First New Years Without the Troops

Tonight I will count down the New Year for the first time in 8 years without the troops. While I can’t remember the last time I was kid free on New Year’s Eve I have no real desire to go out.

This isn’t due to depression from missing them though undoubtedly I will miss my midnight kisses. Truth is I have forgotten how to celebrate New Years, for the past 8 years we have counted down with the east coast and been in bed long before midnight local time.

Also, being so family-centric for the past 8 years I have far fewer friends than I use to. If I do suddenly decide I have the energy or desire to go out I’m not sure I would even have options available. Most of my friends have kids and will likely spend the night pushing themselves to stay awake until midnight.

To other single dads out there feeling lonely tonight, don’t. Because let’s face it, tonight is just a Monday night. Christ wasn’t born today nor did he die or rise. There are no harvest gods we need to pay tribute to or the independence of some great nation we should honor.

Today is 12/31/2018 and tomorrow will be 1/1/2019. Many of us will still wake up and go to work just like we did today. And in the end, time will remain a man-made construct invented to mark the rotation of the earth around the sun and the decay of matter.

This isn’t to say celebrating tonight is a ridiculous notion, I am in favor of any random reason to celebrate life. Instead, I simply mean to say if you are alone tonight or just not doing anything “special” you should not feel as though there is something wrong with you.

Magical Fairy Garden Fun

The BG has a serious love for gardening. Her school offers a pretty amazing community garden and garden club for the students.  For Christmas Santa decided to bring her the My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage set.


Ease of use: medium, you will likely need to assist in the initial set up

Mess: well there is dirt involved so….

Fun: takes roughly one hour to plant and design which is a lot of fun with daily fun watching it grow

Educational: Very

My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage is a small garden that includes a bag of seeds however you can also use your own. The seeds are planted in soil (included in the set) which you than water daily.

The garden has built-in drip system which is pretty cool. It comes with a table, umbrella, two chairs, a fairy, and a small rabbit you can use to either decorate the inside of the cottage or the garden itself with. The fairy comes with a wire so you can make her appear as though she is flying.  The rabbit, however, is super lame and so small it was lost day one. Also included are a rake, shovel, hoe, and small watering can.

The BG loves this thing so far. She did not have to wait long to see it sprout, you will have significant growth by day 3.

All in all for the price point this was a great buy that The BG is enjoying. Santa got this one from Amazon Prime for $14.99.

Warning: if you have any form of shared custody you will need to water the garden when your trooper is with their other parent.

Design & Drill Activity Center

This is the first of many Christmas toy reviews as The Tot Army breaks in their new surplus.


Ease of use: very

Mess: some what; lots of small pieces

Fun: hours of fun

Educational: very

The Design and Drill Activity Center is a flat board with holes you drill or screw bolts to. The set comes with a power drill and hand screw driver both with interchangeable heads. The bolts can be fastened with a flathead, phillips, etc.

The activity center comes with cards that have color designs and patterns for kids to try and replicate.

The age limit in this one is 3+ however in the picture you can see the BG having fun with it.