Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: kids

It’s a beautiful day for Track Practice!

Ah, today is the first day of my daughter’s middle school track practice.  Of course, we live in Seattle and it is raining. Oh boy, nothing like being wet and miserable for track practice.

Our family isn’t much for running. My brother completed at the high school date level but he is the only runner in the family.  I’m always surprised when my kids went out and joined the track team. It’s a no cut sport so they make the team no matter what.

My daughter has stated she doesn’t like to run, however, she is joining the track team as a show of support for her friend. Kudos to her!

The other nice thing she said: we don’t have to go to any of the track meets! Yes!!!!  It is truly an awesome thing to tell your lazy father (little old me) that he isn’t required to go to any track meets. Yippee!

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy a watching my kids compete in their various sports….as long as it is sunny outside and I’m comfortable.  And I don’t mind being in a pleasant indoor, heated arena.  You know, sports like volleyball, swimming, basketball.

With my daughter saying I don’t have to attend her track meets, it really means I don’t have to be out in the rain, in the wind, or in the typical miserable spring weather we have in the Puget Sound area.  It also mean I avoid sitting on an uncomfortable outdoor metal bench and watch my daughter run in the forementioned miserable weather.  Instead, I can sit on my big butt on the couch and watch afternoon talk shows and order a pizza via my smartphone.  Heck, I might even have a hot cocoa and flip on my gas fireplace while I stare out my living room, watching the rain pour or drizzle down.


Thanks again daughter for giving me a get out of track jail free card!  I will truly enjoy staying home and not watching you not run.

Hey…it’s Friday…everything will be ok, right?

It’s Spring Break here in our house and my daughter has spent the past week in Washington D.C. with her school group. She’s an 8th grader and has really enjoyed the trip.  The tour is organized by one of the teachers that seems to love to take a group of 8th graders every year back to D. C. and do a whirlwind tour.

Only two kids have been lost.  Both of them were boys and both of them had their mothers as their mini-tour group leader.  It looks like those helicopter moms left someone behind.  That goodness they don’t work in the military.   I can’t wait to hear the whole story and then to hear their (Mom’s) version of the incident.  Of course, after I heard the stories from my daughter, I really wanted to text the moms about what happen…but I didn’t. I didn’t even post a question on Facebook about how they managed to lose their own kid.  They shall remain nameless.

Have a great weekend.  Don’t eat too many French fries!

Pajamas in Public…Just Say No!

I recently wrote about my travels to Kauai and how I disliked the airline system.  Upon talking with my FAA friend today, he mentioned that I had totally forgotten to mention how much I hate passengers who wear their pajamas while traveling.  Mind you, it isn’t just airline travel I see this trend happening in.  I also notice it in the grocery stores, at gas stations, and even at my kids’ school (most often parents being the offenders).pajamas in public2.jpg

It floors me to see grown ups wearing Hello Kitty pajamas at 3:20 pm in the afternoon.  For example, I was walking my daughter home with her friends and two adults were putting something in their car wearing their pajama bottoms like khaki slacks.  It is 3:20 in the afternoon and I have to see your Hello Kitty pajamas?  How old are you? Three years old?

Getting back to the air travel pajama problem, I really don’t think that as an adult I need to see your pajamas.  The only acceptable people that are allowed to wear pajamas on an airline flight are children under the age of 5.  If the kids are in Kindergarten, I’ll cut them some slack.  However, first grade and above, you need to put on your “big boy” pants and act respectful.  Heck, the next thing we’ll see is teenagers wearing diapers and pooping their pants on a cross country flight.  How would you like to sit next to that mess on a five hour flight?

So grown up and stop wearing your pajamas around like they are a pair of jeans.  Society made sweatpants so you could wear pajama style clothes in public.  Sweatpants are marginal more acceptable to wear in public.  You really should wear sweatpants when you are working out at the gym or jogging in the park.

Places I don’t want to see you wearing your pajamas:

At my kids’ school

Grocery stores

Gas stations

Post Office

Shopping malls

7-11

Liquor stores

Pizza parlors (really any kind of restaurants)

Again: Grow up, wear some jeans, some khaki slacks, or even a kilt or skirt.  Leave the pajamas at home so I can keep my lunch down.  Just give me one day where I don’t get grossed out by your lack of compassion to my sensitive stomach.pajamas in public

Why I’m changing my kids’ names to Names of Prescription Drug!

Recently, I’ve discovered I have made a terrible mistake by naming my children just plain, old normal names.  How will they ever stand out in the world with average, run of the mill, names? Sure, they could change their names later on when they are old enough but why wait?  Let’s do it now!

Think of all the neat drug names that could belong to your kids.

Lyrica

Zoloft

Adderall

Cialis

Crestor

Abstral

Akten

As you can imagine, the list is endless! I really have only looked at the A’s and names I remember from some vague TV ad.  But all of these fantastic names are just waiting to be used!!  I really have only scratched the surface with potential names in which to express my child’s uniqueness and individuality.

Since we are on the topic of TV ads, I’ve noticed no matter what the drug is, the TV ad is tailored to make sure you know that this drug will make you appear normal to everyone else.  You have an unsightly third eye? Just take some buxtinlininepo! (Not a real drug for you people with a third eye…which would make you a space alien).  Side effects may include vomiting, projectile diaherra, excelarated heart heart, dizziness, laziness, fatness, heartlessness, and funny spots on your face. If you die, please discontinue this medication.

Every drug on television comes with scary ass warnings.  So in my mind, I think: Well, if I had that disease, and I could live with X side effects, would I do it? And in mind, I do the mental checklist, and I think “yeah, I could handle that”. Maybe it’s a itchy rash or my left earlobe swells up for a bit, but sure I could handle it. Sometimes the side effects are “death may occur” and I’m not ok with that. Heck, I guess we all have to weigh the positives and negatives, right?

I believe the best part of my new prescription drug name idea is that it will become a fashionable trend and I will be a trendsetter for a brief moment!

TV Show: Hawaii Life – four more episodes!

Ah, a piece of paradise!

Ah, a piece of paradise!

The new TV season of the show “Hawaii Life” has started and we have been catching up with old episodes.  The last four episodes (we have watched) have featured two property searches on the Big Island and two property searches on Kauai.  You’ll be pleased to know, I watched these from the comfort of my couch with the gas fireplace blasting!  Ah, warmth.

The four episodes I watched this time around and their price range:

Living Off the Big Island (up to $500K)

From Boston to the Big Island (up to $300K)

Boogie Boarding on Kauai ($600-800K)

Single Mother Shops on Kauai ($400-600K)

The Big Island appears to be a little more affordable than Kauai, Maui, and Oahu.  At least the properties that were shown appeared to be more affordable.

The lower price range houses (under $300K) are fixer uppers.  Some are just update issues but all appear to be livable.  Nothing a few hundred thousand dollars of remodeling couldn’t fix.

Townhouses and condos might have HOA fees as much $511 per month (as we saw in the Boogie Boarding episode).  To be fair, we have condos here in Seattle with crazy high monthly maintenance dues and fees as well.

Much like the southern United States, you also get to deal with bugs and termites.  Home inspections are very important in everything state but in Hawaii, you might run into mold in greater numbers because of the high humidity.  But hold on, the various islands and the location where you are on that island can also influence the mold situation.  Recently, my friend moved from one part of Kauai to another and he ran into the mold issue.

He has lived on Kauai all his life and he has never had to deal with mold.  He moved from a drier area to a wetter area.  More dampness equals more potential for mold.  The house might not have mold in the actual structure but your clothes boxed up and stuck in storage might get a moldy smell to them.  Good airflow is one of the keys to fighting mold.

On a side note: I’m really beginning to hate the show’s tagline “You don’t have to be rich to live in Hawaii; you just have to want it.”  One reason is that whenever the real estate brokers say it, they just look like some stoner surfer dudes.  Forced smiles on their faces.  Oh please.

The “Hawaii Life” show is also just a 22 minute long sales show.  Whoever thought up this reality show was a genius for turning a sales show into a reality show.  It is always the same real estate company and guess what it is called? “Hawaii Life”!  Surprised, huh?

And on an ending note, this is my 200th post!  Yeah me!  I get a gold star!

How to Stop Your Kids From Whining and Be an Awesome Parent!

 If you didn’t know this already….kids whine and they whine a lot.  They whine about the color of their shoes, they whine when they are hungry, they whine when you forget to pick them up from school three times in row. 

Most likely, they learned the whining from your spouse (or ex-spouse).  Don’t worry; you aren’t to blame.  All the bad traits come from your spouse.  They are probably big whiners and passed this annoying behavior onto your children.  While it might be too late for your spouse to change, you can at least mold your mini-me into the person you were too lazy to become.

You can keep your kids from whining by following these worthless parenting tips from your favorite Uncle Kevin (or your Cousin Kevin or your Idol Kevin…you pick which name you like best for me).  In a short few hours, your child will stop whining and you’ll be able to leave a nice comment for me below.

 Listen to Your Child:

Whining is usually a call for attention from your child.  This means you should probably put down your smartphone and pay attention to your child for one brief moment.  Listen to them for that few seconds so they feel important and loved.  You aren’t actually going to do anything besides listen to them for a few seconds, so don’t worry if you were a little slow on getting that Facebook post up; you still have time to post how cute your child is or to share the latest blog post from Kevin Hellriegel’s Worthless Advice Blog.

Play the “I Don’t Know You” Game

When your child begins to whine, play the “I Don’t Know You” game.  To play, you simply pretend you don’t have a clue who this whining kid is next you.  It is really fun at the shopping mall when security comes and takes your child away.  The whining stops immediately and is replaced with the look of utter terror on your child’s face as security drags your kid away.  It truly warms one’s heart when your child realizes you aren’t going to save them.  Then the whining will stop for sure.

Schedule “Whining” Time

Allow your kids to whine.  Of course, you won’t be there to hear them but at least they can whine.  I personally like to schedule whining time outside, in the rain, on a Thursday afternoon when I’m not home but the kids are.  Whine away, kids, whine away because your parents aren’t listening.

Ignore Them to Discourage Whining

You could listen to them or you could ignore them.  Just like you ignore the salad on your dinner plate, you can ignore the whiner.  The whining won’t disappear but you can at least toss it into the trash just like the salad.

Have a Whining Bank

If they want to whine, just let them know they are taking a loan from the Whining Bank.  To pay back this loan from the bank, they get to work for you doing the worst of the household chores: picking up dog poop, changing Grandpa’s diaper, eating leftovers from three weeks ago (because we don’t waste food in our house you spoiled whiny brat!).  If they don’t want to do chores you can introduce them to Vinny the Chores Enforcer and his baseball bat.

Overschedule Your Child

There is nothing better than having your child doing too many activities causing them to be too exhausted to even think about whining to you.  As an added bonus, you can then be that martyr parent that is so busy.  You can talk about how busy you are driving the kids around from place to place and you have no time for yourself.  Yet you have time to post comments on Facebook.  Every heard of reading a book while you are at the tennis lesson

Add a few of your whining comments below and complain about how unfair I am.  Go ahead…whine away!

Worthless Advice: Back to School Tips from Your Uncle Kev

I sometimes forget that I am here to help my readers in their life.  Now, I know everyone doesn’t have kids in school and some of my readers look to me as an inspiration to when they make the choice to have children.  Seriously, I am an awesome father that knows how to raise awesome children.  Who wouldn’t want some worthless advice from me?

For those of you with children, you will probably learn from my worthless parenting advice that you have been raising your children all wrong.  Yes, you are incorrect in the way you parent your offspring.  Perhaps there is still time for you to reverse those bad parenting habits you have learned from the so-called “experts” out there.

One of the major things we worry about is when our kids go to Back to School and whether they will survive.  Will they be able to make it through a day without us?

To prep your child for the first day of school (and the beginning of another exciting year of learning! Oh yeah!), you should set up an imaginary school at home.

 Bullying:

Have your children dress up in the worst possible clothing combinations and make fun of their clothes.  This teaches them that bullies come in all shapes and sizes and they aren’t safe anywhere….even in their own home!

Lunch:

Ask your kids what they want for lunch.  To simulate a school lunch, take these tips to heart.  If they want hot pizza, make sure it is cold and half cooked.  If they want a cold sandwich, warmth it up so it taste terrible.  Make sure the milk is warm too.  Nothing like that taste of spoiled milk to ruin your child’s appetite!

School Supplies:

Do you get those crazy school supply lists?  We do.  I merely view them as suggestions.  If every parent bought everything on the list then the teacher would have way too many school supplies.  You should be that one parent that holds out and refuses to be a puppet in the educational supply purchasing machine complex that is controlled by our robot overlords.

Backpacks:

One way to strengthen your child’s back is to overload their backpack with useless stuff.  Throw in their favorite rock you collected from your back yard.  Add in a brick from the neighbor’s walkway.  Have them take cans of food back and forth to school.   What doesn’t break their little spines and spirits makes them stronger!

Reading:

Did your kids read during the summer?  Well, if they didn’t your kid is probably in the same boat with about 80% of the other kids in their class.  Not to worry, you can still have them read a cereal box or an old phonebook.  That counts as reading doesn’t it?

Good luck with your student this year!  Only 179 more school days for my kids until Summer Vacation 2014.

A Must Have for Every Music Collection!

Luckily, a few weeks back while I was on vacation in Newport, Oregon, I found a music CD that will make every road trip more enjoyable forever!  I was given this idea by a friend Kris who did a huge road trip with his sons to Boy Scout camp.  How I envied him and his kids after I heard what kind of music CD he had and all I could think about was I must look high and low for this remarkable music CD.

It is a CD that everyone should have.  But what is it?

It is called “Irish Drinking Songs”.  It really doesn’t matter who the artist is, you should have this CD in your music collection (or download it and add it to your ITunes collection).  If you happen to be Irish, like to drink, and know all the Irish drinking songs, then you get a pass on not having this CD in your collection (or on your iPod)Irish Drinking Songs

However, for the rest of you, it is a must have!  Think of the hours of pure enjoyment and bliss you’ll have singing along to songs like “Wild Rover” and “Bog Down in the Valley-O”.  You don’t really sing along as much as mumble along to these delightful tunes.  Frankly, I can’t understand most of the words the singer is singing but at least I can pretend to know what the heck the singer is singing.

I’m pretty sure that I can find the lyrics online and really learn these songs but what would be the fun in that?  It is much more exciting to mumble along and struggle to understand the thick Irish tongue.

What if you don’t drink?  Not a problem, just because these songs are called Irish Drinking Songs doesn’t mean you have to drink when you sing them.  I’m driving my car when I am listening to the songs so I can’t be drinking alcohol.  But I can still treat myself to these wonderful tales of woe and misfortune that only the Irish can truly express in song.

With Irish Drinking Songs, I know my whole family will be banded together in common song on any road trip.  Even a short jaunt to the neighborhood store should allow us a tune or two to soak in.  Can you imagine if I have to drive up to Seattle in morning traffic?  I almost faint in the sure joy it will bring knowing I can listen and sing along to the songs while stuck in the Seattle crawl of doom.  Perhaps there will be hope when I have to drive to Bellevue by myself, hope in the form of an Irish Drinking song!

So raise your glass and toast to the Irish Drinking Songs CD I have recently acquired!

As always your comments are enjoyed and encouraged.  And hit that “Like” button so you can make my writing career skyrocket upwards to fame and fortune.

How to Keep the Inmates Happy: Teaching Your Children Good Manners!

One of the best parts of being a parent is getting rid of your kids.  During the summer, some parents like to pawn their kids off to the grandparents for various lengths of time.  The problem with grandparents is that your kids have access to the telephone or electronics.  This means they have a way to bug you and complain about how bored they are.

I know some parents that like summer camp where there is no electronics.  The kids actually have to wait for a letter from their parents for any sort of love.  And heaven forbid that your child actually has to write to you.  With their terrible spelling and texting skills of a monkey, you can totally blow off their requests to come home early.  When you pick them up at the end of camp and they are complaining “Didn’t you get my letter?”  You can honestly say that you couldn’t understand their strange “texting” language and the handwriting was so bad you couldn’t read it anyway.  But it did make an awesome nesting place for their pet rabbit.

I’m pretty much a fan of both ways to get rid of your kids during the summer.  Honestly, I like to get rid of my kids all the time.  If I can’t send them to a friend’s house, it means I’m a failure as a parent.  If no one wants my perfect kids, then I know they must be some of the rudest worst brats around.

With skill and considerable talent, I have trained my children to be polite and well behaved. When they are at other people’s homes, the friend’s parents love them.  They use their manners and we get reports back raving about how wonderful they are.  Man, are my kids the greatest actors or what?  Because if you saw them at home, you’d think they were from two rival gangs in prison, ready to jab a sharpened toothbrush into the other inmate’s neck! 

I keep asking other parents if they are talking about my kids when the good reports come back. Are they sure they have the right kids?  Because the facts and observations they make certainly don’t match up with my in home data that I collect EVERYDAY.

Now and then, my kids will surprise me and get along for an extended period of time.  Usually I start to think that maybe they do love each other and that we should take a vacation together.  It is a moment of weakness on my part to think this way.  I think a 2-3 hour car ride with two rival gang members is a smart idea.  Now who is the fool?

Overreacting to Problems: How to Make Mountains out of Mole Hills.

dishwasher2I love to overreact and make small incidents into extremely big deals.  Today, I did just that to my children.  My kids are now 10 and 14 years old and they love to bicker.  They argue about who’s turn it is to do that or who’s turn it is to do this.  We have a loose chore schedule (because we believe in keeping our kids guessing at all times) of emptying out the dishwasher when the dishes are clean.

This morning, I announced that this afternoon, when they got home the dishes would be clean.  At this point, you would think that my kids would argue over who was going to empty it out.  To my surprise, my daughter said it was her turn.  Good job daughter!  Step up to the plate and do the job.  Where she gets this sense of “doing the right” thing I’ll never know.

However, my 14 year old son had to say “Yup” right after she said it was her turn.  She was offended by this comment and told me he didn’t need to add it in after she said she was going to do the job.

This is when I lost it.

To my wife’s and my defense, we harp on the “getting along with your siblings” thing in our house.  For the most part, they are good kids except for stupid nonsense like this.  So, I went overboard and took away all electronics for the day.  No TV in the morning, no Xbox, no Kindle, no iPods, etc. and it doesn’t stop in the morning.  It is all day.  Once they get home after school, the “no electronics policy” is still in effect.

In reality, I never do this kind of stuff.  Frankly, I like the electronic devices because it keeps me from having to socialize with them and they can watch cute cat jumping videos on YouTube!  Isn’t that what the internet was invented for?  Cat videos and reality car chases?

And think of all the great education they’ll miss out from watching “Family Guy” ,“The Simpsons”, “Wizards of Waverly Place”, and countless others.

I hope they enjoy reading a book, drawing a photo, doing homework, staring at the wall, petting the cat, folding clothes, etc.  And the weather sucks here today.  They can’t go outside.  Well, they could but they would be miserable.  It is pouring down rain and windy so going outside doesn’t look appealing to anyone.  Even the cat and dog have no interest in stepping out the backdoor.  Hmm, might be a great day for some yard work chores.

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