Category Archives: Life

How the DIYZ Mobile App Makes Toilet Repair with a Toddler Fun

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the DIYZ app®. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own. #DIYZ #GetWise

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Do you enjoy taking on DIY projects around the home, or does the thought make you cringe? I’m somewhere in between. I’ll get excited at the thought of tackling a project, but when it comes time to get the ball rolling, I’m never confident about what all I need. Even if that project is getting the ball to roll! Luckily, I was introduced to the DIYZ app that features an extensive library of DIY projects that users of all skill levels can take on with confidence.

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I’ll admit, Going Mom is handier with projects around the home than I am, but scrolling through the plethora of DIY projects on the DIYZ app had me ready to prove myself as a handyman. The app provides step-by-step guides with segmented how-to videos, a list of recommended tools and materials needed and even the option to speak with a Pro Advisor via video chat or over the phone. Oh, and it’s free to download for iPhone in the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android. For a limited time, even the video-chat is FREE!

I already found a number of projects saved that I wanted to start right away, but there was one looming repair beckoning for my upmost attention. And that, of course, was the toilet flush valve.

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For months, our toilet would constantly run throughout the day as it never completely filled to the level inside the tank. The noise was subtle at first, but, it eventually progressed to the equivalent of fingernails slowly running down a chalkboard. Avery refused to use it since it screeched out in protest when she lifted the lid. We told her he was just a grumpy potty feeling down in the dumps and it was our “duty” to fix him. She’s still too young to laugh at my dad jokes and just looked at me like I was full of crap. Kind of how I felt about this guy….

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As annoying as it was, not to mention a waste of water, I just never took the time to figure out where to begin with fixing the thing. No worries, the DIYZ app clearly lists the recommended tools and supplies needed to complete this project and I could purchase everything right on the app via Amazon.

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My wife and I try to teach Avery to face her fears, and judging by her willingness to help daddy fix the “flapper” in the potty, I’d say we’re doing a good job.

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With easy to follow instructions on the app, my little plumber and I went about replacing the noisy toilet flush valve with a brand new one. It’s a tight squeeze to turn off the water supply line if you’re a grown adult, but it was a non-issue for Avery.

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Her willingness to turn off the water supply and hold the lines inside the tank honestly helped me with our daddy-daughter project. It’s great that she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, but whether she actually liked it or not is a different story.

Despite the “helping” hands of a squirmy toddler the project was complete in the same amount of time as an episode of Doc McStuffins. Following the segmented videos with step-by-step instructions helped me focus on one thing at a time and not try to remember everything at once. With the confidence to complete our DIY potty repair made for a fun way to bond with my little girl and actually get something done at the same time.

My only regret is not downloading the DIYZ app sooner. There are so many projects I had issues completing in the past and ended up calling in a professional every time. But, the DIYZ app has the option to video video-chat with a licensed professional via the Pro Advisor feature. Advisors are available from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM ET Monday through Friday. On weekends, DIYZ advisors will be available to help tackle projects from 8:00 AM to 1:00 AM ET. The best part? This feature is free for a limited time! FREE!

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I’m thankful to be part of the #DIYZGuys team full of dads taking over the home with help from the DIYZ app. Make sure to follow DIYZ on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for helpful tips and ideas for DIY projects and repairs in and around your home.

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May is National Home Improvement Month which is a perfect time to find something fun to create or fix as a family. Search the app to find a home improvement project (or five) you want to start and get to it!

Balance Bike to Pedals: Making Room for the Next WOOM

For over a year, Avery has been riding her WOOM 1 Balance Bike (aka Rocket) as her number one choice for getting around the neighborhood.  As expected, it was a bit of a slow start as she got used to riding on two wheels. She’s never had or used training wheels, so you can only expect it to take some time. Here she is on her first riding session….

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Surprisingly, she caught on fast as noted by her increase in speed and confidence in weaving left and right. She’s even displayed her skills at the local skate park.

Maybe it’s a biased parent thing, but I’d say she’s pretty good with her WOOM Balance Bike. Of course she still has her falls, usually from something like a construction truck catching her eye while she’s riding, but overall, watching her on the WOOM has give us nothing short of numerous #ProudParent moments. Including things like conquering a steep downslope even though she fell a few times before that.

I give some credit to using the song “Get Back Up Again” from the Trolls soundtrack. Her WOOM balance bike has even helped her learn how to share and get along with friends.

Any parent probably thinks about how their child develops socially, especially one that stays home with their kid instead of taking them to daycare/school, so seeing this puts a giant grin on my face! Now it’s time for the next step up in learning to ride a bike….pedals!

As fans of WOOM Bikes in our house, the choice for her next, pedaled, bike, is the WOOM 2. The super generous folks at the WOOM Bikes USA headquarters in Austin, TX happened to enjoy my posts with Avery riding their top-of-line balance bike and have agreed to send her a WOOM 2 to ride!

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WOOM Bikes has provided the WOOM 2 and accessories free of charge in exchange for my documentation of the transition from a balance bike to a pedaled bike. The plan is never relying on training wheels along the way, but some of her friends do have bikes with training wheels that she will ride as a part of them sharing so well.

I’d like to eventually have a weekly gathering of kids to ride their bikes in a safe place as parents join to encourage keeping active, sharing, and having fun. Hopefully we’ll be able to pry Avery off her new ride to share with other friends if they happen to want to test it out. At first, Daddy will be lucky to ride!

But before we give her the Rocket replacement, she has to earn it. Since we don’t want her thinking she just gets nice things for no reason, she must ride 10 miles on her WOOM 1 and maintain good control while doing so. Negative miles for times when she misbehaves. She’s almost at 5 miles as I write this, and so far we have a sweet kid besides the “freebie” upsets no toddler can escape.

I’m excited to start this journey to riding a pedaled bike, and extremely grateful to WOOM for allowing me the opportunity to share their high quality bikes for kids. My blogging time has gone down dramatically as I focus more on my family and playing with Avery, but keep an eye out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in between my posts to see how Avery is doing with her WOOM 2.

This one will be purple, any suggestions on a new nickname?

Nutrition is Key: Are You Limiting Your Kids’ Potential?

Childhood nutrition, and nutrition in general, is an all too often overlooked aspect of raising kids. I’m no expert on the topic, but it shouldn’t take one to know how important the food you put in a child’s body affects not just their current health, but their health way into the future.

Take the type of water you give a plant as an example. Tap water from the city is typically treated with an abundance of chemicals and minerals. While plants can and do grow with just tap water, it’s not the optimal choice for them to thrive. Same goes for softened water which is hard water treated with sodium carbonate to make is soft. Excess sodium is unhealthy for plant growth and may even kill surrounding grass.

Rain and spring water, on the other hand, comes directly from nature, untouched by additives. Natural water sources like these provide the best “ingredients” to allow for optimal plant health and growth. Yes, I’m aware that the surrounding environment plays a big part here and smog from factories, along with a host of other factors, will affect natural water sources, but hopefully you see my point.

Packaged, processed food is similar to tap/treated water in that it is altered from its natural state to last longer, taste better, and travel well. Give this type of food to a kid (or anyone), and sure, they’ll grow, but most likely their growth will be limited in some or many ways. But natural, wholesome foods in their unaltered state is more bioavailable to the body and way more nutrient dense than that box of Cheerios.

Consider everything going on inside a child’s body; they are constantly growing, creating new brain cells, and developing their bones and muscles, as well as their entire endocrine system plus so much more. In order to grow and develop their entire body, it’s clear the quality of food (i.e. building materials) is VITAL! For infants, breastmilk is the best choice to feeding them the most nutrient dense food that can’t be replicated. I do, however, realize breastmilk is not always an option, but thankfully companies like The Honest Co. provide organic formula that’s modeled after breastmilk and created to support a healthy, growing baby.

When you feed a kid fast food, their hunger might be satisfied, but their entire body is being short-changed important nutrients it needs to build a strong, healthy body. It might seem like “just one meal”, but how many times do you say that? “Just one” usually turns out to be one hundred over the course of a year. That’s a lot of meals where whole food would’ve been able to provide more than just fulfilling a child’s hunger.

This topic gets under my skin more than anything else, and even more so now that we have Avery. I want to give her the best so that she has a bright and healthy future. I have zero tolerance for fast or over-processed food and refuse to allow it in our house or in our bodies. Yes, I buy packaged food, but not before scrutinizing the ingredients and where it comes from to ensure there’s nothing limiting to my wife, myself, or Avery.

When I hear people laugh it off saying things like “I know this is bad, but….” or “You wouldn’t want to see what I’m having.” a fire ignites inside of me. Same goes for those that consider it to be weird if you’re the healthy one. No wonder our population is obese when the weird one is the person who refuses to partake on those sugar-laden fried dough circles someone brings into the office, or when someone turns down going to any fast food restaurant where the food serve is borderline “real”.

C’mon! I choose to eat something that didn’t turn out of a factory’s manufacturing line and instead have fresh veggies with organic pasture-raised eggs and that’s weird? Dumb.

Please, to all parents and EVERYONE, think more about the food you feed your little ones and yourself. Our kids need optimum fuel for optimum growth. When it comes what we feed our children as well as ourselves, keep it real.

Keep It Real

I’d go on forever about this topic as I am obviously highly passionate about it’s importance. But, I’ll leave you with these paragraphs from the Children’s Heart Center website about the importance of nutrition for children.

Nutrition is very important for everyone, but it is especially important for children because it is directly linked to all aspects of their growth and development; factors which will have direct ties to their level of health as adults. For example, a child with the right balance of omega fatty acids in their daily diet has a much better chance at creating a more solid foundation for their brain activity and capabilities later on. Likewise, a child who practices a low fat and cholesterol diet on a daily basis significantly improves their chances of preventing a heart attack; even if heart disease tends to be hereditary within your family.

You will also help promote a better quality of life if you instill proper nutrition trends in your children. It will allow them to partake in more activities and with greater enjoyment. People with high levels of health also consistently report that they enjoy elevated feelings of wellness and wellbeing. As part of this, children are also able to fight off colds with improved efficiency with the support of proper nutrition. And this brings up a vital point in communication with your children: You should always be on the lookout for different ways to make solid connections for your children. You can picture it in your mind like a web diagram, connecting major points with a line for your children to better understand issues. If you actually explain to your child that they won’t have to suffer through those nasty colds nearly as much if they maintain healthy diet.

Another huge reason why nutrition is so important for children is because they simply don’t know enough on their own to naturally choose to eat well. Unfortunately, the foods and snacks that taste the best are usually the worst for our bodies, and a child left to their on whim will almost always choose junk food over fruits and vegetables. Provide them with the right nutrition now and they will learn at an early age what’s necessary for good health. This will also help to set them up for a life of proper eating and nutrition, almost certainly helping them to live longer. Countless studies show that what someone learns as a child is then perpetuated throughout their life. Teach them healthy eating habits now and you’ll perpetuate a healthy lifestyle for them and put them on autopilot on their way to lasting wellness.

It’s easy to make a million excuses as to why we can’t feed our kids or ourselves a healthy diet, but maybe stop finding reasons and start making real changes. If you make health top priority, you’ll find other aspects of life that just fit in and flow better.

Do you feel like you give your kids the best source of food to enable optimal growth?

What would you like to change about your current diet?