Toddler = Weapon of Mass Destruction

Reading Time: 1 minute

If you have (or had) toddlers you know what this post’s title means. If not, let me enlighten you. My progeny (obviously their destructive tendencies come only from me and not the amazing Mrs. Colemind) have all destroyed things when they were toddlers. Expensive things. The first thing I remember was a window, then there were doors, closet doors, laptops, toys uncountable, computers, and the list goes on and on.

Yesterday another WMD was released in the Colemind home.

Our youngest, who is 3.5 going on 13, wreaked some mass destruction on our home. I’ll warn you now. The image below is pretty graphic.

Here’s a quick rundown of the above destruction:

  • Electric Griddle
  • 2 Plastic Tupperware containers
  • 2 – Mrs. Colemind’s amazing brownies
  • 2 – Mrs. Colemind’s amazing cupcakes
  • 6 – Colemind macroons (the coconut ones, not the French ones
  • 2 – Colemind almond joys (macaroon bars, almonds, drizzled in chocolate)

I’ll pause here for a bit so you can mourn their passing.

Okay. Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t stack flammable/meltable things on top of the griddle. Even if it’s not plugged in.
  2. Don’t leave griddle out where toddler can plug it in.
  3. Toddlers will find things to destroy. ALWAYS!

Luckily I noticed the heat coming off of the griddle before we left or we may have added a house to the list of things our children, as toddlers, have destroyed.

Green Eggs and Ham | Dr Seuss’ Birthday

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For the great Dr.’s birthday we decided to have a bit of a celebration. Green Eggs & Ham of course. The colemind progeny decided to have theirs a la carte, while I and the Mrs. had burritos–scrambled green eggs, canadian bacon, cheese, hash browns, and spicy ketchup. It was a delicious tribute to one of the greatest authors of all time.

That’s right, one of the greatest.

Just look at these quotes:

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

A person’s a person, no matter how small.

You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!

While his books were simple, the messages and lessons were powerful. He used simple words and illustrations that have shaped generations of children. He is what we should all aspire to as authors. He told stories that made people think.

Oh, he did sell 600 million plus copies. There’s that too.

Ode to an Instant Pot

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For a while I have coveted an Instant Pot pressure cooker. For Christmas this year my wife purchased one. In the roughly month and a half that I have had it I have made (in no particular order):

  • Carne Adovada
  • Barbacoa
  • Pulled Pork
  • Spare Ribs
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Pot Roast
  • Hard Boiled Eggs

None of these took longer than 2 hours from start to finish. It has almost completely replaced our slow cooker.

I’m sure that I’ll be posting more about it (and the delicious food I make with it) in the future.

Gopher Battle | Pt 1

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We have gophers. No, not as pets but burrowing around in our back yard. Making little (or big) mounds all over the place, eating the roots of plants, and generally being a total nuisance.

Today starts the beginning of the gopher battle. I just ordered some pellets that are supposed to repel our little invaders into parts unknown. Apparently they are made of castor oil, cinnamon and other things that gophers find wholly noxious.

I hope that the pellets work. The gophers had been confined to the back yard where their wanton destruction could be hidden but they have now moved to the front yard where their hills are now displayed for all to see. They have fired the first shots but now we will return fire.

Stay tuned to see how the battle fares.

2016 – Not All Bad

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I know that most people would say that 2016 wasn’t a great year. Many in fact would say that it was a horrible year. I think though that even in years that fall short of what we would consider “excellent” there can be much good. There is a pretty popular article making the rounds on 99 Reasons 2016 Was a Good Year which is a good start. With that in mind here is a short list of why 2016 was a good year for me (and my family).

  1. We paid our bills, kept food on the table and our house cool (it’s Phoenix, so you know you never need to keep it warm).
  2. Our two oldest boys moved to a new school that is more challenging and offers a lot more for them to participate in (sports, choir, etc.). And they loved it.
  3. Our youngest, who has been dealing with a swallow disorder where she can only drink thickened liquids (think almost the consistency of honey), finally got into feeding therapy after three years of trying and can now drink un-thickened liquids. (This is hands down our biggest win this year).
  4. We did a better job of doing family activities this year. If you look at our photos from 2016, most of them are from places like the bowling alley, Arizona Science Center, the Phoenix Zoo, etc. Our kids are still small-ish (though getting bigger every year) so we will have less and less time for this going forward.
  5. Best of all I remained happily married to my wonderful wife and the love of my life.

This isn’t to say that our year was all rainbows and lollipops, because it most certainly wasn’t. But even in the midst of the things that weren’t perfect there was still much good and that is always important to remember.