Today’s “a day in the life” is the hilarious Adrian of Dad or Alive. Over the next few months, I’ll be spotlighting my fellow Fisher-Price Insiders in my Day in the Life series. Figured since you’re seeing them in all my photos and videos, you might want to get to know them a little better. I know I had a blast getting to know them in New York — I hope you enjoy it too.
Not only is Adrian a stay-at-home dad, but he’s pretty amazing at it. His kids’ lunches contain sandwiches in the shape of their names, he DIYs halloween costumes, all the while cooking gourmet meals. And keeping everyone alive! Read on to find out how he does it all.
Tell me about yourself and how you started food blogging.
Hey guys, my name is Adrian.
Yes. Yes, I understand that Rocky’s wife’s name was Adrian (probably Adrienne) and I’m reminded about it almost daily when picking up my coffee at Starbucks or hoagie at Jersey Mike’s.
“YO ADRIAN” sometimes haunts my dreams, but I kinda dig it.
I’m currently 38 years old, a Pisces and can’t remember the last time I took a long walk on the beach. I’m fixated on examining my gray hairs in the mirror every morning after I get out of the shower and my life’s work sometimes seems like finding a belt in my closet that actually fits.
I’m a full-time stay-at-home dad for Ava (5), Charlie (3) and Mason (10 months). Oh, I also work full-time as an author, blogger and speaker on the side.
I’m about to celebrate my fifth year as a primary caregiver in January. I’m pretty sure they don’t make a Hallmark card for that one…in case you were thinking of sending me something.
In my former life, I lived in Los Angeles for 14 years and for 12 of those years, I worked in comedy. I was the VP of Television Development for Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions for almost eight years, as well as Chelsea Handler’s Borderline Amazing Productions for a little over a year.
I also booked all of the comics on ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’ on CBS and held several advisory positions, including one with the now defunct HBO U.S. Comedy & Arts Festival, which was held in Aspen for several years.
In the five years since I’ve left the entertainment business, I started a blog (http://www.DadOrAlive.com), published my first book, had TV/Film option on my blog with Sony Pictures TV and recently produced ‘Modern Dads’ last summer for A&E network.
I also write for Kids in the House, HuffPo Parents, TODAY.com/parents and serve as an ambassador (fancy pants, huh?) for FAAR (Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility), and Happy Family Organics, amongst others.
I have a little food section on my blog, but it’s not representative of much of a foodie I truly am.
Take me through your day.
As far as a day in MY life…here goes…
12:30am: After falling asleep downstairs watching Discovery or History Channel, I lock all the doors and head upstairs for a momentous slumber.
12:35pm: I pick Ava up out of bed and sit her on the toilet and coach her to pee so that she doesn’t have an accident.
1:14am: Mason is awake in his crib and giving us the finger into the video monitor. Jen goes to get him and brings him into our bed to nurse and falls asleep watching Shark Tank.
2:21am: I wake up to flip my pillow to the cold side and rifle through the bed in the dark with beady eyes like an opossum for the remote, finally managing to turn off the TV.
2:43am: Charlie comes into my room and taps on my sleeping head after staring at me for several minutes like Kathy Bates, then asks if he can watch his iPad. I walk him back to his room, using the iPhone flashlight option.
4:03am: Ava comes into my room and says, ‘Hey dad, I have a great idea. Why don’t you go sleep in the guest room and I can sleep in your spot?’
4:05am: I don’t even negotiate or submit a counter-offer. I get up, take my phone, pillows and my water and head for the guest room.
6:11am: From the guest room, I hear all three kids screaming and fighting from my bed. The BIG KING-SIZE BED that I bought in hopes that I might be actually be able to sleep in it.
6:40am: I check Instagram to see who had a better night than me.
7:02am: I get in the shower and actually sit down. I SIT DOWN in the shower and let the water drown my face while Counting Crows plays on my iPhone from the shelf on the wall.
7:04am: My kids are naked, pounding on the glass door of the shower asking where I am. I try and hide behind shampoo bottles but I’m too hefty to disappear.
7:16am: I get the kids dressed for school (Ava is half-day every day and Charlie is half-day Tues/Thurs) using the outfits that Jen picked out for the week. This is our system – so much easier. I can totally get them dressed and coordinate, but this works so much better.
7:31am: I take our Boston terrier for a walk up the street to take a you-know-what. I listen to mostly acoustic jams in my ear buds, pretending for a minute that I’m the one performing them in front of a standing-room-only crowd. I take a bow and pick up dog poop in the same motion.
7:44am: I’m back at the house, making the kids breakfast and packing their Planetboxes.
8:17am: I kiss my wife, tell her that I love her and she leaves for work.
8:45am: I run around the house trying to locate matching shoes for school and everyone conveniently needs to take a dump or their underwear are itchy even though we need to be in the car to get to school.
9:15am: I walk the kids into school. I’m usually the only dad, but sometimes there are two or three. I make small talk with my mom-friends and notice that they’re all in workout pants and neon-colored Nikes. Is everyone going to work out after this?
9:30am – 11:30am: I get Mason set up in his bouncer or one of three different stations with snacks as I make an attempt to meet one of any six different writing deadlines. I spend the first hour sending out apology emails because I’m always late. Sorry, Rachel. I pay bills, unload the dishwasher, scrub pots, get laundry going, take out trash/recycling and spend some one-on-one time with the boy.
11:30am: I put Mason in the truck and head to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner.
11:45am: We leave the store and head over to pick up Ava & Charlie.
12:15pm: I’ve got a truck full of kids asking me a thousand questions.
12:30pm: We finish up whatever lunch the kids didn’t eat and Mason gets some time eating solids next to his siblings.
1:15pm: I take the kids upstairs and go through the nap routine. Ava refuses. Charlie and Mason go down.
1:30pm: Ava comes downstairs as I’m cleaning off their plates, eating their leftovers and says that ‘she’ll be quiet if she doesn’t have to nap’. I agree and endure and hour and a half of her asking me for something every five seconds. I get nothing done.
3:00pm: Kids are all up asking for snacks and an itinerary.
3:15:pm: We build Legos, mold Play-Doh, do puzzles, work on our sight words and read books.
4:45pm: I pop in a movie or let the kids use their iPads for a bit while I unload the dishwasher (again) and get dinner prepped.
5:00pm: I slice my neck open and pour coffee directly into my esophagus.
7:00pm: I text my wife and ask her how traffic is. I consider going outside for a good cry because it’s witching hour and I’m not sure how long I can hang on.
7:11pm: My wife arrives at home and I’ve got the kids fed and upstairs in the bath.
7:45pm: We finish up bath time, get them into pajamas and read a few stories.
8:45pm: My wife and I meet up downstairs to briefly exchange stories about our day and eat that dinner that I made.
9:12pm: My wife falls asleep on the sofa.
10:15pm: I wake my wife up and tell her that I’m going upstairs.
11:17pm: I get up from bed and look through my medicine cabinet for some sort of homeopathic medicine that guarantees a RELAXING SLEEP.
12:30am: SEE ABOVE.
What is your one must-have kitchen tool or gadget?
I honestly can’t live without my set of Shun knives. Also, my mandolin. And my Le Creuset.
Share a photo of your fridge and tell me the top 5 items that are essential.
ARE YOU SERIOUS? I can’t show you the inside of my fridge on such short notice. I can, however, tell you that my 5 essential items are fresh herbs, yogurt, salad greens, eggs and cream (perhaps crème fraiche).
What is your favorite part of your day? Why?
That rare moment when I manage to get all three of my kids to nap simultaneously for ANY amount of time.
What is your LEAST favorite part of the day? Why?
When I’m trying to go to the bathroom and I can hear my kid in the other room forming a search party to figure out where I went.
What is your guilty food pleasure that you’re embarrassed to fess up to? Kraft Mac & Cheese? Spagetti-o’s? Canned cheese? We promise not to judge!
I LOVE white American cheese rolled up with peanut butter inside. I LOVE ketchup on soft pretzels. I ADORE the white, moldy rind on a wedge of brie.
What have you learned since you began blogging?
People love honesty. They can smell crap from a mile away, don’t lie, don’t be afraid to be yourself.
What have you found to be the most challenging part of blogging?
Realizing that you can’t be everyone’s friend. You can’t get everyone to like you – it’s never going to happen. Just be yourself, tell your stories and they will come.
Aren’t his kids the cutest? (Besides mine of course.) Thanks for letting us get to know you better, Adrian!