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Crash Kids IKEA Soft Toy Designs

Posted on November 12, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

It seems that my kids have plenty of my wife in them. They absolutely adore designing just about anything. So, when IKEA announced a plush toy design contest, my kids were all in. I’m not sure how the contest works completely, but it looks like it’s based on people’s votes. So, here are each of their designs and a link to vote for them if you like their design (or even if you don’t and just want to help them win). You can vote every day if you’re bored like that. Voting ends on 11/22.

Vote for Crash Kid #1’s Animal named The Kingikea-plush-toy-crash-kid-1

Vote for Crash Kid #2’s Animal named Daisy Dodoikea-plush-toy-crash-kid-2

Vote for Crash Kid #3’s Animal named Arnoldikea-plush-toy-crash-kid-3

I imagine it’s just my skewed father eyes, but I’d actually love to see all of these as stuffed animals. They’d all be pretty fun to have.

Child Like Determination

Posted on May 17, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

Child-like Determination

Yesterday was Crash Kid #2’s first piano recital. Luckily there were only 3 people playing at the recital so it was fast and painless. It was exactly the way you’d want a piano recital. Friendly faces in the audience. A chance for your child to perform in front of people and the pressure that goes along with that, but the parents aren’t itching to leave as they heard the 10th child hunting and pecking their way through Yankee Doodle.

I’ll admit that I was a little worried for my daughter. She hadn’t practiced nearly enough and the “Be Our Guest” piece was pretty advanced for 4.5 months of piano lessons. The reality was that she only wanted to practice the songs she knew well. So, she never practiced “Be Our Guest” very much because she was still learning it. I think most of us can relate. We like to take on the things we know we can do and often set aside the hard things for later.

I have to say that in my mind’s eye, I’d already pictured what my daughter would look like if she failed at the song. I could see the despair in her eyes as she looked at me and wondered what she should do if she got off track performing the song. It was heart breaking for me to even think about it.

Much to my surprise and delight, she showed a beautiful determination as she slogged through “Be Our Guest.” From a piano performing perspective it was pretty awful. Her timing was off. She slowly and methodically pecked out the song with only a few parts playing on the right time so you could recognize the song. From a father perspective, it was brilliant.

I was so proud of Crash Kid #2’s determination to pluck her way through the song and do her best. I couldn’t have been more proud. Many kids would have shrunk at the idea of performing that song. She taught me an amazing lesson in determination yesterday. I couldn’t have been more proud.

Do Child Injuries Come in Threes?

Posted on August 11, 2015 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

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How cute is Crash Kid #2? Even with a shiner she’s cute. Yes, that’s a nice black eye she has there. I asked her where she got it and she said she got it trying to do a back flip on the neighbor’s trampoline. While I love that we have a number of little Ninja Warriors in our family, it doesn’t come without its issues.

Of course, many parents would really be upset with their kid for getting a black eye. Personally, I was pretty proud of her. She didn’t complain about it at all. She was actually quite proud. If she’d complained, maybe I’d feel different. However, since she was cool about it, I was excited she was living the life of a child.

I know the feeling as a parent to want to lock your child in a padded room where nothing can hurt them. There’s no feeling in life worse than seeing your child in pain. I hate it and everything about it. However, I’m also learning that many of the best lessons in life come with a little bit of pain. Sometimes it’s physical like a black eye and sometimes its emotional. I’m happy to put off the emotional for a bit. However, Crash Kid #1 is about to start middle school, so it might not be much longer.

Yesterday we went to a trampoline gym called Gravady which also incorporated some foam pits and some Ninja Warrior obstacles. It was a bit of a drive from Henderson, but was pretty awesome. I can’t tell you how excited I was to get across some of those obstacles. It was also amazing watching Crash Kid #1 do the slack line and Crash Kid #4 fearlessly dive into the foam bit over and over again. Crash Kid #3 was all about the dodge ball. Considering how many people were playing dodgeball, it’s amazing he didn’t get trampled.

Our time was up and we were getting ready to leave and two injuries happened. Curtis sprained his ankle and Alessia landed on the mat next to the tramp and did something to her knee. I guess that’s what we get for trying to play a few extra minutes on our way out. Hopefully injuries come in threes and we’re done with injuries for now.

When Your Daughter Discovers Your Wife’s Cell Phone

Posted on July 10, 2015 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

I’ve started getting some somewhat odd messages from the Crash Wife lately. Although, the oddity eventually gets explained when I get a message from the Crash Wife saying “That was Crash Kid #2 texting you.”

It’s amazing when an 8 year old discovers their mom’s cell phone and what it can really do. Our kids have always had electronics, but we’ve really only partially explained what it can accomplish. I think some ignorance is bliss. However, that’s changing now as Crash Kid #2 is starting to figure it all out herself.

Luckily, it has some lovely side effects. Check out this picture and message Crash Kid #2 sent me yesterday as I was traveling home for the funeral:

Hi dad I wish you could be with me and know I love you very much.Daddy tell Crash Kid #1 I wish you could be here to help Crash Kid #3 walk and I wish you were here to go with us to lion house and eat food. Love, Crash Kid #2

Crash Kid 2

How sweet is that? I’m going to keep this for the days when she doesn’t love me quite so much.

#SuperDad at Chuck E. Cheese’s

Posted on June 19, 2015 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

For Father’s Day, my wife decided to leave town for about a week. Wasn’t that generous of her? She left 4 beautiful angel children with me for a whole week. Crash Wife is so generous! I feel so lucky to have her make such sacrifices for me.

As you may remember, when the wife is away I go to Chuck E. Cheese’s. I really didn’t plan to make it a tradition when I wrote that post, but it seems like I’ve now officially made it a tradition. I won’t be surprised if the next time that crash wife goes out of town the crash kids ask me, “When are we going to Chuck E. Cheese’s?”
Crash Kid 2 and Chuck E Cheese
The good part is that Chuck E. Cheese’s is fine even with 4 kids. They have the person manning the door and so you can relax and enjoy the time together while the kids run all over.

Chuck E. Cheese’s sent me a Father’s Day pass to be able to go and get some free pizza, drinks and tokens. Plus, they gave me a challenge to teach my kids a lesson in skeeball and basketball. Ok, that’s not how they phrased it. They asked for us to go and have fun competing with our kids. Anyone who knows me understands that I’m hyper competitive and there’s only one person in the world where I don’t mind losing: Crash Wife. I’ll take it easy on the Crash Kids and I’ll make sure they have a good time, but I’ll also make sure I win. It’s just who I am and how I’m made.
Skeeball High Five at Chuck E Cheese
See what I mean in the picture above? He certainly seems like he’s happy (even if I just smoked him in a game of skeeball). My favorite game though has to be the basketball shoot out. Luckily Crash Tennessee Aunt wasn’t there or I’d get smoked by her, but she was no where to be seen. However, I have to admit that Crash Kid #1 is starting to catch up with me. I’m sure a few years down the road he’ll read this post and laugh as he challenges me to a game of something. I figure I’ll just retire by that point.
Beating Crash Kid 1 at Basketball at Chuck E Cheese
I also loved playing Skeeball with Crash Kid #4. It’s so funny watching a 2 year old play skeeball. He can’t score any points since he can’t roll the ball hard enough to get up the ramp into the scoring area so our ticket collection suffers. However, he also gets a bunch of free rolls since half of his rolls don’t make it all the way up the ramp either and roll right back down to him. He has a great time even if it pulls at my heart to not score points on each ball. At least he’s cute doing it.
Barely Big Enough to Play Skeeball at Chuck E Cheese's
While the games were fun, I couldn’t help but let out a big belly laugh when Crash Kid #1 said the following as we were leaving, “I just have to say, that pizza was great!” In fact, he’s been raving about the delicious cheese pizza at Chuck E. Cheese’s ever since. This coming from the kid who doesn’t like to eat anything.
Crash Kid 1 and Chuck E Cheese's Pizza
As part of Father’s Day, Chuck E. Cheese’s is giving dads a chance to win tickets to the 2015 Big Ball Game in Cincinnati (You know the one that can’t be mentioned). All you have to do to enter is to share images and stories about what you love most about being a dad using the hashtag #SuperDad. Plus, I think they’re giving away some free guest passes to Chuck E. Cheese’s as well. Here’s my entry with a picture of Crash Kid #3 making new friends that I tweeted out today.

What a great day with the kids! I even was a real Super Dad since I let Crash Kid #4 bring one of his friends with us as well. Nothing quite like being the cool dad who takes your kids’ friends fun places.

I’m A Sap

Posted on January 23, 2015 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

The Crash Kids elementary school has this really great program for dads called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). It’s a little bit of a mix of extra security for the school and a little bit of work in the classroom. No doubt it’s a way to get the dads into the school, which is great. I personally don’t care about the security piece and love to spend all my time with my kids. Plus, since 3 of the Crash Kids are in elementary school, that means I have plenty of options.

When we first started at the school, someone suggested that it’s a cool thing to be Watch DOGS dad on your child’s birthday. That sounded like a great idea to me since the kids absolutely love when I am the Watch DOGS dad. Seriously, it’s not a minor reaction. It’s a literal full on walking on air excitement when they walk alongside me at school. There might be a little bit of arrogance there that they’re so cool to have their dad there. No doubt it is something special for them since there aren’t that many dads who do it. Regardless the kids absolutely adore it when I’m at their school.

I was suppose to be Watch DOGS dad last week for Crash Kid #2’s birthday, but my neck injury made it so I couldn’t go in and do it. So, I made up for it this week. Turns out, Crash Grandpa joined us in the morning as well:
Crash Dad Visits Crash Kids School
I don’t know why I’m admitting this publicly, but oh well. I have to tell you that almost every time I do it I get all choked up. I know I’m a softy. I’ve known that for a long time. I love chick flicks and I choke up over being at my kids school. That’s who I am.

I’ve tried to figure out what causes me to start one of those full face spasm cries so I could stop it. Unfortunately, so far I’ve failed. This morning it happened during their opening ceremonies when they played the song “I’m Proud to Be an American.” I love that song and I don’t think it had anything to do with the tears I was fighting back.

My only conclusion is that I absolutely love seeing my kids so happy. The idea that something I did would make them so happy just hits me every time I’m there. I think I’ve figured out a solution. From now on, I’m only going to focus on things that make my kids sad. Hopefully that will solve the problem. It’s too bad, because it’s pretty awesome spending the day in art, playing games, four square, lunch, more four square, more lunch, more games, and finish it off with music.

Oh well…a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.