Dear Jack: For Crazy Hair Day, You Chose to Be Green!

8 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

This past Tuesday, your class got to celebrate filling the jar with marbles, for good class behavior, by having Crazy Hair Day!

So before we left for school, I took you out to the garage and basically spray paint all your hair.

At first, I only sprayed the top, but you insisted I spray all of your hair, including all the back.

Looking back on these pictures though, I should have used the entire can; as there was still some sandy brown showing through.

Needless to say, you had a really fun day. And I’m fairly confident you’re going to be asking me to have green hair again!

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Holly: It’s Fun to Look at the Oriental Trading Company Catalog with Your Brother!

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

For some reason, we randomly started receiving the Oriental Trading Company catalog every month at our house. I didn’t realize what a treat this would be for you and your brother!

While Mommy and I clean up after dinner, the two of you remain entertained the entire time, as your brother will ask you, “Holly, out of these on this page, which one would you want? You can pick three.”

You always happily go along with the fantasy, as if you truly get to have some of the toys featured in the catalog.

I never knew that magazine could serve as such captivating entertainment!

Love,

Daddy

More Than 1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know How to Cook: Americans Spend More on Eating Out Than Buying Groceries

The art of cooking has fallen by the wayside in the age of convenience. As parents, we’re supposed to be teaching our kids how to take care of themselves once they fly the nest. Unfortunately many of us have lifestyles that are too busy for cooking on a daily basis; so we hit the drive thru on the way home or we order takeout or we go sit in a restaurant- because who wants to do all those dishes anyway?

On the surface this isn’t a completely terrible thing – our kids still have food to eat, and it is totally possible to make healthy choices at a restaurant. It’s a budget-buster – go ahead and tally up how much money you spend on restaurants each month. You’ll be shocked.

The biggest problem here is that we aren’t always taking the time to teach our kids how to cook, and as a result, more than a quarter of American adults don’t know how to cook at all. Everyone needs to know the basics of cooking, even if you aren’t planning to become a television chef – it’s a matter of survival.

Learn more about the apps and tech out there to help you learn to cook – and cook safely – from the infographic below.

This infographic brought to you by KitchenByte

Dear Holly: Sometimes I Wonder If Your Stories Actually Have a Beginning or an End…

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

You just have so much to say these days. (And that’s a major understatement!)

Here lately, I’ve noticed that your most exciting stories seem to start in the middle, but they never really start or end.

I also am wondering how much of your stories actually happened- or are at least accidentally infused with details you are imagining, and then you possibly forget whether you are wanting to tell me a story about something that actually happened or just something you wanted to happen.

At this stage, I’m not sure you necessarily know the difference in the middle of the story… and neither do I!

Love,

Daddy

Photo by Mohamad Alaw

Dear Jack: Your Hair is Turning Brown, Now More Than Ever… But Your Eyes are Still Blue

8 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I always assumed that eventually, you would officially have blonde hair instead of brown…

You’re pretty close these days.

There are definitely still those lighter patches that on their own are still blonde, but I would say even more of your hair is starting to classify as dark brown.

However, I will say that I am actually surprised it’s taken this long for your hair to shift colors.

Even though your hair color is changing, your eyes have remained blue after all these years.

It’s pretty amazing that both you and your sister have blue eyes, though both of your parents have brown eyes.

 

Love,

Daddy

Photo by Mohamad Alaw

What is the Secret to Living to 100+? The Blue Zone

What if you could live to 100 and beyond? It’s not as far-fetched as it may seem. The number of supercentenarians is growing worldwide — in 2015 there were 451,000 worldwide, and by 2050 it is estimated there will be more than 3.7 million. Healthcare is getting better worldwide as is access to clean water and food. We also know more about how to treat our bodies well, with ample rest and exercise. But clearly this isn’t enough. How can we live to 100 and beyond?

Genetics plays an important role in how long you live, but it’s not the deciding factor. Some scientists estimate your genetics only accounts for about 15% of your chances of living to 100 and beyond. Other factors include things like your diet, getting regular exercise, and cultivating a sense of purpose and community.

There are some places around the world known as ‘Blue Zones’ where people routinely live longer and healthier lives. In places like Loma Linda, California, where the average inhabitant lives 10 years longer than the national average, it is thought the diet and emphasis on religion and community play a major role.

Learn more about Blue Zones from the infographic below. Maybe you will live a lot longer than you think!

Secrets to Living Longer
Source: Best Health Care Degrees

Dear Holly: When Daddy’s in Charge, It’s Low Expectations But Also Low Conflict

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

Yesterday morning, Mommy left to go on a fun trip with Grandma in Texas until the weekend. That’s means Daddy’s in charge… of everything! For better or worse.

Now that the first whole “Day of Daddy” is over, I have come to this realization:

You and your brother have lower expectations when I am in charge- but there is also noticeably less conflict.

In fact, there is zero conflict.

There was not one argument, squabble, or display of negative emotions yesterday with either of  you. It was easy to get you both ready for school, to get dinner prepared and served, and get you both bathed and to bed.

Granted, there’s a reason for that:

It’s because my version of doing everything is the Jeep Wrangler version; just the basics, just the essentials, just the most efficient.

My way is not better. In fact, I’m positive it’s worse than if Mommy were here.

All the details are missing, in other words.

But hey… I can hold down the fort.

Lower expectations, lower conflict.

Love,

Daddy