are sharp!) – My hands and arms are scratched up because this dog likes to nip at me! While we’re training her not to do those things, sometimes she hurts me while I’m teaching her. Sounds like parenting again, huh?
  4. I’ll do practically anything to see my kids smile – I’m willing to put up with all this hard work and pain just to see how much my kids love this dog. She’s only been with us for a month, but I’ve seen them laugh harder than they’ve laughed in a long time, and I’m sure they’ll laugh more and more over the time we have the dog.

I’m sure I’ll learn so many more things over this journey of raising the puppy and training her to be the best dog ever. I can’t wait to see how much she (and my kids) grow this year.

(Maybe) The Best Kids’ Meal Toy Ever

In the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about what I saw at Starbucks, and I’ve been intentionally looking for ways to spend more time with my kids.

Now, you’ve got to know that I hate the toys that come in the Kids’ Meals at fast food restaurants. They are generally low quality junk that should (and often do) get thrown away within 2 hours of making it home.

I thought that until we recently got a pack of UNO cards from Arby’s (not an endorsement; just a fact). The pack is really like an eight of a pack of regular cards (they’ve gotta save money somehow), and they’re also about half the physical size of regular UNO cards (comes in handy after a few Draw Fours).

Something You Don’t See Everyday

I came to Starbucks this afternoon to finish up some work before the weekend descends upon us and we bask in the calm, relaxing time…who am I kidding? There’s no relaxing on the weekend. It’s just a different kind of crazy.

Anyway, I’m sitting in Starbucks and I see a guy with a boy that’s about six or seven years old. They obviously just came from school because the boy has his backpack and school uniform on.

They’ve both got a drink, and the guy takes a phone call. He says to the person on the other end of the line, “Well, I better go because I’m doing the usual Friday thing with _____.” Honestly, I wasn’t eavesdropping. I just overheard.

Then they pull out a deck of UNO cards and start playing. I went back to my work. Usually, I spend a good deal of time at Starbucks when I work. So did they. And they just played and talked and hung out.

I was impressed. Maybe humbled. I try to spend time with my kids. I even consider myself a good dad. But I’ve never spent hours at Starbucks just playing cards with any of them. Maybe I should.

I’ve been thinking about doing date days or nights with my kids, but I haven’t had a chance to actually act on it in a systematic way. Hopefully, I can execute the ideas I have. That would be awesome.

What about you? What do you to purposefully spend time with your kids?

I’d sincerely love to hear in the comments.

Loot Crate Unboxing – May 2015

When the Loot Crate arrives at our house, the kids get so excited. They come running into my office and beg me to open it so we can see what’s inside. It’s almost like Christmas morning for them. I like it, too, because I get some pretty cool geeky toys and a t-shirt.

In case you don’t know what it is, Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box of geek and gamer gear that revolves around a theme for each box. This month’s theme was “Unite.” The box included some great stuff. The value of each box is $40, but the price is much cheaper. You can unsubscribe at any time, so it’s worth giving it a try.

Check out our unboxing video of the May 2015 Loot Crate below (or on Youtube):

If you’d like to subscribe to Loot Crate, click here (affiliate link) and use the code SAVE3 to get $3 off your subscription.

Next month’s theme is “Cyber,” and it looks like it might be really cool. So check it out this month and see what goodies come in the mail for your clan.

Get Your Kids to Read with Kindle Unlimited

If you’re like me, you want your kids to read. A lot. My oldest son has recently begun enjoying reading. He will stay up way past his bedtime and read in his bed. I hate it and I love it at the same time.

It’s hard to argue with him when he just wants to read, especially since he’s homeschooled and doesn’t have to wake up super early in the mornings.

His favorite books had been the Big Nate series, so we went to the library and checked out pretty much every single Big Nate book available. We even bought some used copies online. He and his little brother devoured those books. It was like a feeding frenzy. We couldn’t get them to go to bed at night.