That’s Not What I Asked

Today on our way to Grandma’s house, we made a quick stop in Whole Foods for some yummy snacks and a potty break. 

Since it was raining out, I asked her to get in the car and take her rain coat off so I could buckle her while in the car and not get soaked. 

And then, this happened:

Typical Breakfast

During my paternity leave, usually made breakfast for myself everyday. I’ve really enjoyed having a hearty breakfast, especially if I go to 5am CrossFit. 

Here’s what my breakfast has looked like durin the last week (minus the potatoes)

I start by sautéing some eggs, then add some veggies from a salad mix from Trader Joe’s. Next I add some butter and spinach and any other vegetable we have in the fridge. 

Then I add either 3 or 4 eggs and topped with some Mozzarella cheese. 

The waffle is a grain free waffle made primarily of cashews and are amazing. 

I have been avoiding grains, anything that isn’t a whole food, and sugar (and substitutes like honey or maple syrup) for the last 6.5 weeks. 

It was tough at first constantly craving sugar, but now I’m trying to see how long I can keep the streak going. 

I’m starting to see some great improvements at the gym and I’m down about 8 pounds of fat in that time (says my smart scale). 

Bonus Day with the Kids

On my first day back to work today, our baby sitter shows up with a 100+ degree fever. 

Not wanting to risk our kids to get sick, I sent her home and we found a friend to come and play Barbies for a few hours with our daughter, while I tried to work with our 3 month old son. 

I was able to be about 80% focused while he slept (since I kept glancing at the video monitor) and about 50% focused while he was awake. 

Luckily I had gotten up at 4am to start working, so I was able to get five hours of “catch up and see what’s happened since I left on paternity leave”

Still fun to hang out with this smiley boy:

Back to Work

Today is my last day of my 12-week paternity Automattic generously gives new parents. 

These last few weeks have been awesome but I’m thrilled to be going back for several reasons. 

Adult conversations 

On Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s I have been watching the kids from 6:45a until about 5:00p. Typically during this time, it was me and the kids. Conversations revolved around Barbies and her play kitchen. 

I Miss WordPress

On average over the last three I’ve spent about 60 minutes on the computer. I had to find nuggets of time to record my weekly podcast. 

Goals and Projects

I’ve had to postpone my goals and project and few things were checked off my to do list (mainly because of the lack of computer time). I found that instead of doing household projects at the end of the day, I’d try to catch up on my email or other small computer tasks. 

By going back to work, my goal is to finish everything computer related before dinner time, then work on home projects after the kids are asleep. 

Sure I’m going to miss all the fun mornings walking to the park, playing Candyland at lunch and all the other joys of being a stay at home dad. 

Thankfully, I get to work from home and our kids will be here with our nanny, so I can be active in their lives each day. 

It’s a joy to be a dad and send time with these kiddos:

Chat with a Spanish Bot

Duolingo now has a feature to chat with a bot. I think it’s more fun than just answering quiz questions. Plus it’s more real to have to answer in a dialogue fashion. 

Maybe it will help me become fluent in Spanish 😜

So You Want to be a Happiness Engineer, Huh?

Great thoughts on what skills and abilities are needed as a Happiness Engineer by one of my colleagues.

Sandy McFadden

Since joining Automattic (and to the annoyance of some people, I’m sure) I tend to go on about how much I enjoy my job and the company itself. I’ve often been asked what it takes and what you need to know to get the job. Especially since I called people to join me in my last post, I thought I would put together my thoughts and some resources which I can point people to or they can hopefully find through searching online as well.

I’m going to go a bit further and not only talk about what you need to do to get the job, but what I think you need to be successful in the Happiness Engineer role at Automattic. Please note that there are a lot of points here and you don’t have to be an expert in all of them to apply, but having a good understanding…

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Broken RCA Jack

Unloading the car the other day, I broke off an RCA cable for the auxiliary input.

After a bit of searching Google, I found the method to fix it and it worked like a charm.

I love the internet 🙂

Much Cooler

One of the air conditioning lines in our MDX had a leak so we’ve been without A/C for the last few weeks. 

It definitely pays to have a dad with a lot of tools. The new parts from a dealer would have been close to $200 plus labor and I got the parts online for only $60. 

Time Blocking

I’m a huge fan of time blocking 🙂


What is time blocking? Time blocking is the act of scheduling sessions of work on a calendar. By deliberately assigning work time on a calendar, we automatically acknowledge the immutable resource of time. Several productivity writers tout the strengths of time blocking including Mike Vardy at Lifehack, Cal Newport of Deep Work fame, Gwen Moran…

via On Time Blocking — Using OmniFocus

Is This Poison Ivy?

Several times last year and now once this year, I’ve gotten poison ivy.

I’m highly allergic, so it’s not a good situation.

The weird thing is, I haven’t been able to figure out where I got it. We don’t live near a woods, nor have I been in a woods, yet, I have the ichy rash on four different places on my body.

Today when inspecting my flower bed, it looks like this might be the culprit. It follows the “Leaves of three, let it be” slogan of poison ivy, but doesn’t look like it.

Any experts out there than can identify this plant?


Save Money with ibotta

There’s a great app that we use to save money on grocery items without clipping coupons. It’s called ibotta and I think it’s easier to use that cutting coupons.

How it works:

  • Install the app on your phone.
  • Browse through the items you are planning on buying that have a discount and select them.
  • Checkout like normal at the grocery store.
  • At home, snap a picture of the UPC and the receipt.
  • Within a few days, your account will be credited.

Between my wife and I we’ve redeemed close to $100 in gift cards to Whole Foods (you can choose between a whole slew of great gift cards as soon as you accrue $20 in rewards).

If you use this ibotta link, you’ll get a $10 referral bonus on your first redemption (and to be transparent, I get $5 for the referral).

Take Cover

A tornado was spotted near our house tonight and it’s the first time we’ve had to bring kids to the basement to seek safety.

Thankfully, we only got heavy rain in our neighborhood.


Almost in a Commercial

Back in February, I went with a handful of colleagues to Detroit to build websites for small businesses.

During the time we were there, a video production team was filming most aspects of the weekend.

I didn’t make it into one of the three commercial spots, but the side of my head is captured in this video at the 1:23 mark:


The three commercials can be found on

Learning to do a proper handstand.

I need to get back to my handstand work. I was doing well until our baby disrupted our schedule.

Staying healthy isnt a crime-Fitness is a lifestyle choice

Many of you probably had the chance to read my post on “handstands” and how they have advantages and their benefits. I told you in that same post I would write another post in the later weeks discussing how to train for a proper handstand – and although there is a million different ways to do so and everyone has their own technique, I believe the best way is to practice and build up to it, like any other movement. Handstands are more advanced movements, they aren ‘t considered easy and even though they may be easier for some, they can be quite more difficult for others like myself. 


When beginning training for a handstand, it is best do them on a flat surface and preferably one that won’t cause you much harm if you should fall or occasionally hurt yourself trying – I don’t want anyone to end…

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Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

Wow. I wish I had read this book back when I was in college as it was much more interesting / easy to read than my college text books.

It carries you along from the very fundamentals of both codes (like braille) and electric circuits in the telegraph days all the way to the web, with plenty of verbal and diagrammatic explanation.

I really appreciated the author’s efforts to provide such an exhaustive dive into how computers work (and I regained much of my awe at these machines we take so for granted nowadays).

Zoo Day

It was a bit chilly early today, but we ventured out and took both kids to the zoo. 

They both enjoyed it, even though the little one slept 90% of the trip. 

Here are a few pictures from the day. 


I’ve been an iPhone user since the iPhone 4 and have never had a case. Over the course of the life of the phone, I’ve scratched the edges, but nothing too major. 

Today, as we were playing in the basement, my phone got underneath a kid’s wooden rocking chair and it got quite a few surface scratches on the glass. 

They are only noticeable when the screen is turned off or if the light hits it exactly right. 

Any suggestions on a way to fix?

Impossible to take a picture of the scratches