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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.

 

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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.

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When Brushing Kids Teeth Turns Into a Battle

Our favorite football team gave us reason to keep our smiles fresh

Every night at 7 pm Will and Sam brush their teeth.

This has been the routine for years, yet it seems to take them by surprise every single night. I announce it’s time to brush teeth and they glare at me with a look of affront as if I’ve just suggested something completely outrageous. And then the fight begins.

Will runs away. Sam starts crying. I grab Will and force him into the bathroom (a task which gets tougher every single day as he nears his ninth birthday), and then MJ drags a screaming Sam in as well. You’d think we were forcing them into a dungeon instead of a bathroom. Will does his best to pretend he’s brushing, and I tell him it would take him less time to actually brush efficiently than to carry out this nightly farce of faux brushing three times until we make him do it right. Sam? He just continues to scream and clench his jaws shut like a caged animal. When we do manage to get the toothbrush in there, he bites it like it’s a bone. Sometimes we need to tickle him to get him to open his mouth just for a few seconds.

But eventually we micromanage Will’s brushing and hold Sam down long enough so hopefully a few bristles hit his teeth, and then release them upstairs for bed. Another battle won in a long war that wears us down and makes no one happy.

With Christmas candy still hanging around the house and Valentine’s Day snacks sure to add to the pile of sugary sweets, it’s important to remember the other thing February is known for — National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Did you know that according to the CDC:

  • At least 20% of children ages 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth
  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in kids age 6-11 and adolescents age 12-19

This is why we fight the battle. The people who didn’t take great care of their teeth will be the first ones to tell you they wouldn’t wish that pain and cost on anyone later in life. So to prevent that, we’re doing all we can to promote good oral hygiene in our kids and make brushing as painless as possible. That includes:

  • Letting them pick their own fun toothbrushes
  • Having them pick out their own toothpaste
  • Giving them special treats if they brush for a week with no complaining
  • Allowing them to set the timer to make sure they brush long enough
  • Let them pick their favorite songs to play during brushing
It’s all worth it to get healthy smiles like this one

Does it always work? Absolutely not. Does it incrementally improve things? Yes. And anything that makes the battle slightly easier is worth it.

We also include our 17-month-old Tommy, because in 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their oral health guidelines and said parents should begin using a smear of fluoride toothpaste at tooth eruption. If you need more information on fluoride ingredients and general use, click here.

Here are some additional quick oral health care tips for parents:

  •  Fluoride is an anti-cavity active ingredient available in over-the-counter (OTC) products that helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.
  • Children under the age of 6 should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and be supervised in order to develop good brushing and rinsing habits and to minimize product swallowing.
  • Parents and caregivers should help a child brushing his or her teeth until mastery is obtained, usually around age 8.

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 100% my own. 

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Remembering to Taste Life

Will is berry good at stacking Very Berry Cheerios

There are silly, goofy dads. Lighthearted dads with incomparable imaginations and bubbly personalities brimming with positivity and unyielding amounts of praise and sunshine and happiness.

I’m not one of them.

Maybe it’s my gruff New England upbringing or the fact that I was raised a pessimistic Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan when the former was cursed and the latter was a joke. But the fact remains, I’m a serious dad. I demand good grades in school and 100% effort in all endeavors and for better or worse, “fun” is probably not a word my kids would associate with me.

But sometimes I wish things were different. I don’t mean changing my personality (because that’s never going to happen), but occasionally I think I need a reminder that life can be pretty sweet if you just slow down and take a taste.

I work full-time at a job I really love. I work a lot — I’m talking being out of the house at least 12 hours a day. I get up at 5:15 am, take a shower, get dressed, and take the dog for a walk. When I get back to the house, I have 20 minutes. Twenty minutes in the pre-dawn darkness to make my lunch, pour myself a bowl of cereal, and prepare for the day. But if I’m being honest, most of the time I wish that predawn stillness weren’t so still.

On my lucky days, that 20 minutes is totally interrupted. I hear the sound of footsteps on the floor upstairs, a door creaks open, and weary feet tromp down the stairs. My oldest turns the corner and gives me a half-awake smile. I grin back, get up, grab him a bowl, a spoon and some milk, and the two of us sit down wordlessly as I pour Will some Very Berry Cheerios.

And for 20 minutes, it’s just me and him. Father and son. Talking and eating some breakfast as we both get ready for the day. It might not be much, but it’s important to take what we can get and find our happiness where we can.

It’s a strange cereal for me to like, which is part of the reason I like it. Normally I’m very bland, but the explosion of berries in just about every bite makes me smile and gets me ready to face the morning. It also reminds me not everything needs to be so serious, and having breakfast with my son is a taste of life to be enjoyed. And as other, cooler dads show, these Cheerios can even be enjoyed in unorthodox places — like a movie theater.

Also, if you need your sweet moments to be gluten free, Very Berry Cheerios have that covered as well. Not to mention, they come in very handy when cheering on the best team in the NFL.

My #VeryBerry @cheerios homage to the @patriots and #tombrady. Let’s go #Patriots! #superbowl #patriotsnation

A photo posted by Aaron Gouveia (@daddyfiles) on

I have partnered with Life of Dad and Cheerios and was compensated for this campaign, but my opinions are my own.

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I’m the #KingofSoup Thanks to My Queen and Princes

Sammy making soup
Soup so simple, even a 3-year-old can make it.

If you could create your ideal steakhouse in your own kitchen, what would it look like?

That was the question posed to me by Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups, who challenged a bunch of dad bloggers to battle for the title #KingofSoup. If you know me, you know I love steakhouses, the steak steakhouses serve, and I ALWAYS get soup. In fact, soup is so important to me I once broke up with a girl in college because she insisted soup wasn’t a food. OK, that wasn’t the sole reason our relationship ended, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t play a part.

Anyway…

I love soup, especially in winter. It’s warm and comforting and informal — just how I like my restaurants. If there are peanut shells on the floor of my steakhouse, I’m a happy guy (note: my wife was NOT ok with peanut shells on the kitchen floor). So when I wondered how I could take that level of comfort and inject it into my new steakhouse kitchen, it was easy.

First of all, every king needs his queen so MJ would have to be there. Second, all steakhouses have animals hanging on the wall. Them’s the rules.

Usually it’s a bass on the wall, but clownfish & lobster work too

Next, the #KingofSoup needs the royal treatment when it comes to service. That’s why I hired my two oldest princes to serve the king and queen. From setting the table to taking our order to actually cooking the food, these guys came through in a big way and helped make our homemade steakhouse possible.

You might think amateur princely chefs look cute, but we probably gagged on the food. Well, you’re wrong. Mainly because Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups are so easy to make and taste really, really good.

All you have to do is put four cups of water in a pot, wait for it to boil, whisk in the contents of the bag, and then 5 minutes later you’re enjoying the flavorful, slow-cooked, taste of restaurant-quality potato soup right in your own home.

I went with the Loaded Potato and it was delicious. My wife likes a little more kick, so she hopped on board the Three Cheese Chipotle train. But whether you choose those two, Creamy Potato, or the Cheddar Broccoli flavor varieties, it’s guaranteed your soup will be filled with real Idaho® red potatoes and red potato skins, delivering exceptional taste and texture in every spoonful.

I ended up wearing my PJs and comfy slippers to my in-home steakhouse, meaning I literally applied the comfort of my castle to my newly refurbished kitchen. Just call me Elvis, because clearly I’m the King (of soup).

Don’t believe me? Check out this ridiculously cute behind the scenes video taken in my new steakhouse.

Want to bring some deliciousness to your kingdom by trying some Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups? Here’s all the info you need:

I have partnered with Life of Dad and Idahoan® Foods and received compensation for this campaign, but my opinions are my own.

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