I Find Louis C.K.’s Bit On Child Discipline Hard To Argue With

With the Adrian Peterson story making unignorable headlines right now…

I Find Louis C.K.'s Bit On Child Discipline Hard To Argue With

I’m noticing that readership of my “spanking children” posts is rising:

Is Spanking Actually More Effective Than The Alternative?

I Never Saw Myself As A Non-Spanking Parent, But…

4 Out Of 5 Parents Spank Their Kids

A Slap In The Face: Child Abuse Or Discipline?

Parents And Politics: Delaware’s New “Spanking Ban”

Advice For “Granny,” Whose Grandchild Is Slapped In The Face

I realize that I’m in the minority on this one. I represent the 20% of the population who doesn’t spank (or physically discipline in any way) my child.

Simply put, the overwhelmingly majority of the American population (and likely the faithful people who read my blog) disagree with my view on spanking. Which is no problem. “To spank or not to spank” is up to the individual parent for their own child; I don’t make that decision for anyone but my own child.

It's Hard To Disagree With Louis C.K. On "Hitting Children"

So I promise I’m not trying to convert anyone here. But I do think Louis C.K., who is currently my favorite comedian, makes some very valid points. Personally, I think his statements are hard to argue with.:

“And stop hitting me, you’re huge. How could you hit me?! That’s crazy. You’re a giant, and I can’t defend myself.”I really think it’s crazy that we hit our kids. It really is–here’s the crazy part about it. Kids are the only people in the world that you’re allowed to hit. Do you realize that? They’re the most vulnerable, and they’re the most destroyed by being hit. But it’s totally okay to hit them. And they’re the only ones! If you hit a dog they… will put you in jail for that… You can’t hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you. But a little tiny person with a head this big who trusts you implicitly, f(orget) ‘em. Who (cares)? Just… hit–let’s all hit them! People want you to hit your kid. If your kid’s making noise in public, “Hit him, hit him! Hit him! Grrr, hit him!” We’re proud of it! “I hit my kids. You’re… right I hit my kids.” Why did you hit them? “‘Cause they were doing a thing I didn’t like at the moment. And so I hit them, and guess what? They didn’t do it after that.” Well, that wouldn’t be taking the… easy way out would it? “

For the full, uncensored, un-family friendly version of this bit, check out Louis C.K.’s special available on Netflix, Hilarious.

I Find Louis C.K.'s Bit On Child Discipline Hard To Argue With

Again, a warning: It’s not at all family friendly; but for me, it reinforced and summarized my beliefs on child discipline better than I’ve heard anyone else ever do it.

Arrington Vineyards: Family Friendly Review

I’ll go ahead and point out that it might seem a tad bit ironic that I would do a “family friendly review” on a winery.

But as you hopefully will discover, this particular winery is different.

Arrington Vineyards: Family Friendly Review

The way I see it, Arrington Vineyards makes for a perfect hang-out spot for both parents and children.

It is located about 30 minutes south of Nashville, on a giant hill. The view is beautiful, the atmosphere is classy, and that enormous (and extremely steep) hill provides the ideal playground for kids.

Arrington Vineyards: Family Friendly Review

When my sister and I were kids back in the 80s, we were always excited to play on the hill in our Italian grandfather’s yard. In more recent years, we realized that “hill” was only about 3 feet high.

However, the hill at Arrington Vineyards is the largest and widest I have ever seen for what could constitute for an unofficial play area.

Arrington Vineyards: Family Friendly Review

Parking is free- and a plethora of picnic tables are provided as well. Therefore, Arrington Vineyards is naturally a wonderful location to host a picnic.

The only cost would be if you choose to try or buy wine. There is no fee for just “hanging out.”

Obviously though, I’ve noticed most people who go to Arrington Vineyards end up buying a bottle of wine, which explains why the vineyard can afford to keep from charging any kind of entrance free or table fee.

Arrington Vineyards: Family Friendly Review

So, let’s talk more about that monstrous hill: Kids love it!

I had my son Jack pack up a book bag full of balls before we left the house; as well as monster trucks. (It helped serve as a lesson in sharing since we met his friend Jake’s family there.)

He and I had a blast playing a game we made up where he kicked the soccer ball down the hill to me and I kicked it back up to him.

His goal was to get the ball all the way down to the bottom of the hill; my goal was to get it to the top.

Arrington Vineyards: Family Friendly Review

Arrington Vineyards is also naturally a good place to take pictures. I’ve noticed that the abnormal horizon line (because of the hill) and the easy expose to sunlight make for good photography.

Arrington Vineyards: Family Friendly Review

So there you have it. I say this is a great place to take your family to hang-out. And if you, the parent, appreciate good wine, it’s all that much more of a reason to go.

Arrington Vineyards: Family Friendly Review

FYI: Arrington Vineyards was unaware I was writing a “family friendly review” on them. I was simply a paying customer who happened to be taking a lot of pictures of my son. In other words, I did not “work for free wine.” I simply have always enjoyed going to Arrington Vineyards and thought they deserve a shout-out.

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

Dear Jack,

This Saturday (as well as Sunday) morning I woke up to you and Mommy laughing and playing on the couch.

You had created a pick-up truck out of couch cushions and were taking your friends to the hospital. (Mommy was the doctor.)

One of your friends was a small white bear you named “Baby Diaper”. You explained to Mommy:

“Can you help my Sweetie? A monster bit her!”

I also enjoyed seeing how you helped Mommy with Donatello’s visit to the doctor: “He has a tummy ache. I think he needs water. I’ll get him a water balloon.”

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

Then you then ran over to the corner of our living room where you’ve been stashing the helium balloons you got from a couple of weeks ago when we paid the earnest money for our new house.

You then proceeded to “pour” water from the “water balloon” into Donatello’s mouth.

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

Classic! I love that creativity.

You’re also proactive: You decided to go ahead and try on your Halloween costume.

Recently at Kroger you found a $4 Batman mask and wanted Mommy and me to buy it for you. We agreed, based on you being Batman for Halloween.

Then last week Mommy found some $7 Batman pajamas from Wal-Mart…

Therefore, I would like to say, thank you for choosing the cheapest Halloween costume so far! Just eleven bucks, total.

That is so practical and frugal. I am proud.

You practiced your Batman faces for us; both “happy Batman” and “serious Batman.”

Dear Jack: Drinking Water Balloons/Practicing For Halloween

It’s good that you’re really spending some time already getting in to your Batman character. I think that might count as “method acting.”

This is what goes on in our house. I’m assuming that in every other house with a 3 year-old little boy in it, there are different yet related stories that occur.

As far as our house goes, it’s about drinking from water balloons and practicing for Halloween. For this week, at least.

Experiment: Compare Annie’s Homegrown Ingredients A Year From Now in September 2015

Last night I posted Why I’m Happy About Annie’s Homegrown Being Bought Out By General Mills, to which a friend who actually was instrumental in my own transition from vegetariasm to veganism responded with this comment:

Monica Lang I’m not buying it. Keep a box today and compare the ingredients a year from now.
#noGMorAnniesinourhouseanymore

Actually, I think she’s got an excellent idea! She makes a great point. So I literally am going to do exactly what she suggested…

Experiment: Compare Annie's Homegrown Ingredients A Year From Now

I took close-up pictures of the Annie’s Homegrown products we happened to have in our pantry. (In case you’re wondering, my son is a vegetarian, not a vegan- which explans the mac-and-cheese.)

A year from now, I will take and post pictures of the same products, if available, and compare them for everyone to see.

Experiment: Compare Annie's Homegrown Ingredients A Year From Now

While I definitely could be wrong, and would quickly admit it if I am a year from now, I doubt think General Mills will mess with Annie’s Homegrown’s dedication to keeping their products organic, non-GMO, and free of artificial dyes and flavors.

Experiment: Compare Annie's Homegrown Ingredients A Year From Now

The reason I am confident to say this is because General Mills can’t afford to “Monsanto-size” their newly acquired product line. The whole point in them acquiring Annie’s was because they know how much money a market we organic/non-GMO consumers shell out each year.

Experiment: Compare Annie's Homegrown Ingredients A Year From Now

If they General Mills changes Annie’s ingredients, then people like me would simply start buying products of other food companies who do still have integrity.

I believe General Mills will make the right decision- not from the heart, like Annie’s always has, but because of the bottom line; it’s directly related to them making a profit.

So, let’s watch together how this works out. None of us can know for sure until September 2015.

See ya in a year!

Experiment: Compare Annie's Homegrown Ingredients A Year From Now

Actually… please come back before then. I just mean, I’ll do a follow-up post on this in September 2015.

Dear Jack: Your Friend Lucy Says I’m A Nice Daddy

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack: Your Friend Lucy Says I’m A Nice Daddy

Dear Jack,

Last Thursday as I was picking you up from KinderCare and walking you to our car, your friend Lucy saw us walking by and proclaimed to her own Daddy, “That’s Jack’s Daddy. He’s a nice Daddy!”

I had really never considered my reputation among the 3 year-olds of your school.

Maybe I really am a “nice Daddy.”

Hey, I’ll take a compliment anytime I can; even from a 3 year-old.

When I walk in each day to pick you up from school, your friends always begin talking to me; like they’re supposed to or something. It’s been that way for months, actually…

Your friend Avery always tells me, “My Mommy picks me up today.”

Jaedyn always describes what she’s drawing and shows it to me.

Ethan immediately hugs my leg, like I’m his actually Daddy.

And when I see you, you always run to me and I lift you up to the air like you’re a rocket.

So looking back, I guess you and I do make a scene each day when I pick you up.

Ultimately, I guess that makes me a “nice Daddy.”

(Coincidently, I happened to meet Lucy’s Mommy, Autumn, this week for the first time; I took some pictures of you and Lucy playing together.)

I can honestly say I’ve never considered my reputation as a “nice Daddy” among your peers. I guess I’ve just always subconsciously assumed that their dads act the same way when they pick them up each day.

And that’s still what I assume. I assume all your friends’ fathers treat them the same way as I treat you.

How could they not?

Being a good father (and husband) are the roles in life I take the most seriously.

My understanding is that fatherhood is the one of the main forms of identity and self-realization for the modern American man.

Doesn’t every man think the same way as I do? The dads I know all do, at least.

My guy friends are all “nice Daddies.”

In fact, I bet a lot of them are actually nicer than I am.

Why I’m Happy About Annie’s Homegrown Being Bought Out By General Mills

This week on Facebook, Annie’s made it public that they have been purchased by General Mills (for $820 million):

Hi Annie’s Fans,Today we announced exciting news that Annie’s will join General Mills. We are thrilled because this opportunity will fuel Annie’s future growth and allow us to more rapidly expand our line of high quality, great tasting products made with organic and natural ingredients that you’ve come to love over the last 25 years. So what does this combination mean for you, our loyal fans? Expect to see Annie’s in more stores, in more categories and in more varieties.Annie’s has never been a company that compromises on its values. With General Mills’ support, we will stay true to our mission and committed to doing well by doing good. We remain dedicated to real food; simple, organic, non-GMO and natural ingredients; a clean planet and sustainable business practices. These values are part of our DNA and they will remain so.

Thanks for being a loyal Annie’s fan and celebrating this new chapter in our story.

Sincerely,
John Foraker
Annie’s CEO

Since then, the current CEO, John Foraker, has assured Annie’s supporters that Annie’s integrity will remain intact:

I want you all to know that our mission, culture, and values and the things we stand for will remain the same. We’ll continue to make the same great products, more of them actually, using ingredients we are proud of, business practices that are respectful of the environment, and that make our planet a better place. We’ve spent 25 years building trust with consumers, one interaction at a time. We will continue to do that. Count on it. I always ask people to listen to what we say, but more importantly, watch what we do! We will not let you down! Our mission: We cultivate a healthier, happier world by spreading goodness through nourishing foods, honest words and conduct that is considerate and forever kind to the planet. that mission is hard won and has been built with integrity. We will never abandon it, but rather we will further it, by putting our product into millions of new homes, which will expand our positive impact even more. I have given 15 years of my life to that mission and I am not stopping now. Best, John, Annie’s CEO

In the past couple of days, I have observed the astonishment from many (but not most) Annie’s fans online, that a company like Annie’s that has pushed for mandatory government labelling of GMOs, would join forces with a company like General Mills that is known for investing money to keep mandatory GMO labels off their food products.

Why I’m Happy About Annie’s Being Bought Out By General Mills

However, that doesn’t personally bother me.

I’m simply neutral on that- I don’t see why we need the government to force companies to label whether or not their products contain GMOs.

Here’s why:

The free market will decide anyway. As long as Annie’s packaging continues to advertise itself as “non-GMO,” and that it contains no high fructose corn syrup, or artificial dyes or flavors, and it’s organic… I will continue buying Annie’s- even if it is actually now a division of General Mills.

Because I’m not caught up in the war against labelling. I represent the Annie’s fans who are actually happy for Annie’s products getting better distribution and more opportunities to get their higher quality products to the mainstream.

For those of us who are passionate about avoiding GMOs in our food, we already check for the voluntary non-GMO label on food when we are shopping.

We also know that if a company doesn’t make a deliberate effort to make it known that there are indeed no GMOs in their food, then it must be assumed their food indeed contains GMOs.

Any company that is catering to non-GMO consumers would be stupid not to flash it all over their packaging and advertisements.

Based on what the CEO of Annie’s is telling everyone on Facebook, it sounds like he’s promising that Annie’s will continue to be dedicated to staying organic, non-GMO, and free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes and flavors.

If not, he knows that families like ours would stop buying Annie’s. However, I truly do not believe that will be the outcome.

Why I’m Happy About Annie’s Being Bought Out By General Mills

Here’s why:

A huge company like General Mills sort of needs Annie’s at this point. Influential food bloggers like Food Babe are educating the general public about how unethical GMOs are.

She has been helping to inform Americans about GMOs in Cheerios, for example.

The result? General Mills gave in to the pressure, announcing their plans to start making Cheerios without the GMOs.

It appears General Mills is already losing enough money to Annie’s. It’s apparently cheaper, easier, and more efficient to just join Annie’s efforts than to try to beat them.

But… they know to be taken seriously, they have to continue the “organic, non-GMO, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors or colors” commitment that Annie’s is known and respected for.

I am remaining completely optimistic. This means that snacks that are organic, non-GMO, and have no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or colors will be integrated into the mainstream even more.

Personally, I’m happy about the buy-out. I’m cool with just the voluntary food labels; ones that are not mandated by the government.

organic-nongmo

I say, let the free market decide. I say, celebrate the good news that Annie’s products will be more accessible (and possibly more affordable) to those who wouldn’t normally consider buying Annie’s food and snacks.

The way I look at it, it’s what on the inside (no GMO’s) that matters, not the outside (government-mandated labels).

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

Over the weekend I made it “Facebook and Twitter official” that our family bought a new house two weeks ago. To be specific, we’re building a new house in the “bedroom community” of Spring Hill, TN. (Our new home is currently a concrete slab.)

(See Dear Jack: We’re Building A New House In Spring Hill, TN.)

2014 Lexus GS: Family Friendly Review/Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”

I know this sounds strange, but other than going to our lot on the day we “bought” it (meaning we put down the honest money), that was the only time we saw it. We didn’t even check out the surrounding neighborhoods on that day.

Granted, we had well researched the neighborhood online, making sure it was in the “right county for schools,” which is Williamson if you live in the Nashville area.

Plus, our real estate agent Dave Stanley also verified it was a good neighborhood, too; as did another real estate agent in my office, along with about 4 or 5 other co-workers who live in Spring Hill.

(The picture directly below, looking out the car window, is a shot of our new home.)

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

So our family decided, now that we’ve signed all the proper paperwork and got all the financial approval and all that fun stuff… that we should officially check out the neighborhood.

Plus, we were able to pick out the color of our house (sort of a sea blue), carpet, and granite countertops. My son Jack helped the in-house agent enter the info into the computer.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

To keep him entertained, I played “Easter Egg Hunt” with him using balloons in the model home; which is the same floor plan as we will have. We also played “Balloon Basketball” using a shelf on the wall.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

Afterwards, our family did a “neighborhood drive-by”, checking out the elementary school and new rec center which you can see from our street.

It’s also convenient that the church we will be attending is right around the corner too.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

We were also able to meet our next door neighbor; a really nice lady from Detroit who has a 5 year-old granddaughter who happens to live in the neighborhood too.

This is really exciting stuff!

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

Of course, the whole time, we were cruising around in the glorious 2014 Lexus GS 450h. (I’ve been regularly reviewing cars for a solid year now, as a daddy blogger.)

I should say right off that I very much appreciated that it averages 31 miles per gallon. (The “h” in its name stands for “hybrid.”) Considering all the driving we did to, around, and from our new home, I never had to think about fueling up.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

After having driven the 2014 Lexus GS 450h for an entire week now, it’s still not down to half a tank yet.

Jack’s favorite part about the car was that the windows have sun shades that pull down. I think it makes him feel like he’s in his own private limo. He also likes the Sirius XM station, Margaritaville, (Ch. 24).

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

On the way to school this morning, he begged me, “Turn it to Jimmy Buffet, Daddy!”

(Speaking of the radio, you can control it (along with the air) from a special console that folds down from in between the back seats.)

Needless to say, my wife Jill thoroughly enjoyed getting to test-drive the car. Jack and I had fun while she did, as we apparently pretended to be pirates, I think…

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

I also enjoyed one particular safety feature it has where it beeps anytime it senses another vehicle as you’re backing up. That’s really cool- came in handy a time or two.

As always, people’s heads turned the entire week as we drove this Lexus around. It happens every time we review a Lexus.

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

Thanks for reading my car review this week. Also, I just whipped up this for anyone interested as well: Syncing Your Phone To A New Lexus Vehicle.

And obviously, in the months to come, there will be more house updates as well. You’re welcome back anytime.

2014 Lexus GS 450h

Fuel economy: 31 combined/29 city/34 highway

Price as shown: $70,000.00.