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Wednesday, November 08 2017 09:06

Taking Care of Others? Take Care of Yourself First...

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THE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; #ZicamCrowd

Over the past few years, I've written at length about attempting to stay well, especially when juggling multiple plates. My wife and I are always on-the-go, and we, like millions of other parents, are constantly trying to balance our work commitments with our family schedules. My wife works in an office that's 40 miles from home. That means time on the road each day, and that in itself can add to getting run-down, especially as colder months arrive. I work from home, but travel a few times a month means early mornings, late nights (which can become early mornings) and interacting with a ton of people that we can call "variables" (who knows what germs they harbor!). Put everything together with getting our girls to-and-from school, along with Girl Scouts (Daisies and Brownies), karate, sometimes gymnastics, ballet/tap plus all of their off-shoot playdates, and there's a lot of people we're crossing paths with. Being sick puts a damper on all of that, and making connections with others can be a tricky thing when a cold comes on. It's uncomfortable on so many levels, but a reminder that as we spend most of our lives looking out for the care of others, you can't do that when you're not taking care of yourself. It's no secret that I reach for the Zicam® at the first sign of a cold, but now there's a new tool in my arsenal: Zicam® Cold Remedy Medicated Fruit Drops.

Sunday, May 07 2017 21:49

Why Do You Sleep? I Sleep to Rock and Play

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Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Beautyrest with Life of Dad…

Sleep is a mysterious thing. Sometimes just can’t get enough of it, while other times you can feel like you’ve done too much. There have been times in my life where I managed to function on very little of it. In fact, I can even remember my first day on a new job, walking in to start a 5am shift when the guy training me said something to the effect of “Did you sleep well last night?” My response surprised him: “Actually, I haven’t slept yet. I will when I get off work.” It was a lifetime ago, but the reason for my lack of rest was that I’d played a gig with my band just hours before. As a parent, the whole “rock and roll lifestyle” just doesn’t cut it anymore, and I’ve become aware of my sleep habits, and have been trying to make the most of having proper rest. Lately, the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor has been a part of that.

Thursday, April 13 2017 13:33

Gearing-up for Spring Allergy Season...

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THE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd

Now that we've pretty much finished fighting that pesky groundhog, sending him to retreat back to his hidden underground bunker (more on that here), spring is legitimately here, and that brings with it some new issues. Spending time outside when the seasons change is a favorite thing for me, especially since Spring means getting back into working on my yard and getting the gardening started. It can also mean more travel for me (I was just out in California again a few weeks ago), and on top of always attempting to keep the common cold at bay, now we have allergies in the mix. Spring allergies. In fact, I think of all the allergies, spring ones just might be the worst.

THE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd

Ah yes, the wonders of Spring. The clocks have been set ahead... the grass is starting to green... the tulips and daffodils have begun to poke their fingers through the soil as the birds have returned and started to sing. But there's a bit of an issue here this year. As I mentioned last month, that dirty groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his evil lair with news that he was planning to punish us this year. "A long winter," he declared, sentencing us to an additional six weeks of cold. Given that our winter was relatively mild this year, the Chicago-area famously snow-less in January/February (we hit 70°!) - something that hadn't happened in over a century, it was easy to write Phil off as giving a "typical cartoon villain speech." And then the snow came in March. As the rodent put forth a jubilant "victory laugh" from within his underground bunker, the humans above were faced with mountains of fresh powder. It was an act of revenge by a vermin, one who's been mocked for his weather predictions allegedly being right less than 50% of the time. No one knew that he'd built a Weather Machine in his basement. His vile actions would now result in travel disruptions, and new battles against an old foe: The Common Cold.

Thursday, February 16 2017 11:40

Keeping up Defenses for Mid-Winter Adventures...

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THE ROCK FATHER has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd

Passing the midway mark in February is always a weird thing when it comes to my overall mood. It's that mid-winter time when you can tell that spring is lurking in the distance (regardless what that jerk, Punxsutawney Phil says), and soon things will brighten up. What bothers me most is the gloom that tends to hang high above the bridge between February and March, and as someone that prides himself on a well-manicured lawn and landscape, seeing the grass matted down, brown, dry, and looking like debris-infested straw is just depressing. Everything needs to be cleaned-up, but I just know that there's another blast of snow (or two) still yet to come, as the temperature continues to swing between sub-zero and the fifties as erratic as an off-balance washing machine. One thing that breaks the gloom is an adventure, and whether it be more travel, or simply some big events close to home, one thing that can really put a damper on things is a cold. Yes, a cold... that looming enemy that's always chasing me, and forever seeking a fight. My arsenal must be ready. 

Monday, January 23 2017 15:00

Just a Cough? No, It's Never 'Just a Cough'

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The Rock Father™ is spinning a tale about Robitussin® as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™

My wife often makes reference to me as a youngster. After all, we've known each other for 20 years at this point, and you'd think that over the course of those decades, some "growing up" would've taken place. Overall, it has (quite a bit), but certain habits have yet to change, and proper rest is a part of that. Yes, I make mention of this stuff pretty frequently - I'm always busy, usually working (mostly from home), and I don't take care of myself the way that I should. Problem is, I'm responsible for a lot of things (and people), and as a 40-year-old man, I still function much like a 20-year-old in that my days and nights often run together and my scheduled and internal clock is sorta "off." That can get tricky at times when I lose track of things or pull some late-night hours, hammering away at some official Rock Father business in my office, all while the family sleeps upstairs. Throw something like a cough into the mix, and there's an issue. First off, it's never just a cough - but when it happens, I need relief for myself... and others. Fact: My hacking cough has disturbed the family on a time or two.

THE ROCK FATHER has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd

Growing up in the 1980s made for an interesting time. Outside of school, much of my time was spent playing, and in the midst of that play - there were many "wars" to be fought, and the popular toys of the era made it easy to take sides and establish alliances for the glory of battle. At the same time, while I engaged in much strategy and adventure among the stars, in worlds of fantasy, and in pitting giant robots against one another all while fighting the forces of fictional terrorist organizations branded with catchy acronyms. It was all a reflection of the real world around us - I just didn't know it. The Cold War had already been raging for decades - a situation where two forces had each other in a position of standoff that occasionally led to escalated tensions. Now, as a parent in 2017, it's more than apparent that The Cold War is back... but it's a different type of "cold" war, and the participants in this battle are members of the same family.

THE ROCK FATHER has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd

'Tis the season to be jolly, and if your family is like ours, that means you'll be spreading that jolliness across multiple scheduled gatherings that fill up the December calendar quicker than Santa (or his elves) can fill a stocking. We've already attended one big gathering - the annual "extended family" Christmas at my Mom's house - and that means there's three more to go, not counting the one that matters most, Christmas morning here at home. As I've mentioned before, I don't have a great track record when it comes to keeping germs at bay, and between all the people I come in contact with during the holiday season on the family front, plus all the germ factories kids I meet while attending parties at our daughters' schools, I'm rockin' the Zicam® to take at the first sign of a cold. It sorta reminds makes me wonder about another rotund bringer of holiday cheer... who's looking out for Santa Claus?

Wednesday, November 23 2016 11:23

Well, HELLO there... Gobble Gobble!

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THE ROCK FATHER Magazine has partnered with Hello Products to bring you this friendly feature.

It's Thanksgiving week, or as I like to think of it, that big speed bump on the highway between Halloween and the December Holidays. It's a time when things slow down, and part of that is simply because of all the eating - a lot of eating. Actually, Halloween is probably the true kick-off to the Holiday season, because October-December are all linked by an unseen evil that lurks with every meal, sweet and treat - the potential for cavities. For Halloween I tried to balance things out by staying "cavity-neutral," giving kids both candy and toothpaste... the naturally-friendly kind from Hello Products.  If there's a sugar rush, kids should also feel a need to rush to brush to protect those pearly whites - even if they're not "grownup teeth" just yet. Knock on wood, neither of The Rock Daughters™ have yet to have a cavity! But now, Thanksgiving... Gobble, Gobble!

THE ROCK FATHER has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd

Back when I started this website, I had no idea it would end up leading to more travel than I'd ever done before. After all, the whole idea was that I'd be a work-at-home dad and be spending the majority of my time with our daughter. Fast-foward a bit and that's still mostly true, but it's now daughters (plural) and the scope of things has totally changed. I'm traveling a lot, which means not only time spent in the confines of those flying metal tubes, but also a lot of time in airports... and the worst part: those dirty buses and trains that shuttle around the airports. A lot of people equals a lot of germs, and since I tend to get run-down, that means I get a lot of colds. When the folks at Zicam® asked if I'd throw down a few words about my ongoing war against colds, it was easy to say "yes" since I've been using their product for ages anyway.

Sunday, November 06 2016 15:25

Rebooting my Wellness Routine: Part II - Energy

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This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central

As I mentioned last month, I'm in the midst of making another go at rebooting my own personal wellness routine. It's a daily struggle, and there's a lot of different components to it, a big one being energy. Getting back into my regular workout routine (something I'm still building back up to) is perhaps the biggest piece of the puzzle, followed by eating right and taking the proper supplements. With the amount of daily running I already do with the kids, I'm looking toward the holiday season in hopes that I can up my game. It's all part of that "mind-body balance," hence I've added some Nature Made® VitaMelts Fast Dissolve Energy (Vitiamin B12 1500mcg) into the mix, along with some Chewable Vitamin C to help boost my immune system during my travel dates. I have a bad habit of getting run-down, 

Monday, October 10 2016 21:45

Rebooting my Wellness Routine with Nature Made

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This post is sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central.

Spinning back the clock a couple of years, many longtime readers might recall my "2014 Fitness Challenge" here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, and my quest to get fit. I changed my diet, joined a gym, and began a routine that did me well. I was posting regular updates on the site, and even into 2016 I posted "gym selfies," but as some noticed, those became less frequent. Making a lifestyle change is a big deal, and you have to do it when it's right for you. Unfortunately, my plans were derailed a few times, first with gallbladder surgery in January of 2015 that knocked me out of routine, and again with a knee and hip issue. I'd dropped around 40 pounds, and now it's all been gained back. The time has come to get back into my routine, and a big part of that is overall "wellness" - not just the weight loss and strength training (which I'm getting back into again), but the things I'd not considered the last time around. One of those things is digestive health, and while picking up my supplements at my local Walmart Supercenter, I recently added Nature Made® Advanced Dual Action Probiotic into the mix. Yep, digestive health!

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