Can’t Miss Sights and Activities in London or Random Things We Did with Our Kids?

Can’t Miss Sights and Activities in London or Random Things We Did with Our Kids?

There is no shortage of lists of must-see sights in London on the internet. Different sources have different opinions on what you have to see, but I’m pretty certain all the lists have at least one item in common: The McDonald’s Across from King’s Cross and St. Pancras Train Stations. For that and more must-see destinations or random things we did with our kids in London, read on!

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Maybe Dirt Isn’t My Parenting Kryptonite Anymore

Maybe Dirt Isn’t My Parenting Kryptonite Anymore

Change is an inevitable part of life. Time makes you bolder. Children get older. The soreness you experience after playing a tennis tournament lingers for several extra days. On the other hand, things that used to bother you, suddenly don't seem so important anymore. Like dirt. In particular, your children's fascination with it.

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Exorcising Chuck E. Cheese Demons

Exorcising Chuck E. Cheese Demons

You might find this hard to believe, but I wasn’t a big fan of Chuck E. Cheese even when I was a kid. There was just something about it. I’m not sure what. Perhaps the fact that it’s a life-sized petri dish filled with every strain of virus and bacteria known to man? Yes, that’s probably it. Fun fact: There are a couple of bacterial strains that exist only inside Chuck E. Cheese. The “E” stands for Escherichia.

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The Art of Making My Son’s Bed Without Being Found Out

The Art of Making My Son’s Bed Without Being Found Out

Well, sure, there are many things you have to hide from your children, but making beds isn’t one of them, right? Wrong.

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A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

Around these parts, school is out for the entire week of Thanksgiving. Kids have it so easy these days. Back in my day, we got Thursday and Friday off. That was it.

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Reconnecting with My Mountain Roots: Day 2

Reconnecting with My Mountain Roots: Day 2

Our second day in the mountains started with me picking sopping wet trash off the gravel driveway and placing it in a fresh trash bag. Apparently, we had a visitor during the night. The entire wooden container that housed two trash cans was turned over on its side. After I had cleaned up the trash, I went to flip the container up off its side, but it didn’t budge.

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Reconnecting with My Mountain Roots: Day 1

Reconnecting with My Mountain Roots: Day 1

The kids had a couple days off for fall break last week, and so, because we are rugged people, we made a dash to the mountains of North Carolina.

Having grown up and lived almost my whole life in Florida, you might not expect me to be a mountain man, but I most definitely am. In fact, many years ago when I went away to law school in Virginia for six weeks, I bought a pair of hiking boots, which still sit in my closet under a pile of pillows to this very day. It’s not so much that you live in the mountains, it’s that the mountains live inside you.

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I’ve Never Juggled Bowls While Riding a Unicycle, But I Do Have Children

I’ve Never Juggled Bowls While Riding a Unicycle, But I Do Have Children

An acrobat known as Red Panda has been a staple of basketball halftime shows across the country for more than twenty years. I once saw her in person at an NBA game years before I had children. I was stunned by her simple in concept, yet seemingly impossible in practice, act. In short, she rides a very tall unicycle, places an increasing numbers of bowls onto her foot and leg, flips the bowls into the air, and catches them in a stack on her head.

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Tell Us What You Did This Summer

Tell Us What You Did This Summer

If I had to stand up in front of the class and tell everyone what we did this summer—and thankfully I don’t have to do that—this is what I would say.

We did a little bit of everything and a little bit of nothing.

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A Pop Song, a Volcano, and a Frog

A Pop Song, a Volcano, and a Frog

One of my 6-year-old’s favorite songs came on the radio on our drive home from my parents’ house. The car was dark and my two younger kids were already sound asleep as he crooned along, terribly off key. 

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Spending Quality Time With My Kids is Great, But Fatherhood Sure Can Be Awkward

Spending Quality Time With My Kids is Great, But Fatherhood Sure Can Be Awkward

I’m always looking for fun activities to do with the kids after school and on weekends. It can be difficult, though, because it’s hard to come up with things a one-, three-, and six-year-old will all enjoy. 

My wife was out of town for a few days recently and suddenly the need for fun (time-killing) activities felt even more urgent. Don’t get me wrong, because I’ve been a stay-at-home parent for more than six years, I’m as equipped as anyone to solo parent for a few days, but really, no one is suitably equipped.

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Landscaping with Children: An Update

Landscaping with Children: An Update

Before you read any further, check out Part I of this story.

I know you’ve all been wondering, so an update is long overdue. The landscaping project is still going wonderfully. Thanks for asking!

It’s nice to be seen for once. Our house is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac, so we don’t get much casual traffic. And even when we had a large number of people over—earlier this month for a kids’ birthday party—literally no one commented on the upgrades to the front yard.

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Dirt is My Parenting Kryptonite

Dirt is My Parenting Kryptonite

My children do plenty of annoying things, but perhaps the one that quickens my pulse the most is playing in the dirt. I have no idea why this is. On its face, it is a relatively benign activity. No one is in danger of getting hurt (for the most part, more on that later) and I don’t have to do anything until the fun is over. They have never once asked me to join them in their filthy games, which is a true blessing.

It is inexplicable why this mundane activity is my parenting kryptonite, yet here we are.

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Technological Jealousy: A Dad’s Lament

Technological Jealousy: A Dad’s Lament

On several occasions recently, my six-year-old has had me film him doing something fascinating like drumming on couch cushions, scaring his sister, or hitting golf balls in the yard so we could upload the video to YouTube and watch it back on our TV.

I can’t blame him.

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Eight Years of Tired

Eight Years of Tired

Today is my wedding anniversary. It is also my wife's wedding anniversary. It's ours. Together.

I swear. For the life of me I couldn't come up with a way to phrase that more succinctly. "My wife and my anniversary?" Sounds weird.

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A Good Walk Toiled

A Good Walk Toiled

I went for a walk around the neighborhood with the kids yesterday because it was such a beautiful day. As is always the case, it began with high hopes. All three started out riding scooters or bikes. What a lovely outing! Soon enough, though, things regressed to the mean. We made it to the farthest point in our loop, about half a mile from the house, and the youngest two ran out of steam.

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How Al Fresco Dining Can Help Save Your Sanity (for Like 30 Minutes)

How Al Fresco Dining Can Help Save Your Sanity (for Like 30 Minutes)

Sometimes you just need to eat dinner outside.

Before we get too far into this, let me assure that this story is not a giant humblebrag about living in Florida in the winter. I’m not going to go on and on about how the weather has been perfect lately, crisp and cool at night and beyond comfortable during the day (except for a couple days ago when it was randomly 30 degrees we almost declared a state of emergency—Lowe’s customers were practically massacring each other to procure the last of the Duraflame logs). I wouldn’t do that to any of you stuck in the northeast or Midwest or Canada who are currently living in blocks of ice or igloos or houses made of bear skins or something (I’m unclear on the details as I don’t have much experience with cold climates).

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Kids are Right: We Should Celebrate the Little Things

Kids are Right: We Should Celebrate the Little Things

We had a birthday party this week. No one in our household has had a birthday recently, but that doesn’t matter. We were cleaning out the garage for probably the first time since we moved in three years ago and underneath all the lint from the dryer (our dryer vents into the garage, which is fantastic and I highly recommend it) we found an old cardboard box full of decorations from our now 6-year-old Jacob’s second birthday party. Inside the fuzzy box there were unopened packages of yellow and red paper plates, a birthday sign, napkins, whistles (awesome), Sesame Street party hats, and several bugs.

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Rewards Schools Could Use to Motivate Introverted Kids

Rewards Schools Could Use to Motivate Introverted Kids

My son’s school offered a special incentive to encourage students to use their online learning program during the holiday break. There was a note in my kindergartner’s homework folder that said all students who did 45 minutes per week during vacation would have a special lunch with the principals when school started back.

As an introverted adult who once was an introverted child, my first thought upon reading the note was, “Worst. Prize. Ever.” Regular school lunch was enough of a nightmare already with all the forced socialization, unstructured time, and eating in front of other people. And now that I’ve finally gotten into a workable routine after four months you want me to eat somewhere else, with different people, and in the company of principals? No thanks!

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