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Friday, August 22, 2014

Call Me Morty! - The #SwifferEffect

So I'll have to admit, I don't really notice commercials much, but the latest Swiffer commercials (you know the ones with old couple) really grabbed my attention. I loved watching Morty snoozing in his chair while his wife was telling him all about cleaning with their new Swiffer. Even Eric Stonestreet is helping out! Check out their latest video...

So guess what is even more exciting? I WAS ALSO ASKED TO JOIN IN THE #SWIFFEREFFECT CAMPAIGN! If you know me, you know I'm a neat freak. So having a Swiffer handy is just darn awesome. Especially since they surprised me with one at my front door in a big, green box!

Yes, there are TWO big, green boxes in that photo. I'll explain that later. But for now, let's open one of these babies up! This house needs cleaning!

Brynlee is excited to see too! Anything new to grab, touch, feel, destroy, etc. She is interested....

WARNING - a photobomb is about to happen!

AWESOME! It's the Swiffer Wet Jet inside of the #BigGreenBox! This is going to come in handy on our new kitchen floors. I can't wait to try it out. But wait! Remember how there were two boxes? The kind folks that they are, Swiffer was actually cool enough to send me TWO Swiffer Wet Jets. One to pass along to a friend or family member. Who better to surprise with than my Mother-in-Law with one. It's the least we can do considering she typically babysits two days a week, and drives 45 minutes each way just to do so.

She wanted to rip it out and get to work. Did I mention she cleans, too? Woo-hoo!

I never knew that Swiffer got all electronic and fancy. Now they have little spray nozzles that shoot floor cleaner out! Just press a little button and there you go. Swiff' away!

It really does work great, and even leaves that clean smell afterwards. It took about three minutes to assemble, and another three to clean the floors. Can't beat that. Just call me Morty.

Of course we couldn't get Brynlee, aka nosy-neighbor, to not be in the way. She likes being part of the #SwifferEffect too. Do they make fake baby Swiffers? That would really help.

Please don't let your kids get into the cleaning solution, I'm pretty sure it's not safe for ingestion. We kept Bryn far enough away when we were using the spray functions. She was really intrigued. So were we. 

I thought I kept my floors nice and clean but the Swiffer proved me wrong. There's definitely some dirt caught on that pad. Oh well, it's clean now! My wife and I are always dreading cleaning the house, this will help solve some of those problems! Thanks again Swiffer for helping keep my house clean and making it so easy to!

The whole point of the #SwifferEffect is to remind families that even as we are changing and evolving with the times, cleaning can be fun and easy. Swiffer is trying to make cleaning less of a chore.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

15 Ways To Spot A Dad

I could make lists for days. I recently thought of a list of things that I sometimes find myself doing. But, only because I am a Dad now.


1. He appears exhausted. Always.

-We all know that having kids is a ton of work. And a lot of missed sleep.

2. He has two cup holders in his car. One with a coffee, the other with a baby's bottle.

-If there was only one cup holder, chances are the coffee wouldn't make the cut.

3. He puts the case of beer back on the shelf to make room for the case of diapers in the shopping cart.

-Those days are over. Diapers are the new 24-pack.

4. He can perfectly replicate the theme song to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

-Over, and over, and over, and over.

5. He knows how to match shoes with outfits.

-Because our kids must always look better than us.

6. He always has a camera phone ready.

-Pictures! It's all about pictures!

7. He judges and criticizes other parents. 

-"My kids will NOT be like those kids!"

8. He assumes that things missing around the house are just under a table somewhere.

-We all know that kids can get into things faster than we can even notice.

9. He has one pair of old, worn out shoes.

-However, the kids have at least 17 pairs each.

10.  His under-the-armpit-smell-check is accompanied by the through-the-diaper-smell-check.

-We have to make sure everyone is still fresh.

11. His garage used to be filled with his toys, now it's filled with kid's toys.

-Who needs tools or a motorcycle when you can have two playhouses, a playskool tool bench, three water tables, and a bicycle before they can even walk?

12. His frozen beer mug in the freezer is replaced with frozen storage bags full of breast milk.

-If only the garage had room for a deep freezer...

13. He sleeps on 1/8th of the bed.

-A 22-inch long baby can take up an awful lot of space in a king sized bed. And he better not even think about rolling over.

14. His wallet is empty.

-Ha. What's money?

15. His furniture is full of stains.

-Do you really expect a kid to get every piece of food into their mouth?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My First Father's Day/Brynlee's Baptism

Hope everyone had a great Father's Day. I know I'm a little late with writing about it, but my life isn't exactly "boring". Ever since becoming a Dad, it seems like there is always something to consume my free time. Unfortunately, writing is done during that free time.

It's a cool feeling to be able to celebrate Father's Day from this side of the spectrum. I mean, I, or should I say "we", spoiled Mommy for her first Mother's Day, so I knew that I would be in return. I told my wife not to go crazy, because I don't care that much about receiving gifts anymore. But I did get some cool new shoes! It's amazing how much things change as a parent. The littlest things mean the most.

We actually had Brynlee's baptism on Father's Day, so not only did we get to celebrate that, but we had the whole family with us. Couldn't ask for a better day. We had her baptismal gown custom made locally here in Chicago. If you would like a reference feel free to send me an email!

Nine months old is a little late to have a baptism, but we are so indecisive about things that it ended up taking this long to get everything figured out. It all turned out really well. The church was beautiful and did a great job with the baptism. A lot of our family was able to come and help celebrate her big day. The brunch afterwards at the White Tail Ridge Country Club in Yorkville was great. And most importantly, we WEREN'T LATE!

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Calling Wine - A Perfect Father's Day

"I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for The Calling Wines. I received a product sample and promotional item as a thank you for participating."

It's almost Father's Day. A day that wasn't all that significant before. But this year, my title as a "Father" applies. I think a parent's first Mother's Day or Father's Day is important. It's already special in the fact that you have never been able to celebrate one in this fashion before, but also because you can only have one "first".

Traditionally gifts are given. Dad might want a new watch, or a grill, or some other tool that will eventually be replaced. Give him something to remember. Something sentimental. Something that will last a lifetime, and every time he sees it, he will be reminded of that child. A good Father's Day gift will bring back memories. I think that's important.  

Dad should also be spoiled! He deserves it. A lot of dads go to work everyday and work hard to support the family. Some stay home and raise kids while mom goes to work. Some blend both. No matter what, dad deserves a day dedicated to him. What better way to relax than with a great wine, inspired by the fathers of it's makers. 


Sports commentator Jim Nantz wrote a book capturing the importance of his father's role in his life. It's called "Always By My Side", and it chronicles his father's long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Wine industry entrepreneur Peter Deutsch happened to read his book, because he too, was inspired by his own father. Peter's father created the wine company that he is currently the CEO of. Jim and Peter were both looking to create a wine that their fathers could be proud of. After they met by chance, the alliance was created. The Calling Wine is the finest of wines, straight from vineyards in California. They offer six varieties, perfect for selecting a great match for that Father's Day dinner you are cooking for dad!

I was lucky enough to receive a bottle to try. The Calling Wine Pinot Noir, is a dark, classic, cool-climate choice from the grapes of Dutton Ranch in the prestigious Russian River Valley appellation. A fresh cherry, mushroom, and spicy flavor compliment the best of steaks. My wife and I both enjoyed our tasting. We are saving the rest of the bottle to make this Father's Day memorable!

The fact that this wine has so much meaning behind it, is what really makes it special. Any father should appreciate the dedication and associate with Jim and Peter about how important fatherhood really is. Whether you are a father yourself, or have a father in your life that you love, please show them you care for them this Father's Day. Whether it be a good bottle of wine, a gift they can cherish, or a simple card expressing your feelings. Let them know that you are thankful for them being Dad. 

Learn more at  -

Friday, May 23, 2014

May 2014 Update

Hey, it's been a while. I have been focusing more on work and family life lately. It seems like there is less and less time to sit down and write. Plus, I'm not even a writer. Have I ever mentioned that before? Oh well. I've done OK so far.

Brynlee is getting so big. Actually, she will show you how big now. Take a look -

Her hair is getting so curly. When we give her a bath, and comb it, it's nice and straight. But that doesn't last too long. As soon as she eats, or naps, she almost always sweats. After that, curly again.

From this - 

To this - 

 A few weeks back, we took her to Brookfield Zoo. She loved it. I loved it. 

She has even upped to a big girl car seat! She loves her new Recaro!

And for Mother's Day, she got her mom a nice card in bed, and also lots of well-deserved gifts!! Love you, Mom!

She had to show off her love for applesauce. She is becoming quite the #selfie girl.

No teeth yet, although it looks like the bottom two will be here very shortly. You can start to see them surfacing. She loves to chew on things, probably because of teething. She really loves Daniel Tiger, and Curious George, and Super Why. 

She knows how to tell you she's hungry, by smacking her lips real loud. She thinks it's funny too, to copy us while we are eating. She's a big oatmeal fan. 

If you give her a crib full of toys, she will play in there for hours by herself. She is very observant, and focuses on even the littlest details of just about everything. She knows how to turn on toys, and how to change channels on TV. Oh, and she sure rolls around. She can scoot backwards, but isn't crawling forwards yet. Should be soon. She has the ambition. 

Make sure to check out my blogs on Chicago Parent. Here are some links to my latest!

Brookfield Zoo Trip - here

Chicago Dad Wants His Daughter To Know He Loves Her The Most - here

Why You Need To Throw Away Your Loofah! - here

Do-It-Yourself Home Photo Portraits - here

Friday, April 4, 2014

April 2014 Update

Brynlee is, 90 percent of the time, a happy baby. Occasionally she gets a little fussy, but for the most part, we got lucky.

Look at this photo I got of her yesterday, while she was playing with a toy. With how often I am taking pictures of her, we know that she won't be afraid of cameras when she is older.

She gets so excited. Especially when she is pulling on your hooded sweatshirt's strings. She just loves that.

I think I am enjoying this stage of her life a little more than when she was first born. She has a personality now, and she recognizes me. She is more fun to interact with. I can play with her and she will respond with sounds, or smiles, or laughs. Kind of like a puppy, but a human version.

She eats puree'd foods now. She really likes mangos. Rice cereal works to fill her up, too. Still loves her bottles though. She knows when it's time, and she will start kicking with joy when she notices the bottle in your hand.

Her Grandma, and her Great Aunt help us babysit when we are at work. Sometimes I think that she is more excited to see them, than she is to see us. She really enjoys her time with them. It's safe to say by the look on her face when she makes eye contact with them both. We are very grateful.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is her very favorite television show. We try to limit her time in front of the TV, because studies show that it isn't great for children under 2. But, how can you keep her completely away? You never will. When the Daniel Tiger theme song comes on, she knows it. She will freeze whatever she is doing, and turn to watch. It's pretty amazing. Her memory is fantastic.

Image from

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

6 Months Photo Update

Can you believe it? I feel like it was yesterday, at 10 weeks pregnant, that I started writing this blog. Brynlee is a few days past 6 months old. Let our family be proof that so much can change in a year's time.

Here are a few recent pictures, because she changes so much, and so quickly.

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