Springing Into Allergy Season

Look at that face. Cute as hell? Absolutely. But the puffy face, filth, and perpetually runny nose? Welcome to springtime allergy season at the Daddy Files household.

I don’t remember this being a problem when I was a kid. I played outside all the time, delighted in baseball, and rolled around in freshly cut grass. But my kids? They are snot factories and the tap is always running (right down their faces). When the seasons change, my kids are more stuffed up than the teddy bears they use for snot rags and it lasts for MONTHS!

And as it turns out, I’m not alone. Did you know:

  • Allergies are the third most common chronic disease among kids 18 and younger
  • Allergies prompt 17 million doctor visits each year

The hardest part is nighttime when they lie down. As soon as they go horizontal, the coughing begins. And then the hacking. Followed by copious amounts of nose-blowing. We have to put boxes of tissues right next to their pillows so they can have access to them all through the night. Picking them up in the morning is a joy, let me tell you.

Antihistamines seem to help a little bit, but they never cure the sleeping issue. It’s actually gotten so bad we’re actually taking Sam to an ENT next month to see if there’s anything else going on in addition to allergies.

In the meantime, if you’re a parent of a kid with chronic allergies, here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re thinking about giving your children a dose of something, courtesy of KnowYourOTCs.org (who I’m working with on this sponsored post):

  • Some OTC oral allergy medicines are available in different dosage strengths. Read the Drug Facts label carefully for appropriate child dosing information and contact a healthcare provider as directed.
  • Some oral allergy medicines may cause excitability or nervousness, especially in children. If you have any questions, contact your child’s healthcare provider.
  • Never use any allergy medicine to sedate or make a child sleepy.

In the meantime, check out this great infographic and if your kids are anything like mine — good luck! You’re going to need it this allergy season.

Share Button

Video: 3 Steps for Safely Disposing of Over-The-Counter Medication

I’m gonna be totally honest with you — I never thought about expiration dates on  over-the-counter medication before. Also, I had a bunch of it in my medicine cabinet.

I’m not alone, either. Check out these stats:

  • 62% of adults have never sought information on how to properly dispose their expired over-the-counter (OTC) medicines
  • 50% of adults say they typically dispose of unwanted or expired OTC meds in the trash but only 8% mix them with undesirable substances before tossing

I hate cats and I loathe the taste of coffee, so kitty litter and coffee grinds have always been undesirable substances to me. But little did I know both would actually come in handy one day. That’s because they’re included in the three simple disposal steps:

  1. Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds
  2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag
  3. Throw the container in your household trash

That’s it. Seriously. But if you want more information, you can check out more great tips here.

And although I generally try to keep my ugly mug off video, I’ve teamed up with some great Know Your OTCs bloggers who all combined to form one awesome video.

This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are my own.

Share Button

Kids Are Quick So Keep Your Medicine Out of Reach

Keep your meds high and out of reach!

If you’re a parent I don’t have to tell you how quick kids are.

It’s never when you need them to be fast like getting out of bed, getting dressed, putting their shoes on, or picking things up off the ground. Those times? Slow as molasses. But take your eyes off them for 1.4 seconds at the grocery store or stop holding hands at a traffic light for a millisecond and you’ll see EXACTLY how quick they are as you experience some of the scariest moments of your life.

We all those fears of our kids getting lost in a crowd or escaping from us near the street and toddling out into traffic, but there’s something many parents, myself included, haven’t given much thought to — how quick they can be getting into unsecured medicine cabinets.

Seeing that this week is National Poison Prevention Week (March 19-25), it’s a great time to drop some knowledge about kids getting into medicine that can be severely harmful. Tell me if these two data points shock you as much as they did me:

  • Approximately 60,000 kids go to the ER every year due to accidental medicine ingestion. Think about that number. It means four school buses full of children EVERY DAY go to the ER because they get into medicine they’re not supposed to.
  • According to SafeKids, “half of the 2 million calls to poison control centers in 2011 were for exposures and ingestions among kids 5 and under.” That’s a lot of little hands opening cabinets they shouldn’t be able to access.

While restricting access as much as possible is important, so is the messaging we give our kids about medicine. Namely, we need to have honest and frank conversations with them about what medicine is, and that only parents or a trusted caregiver should administer it to them. And NEVER tell them medicine is candy, no matter how difficult it is to get them to take it.

This is especially important to me right now because we’re moving to a new house, and that means packing. So while we’re generally careful with where our meds are stored (even putting a lock on the closet so the little ones can’t get in), it’s an issue we need to keep in mind now more than ever since everything is being put away and in transit. It’s also not just a problem we need to deal with at home, but also when we travel and when our kids go to other homes (like a visit with grandparents). A lapse could mean a life, so I’m going to ask you to do something.

Lock ’em up (the meds, not the kids)

Please take some time this week to double check that your medicines are stored safely up, away, and out of sight of the kids. I know it sounds like something that could never happen to you, but it can. It can happen to all of us — the best of us — and it’s entirely preventable if we just take a little time to be proactive.

Please check out Up & Away for more information and tips, and keep the Poison Control Centers’ phone number handy at home and lock it into your cell phone:  (800-222-1222).

This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are my own.

 

Share Button

An Admission: I Cheated on My Wife

Usually it’s fun sharing personal moments with you on these pages. However, when I started this website I promised honesty. A raw, unfiltered look at parenting and marriage. So because it would be more than a little hypocritical of me not to address when I’ve made a terrible mistake, I’m owning up here.

I cheated on my wife.

I know it sounds cliche, but I didn’t set out to cheat. It just kind of happened. Marriage and parenting is a tough journey and somewhere along the line MJ and I just got…disconnected. I’m not making excuses for what I did, but let me describe the situation and you can honestly tell me if you think it looks familiar.

I’m a guy who likes certain things and let’s just say, without being too descriptive, alone time with MJ is one of them. I need it to feel close with her and to keep me sane. And when I go long periods without it, I…well, I take matters into my own hands.

I don’t want to get the gender police after me but seriously, what’s a red-blooded American male supposed to do?? I can’t sit there with overwhelming wants and needs with a wife who goes to bed at 9 pm and live like that forever. It just doesn’t work and honestly, I think it’s a little selfish of her to expect that it would.

The part that’s my fault is vowing I’d always be faithful no matter what. It’s easy to agree to that in the beginning when everything is new and you’re both super into it and you’re literally binging with one another. But eventually seasons pass and one person inevitably loses that drive, while the other wants more. Needs more. What then? What do you do when you’ve promised to only do it with one person, but then that person won’t make time for you?

It started with MJ and I getting into something a little kinky and weird. We were introduced to these women who are kind of naughty yet sexy, and they don’t get a lot of male attention because, well, they’re in prison. But even though MJ no longer wanted to make it a priority, she asked me to wait for her because she didn’t want me partaking without her. I agreed, but how is that fair???

So one night after she went to bed early and I was still up, I went ahead without her. I knew it was wrong, but if I’m being honest that kind of added to the excitement. Once I thought I heard her coming downstairs so I paused what I was doing and froze. If she had found me she would’ve KILLED me, but it turned out to be nothing so I kept going.

And I couldn’t stop.

Soon I was cheating on her with everyone and my cravings were feral and all over the map. I cheated on her with a wealthy family that had fallen on hard times, a professional football player with a checkered past, and even an undead woman with an appetite for human flesh. I was a maniac and I couldn’t stop, yet I had to fake being entertained with MJ on the rare occasions she did find herself in the mood.

Eventually the lying became too much and she smelled the guilt on me. When she confronted me and asked if I’d been unfaithful, I didn’t bother denying it. I just begged for her forgiveness and pleaded with her to give me a second chance.

I’m not sure how it will all work out and I’m trying to be better. But the urge to give in and have everything I desire all at once is so powerful. And I know for a fact I’m not alone in my infidelity, as 46% of couples fall victim as well.

So how about it, folks? Do you Netflix cheat on your significant other??

I was compensated with a free year of Netflix and an iPad for writing this post, but all opinions are my own.

Share Button

The Long Road to Our New House

Our new house
Our new house

In five days this will be our new home.

The road to this point has been long, difficult, and even broken in some parts. But a place of our own that we actually own has always been the goal. Always. The specter and possibility of it loomed behind every decision MJ and I made, and home ownership is the impetus for every hour I work. Every side job I take. Every penny MJ meticulously saves. Every minute I’m away from my family has been spent in order to one day provide them with a place that’s ours and ours alone.

Some people shake their head at my tunnel vision and tell me it’s not worth all the worry and stress and especially the money. But honestly, a single family home is about more than the money for me.

I’ve lived in apartments or condos for the last 16 years. Which is fine — it’s not like I’ve suffered. But you know what I’m looking forward to? Light from all four sides of the house. Think about it. For a decade and a half I’ve had one wall that is essentially a dead end. A barrier. A windowless stretch of darkness which is enough to block out the light, but not the sounds and annoyances of neighbors residing on the other side. When we walk into our new house, I’m going to stand in the middle of it all and bask in the sunlight streaming in from all directions, and not give a damn about people upstairs, downstairs, or adjacent.

This move also means security and permanency for my family.

Sturdy walls on the outside tough enough to weather the elements and a welcoming coziness inside that keeps my family warm and comforted. It’s an old house to be sure, and a century worth of life has taken place in and around it. But we will breathe new life into it. Revive it. Let it revive us. It will be our sun and we’ll revolve around it as our clan ages in orbit, and hopefully it will create a gravitational pull for our boys that keeps them coming back occasionally even after they take up residence elsewhere.

The yard isn’t big but it’s enough room for three boys to play and pretend our patch of woods is a far-off forest. The rocks mountains. The trees far better climbing structures than any playground.

The neighborhood is centrally located but tucked away and quiet. School is now a short walk instead of a drive, allowing us a slice of Americana that has all but disappeared. The town is safe, the schools are well funded, and we even have friends within walking distance.

The garage is an enigma to me, having never had one. A happy puzzle to solve, to be sure. Will the car go in there? My canoe and kayak? My snowblower? Crap, I’m gonna need to buy a snowblower!

But mainly, this place is our home base. Our little corner of the world. Ours. No more worrying about whether or not the landlord is going to sell or finding a place after our lease is up. No more stopping the kids from hanging out in the backyard because the people we share a wall with are already out there and we don’t get along with them. No more guilt about not providing something more substantial and permanent for the kids. This will be our little universe and a place where untold memories will be made.

Yet what I just realized — and I mean it actually dawned on me right now while writing that last paragraph — is this isn’t really a new home. It’s a new house. Home? That’s wherever MJ and the boys are.

She is my sunlight on all four sides and she is the tough and protective exterior with comfort on the inside. The kids are my warmth and the memories are made no matter what and where we are. A house has an address but home is a state of mind that can’t be mapped. I’m thrilled to be in the new place and proud of how hard we worked to get there, but ultimately I’m proud of us and what we’ve built together as a family.

Wherever they are, I’ll be home.

My family is home
They are home, wherever they are.
Share Button