• The Best Toys Money Can Buy?The Best Toys Money Can Buy?

    How badly do you want to spoil your kids? Here are some of the best toys money can buy this Christmas. The post The Best Toys Money Can Buy? appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 4 h. 38 min. ago
  • How to take care of your living Christmas treeHow to take care of your living Christmas tree

    A living Christmas tree that gets planted in the yard will continue to grow and provide vital ecosystem services and financial benefits for years and years. The post How to take care of your living Christmas tree appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 4 h. 57 min. ago
  • Giveaway: Win a FERDINAND Movie Prize Pack!Giveaway: Win a FERDINAND Movie Prize Pack!

    From Blue Sky Studios and Carlos Saldanha, the director of RIO,  and inspired by the beloved book THE STORY OF FERDINAND by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, FERDINAND is a new animated feature that tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. Starring WWE Superstar John Cena as the voice of Ferdinand, the film weaves a tale of a dangerous beast... or, a bull that's been mistaken for a dangerous beast, leading to his capture and removal from his home. Set in Spain, FERDINAND follows this friendly bull as he rallies a misfit team to embark on the ultimate adventure home. Now, in celebration of its release, 20th Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios and The Rock Father™ have teamed-up to give you a chance to win a FERDINAND Prize Pack! The movie is already getting great buzz, with Nick Jonas snagging a Golden Globe nomination for his original song, "Home." Check out the trailer below... FerdinandTwentieth Century FoxBlue Sky StudiosWWEJohn Cena

    TheRockFather.com / 5 h. 5 min. ago more
  • The Ultimate STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI GameStop Gift Guide is Here! Plus, You Could WIN BB-8!The Ultimate STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI GameStop Gift Guide is Here! Plus, You Could WIN BB-8!

    This Star Wars: The Last Jedi #HolidayWishGuide feature is presented by GameStop & Spin Master in collaboration with The Rock Father™ 2017 has been a great year for movies, but now that December is here, the one I've been anticipating the most is finally here! Rian Johnson's STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is the second chapter of the modern Star Wars Trilogy, picking up the story right where we left off at the close of J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS back in 2015. With Luke Skywalker back in action as Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron and the crew continue their fight against Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke and the sinister First Order. Since the release of the original Star Wars back in 1977, The Force has been a fixture in the holiday season for our family, and with a new era of adventures from a galaxy far, far away, we're always on the hunt for the coolest Star Wars gear, and this year GameStop and ThinkGeek are stepping-up as a one-stop shop for some stellar gifts, many of which are exclusive and available Only @ GameStop!. As an extension of my annual Holiday Wish Guide™, here's some Rock Father Picks available at GameStop... but that's not all! Thanks to our friends at Spin Master, we're giving all of you the chance to win a Star Wars: The Last Jedi Hero Droid BB-8 - one of this year's hottest Star Wars toys! Holiday Wish Guide 2017Star WarsSTAR WARS: THE LAST JEDIGiveawayGameStop

    TheRockFather.com / 18 h. 33 min. ago more
  • Tip: Don’t buy multi-mode solar powered Christmas lights.Tip: Don’t buy multi-mode solar powered Christmas lights.

    Solar power Christmas lights sound like a pretty good idea right? Well, they are but make sure you don’t get multi-mode lights. I bought two sets of solar Christmas lights from two different companies. Both had 8 modes. Both have the same issue, no memory. When the batteries run out, they forget what setting they were last on. There is no battery reserve just for remembering the mode. Since we can’t control the weather, there’s no assurance that you’ll get enough sun to fully charge the battery. I get that they’re solar powered, but they should save a percent of the battery for remembering what mode they’re set to. To make it even worse, the default mode is a demo mode where the lights loop through all 8 modes. If there was only one mode, or if the lights default mode was just on, then it wouldn’t be such an issue. Solar powered Christmas lights seem like a great idea, and I do love the idea of them, but without any memory, the multi-mode solar Christmas lights are quite a disappointment. The post Tip: Don’t buy multi-mode solar powered Christmas lights. appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 19 h. 51 min. ago more
  • Made a snowman this morning.Made a snowman this morning.

    The post Made a snowman this morning. appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 1 d. 0 h. 46 min. ago
  • Playmates Toys goes Old-School with VOLTRON '84 Legendary Lion Collection...Playmates Toys goes Old-School with VOLTRON '84 Legendary Lion Collection...

    DreamWorks' Voltron: Legendary Defender has been a massive hit for Netflix, and with it came some pretty fun toys as well. With the new generation digging deep into the history and lore of Voltron, a hand-picked collection of episodes were culled from the original series and released on Netflix as Voltron '84, and that just threw the doors wide-open for a new collection of toys. Beginning in January 18, the Voltron '84 Legendary Lion Assortment will be available at major retailers nationwide, allowing kids (and big kids) the opportunity to unlock over 60 sounds from the classic series by combining all 5 Legendary Lions into a Mighty 16" version of Voltron! Check out the full details below... VoltronDreamWorksPlaymates ToysNetflix

    TheRockFather.com / 1 d. 2 h. 9 min. ago more
  • SKINLAB Announce "Brothers in Blood" Tour...SKINLAB Announce "Brothers in Blood" Tour...

    Legendary Bay Area metallers, SKINLAB, have announced their first live dates of 2018, with the Brothers in Blood Tour featuring PISSING RAZORS and SHATTERED SUN. The short southwestern run will commence on January 25 in San Diego, wrapping on February 3 in Harlingen, Texas (full dates below). SkinlabShattered SunVictory Records

    TheRockFather.com / 1 d. 2 h. 38 min. ago
  • Trimming your beard: 5 mistakes to avoidTrimming your beard: 5 mistakes to avoid

    There are plenty of mistakes that you should work to avoid when trimming your beard. Below, are the top five mistakes we gathered that you should try to avoid during the process. The post Trimming your beard: 5 mistakes to avoid appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 1 d. 4 h. 28 min. ago
  • Peter Shankman on Harnessing Power of the ADHD Brain, New BookPeter Shankman on Harnessing Power of the ADHD Brain, New Book

    Are you or your child short on attention, thinking at a million miles an hour, or taking simple things to the extreme? The diagnosis may be attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, a condition medical science considers a brain disorder that interferes with functioning or development. But that may be a good thing, according to father, author and entrepreneur Peter Shankman. Shankman, who first gained fame for starting the Help A Reporter Out (HARO) service for journalists, discusses how he manages and uses this condition he was diagnosed with as an adult to his advantage in his new book, Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success With the Secrets of the ADHD Mind. On the Modern Dads Podcast and in the book, he also talks about how all people can improve their productivity and effectiveness from these processes that make his brain run on overdrive. Shankman, 45, a New York resident, is recognized for his radical thinking about social media, public relations, marketing, advertising and customer service. His media clients have included American Express, Sprint, The US Department of Defense, Royal Bank of Canada, Snapple Beverage Group, NASA, Walt Disney World  and many others. He is also the founder of ShankMinds: Breakthrough, an online community of business professionals from around the world who come together to give and get advice. Shankman has written four other books on customer service, public relations and management, and is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences and trade shows worldwide. Later on the podcast, City Dads Group columnist Whit Honea talks about what happened when he stopped worrying and embraced his son’s individuality. Peter Shankman appears on the Modern Dads Podcast to discuss his new book: “Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success With the Secrets of the ADHD Mind.” (Contributed photo) The post Peter Shankman on Harnessing Power of the ADHD Brain, New Book appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 1 d. 6 h. 52 min. ago more
  • There Won’t Be A Suicide NoteThere Won’t Be A Suicide Note

    You haven’t lived until you have discussed suicide with one of your teenage children.... The post There Won’t Be A Suicide Note appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 1 d. 17 h. ago
  • A Call to Action to Fathers – Man Up and Be Dads and a New Definition of a Deadbeat DadA Call to Action to Fathers – Man Up and Be Dads and a New Definition of a Deadbeat Dad

    "Deadbeat dad" is an out-dated and incorrect term. It's time for fathers to step up to the parenting plate and take responsibility for their actions! The post A Call to Action to Fathers – Man Up and Be Dads and a New Definition of a Deadbeat Dad appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 2 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago
  • Memoirs of a Psychologist: Raising Resilient Kids After DivorceMemoirs of a Psychologist: Raising Resilient Kids After Divorce

    Another great piece from Dr. Robert Erdei writing about one of his passions and specialties: Raising Resilient Kids After Divorce. How do children of divorce survive and thrive? The post Memoirs of a Psychologist: Raising Resilient Kids After Divorce appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 3 d. 5 h. 38 min. ago
  • I See Through You- No You Don’tI See Through You- No You Don’t

    For the second time in a year someone responded to something I said with... The post I See Through You- No You Don’t appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 3 d. 17 h. 10 min. ago
  • The Story of a Garnet Ring – and a New Family TraditionThe Story of a Garnet Ring – and a New Family Tradition

    Here's the story of generations of love in my family... symbolized by a garnet ring... and how James Avery has helped me continue this lovely family tradition!

    A Daddy Blog / 4 d. 1 h. 41 min. ago
  • Put Some Minions in Your Stocking with DESPICABLE ME 3!Put Some Minions in Your Stocking with DESPICABLE ME 3!

    This Despicable Me 3 #HolidayWishGuide™ Special Feature is brought to you by Universal Studios Home Entertainment. As we race toward the end of 2017, one gift that always does well is the gift of entertainment. Movies always make a great stocking stuffer, and DESPICABLE ME 3 is one that'll be a hit with the entire family. The #1 animated comedy of the year is available now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD, packed with bonus features and a new original Mini-Movie, The Secret Life of Kyle. There's also a Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook that puts all the great features into a limited-edition collectible package. Holiday Wish Guide 2017Stocking StuffersDespicable MeUniversal Studios Home Entertainment

    TheRockFather.com / 4 d. 6 h. 28 min. ago more
  • You Can’t Hear Me Or Won’t ListenYou Can’t Hear Me Or Won’t Listen

    I didn’t put in a full five miles during my after work walk today... The post You Can’t Hear Me Or Won’t Listen appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 4 d. 16 h. 8 min. ago
  • Christmas Phone Wallpapers – WordPress, Apple, SantaChristmas Phone Wallpapers – WordPress, Apple, Santa

    I found a nice Christmas wallpaper for my phone the other day but I wanted something more. Adding a WordPress logo looked great. But not everyone likes WordPress, so I made an Apple one too. And then a Santa one. Enjoy! The post Christmas Phone Wallpapers – WordPress, Apple, Santa appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 4 d. 19 h. 11 min. ago
  • "Life Breaks Free" in the First Trailer for JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM"Life Breaks Free" in the First Trailer for JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

    Time flies, but it's already been more than two years since our first trip to JURASSIC WORLD. Now, we're in for a return on June 22, 2018, and the first trailer for JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM has arrived. In this new adventure, a rescue mission is in order as the dinosaurs find themselves in danger of extinction once more, opening new debate to what kind of protection these genetically-resurrected animals should be entitled to. Check out the trailer below! Jurassic WorldUniversal Pictures

    TheRockFather.com / 4 d. 19 h. 19 min. ago more
  • Elf on the Shelf Next-Level TacticsElf on the Shelf Next-Level Tactics

    Some kids love it, most parents hate it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this odd holiday tradition, here’s a simple, humorous summary. And for those who ARE familiar, consider this a snarky recap of the strangeness that is the Elf on the Shelf.   Here’s How it Works You shell out about 30 bucks for the doll and bring it home. You tell your kid(s) it’s been deployed by Santa from the North Pole to surveil their behavior, to confirm they qualify for his Nice List. Note: Don’t worry. There’s Nothing potentially scarring about this. In addition to the benefits of its behavior control, nurturing a nice set of anxiety and insecurity is healthy for a modern child. And it will plant the seeds of a useful paranoia they’ll need in the real world of non-existent privacy and unlawful monitoring.   The 1st & 2nd Rule of Elf Club Firstly, you do not touch the elf. Secondly, you DO NOT touch the Elf! The penalty for violating this rule? The elf will forever lose all of its powers and be doomed to roam the earth as a crippled and unemployed misfit of the natural and unnatural worlds. Note: There’s no real pressure here for kids, though. Remember, as long as they are told not to, they hate touching things that are brightly colored and resemble a toy.   The Final Rule of Elf Club Like the toys in Toy Story, the Elf has strict orders to never talk or move in front of us mere mortals. It can, however, move to new tactical positions whilst humans are away or asleep. So, each morning the kid can frolic about the house in search of their nomadic overseer. Note: This is where the real fun for parents comes in. There’s always the regular hectic frenzy of running a family, but now, in addition to the breakneck panic to accommodate the holiday and winter season, parents have the jolly duty of remembering to move the Elf each night! And don’t forget, there’s a festive treasure hunt added to the fun of offspring-wrangling you need to do each morning. Joy!   Next Level Tactics So! If you are going to, or have already decided to set up this yuletide spy in your home for family fun and child conduct management, why not go all in? Here are some ideas: 1) Arm your Elf with miniature weaponry from other action figures for a greater air of zero-tolerance. A gun, a sword, a bow with poison-tipped arrows; so many options. 2) Draw angry eyebrows on your Elf to give it a more awe inspiring presence. You can add fangs, too. Kids don’t really know if arctic Elves have fangs or not. 3) Use the element of surprise by placing the Elf in startling locations. Suspended directly above their bed, inside a box of cereal, floating in a sealable bag in the toilet, that sort of thing! 4) Transplant the head of your Elf onto a large, formidable dinosaur, monster or robot toy for more shock and awesomeness. 5) Use lipstick or washable red markers to graffiti ominous messages on surfaces near the Elf. Like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets! Kids love Harry Potter. 6) Buy even more Elves to create an atmosphere of inescapable and overwhelming oversight. Scatter their positions strategically, or group them together in a imposing formation. – Okay. So, obviously (hopefully it’s obvious), I’m just being funny here. I don’t actually think the Elf is traumatizing, no more than threats of Santa’s Naughty/Nice list is, as a thing some parents do. I’m sure lots of kids have fun with the daily game of finding their silent seasonal sentinel, or whining to their parents about it not migrating, when parents forget to relocate the dang thing. Personally, my wife and I choose not to add the Elf to the blizzard of things we already endure during the holidays. To the parents that decide to undertake the Elf commitment, you have my respect. And my pity. (Remember to set a daily reminder or seven, folks!)  

    HowToBeADad.com / 5 d. 0 h. 25 min. ago more
  • Holiday Music: Hear SMALL TOWN TITANS rock "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"Holiday Music: Hear SMALL TOWN TITANS rock "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"

    TheRockFather.com / 5 d. 3 h. 36 min. ago
  • The Work Life Balance as a ParentThe Work Life Balance as a Parent

    As a father, it’s very easy to get sucked into the old fashioned role of “provider”. Now, a good dad will always provide in certain ways, as children are not able to care for their own physical and emotional needs. But it’s easy for this role to hijack the life of the hardworking dad. The post The Work Life Balance as a Parent appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 5 d. 4 h. 57 min. ago more
  • 5 Natural Ways to Ease Your Family’s Allergy Symptoms5 Natural Ways to Ease Your Family’s Allergy Symptoms

    If you can't stop sneezing and your eye feels itchy, you're not alone. An estimated 30% of American adults and 40% of children are affected by allergies each year. Here are some tips to ease your family's allergy symptoms the natural way. The post 5 Natural Ways to Ease Your Family’s Allergy Symptoms appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 5 d. 5 h. 6 min. ago
  • The Very Worst Kind Of SecretThe Very Worst Kind Of Secret

    I can’t decide if I am living in a more Dickensian time than now,... The post The Very Worst Kind Of Secret appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 5 d. 16 h. 17 min. ago
  • Stocking Up on Firewood without the Muscle WorkStocking Up on Firewood without the Muscle Work

    It used to be that chopping and splitting wood were both time consuming and backbreaking tasks.  You had to spend hours cutting down trees, sawing the trunks into logs, and then splitting those logs into wood that you could put into your fireplace.  By the end of the day, you were probably sweaty and exhausted.Still, it was the only way to get the firewood you needed for winter stocked up and...

    Daddyplace.com / 5 d. 20 h. 8 min. ago more
  • When it Comes to Recreation, Don't Be Left Out In the Cold When it Comes to Recreation, Don't Be Left Out In the Cold

    Do you need a gift idea for the outdoor enthusiast who has everything? Consider a hunting seat warmer. Whether you treat yourself or someone else, there are benefits to the product that go beyond mere comfort. Not only can enduring excessive cold ruin your or your kids' outdoor enjoyment, extended exposure to cold can lead to m...

    Daddyplace.com / 5 d. 20 h. 12 min. ago
  • Adam Driver says "Kylo Ren is a Big Christmas Guy"Adam Driver says "Kylo Ren is a Big Christmas Guy"

    This past weekend, Disney and Lucasfilm played host to the global media event for STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. The cast and crew gathered in downtown L.A. to meet with press, and one group was an in-house team - namely, THE STAR WARS SHOW. Today their latest episode was released, and hosts Anthony Carboni and Andi Gutierrez sit down with director Rian Johnson, along with John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Oscar Issac, Kelly Marie Tran, Domhnall Gleeson, and Mark Hamill. Who knew that Kylo Ren was "a big Christmas guy?" According to Adam Driver, Kylo is all about "the giving." That's not a huge surprise, as you can purchase a Kylo Ren Nutcracker, so that's pretty festive. Check out the latest episode of THE STAR WARS SHOW below... Star WarsSTAR WARS: THE LAST JEDIKylo Ren

    TheRockFather.com / 5 d. 22 h. 8 min. ago more
  • Reggie and the Full Effect announce new album, "41"Reggie and the Full Effect announce new album, "41"

    When I think of Reggie and the Full Effect, I'm often transported back to a different time - a time during my days at Sam Goody when the "emo" scene was really taking hold. It's been a long time, and now the band has announced their forthcoming, 7th studio album, 41, set for release on February 23rd, 2018 via Pure Noise Records. Along with the announcement comes the debut of a new song entitled "The Horrible Year." Listen below... Reggie and the Full EffectPure Noise RecordsThe Get Up Kids

    TheRockFather.com / 5 d. 22 h. 35 min. ago more
  • Asleep On Your Feet? Tips For Catching More Restorative Z’sAsleep On Your Feet? Tips For Catching More Restorative Z’s

    While experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep per night, this number might simply sound laughable to you. With the demands of daily life and your racing thoughts at night, how can you possibly get enough sleep? The post Asleep On Your Feet? Tips For Catching More Restorative Z’s appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 5 d. 23 h. 31 min. ago
  • more news
  • A Super Easy Open House Holiday MenuA Super Easy Open House Holiday Menu

    In part 1 of this post, I go over how Real Canadian Superstore is a great place to do a #OneStopShop and pick up all ... The post A Super Easy Open House Holiday Menu appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 6 d. 3 h. 30 min. ago
  • How To Win At Holiday EntertainingHow To Win At Holiday Entertaining

    You want to win at Holiday entertaining? Get it done all at once with a quick one stop shop at Real Canadian Superstore. Here's how I did it: The post How To Win At Holiday Entertaining appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 6 d. 5 h. 30 min. ago
  • Christmas Present and the Gift of Hope Beyond the HolidaysChristmas Present and the Gift of Hope Beyond the Holidays

    (Photo: Denise Johnson/Unsplash) “What would you like for Christmas?” It was a simple question, sitting in a text message, timestamped and marked as read. I didn’t have a simple answer. Peace on Earth would be nice, but I would settle for a government that cares for its people. Cures to everything: disease, hunger and otherwise? That would be a Christmas miracle. Financial security might help me sleep at night, but a job would do me wonders. “Nothing,” I replied, because those are the things I would like forever. +  +  + I was in middle school when my mother’s parents died, both in the same year. I came home one day, bus-scented and gangly with cowlicks in my hair, to find my mom mascara-smudged with arms akimbo and crying in the kitchen. Then four months later we did it again, but with the added benefit of practice. My parents divorced a couple of years later. Still, the holidays persisted. Even as an adult, as life continues to twist our stories, dropping obstacles like so many pine needles, we move forward, one calendar page at a time, each blurring with the next until we go full circle, another December and the motions that we go through. We have always found ways to make the holidays matter, despite years of grief from losing far too many, or perhaps because of it. And yet, if there was a Venn diagram of Christmas ghosts, this year would be the overlap. We all have our own tales of life gone past, and our thoughts about the future, but the present? Now is not a gift to anyone. Who among us hasn’t wondered the point of wrapping paper under a fake tree when we live in a world where presidents endorse child molesters, war is on the brink and every third man is a monster? This is Christmas in the Upside Down, and all the lights are flashing. But it’s not too late. We can’t, despite a lack of solace in the solstice, turn our backs on hope, especially during the holidays. In fact, this may be the year we need the holiday season most of all. Hope is a spark and a flicker, a beacon of warmth against the long, cold night. It may seem in short supply this year, but all we have to do is look to our children to help us find it. Kids shine with hope, brightly, in dreams of Santa and the laughter of friendship. They wear it like a smile and spread it like petals and sunshine. Relatively speaking, they have more past to look forward to, and they use their hope to light the way. They are our candles in the window and bonfires in the distance. Their hope is a thing to be nurtured and cherished, but also inspiration and a constant reminder of it. It is Christmas now and it will be again. Along the way our stories will twist and we’ll face the things we wish for and some we wish we wouldn’t. There will be loss and obstacles, questions, joy and darkness. Things will end while others are just beginning. Everything will change, repeatedly. Carry hope, heedless of the season, and it will be the gift that we are giving. +  +  + The text chimed with the reply, like a bell sending tidings from the season. “Okay,” was sent in a bright, blue bubble, there were three little dots beneath it. “Then tell me what you need,” it said, and from there the bells kept ringing. The post Christmas Present and the Gift of Hope Beyond the Holidays appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 6 d. 6 h. 27 min. ago more
  • I Forgive You For Failing MeI Forgive You For Failing Me

    A thousand years ago we roamed through a forest in a secret world populated... The post I Forgive You For Failing Me appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 6 d. 16 h. 26 min. ago
  • Helping Kids Fight Cavities Without the Use of DrillsHelping Kids Fight Cavities Without the Use of Drills

    At least one in five Americans has at least one or more untreated cavities, and the fear of getting them fixed may be why they are so often left untreated. However, there is hope for those who are scared to get their cavities treated without having to deal with the dreaded dental drill. Dentists are […] The post Helping Kids Fight Cavities Without the Use of Drills appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 6 d. 22 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Watch: Hanson Debut Video for "Finally It's Christmas," Gear Up for TV Appearances...Watch: Hanson Debut Video for "Finally It's Christmas," Gear Up for TV Appearances...

    TheRockFather.com / 7 d. 5 h. 38 min. ago
  • Is She Really CrazyIs She Really Crazy

    If you came here expecting to read another edition of the Harry and Martha... The post Is She Really Crazy appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 7 d. 17 h. 11 min. ago
  • It’s time to get ready for Gutenberg.It’s time to get ready for Gutenberg.

    Gutenberg is coming to a WordPress site near you soon. How soon? The goal is to ship in April 2018! That means you need to start getting ready now. Guten-What? First off if you don’t know that Gutenberg is, check it out. It’ll be the new text editor for WordPress replacing the current visual editor. If needed, Matt can ramp you up with a little Gutenberg history. We Called it Gutenberg for a Reason Getting Started To get started with Gutenberg, you can install the Gutenberg plugin on a development site today and start testing. I wouldn’t put it on a production site yet, but you’re going to do what you’re going to do. Gutenberg Submit Feedback Find a bug? Log it. Usability issue? Log it. Design enhancement, new feature, bad feelings? Let them know. The team really does want your input. From developers to people who just write blog posts, they want everyone’s feedback. Start Writing Blocks, GutenBlocks, in Javascript GutenBlocks are the new thing. If you’re a developer start learning how to create them. Oh, and they’re in JavaScript too. If you only know PHP it’s time to learn something new. Blocks GutenBlocks will replace widgets and shortcodes in WordPress so we all have to start learning how they work. Eventually, all of WordPress could be Gutenberg with GutenBlocks making up the header, footer, and sidebars too. Classic Editor WordPress knows that not everyone will be ready for Gutenberg though and so they released the Classic Editor. When installed and activated it’ll prevent Gutenberg from loading. There are also hooks to disable Gutenberg from plugins and themes as well. Classic Editor This should be considered a temporary fix though as we need to be moving towards Gutenberg. Change is Good Don’t be afraid of Gutenberg. The vision pretty awesome and it already has a lot of cool features. Plus they’re making it better every day. However, there will be this weird transition phase that we’ll all need to work through together. Will Gutenberg work with your theme? Will it work with your plugins? Hopefully, but we won’t know until Gutenberg gets closer to a 1.0 release. The post It’s time to get ready for Gutenberg. appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 7 d. 17 h. 42 min. ago more
  • A Few Of My Favourite ThingsA Few Of My Favourite Things

    I’m no Oprah, but I do have favorite things. Over the course of the past year, I’ve discovered some awesome finds, and had some discovered ... The post A Few Of My Favourite Things appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 7 d. 18 h. 9 min. ago
  • What Dads Like Justin Trudeau Want For ChristmasWhat Dads Like Justin Trudeau Want For Christmas

    What should you get the dad on your list for Christmas? From socks to Star Wars, desk toys to casual wear, Mark's has you covered. The post What Dads Like Justin Trudeau Want For Christmas appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 7 d. 21 h. 4 min. ago
  • Going Green is Getting More AffordableGoing Green is Getting More Affordable

    Budget-conscious consumers will be happy to know that as the green movement has grown the related costs have dramatically decreased. Technological advancements, wide-spread adoption, and more competition are making energy efficient alternatives affordable for more people. The post Going Green is Getting More Affordable appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 7 d. 21 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Managing New Parent Stress During Addiction RecoveryManaging New Parent Stress During Addiction Recovery

    If you, your spouse or a loved one are managing an addiction recovery while caring for a newborn infant, heed this advice to preserve the recovery process and avoid relapse: The post Managing New Parent Stress During Addiction Recovery appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 8 d. 2 h. 1 min. ago
  • Armchair Version of HGTV House Hunters InternationalArmchair Version of HGTV House Hunters International

    Check out my latest "sanity break" at work. I play my own home version of House Hunters International on my phone or computer.

    A Daddy Blog / 8 d. 3 h. 37 min. ago
  • Hartford Dads Now Have a Connecticut Social Group of their OwnHartford Dads Now Have a Connecticut Social Group of their Own

    Hartford, Conn., home of the newest chapter of City Dads Group, is home to minor league baseball and hockey teams, the state’s government, and  Bushnell Park, above, the oldest publicly fund park in the United States. (Photo: bushnellpark.org) Connecticut has joined the ranks of states with their own City Dads Group with the recent addition of a chapter in the New England’s states capital city of Hartford. Hartford Dads Group with be headed by Ryan Darcy, a stay-at-home father of three boys by day and part-time night worker, who lives in the suburb of Coventry, about twenty minutes from downtown Hartford. “Connecticut is tough because despite being such a small state, it’s population is spread out,” he said. “Hartford seemed like a perfect, centrally located city — not to mention it’s the capital.” Darcy is no newcomer to dads’ social and support group, having started his own about three years ago when first becoming an at-home father. He let it lie fallow for a while after pursuing full-time work but resurrected it in 2016 after the birth of his third son brought him back to full-time at-home status in the daytime hours. Ryan Darcy, shown with his three boys — ages 1 to 6, is the organizer for the new Hartford Dads Group in Connecticut. (Contributed photo) “That’s when I kind of went a little harder at growing the group, and actually connected with some other dads, their kids, and got some steady interaction within the group,” he said. The next step was to join forces with City Dads Group, which has more than 10,000 members and 30 chapters across the nation. Hartford, with a population of more than 124,000, is the state’s third largest city and has rich history in business, manufacturing and the arts. Hartford Dads Group on social media Meetup (go here to join) Facebook Twitter Instagram About City Dads Group City Dads Group is a dynamic and diverse community of fathers redefining, by example, what it means to be a dad in the 21st century. Our national support network is based in and around major metropolitan U.S. cities. These include Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City. Founded in November 2008 in New York City as a way a handful of fathers could arrange playdates and outings with their children, the organization went national as City Dads Group in 2014. The post Hartford Dads Now Have a Connecticut Social Group of their Own appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 8 d. 6 h. 19 min. ago more
  • How To Have The Perfect Christmas MorningHow To Have The Perfect Christmas Morning

    The most important thing for a great Christmas morning is prep the night before. Open the boxes, get the toys out, test them, and load them with Duracell batteries. The post How To Have The Perfect Christmas Morning appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 8 d. 7 h. 30 min. ago
  • Can Twins Sleep in the Same Crib?Can Twins Sleep in the Same Crib?

    When you bring your baby twins home, can you let them sleep in the same crib? Absolutely. Should they share a crib? It depends… At the hospital, the nurses had our twins together in the same bassinet. When we got home, we just continued this pattern. From their time in utero, each twin has constantly been with their sibling. Why not continue? Do twins need their own crib? Current safe sleep recommendations for twins are that each twin has his or her own crib. Let’s look into some of the challenges of this recommendation for twin parents and what worked in our family when our girls were babies. Sharing a Crib When we brought our twin babies home, we already had two older boys (both under the age of 3). One of our sons was still in a crib. We knew we wanted to eventually move him to a big bed and then move his crib to our twins’ nursery, so we only started with one crib in our twins’ room. From the day our girls came home from the hospital, they shared a crib. We found that our babies would actually turn towards each other when they were sleeping side by side in the same crib. As newborns, your babies aren’t going to move around much so where you put them is where they will stay. In the crib, this means that we could have both babies sleep together without them interfering with each other too much. We’d swaddle each baby individually and then have another blanket swaddle them together. (Remember to not use bumper pads in the crib.)  Where Are Your Twins Sleeping? Evaluate your home and your twins’ sleeping arrangements. Is their room upstairs or in a far-off corner of the house? Do you want the convenience of having your twins close to your master bedroom for nighttime care? Current medical recommendations are that your babies sleep in the same room as you for the first year. With twins, the logistics of this can be quite challenging or even impossible. Do what you feel is best for your family. Clever baby gear like the Romp & Roost Playard or HALO Bassinest helps you fit two babies in the smaller space of your room when you don’t have room for two cribs. Spend Money Over Time Do you need two cribs for twins? Yes, eventually you will. Do you need to buy both right now? No. Many twin parents are tight on cash and can only afford one crib at a time. If this is your situation,  you can space out the crib purchases over time so that you don’t have a huge expense all at once. Or ask for cribs as baby shower gifts or from the grandparents! What about wiggly babies? Eventually, your babies will start to wiggle and hit each other when they share are a crib. Don’t freak out. They were doing this in the womb for months (just ask your wife). If it doesn’t bother them, it shouldn’t bother you. When to Separate Twins in Crib How long can twins stay in one crib? We kept our girls in the same crib for several months until they started getting bigger and rotating around. We knew it was time to separate when were jarred from sleep because Twin A had put her foot in Twin B’s head and Twin B was crying. When that time arrived, we put two cribs in the same room, with one baby in each. The girls seemed to miss each other at first but would call out to each other via squawks or gurgles in a form of echolocation (think bats) to make sure their sister was near. Hard to Sleep? So you may ask: Don’t they wake each other up if they sleep in the same room or crib? No, not necessarily. Typically one twin can sleep through the cries of the other. You’ll even find one of your babies with arms or legs sprawled over the other with both twins sleeping contently. Your Newborn Twins Sleeping Arrangements As a twin parent, you have to balance current medical recommendations with the reality of your home situation. Space constraints, budget limitations, and your personal parenting preferences must all be balanced when coming up with a solution. Our girls shared a crib just fine for several months. We’ve also heard of many other twin parents having success with this. On the other hand, remember that eventually, they will both need their own crib. If you can afford two cribs now and have space, start out with each twin in his or her own crib. You’ll find more details about twin sleeping arrangements and overcoming sleep challenges in Chapter Five of my book, the Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 8 d. 10 h. 27 min. ago more
  • The Three Words You Used To SayThe Three Words You Used To Say

    I am tempted to tell you to listen to Adagio For Strings or Ravel’s... The post The Three Words You Used To Say appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 8 d. 16 h. 49 min. ago
  • These 10 revelations scared the $#*! out of me (and single-handedly started a midlife crisis).These 10 revelations scared the $#*! out of me (and single-handedly started a midlife crisis).

    I was driving to work the other day and it hit me. I've been seeing the signs of a midlife crisis and I have to be honest - I'm a little freaked out. The post These 10 revelations scared the $#*! out of me (and single-handedly started a midlife crisis). appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 9 d. 3 h. 11 min. ago
  • See you later Nashville. It’s been fun at #WCUS!See you later Nashville. It’s been fun at #WCUS!

    The post See you later Nashville. It’s been fun at #WCUS! appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 9 d. 4 h. 27 min. ago
  • The Strength Of ConvictionThe Strength Of Conviction

    There are moments in our lives when we reach a signpost and realize the... The post The Strength Of Conviction appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 9 d. 16 h. 39 min. ago
  • Would A Queen Wear A Shmata?Would A Queen Wear A Shmata?

    In a different life I knew a girl I sometimes called Jericho because of... The post Would A Queen Wear A Shmata? appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 10 d. 16 h. 37 min. ago
  • “ELF The Musical” Opens At Madison Square Garden in NYC on December 13th! Discount Code!“ELF The Musical” Opens At Madison Square Garden in NYC on December 13th! Discount Code!

    Now who hasnt seen Elf the movie?! its one of our holiday favorites… well have you heard about ELF The Musical it is the hilarious tale of Buddy, who crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts as a child and is mistakenly transported to the North Pole. Buddy grows up thinking he’s an elf, but between his lousy toy-making abilities and enormous size, he begins to realize he’s not like the others. With Santa’s blessing, Buddy sets off on a whirlwind journey through New York City to find his birth father and learn about his past. With mayhem, mischief, and laughs-a-plenty, this fresh and funny holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF. The Madison Square Garden Company just announced that George Wendt, from the long-running television series Cheers, will star as Santa in ELF The Musical , which is returning to New York City this holiday season. This limited engagement runs at the Theater at Madison Square Garden from December 13 through December 29, 2017. Tickets are on sale now: save up to 20% on tickets!**Valid on select seats and performances Special Code: FAMELF ON THIS WEBSITE: www.theateratmsg.com/famelf *Offer not valid on previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with any other offer.  8 ticket max per order. Discount is calculated off of the original box office price. Service charges apply to telephone and internet orders. All sales are final – no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice and is subject to availability. Other restrictions may apply. Offer expires December 29, 2017.  Accessible and companion seats are available via the Disabled Services Department at 212-465-6034. ©2017 MSG Sports & Entertainment Holdings, LLC. All rights reserved. Disclosure: Tickets have been provided to an upcoming performance but all opinions are my own.

    DaDa Rocks! / 10 d. 23 h. 36 min. ago more
  • Take a Local Eco-Trail for your Family VacationTake a Local Eco-Trail for your Family Vacation

    If the idea of an eco-holiday with your kids either conjures up basic living or very expensive holiday venues, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Although being outdoors is beneficial to our children, it doesn’t have to be about hiking for miles through the precarious jungle or canoeing down waterfalls with your toddler in tow. The post Take a Local Eco-Trail for your Family Vacation appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 11 d. 6 h. 52 min. ago more
  • The #1 Most Sustainable & Long-Term Diet for Fit, Busy DadsThe #1 Most Sustainable & Long-Term Diet for Fit, Busy Dads

    Where do I go if I don’t want to carry an app around with me everywhere to ‘track’ calories, restrict my favorite foods, or start following a new eating style that gets me weird looks at every family get together? Seriously, what makes sustainable weight loss? Why is this so hard to come by? The post The #1 Most Sustainable & Long-Term Diet for Fit, Busy Dads appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 11 d. 7 h. 3 min. ago more
  • Firefly & Serenity Gifts For that Browncoat you love this Holiday!Firefly & Serenity Gifts For that Browncoat you love this Holiday!

    50 Firefly TV & Serenity Movie gifts you never knew existed for that special Browncoat in your life this holiday season...

    A Daddy Blog / 11 d. 7 h. 38 min. ago
  • Hello Nashville #wcusHello Nashville #wcus

    The post Hello Nashville #wcus appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 11 d. 16 h. 51 min. ago
  • A Lost ShmataA Lost Shmata

    There are moments when I feel like there ought to be a camera filming... The post A Lost Shmata appeared first on Joshua Wilner.

    Joshua Wilner / 11 d. 18 h. 6 min. ago
  • Tips for Planning a Family Vacation for LessTips for Planning a Family Vacation for Less

    Whether you have a single child or multiple kids, you know that planning a family vacation can cost more than you want to spend and more than your family can afford. When your kids are younger, you can get by with trips close to home because they don't know any better. As your kids age though, they'll likely want to go to amusement parks and on exciting adventures that they can share with thei...

    Daddyplace.com / 11 d. 20 h. 27 min. ago more
  • Behind The Blog: Some Thoughts On My Campaign With Philips OneBladeBehind The Blog: Some Thoughts On My Campaign With Philips OneBlade

    Let me lift the kimono a little bit and tell you what life is like as a dad blogger as I go behind the scenes on my recent campaign for Philips OneBlade. The post Behind The Blog: Some Thoughts On My Campaign With Philips OneBlade appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 12 d. 2 h. 51 min. ago
  • The Zacharie Show: LEGO BOOST Takes LEGO To The Next LevelThe Zacharie Show: LEGO BOOST Takes LEGO To The Next Level

    LEGO BOOST takes LEGO building to the next level. It goes beyond bricks and imaginative play by adding an element of coding. Check out the review from Zacharie The post The Zacharie Show: LEGO BOOST Takes LEGO To The Next Level appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 12 d. 6 h. 15 min. ago
  • Getting Pregnant: The Natural Way & Alternative Solutions to Creating a FamilyGetting Pregnant: The Natural Way & Alternative Solutions to Creating a Family

    Getting pregnant is probably not as easy as you’d imagine. The general concept is that conception is simple. The truth is, however, that trying to conceive even for the healthiest couple is a process that can take months or years to come to fruition. The post Getting Pregnant: The Natural Way & Alternative Solutions to Creating a Family appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 12 d. 6 h. 29 min. ago more
  • more news
  • NICU Nurses Offer Strength, Love, Hope for Newborns, ParentsNICU Nurses Offer Strength, Love, Hope for Newborns, Parents

    DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Huggies whose “No Baby Unhugged” program is offering $10,000 grants to eligible hospitals to launch a new volunteer hugging program or support an existing one. In this story, NYC Dads Group member Jason Greene recalls his daughter’s birth which resulted in an extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where he witnessed and received needed hugs. My purple and limp daughter was placed upon my wife’s chest briefly before chaos ensued. While my wife was going through post-delivery checks, I inched toward my infant daughter’s body as doctors and nurses flooded the room. I watched as they feverishly worked on her. My face cringed and heart broke while a doctor smacked her foot. “Breathe, Miciah, breathe,” trembled from my mouth. Slowly, her chest rose, and then she was rushed out of the room. I followed until I was told I could go no farther. The next time I saw my new daughter was through a glass box in the NICU. To touch her, I needed to stick my hands through holes in the box attached to gloves. I had not been in the room long before a new group of nurses were starting their shift and the departing nurses needed to update them. I stepped behind a window and watched as the nurses walked from baby to baby. Sometimes the nurses nodded in agreement, and all too frequently, they tilted their heads with concerned expressions. Their faces said it all. In that room, they were the caregivers. It wasn’t just a job, it was an act of love. The love the nurses gave came in many forms. I saw countless hugs being given by nurses to their tiny patients, hugs that carried powerful warmth, love and strength. A recent study by Huggies called, “The Power of Human Touch for Babies,” found that skin to skin hugs can help keep a baby’s heart beating at a normal rate, improve sleep, and support healthy weight gain. My eyes tell me all this is true. The NICU nurses knew when a different type of love was needed, too. One time I was holding my daughter’s finger while wearing gloves the first day when my daughter needed a diaper change. My daughter looked so fragile with wires and tubes attached to her body. I got a nurse’s attention and informed her my daughter needed assistance. I expected the nurse to walk over and change the diaper. The nurse grabbed a Huggies diaper and tossed it to me and said, “Get to it, daddy.” Author Jason Greene and his children. Miciah, who spent the first weeks of her life in the NICU, is at left. (Contributed photo) This might sound rude to some people, but it wasn’t. It was what I needed to experience. Normalcy. Changing diapers is about as normal as you can get regarding babies. I already had a 2-year-old, so I was well versed in diaper changing. And I have always said changing a baby’s diaper creates one of the strongest bonds between parent and child. If the nurse had not given me the opportunity during that moment, my bonding with my daughter would have been delayed. So while I held the diaper in worried hands, they still went forward and did the job. A few days later, I fell asleep with my head resting on top of the glass box while my daughter held my finger through the gloves. A beeping machine startled me and the same nurse smacked a few buttons quieting the machine. Once the room was silent, she placed her hand upon my back and said sweetly, “It’s OK, daddy, go back to sleep.” And I did. NICU nurses have one of the toughest jobs in the world. They take newborn babies struggling for life and with care and love, get them started on the best track possible. Along with struggling babies are struggling parents. We are sleep deprived, confused and helpless. The nurses end up caring for us as well. You can help give more hugs to babies who need them most when you become a Huggies member. Sign up at Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged and Huggies will donate $5 to No Baby Unhugged grants. About our sponsor Huggies believes deeply in the Power of Hugs, which is why every diaper and wipe is inspired by a parent’s embrace. The Huggies No Baby Unhugged program helps ensure all babies get the hugs they need to thrive by supporting hugging programs in hospitals and donating diapers across the country. Learn how you can help at Huggies.com. #HuggiesCouncil #ad The post NICU Nurses Offer Strength, Love, Hope for Newborns, Parents appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 12 d. 6 h. 35 min. ago more
  • Tips to Avoid a Family Medical Emergency at HomeTips to Avoid a Family Medical Emergency at Home

    More than 6,000 people die every year as a result of a home accident, and ambulance response times can vary greatly depending on your location and distance from a hospital. To help avoid a family medical emergency at home, you should consider the following tips to keep your family safe at the place they feel the most secure. The post Tips to Avoid a Family Medical Emergency at Home appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 12 d. 6 h. 37 min. ago more
  • Study Finds Link Between Depression & Magnesium DeficiencyStudy Finds Link Between Depression & Magnesium Deficiency

    While depression may develop for multiple reasons, researchers have found a link between a magnesium deficiency and depression. This discovery has encouraged clinicians and other researchers to further investigate if a magnesium supplementation may be a possible option for treating chronic and major depression. The post Study Finds Link Between Depression & Magnesium Deficiency appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 13 d. 2 h. 20 min. ago more
  • Sesame Street Does a Priceless Parody of STRANGER THINGS!Sesame Street Does a Priceless Parody of STRANGER THINGS!

    Just when you thought the people who make Sesame Street couldn’t be any cooler, the creative geniuses come up with a parody of all things the Netflix original series, Stranger Things. The pairing of their own kid-centric show with a show that, despite having child actors, is very much… not kid-centric, is pretty amazing. Sharing Things. Instead of fighting an inter-dimensional monster with a blender for a smile, the Sesame Street squad is dealing with a furry blue puppet-dimensional monster with… well, still a blender for a smile. The Cookiegorgon! Just watch and see! Bitchin!  

    HowToBeADad.com / 13 d. 2 h. 48 min. ago more
  • Parenting School-Age Twins with Rod Morris – Podcast 155Parenting School-Age Twins with Rod Morris – Podcast 155

    Episode 155 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes In this episode, we continue our Father of Twins Interview Series with Rod Morris, father of boy/girl twins. On the show, we dive into Rod’s twin journey, including: Having twins after IVF Balancing work and twins at the same time Getting on the same page with your spouse about parenting Organizing the chaos of twins and family life Identifying individual needs and personalities in your twins How parenting twins is more than just double the work Customizing parenting to each twin Resisting the urge to compare one twin to the other Respecting and nourishing the needs of each individual Building a sharing and healthy family unit Why ages 4 and 7 are critical milestones in your child’s development Talking to your twins about when they know what is right and wrong Pros and cons of separating the twins in school Having both an introverted and extroverted twin Challenges of raising tweens How to give technology access and time to your children Being overprotective vs. letting your children learn for themselves Creating a good learning environment for your children Check out Rod’s company Lovevery and the Play Gym. Transcript Joe: Hi everybody and welcome to the 155th episode of The Dad’s Guide to Twins podcast, this is Joe Rawlinson. As always, you can find me on the web at twindadpodcast.com, where you will find the complete transcript and show notes for this episode and all previous podcast episodes. Today’s show is brought to you by twintshirtcompany.com, where you’ll find dozens of unique, funny, and amazing t-shirt designs for parents of twins, just like you, for mom, for dad, and for grandparents of twins. Check us out at twintshirtcompany.com. Today we are continuing our father of twins interview series with fellow father of twins, Rod Morris, father of fraternal boy-girl twins. Rod’s twins just happen to be the same age as my twins, which is nine. He will share some interesting insights into parenting twins as they grow over the years, some of the challenges and how they’ve overcome those as a family. In addition, Rod is the co-founder of Love Every, a very interesting company to help your children developmentally as they grow from infants and beyond. Let’s jump right in today interview with Rod. Rod: I always worked in start-ups, which was a hectic lifestyle, and my wife did for a time as well. We decided that we would just add some challenge to the mix and bring some twins into the world. Actually, we have boy-girl twins, Ada and Ian, they’re our only kids, they’re both nine and they were the result of IVF. We pursued IVF for a couple years after we had difficulty just having kids kind of the non-IVF way and we were just so excited to have them, and then at the same time, like any twin parents, completely overwhelmed. It was like a bomb went off in our house right when they were born because it was just so much work, especially the first few months. It’s just an incredible amount of work, especially for the mom, but also for me as the dad, and then add to that we were both pretty busy with other parts of our lives at the same time, so it was definitely hard. Joe: Yeah, hard is a good description of welcoming twins into the world. How were you able to juggle the demands of work and business with caring for twins? Rod: The most important things for my wife, Andrea, and me were just ongoing communication with each other and actually really using schedules and shared schedules, for everything even as basic as making sure that Andrea was getting enough sleep because she breastfed the twins for most of the first year. So just making sure that we had a schedule where she was covered for sleep and where I was helping out as much as I could in other ways, since obviously, I wasn’t nursing them. And then just communicating about what each of us needs and also what we’re learning from email groups, from other parents, and things of that nature. So I’d say communication and really kind of paying attention to scheduling of everything for both of us. Joe: Did you schedule time to talk about what was working or whatnot, or was it ad hoc conversations? Rod: As a family, family meetings and the like and just scheduling time to talk about our parenting. And then maybe we did, very early on, we did have check-ins about schedules, but I would say it was less intentional at the beginning and more just sort of this crisis management, where you’ll cling to a schedule or a grid of tasks or anything that will give you some semblance of certainty when you just sort of feel like you’re just not in control of what’s going on. Joe: What surprised you the most about having twins? Rod: I think that there were two things that surprised me a great deal about having twins. One was just you see individual personalities and needs for each of these people, very, very early on, so one of the two things that you notice is that each of the two twins is far more an individual far earlier than at least I expected. I just sort of thought of them as this unit that, my cute little twins, when Andrea was still pregnant and I was just seeing them on the screen, getting ready to be born. But very quickly you see that they have different feeding needs, different schedules, different personalities even just coming out very, very quickly. And then the second thing that was a surprise for me, related to that, which is that it actually leads to this geometric increase in work, I believe, compared to one baby. It’s not as if you’re doubling the workload because sleep schedules aren’t coordinated, feeding schedules aren’t always coordinated, all kinds of needs are for each of these two individuals and you’re not really able to get any kind of scale out of it. I would say that we really didn’t get any kind of scale benefits out of having twins until maybe they were four years old or five years old, but before that, it was really about trying to please each of these individuals and give them what they needed very, very early on, on their own terms. Joe: How were you able to, let’s say, customize your parenting to each of their individual unique needs? Rod: I think it’s an interesting question because we know that science says that much of what a child needs developmentally is roughly the same in the first 18 months for most children. And so it’s not as if they needed different kinds of play, so much as they were more or less demanding about attachment or about feeding or about their sleep schedules and they did develop, kind of on the motor skills side, a little bit differently, but mainly this was about them expressing their needs. And so the thing that we found was most important was listening to each child and not comparing one to the other, just resisting this urge to compare all the time, and really just tuning in to each child as an individual, which is really hard to do times two, as you know. But really tuning in was important and really listening to each one, paying attention to what soothed them, paying attention to their reaction to feeding, things of that nature. Joe: So how has that changed over time as they’ve gotten older and we’ve moved away from kind of survival mode, to where you have two little people? Rod: So, I’d say there are two forces attention with each other. One is respecting and nourishing the perspective and desires of the individual versus kind of building a cohesive, sharing, communicative family unit. So, as an example, one of my two twins is more introverted and more interested in doing projects on their own. The other is more extroverted and just always wants people in the mix. So there is likewise attention for me between wanting to give the introvert time to do projects and be focused, but not wanting to do it to the point of not sort of also supporting the extrovert and also the extrovert’s desire that we’re all doing things together and that we’re working together and helping the introvert understand that as well. It’s tough because you don’t want to compare them or say “well, why can’t you be like your sibling in this way?” or “why did your sibling do this and you didn’t?” ’cause that’s just gonna create tension and it’s not a healthy dynamic. But you have to find ways to set a consistent set of values around both supporting individuality and individual perspectives and, at the same time, respecting that, hey, we’re a family and we do stuff together, we have responsibilities together, we have family work, we have family meetings, and really striking a balance between the family and the individual. And I think it’s just exacerbated a little bit with twins for a couple reasons. One is you’ve got to resist the crutch of comparing the two and also kind of resist one twin’s urge to compare themselves to the other, and that’s attention with a desire to have everybody get on the same page in a way that is positive and goal oriented, where each of these individuals feels like they’ve contributed to setting the goals to the family, whether it’s for chores or where to go on vacation or what to cook for dinner or anything else that we want to do as a family unit. Joe: Those are great points. It’s so easy to fall back into the habit or trap of comparing them, just ’cause you have two same age children, comparing them to one another when it’s important that we focus on their individual needs and strengths and help foster those, while playing nice, you’re right within the family unit. As your twins have hit certain milestones as they’ve grown, what were some of those milestones where it got easier for you as a father? Rod: I would say that the two ages that jump out to me the most are probably age four and age seven, so kind of moving into becoming sort of seniors in pre-school, and then kind of crossing over from first grade into second grade, I would say, were two, before those milestones, each of the children moved along fairly standard paths that you can kind of chart out, especially for the first 18 months. But even in pre-school, I would say I felt like we were still in survival mode, up until about age four, become a little bit better at giving and receiving communication in a way that could actually help them be self-sufficient, as opposed to just someone who you were managing and trying to keep from just destroying your house while, at the same time, making sure that they’re learning by exploring and trying out new things. So I’d say around age four that changed, and then around at age seven, I would say that they actually started to establish their own senses of kinda personal responsibility and right and wrong in a way that was much greater than they had before. And it’s funny because I actually had a conversation about this with our twins this past summer and I said something along the lines of “when do you think you knew the difference between right and wrong, when did you think you really knew it was a good idea or a bad idea to do something? Was it when you were in pre-school, was it when you were in elementary school?” And they kind of when back and forth with each other and they actually had settled on seven as about the age when they thought that as well. So for me, that’s a big step forward, because then you can have this shared perspective around right and wrong and kind of a rule set, so that you’re all sort of working off the same set of rules, the same playbook. So that’s why seven was big for me, and then, before that I would say four because there was this foundational level of communication and sort of self sufficiency that we kind of leapt to around age four as well, that kind of made me feel like I was finally out of sort of crisis and protection mode to a much greater degree than I felt before, when I just felt so overwhelmed as a dad of twins in the first few years. Joe: Yeah, those are great milestones. As they get more self sufficient and a little bit older and, like you say, you can have a common playbook that you share as a family of what expectations are. It makes things a little bit easier. Or could you keep your twins together in school, or did you separate them when they went off to school? Rod: So in preschool, they were in the same classroom together and that was up from ages three, four to five. Age five, they went to kindergarten. Kindergarten, they were in a foreign language emersion program that was part of the public schools outside of Washington, DC, so they were learning French curriculum, speaking French all day, and they were in two different classes, but within this small program. So they shared a lot of the same friends, they would see each at recess, and they were learning the same curriculum, but they had different teachers. And now they’re in a school in Idaho that’s a relatively small school, but they each have separate classes. Joe: What have been some of the challenges of having them together in the same school, but separate? Rod: There’s really not a huge challenge, I would say, other than with one child being an extrovert and the other being an introvert, you can actually see the extrovert’s circle of friends crosses over into both twins’ classes, while the introvert’s circle of friends is smaller and just within their class. So it’s kind of interesting to see socially the way that the two twins’ personalities are playing out across these two different classes, but actually because we have been in first, a small foreign language program with a small number of individual classes, and now in a relatively small school with small classes, they’ve [inaudible 00:15:19] a lot of things on the same schedule, and so we’ve actually gotten plenty of scale benefits out of it. There haven’t been that many challenges. I would say the sort of most interesting thing that’s gone on is just seeing how each twin’s social network has impacted the other’s because they’ve been in classes that are different, but close to each other. Joe: So, aside from the friend challenges or opportunities, now that your twins are nine and they’re on the verge of tweens and becoming older, what are some of the challenges that you’ve had because of this age that you see right on the horizon? Rod: So, I think there a lot of questions that all of us face around what kind of access you want to give your children to technology, for example, and how you want your child to spend their time. Do you want to react to this more complicated world by being more protective or less protective and letting them sort of learn consequences in their own way, and it’s really tricky. When it comes to technology, I think it’s interesting that so many leaders in technology, from Silicon Valley and Seattle, have now been on record as not having let their children have smartphones until they were 14, 15, 16, 17 years old, and these are people who were responsible for this whole boom of technology. You have to ask yourself whether or not there’s something to it that you want to apply in your own household. At the same time, you can’t get away from the fact that technology is core to the way that kids are getting their schoolwork done and also core to how they’re learning to solve problems, whether it’s how they’re doing their math homework or how they’re researching a paper that they’re writing or if they’re learning how to do basic coding, all of which at least one, if not both, of my twins have been involved in or expressed interest in. So you have to give them access to technology, but you also have to think about how you’re gonna do it and so that’s something that I’m struggling with and figuring out a path forward on right now with my wife, Andrea. Then the other is this whole notion of being overprotective versus kind of letting your kids sort of grapple with the world and facing all these challenges much on their own. And I think we’ve kind of sought out an environment where we thought we could give our children more personal freedom, because it was just a very safe area and that they were in a school that was very focused on nurturing individual needs. And so we moved recently to the Idaho, to the Boise, Idaho area, which I guess, on a recent survey, it was one of the top 10 safest cities in the world and they’re in a very intentional school that helps them sort of think pretty deeply about different questions on their mind and methods of inquiry and things of that nature. And so we’ve tried to kind of have our cake and eat it to, by going to a place and putting them in an academic environment where we feel they can be less constrained because perhaps the consequences are not as high, and then we’re trying to be equally thoughtful about access to technology. Joe: Yes, those are some great decisions to help foster a good environment for your children to come through those challenges. My twins are the same age as yours and all four of our kids are around the same age, so we’re going through those same struggles right now. Rod: It’s tricky. No matter what, it’s almost as if you’re guaranteed that the childhood and the challenges that your twins face and your other children face are gonna be so different from what you and I faced when we were growing up. Joe: That’s right. One of the joys of parenting is trying to figure all of that out. So, Rod, you are the co-founder of a very interesting company with a good mission to help foster early infant development of their brains. I wonder if you could share a little bit about that company and what you’re working on there. Rod: Sure. So the company’s called Love Every and you can get to the website at loveverybaby.com, so it’s loveverybaby.com and there’s an “e” that’s shared between love and every. And Love Every is a company that my co-founder, Jessica, and I created to serve up children with exactly what their brains and bodies need for each stage of development. We actually spent a lot of time with our scientific advisors and also combing all of the developmental science, whether that is related to motor or communications, problem solving, what have you, every aspect of development. We also checked it against practitioners in the field, from schools of thought like Montessori and Reggio Emilia and so on, and found that actually there are a lot of universal truths about how children learn that just are not being distilled into play products and also those concepts are not being communicated well alongside the play products so that a parent knows what to do or what their child is hungry for at a given stage. And we have a big vision for this company. Jessica, my co-founder, had previously co-founded a company called Happy Family, so some of your listeners might have bought baby food from Happy Baby or Happy Family Organics from the grocery stores, and she really understood this market and saw the need and I was a start-up guy, so I joined her to work on it. Our first product is a play gym, and then we have a number of other products in the pipeline that we’re readying for manufacture right now, but we wanted to pick a product that started off for the first year of a child’s life, when parents are really struggling with being overwhelmed, taxed with new decisions, and not sure what information to use or what product to buy. And we wanted to make a beautiful play gym that would last the full first year of a baby’s life and potentially beyond. Our design is actually patent pending and it’s designed to promote just the right amount of stimulation for a baby. It has an interchangeable zone, where you can slide in and out different graphic cards, based on the visual development of the child. It’s got different zones of play that you can reveal or conceal, based upon the age of the child, so that they’re getting just the stimulation that they need. All of the toys that hang from the gym are ergonomically designed to promote things like hand-to-hand transfer and other exercises that promote the understanding of cause-and-effect while a baby is really building that skill set. And then it converts into a play fort as the child gets older, so they can enjoy it that way as well. We built it all with sustainability in mind, so we used sustainable wood in creating the superstructure. All the mountable toys are also using either sustainably forested wood or organic cotton, so that it’s a great experience for the child and gives the parent a sense of security. And then finally, we think it’s beautiful and it’s great for twin parents because our mat is larger than the average play mat. You can actually put two babies on there pretty comfortably and you can see photos of two babies on the mat if you go to our website. Joe: That’s a very exciting mission that you have, as well as a new product coming out. I’m glad that you touched on how it can be applied for our twin parents because most of the things out there are designed for a single baby and so you end up having to buy two of those. It seems like your play gym should accommodate both siblings as they go through that first year. Rod: Yeah, I think that’s right. And in fact, we really tested it out for the ability of a child to move around on it and have more space to maneuver. And I think you would find, if you took a look at it, that that plays out in the design, there’s really a lot more space. And so, we’ve already gotten some great feedback from twin moms. There was a recent Instagram post of a twin mom with her twins enjoying the mat, simultaneously getting visual stimulation from the black and white cards that were inserted into the mat. So very optimistic about this product for twin parents. Joe: Fantastic. And I love how you’re helping to educate the parents as well, cause as parents, we know we want to do the right thing for our children and we’re not always what that right thing should be, what the next step should be, so that’s great that you have that guide that goes with the product to help facilitate the progression of the children through those learning phases. Rod: Thanks. I wanted to make as product that I would have wished I had when I had the twins as newborns because I was so overwhelmed and I valued education, I valued learning, I’d been handed a bunch of huge books about what I was supposed to do, but you’re so sleep deprived, it’s so hard and we just wanted to make it easy and approachable and make a beautiful product and I think we have. We’re really proud of it. Joe: Excellent, Rod. Well, as we wrap up today, if parents want to get ahold of you or learn more about this, where should they go? Rod: So, the place to go to learn about what we’re doing is loveeverybaby.com. And if you go to the website, there’s contact information there. If you contact us through the website, or on Facebook, you can definitely get hold of me. We are watching closely every order, every question that comes in, as we continue to refine our company and refine what we’re doing. So very interested in hearing any feedback or questions that anybody’s got, and just appreciate everybody checking out Love Every and taking a look at our new play gym. Joe: All right, Rod. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, we really appreciate it. Rod: Thanks, Joe. Joe: I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Rod, about his journey as a twin father and some of the interesting things that he is working on, juggling starting up a company with raising his twins. Again, if you want to check out his new product, the play gym, I’ll link up to that in the show notes at twindadpodcast.com. And as a reminder, today’s show is brought to you by twintshirtcompany.com. As we approach Christmas and the holidays, now’s the perfect time to get that perfect for the father of twins, the mother of twins and the grandparents of twins in your life. Check out the dozens of designs that will make you smile over at twintshirtcompany.com. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next time. Subscribe to the Podcast To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below: iTunes (for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) Stitcher Google Play Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) Share Your Thoughts Please let me know what you think of this episode of the podcast, you can contact me with any questions or comments or leave a comment on the blog. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help other parents of twins find the show! Download the Podcast Download the podcast in .mp3 format (right click and “save as…”) You can find Joe on Twitter and Facebook.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 13 d. 7 h. 37 min. ago more
  • How to Workout to Combat Dad Bod When You Have Limited Free TimeHow to Workout to Combat Dad Bod When You Have Limited Free Time

    The infamous “dad bod.” It is a term that I hate getting thrown around. In my opinion it almost gives people an excuse to get a little lazy and not hit the gym. Making it normal to have a beer belly. Let’s change the view of dad bods to be a more healthy, muscular and […] The post How to Workout to Combat Dad Bod When You Have Limited Free Time appeared first on Natural Papa.

    Natural Papa / 13 d. 7 h. 38 min. ago more
  • How To Get a Personalized, Tech-Shopping, In-Store Experience at a b8ta StoreHow To Get a Personalized, Tech-Shopping, In-Store Experience at a b8ta Store

    If you don’t have a b8ta store near you, unfortunately, you are really missing out. What is b8ta? It’s what I call a click-and-mortar, but it is slightly different that what you might think. Honestly, when I discovered the b8ta store which recently opened in Hayes Valley in San Francisco, it instantly became my new favorite store. For starters, it’s packed with gadgets and gizmos, many of which I have reviewed on HighTechDad.com. And, these consumer electronics are swapped out with new ones every month. So if you are a techy person, you are probably going to plan to visit the store fairly regularly. There is also a website that showcases many if not all of the items in the stores. But what makes b8ta really intriguing is the expertise of the sales associates. Let me explain. b8ta sales associates are actually called “b8ta testers” and there is a solid reason why this is. First though, you need to think about your shopping experiences you may have had at one of those big box electronics stores. More often than not, the salespeople in those stores are either on commission, under some sort of quota, or both. That means they are trying to turn a sale as quickly as possible to be able to move on to the next victim…er…customer. And often, their knowledge of a product is not very deep, elementary at best. If you want to ask complex questions, you’ll probably get a half-baked answer or lose eye contact as they scan for another opportunity. Honestly, it’s not that great of a shopping experience. This is where the b8ta testers really shine. For starters, they aren’t on commission so this eliminates the sales pressure. Next, they really, really know the products on display in the store. In fact, I believe part of their training is that they must use the products and know them inside and out. A few of the testers I have spoken to have said “I have this at home…” and talk about how they use it personally. Detailed, hands-on experience is a huge positive as it deepens the knowledge of the product, something usually reserved for company employees of said product. I’ve been to the b8ta Hayes Valley store a few times and chatted with various testers but it’s my most recent visit that I really wanted to share. This is because b8ta is beta testing a new service for this holiday season and I got to be one of the first to experience it. It is essentially a concierge shopping service for an in-store discovery, demonstration, and shopping experience. You schedule an in-store appointment, answer a few questions about who you are getting a gadget for, and then go to the b8ta store to meet one-on-one with a tester and get personal recommendations based on the answers to your questions coupled with the product knowledge of the tester. Let’s walk through my concierge experience. The b8ta Shopping Consultation As I was just testing out the service in order to write this article, I decided to have my dad and stepmom as the”recipients.” With that in mind, I scheduled my appointment. I received an email from Michelle with a series of questions (the ones you receive may differ), specifically: 1. Who are we shopping for this evening? 2. What’s is your budget? 3. Have you ever been to a b8ta store before? If so, What products sparked your interest? 4. How comfortable with technology are the individuals you are shopping for? 5. What interests do these individuals have? Here’s the summary of how I answered. I said I was shopping for my dad and stepmom. My dad is 80. The budget I proposed was up to $250. I said that I had been to a b8ta store before but that I didn’t have a particular favorite gadget as I wanted to keep things fairly open. In terms of how tech-savvy my dad is, well, he refers to himself as “low tech grandpa.” I’m the one who handles all of the technology in their house. And lastly, in terms of interests, my dad enjoys cooking, reading, movies, and travel. Both he and my stepmom are history professors, and my dad is a very good cook. So, it was a pretty brief profile, hopefully leaving room for many ideas. Once I answered all of the questions, I waited for my appointment time. When I arrived at the b8ta store at the appropriate time, the store was pretty crowded. I asked a tester who Michelle was and once I found her, I waited until she was free. She greeted me by name and we proceeded to look at some product ideas she had. I have to pause here to say that I literally had emailed her my answers 20 minutes prior. And this goes back to the deep product knowledge the b8ta testers have. She was able to make fairly good recommendations quite quickly. Here’s what she came up with in that short amount of time. First up, Michelle recommended a gadget related to cooking since my dad loves to cook. The Anova Precision Cooker is a WiFi-connected gadget that cooks food using a method called sous vide. With this method, food is placed in a sealed bag and then cooked via a warm bath of water. The Anova Precision Cooker is programmed for the type of food and then it automatically regulates the cooking time and temperature and is controlled by a smartphone app. The Anova Precision Cooker retails for $199, just around my budget cap. The next product that Michelle recommended was a connected picture frame. Since my dad and stepmom are grandparents of two families (mine and my stepsister), she thought that a digital picture frame would be a big hit! The Aura Frame connected to WiFi and has an app that allows you to upload and manage photos on the frame. While the price of the frame was a bit above the budget I had set, Michelle did say that it would be on sale for the holidays. The Aura Frame retails a b8ta for $299. (It’s normally $399.) As I mentioned, my dad and stepmom are both history professors, they do a lot of writing. While most of it is done on a computer, they do take a lot of written notes. Because of this, Michelle then recommended a pen and notepad combination that automatically digitizes and transcribes your writing using optical character recognition. It can even record audio as you write so that you can playback the audio and see the notes you were taking at that specific point in time. The Neo Smart Pen N2 retails for $169 but is available at b8ta for $129. You do need to also buy specific notepad paper that can detect the writing. Last on the recommendations was something that I would think may be on the fringe of their tech comfort level. It was a connected lightbulb that could be controlled via an app once it was connected via WiFi. While I had recently swapped out many of their light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs, I hadn’t really thought about getting a connected LED bulb simply because I didn’t want to overwhelm them with tech. The LIFX Generation 3 LED lightbulb, however, is designed to be simple to set up and easy to use. And it retails for about $60 so for my budget, I could get a couple of them. So, overall, I was pretty happy with the recommendations that Michelle gave me. From just a few questions and answers, coupled with her product knowledge, she was able to provide gift ideas that actually made sense for my dad and stepmom. If you are lucky to have a b8ta store near you (check their locations), and you are scratching your head a bit on what to get that loved one from a technology perspective, I would highly recommend scheduling an appointment to meet with a b8ta tester and get some gift ideas. The service is free and is only currently available during the holiday season. And remember, even after the holidays, you will get a personalized shopping experience at b8ta. The inventory regularly changes every month as I mentioned, and the inventory varies by store as well. There are also b8ta in-store experiences at selected Lowe’s around the country (currently in California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia). But I recommend for the best experience, head to one of the dedicated b8ta stores (currently in Austin, Corte Madera, Palo Alto, Santa Monica, Seattle, Houston, New York, and San Francisco). Trust me, if you like gadgets like I do, b8ta will quickly become your favorite store to shop or just hang out and discover some reallycool tech! HTD says: The b8ta in-store concierge shopping experience for the holidays is fun and educational when looking for a tech gadget for loved ones. But the store itself with the b8ta testers explaining how products work easily make it my go-to gadget shop!

    HighTechDad / 14 d. 4 h. 3 min. ago more
  • Somewhere There is a Child In Need of AdoptionSomewhere There is a Child In Need of Adoption

    Editor’s note: To mark the conclusion of National Adoption Awareness Month, guest columnist Tobin Walsh writes about his (and every) family’s worries about such a life-changing decision. Tobin and Aimee Walsh adopted Yosef when he was a baby. (Contributed photo) When I thought about adopting a child, my list of reasons about why I couldn’t began like this: Money Family impact Time Energy Work When we entered an adoption process close to 11 year ago, we were also too busy, too broke, too tired, too everything. But, still we did it. Our lives were forever changed. As I sit in my office today, re-reading that list, I quickly realize that it hasn’t changed much. I’m guessing others have similar mental lists if they’ve ever considered fostering or adoption. Most of those lists, like mine, end up filed away for another, not-so-busy station in life. Somewhere, though, there is a child who hopes someone can eventually see past the hurdles that leaves our lists tucked away. Somewhere there is a child whose struggles put mine to shame – a child whose obstacles are far more monumental, dire and immediate. Somewhere there is a child spending much of his or her day waiting and worrying about what’s next: the next meal, or the next home he will be placed into, the next time she will see Mom, Dad or Grandma. Somewhere there is a child who wonders whether there will be another next. Yes, somewhere there is a child, and that breaks my heart and leaves my list rather inconsequential. And, in this somewhere, these children have very simple needs – to be “normal,” to be loved, to be part of a family, to have someone to help with homework, to have a little sister to fight with, to play on a soccer team. Somewhere there is a child who doesn’t want you to save him or her because, in fact, this child has done nothing wrong. These children who wait just want a chance. There are too many of these waiting, worrying kids — an estimated 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system today. That figure makes me sad. My list of why I can’t (or won’t) help, makes me sick. And, for me, the tug between life’s unending list of responsibilities and the pull of the need that I know exists in the foster and adoption systems is paralyzing. I’m so glad that such paralysis didn’t exist for me a decade ago. Our adoption story Adoption formed my family in 2007 when we adopted my oldest son, Yosef, from Ethiopia. I remember so much about that time – some things fondly, others more solemnly: We still have the banner my family members used to welcome us home. I remember putting Yosef’s last diaper on as we boarded a flight in Washington, D.C., the last of three flights to home and our 20th (and last) diaper on a 16-hour journey. The honk of the car horn as our driver ripped through the towns on the Ethiopian countryside as we traveled to meet Yosef’s birth mother still rings in my head. I fight back tears as I recall the sorrow of his birth mom not making it to meet us that day (we heard that she’d mistakenly been there the day before). When I think about our adoption, I recall about 99 percent joy and 1 percent pain. I certainly cannot empty the pool of pain, but I can choose to swim in the deep end of joy on most days. Families of adoption can do so only because, at some point, we put aside our lists – the notes of all the practical things that made fostering or adopting seem a far-off commitment that we couldn’t make. My personal “somewhere” was Ethiopia – a long distance from my home and an even longer way from my ability to think about adopting or fostering again. That time and place feel so far away until about 4:30 each weekday afternoon. That is the time Yosef comes home from middle school, parks his bike and says, “Hey, Dad!” He smiles and that is enough. Yes, my list is still there, still filed away – just not important anymore. Yosef is my somewhere child. And, somewhere there is a child that can save you. +  +  + ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tobin Walsh writes the blog The Good-Bad Dad, and is an aspiring author and speaker. The Florida resident is a father of five. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook, or contact him directly at thegoodbaddad@yahoo.com. The post Somewhere There is a Child In Need of Adoption appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 14 d. 6 h. 23 min. ago more
  • *Privacy Not Included…But Should be Required! Mozilla’s Connected Shopping Guide*Privacy Not Included…But Should be Required! Mozilla’s Connected Shopping Guide

    A few weeks ago, I wrote an article, “Those New Connected Holiday Gifts May Be Spying On You.” It discussed privacy and security concerns about connected devices, specifically, the devices we are or will be rushing out to gift during this holiday season. The funny thing is, suddenly there seems to be increased discussion around this topic. It could be the season of gift giving, or perhaps people are starting to pay attention. Regardless, this article goes into some details as to what Mozilla is doing to educate the gift-giving and receiving public via their site *Privacy Not Included. (*Disclosure below.) Interestingly, in just the couple of weeks since I published my first article on this topic, I have come across two other articles discussing the same concerns. The first comes from The Guardian and it discusses an investigation that discovered that strangers could talks through Bluetooth or WiFi-enabled toys to children, completely bypassing any security (or lack thereof). In my article, I alluded to a hypothetical toy that could interact with a child, tricking that child into innocently providing private and personal information. The Guardian article lists out some specific toys that are vulnerable to this. A few days later, Business Insider published a story on how consumers are starting to question the privacy and security of their connected devices, despite their desire to “be more connected.” Now, I’m a guy who is all about devices and gadgets and connectivity. However, I also regularly write about privacy and security and online safety. Seems a bit like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Well, I think you can have both of these things together. But it requires one particular thing: information and education. I’m all for buying connected devices as long as you know what you are getting and what the device does. But, as I wrote earlier, it’s often difficult to know exactly how a device or toy may or may not be safe, secure, and/or private. And this is where the Mozilla connected gift buying guide, *Privacy Not Included, comes into play. If you still want to learn more about the topic of security and privacy of connected devices, be sure to give my first article a read. Here, however, I’m going to walk through how Mozilla’s connected gift guide works and the types of things you can find there. *Privacy Not Included Connected Gift Guide The Mozilla connected gift buying guide is divided up into various connected gadget categories: Toys Game Consoles Home Hubs Smart Home Accessories Gadgets & Gizmos Health & Exercise Within each of these categories are up to twenty of some of the most popular connected gadgets for this holiday season. And, in looking through the categories and lists, I see that several items that I actually own and use are there. Hello Barbie is Back As the first article mentioned above discussed, connected toys are under increased scrutiny. So, I decided to pick on one that a few years ago came under criticism for being not only hackable, but also invaded the privacy of kids, specifically Hello Barbie. The way that the *Privacy Not Included guide looks at connected devices is quite straightforward. First it provides the summary of the item as well as any important context. It then breaks down the analysis into some basic questions: Can it spy on me? What does it know about me? What could happen if something goes wrong? And then it provides a link (if available) to the Privacy Policy. The questions above are important ones you should ask when buying a connected device. The answers may not be immediately apparent. If you need to do research, hold off on buying the device until you have some background information. In the case of Hello Barbie, Mozilla notes that it doesn’t have a camera (green text which is good), nor does it track location (another green light). But, it does have a microphone (noted in red). And the fact that Hello Barbie has a microphone is part of what makes this toy intriguing. Kids interact with it. But this new version, one can assume from reading the Mozilla guide (I don’t have a Hello Barbie), has more controls than the previous version. So, yes, you have to create an account (a bad thing) but via the account (I’m assuming) you can set up privacy controls (good) and you can delete your data (another good thing). Lastly, no data is being shared with any 3rd parties (again, good). But do take time to look at the “what could happen if something went wrong” question. These are not far-fetched hypotheticals. There is a possibility with the Hello Barbie that it could record and speak odd things to your kids. A Thermostat that Listens to You Now let’s take a look at a device I do own, the Ecobee4. This is a connected thermostat that can automatically and manually adjust the temperature of your home. The control can be done remotely via a connected app on a smartphone or tablet. What’s new about the Ecobee4 is its integration with Amazon Alexa. This means that this connected thermostat is listening, all of the time. But actions are only triggered when the keywords (“Alexa”) are triggered and then the audio that it captures is sent to the Amazon servers for analysis and interaction. Here’s what the Mozilla guide says about the Ecobee4. The description of the Ecobee4 is accurate and the Safety Review is important to read and understand. For starters, no camera – a good thing in terms of privacy. But after that, you need to pay attention. There is a microphone obviously because that is required for the Amazon Alexa service. And using the companion app, your location can be tracked. Both those things have privacy red flags. In terms of what the Ecobee4 knows about you, this is a bit of a gray area. According to the Mozilla guide, you do have to create an account which doesn’t have privacy controls (both red flags). You can delete your data though, and according to the guide, data isn’t shared (again, both good). However, this is where my knowledge of Ecobee and Amazon come into play. In fact, you need both an Ecobee account AND an Amazon account for the full functionality. So, yes, technically the data is not shared with a 3rd party if you consider those two companies are functioning as a single entity. And what could go wrong? Well, you have a mic that is always listening, and you have activity and actions in your home potentially being captured. With this particular device, I would recommend reading the privacy policies of both companies to truly understand what is shared and stored. A Smart Home That’s Watching Another device of mine is the Wink Hub 2. In most cases, in order to make your home “smart,” you need some kind of hub that connects a variety of smart devices (e.g., lights, cameras, doors, etc.) I truly like the functionality that the Wink provides, especially as it integrates other connected devices from around your home. However, when you integrate other items, you potentially open yourself up to privacy and security concerns. Again, the Mozilla description is accurate. As are the recommendations from a safety and privacy standpoint. And, from seeing all of the “red” on their review, you may want to think twice about this if you are hyper-concerned about privacy. As I mentioned, there are a variety of devices that you can connect to the Wink Hub. And when you have other company devices connected, as I mentioned with the Ecobee4, you potentially expose more private information with other companies. There is an account requirement (red) and no perceivable way to control your privacy (red) and it isn’t clear if you can delete your data (another red). On top of that, according to the guide, advertising data is shared (yes, red again). And with any smart home hub, using the app and interacting with other connected devices can map out a pattern of your home activity (e.g., someone who hacks in could know based on the activity when you are home or not). The *Privacy Not Included Guide is YOUR Guide I only chose three examples of connected devices to show how you can use the Mozilla guide to educate and potentially better your understanding of privacy and safety concerns. But from chatting with quite a few friends and families, I have found that most people believe they cannot rely on the companies themselves to provide safety and privacy standards at an acceptable enough level. If you want to protect your home, you need to ensure you are educated. Using guides like Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included is an important step towards that education. My recommendation is to start with the Mozilla guide and then take a deeper dive into the specific company whose product you are thinking about purchasing or using. But, the other side of me still is in favor of connectivity. There is much to be gained through automation. You can save time and even money by automating repetitive tasks or by having your home turn off lights automatically when they aren’t being used, for example. While some connected toys I feel may take away some of the imagination of playtime, other devices like smart hubs and exercise gadget can actually improve your life. Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I have received compensation to prepare to research it as well as write it. All opinions within this article, unless otherwise noted, are my own and are not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. More information can be found on my About page. HTD says: This holiday season, be sure you come armed with knowledge of privacy and safety when shopping for connected devices. The Mozilla *Privacy Not Included guide helps better your shopping game, making your final purchase even more intelligent!

    HighTechDad / 15 d. 4 h. 29 min. ago more
  • Hottest Toys, Games for Children this Holiday Season Revealed!Hottest Toys, Games for Children this Holiday Season Revealed!

    Toys, toys, toys! ‘Tis the season to be buying them for children of all ages (yeah, that means mom and dad, too). But with so many things to choose online and on the shelves, what should a parent buy for his or her little one? Are electronic games really a good choice for wee ones? What else besides video games would interested my tween? Christopher Byrne, the content director for TTPM (stands for Toys, Tots, Pets and More — formerly Time to Play Magazine) and author of the nostalgic look back at old-school fun, Toy Time!, joins us on the latest Modern Dads Podcast to tell us what the hottest toys, electronics and board games (yes – board games are cool again) for toddlers to teens this holiday season. The Parents’ Phrase Book author and City Dads Group columnist Whit Honea joins us at the conclusion of our podcast to talk about how we can encourage our kids to think about more than just the gifts they receive. The post Hottest Toys, Games for Children this Holiday Season Revealed! appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 15 d. 6 h. 30 min. ago more
  • Seaworld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration: Remembering the Reason for the SeasonSeaworld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration: Remembering the Reason for the Season

    Seaworld Orlando's Christmas Celebration is brave for an entertainment brand. Instead of a generic "holiday" event, they remember the reason for the season. The post Seaworld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration: Remembering the Reason for the Season appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 15 d. 8 h. 37 min. ago
  • 15 Signs You’re a Kid of the 90s15 Signs You’re a Kid of the 90s

    Ah, the 90s. A much simpler time, even though we were on the road to Y2K and thought Prince’s ‘1999’ was prophetic. In retrospect, the party definitely wasn’t “over” when the decade came to a close, but we miss everything about the era from the crazy candy to the boy bands and the birth of […]

    Playground Dad / 15 d. 21 h. 10 min. ago
  • Fur Realz, Crash Bandicoot Is Back!Fur Realz, Crash Bandicoot Is Back!

    Few videogame characters can elicit the kind of popular adoration and enthusiasm that elevate them from mere cartoons to full-fledged cultural icons. In the late-1990s, the videogame icon that instantly captured the hearts and imaginations of gamers everywhere was a googly-eyed marsupial named Crash Bandicoot, who burst onto the console gaming scene and effectively helped put […]

    Playground Dad / 15 d. 21 h. 19 min. ago more
  • Only 1 in 3 kids is physically active every dayOnly 1 in 3 kids is physically active every day

    Only one in three kids get enough physical activity each day. Good Sports, the national nonprofit dedicated to giving ALL kids the chance to play, is working to change those statistics and we’ve created a video with ESPN Analyst and host of Daily Mail TV, Jesse Palmer, to shine a light on the issues keeping kids on the […]

    Playground Dad / 15 d. 21 h. 54 min. ago
  • Lily is pretty happy with her Black Friday deal. A free owl!Lily is pretty happy with her Black Friday deal. A free owl!

    The post Lily is pretty happy with her Black Friday deal. A free owl! appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 17 d. 19 h. 15 min. ago
  • How To Shop For Winter Boots For KidsHow To Shop For Winter Boots For Kids

    Winter is coming, or winter is here, whatever the case winter boots are a must for everyone in the family. Here's a winter boot buying guide I've worked on with Kamik. The post How To Shop For Winter Boots For Kids appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 17 d. 22 h. 6 min. ago
  • Why Ben Mulroney Needs To Take #20Minutes4ChangeWhy Ben Mulroney Needs To Take #20Minutes4Change

    Ben Mulroney took a stand for parents' rights this week blasting the Girl Scouts for advocating teaching kids about consent. He couldn't be more wrong ever. The post Why Ben Mulroney Needs To Take #20Minutes4Change appeared first on DadCAMP.

    DadCAMP / 18 d. 4 h. 7 min. ago
  • Empty Chairs at the Holiday TableEmpty Chairs at the Holiday Table

    This is a wonderful time of year to pause and count our blessings. Unfortunately for some, the holiday season is also one of sadness and loss. I just found out...

    A Daddy Blog / 19 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago
  • Lily created a holiday centerpiece.Lily created a holiday centerpiece.

    The post Lily created a holiday centerpiece. appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 19 d. 18 h. 28 min. ago
  • 4 Gifts for Guys: Fitted Hat, Cooling Shirt, Streaming Stick, & a Mystery Tackle Box4 Gifts for Guys: Fitted Hat, Cooling Shirt, Streaming Stick, & a Mystery Tackle Box

    I don’t know about you, but when it comes to holiday shopping, I’m sort of a strategic shopper. I actually hate going out and browsing through department stores. My wife and girls, on the other hand, will spend hours going store to store. I think about the gifts I want to give in my mind, and then just go straight out to buy them. But, there are times where it helps to get some ideas and I’ll read about different products online ahead of time. So, to make your research and idea shopping experience a bit easier (and faster?), I was super excited to get my care package from Babbleboxx. This one is geared (literally) for guys – or not, honestly, I think any of the gift ideas I am writing about here would be great for anyone, guys OR gals. Note: This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com. There are 4 gift ideas here, each tapping a different area of interest. For starters, there is a fitted hat from Black Clover. There’s a shirt that cools you by Arctic Cool. For those gadget or streaming media lovers, how about a Roku Streaming Stick+. And who doesn’t like fishing? For those who do, there is the Mystery Tackle Box. So let’s take a look at each of these gift ideas. Stylish & Comfy Shade for your Face What guy doesn’t love hats? (Or better said, who washes their hair every day?) I know I have a “collection” of hats. They aren’t stored in any special way. And I just tend to get them and use them until they are completely trashed from doing yard work. And then I sort of shove them away and get another one. The new ones I consider to be “dressier” and the old ones are “for yard work.” Well, I now have a new favorite hat, one that I will probably try to keep looking new. It’s the Black Clover Premium Fitted Hat and boy is it comfortable and looks great! The first thing that struck me was the big black clover on the front. I think I’m probably going to name this hat the Lucky Hat. Scrawled on the side are the words Live Lucky. I think being part Irish, this really connected with me. But looks aren’t everything, right? When it comes to hats, you can get a plastic band to adjust the size or perhaps a fitted hat, sized to your head. Black Clover does it differently…better I feel. The Black Clover is a premium fitted hat, without it actually being sized. The one I received is listed as a small/medium size. Yet, it feels like a fitted hat. Here’s how it works. It’s got some fancy memory-fit technology that doesn’t press your head too tightly, yet it seems to be tight enough to not come off easily. The other thing that I noticed was how it actually felt cushioned on my head. This is because it is padded on the front which prevents those annoying forehead marks and will actually absorb sweat. Nice, right? Well, it feels great! (And I have worn a lot of hats in my days.) The particular style I got retails for $29. And if you use CLOVER10, you will get 10% off your purchase! A Cool Shirt that Actually Keeps You Cool I’m not that active of a guy (apart from that yard work I mentioned above). But when I am working in the yard during the summer, it tends to get pretty hot. And I sweat a lot as a result. (Sorry, too much information, right?) Anyway, also included in the Babbleboxx box was an Arctic Cool Instant Cooling Men’s shirt. If a shirt could be “high-tech,” the Arctic Cool shirt would qualify. They even say that it is powered by Hydrofreeze technology. But it actually is science that is making you cooler by absorbing and recycling the moisture. And, by the way, this wasn’t my first time with an Arctic Cool product. I received one over the summer and used it up at Lake Tahoe during the summer when I was hiking. As I hiked with the family in the 90-degree weather, yes, I sweated. But I was honestly quite amazed by how the Arctic Cool shirt actually DID make me feel cooler. Not only that, the moisture is wicked away from your skin and that drying and evaporation process is what actually cools the skin. Oh, an Arctic Cool doesn’t just make shirts for men, there are plenty of women’s styles as well! So if you are shopping for him, pick one up for her as well. And one more thing that I really like about the Arctic Cool shirts, they can be just thrown into a regular machine wash (no bleach) and tumble dry low. No special instructions needed! Get Your Streaming On with a Roku Streaming Stick+ If I didn’t have a gadget on this list, I wouldn’t be doing my job. So, I’m happy to say that in the box was also a Roku Streaming Stick+. You know about Roku, right? It’s one of the best devices for streaming a multitude of multimedia (movies, video, music, etc.) on the market. I actually have a couple of Roku streaming players in my house. But the Streaming Stick+ brings a whole new dimension to streaming players. For starters, it’s small. It’s about the size of a pack of gum, making it ideal for connecting to wall-mounted flat-screen TVs. Because of its small size, it’s also extremely portable, making it ideal for hotel or dorm rooms, or simply moving it around. But the Streaming Stick+’s positives don’t stop there. It can stream 4K, HDR, and HD video. So if you have a 4K TV, you can now enjoy a wide range of crisp and clear video. It does come with a remote control that can be used to fully control the Streaming Stick+, but if you truly want to be portable, you can download the Roku app and simply control the Stick+ with the app on your smartphone. No need to carry the remote with you. Another key feature is the fact that it is wireless, in fact, it has 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless built in. It does require power which is accomplished using the USB power cable (which also has the advanced wireless receiver built-in). You can plug the USB power cable into an open USB port on your TV or to the included wall plug. Roku has made it small and easy to stream to your heart’s content. Fishing for the Perfect Gift I’m going to stereotype a bit here…guys like to fish. Perhaps it’s a primal thing or just a good excuse to go and hang out with your buddies. I know that I do. I used to do a lot of fly fishing, unfortunately recently work and family have pretty much sucked up my time. But all excuses aside, I now have a new excuse to head to the shores to cast a rod. Mystery Tackle Box actually just got me thinking about (and missing) my fishing experiences. Let me explain. Mystery Tackle Box is a pretty cool service. You can purchase a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription service where the recipient gets a box of bait and lures and other types of fishing tackle every month. What they will get is a surprise. The recipient basically gets a certificate to the service, creates an account on Mystery Tackle Box, and then selects the types and species of fish they prefer fishing for. There is a wide range of selections including bass, inshore saltwater, ice fishing, walleye, panfish, catfish, and trout. In my Mystery Tackle Box, I received: Lead Nail Weights Lucky Craft LC RTO bass crank bait Flash Bang bladed tungsten swimbait hook Kitana Neko hooks Big Bite Baits softbait white worms Catchco Pro Series softbait worms A quick note, I didn’t have the luxury of specifying my fish preference. I would have chosen trout, by the way (in case anyone is listening…hint hint). What I like about Mystery Tackle Box is exactly that first word, mystery. Getting a gift is always a surprise. But getting a recurring, themed gift of something you are passionate about (like trout fishing in my case) and being surprised about the lures and bait in the box makes it even better. A 3-month gift subscription starts at $43.50 and if you use discount code GIVEMTB, you get 5% off all gift subscriptions (until 12/31/17). And That’s a (Gift) Wrap Hopefully, these four gift ideas for guys (or anyone actually) help give you some inspiration for this holiday season. The important thing is the spirit of giving, sharing, and spending time with your friends and family. But if during this process, you can make the recipient smile, you have achieved that end goal. Disclosure: I have a material connection because I received a gift, sample of a product or service, and/or monetary compensation for consideration in preparing to review the product/service and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page. HTD says: Once again, Babbleboxx delivers some fantastic gift ideas for the holiday season – gear for people who fish, a great fitting and looking cap, a super portable streaming media device, and an activewear shirt that keeps you cool!

    HighTechDad / 20 d. 6 h. 40 min. ago more
  • 28 Funny Pie Charts You’ll Wish You Could Eat (Not Really)28 Funny Pie Charts You’ll Wish You Could Eat (Not Really)

    We’re well into the holiday season, which I like to consider the best excuse to eat self-esteem-ravaging levels of food. Especially pie. So, I put together this collection of funny pie charts, because duh. Pun, anyone? The good news is, not only will these “pies” not add to your already imperiled waste line, but laughing can be like exercise if you do it hard enough, which gives you all the more reason to eat tons of pie. Just sayin’. I’m here to help! Enjoy.     1) Don’t judge me!     2) The case of the vanishing shoes, part 394. By Let Me Start By Saying By Kim Bongiorno     Bonus) Always a well-rounded meal. By Designer Daddy   3) Ah, the memories. By The Oatmeal     4) Splort!     5) Well-balnaced schmell-balanced. By Science of Parenthood     6) I pity the foo’ who doesn’t get this. By     7) It’s a tittle bit nipply outside. By The Dad     8) Bandaids. Bandaids as far as the eye can see.     9) What is this “sleep” of which you speak? By Dad and Buried     10) Go team!     11) Remember when weekends were a break? By Cynical Parent     12) Try to get a little bit of it in your mouth, buddy. By unknown     13) Your eyes are turning yellow, kid. C’mon.     14) Cleanliness is next to laziness apparently. By Hannah Hillam-Juárez     15) Nom nom nom     16) Or just trying to remember an actor’s name. By unknown     17) The Great Pyramids understood at last. By unknown     18) Yo, Joe! By unknown     19) And they would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for those pesky kids! By unknown     20) There have to be evil kitchen fairies involved. By The Oatmeal     21) Relaxing weekend? Pffft!     22) I wonder how he paid for it all.     23) Jedi wisdom. By unknown     24) Potato. By unknown     25) So THAT’s how it is, eh, kiddo?     26) Be gone, red dot! By unknown     27) Tummy lies. By Let Me Start By Saying By Kim Bongiorno     28) An effort was made. By unknown  

    HowToBeADad.com / 20 d. 23 h. 30 min. ago more
  • Don’t be Thankful for Excess, be Thankful for Freedom to Give, EvolveDon’t be Thankful for Excess, be Thankful for Freedom to Give, Evolve

    I grew up without a lot. I had enough, but I certainly was not spoiled. I was taught to appreciate what I had, even if I didn’t receive everything I wanted. This was often a tough lesson, but one that eventually became part of my identity. So, I can sincerely say I do not take things for granted. I am genuinely thankful for what I had, what I have, and what I will have. My wife is an amazing partner. My daughter is blossoming into a fantastic child. I’ve had the opportunity to spend most of my adult life working with children who have blossomed into amazingly positive members of our society. I have even had some success in my career. So there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t spend time thinking about my blessings. I can only hope my daughter will think along the same lines throughout her life. I have been thinking about all this quite a bit recently. Since becoming a parent, I do analyze … well, most things to be honest. Thanksgiving is coming up, and it is a holiday that my family celebrates. In theory, Thanksgiving is a great idea. It’s a time to come together with family and loved ones to share good times, good thoughts, and good food. However, the more I think about, the more I become conflicted embracing the excess of Thanksgiving. Ideally, I want to spend time with family. That is, and shall always be, something I value. However, I think in years to come, when my daughter is older and can be involved, I would like to spend holidays giving back instead of taking. I want to spend time helping those who are less fortunate throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season. I know at some point years from now, my wife and I will probably be hosts to Thanksgiving Day meals. There is something exciting about that prospect. I envision clutching my wife’s hand as she stands beside me seated in my Barcalounger, with a grandchild or two in my lap with my then adult daughter smiling from across the room. Needed discussions not to be thankful for Perhaps it will not only be a day to celebrate the things and people that make us thankful, but to also discuss injustice. It certainly is hard to think about turkey and sweet potato pie with what has happened in places like Ferguson, Baltimore and Chicago over the last few years. But that’s not the only thing that I’m pondering during this time of year. I want to have lengthy conversations about the unfortunate parts of American history. How can you celebrate Thanksgiving and that famed meal between the Pilgrims and the natives of this land without discussing what eventually happened to so many of those indigenous people? How can you avoid discussing that there was no one who looked like me, a black man, on the Mayflower? A major problem of today’s society is that people are told not to complain. Don’t question that! Let things be. Why rock the boat? Why do we have to change tradition? It’s rather simple. Because we evolve. It is our right as American citizens to question. There wouldn’t be an America if people didn’t question taxation on tea or the right for all to vote or the Jim Crow laws. Questioning aspects of our society doesn’t mean someone like me is not happy or ungrateful or unpatriotic. Trust me. I understand how much more challenging it could be if I lived somewhere else. I am a proud American. I drape myself in the red, white and blue. I love much more about this country than I hate. But, I do think we should be allowed to celebrate (or not celebrate) in ways that make sense for us. There is so much I love about Thanksgiving, but I genuinely believe it can be even better with these two things. I hope we will not shy away from its historical complexities. Perhaps we can create a tradition that downplays excess. We don’t properly celebrate service and giving back, as much as we probably should as a society. Maybe it’s time to put the “giving” back into Thanksgiving. A version of this first appeared on The Brown Gothamite. Thankful photo: Simon Maage on Unsplash The post Don’t be Thankful for Excess, be Thankful for Freedom to Give, Evolve appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 21 d. 5 h. 51 min. ago more
  • TW Search Overlay for WordPressTW Search Overlay for WordPress

    I’ve started another WordPress plugin called TW Search that adds a simple search overlay to a site. It’s nothing too complex, but it works. The plugin is simple to use. There are just a few settings in the customizer and it should work. You get to choose which menu to add the search link too or you can choose to add a custom class to any element and have that open the search overlay. The idea was born from BeaverBuilders lack of search on mobile. I’ve worked on other solutions in the past but wanted one that was a bit nicer and still super simple to add to a site. Plus I didn’t want to have to worry about people’s designs as TW Search shouldn’t interfere with your design. It’s not just for BeaverBuilder though, it should work with any WordPress theme. It’s also not just for mobile. Desktop, tablet, and mobile users will have the same experience. Right now the plugin is still under active development but seems to be working pretty well for me. It hasn’t been tested a lot but if you’re adventurous, give it a spin. The post TW Search Overlay for WordPress appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 21 d. 18 h. 51 min. ago more
  • Lice Can Be a Real Itch For ParentsLice Can Be a Real Itch For Parents

    Photo by Eduardo Balderas on Unsplash I loved playing baseball when I was a kid. I started playing instructional league when I was 5 and I made the All-Star team when I was nine. For four straight summers I did nothing but go to baseball practice and play in games. Those memories remain some of my fondest of all time because they represent a carefree time. An innocent time. A time filled with teammates, grass stains and spitting sunflower seeds while collecting as many trophies as possible. Oh, and lice. Yup, that’s right. Lice. Because every summer at least one kid on our team had it, and it was spread because we all shared batting helmets. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure that’s why all kids have their own helmets now – just to avoid the lice. I remember the itch seemed to grow more intense each time my mom screamed “DON’T SCRATCH!!!” at me. And that the shampoo we had to use smelled terrible. Also, since I had a little brother who wouldn’t leave me alone, we often ended up balling up all our infected clothes and bed sheets and just burning them to err on the side of caution. My oldest son is nine and he hates baseball (what kind of red-blooded American dad am I??). But the only silver lining there is, so far, I’ve never had to deal with lice as a parent. While I can’t give you any personal tips of how we battled those little bastards, thankfully I have partnered with people who know exactly what they’re talking about in the war against lice – KnowYourOTCs.org. Lice Facts Tiny bugs the size of sesame seeds Most common in preschool and elementary school aged kids Head lice feed on small amounts of blood from the scalp They can usually live 1 to 2 days without blood meal (hint: YOU are the meal) They lay eggs in your hair close to the scalp Often confused with dandruff Can live for a 28-day cycle Best found by combing through your child’s scalp one section at a time How to Treat Lice Check with doctor first (especially if your child is 2 or younger) Do not apply any medicine if you are breastfeeding or pregnant Use an FDA-approved over-the-counter treatment Make sure ingredients include Permethrin or Piperonyl Butoxide and Pyrethrum Extract Here are 10 safe use tips for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics: Follow the directions on the package exactly as written. Never let children apply the medicine. Medicine should be applied by an adult. Do not use medicine on a child 2 years or younger without first checking with your child’s doctor. Do not use or apply medicine to children if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without first checking with your doctor. Always rinse the medicine off over a sink and not during a shower or bath, so the medicine doesn’t run off the head onto other areas of skin. Place your child’s head over a sink and rinse the medicine off with warm water (not hot water). Never place a plastic bag on a child’s head. Do not leave a child alone with medicine in his or her hair. Store medicine in a locked cabinet, out of sight and reach of children. Check with your child’s doctor before beginning a second or third treatment. Your child may need repeat treatment 7 to 9 or 9 to 10 days after the first treatment depending on the medicine. Ask your child’s doctor if you have any questions or if treatments you have tried have not gotten rid of lice. And just for good measure, here’s a really useful infographic should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. Disclaimer: All opinions are my own but I was compensated by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA’s) Educational Foundation in support of KnowYourOTCs.org for writing this post. The post Lice Can Be a Real Itch For Parents appeared first on The Daddy Files.

    The Daddy Files / 21 d. 22 h. 12 min. ago more
  • Why Organic Products Are Better For Your BabyWhy Organic Products Are Better For Your Baby

    Most parents are willing to go to any length to keep their babies safe, healthy and happy. For a lot of those same parents, this will include only giving your baby organic baby products to use or eat from reputable companies such as kippins.co. There is a never-ending amount of blogs and articles to read online about why you should...

    Daddyplace.com / 22 d. 5 h. 21 min. ago more
  • Raising Race Aware, Respectful Kids By Noticing ‘What’s the Difference’Raising Race Aware, Respectful Kids By Noticing ‘What’s the Difference’

    We continue the national discussion on race and raising children by having Los Angeles Dads Group member Doyin Richards, author of the new children’s book What’s the Difference?: Being Different is Amazing., joins us on the Modern Dads Podcast What’s the Difference? is aimed at children ages 2 to 10, and covers diversity and acceptance. It introduces children to race relations by teaching them not to be colorblind, but rather “race aware.” It encourages them to recognize and embrace the differences of the people they encounter in life. Richards, a father of two who became an Internet sensation with a photo of him fixing one child’s hair while the other sat in a carrier on his chest, has written two previous books: Daddy Doin’ Work, about how to engage moms in helping fatherhood evolve, and the picture book I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work. Richards’ work has appeared in online publications such as Upworthy, Refinery29, TODAY Parents, AskMen.com, and Huffington Post. He was a featured speaker at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and has been a keynote speaker at conferences for PwC, LexisNexis, the Dad 2.0 Summit and others. Here are some links to media referenced in this podcast: Life of Privilege Explained in $100 Race video White Nonsense Roundup Facebook page Doyin Richards, a member of our L.A. Dads Group, shows off his new book, “What’s the Difference.” (Photo: Doyin Richards) The post Raising Race Aware, Respectful Kids By Noticing ‘What’s the Difference’ appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 22 d. 6 h. 21 min. ago more
  • Luminar vs Lightroom – A Simple Comparison for Amateur PhotographersLuminar vs Lightroom – A Simple Comparison for Amateur Photographers

    Dadtography's comparison of Luminar vs Lightroom. A photo editor software review of both products specifically for amateur, non-professional photographers. The post Luminar vs Lightroom – A Simple Comparison for Amateur Photographers appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 22 d. 22 h. 23 min. ago
  • Dadtography’s Parenting Photo Tips to Move Beyond Snap-and-Post PhotographyDadtography’s Parenting Photo Tips to Move Beyond Snap-and-Post Photography

    Go beyond your current snap-and-post routine and capture more memories that matter! Our top 13 parenting photo tips to take and share better photos. The post Dadtography’s Parenting Photo Tips to Move Beyond Snap-and-Post Photography appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 24 d. 5 h. 27 min. ago
  • Hugs: The Powerful Science Behind How They Do a Body, Brain GoodHugs: The Powerful Science Behind How They Do a Body, Brain Good

    City Dads Group co-founders Lance Somerfeld and Matt Schneider at Huggies Parents Council in Chicago. (Contributed photo) DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Huggies®. Hugging my children has such a positive impact on my life. It makes me feel better during my worst moments and most challenging days. It comforts me in the morning when I send my kids off to school. It warms my heart in the afternoon when they return home. These emotional and physiological outcomes are all wonderful, but I’ve never tried to understand the science and culture of why that is so. Fortunately, I learned someone else has. The Huggies Parents Council, a diverse group of moms and dads from around the nation who care deeply about their families, recently met in Chicago where the Huggies brand team helped us understand what it means when Huggies says it believes in the power of hugs — especially a parent’s hugs — to help our little ones thrive. Parenting expert, author and pediatrician Dr. William Sears and behavioral and brain scientist Dr. Olivier Oullier presented us with data that shows the many measurable benefits of hugging for baby and parents alike. These include lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and boosting the immune system just to name a few. For children, parental hugs assist in their emotional and physiological development. Hugs make them happier and more resilient, less prone to illness, and create stronger family connections and bonds. A recent Huggies study titled “The Power of Human Touch for Babies,” shows skin-to-skin hugs not only calm a cry or soothe away stress, they also: can help keep a baby’s heart beating at a normal rate improve sleep support healthy weight gain In addition, MRI and PET scans have revealed hugs stimulate the release of dopamine, body’s own feel-good medicine. I witnessed this explosion of the body’s positive information flow firsthand . I participated in a neuroscience experiment using a revolutionary neuroheadset scanner that monitored my brain activity to show the profound difference before and immediately after a hug: Before a hug Everything’s quiet in my brain before someone hugs me. Right after a hug: BOOM! Brainwave tidal wave! To further demonstrate my “brain on hugs,” I’d like to share with you a highlight reel with five of my most memorable hugs as a parent.

    City Dads Group / 25 d. 7 h. 16 min. ago more
  • more news
  • My Wife Just Texted… #336My Wife Just Texted… #336

    Ah-HAH! No one likes a taste of their own medicine, especially when the medicine is actually pine sap and broken glass. ALL men know that the dreaded “we need to talk” is rarely (if ever) followed by something nice and safe like deciding on a pattern for the living room curtains or some such marshmallow of a topic. I’m sure the suckitude of receiving this is true for women as well, but I’m speaking from a man’s perspective here. As it turns out, this was one of those rare instances, and it was actually just about coordinating a sleepover. No biggie! Still, my wife got to experience that sweaty, anxious wait; wondering if she’d done something wrong that she had no idea about or if our kid had done something or this or that or AHHHHHHH! After I was done enjoying her squirm, I reassured her that it was probably nothing. Which as we all know didn’t f*cking help at all, of course. She was a sport and laughed guiltily at having done it so many times herself, but I really do hope that the next time she feels the urge to say or text to me “we need to talk,” she’ll have some empathy and just bring it up with me later, without setting the rapidly ticking timer on an anxiety bomb. – More “My Wife Just Said…” The fun doesn’t have to stop here. Follow HowToBeADad on Facebook. It’s the best way to stay connected.  

    HowToBeADad.com / 26 d. 1 h. 26 min. ago more
  • Apply Now: Free Ticket, Scholarship to Dad 2.018 Summit in New OrleansApply Now: Free Ticket, Scholarship to Dad 2.018 Summit in New Orleans

    Five bloggers will be able to attend the annual Dad 2.0 Summit in 2018 without breaking the bank, thanks to a generous donation by City Dads Group. The national fatherhood support network recently gave $2,500 to the conference’s Oren Miller Scholarship Fund. The fund offers free admission tickets and $500 stipends to offset travel and lodging costs to randomly selected applicants. ** Apply here by Dec. 1 for Dad 2.018 scholarship ** “Dad 2.0 is the place we meet the guys who organize our groups, write for our blogs, and participate in our influencer campaigns,” City Dads Group co-founder Matt Schneider said. “We hope our contribution gives some  dads who have never attended the conference before the opportunity to meet other fathers and become more involved in the community.” Dad 2.0 Summit, now entering its seventh year, is a national three-day meeting where marketers, social media leaders, blogging parents and regular dads get together to discuss the changing voice and perception of modern fatherhood. The next conference, dubbed Dad 2.018, takes place in New Orleans, Feb. 1 to 3, 2018. City Dads has been strongly represented at these Dad 2.0 gatherings, both on stage and in the audience. At the 2017 conference in San Diego, 16 of our 26 chapters had members in attendance with 16 members appearing as speakers or panelists. Individual donations can also be made online, by PayPal or credit card, to the Dad 2.0 scholarship fund: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-dad-20-summit-tickets-31980965930. The post Apply Now: Free Ticket, Scholarship to Dad 2.018 Summit in New Orleans appeared first on City Dads Group.

    City Dads Group / 26 d. 6 h. 10 min. ago more
  • Postpartum Depression with Twins – Podcast 154Postpartum Depression with Twins – Podcast 154

    Episode 154 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes Why do moms experience postpartum depression Symptoms to look for that could be red flags of depression Baby blues vs. postpartum depression Coping with depression Getting help Transcript I get a lot of questions about postpartum depression and how it relates to twin pregnancy and expecting twins. Let’s walk through postpartum depression today. What it is, how you can tell if it’s happening to you, and what you can do to support your partner in your family. First of all: why? Why does postpartum depression happen? Most of the science behind it is that the trigger when there is a drop in hormones after the twins are born. Moms spend the entire pregnancy building up this these hormones to nurture and take care of the body and the babies. Then when the babies are delivered all of a sudden, BOOM!, the estrogen levels are dropping that progesterone levels are dropping and that can trigger this postpartum depression. Postpartum depression isn’t just these hormones and these chemicals but it can also be influenced by the entire experience of twins which can lead to some mental challenges. Think about a twin pregnancy if you’ve already had your twins are if you going through that right now. Twin pregnancies are not easy. Not easy at all. What happens is that the pregnancy puts a lot of stress on mom because she may be on bedrest several weeks. She may have had to quit work earlier than expected because of bedrest. She may be limited in her ability to help other kids in the house or even prepare the house for the twins. This can be a cause of stress. Also, twins come very early. Because they come very early the birth experience may not have been what you were hoping for or expecting. Maybe you’re hoping for a natural birth with a vaginal delivery. But the twins came super early, had an emergency C-section, and it just wasn’t what you were expecting or what you looking for. Because twins tend to be born early they may spend time in the NICU and may be in the hospital for days or for weeks or for months. That is not what you expected either. You may start to have feelings where mom is thinking it was her fault that the babies were born early or that they had to spend time in the hospital (which is you know is not really the case). But those feelings can start to creep up and you may feel inadequate that you’re not prepared to care for two babies at the same time. It’s kind of a combination of the overwhelming experience of having twins and the hormonal changes that mom experiences after the delivery that can lead to postpartum depression. There is some research that indicates that mothers of twins (or more) are more likely to have postpartum depression than moms of singletons. There are two potential phases of postpartum depression. The first is often called the baby blues. Now these are a very typical experience for mom after a baby is born. The baby blues may last a few days to a few weeks. It’s kind of a temporary emotional burden that the mom goes through for just a short period of time. Contrast that with a longer term postpartum depression which can last for weeks or months if it’s not treated. Postpartum depression can really interfere with your daily interactions with your family and your daily tasks that you may have. Let’s talk about some of the symptoms of postpartum depression. You can look for these in mom or in yourself or your partner to see if it’s happening for you. Now if you see some of these in isolation, it may not indicate postpartum depression but when you start to see several of them together or extreme intensity in these it can be a sign or an extra red flag for you. The first is mood swings.  If you’re having dramatic mood swings during the day, it could be a sign of postpartum depression. The second one is overwhelming sadness and crying. You’re crying because your baby is crying, because of the way things are going, or maybe just something you saw on TV. You may even cry due to memories of the pregnancy or birth or yearning for different outcomes. Lots of emotion and lots of sadness. You may also be feeling overwhelmed and totally frustrated. Twins are overwhelming and it can be frustrating but if you never see a break to that feeling, that it could be a sign for you. Watch how you’re eating. Are you eating all the time and eating too much. Or have you totally lost your appetite and you’re not eating at all, especially foods that you used to enjoy eating. That could be a sign of depression. Look at your sleep patterns. Now you may have to separate out the fact that you’re going to be up at all hours taking care of the twins. But when it does come time to sleep are you able to sleep or are you suffering from insomnia and the inability to sleep? Or do you just want to sleep all the time even when you know you’ve got enough rest? Do you have feelings where you want to just give up? You want to just give up you want to run away. You want to say “No, I can’t do this anymore. I’m done.” Are you worried about your ability to care for your twins? You don’t think that you can do it. You don’t think that they’re safe with you. You think that you may do some harm to them. These are some serious indications that you could be depressed. Look for intense emotions like anger and anxiety. Look back to where you were before you were pregnant and you had the twins in your life. If you’re having these intense feelings of anger and anxiety that could be a sign that things are changing for you. Once your babies are born hopefully you’re able to bond with them and emotionally connect with them. But if you’re having difficulty bonding with your babies that could be a sign that you’re suffering from the baby blues or with postpartum depression. If you feel like you’re not a good parent and “I’m never going to be a good parent. I’m never going to figure this thing out.” That could be something to be concerned about. Think about the stuff that you used to enjoy doing. The experiences you used to enjoy like activities, food, and friendships. If you don’t find any joy or happiness in any of those things anymore or even joy your happiness in the time with your babies that can be a red flag and a serious condition. Remember these are just a few of the symptoms that could indicate postpartum depression for you for mom for your partner. If you’ve been having these for a few days or few weeks after the babies are born, it might just be the baby blues and you should be OK soon. If these feelings continue after that initial period it could be a sign of depression. If you start to see a lot of these symptoms, it is important that you immediately talk to your doctor. You’re not alone in this. Many moms go through this. Dad, if you’re trying to help your spouse, reassure her that this is a common thing and there is help and there are solutions for it. Immediately reach out to the doctor to see what can happen. Your doctor will ask you a bunch of questions and you have to see how your “day in life” is going and compare that to how things were going before. But the doctor can really help guide you through and help you get out of that postpartum depression. One option is therapy and counseling which is very effective. Additionally, you could meet with other moms in a similar circumstance. So that will help you know that you’re not alone and you can get through this together. Your physician may also consider prescribing medication or antidepressants help guide you through the depression. Remember to seek medical help immediately if you sense that postpartum depression maybe affecting you or your spouse. Don’t wait because it’s not necessarily going to get better with time. It may just continue to get worse. As a spouse, how can you help your partner navigate through postpartum depression? Make sure that the mom is able to get some time away from the craziness. Get time away from the kids. Maybe it’s going out to run errands or go shopping or be with friends or go for a girls night out. This will help her have some time alone and to recharge and take a breath and realize that things are going to be going to be OK. It’s also important to together as a couple you’re setting realistic expectations of what is possible with twins. Everything is going to get turned upside like your schedule is upside down your house being cleaned out. That’s not going to happen anymore. You know making food preparations for you both is going to suffer. Getting out of the house is going to be a challenge. Dad if you recognize some of these signs of postpartum depression in Mom it’s important that you ask for help. Talk to her about what you’re seeing and offer to take her to the doctor or to call the doctor if she doesn’t want to do that. Try to help Mom meet with other moms from your local mom’s group to help her know that she’s not alone in this journey. Something else that you can do to help cope with this is to make sure that you’re staying healthy and taking care of yourself. So Mom and Dad, make sure that you’re eating good food. You’re drinking lots of water. Get some fresh air and some exercise. Put the babies in the stroller and walk around the neighborhood. There should be opportunities for you to meet with and talk with other parents of twins or multiples. Many cities around the world have clubs. So you may want to look for those in your area and you can meet with those folks. Plus there are lots of our online forums and Facebook groups so you can reach out and talk to other parents about what’s happening and see what their experiences were and how they got through those. Try to get as much rest as possible because if you’re feeling anxious and depressed and then you’re not getting a lot of sleep then it’s going to compound and make things worse. I know it’s very difficult in the infant months but do your best. If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms of postpartum depression make sure that you talk to your doctor about what’s going on, how you’re feeling, and what are some options for you. Your doctor can help you with some therapy, consulting, and/or some medication to help you get through that period of depression. You can make it through and there is help for you. You’ll find it in your fellow parents, your doctor, and your spouse. Subscribe to the Podcast To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below: iTunes (for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) Stitcher Google Play Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) Share Your Thoughts Please let me know what you think of this episode of the podcast, you can contact me with any questions or comments or leave a comment on the blog. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help other parents of twins find the show! Download the Podcast Download the podcast in .mp3 format (right click and “save as…”) You can find Joe on Twitter and Facebook.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 27 d. 7 h. 38 min. ago more
  • What To Consider Before Hiring An AttorneyWhat To Consider Before Hiring An Attorney

    In any kind of legal matter where you are trying to win money for an injury, you're going to need an attorney. Workers comp is a perfect example of this. A workers comp attorney Portland Oregon service exists for the sole reason to stand up for your rights after you are injured at work. In some occupations, injury is more likel...

    Daddyplace.com / 27 d. 21 h. 41 min. ago
  • Lennar at the Oaks at Moss Park Home Builder ReviewLennar at the Oaks at Moss Park Home Builder Review

    We recently built our first home with Lennar at the Oaks at Moss Park. Here is our review of the entire experience over this 4-month process. The post Lennar at the Oaks at Moss Park Home Builder Review appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 29 d. 21 h. 56 min. ago
  • Ready. Aim. Fire!Ready. Aim. Fire!

    Hopefully we don’t shoot our eye out. Thanks uncle Pat! The post Ready. Aim. Fire! appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 31 d. 5 h. 54 min. ago
  • How to Get a Good Deal on Luxury ItemsHow to Get a Good Deal on Luxury Items

    Everyone wants to feel like they've made in life, whether they really have or not. But sometimes splurging on a luxury item can be difficult, especially if you're someone who's otherwise particularly budget conscious. With that in mind, and in order to help ensure that everyone gets a chance to live the kind of high quality life they secretly crave, this guide will look at some of the best tip...

    Daddyplace.com / 31 d. 23 h. 48 min. ago more
  • Framing Your Life, Digitally – Review of the Nixplay Seed Digital FrameFraming Your Life, Digitally – Review of the Nixplay Seed Digital Frame

    My kids have been taking the same route inside the house to the front door for years. But recently, this trip seems to be taking a lot longer. They are getting distracted by something new along the way. I just installed a new digital frame, a Nixplay Seed, specifically. Now, sitting on the bookshelf is a portal to times past, a quick glimpse at history. (*Disclosure below.) Over the years, digital picture frames have evolved. I remember setting up one and having to connect it to a computer via a USB cable to move over only a handful of photos due to limited storage source. Later versions allowed for SD cards to be used to pull the photos from. But still, the process took some work. And if you had of these frames like I did, the process was enough of a pain in the butt that updates to the photos were fairly infrequent. The Nixplay Seed is different. It’s evolved. It’s connected. And with it, you can keep photos updated from anywhere using your smartphone or computer. I think that is the reason my kids have been stopping in front of the Nixplay Seed digital frame all of the time now. My wife has been finding old photos of them as babies and toddlers, or vacation photos, or recently taken photos, and has been regularly updating the albums and playlists on the Seed. That’s the big problem with non-tech frames. Unless you manually take the old photo out and replace it with another one, or have a photograph that is absolutely amazing, picture frames and the images within tend to just fade into the background. When you go digital, this all changes. So, the Seed is great for us. But, it’s even better as a gift for someone far away. Think grandparents or relatives or close friends who might not be getting the family picture stream from Facebook or Instagram or Flickr or Google Photos. Maybe they don’t understand technology (or maybe they do), the Seed allows you to magically upload photos to the digital frame. Depending on how you set it up, you could simply be able to post photos or have full management access to the Seed frame. Let’s take a look at setting up the Nixplay Seed and how it works. Setting up the Nixplay Seed Before going into the setup, let’s talk about what is in the box. I received the 10” Nixplay Seed in black (there are other colors available including Blue, Mulberry, and Mango). I felt that the black color would fit in well with our darker furniture, bookcases, and cabinetry. Here’s what’s in the box: 10” Nixplay Frame (other sizes are 7” and 8”) A slim cable-stand which is attached to the frame (more about this cable shortly) A power adapter A small infrared remote control The instruction manual One of the nice innovating things about the Nixplay Seed is how the power cable also acts as a stand to prop up the frame. Pretty much all digital frames have a power cord attached to them (I think battery-powered frames, if they even exist, would be a waste of money). The portion of the cord closest to the frame is quite rigid. It can be bent to allow it to act as a prop for the frame, so essentially it serves two functions. Yes, there is a cable, but no, there isn’t the need for another propping apparatus in the back of the frame. Since the Nixplay Seed is a WiFi-connected frame, the placement of the frame within your home is critical. It must have a good signal from your WiFi router. AND, currently, the Nixplay Seed only works with 2.4GHz and not 5GHz WiFi so be sure you have the appropriate WiFi frequency available. One thing that I would recommend just for the setup is to plug in the Seed somewhere within a few feet of your WiFi router so that you have a very strong signal. Often, on the first power up (or two), you will need to update the firmware on the Seed which can take some time. And if the firmware download times out (which is what happened to me), the update process will continue to restart and try again until it is successful. I actually had to hop onto the Nixplay support chat where they were quick to answer and provide that tip. Good to know now! Let’s walk through my startup and setup process. I plugged in the frame and was greeted with a startup splash screen. The next step was to get the tiny remote control working and connected. Just pull the plastic tab covering the battery and press play to continue. Note: you MUST have the little remote to do the initial configuration (until you get the frame connected to your WiFi and registered with the app). Next, you choose your WiFi. The signal strength is indicated. Initially, I chose as WiFi that had both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. I have later decided to switch to a pure 2.4 GHz band. Once connected to WiFi, the Nixplay Seed will go through an update check and install (if needed). If an update is found, the frame needs to spend a few minutes downloading and installing the update. This could take a while so go gather your digital images in the meantime! You will see a little video showing how the frame works. And lastly, you need to register your frame and complete the setup using the serial number and either completing everything using the smartphone app or the website. If you launch the iOS app and it detects a frame waiting to be paired, you will get a prompt to pair it. Once the frame is found, just confirm that the serial number matches the one on your frame. Then simply click “Pair.” You will have to enter the serial number to complete the pairing process. After you have completed pairing, you will give some details about the frame (e.g., name, location, and time zone). Once that is done, the frame will appear under the My Frames section either on your mobile device or on the web interface. That’s all that is really involved in the initial setup. It’s fairly straightforward. A quick thought for a future product feature – it would be great if there was the ability to pre-configure the WiFi settings of a remote location. That way, if you are planning on giving the frame to a parent or grandparent for them to just “plug and play” in their home, you would have already gone through this initial setup. That would allow you to later send images directly to them from wherever you are. The only thing you would need is their WiFi information. Next, you go on to the various configuration screens. Configuring the Nixplay Seed The initial setup of the Nixplay Seed is quite straightforward and easy to do. The configuration is equally so once you understand the terms and setup screens. There are a few ways to do the configuration. Honestly, I would recommend using the web interface as there is much more functionality available there compared to the iOS app. However, the iOS app is really great for adding new photos on-the-go to existing albums or playlists and getting them onto your Seed frame remotely. First, let’s define two things: Playlist – this is what plays on your frame. And, your frame can have multiple playlists Album – this is a way to store all of your photos prior to adding them to a playlist As my wife is truly the photo archivist of the family, it only made sense to have her do the setup and management process of the playlist and albums. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, I invited her as a “friend”. With that functionality, she can remotely upload photos to the frame from her mobile phone. When she uploads photos that way, I get a notification and can add those photos to the appropriate albums or playlists. However, since she literally has terabytes of photos of the family from all points in time, it made more sense to simply give her access to my account so that she could create playlists and albums, as well as link other social media account as photo sources. I simply gave her my login and little to no training. Within a few minutes, she had created Albums and Playlists and had them running on the Nixplay Seed. She found the process to be quite intuitive. She set up two main Albums: Littles (for when our kids were little) and Vacation (any vacation-related photos). When I had set up my account, I had created the first playlist called “My Playlist” where I added a bunch of photos from my iPhone as well as from my Facebook account. My wife then created Playlists that were named the same as the Albums (“Littles” and “Vacation”). As of this writing, we have about 500 photos playing on the Nixplay Seed and new photos are being added regularly. Also in the web interface, you can manage frames in your account. I only have one right now, so it shows up under the Frames section, as well as how many Playlists are active and if the Seed is “online” or not (connected to WiFi). Note, even if the frame is NOT connected to WiFi, it will still show the stored photos. It has 8GB of built-in memory which equates to about 20,000 photos – so we have a long way to go before we fill it up. If you click on a specific frame, you can go into the granular settings for it. You will see the Playlists that are currently active and can set specific Frame and Playlist settings. It’s important to go through these settings and configure things the way you want them. You may have to play around a bit. For example, I wanted my photos to be shuffled through all of the playlists. You could, if you wanted, play them in a specific order. Some other nice configuration items are using the built-in Motion Sensor to pause the Playlist and put the frame to sleep when no motion is detected. I have it set to display the time/date when the frame is sleeping, and then when it wakes up, it resumes the playlist where it left off. You could manually set a sleep schedule if you wanted to as well. Another thing that my kids and I tried was changing how the photos would be displayed on the screen. We settled on the “Snapshot” transition showing “Random” transitions. It almost looks like someone it placing printed out photos on the screen. We liked this better because immediately you could see the full photo, as opposed to with other settings, needing to wait for a pan & zoom to finish, or images just being cropped. But play around with this setting. Note, you can do the same configuration from the mobile app. This is nice if you are on the go and need to quickly configure something. On the mobile app (as well as on the website), you can view the Activity Feed to see what new photos have been uploaded and which photos have been added to a playlist. You are not just limited to photos on your computer or phone either. There are other ways to import photos into Albums. At the top of the Albums page on the website are some other options including: via the Mobile App or Email, from Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram, Dropbox, Flicker, and the Verizon Cloud. It is important to note that for many of these services, you will need to authenticate with that service first in order to import the photos in that account. This maintains the privacy and integrity of the system. Also, you currently can’t “stream” photos from a social account (a question I asked the management team). That is to say, you couldn’t just “subscribe” to your favorite Instagram account and pull photos directly from there. However, you CAN now stream photos from Dropbox. AND, I have been told that streaming from Instagram and others will be coming in a future update (YAY!). Framing It All Up Bottom line, the Nixplay Seed digital frame is easy to set up and configure. Once that process is completed, sending photos to the phrase is as easy as simply texting a photo to someone. And trust me, once you get everything up and running, the Seed digital frame suddenly becomes a conversation piece. My kids, as I mentioned, now simply stop in front of it and comment on the event or the subject of the photo. It’s almost like Social Media in the physical world. Here are some specifics about the Seed frames. Screen resolution: 7” – 1024×600 HD; 8” – 1024×768 HD; 10” – 1024×768 HD Aspect ratio: 7” – 16:10; 8” & 10” – 4:3 Brightness: 350 cd/m2 (for all) Storage: 8GB (for all) Supported Photo Formats: JPEG/JPG/PNG (for all) Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz (for all) In terms of measurements: 7” frame – 7.28” x 4.45” x 0.7” 8” frame – 7.91” x 6.06” x 0.83” 10” frame – 9.37” x 6.34” x 0.9” Note, you can place the Seed in a horizontal (which is what we did) or a vertical format. Now, on to the pricing. I found the Nixplay Seed frames to be extremely reasonably priced for what you are getting (essentially bringing those old photos to life). The 7” Seed has an MSRP of $99.99, the 8” Seed goes for $129.99, and the 10” Seed is $169.99. Check their online store for any discounts or promotions going on. On Amazon, the 7” Nixplay Seed is currently $84.15, the 8” Seed is $129.99, and the 10” Seed is $169.99 – but I expect those prices to become more competitive as we approach the holiday shopping season. Also, if you have a b8ta store near you (check locations here), you should go in and get a demo! The b8ta folks can give you a great, detailed walkthrough of a Nixplay frame (like the 8” Iris). If I could, I would gift a frame like this to my parents so that we could continually update their frames remotely with the latest and greatest, “family approved” photos. This does make a great gift, I feel, simply because it is a conversation piece and it provides limitless entertainment as one looks back at imagery from the past. Disclosure: I have a material connection because I received a gift, sample of a product or service, and/or monetary compensation for consideration in preparing to review the product/service and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page. HTD says: If you haven’t considered getting or gifting a digital frame recently, you probably should reconsider. The Nixplay Seed digital frame provides a great way for sharing photos from anywhere in the world and gets people truly engaging with the digital content.

    HighTechDad / 32 d. 1 h. 26 min. ago more
  • Dad Jokes Hall of Shame (Work Life) – Part 9Dad Jokes Hall of Shame (Work Life) – Part 9

    Most families are well acquainted with the pun grenades some father’s lob around the home, but did you ever stop to think what happens when they suit up and head out to work? The Dad Jokes don’t have to stop there! Coworkers and (hopefully not) customers and (super hopefully not) bosses can be victims um… recipients of these whoppers at work. Here are 10 of them for you to “enjoy.”                       – Can’t get enough? See all the posts in the Dad Jokes Hall of Shame series.  

    HowToBeADad.com / 33 d. 2 h. 36 min. ago more
  • PIT crews and NASCAR hot laps.  The full racing experience.PIT crews and NASCAR hot laps. The full racing experience.

    In the world of “Cars 3” Lightning McQueen and his fellow racers are assisted by their pit crew teams. These helpers can be the difference between winning and second place. The same can be said for real life racing. What happens when you take 6 crewmates, toss them into a loud, hot, hectic environment. Then throw in an 850hp racecar Lightnings Lugs hurtling towards them at 55mph? You get a NASCAR pit crew! These teams are trained to do in less than 15 seconds what us regular drivers take 15 minutes, on a good day! While on a Disney*PIXAR junket for “Cars 3” I had the amazing opportunity to experience a very lite version of what these teams do. Thanks to the folks at Performance Instruction and Training (PIT) we were able to suit up, grab the socket wrench, and go through just about the same motions as the real teams, without the gasoline and moving cars. Pit row The visit to PIT starts of with a very informative presentation that covers the history of the NASCAR pit crews, the specific roles and responsibilities of each position, and what you can expect to experience later on. Everyone involved is either an active member of an active NASCAR pit crew, or was one. These guys really know what they’re talking about and they take it very seriously. We were part of a faily large group, so they broke us up into 6 different teams. Safety is of paramount importance, so we were setup with a suit, gloves, hearing, and eye protection. They led us out to pit row, where we were given live demonstrations of each position and the chance to practice a couple of times to get a feel for how the equipment feels. These are real NASCAR tires and wheels, real gas can (no gas), even the jack is authentic. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at the air-powered wrench and I was able to fill that spot for the team. Team 2, Lightnings Lugs, rear wheel changer… yeah that’s me. Game face Like I said, there were 6 different teams, so of course there had to be a little competition going. There are 3 cars set in position, so 3 teams at a time can run the drill. They lined us up in place and blew the whistle to start. Now on the first attempt all you want to do is be accurate and not make a big mistake. Slow and steady they said. Sure enough we all started moving into our positions and executing our assigned roles. It’s really a fast paced ballet with every move choreographed. Wrench on, lugs off, tire off to the right, new one handed in from the left, position on hub and power the lugs back on. Jump up, kneel down, lugs off, wait for jackman, tire off to the right, new tire in from the left, lugs on, back away. In about the time it took to read that, a professional pit crew can change 4 tires without gas. Our apprentice crew of first timers took a little under 2 minutes on our first attempt. All told not a bad time they said. We head back to the garage to review the video with our crew chief. Performance reviewThis really helps because we can see exactly where we can save steps and be more efficient. We were able to perform another 3 pit stops and in the process our time went down to just over a minute. We may not have been ready for Charlotte Motor Speedway but that was some serious improvement. Our team may not have won (congratulations Children of the Forest,) but we all had a fantastic time. https://dadarocks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Team-2-Stop-4.mp4 Lug nuts off PIT is an active pit crew training school with graduates working for major teams, however they also use the pit experience as a way to teach team building, build improvement processes, and teach lean concepts to numerous businesses including the U.S. military. If you ever have the opportunity to participate in their program I would highly recommend it. Now I had a better understanding of what happens on pit row, but what about on the track? Thanks to our Disney*PIXAR hosts and Charlotte Motor Speedway I was going to find out. Officially called the “NASCAR Racing Experience” you are able to ride as a passenger with a professional racing instructor in a real NASCAR race car. For 3 laps, at speeds of 175 mph or more, you get the chance to really feel what it’s like for the driver athletes who race for a living. I’m a driving enthusiast. My motorcycle is a performance model, my car is as well. I’ve been on closed tracks where you can “open it up” for a bit. Nothing, and I mean nothing compares to the feeling of that NASCAR dropping in to turn 1 at speed. Car 88 The engine is roaring and you hear the small pieces of track debris hitting the body, reminiscent of scenes in “Cars 3”. The driver gets into the groove and your body is just pushed to the right against the 5-point harness. Everything you’ve done before tells you that the car is going to spin out, but the driver, aerodynamics, and racing tires do their jobs and you simply run through until you exit onto the back straight. Charlotte is a tri-oval, so this dance happens 8 more times until before you know it you’re pulling in to pit row and the experience is over. A fistbump of thanks to my driver and then it was time to work my way back out of the car. The Experience is offered in many different levels and price points, from 3 lap ride alongs, to full 40 lap solo racing sessions. It’s probably a good thang that I don’t live anywhere near the Charlotte area, because I would be spending lots of time at the track. If you’re at all interested in racing, or would like to give someone a gift that they will forever remember, the NASCAR Racing Experience is unforgettable. PIT Instruction and Training www.visitpit.com 156 Byers Creek Road Mooresville, NC 28117 pitcrew@visitpit.com Tel: 704-799-3869 Fax: 704-799-3871 Charlotte Motor Speedway www.charlottemotorspeedway.com 5555 Concord Pkwy. South Concord, NC 28027 704-455-3200

    DaDa Rocks! / 33 d. 7 h. 38 min. ago more
  • How do you organize Legos?How do you organize Legos?

    Over the years we’ve collected a lot of Legos. Some were from kits, some from friends, some my parents found at their house and brought them to us. We love our Legos, but how do you organize Legos? When I was a kid, I recall just tossing them into a box and you dig for what you want. Dig, dig, dig. Finding small pieces is hard, finding the right piece is even harder. There’s got to be a better way, right? My wife got a small Lego organizer and it’s pretty nice. She choose to organize them by like parts. I suppose we could have organized them by color, but size seems like a better idea. It works well, but it only organizes a few of our many Legos. We’re looking into other storage options, but most are just drawers that you organize yourself. There’s also some cool Lego sorters, but do they really work? Reviews seem to say so, but they seem to be hard to come by. There’s a cheaper sorter, but reviews are mixed. At the end of the day, digging through the Lego box is a part of the experience, right? Seems like cheating if they’re all organized, but yet finding the right piece without a ton of work also sounds amazing. How do you organize your Legos? The post How do you organize Legos? appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 33 d. 18 h. 41 min. ago more
  • How To Hire A Reputable Plumbing CompanyHow To Hire A Reputable Plumbing Company

    Most homeowners do not need to hire a plumber on a regular basis. However, when you do run into a plumbing crisis as a homeowner, it will pay off to make sure you hire the right plumbing company. There are lots of plumbing companies to choose from and finding the right one may seem difficult. Below are some tips for finding reputable plumbers Irv...

    Daddyplace.com / 33 d. 19 h. 19 min. ago more
  • Danica Patrick sit down to discuss upcoming “Danica” documentary on EPIXDanica Patrick sit down to discuss upcoming “Danica” documentary on EPIX

    Nascar driver Danica Patrick and broadcast journalist Hannah Storm participate in a panel about Storm’s documentary on Patrick, “Danica,” at The Players’ Tribune in New York, N.Y. on Nov. 1, 2017. (Photo by Guillermo Hernandez Martinez/The Players’ Tribune) Courtesy of The Players Tribune, we recently had the opportunity to sit down with NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and filmmaker Hannah Storm about their upcoming documentary Danica. Airing on EPIX this Wednesday, November 8, at 8PM, Danica takes a look back at Danica Patrick’s life as a driver, focusing on her unflagging perseverance and recounting her struggle not only to persist in such a male-dominated field, but to carve out a place for herself in that world and thrive in it. When asked if there was any advice she would offer to her younger self, or if she would do anything differently after looking back on her career, Danica noted: “If I could go back to 1996, I wouldn’t tell myself anything that would change the trajectory of my life or of my career— I’m where I am today because of my choices, and this is who I am and who I’m meant to be.” This is Danica Patrick to a tee— confident and sure of who she is, owning both her failures and her many successes as part of who she has become. Though, as she put it: “the older you get, success becomes more associated with your state of mind than your accomplishments.” Nonetheless, Danica Patrick is a woman of many accomplishments, and varied ones at that! “You have to have goals that evolve,” she advised, and she definitely demonstrates it: in addition to racing, Danica has been a part of projects in video games, TV, and comics, wrote an autobiography in 2006 (and has another book on the way this January!), is an avid practitioner of yoga, and owns her own brand of wine! “Bring the best you every day,” Danica said—and it’s clearly a philosophy she truly lives by. Danica’s story is a captivating one, and an inspiring journey for all to behold. Be sure not to miss Danica, November 8 at 8pm on EPIX.

    DaDa Rocks! / 34 d. 0 h. 29 min. ago more
  • Getting Anywhere on Time with TwinsGetting Anywhere on Time with Twins

    Tell me if this is familiar. You glance at the clock as you prepare to leave the house for an appointment. There is plenty of time left. Then after you scramble to get everyone ready, the time magically disappeared and now you’re late. Yikes! I’m sure this scenario has happened to you this week. Or this might happen today. You needed to be somewhere at a certain time (doctor, school, appointment, church, etc.) and yet you were late. It is a challenge to get anywhere on time with kids, and especially with twins. We still struggle with this and our girls are now nine years old! Depending on the age of your twins, the reason for your delays and tardiness will vary. As such you’ll need to consider different options to make sure you’re on time. Leave Early Take whatever time you thought you needed to leave and prepare to leave 15 minutes (or more) before that time. This will give you a buffer of time to handle any last minute surprises as you head out the door. If you are early to your destination, no worries. Take a minute to wait in the car and relax. Listen to an audiobook with the kids, or simply start the unloading process. Prepare Ahead of Time The moments before you walk out the door are not the best time to finish your preparations. If you know you have to get the twins to a doctor’s appointment, make sure you have all the paperwork, diaper bags, snacks, etc. ready to go well before your departure time. As your twins get older, have them put together their “busy bag” of books or toys that they will take with them. Set Expectations We like to review our upcoming week during our family dinner on Sunday. This helps us get the big picture of what to expect. Plus the kids latch on to events that are important to them. Each morning during breakfast, we’ll discuss briefly what is happening that day and who needs to be where and when. This way there are no surprises. As the countdown to departure time approaches, we’ll remind the kids that we are leaving in one hour. Then thirty minutes. Then a ten-minute warning. Of course, you know your kids and will get a sense of how much notice they need. When your twins are infants, they will just go where you take them. As they become toddlers and older, it is important to set expectations with them of what is happening and what you expect them to do (get dressed, pack a toy, etc.) Positive Peer Pressure Getting your twins to do what you need them to do is a challenge. Remember to focus on the good behavior you want to see and focus your praise and attention on that. If one twin is getting dressed or putting together her busy bag, call that out and draw attention to it. Express gratitude and acknowledge that she is doing what you asked. Positive attention on the well-behaving twin will encourage continued good behavior in that twin and encourage the other twin to do the same. Helping Each Other Your twins have a built-in helper: each other. Once your twins are able to follow simple instructions to get ready to leave the house, they can also help each other. We like to ask a child that is ready to go to help a sibling. This often accelerates our ability to leave and helps the kids learn to serve each other. Forget Perfection Having twins exempts you from having to be perfect. Congratulations! So don’t worry if everything doesn’t go according to plan. Do the best you can and roll with the punches. If you’re late for your next appointment, make a mental note of why that happened and adjust your routine for next time. Before long, your twins will be old enough to get themselves ready and will be in the car all buckled before you!

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 34 d. 7 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Those New Connected Holiday Gifts May Be Spying on You!Those New Connected Holiday Gifts May Be Spying on You!

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that many people this 2017 holiday season will be getting or giving some sort of connected device. When you think about it, with electronics becoming smaller and less expensive, more and more manufacturers are figuring out creative ways to add connectivity to a wide variety of devices. From toys to speakers to smartphones to home automation to appliances to just about anything, the Internet of Things is here, and there is a huge push to connect everything with anything. And while connected things open up new opportunities and capabilities, it also potentially enables companies to do things you might not want them to do, like have access to private data, location information, or even audio and video. And you might not even know this is happening. But while some gadgets are clearly labeled with “batteries not included,” not many are showing anything like “privacy not included.” Mozilla is doing something about this, you’ll be happy to know, with their appropriately named holiday buyer’s guide: *Privacy Not Included. Read on to learn more! (*Disclosure below.) When it comes to the world of connected gadgets and devices, there truly isn’t that much regulation from privacy and security standpoints. And often, it is up to the consumer to understand what devices connect to what services and know how their data is being used. Often, companies make it difficult to know how information is shared, or they may not disclose it at all. While smartphone and tablet apps do have increased scrutiny by Apple or Google, for example, in terms of how the data is accessed and used, and the types of services used (location, media, data, etc.), outside of the app itself, it’s a wild, wild world. Unfortunately, in the past, there were simply no adhered to standards in terms of security and privacy. Think back a year or so when it was unveiled that many webcams were vulnerable to hacks or exploits because of default admin usernames and passwords literally burned into the webcam’s firmware. Or there were some webcams that had peer-to-peer networking automatically built into the software. While WiFi router companies are now shipping their devices with unique usernames and password for administration, unpatched or older WiFi routers exist in the 10’s of thousands, as consumers simply don’t know how to upgrade their routers or even do basic administration on them. Whose Responsibility Is Privacy & Security Then? So, if you extend this model to ANY type of connected device or gadget, many of which have absolutely NO security whatsoever, you can probably see how there is a new clear and present danger coming from these new connected items. The biggest problem also is that privacy and security don’t seem to be the responsibility of the manufacturer, but rather that of the consumer. Would you even know which devices are insecure or exposing your private information? And if you did know that something connected to the Internet in some way, would you know how it connects or what private information or data it is sharing and for what reason? Or even how to stop or report it? Think about a hypothetical toy that helps put a child to sleep at night. (And I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this actually exists.) Let’s say that it knows when it is nighttime by light detection or a location-based clock. Also, let’s say that the child can talk to it to have it read a bed-time story by request. And let’s say that this toy can ask the child questions like “what did you do today?” or “where did you go?” or “who did you play with?”. Those seemingly innocent questions and other data can be a wealth of information for marketers (or hackers). Location data can be transmitted. Activity can be logged. Conversations can be captured and stored. And eventually, a child can innocently provide a fairly detailed profile of themselves, their family, and their friends. But who cares, right? The toy talks to my kid and helps them fall asleep! While the pendulum may be swinging the wrong way with a glut of connected and potentially insecure devices flooding the market, trust me, that pendulum will swing back in the favor of privacy and security, once more cases of privacy invasion or hacking surface. And, once that happens, regulators will arrive with even stronger rules. But that will take time. As the pendulum swings, however, security companies or organizations will emerge to bridge that gap and provide transparency and information to the consumer. Blind Faith…For Now…And Tools to Help The important thing to remember is until these privacy and security standards are finalized, they still need to be adopted and embraced by software, service, and product developers and manufacturers. And, while this governance may work within some countries, there is no guarantee it will be adopted worldwide. So, it boils down to this. For now, consumers themselves must be the ones to understand and govern their own connected services and devices. And therein lies another problem. The range of “tech-savviness” is huge. It is influenced by a multitude of factors: geographic location, culture, education, race, religion, and social-economic status, to name just a few. If we, as consumers, are the ones who need to provide this initial privacy and security screening and regulation, we are in for a long, long, long, uphill battle. And, I would predict, that a majority of consumers will simply choose to adopt a “blind faith” that the manufacturers are looking out for everyone’s best interest. I feel what will be required is a massive educational effort directed towards the end user. Companies with clear social consciences will, I believe, step forward. And once they do step up, others will join as well so as not to be “left behind” or come across as “not caring.” Perhaps this is simply wishful thinking on my part. But the grassroots efforts are there (and probably have been for quite a while). Shortly, Mozilla will be announcing *Privacy Not Included. Part campaign and part educational service, *Privacy Not Included will offer concerned consumers a buyer’s guide of sorts, to enable them to not only learn about privacy and security concerns they should think about but also detailed “reviews” of many popular toys. Transparency has been a buzzword for many years across all sorts of industries. And while there are requirements on what must be disclosed on a product, often privacy and security are hidden away in a Terms of Service or Privacy Disclosure (who reads those things anyway, right?). Mozilla and the *Privacy Not Included guide will allow for the transparency of privacy- and security-related aspects of these popular consumer products in the form of this independent buyer’s guide. In the next few weeks, I will be going into greater detail on what can be obtained within this Mozilla Buyer’s Guide so that you can understand what is found there, how it can be used, and to help the efforts of sharing this important effort. Until then, and if you are doing your 2017 holiday shopping early, take a few extra minutes to do some research on that toy or connected gadget you are considering purchasing. Know what you are signing up for, literally. Education is a powerful shopping asset so be informed. Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I have received compensation to prepare to research it as well as write it. All opinions within this article, unless otherwise noted, are my own and are not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. More information can be found on my About page. HTD says: As a consumer shopping for friends and family, you have the responsibility to become educated on your purchases, particularly around privacy and security. Empower your buying decisions with research to ensure those gifts are only giving what they disclose they are.

    HighTechDad / 35 d. 5 h. 17 min. ago more
  • Neighborhood Toy Store Day is 11/11/17 – Shop Local and Have More Fun!Neighborhood Toy Store Day is 11/11/17 – Shop Local and Have More Fun!

    Pop quiz time.  Which would you prefer… A. Walking like a zombie down identical aisles of a big box store, searching for the best toy for your child by reading the mindless marketing hype that is on every toy box? B. Visiting your unique and whimsically laid out local toy store, letting the kids play with a curated selection of the best toys, taking part in fun craft activities and talking with certified play experts on exactly what toys would have the most play value for your children? If you answered A… you may actually have become zombified and you should seek immediate medical attention. The humans in the house who answered B – we have great news. November 11th, 2017 is Neighborhood Toy Store Day.  Click here to learn about all the fun activities going on and to find your local participating toy store. Why Shop At Your Local Toy Store? In this day and age where we can order anything with the click of a mouse, why bother shopping at your local toy store?  It is a fair question and because we are psychic and knew you would ask that question…or are we psycho, always get those two mixed up… in any case, we made a whole video on why you should shop at your local toy store… When Was The Last Time Shopping Was Fun? Think of the last 50 times you went to a big box retailer…was it fun?  Did you wish you could stay longer?  Of course not. Compare this to your local toy store – where you play games, chat about favorite toys, do some crafts and probably see some really cool rocks and geodes.  Huge shout out to our local toy store in Northampton, MA – A2Z Science and Learning Store – the place is just insanely fun. Use the handy local toy store locator feature on the ASTRA (American Speciality Toy Retailing Association) website to find your own awesome toy store.  While you are on the ASTRA site, check out their 2017 Best Toys for Kids Award Winners. Shop Local, Have More Fun and Support Your Neighborhood Toy Store! More Information: Learn More About Neighborhood Toy Store Day Find Your Local Toy Store A2Z Science and Learning Store in Northampton, MA ASTRA 2017 Best Toys for Kids Award Winners Our video on Neighborhood Toy Store Day and Why You Should Support Your Local Toy Store Disclosure: We were compensated for producing the video, all thoughts and opinions are our own.  

    Dad Does / 35 d. 5 h. 49 min. ago more
  • Cars 3 – Racing onto Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™ and Blu-ray™ on Nov. 7Cars 3 – Racing onto Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™ and Blu-ray™ on Nov. 7

    “Cars 3” is the coming of age story of Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson), the Piston Cup winning #95. Finding himself overtaken by the next generation of racers, led by Jackson Storm (voice of Armie Hammer,) McQueen first tries to challenge the newcomers head-on, however he finds that age and technology may have passed him by. After a devastating accident and with the help of trainer Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo) McQueen learns that he has more than one role to play at the racetrack. The story teaches the value of perseverance and trust in ones self. It provides an especially strong message to girls that they should never give up, and that they can do anything they set their minds to. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The story was both engaging and entertaining, with plenty of humor for adults and children alike. I particularly liked how the relationship between Lightning and Cruz developed into that of mentor/mentee instead of a romantic one. In typical Disney*PIXAR fashion the animation and effects are top notch. You really feel as though you’re watching real racing, with pieces of rubber, smoke, and all of the associated sounds. The world of Cars is immersive, with details everywhere on the cars, in the scenery, in the buildings. In those details you’ll find plenty of references to other PIXAR stories, past and future. The bonus disk is jam-packed with features: Blu-ray & Digital: Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool (Exclusive new mini-movie) – Enjoy blindsided testimonials from the Crazy 8’s, touting the transformative impact Miss Fritter’s Racing School has had in reshaping the direction of their lives Theatrical Short: “Lou” – When a toy-stealing bully ruins recess for a playground full of kids, only one thing stands in his way: the “Lost and Found” box. Let’s. Get. Crazy. – Get schooled in the world of demolition derby, the “rules” of figure 8 racing, and how Pixar puts the crazy in the Thunder Hollow Crazy 8 race. This piece is hosted by Lea DeLaria. Legendary – a close, historical look at the racing legends Wendell Scott and Louise Smith, whose tenacity and perseverance got them into the race even when they weren’t invited. Ready for the Race – Disney Channel’s Olivia Rodrigo and NASCAR Racer William Byron check out the Hendrick Motorsports campus to showcase how real-world race training influenced the filmmakers. World’s Fastest Billboard – Blink and you will miss all of the graphics and “car-ified” advertisements created by Pixar’s Art team to make the ”Cars 3” world as believable as possible. Cruz Ramirez: The Yellow Car That Could – Join Cristela Alonzo and the filmmakers on their journey to create a race-car trainer turned champion racer. Generations: The Story of “Cars 3” – For the story team, creating Lightning McQueen’s next chapter didn’t involve just a tune-up, but a complete overhaul. My First Car – A collection of illustrated first-car stories as narrated by members of the “Cars 3” cast and crew. “A Green Car on the Red Carpet with Kerry Washington,” “Old Blue,” and “Still in the Family.” 5 Deleted Scenes – Each deleted scene is set up with an introduction as to why it was removed from the film. Deleted scenes include “The Boogie Woogie,” “The Jars of Dirt,” “Lugnut,” “The Bolt,” and “More Than New Paint.” Cars To Die(cast) For – Take a look at the phenomenon of die-cast toy collecting and the more than 1,000 unique designs that exist in the Cars universe. Commentary – Brian Fee (Director), Kevin Reher (Producer), Andrea Warren (Co-Producer) and Jay Ward (Creative Director) My personal favorite Cars D’oeuvres – A collection of humorous animations featuring the main characters in “Cars 3” And more… This movie is well worth adding to your collection. “Cars 3” on Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™ & Blu-ray™ on Nov. 7

    DaDa Rocks! / 35 d. 7 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Thor: Ragnorak is a SMASHING good time!Thor: Ragnorak is a SMASHING good time!

    HULK SMASH! I do love that line…   this was by far the best Thor movie by far.  It really takes the best parts of last couple of Marvel movies and puts them together.  Think all the humor of Guardians of the Galaxy spliced with the off beat comedy of Thor. I really loved this movie and highly recommend it for any adult, my son Marc who is 9 was laughing a good bit of the movie and cheered at the fight scenes but there is a body count in this movie, so please think twice about bringing children under 7 to seeing this movie. In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! Chris Hemsworth returns to the tle role of the hammer-wielding hero of Asgard. He is joined by  Tom Hiddleston  as Thor’s duplicitous adopted brother, Loki; Cate Blanchett as the villainous Hela;  Idris Elba  as the Asgardian sentry, Heimdall; Jeff Goldblum as the eccentric dictator, Grandmaster, ruler of Sakaar; Tessa Thompson as the fierce warrior, Valkyrie; Karl Urban as Skurge, one of Asgard’s strongest warriors;  Mark Ruffalo, reprising his role of Bruce Banner/The Hulk from “The Avengers” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”; and   Anthony Hopkins again portraying Odin, King of Asgard. There are two after the movie scenes.  A mid credit scene and one extra scene at the end of credits. THOR OPENS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD 2017! Disclosure: We attended a screening of this movie to help facilitate the review. All opinions are my own and honest.

    DaDa Rocks! / 39 d. 2 h. 44 min. ago more
  • Military Hand Signals for Checking on a Sleeping BabyMilitary Hand Signals for Checking on a Sleeping Baby

    It can be risky when it’s just you around your sleeping baby, to check on them or simply sneaking about your daily routine. The stakes are so high if you wake them. Now add your partner into the mix, and it’s even trickier. So, the art of silent communication becomes one of the tools we parents develop out of dire need to not effing wake the baby. In light of this, here are some advanced military-style tactics you and your partner may (or may not so much) try employing on the battlefield of parenthood.     Being able to adapt and overcome is all part of parenting. Even if there are some heated exchanges, don’t be discouraged by friendly fire. Stick to the plan and you’ll get your objective achieved.     Few plans go according to themselves, and some go straight to hell in a hand basket. If you need to abort the mission, stay calm and regroup on the floor with some stuffed animals and spare blankets to wait out the danger.     Miscommunications can result in disaster. It’s important to only act on signaled commands you’re certain of. Better safe than so so soooooo sorry.     It’s always important to stay frosty and keep your cool. (Sorry, I’m a dad and can’t help myself.) Probably not the best strategy to start throwin’ down Dad Jokes during a stealth operation. No matter how sweet they are. Good luck, my fellow parents.  

    HowToBeADad.com / 39 d. 11 h. 24 min. ago more
  • Interview with Disney*PIXAR CARS 3 Director Brian Fee and Producer Kevin ReherInterview with Disney*PIXAR CARS 3 Director Brian Fee and Producer Kevin Reher

    As part 3 of our continuing coverage of the home video release of Disney Pixar’s CARS 3, we were granted time with Director BRIAN FEE and Producer KEVIN REHER. Together they shared insight on the changes and decisions made during the creation process and how ultimately it changed the direction of the film. Brian Fee started with Pixar Animation Studios in 2003 as a story artist. During his time with Pixar he has has worked on the “Cars” films, “Ratatouille”, “Wall•E,” and “Monsters University.” With “Cars 3” Fee makes his directorial debut. Kevin Reher joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1993. He began as a finance and production representative for Walt Disney Pictures on “Toy Story” and co-producer of “A Bug’s Life.” In 1999 he formally became a part of Pixar as the development producer, overseeing the “incubation period” of feature and short film projects, starting with 2003’s release of “Finding Nemo.” Reher also oversees Pixar’s casting process, beginning with “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles,” and continuing with “Cars 2,” “Brave,” “Monsters University,” and the studio’s 2015 releases “Inside Out,” which won the Oscar® for best animated feature film, and “The Good Dinosaur.” One of the first things that becomes apparent when viewing this film is that it’s not just a rehashing of the existing story. In “Cars 3” we’re introduced to Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo), a younger female assigned to help train Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) take on the new generation of faster racers. As the story progresses we learn that Cruz is not only a trainer, but also quite capable in her own way. She just needs to learn that for herself. This storyline was not always a part of the script. During our Q&A we learned that the decisions to make Cruz a “she” was not only driven by story, but by what the production team observed in their real lives as parents and coworkers. Question: How do you feel about Cruz and Cristela, and that character, and what she brought to the movie? KR: We absolutely love her, she’s so fun to work with too. She did all of her recording on set, flying back and forth. BF: You know Cruz didn’t start off as a female character. Early on in the process of this film it was a male one. While we’re trying to constantly evolve and enrich the story, and we just keep redoing it, we eventually realized that we’re missing an opportunity here. I have two girls at home, and here we have a very heavily male dominated movie, and it’s a male dominated sport. I wanted something for my daughters, something for them to look up to, for then to identify with. I would see them afraid to do something. If they thought they were going be bad at it, they just wouldn’t even try it. That’s human nature, but it still breaks your heart as a parent. Because, well, everyone’s bad at everything at first. Everything that happens at home, it gets put in our back pockets, and we come to work the next day, we start talking about story. That kind of stuff, it comes up. So we started just paying attention to all this, and we thought Cruz needs to be a girl character, on every level. First thing we did we made her a female. We do these rough screenings, it’s all storyboards, and it’s all just us doing the voices and stuff just to try out the story while we work on it. We decided let’s not rewrite the part, let’s just make it a female. That didn’t work. Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) KR: Having a female character speaking former lines by a male character was like, uhhh… BF: Well it wasn’t a strong character… KR: Yes. If you look at the deleted scenes, you also can see her journey as an actress and how she found the character, because some of it’s a little cringeworthy. BF: The original Cruz as a male character was working at the time. He was very… soft. You almost have this… KR: …Syncophantic assistant… BF: Yes, and he was funny because he wasn’t confident. He didn’t have any bite to him, and that was somehow entertaining as a male character. As soon as we gave it a female voice it was just all kinds of wrong. So we started to write the character with more bite. That’s why we have the scene where McQueen starts blaming her. He’s just frustrated, and kind of lashes out at her… and she just, like, bites him back. That’s the reason we wrote the scene that way, it’s because we thought “What would Cruz really do?” It’s a learning journey. She was easily the hardest character to crack, and she was also quite frankly the most important character in the film. Many of the characters in “Cars 3” were voiced by real-life racers like Junior Johnson, Ray Evernham, Kyle Petty, Shannon Spake, Danny Suarez, and others. They may be perfectly comfortable behind the wheel, but placing them in front of a microphone could be a different story. We asked the team about what it was like working with these professionals. Q: You’ve worked with great voice actors on many of your films. How was it working with some of these actors, taking them out of their comfort zones? KR: Blood, sweat, and tomatoes! (laughing) It was masterful, but when you have non-actors it can be tough. BF: When you have an actor, well trained and experienced… KR: Kerry Washington (voice of Natalie Certain) comes in and just knocks it out of the park. You’re done early. Natalie Certain (Kerry Washington) BF: But you still have to put them in the right mindset. They have to feel it so that what comes out of them feels true. They’re not concerned about how silly they look. With a non-actor they’re aware of standing in front of a microphone, everyone’s watching. They’re not comfortable making funny noises. In that moment the job is to make them become comfortable, which usually means me making a fool of myself. For example working with Kyle. There’s a really heartfelt moment where he has to basically say goodbye to McQueen. It’s really an acting moment. I already knew that that’s going be a challenge, it’s going to be hard. It’s one thing to just say some things really loud as a joke, and it’s another thing to really connect on an emotional quiet level. One of the things we did was after he had the line down, I took his pages away so he was no longer reading words, to get out of that reading cycle. Then I would stand really close to hime and say “No, don’t say it to the microphone, say it to me.” I would get uncomfortably close to force him to just say it to me. He would lower his voice, and we would just do it alot. He got more comfortable, and we recorded him several times. He got really good by the end, he adapted and he learned. Part of what makes the “Cars 3” franchise work it the incredible amount of detail that is integrated into the films. The backdrops, racetracks, and scenery all seem to interact on a real level. Much of this is due to the amount of research that goes into producing the work. We asked Brian and Kevin if they did any specific research in preparing for this film: KR: It was great. We started on Route 99, then Charlotte, Daytona… BF: We hung around racetracks. KR: Lot’s of racetracks. Abandoned tracks. We went to Wilkesborough in North Carolina, Occoneechee, and that’s how we ended up hearing about the legends of racing. All the legends came out of all that research. BF: Then we spent equal amount of time talking with drivers, like Junior Johnson and people that were there when it was getting started, and hearing their stories. You’d take all that stuff, and you have kinda put it in your back pocket. Then it comes up later, and it’s like “We got to have a character named Smokey that’s in some way fashioned after Smokey Yunick.” Then you’re able to attribute certain things to that character based on the real person that give it a richness. Smokey Yunick(Photo by ISC Images Archives via Getty Images) KR: “Smokey’s Garage, best dang garage in town.” It’s actually Smokey Eunic’s Garage was the best damn garage in town, but it’s a Disney movie, so we couldn’t. After we talked to Junior Johnson and mentioned that we had visited Occoneechee he said that he had ended up in the river there a couple of times. So we ended up with a character named River. Then there’s the story of Wendell Scott, who was the only African American stock car racer. If you watch the DVD extras there’s a terrific featurette on the legends, and his story was amazing. Finally, we asked if they were happy with the final product, and if the next one would be even better. KR: Yes, very happy with it. BF: Yes happy with it. As far as the next one, I hope I can learn from the experience and do better. That’s what we live for, doing better. CARS 3 now in HD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray on November 7th

    DaDa Rocks! / 40 d. 2 h. 41 min. ago more
  • Luminar 2018 Review – An overview of the updated photo editing suite for amateurs and non-professional photographers.Luminar 2018 Review – An overview of the updated photo editing suite for amateurs and non-professional photographers.

    Here's our honest Luminar 2018 review from an amateur photographer's perspective. Macphun's just released major Adobe Lightroom photo editing competitor. The post Luminar 2018 Review – An overview of the updated photo editing suite for amateurs and non-professional photographers. appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 40 d. 6 h. 38 min. ago more
  • My Wife Just Said… #335My Wife Just Said… #335

    I’m not sure most parents realize or fully appreciate that they get to be mythological characters for their kids. We get to be things like Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and so forth. I’m actually kinda realizing it myself, that there are quite a lot of fantasy roles we get to play as parents. I’m a big fan of being mostly the Great Pumpkin. My wife loves chocolate, but she’s pretty particular. I’m about as particular as a garbage disposal. So, on Halloween, taking my kid out to trick-or-treat has some of the tresure-hunting enthusiasm of my youth. When he shows me how full his bag is getting, there’s something more than pride that stretches my face into a beaming smile. This isn’t to say, we’re those wet blanket parents that take away all the candy, but we do what we can so he’s not chomping like Pack-Man through pounds of sugar. It works for us: he gets his favorite candy and some cash to buy a toy or some other random thing. – More “My Wife Just Said…” The fun doesn’t have to stop here. Follow HowToBeADad on Facebook. It’s the best way to stay connected.  

    HowToBeADad.com / 40 d. 22 h. 47 min. ago more
  • The Twin Dad Behind Kinderwagon Strollers with Justin Shull – Podcast 153The Twin Dad Behind Kinderwagon Strollers with Justin Shull – Podcast 153

    Episode 153 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes In this episode, we continue our Father of Twins Interview Series with Justin Shull, father of boy/girl twins. Justin and his wife Jennifer started Kinderwagon, a company that makes tandem strollers great for twins. (Congratulations to Brittany B. who won the stroller mentioned in the podcast.) On the show, we dive into Justin’s twin journey, including: Identifying unique interests and strengths in twins Preparing a child for twins to join the family When one twin is head down and the other head up for delivery Having a natural birth of twins The transition from one child to three Big challenges of mobile twins Starting potty training at 8 months Transitioning from cribs to big beds Deciding which school was best for the children Figuring out how to travel well with twins Starting a company when (and because) you have young children Creating a tandem umbrella stroller, the Kinderwagon Hop What to look for in a twin stroller Keeping your marriage strong Developing individual relationships with each child Reach out to Justin: sales@kinderwagon.com Transcript Joe: Hello everybody and welcome to the 153rd episode of The Dad’s Guide to Twin’s Podcast. This is Joe Rawlinson. As always, you can find me on the web at twindadpodcast.com, where you’ll find the complete show notes and transcript for this episode as well as, every previous podcast episode. Today on the show, we are continuing our Father of Twins interview series with a fellow father of twins Justin Shull. Now Justin and his wife Jennifer are the founders of Kinder Wagon, a great company that makes strollers perfect for twins. He has a great surprise gift for us, for you as listeners. Let’s jump right into that interview with Justin. Today on the show, I’d like to welcome fellow father of twins Justin Shull, welcome to the show Justin. Justin: Hi Joe, thanks for having me I appreciate it. Joe: You’re welcome. Justin, tell us how old are your twins right now, and what’s the most exciting thing about this age? Justin: Fletcher and Gretchen are our twins, and they are currently eight years old. Every day is exciting with Fletcher and Gretchen, they are both very different. They’re not alike in any way, but they make every day a lot of fun. Fletcher is extremely outgoing and will try anything, and Gretchen is more calculated but she’s a fantastic artist. Joe: Awesome. I love how you’re able to identify their unique strengths, kind of personalities there. It’s one of the joys of being a parent of twins, is seeing how different they can be. So, rewind back to when you found out that you were having twins. What was your family situation like, and how was that news for you? Justin: So, we had Oliver. Oliver was 20 months old at the time when we found out that Jennifer was pregnant with twins. It was very much a surprise. We went in for the ultrasound, and that’s when we saw that we had conceived twins. It was great news. Joe: It was a surprise for us as well when we got the news about twins. How were you able to prepare your son for the twins’ arrival? Justin: Well, being that he was only 20 months old at the time, it was kind of an easy process because he was very willing and accepting, and he was just excited to have siblings when we told him. But again, he was 20 months old, so he was kind of at that stage where he … I don’t know if he really realized what was going on until they arrived. Joe: That’s right. One of our boys was about that age too when our twins were born. He knew that there was a baby inside mom’s tummy, we talked about babies inside mom’s tummy, but you’re right. I don’t think they really understood what was about to happen until the girls were born and we brought them home. Justin: That’s exactly how it was for Oliver. Until they actually arrived home and he got to see them, that’s when it really clicked for him he thought, “Wow, this is now my brother and sister,” I think. Joe: Did you have any challenges during the pregnancy? Justin: The pregnancy went pretty smooth. At the time, we were living out in Western Pennsylvania in a small town called Somerset, when it came time to deliver, we had a little bit of an issue. Fletcher was head down, but Gretchen was head up as we all know is … parents of twins, that’s not exactly the optimal position to have one of the children in, but albeit kind of common from what I understand. Joe: So, did that force a birth situation that was not what you were expecting? Justin: No, it actually worked out pretty well because the doctor that we had used, he had a lot of experience in the Amish community where they don’t like to have surgery or C-sections done. So, he was quite skilled at doing the manipulating to get Gretchen turned from head up to head down. That process, Fletcher’s birth was very quick, but then for Gretchen, it took one hour to get her twisted and positioned to be in the head down position for birth. So, that was a very exciting process. Joe: Oh I bet. An hour of trying to maneuver … Justin: I have to add also that Jennifer didn’t have any painkillers, or a spinal tap or anything. She did it the old fashion way. Joe: That is commendable for sure, not an easy task to deliver one baby let alone two, and to do so naturally. Impressive. So, they were born vaginally, born naturally, were there any complications or hospital stay for them? Justin: No, there was no hospital stay other than the normal overnight at the hospital, and then we took them home. Now, they were a little jaundiced and so, we had to use the ultraviolet lights, like the sleep lights that you have for them. We put them in those for I forget how long the period was, maybe it was a couple of weeks maybe and that was all that we had to do. Joe: That’s a pretty smooth transition back home, that’s good. Once you brought them home, how was it like adjusting to life with twins? What were some of the big surprises that you had? Justin: To transition from going from one to three. Beforehand, it was either Jennifer and I could be with Oliver, so we could always give the dedicated time. But then when Fletcher and Gretchen arrived, we now went from a man to man defense to a zone defense, which made things quite more complicated. Simple things whether it be feeding, or getting ready for bed, all the activities that we all know about as parents of twins and the complications. One of the interesting things was, when it came to feeding time, especially in the middle of the night when Fletcher and Gretchen needed their bottles, we had these devices at the time called “The Nap Nannies.” It was perfect because we could sit in the bed, and have Fletcher in one, Gretchen in the other, myself or Jennifer could sit between them, and they could be laying down and each of them could be fed at the same time using the bottles, which was really handy. Joe: That’s a pretty clever device. Yeah, anything we can get as parents to make life a little bit easier trying to juggle both twins at the same time is worth the investment. Justin: The Nap Nannies were a godsend for use, they really helped out especially with feeding time, it really helped us out. Joe: It takes months for us to get into kind of a rhythm and to clear through that initial fog of newborn twins. At what point did you think like, “Okay, I think I’ve got the hang of things now, we’re in a good routine as a family?” Justin: Probably a good six months I think before we kind of felt really dialed in pretty comfortably. To be perfectly frank, sometimes I wonder now if we’re dialed in properly, but … Joe: Yeah, as they get older the challenges change. It changes from a survival mode, then you’re feeding and sleeping and changing diapers to, “Oh, these are little people now and I have to guide them in their choices in life.” You have a family of three children now and as they’re growing together, they’re all very young at the same time, so what were some of the milestones that they were hitting that were a challenge for you? Justin: Probably when they first started getting mobile. So, for Fletcher … Once Fletcher learned how to crawl, he was unstoppable and he’d go everywhere in the house if we didn’t have him kind of pinned in with the baby gates. Gretchen on the other hand, which is still true to both of their natures, Gretchen was very reserved, she didn’t really wonder around too much. Wherever we had her, we knew she would stay where she was, but for Fletcher it was definitely once he started … Once he learned how to move around, he was always exploring as much as he could. Joe: Yeah, childproofing takes on a whole new meaning when you have to childproof for multiple troublemakers at the same time. Justin: It does. In fact, Fletcher’s nickname, and it still kind of is the same was Magellan the Wanderer. Joe: So, how did the transition go with potty training for your twins? Justin: Potty training. Well, we started potting training fairly early on. We probably started potty training I think it was around eight months, and it was on the plastic potties. What we would do is, we’d look for a facial gesture, and then we’d quickly disrobe them and put them on the potty. It worked, and it worked really well. It definitely helped out with the challenge of the dirty diapers. As far as how long it took them to take to that, it probably took again, probably about another five months I’d say before we really weren’t having any more accidents on that. Joe: That’s still pretty good, that’s pretty early. Justin: Yeah, and that was as far as just for bowel movements. Joe: That’s good. I mean, they were still trained almost a year ahead of when most children are, which is pretty phenomenal. Justin: We were able to experiment with their brother Oliver and we started him I think it was around seven months, we started him a little bit earlier. So, we kind of learned through that process with Ollie and then just applied the same concepts to Fletcher and Gretchen. Joe: Excellent. That is one advantage of having more than one round of children is, you kind of learned from the first and can apply it to the rest. Justin: Yes. Joe: So, how about the transition from cribs to big beds for your twins, how did that go? Justin: It was about two years old, and we had made the transition over to it, because Fletcher had figured out how to climb out of his crib. So, once he figured out how to climb out, we figured it was safer to have them in beds. Joe: Yeah, that was impotence for our transition too. My wife said, “Oh, they can escape, time to take action.” Justin: Yes, and how old were yours when it happened? Joe: They were about two, and as soon as one figures it out, the other one is watching and will follow suit pretty quickly. Justin: Yeah, I would think. The good thing for us was again, Gretchen didn’t really … She was always a very relaxed and so, we weren’t too worried about her doing it. But at the same time, we realized that it was probably right around the corner. We chose to put them both into beds at that time. They always shared a bedroom too, so it worked out better at that point. Joe: So, when it came time to transition to school for your twins, how did you decide if they’re going to be together or in separate classes? Justin: When it came time for school, we decided that for all of our children that wanted them to go to a Montessori school. So starting in kindergarten, or Pre-K, they started. Actually, aside from just Fletcher and Gretchen being in the same class, it turned out that Oliver, Fletcher, and Gretchen were in the same class, because they’re only grade year apart. The way that system works is actually, it’s a three year cycle that they were on. So then say grades one, two, and three would be the next class that would be grouped together. It worked well because Fletcher and Gretchen, again, being so different, they worked wonderfully together, but they can also work apart and be very independent of each other. So, there was no conflict, it was real easy for them to do that. In fact, they still are in the same class today. Joe: That’s wonderful that they compliment each other in that way. We’ve ended up having to separate our girls in different classes, and there’s been advantages and disadvantages to that. I think it’s good that you’re able to hone in on their individual needs, and be able to find a situation that’s really good for them. What’s one thing that you wished you had known before your twins were born? Justin: The initial stages of feeding oddly enough, because it took a little while to figure out the Nap Nanny way of feeding them, which really helped us a lot when they were babies. Joe: Have you and your family been able to travel with the twins when they were young, or you had to wait until they were a little bit older? Justin: We traveled quite extensively with the children. Just recently, we finished up a trip to Puerto Vallarta. They travel very well, they’re very content. Also, because of the way youngsters like to kick the seats, what we’ll do is, we’ll also put Jennifer and Gretchen in the front row in front of us, and then we’ll put myself, Fletcher, and Oliver behind them, because Gretchen doesn’t put her feet on the seat backs in front of her where Fletcher and Oliver can have a tendency to do that. So, out of respect for other passengers. Joe: That’s great. That’s great you’ve been able to identify how to best seat them on the airplane. We’ve had to pay attention to what works and what doesn’t work when we’ve been traveling with our kids as well. Every time we travel, they’re at a slightly different age, slightly different milestones and every trip is a little bit different than the previous one. So Justin, you and your wife have a pretty interesting company, Kinderwagon, can you tell us a little bit about that company and what was the impetus for creating those initial products? Justin: Funny enough, Fletcher and Gretchen our twins, they were the catalyst behind Kinderwagon. Jennifer was pregnant with Fletcher and Gretchen, and we were looking around at what our options were to get them around. We didn’t like what was available. They were either too long and complicated, the Tandem strollers. We’d have to remove a seat and put them back on, or you’d have to take one kid and kind of put them underneath without a view in the lower seat, or they were very wide and also kind of heavy. So, when we were looking at these and how we were going to get them around and we couldn’t find it, it was at that point that it was kind of the eureka moment for us that, “Hey, what we would like to use isn’t available. If we want something that’s simple and gives both kids a view and lightweight, well then, probably some other people would like to have this also.” That’s when we put pen to paper and started to develop our first stroller. Joe: So, how long did it take you to bring your first stroller to market? Justin: It took a little over a year, it was in development from the time that we first started. The first stroller it’s called “The Kinderwagon Hop,” and that’s a tandem umbrella stroller that’s very lightweight, very narrow, both children get a view, and it’s about the same size as a single stroller, and better than some as well. Joe: Pretty innovative stroller. I was able to see it a couple of weeks ago when we met in person. For our listeners, I’ll link up to that in the show notes, so you can check out that stroller as well. So Justin as a parent, and we’re trying to decide, what’s the best stroller? What are some of the maybe safety features or features of the stroller that we should be looking for that would be good for our twins? Justin: Something that was really important for Jennifer and I was that, we wanted both of the children to have a view of the world. That’s why we designed “Hop” with stadium seating. We didn’t want one child to be looking at the back of the other, and so the stadium seating really helps with that. For us, the compact size was important, and being lightweight. The reason being was, because we still wanted to be able to make getting around for us easy. If we wanted to go for instance, into a Starbucks or another coffee shop and get a coffee, we didn’t want to be knocking things over in the coffee shop as we were maneuvering around. Joe: Yeah, having to alter a couple of different double strollers ourselves, that is a challenge is navigating through tight spaces, through crowds, through doorways. Justin: Putting it in the back of your car. Joe: Exactly, getting it collapsed and fitting and still having room for your other stuff like, your groceries or your diaper bag and stuff like that. So from that initial idea of creating the first Hop stroller, what came after that? Ideas, were they generated from your family’s needs, or from listening to customers? Justin: They were generated primarily from our family needs. So, we knew that originally that we wanted to come out with three different types of umbrella strollers if you will. Jennifer right from the start, she knew what she was going to name them. The names of them are Hop, that was the first one, Skip, and Jump. Jump is another tandem stroller, so one child sits behind the other, but Jump is designed for children that are further apart in age. So, the older child, or a toddler can feel like they have their independence and they can walk. But as soon as they get tired, and they asked to be carried, they can just go ahead instead and sit on the back jump seat of the Jump stroller. When they’re sitting in that seat, they’re actually facing mom or dad, and there is also a safety belt on that seat as well. Joe: So, you come up with products that kind of evolve as your children grow, and the needs of your family change. Justin: Yes. Then, we designed skip as well. Skip is a single umbrella stroller, and we did that because we wanted to make a quality lightweight umbrella stroller that had great functionality, and that’s where Skip came in. Joe: That’s great, because not everybody is as lucky as we are to have two babies at the same time, right? Justin: That’s right. Joe: So Justin, if people wanted to check out more about your strollers, where should they go? Justin: They can find us at Kinderwagon.com. Joe: So, if you could give one piece of advice to other twin dads to help keep their marriage strong through the challenges of expecting and raising twins, what would that be? Justin: I think it’s really important to try to spend quality time not only with the entire family, but then, each child needs their own time. It may sound obvious, but I think it’s really important, so each of them feel special. Taking time out for just you and your spouse as well. Life can get very busy when you have twins, you kind of forget to focus on some of the things that might be important such as, your marriage and just having quality time. So, it’s important to kind of also find that quality time for you and your spouse, so you can sit down and exhale and just kind of realize what you’re accomplishing and find the joy in every moment of raising your twins. Then our case, we have Oliver too, so we have three. So, find the joy in raising your family and being with them. That’s the most important thing that I can share. Joe: That’s great advice, wonderful. How about, what are some ways that you’ve found to keep an individual relationship with each of your children? Justin: Again, it’s finding things to do differently with each of them. So for instance, with my son Oliver, he really likes history. So, we’ll watch history documentaries together. He also really likes to ride his bike, so we’ll go out and do some biking together. Fletcher, he really enjoys doing different types of video games. So, I try to participate in that with him as well. He likes to go out and do nice hikes with me, so we’ll go out and we’ll go for a walk along the ocean, or we’ll go to the woods somewhere and find some nice nature trails. Then Gretchen, she’s really into arts and crafts and so with her, the important thing is to kind of help her with that, and to have fun building things and being creative. Joe: That’s wonderful that you’re able to identify their individual interests, and then tailor your time with them to kind of focus on those interests and strengths. So, now that your twins are older and we’re past the survival phase, what’s working right now with parenting? Justin: Listening to them and letting them know that we hear them, and giving them our time, and just trying to find the special moments that we can have together. I think that’s the biggest thing. I think if they feel like they’re getting the attention and love that they deserve and need, I think it leads to very happy children. Joe: So Justin, as we wrap up today, if listeners want to connect with you, what’s the best way to reach out? Justin: You can email me at sales@kinderwagon.com. Joe, I’m really happy to tell you also that we would like to do a giveaway of the Hop stroller, which is actually the stroller that we designed for Fletcher and Gretchen. Joe: Fantastic, so this stroller is ideal for what size children? Justin: The front seat is going to be from six months forward, and the rear seat three months forward, and it’s about 50 pounds maximum per seat. Joe: That’s great, so it’s a good stroller after your kids are kind of moving out of those infant car seat carriers, they can move into the Hop? Justin: That’s correct. They can move in after that point, and the stroller, it’s total weight is 21 and a half pounds. Joe: Excellent, so very lightweight, very portable. That’s great, thank you so much for donating that to our listeners. So listeners, if you want to enter to win this Hop stroller from Kinderwagon, head on over to the show notes at twindadpodcast.com, it’ll have instructions of what you need to do to join us on Facebook and Instagram to get your entries in to win this stroller. Thank you again Justin for donating that to our listeners, it will come in very handy for one lucky twin parent. Justin: Excellent, we look forward to it. Joe: Justin, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today, we really appreciate it. Justin: All right Joe, thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it. Joe: I hope you enjoyed the interview with Justin today, one of the founders of Kinderwagon. Okay so, if you want to enter to win the Kinderwagon Hop tandem stroller, here’s what you need to do: We’re going to have you enter over on our social media at Facebook and on Instagram. First on Facebook, if you head over to Facebook.com/dadsguidetotwins, look for the post with the stroller, and you can enter to win right there on Facebook. Also, you can get an additional entry over on Instagram. If you go to … my Instagram, it’s @twindadjoe, look for the post with the stroller, and you can enter to win there as well. So, you increase your chances of winning if you head over to Facebook and Instagram. Now, if you want specific instructions on how to enter to win, head over to the show notes for this podcast over at twindadpodcast.com, and look for the podcast 153 with Justin. Thank you so much for listening to the show today, I really appreciate it, and we’ll see you next time. Subscribe to the Podcast To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below: iTunes (for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) Stitcher Google Play Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) Share Your Thoughts Please let me know what you think of this episode of the podcast, you can contact me with any questions or comments or leave a comment on the blog. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help other parents of twins find the show! Download the Podcast Download the podcast in .mp3 format (right click and “save as…”) You can find Joe on Twitter and Facebook.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 41 d. 9 h. 18 min. ago more
  • Our house is ready for Halloween!Our house is ready for Halloween!

    The post Our house is ready for Halloween! appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 41 d. 23 h. 20 min. ago
  • VPN for torrentingVPN for torrenting

    So I am here to resolve a query.Lately I have been facing this issue that whenever I download something from a torrent site there is a malware attack! How to get rid of this? This Blog however suggests the best torrent sites of 2017. Are they ? Before using anyone of them ? Should I use a VPN with it? Will it secure me?

    Daddyplace.com / 42 d. 9 h. 30 min. ago
  • Halloween Pumpkins 2017Halloween Pumpkins 2017

    The post Halloween Pumpkins 2017 appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 42 d. 19 h. 19 min. ago
  • Curiosity and Candy: Helpful Halloween Tips to Save a Sweet ToothCuriosity and Candy: Helpful Halloween Tips to Save a Sweet Tooth

    Candy. Know what’s in those buckets and bags? Why they go door-to-door like sugar-crazed lunatics? Why they nudge one another off front stoops in an effort to be the first to reach into the bowl? It’s all about the candy. Let’s face it – for a kid candy is the beginning, middle, and end of Halloween. Sure the costumes are nice, but they’re only a means to a chocolate-covered, sticky, delicious end. The toughest part for me, as their dad, is to curtail their candy intake because, well, I’m also a candy fiend. Give me all your Reese’s peanut butter cups. I’ll eat as many Hershey bars as I can get my hands on. I’ll do battle with 3 Musketeers and Junior Mints never live long enough to become seniors, because I’ll devour them. But HEAVEN HELP YOU if you give me or my family Butterfingers or candy corn. The point is, I like candy just as much as my kids so it’s tough to tell them to knock it off with the candy when I’m simultaneously emptying it into my gullet. But what I can do to battle the $2.7 billion Americans will spend on Halloween candy this year is make sure their oral health habits even out the candy insurgence that’s about to take place. How? Brush and floss twice a day, especially after eating Brush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride Use a soft toothbrush Floss with dental floss Only give Tommy (under 3) a grain of rice-sized amount of toothpaste Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for Sam (3-6) to minimize swallowing You can read more tips here. And here’s a cool infographic. This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are my own. The post Curiosity and Candy: Helpful Halloween Tips to Save a Sweet Tooth appeared first on The Daddy Files.

    The Daddy Files / 43 d. 0 h. 35 min. ago more
  • As The Next Phase Of The World Unravels, I’m Ready To WriteAs The Next Phase Of The World Unravels, I’m Ready To Write

    The dominoes are starting to fall and while I’m glad the truth will finally begin to be known, I’m also angry that this is happening in America. That we’ve become so “my side is right and your side is wrong” that we’ve lost sight of the bigger picture that we are one country and if another country messes with us, we should all be pissed. We woke without power this morning. Thankfully we were prepared and it is back on now. Of course, it made me realize a few things we should have done but didn’t. Also, had me thinking about all the Americans in Puerto Rico who are still without the power, water and attention they need to be receiving. Both of these play a role in my immediate future which is why I’m writing about them. In less than forty-eight hours I’ll begin taking part in National Novel Writing Month. After interviewing the Executive Director, I couldn’t shake the idea of taking part out of my head. It is something I’ve been tempted with doing many years in the past, but this year it appears everything has aligned properly for me to give a full on go. The family is all on board and since you have to have a working title to track in the system I lovingly (and a bit jokingly) titled mine “Corned Beef Hash With a Side of Bourbon.” It is a road trip novel set in 2033. Just far enough in the future that I can take some liberties with technology and world events. Yet, keeping it close enough that I’ve had to take a long hard look at where I think things could go in the world. I’ll be honest that the last part has been rather scary. What could all the hate grow into? What happens when third and fourth political parties are formed and start winning? How does technology taint interactions, love, and humankind? The exercise in thinking about where it might all lead and then deciding how much I want to include in the story is an interesting experience. I wanted to outline what the world looked like so I knew as much as possible for where my characters were living and playing. It feels like it will help a lot. My personal #NaNoWriMo2017 goal is to hit the 50,000 word goal and come out at the end with a solid first draft. While I don’t have a formal outline, I do know where I currently want to story to go, the main characters and enough to get started. One special event tonight, Halloween tomorrow and then it is time to write. Wish me luck!

    C.C. Chapman / 43 d. 4 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Review: Ultimate Justice League R/C Batmobile – This Thing Smokes…Literally!Review: Ultimate Justice League R/C Batmobile – This Thing Smokes…Literally!

    File this under, “Where in the world was this toy when I was a kid!” The Ultimate Justice League Remote Control Batmobile is a 1/10 replica of the batmobile from the new movie.  The level of detail and technology in this Batmobile will make any Batman fan scream Holy Smokes.  Speaking of smoke, did we mention this batmobile has real smoke that pours out of the exhaust? Thanks to our friends at Mattel who sent us a Batmobile to review, we don’t have to talk about all the cool features of this collectible RC – we can show it all to you! Please watch our video review of the Mattel Ultimate Justice League Remote Control Batmobile (1/10 scale) – A Whole Slew of Technology in One Batmobile Deluxe, remote controlled Batmobile™ with premium Justice League™ movie features. Interactive control with a smart phone app and driver’s POV camera in cockpit. 6″ scale Batman™ figure has body movements with arm that turns the wheel. Engine makes authentic sounds and smoke releases from the exhaust pipe. Four armored wheels roll and missiles move on hood of the car and fire. Special “jump mode” elevates the vehicle for better aim. As the video shows, this Batmobile is clearly decked out with details and technology.  There is only one catch…the price.  At $249, this is more a toy for collectors than kids.  If you are a Batman fan and the price doesn’t scare you away, you will be thrilled to own this smoking cool Batmobile! More Information: Watch our full video review of the Ultimate Justice League RC Batmobile (1/10 scale). Purchase the Ultimate Justice League Batmobile for $249 on Amazon. Visit Mattel To Learn More.

    Dad Does / 43 d. 20 h. 36 min. ago more
  • Carnival vs Royal Caribbean Bahamas Cruise ComparisonCarnival vs Royal Caribbean Bahamas Cruise Comparison

    Trying to decide between a Majesty of the Seas vs Carnival Liberty Bahamas cruise? We've sailed both in 2017 and compare two popular Port Canaveral cruises. The post Carnival vs Royal Caribbean Bahamas Cruise Comparison appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 44 d. 8 h. 48 min. ago
  • Gartenzaun oder Hecke – stilvoller Sichtschutz für den GartenGartenzaun oder Hecke – stilvoller Sichtschutz für den Garten

    Die meisten Menschen schätzen ihre Privatsphäre und möchten in ihrem eigenen Garten vor fremden Blicken geschützt sein. Doch stellt sich hier die Frage, welcher Sichtschutz es denn sein sollte.  Denn Möglichkeiten für einen Sichtschutz, der gleichzeitig zum Garten passen und schön und stilvoll aussehen sollte, gibt es viele. Die beliebtesten dieser Maßnahmen sind Hecken und Gartenzäune, von denen es wiederum einige Variationen gibt. Es gibt aber eine diverse andere Ideen, wie man natürlichen und künstlichen Sichtschutz im Garten einsetzt. Die Vorteile der Hecke Die Hecke ist als Sichtschutz für den Garten natürlich ein Klassiker. Es ist offensichtlich, dass die Heckenpflanzen perfekt zur Natur des Gartens passen und damit die gewünschte Ästhetik mitbringen. Zudem ist die Hecke im Vergleich zu manch einem Gartenzaun oder sogar einer Gartenmauer eine preisgünstige Alternative. Die Heckenpflanzen gelten als ausgesprochen langlebig und können durchaus mehrere Generationen überdauern. Allerdings benötigt eine Hecke auch eine regelmäßige Pflege. Denn die Heckenpflanzen müssen regelmäßig zurechtgeschnitten werden, damit die Hecke ihre gepflegte Form beibehält und weiter wachsen und gedeihen kann. Außerdem benötigen die Heckenpflanzen wie alle Pflanzen in unseren Breitengraden ausreichend viel Wasser und sollten damit regelmäßig gegossen werden. Die Vorteile des Gartenzauns Ein Gartenzaun kann ebenfalls sehr schön sein, zumal der Besitzer bei der Wahl des Gartenzauns ebenso wie bei der Wahl der Heckenpflanzen über Alternativen verfügt. Für den Gartenzaun spricht, dass er wesentlich weniger Platz benötigt als eine Hecke und insgesamt weniger Arbeitsaufwand bei der Pflege und Instandhaltung. Doch sollte der Gartenzaun, wenn er aus Holz ist, alle paar Jahre gestrichen werden, weil die Farbe des Gartenzauns dazu neigt, relativ schnell abzubröckeln oder zu verblassen. Mit einer Gartenmauer umgehen Sie dieses Problem, allerdings ist diese wesentlich teurer und auch platzeinnehmender. Welcher Gartenzaun darf es sein? Gartenzäune können aus Holz, Kunststoff oder Metall sein. Gartenzäune aus Holz haben dabei den Vorteil, dass sie sehr natürlich wirken und aus natürlichem Material sind. Der Gartenzaun aus Holz ist damit ökologischer als der Gartenzaun aus Kunststoff oder Metall. Er besteht aus nachwachsendem Rohstoff, und für seine Produktion werden weniger Energien in die Atmosphäre freigesetzt. Er ist auch im Vergleich zu anderen Gartenzäunen die günstigste Alternative. Der Nachteil besteht allerdings in der hohen Pflegeintensität sowie in der Anfälligkeit gegenüber Verwitterungen, was wiederum zu Lasten seiner Haltbarkeit geht. Zudem sollte er nicht nur alle paar Jahre frisch mit Farbe gestrichen werden. Er sollte noch wesentlich öfters mit speziellen Holzschutz überpinselt werden, damit sich nicht so schnell Feuchtigkeit und Frost in das Holz hineinfressen können. Ein Gartenzaun aus Metall ist dagegen wesentlich robuster und pflegeleichter als ein Gartenzaun aus Holz. Ein solcher Gartenzaun wirkt optisch auf viele Menschen attraktiv, zumal es diesen auch in unzähligen Kunstformen und Mustern gibt. Er hat natürlich seinen Preis. Ein Gartenzaun aus Kunststoff ist dabei eine Alternative für diejenigen, welche die Vorzüge von Holzmauern und Metallmauern als Blendschutz für den Garten miteinander vereinigen möchten. Preislich liegt er ungefähr in der Mitte zwischen Holz- und Metallzaun, was auch die Pflegeintensität und Haltbarkeit angeht. Pergola oder Naturmauer? Pergola und Naturmauer sind Möglichkeiten des Sichtschutzes für gehobene Ansprüche. Eine Pergola ist ein freistehender Laubengang, bei dem traditionell auf eine besondere Kunstform wertgelegt wird. Insofern haben Sie gerade hier besondere Spielräume, ihren künstlerischen Vorstellungen freien Lauf zu lassen. Praktisch hat eine Pergola wiederum den Vorteil, dass diese nicht nur als Sichtschutz wirkt, sondern auch als Schattenspender und Feuchtigkeitsschutz für große Areale Ihres Gartens. Eine Naturmauer aus Stein hat wiederum etwas Archaisches an sich. Viele Gärtner, die ihren Garten mit einer solchen Mauern verschönern, lassen sich dabei von antiken Vorbildern inspirieren. Der Beitrag Gartenzaun oder Hecke – stilvoller Sichtschutz für den Garten erschien zuerst auf Dad's House Blog.

    Dad's Houseblog / 46 d. 7 h. 40 min. ago more
  • more news
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway – Much more than just left turnsCharlotte Motor Speedway – Much more than just left turns

    Every sport has its iconic venue – Yankee Stadium, Churchill Downs, Madison Square Garden, to name a few.  Racing is no different. On a recent Disney PIXAR press junket for CARS 3 we were treated to exclusive access to one such location. For the sport of racing, Charlotte Motor Speedway is the “Mecca of Motorsports.”  Sitting on over 2000 acres of prime North Carolina land, just 13 miles from downtown Charlotte, this destination contains tracks that support many different levels of racing competition. At center-stage sits the legendary superspeedway.  A 1.5 mile long quad oval rack with 24 degree banked turns and 5 degree banked straightaways, this layout gives the cars plenty of room to maintain high speeds throughout their circuit.  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races are all held on this course.  Situated within the oval are a 2.25 mile road course, a six-tenths mile kart track, and a quarter-mile oval. Additionally, a one-fifth mile oval was placed outside of Turn 3.  Just across the highway from the speedway is a four-tenths long oval track: The Dirt Track At Charlotte. Built with a clay surface, this venue hosts the World of Outlaws series, as well as Monster Truck events.  Adjacent to the dirt track sits the world’s only 4 lane drag strip, the zMAX Dragway. Other interesting facts: Over 50 condominiums were built overlooking Turn 1, allowing year round residence. At 16,000 square feet, the world’s largest HDTV screen at a sports venue was built here. It was the first modern superspeedway to host night racing. In 2006 it became the first motorsports facility to host the world premier of a major motion picture with release of Disney’s “CARS” The spectator experience is extremely important to the raceway team.  You have the option to purchase grandstand tickets in various locations along the front straight, or for a premium experience you can opt for the Clubhouse package with options up to in-suite catering, climate control, and your own cash-bar.  For those who may have traveled in by RV, there are reservable campsites inside the oval where you can set up with access to facilities and be right in the middle of the action.  They also offer pit-pass tickets that grant access directly onto pit road.  This allows you to get up close and personal with the drivers and teams before the race.  Children under 13 receive free or very discounted access to almost all events. If you’re looking for a different family destination this summer, consider scheduling time in the area during one of the many race weekends.  You may find yourself becoming a fan! Charlotte Motor Speedway 704-455-3200 http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com

    DaDa Rocks! / 46 d. 8 h. 37 min. ago more
  • 35 Highly Awkward Drawings from Kids35 Highly Awkward Drawings from Kids

    Pareidolia is the fancy word for when you see images in things – like a cloud shaped like a dragon or a face in the bark of a tree or a (ehem) something in some kid art. In kids’ drawings, sometimes you see some unintended, uh… images. Sure, they’re not all phallic. Mostly, but not all! There’s a bunch of other weird or dark stuff, too. Spellings and written messages can make a kid’s drawing pretty friggin’ awkward as well. Have a look! 1) The birds and the bees and the winged horses? Source: rantsfrommommyland.com   2) Beware the dreaded flabbaflob. Source: totsandcrafts.com   3) Who would assign such a cruel assignment?!   4) I have so many questions.   5) Uh, hello there.   6) Dolphins are so majestic.   7) “Fate” is an F word, and this teacher was tempting it.   8) It says… #swag (#cringe) Source: imgur   9) She’s not pole dancing, her mom is selling snow shovels at Home Depot.   10) Apparently it’s a race car. Source: imgur   11) Some art is more honest than others.   12) Obviously it’s a lighthouse. Obviously! Source: reddit   13) I have trouble drawing hands, too.   14) Sometimes spelling is the hardest part.   15) Aaaand sometimes it’s the message.   16) That’s a big whistle ya got there.   17) Awww. A letter to… Santa?   18) Mama got back. Source: imgur   19) Son of a beach.   20) Must be snow shoveling season again! Source: Sarah Armstrong   21) Ahhh, brotherly love. Source: reddit   22) Mum’s Number 1!   23) The story of the monkey who rode the lion.   24) [Googles “exorcists nearby”]   25) Welcome to Earth. Please abduct my baby brother. Source: reddit   26) We salute you, brave firefighters.   27) The mighty giraffe.   28) Choosing the right canvas for your art is important.   29) In SpongeBob, it’s the CHUM Bucket. C-H, CHUM!   30) Sometimes it’s the drawing and the spelling that get ya.   31) The memories of the first day of… wait what?   32) Water is much better than pee.   33) Harsh!   34) What a lovely drawing, indeed.   35) How about sculptures? (They’re cannons. Theoretically.)  

    HowToBeADad.com / 46 d. 11 h. 37 min. ago more
  • Interview with Disney PIXAR CARS 3 Creative Director Jay Ward, and actor Ray EvernhamInterview with Disney PIXAR CARS 3 Creative Director Jay Ward, and actor Ray Evernham

    As part of our continued coverage of the upcoming release of Disney PIXAR’s CARS 3 on home video in Digital HD and 4K Ultra HD on October 24, and Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on November 7, we’ve been granted insider access to some of the people responsible for bringing this work to life. JAY WARD the Creative Director of CARS 3 started with PIXAR Animation Studios in 1998 as a production assistant working in the art department on the 2001 feature film “Monsters, Inc.” Shortly thereafter in 2001 he was promoted to coordinator and began early development work on he 2006 film “Cars.” Jay already had real knowledge of the automotive world, which gave him the ability to fill various production roles, including character team manager and automotive consultant to the director and co-director. After Cars he went on to manage the art department for “Ratatouille” and “Brave.” Jay’s automotive expertise led him to become a major contributor on the Disney-Pixar feature “Cars 2,” and he was also a consultant on the creation and production of “Cars Land” at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. He continues as a contributor to everything in the “Cars” franchise. RAY EVERNHAM (voice of Ray Reverham) grew up in New Jersey, and remembers playing with small cars in his driveway at an early age. Unlike other boys who wanted to be firemen or astronauts, Ray always knew that he wanted to be a driver or involved with cars. He started racing and working on cars at the age of 15, and spent the next 20 years as a driver, competing with the likes of Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Darrell Waltrip, and Bill Elliott. In 1992 he became the crew chief for Hendrick Racing team #24, Jeff Gordon. In 7 years as chief he led the team to three NASCAR Cup championships and 47 Cup victories, including two at the Daytona 500 and the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After the 1999 season, Ray retired from the crew chief position and moved on to the even greater challenge of team ownership. Leading Dodge’s return to NASCAR racing, Evernham was able to develop a car, engine and parts distribution program for Dodge’s entire NASCAR presence. With Bill Elliott driving, Evernham’s team won Dodge the 2001 Daytona 500 pole position in their first Sprint Cup series start in almost 20 years. Since 2007 when he sold his ownership of Evernham Motorsports, Ray has been active as a broadcast TV racing analyst with SPEED, ESPN, and NBCSN. He co-owns, co-produces, and hosts his own TV series with Rick Hendrick, “Americarna” on Velocity. in 2014 he joined Hendrick Motorsports as a consultant member of the executive management team. In 2015 he was nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Question: Can you tell us about how Cars 3 got started? Jay Ward: We knew after Cars 2 we wanted to tell another story and we also knew we wanted to get back to sort of more the roots of Cars 1, a McQueen story. We also knew what people love about Pixar films is they love that emotional journey of a character and the transformation of a character. So that was the impetus. That was the beginning and then we thought, “Okay if we’re telling the story about McQueen he’s already a hero, he’s already great at what he does. What do we tell?” So we started with a comeback story. Kind of more like a Rocky 3. He gets knocked down by the young guy and does he get back up? That would have been great movie, easy story to tell, but what we found along the way, what was more exciting was telling a story about mentorship, and telling a story about paying it forward, and telling a story about telling somebody who had limited themselves in life. That, “No you are good enough. You can do this.” So that was how it started. Q: You guys had lot of pressure, right, to make sure that the sequel lives up to the first one and the second one? It’s almost kind of the trilogy of Cars. Kind of like a race car driver comes full circle. So how much pressure were you having to make sure that this is isn’t a dud? JW: Well it’s hard because PIXAR Films are held to a different standard, you know. There are studios that make animated part 2,3,4,5 and people are like, “Yeah it was alright.” but we can’t get away with that. People hold– for good or for bad, they hold us to a really high standard. So there’s a lot of pressure on our movies. It has to have a great story #1. Any film can look beautiful, but not any film can tell a great story. You have to feel a sense of wanting to connect with that character. Luckily we had people who had this love of Cars and this connection with Cars. It did add a lot of pressure of telling a story that was special, and that’s why our films take so long. I mean yes, technically they’re challenging, but it really is about getting that story right. No way around it. Ray Evernham and Jay Ward Q: Was it harder with that emotional roller coaster that Pixar always puts you on to maintain that Pixar level, but also get everything right for Cars and NASCAR and everything? JW: It’s the challenge of any of our films. John Lasseter’s big word is authenticity. Whatever world it is, it’s gotta’ be authentic. Like for Nemo people had to go Scuba Diving. They had to go under water. They had to see what it looks like to look up from underneath the water. It’s different right? For Wall-E they studied so much stuff about space and all– I mean just every film you go to exhaustive research. Including for this film, because Cars is a known world. People know it. We all drive Cars and we’re familiar with them. We can’t get away with just making stuff up. More than that, John’s a gear head. So that’s where I come in. John’s like, “I want all the details right.” My job is to get all those things right. So that the car guys go, “Hey they got that right. That sounds correct, that’s looking right.” Yet the person who doesn’t know anything about cars is like, “I love this movie. That character was so cute.” It’s got to work for both, yeah. Question to Ray Evernham: Did you have input? Like was there anything that you wanted to see that you kind of said, “Can you make this happen for my character, work within the movie?” Ray Evernham: I didn’t have that kind of input. What we did was just sit and talk a lot. We talked a lot, and the Pixar team asked a lot of questions, and I told a lot of actual stories of how things worked. It was amazing to see them take that and be able to adapt it into the characters. They would send me something and say, “But what do you think about this?” Especially with Jackson Storm. After being in NASCAR and racing so long I saw the tendencies of Cars were going right. They’re getting lower, they’re getting wider, they’re getting sharper. The aerodynamics are coming from the bottom and the tires are getting wider, and the profile’s changing. We just talked about all those things and, and they made notes, after notes, after notes and, and just kept bringing it to life. JW: Oh he did. I mean honestly. We knew Jackson Storm was supposed to look like the future of NASCAR. The idea was to make Lightning McQueen look old, which is hard to do ‘cause he looks good. He looks cool, but he had to feel like yesterday’s news all of a sudden. Like when Jackson Storm shows up it’s like, “Whoa he’s totally– this guy’s from the future.” Right? And that’s kind of like what we’re thinking about with Jeff Gordon as a Racer who Ray was the Crew Chief for. There’s one a day a young kid shows up that’s just better than you, you know. What is that like? That was in the design. So when we show designs for Ray we said, “Ray what does a NASCAR look like 20 years from now if you can make it up?” And he’s like, “You guys are on to something good.” So he did help. Q: How hard is it to find a balance in the Pixar movies that will draw in children, but the parents want to watch it too? JW: John’s always said that we don’t make children’s films. We make films that work for children and adults. If you start out by saying, “We’re going to make a great children’s film,” then that’s all you’ve made. If you make a great film, a really good film, it’s going to work for all ages. If you think back before we had a film rating system, if you go back to the 40’s or 50’s every film had to work for all ages. You couldn’t put stuff in them that you could put in them now. You can watch The Wizard of Oz as an adult or as a kid and you enjoy it. That’s what I think we strive for with PIXAR. Is to tell great stories that work for all ages and you want to watch it more than once because you’re going to see something you didn’t see the first time. I have young kids, and my kids like watching movies the over and over again. So even if I’m not watching, if I’m driving them and I hearing them, I’m still laughing and still remembering things and that’s pretty special. You don’t get that with all films. There are some kids films that we watched and even my kids will watch it once and then they’re good. They liked it, they walked out, “Hey that was fun.” They’re not going to buy that on Blu-Ray or DVD. They don’t want to see it again because there were some alright some gags and it’s done, but a great story they want to see again and again. Q: What was it like seeing some of the stories and part of your history up on the screen? RE: It’s been a fire hose of emotions in some ways because it’s at the end of my career, and having a young child you know I got kind of a blended family right? There’s 24 years difference between my children, and my son is on the autism spectrum at 26 years old. I have a 2 year old and it just seems to be lucky enough to have been involved. This project has brought them closer together, and I understand that a little bit more. Sometimes when I watch the movies with them I learn as much myself about my career. So in some ways when I look at Lightning, you know that’s Jeff Gordon. I’ve watched him through his career. But then through this movie you know some of the lessons that Lightning had to learn about the emotion, and the relationships, and that people were more important than winning the races and the trophies. Because when that’s gone you just had stuff, without the relationship with people it didn’t mean anything. So I actually found out more about my life and my career and, and I think that, that working on this movie has helped me appreciate my adoption into the Hall Of Fame more than had I not. JW: When we started research and we went to a NASCAR race you realize how visceral it is. You see that these cars are so loud and so powerful and so impactful that you can’t help but sort of be moved by it, even if you’re not a racing fan. I also think the other thing people sort of assume is “Oh NASCAR, a bunch of good ‘ol boys going around in a circle.” It is so difficult, and it is so technical, and it is so strategic. Everything about it is strategy that you realize it’s multi-layer. Again, you can’t judge a book by its cover. And that’s what CARS 3 tells and that’s what I think the world of NASCAR is too. Don’t judge a book by its cover. CARS 3 in HD and 4K Ultra HD on October 24 Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on November 7th

    DaDa Rocks! / 47 d. 8 h. 37 min. ago more
  • You’re Just A KidYou’re Just A Kid

    Fatherhood is a frying pan. Sometimes it cooks. Sometimes it clangs. It’s the past, present, and future sizzling away as we try to figure out what we’re making here. We toil over these strange recipes, unsure of the final meal. We turn up the heat and things chill. Grow colder, things heat up. It’s a physics riddle to be human. This clip always gets me because of its painfully obvious reminder at how shallow it can be to assume so much. We think we know our kids and they assume so much about us. We strive to connect and there is a vast chasm of space, sound, air, and feeling. And no one can possibly understand the truer depths, as someone great once said. Former friends lose touch. People drive each other away. Memories fade. So, we divine what we can. How do you tell someone that they don’t have the faintest clue what they’re talking about? That they’re hurting themselves. That they don’t know what they don’t know. How do I explain something to this void? We do what we can. Because our children count on us, despite the vapor of questions. Your move, chief.

    HowToBeADad.com / 47 d. 22 h. 40 min. ago more
  • New Baby Gear and Products for Your Twins (ABC Kids Expo 2017)New Baby Gear and Products for Your Twins (ABC Kids Expo 2017)

    In the massive crowd of vendors and products at last week’s 2017 ABC Kids Expo, I found a handful of products that are perfect for twins. Plus, I met some amazing entrepreneurs who are also twin parents. Twin Specific Products Below are some of the interesting products I found that will make your life easier when raising your twins. Romp & Roost Playard The Romp & Roost divided playard is perfect for accommodating both of your twins for naps, playtime, or when traveling away from home. Here’s my quick Facebook live with April explaining the Romp & Roost: Click here to see more details and pricing on the Romp & Roost. HALO Bassinest Twin Sleeper Taking care of your infant twins at night is hard. The new HALO Bassinest Twin Sleeper is a perfect solution to have your twins right next to your bed and within easy reach for nightime feeding and care. Here’s my Facebook Live with Tricia explaining the Bassinest and some other great HALO Sleep products: Click here for more details and pricing on the HALO Bassinest Twin Sleeper. TwinGo Carrier Want to carry your twins around and keep your hands free? The TwinGo Carrier is a great solution to wear both your twins safely. Here’s twin mom and TwinGo creator Krystal showing how the TwinGo works: See my full TwinGo Carrier review here. Double Strollers Kinderwagon Kinderwagon founders Justin and Jennifer Shull are twin parents and created a great line of double strollers like this Hop Tandem Umbrella Stroller: Click here to more details on Kinderwagon double strollers and pricing. Britax The Britax B-Ready double stroller offers a dozen different seating arrangements for your twinnies (including when they are in infant carriers): Click here for more details and pricing on the B-Ready stroller BOB If you love to run or get outdoors with your twins, the BOB Revolution Flex Duallie is a great top-rated jogging stroller: Click here to see more details, reviews, and pricing on the BOB Duallie stroller. Thule The Thule Urban Glide Double Jogging Stroller is a rugged all-terrain twin stroller perfect for jogging with your twins: Click here to see more details, reviews, and pricing on the Thule Urban Glide. Valco Baby Valco Baby’s Neo Twin stroller is a stylish double ride for your twins: Click here to see more details, reviews, and pricing on the Neo Twin Stroller. Baby Monitors Cocoon Cam Cocoon Cam is an innovative baby monitor that uses intelligent software to give you vital sign monitoring and HD video of your child. You will need one monitor for each twin: Click here to see details, reviews, and pricing on the Cocoon Cam. Owlet Owlet uses a sock with sensors to monitor your baby’s heart rate and oxygen while they sleep. You will need one Owlet for each twin: Click here to see details, reviews, and pricing on the Owlet Monitor. NetGear NetGear’s Arlo Baby Monitor comes in a cute design, offers two-way talk, and night vision: Click here to see details, reviews, and pricing of the Arlo Baby Monitor. 6 Fun Products for Your Home While walking around the ABC Kids Expo, I also stumbled on some fun and innovative products for parents and families. Product of the North Every dad wants a diaper bag that is practical and doesn’t scream “this is my wife’s bag.” Product of the North’s stylish and man-friendly bags are the answer. Check out their popular Westin bag: See their entire collection of bags here. Juno Childsafe Bags Juno Childsafe Bags were created by a twin mom who wanted to make sure her kids didn’t get into medicine. These bags have a child proof zipper and are perfect for use in your purse, diaper bag, or at home: See the Juno Childsafe Bag here. Katie Clemons Journals Katie Clemons has four fill-in-the-blank journals including a pregnancy journal, Mother/Son journal, Mother/Daughter journal, and a children’s time capsule. These books are well designed and inspire your creative writing: See all the journals here. Zazu Sleep Trainer We all want our kids to stay in bed just a little bit longer. Zazu’s Sleep Trainer helps your children know when they should stay in bed and when it is OK to wake up (even if they don’t read time yet): Click here to see details, reviews, and pricing of Zazu Sleep Trainer WubbaNub Pacifiers Maybe our kids would have keep their pacifiers in their mouth (and not on the floor) if they had these fun WubbaNub pacifiers: Click here to see details, reviews, and pricing of WubbaNub pacifiers Stroller Costumes Have you ever stuggled to get your kids into the stroller so you can actually go somewhere? These Stroller Costumes make riding in the stroller fun for your kids. They fit inline double strollers too: Click here to see details, reviews, varities, and pricing of Stroller Costumes Which of these products is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 48 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Besondere Geschenke zur Geburt – kreativ und einzigartig kommt am besten anBesondere Geschenke zur Geburt – kreativ und einzigartig kommt am besten an

    Eine Geburt ist ein schönes Ereignis: Ein neuer Mensch ist geboren und wird herzlich willkommen geheißen. Zur Geburt verschenken Großeltern, Freunde und Taufpaten gerne etwas Besonderes. Sehr aufmerksam ist es, wenn die Lieblingsfarben der Eltern verwendet werden. Dahingegen ist davon abzuraten, Geschenke zu machen, die zur Erstausstattung gehören wie etwa Strampler, Babyflaschen oder Schnuller. Diese haben die frisch gebackenen Eltern im Vorfeld besorgt und freuen sich in der Regel über andere Dinge. Nachfolgend gibt es einige Anregungen, die oft mit einer persönlichen Note versehen werden können. Geburtskarten Auch wenn die Geburtskarten nicht auf den ersten Blick zu den typischen Geschenken zur Geburt zählen – sind sie doch keine Geschenke für das Baby, werden sie doch typischerweise als ersten Willkommensgruß an Familie und enge Freunde verschenkt. Geburtskarten sind aber oft auch immer ein Kapitel für sich. Das fängt schon bei der Frage an, wen man eine Karte schenkt und wen nicht. Parallel dazu stellt sich die Frage welche Art von Geburtskarten verschickt und welches Motiv gewählt werden soll. Es gibt hier die unterschiedlichsten Motive, z.B. die von Pomp Design Gästebuch Ist das Baby geboren, möchten es viele Menschen willkommen heißen. Das geschieht entweder noch im Krankenhaus oder nach einigen Tagen zuhause. Damit sich die Eltern und auch das Kind später einmal erinnern kann, wer alles zu diesem freudigen Ereignis erschienen ist, kann ein Gästebuch für das Baby verschenkt werden. Ein Foto vom Neugeborenen und die Geburtsdaten können vorne eingetragen werden. Gutscheinbuch Die Rede ist nicht von gekauften Gutscheinen mit einem bestimmten Wert, sondern selbstgemachte Gutscheine. Diese können unterschiedliche Dienste beinhalten wie etwa Babysitten, Putzen, Wäsche waschen, kochen oder Zeit für ein Nickerchen. Besonders in der ersten Zeit bekommen Eltern wenig Schlaf oder können sich weniger um die Hausarbeit kümmern. Mit diesen Gutscheinen zeigt der Geber also: Ich denke an euch und bin für euch da! Personalisierte Geschenke Typische Geschenke werden dankend angenommen, sind aber meist nichts Besonderes. Was allerdings im Gedächtnis bleibt, sind neben kreative Geburtskarten auch individuell gestaltete und personalisierte Geschenke. Das können z. B. Kinderbesteck mit Tierfiguren, eine Schnullerkette mit dem Namen des Kinds oder ein besticktes Handtuch sein. Auch im Kindesalter sind diese Gegenstände nützlich und werden bis ins Erwachsenenalter aufgehoben. Gute-Nacht-Geschichten Wer etwas kreativ ist, kann dem Baby Gute-Nacht-Geschichten schreiben. Passend dazu sind niedliche Zeichnungen, die das Geschriebene darstellen sollen. Geeignete Bildvorlagen gibt es im Internet. Die fertigen Geschichten werden abschließend in einen hübschen Ordner geheftet. Das Kind kann mit dem Buch aufwachsen, indem es erst die Geschichten hört, danach die Bilder erkennt und sie später im Grundschulalter selbst lesen kann. Sticken und Stricken Wer mit der Häkel- oder Stricknadel gut umgehen kann, kann Babysocken, Handtücher, Wollmützen o. Ä. kreieren. Die selbst gemachten Dinge und die viele Arbeit, die dahinter steckt, werden von den Eltern stets wertgeschätzt. Ein weiteres, schönes Geschenk ist eine selbstgenähte Babydecke, die mit der Nähmaschine gefertigt wird. Darauf kann das Baby seine ersten Krabbelversuche machen oder spielen. Auch selbstgenähte U-Heft-Umschläge sind eine schöne Geschenkidee. Zeitkapsel Ein besonderes Geschenk ist mit vielen Erinnerungen verknüpft: eine Zeitkapsel. Darin können Gegenstände gelegt werden, die zu der Zeit wichtig waren. Die Kapsel wird verschlossen überreicht und erst nach einem Jahr oder zum 18. Geburtstag wieder geöffnet. Eine Tageszeitung vom Tag der Geburt kommt immer gut an. So weiß das Kind, welche wichtigen Ereignisse den Tag bestimmten, welche Menschen Geburtstag gefeiert haben und wie viel eine Zeitung gekostet hat. Einen Stern benennen Für die frisch gebackenen Eltern ist mit der Geburt des Kindes ein Stern vom Himmel gefallen. Damit das Kind immer auf dem rechten Weg bleibt und es nach den Sternen greifen kann, ist ein personalisierter Stern die richtige Wahl. Die Sterne gibt es in unterschiedlichen Preiskategorien und können individuell benannt werden. Eine Urkunde und ein Fernglas runden das Geschenk ab. Lebensbaum Zur Geburt eines Kindes ist ein Lebensbaum ein schönes Geschenk: Der junge Baum wird am Tag der Geburt eingepflanzt, der mit dem Kind wachsen und gedeihen soll. Im Idealfall trägt der Baum Früchte wie Äpfel, Birnen oder Kirschen. So lernt das Kind die Natur kennen und es kann dem Baum beim Wachsen zusehen. Der Beitrag Besondere Geschenke zur Geburt – kreativ und einzigartig kommt am besten an erschien zuerst auf Dad's House Blog.

    Dad's Houseblog / 48 d. 12 h. 9 min. ago more
  • Is Halloween less safe today than when we were kids?Is Halloween less safe today than when we were kids?

    Is it my imagination or is it really less safe for our kids these days? Part of me hopes it's the 24/7 news and the ubiquitous Internet makes things seem worse?

    A Daddy Blog / 49 d. 4 h. 13 min. ago
  • Stitch Fix Review for Men – A Professional Dad’s Thoughts On This Subscription ServiceStitch Fix Review for Men – A Professional Dad’s Thoughts On This Subscription Service

    Stitch Fix Review - Founded in 2011, Stitch Fix primarily targets women. This is one dad's perspective on the online subscription and personal shopping service. The post Stitch Fix Review for Men – A Professional Dad’s Thoughts On This Subscription Service appeared first on Dadtography.com - A Parenting Photography Blog.

    Dadtography / 49 d. 9 h. 37 min. ago
  • Had some fun today including human powered go carts!Had some fun today including human powered go carts!

    Go carts, potato launcher, corn pit, and a corn maze! The post Had some fun today including human powered go carts! appeared first on TwisterMc.

    TwisterMc / 53 d. 18 h. 29 min. ago
  • Twin Crib Escape and Transition to Beds – Podcast 152Twin Crib Escape and Transition to Beds – Podcast 152

    Episode 152 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes Listen as I share our experience transitioning our girls from cribs to big beds and what you might expect with your twins, including: Surprise! The twins can get out of their cribs. Process of getting twins ready for big beds What we forgot that first night out of cribs Thinking quickly on your feet when your twins’ routines change Transcript Hi there and welcome to the 152nd episode of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast. This is Joe Rawlinson. As always you can find me on the web at TwinDadPodcast.com where you will find a transcript for this podcast and our previous podcast episodes. Today’s show is brought to you by my second book for fathers of twins it’s called “Dads Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins” that covers from newborns to infants to toddlers and beyond. You can learn more about that book at RaisingTwinsBook.com. Today I like to share our story of the transition that we had to make from cribs to big beds for our twin girls how we accidentally stumbled on that transition and how we can learn to the process of what was going to work for us. It was a Sunday evening that my wife and I had put down all the kids for bed: our two older boys and the twin girls. We were just sitting in the family room talking when all of a sudden I heard a thump pitter patter pitter patter patter, creak opens the door and out walks one of our girls into the family room I looked at my wife and my wife looked at me I stood up and I walked her back to her crib. I put her in the crib and I closed the door and as soon as I had shut the door and took a step into the hallway again and I heard thunk pitter patter pitter patter door knob turning and the door creaks open again and there stands one of my girls. HUGE smile on her face thinks this is the funnest game that she has ever played. Now this was a moment that I was not ready to handle that evening. And as I looked into the room I saw her twin sister in her crib who was starting to lift her leg up upon the rail of the crib trying to mimic what she had just seen her sister do. So naturally my wife and I went into panic mode to figure out what to do with our girls who now had learned how to escape from the cribs. We thought well it’s not safe for them to be in their cribs if they can just climb out. They’re going to hit their head or do something or do something bad. So we need to move them immediately to a floor where it’s safer for them to sleep. So we went into the rooms we took out the mattresses from the cribs we put them on the floor and we tucked them in and say congratulations you’re a big girls now you get to sleep on big big girl beds on the floor. Now we turn off the light in the room and as soon as we left the room the girls jump up and run around over over to the door open the door and are both laughing and smiling and looking at us. So we thought oh no this is not going to work at all. We need a way to make this adjustment. And I don’t know if it’s going to happen tonight. So what we did was we took I took a sheet and put it over the crib of each of our girls. Now our girls thought this was amazing because it was their own little fort that they can sleep in. Now to us it was great because it prevented them from climbing out of the crib at the top. What this did was it bought us the one night that we needed for my wife and I to plan how we were going to tackle this the next day. So the next day when our girls woke up we got them excited. Today girls is the day that you’re moving to bigger beds just like your brothers are in big bed you get to go from cribs to big beds. And we took them to the store and they helped us pick out sheets for their mattresses. They helped us take down the cribs and get everything set up and organized in their bedroom because now they’re big girls and they get bigger beds. So the entire day was anticipation and building up tonight when they would get to sleep in their big girl beds. The evening came and we went through the bedtime routine and then we got our girls tucked into bed and we turned off the lights and we shut the door and as soon as we shut the door, then it’s party time. It’s like a sorority. Our girls are jumping on the beds screaming running around. They go into their drawers of clothes and they throw out every single piece of clothes that they have on the floor. My wife and I realized we had forgotten to remove the distractions that would deter them from sleeping and going to sleep. Each time we went to the room we would calm the girls down and we would try to remove of the distractions. The first time we went in we put the clothes back in the drawers said you need to stay on your beds. And then we shut the door and left and again and they jumped out of bed. Party time. All the clothes on the floor. The clothes stayed on the floor the rest of the night. The next time we got the girls settled and we leave the room then they start flipping the light switch on and off on off on off on off. You can see it you know under the door. And so I go in there into the room with my little step stool to reach up I unscrew each of the light bulbs in the light so now you’re not going to turn a light on or off any more. We get them settled in bed. I leave the room a few moments later I hear cries coming from their bedroom. I rushed into the bedroom to see what what is the matter. And I noticed that the nightlight that they had had is out. So the room is completely dark. So one of my girls is crying because the room is completely dark and the other girl who is holding the nightlight is crying because surprise a night light is hot. OK. So we took the night light and we put it behind the dresser where they couldn’t reach it and got them settled back into bed and had to repeat this multiple times. That first night it too several hours to get our girls to bed and finally fell asleep. You know several hours after their bedtime that evening. But when we found that over the next several nights as we were consistent in helping our girls get back on their beds keep their heads on their pillows keeping their eyes closed. That each night the party took less and less time and the amount of destruction in the room was less and less each night until eventually we put our girls down to bed. We talked to him in his second night and they fell asleep. So this was a huge milestone for us and our ability to adapt quickly and transform to the needs of our girls really helped us this week. Usually as parents you get comfortable in a routine in a schedule and then all of a sudden your kids hit some kind of milestone and everything gets thrown out the window and you have to think fast on your feet and adapt to the situation when your kids start to crawl out climb out jump out of their cribs is one of these milestones that can really wreak havoc on your expectations of a day. But remember that if you set expectations with your children, if you remove those distractions that can deter them from falling asleep, and if you are consistent every night with what you’re doing and what you’re encouraging them to do that they will eventually get into the habit of falling asleep and not throwing a party every night like our girls did initially. So if your twins are on the verge of moving from a crib to a big bed maybe around age 2, which is about when this happened to us, try to remember some of these concepts and principles that we’ve talked about today. If you’re consistent even though that may take days or weeks your twins will really learn what is needed for them to fall asleep on their beds and not in their grips and is definitely hopeful to kind of audit your children’s room to make sure that distractions are removed so that all they really have to focus on when they go to sleep is falling asleep. If you’ve already made the transition from cribs to bed I would love to hear how it went for you with your twins head on over to TwinDadPodcast.com and you can leave a comment on this episode and share your story with your fellow twin parents. And if you are in the throes of crazy toddler twins or infant twins and getting ready for the next couple of years ahead I invite you to pick up my book “Dads Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins” which will walk you through newborns to infants to toddlers and beyond including tips and tricks on the transition from cribs to beds. You can learn more about that book and get your own copy at RaisingTwinsBook.com. Thank you so much for listening today. I really appreciate it. And I’ll see you next time. Subscribe to the Podcast To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below: iTunes (for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) Stitcher Google Play Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) Share Your Thoughts Please let me know what you think of this episode of the podcast, you can contact me with any questions or comments or leave a comment on the blog. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help other parents of twins find the show! Download the Podcast Download the podcast in .mp3 format (right click and “save as…”) You can find Joe on Twitter and Facebook.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 55 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Why I Write? I Have No Choice.Why I Write? I Have No Choice.

    For the past year, I’ve asked numerous people the simple question of “Why do you write?” on the Why I Write Podcast. The answers usually start with a giggle at the enormity of the question, but the answers all have a similar vibe to them. All around some version of having to do it because the urge/voices/need is there. This certainly fits for me as well. I have to write. It isn’t a choice. The voices in my head scream when I haven’t created in a while. For me, there is a variety of writing I do. My paper journal gets my most honest and open writing. No matter how much I strive to put my true self out to the world, we all censor ourselves. The darkest of dark winds up in my journal. Blogging since 2002, my writing has evolved. I now only write when I have something to say or needing to get out of my head. Sometimes I cross-post to other sites and other times I keep it right here. Amazing Things Will Happen and Content Rules both continue to sell copies and things are in motion to keep that going. Being a published author changed my life. It opened doors, put me on stages and connected me with a vast variety of people around the globe. Writing makes my world better. It allows me to collect my thoughts, tell stories and help others. Earlier this summer we held memorial service for a dear friend and each of us was allowed to choose a stone with various words or phrases painted on them. My father grabbed one for me. It is a simple white rock with black letters that read “Voice for the Voiceless.” I hold that rock in my hand often and wonder if I’m doing enough of that with my words. Lately, there hasn’t been enough of that sort of writing and it is something I’m striving to do more of in the coming months. Recently over dinner, my daughter challenged me that I wasn’t writing enough. She asked, “Whatever happened to your ‘fiction Fridays’ you were trying?” I had nothing to say to her because the truth is I haven’t been writing as much as I should and want to do. Next month that will change. While chatting with Grant Faulkner I realized I have no excuse this year not to take part in National Novel Writing Month. It is something I’ve always wanted to do but never had a problem finding an excuse to keep me from doing it. I  jokingly made up a title, but then the characters and story started to roll around in my brain. Like I said, I write to get the voices out of my head and these are screaming to be let loose. Why do I write? I write because I love it and I respect the power that words hold. I wish more people embraced and respected that power.  

    C.C. Chapman / 56 d. 9 h. 15 min. ago more
  • Bay Area parents, do your kids love Minecraft?Bay Area parents, do your kids love Minecraft?

    ..then we have the event for you! This weekend on Saturday morning, instead of just playing at home, they can enjoy the game while meeting new friends as part of a local team representing San Francisco, thanks to Super League Gaming and their Minecraft City Champs tournament, run in partnership with Nickelodeon. It’s like little […]

    Playground Dad / 56 d. 19 h. 38 min. ago
  • When One Twin Excels and the Other Doesn’tWhen One Twin Excels and the Other Doesn’t

    Your twins are not the same. As you’ve seen (or will discover), they are unique individuals and will develop differently. What this means is that you may have one twin who is really good at something while the other lags behind. This will start early with key developmental milestones like crawling, walking, and talking. It is really hard to not compare one twin to the other and wonder, “what’s wrong with this one?” However, you need to remember to only compare them to themselves and the progress they are making and not against each other or singleton children of the same age. As your twins get older, the differences between them will have challenging scenarios. Here are three examples of how this has played out in our family. Learning Ability One of our twins takes a little longer to process learning and information than the other. This causes one girl to get done quickly with homework or reading while the other gets frustrated at her progress AND the fact that her sister is already done. We’ve had to help our struggling daughter in various ways. First, we worked with the school to make sure she was getting the extra support, tutoring, or time she needed. Second, we spend one-on-one time with her to read together and help with homework. If one of your twins is struggling academically, be prepared to praise the success of one while supporting the other along the journey of learning and discovery. Friendships One of our girls seems to make a lot of friends very easily while the other struggles. This has spawned some jealousy as they compare themselves to each other. Here we’ve had to help one of our girls realize that she did in fact have friends. Think quality over quantity. We reminded her that some people make lots of friends while others have fewer “best” friends but they have closer relationships with them. Athletics When our girls were still preschool age, we signed them up for soccer. They were both extremely excited leading up to the first practice and games. Each had fun getting the shin guards and gear. However, at the first game one of our girls was completely frustrated with not being able to play well and refused to finish the game or play soccer again. On the other hand, her sister loved soccer and did well. Sports can be a challenge for twins because each may have physically different capabilities or interests. Maybe soccer isn’t one of your twin’s favorites. Perhaps dance class, volleyball, or running is a possibility. What if one twin doesn’t even want to do sports? That’s fine. There are plenty of ways to help them stay active and healthy. Take walks or family bike rides or go hiking on a Saturday with the kids. Comparisons When there are obvious differences betweens twins, it can lead to the twins comparing themselves. Unfortunately, when twins compare themselves to each other, it can lead to envy or heartbreak. As a parent, you need to step in to support your twins without solving their problems for them. One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is helping your children learn from their mistakes and experiences. Love Them Tell your twins that you love them. No matter what happens, this must be constant. Remind each child of all their great qualities. Focus on Strengths Since each of your twins have their unique strengths and interests, focus on what they like and are good at. Don’t try to force them both to do the same thing just because they are twins or it is most convenient for your schedule. It is OK to be different. Embrace the differences in your twins. When one twin excels at something, celebrate those achievements. When your other twin struggles along, support her and focus on what is possible without comparing to her twin. What have you seen in your home? When has one twin excelled and the other struggled? What did you do? Share your experience in the comments below.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 62 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Setting the Bar High in Student Storage ServiceSetting the Bar High in Student Storage Service

    The costs of attending college are always on the rise. Saving money is a big deal for anyone working towards a degree. The expense of storing items while you are away can be an unexpected ding to your budget. There is an affordable option that offers all of the services that a student needs to safely store and manage their items while away.Summer StorageEnjoying a break from the routine of c...

    Daddyplace.com / 64 d. 2 h. 28 min. ago more
  • Any reason for concern?Any reason for concern?

    Hey all!I’m brand new to the board, so my apologies if this topic has been discussed. I’m a first time dad, my little guy is 17 months old and I’m starting to get concerned about his talking, or lack thereof.He does a lot of the milestone things, points, responds to his name, follows minor directions. He’s spoken previously, saying “mama” and “dada” but that was about 3 months ago and now he ...

    Daddyplace.com / 66 d. 19 h. 19 min. ago more
  • A Dad’s Guide to the Perfect Halloween CocktailA Dad’s Guide to the Perfect Halloween Cocktail

    I’ll admit it. Halloween was never one of my favorite holidays. That is – until my crazy holiday obsessed wife and I met. She dragged me kicking and screaming into complete and total Halloween obsession. And I live there quite happily now! One of the things I’ve come to realize is that Halloween is not … Continue reading »

    A Daddy Blog / 69 d. 7 h. 8 min. ago
  • Micro Preemie Twins with Matt Gray – Podcast 151Micro Preemie Twins with Matt Gray – Podcast 151

    Episode 151 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes We continue our father of twins interview series with Matt Gray, father of fraternal twin girls. Listen as we explore his twin journey, including: When initial ultrasound results of a singleton changed later to twins! Knowing what to expect with twins as they already ran in the family What happened when mom goes into preterm labor at 24 weeks of the pregnancy Extended stay for the parents at the hospital post-delivery Realizing that the odds of your twins making it out alive are really small Surviving the mental game of being a dad of micro-preemies Daily interactions with twins in the NICU The ups and downs of 101 and 106 days in the NICU Mixed emotions of bringing home one of the babies Things parents worry about after bringing NICU babies home Monitoring babies’ health once they are home Overcoming feeding challenges of premature twins Lingering developmental issues Getting the family dogs ready for twins Day in the life schedule of 19 month olds Finding a nanny for twins Reach out to Matt here. Transcript Joe: Hello everybody and welcome to the 151st episode of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast. This is Joe Rawlinson. As always, you can find me on the web at TwinDadPodcast.com where you’ll find the transcript for this Podcast episode and all previous Podcast episodes. Today’s show is brought to you by my first book, Dad’s Guide to Twins: How to Survive the Twin Pregnancy and Prepare for Your Twins. You can get a free audiobook version of that book at freetwinbook.com. Once again, that’s freetwinbook.com. Today we are continuing our father of twins interview series with fellow father of twins, Matt Gray. Let’s jump right in to that interview. Today I’d like to welcome to the show Matt Gray, fellow father of twins. Welcome to the show, Matt. Matt: Glad I could join you. Joe: Matt, How old are your twins right now, and what’s the most exciting part of this age? Matt: They’re approximately 19 months, right now. I guess in about a week, they’ll be 19 months. Right now, it’s just learning and seeing them develop and then see new things, and get excited over learning something new. That’s really the best part about this age, that’s for sure. Joe: What are some of those new things that they’re learning? Matt: One of the girls has just really gotten into books recently. She’s grabbing at every book she can and wants to come over and have you read it to her, have you show it to her. That’s been awesome because we didn’t have that engagement, early on. Our other girl, she’s a thinker. She loves to sit in front of a toy and kind of just learn how the toy works, and play with it. That’s just fun because she sits and figures it out. Joe: Excellent. Are your girls identical or are they fraternal? Matt: Fraternal, although they look more and more alike every week, I think. Joe: So, lets rewind. What was your family situation like back when you found out you were having twins? How was that experience? Matt: It was scary, that’s for sure. My wife and I had been married about a year, or so. She gave me a call one day. Obviously she was pregnant, and we went in. The first ultrasound I jokingly said, “There’s only one in there. Right?” The ultrasound tech told me, “Yeah, just one.” So, I’m like, “Yeah, good to go.” That was about the eight week mark. Then I kind of said that jokingly because my sister has twins, so I didn’t want to have two sets, necessarily. Fast forward about a month, and we go for the 12 week ultrasound, or the real ultrasound, as I call it. I jokingly ask the ultrasound tech, different one this time, “Still only one baby in there. Right?” She looked at me dead-straight in the face and said, “No. You’re having twins.” Dumbfounded, I said, “You’re joking. Right?” She said, “No. I can’t joke about that.” Then I didn’t know what to say. My wife and I just looked at each other and we’re like, “Oh, crap. I guess we’re having twins.” We kind of just got together, and I said, “We gotta do this thing.” Called our families and broke the news to them. My family was obliviously excited, because we already have one set of twins, like I said, with my sister. Her Mom’s excited because she gets to see two more grandkids, right away. A lot of excitement, and a lot of nervousness, as well. Joe: Having had your sister, had already had twins, you kind of had some insight into what this adventure would be like. Did you have some sort of concerns based on what you’d already heard your sister had gone through? Matt: My sister had twin boys. They were born at 31 weeks, partially due to preeclampsia. Going in with twins I knew obviously, there was an elevated risk of having an early birth. Just some of the medical complications that can come from having twins, in general. Everything is just more heightened alert, more awareness. I knew my wife was going to go through a lot more changes as far as she got further along. She’s going to get bigger. It wasn’t going to be the same pregnancy that a singleton would have. We went into it knowing there were some risks. We kind of threw the original birthing plan out the window. Joe: What complications did come your way, during the pregnancy? Matt: Kaitlin initially had a lot of extra pain. She sometimes just felt a little bit off. But at 24 weeks she woke up after her birthday dinner really the next morning, really early and she wasn’t feeling great. She came downstairs about 05:30 in the morning. She had to work that morning, and we also had an ultrasound scheduled for that morning. She came down and all of sudden she noticed she was spotting. I came downstairs and didn’t know really exactly what to do, but we called … At this point, it was probably 07:00. We called the nurse’s hotline. They said, lets come in now and so we did. We got to the hospital, probably around 08:00. At that point, she had actually started preterm labor. We didn’t know what to expect. When we got in, they gave her a shot, a steroid to develop the lungs, as quickly as possible. Then another dose of … I forget what it was, now but … magnesium. A dose of magnesium to help slow the labor, and if at all possible, to stop the labor. That day, our goal was get six hours at least, and hope that the steroids can kick in and help develop the lungs, if at all possible. While we’re in there, that morning, I ask, “If we can stop the labor, what’s next?” Ultimately the doctor said, “You’re here until she has the baby.” We hunkered down, and made it to six hours, then hour seven, hour eight. About twelve hours later, it was go time. She had to go in and she delivered two little girls. I wish I could say what the complications were as far as what caused it, but she was healthy. She was a good eater. She exercised properly. Had no medical conditions that we were aware of. She just had early, preterm labor. It was kind of unfortunate, but at the same time, we kind of anticipated something was going to happen, early. We just didn’t expect so early. At 08:30 that night we had two little miracles born, weighing about 1 pound, 6 ounces each. Joe: That’s quite the turnaround from the day before and probably the mindset you had. Having them so early and expecting that there’d still be weeks to get ready, what were some of the things that you did not have ready, when they were born? Matt: Didn’t have anything ready at all. I’d assembled the crib previously, but as far as the room goes, it wasn’t really put together that well. Both cribs were put together and a dresser, but we didn’t have obviously any clothes, or diapers, things like that. Knowing they were so early, early on it was, you didn’t think about what you needed. You thought about just getting through the next day. Kaitlin had the C-section, so she couldn’t do much. We’re very fortunate where we live in Madison, to have some really great healthcare. The hospital we were at actually had Ronald McDonald suites, built in the hospital. For the first couple of weeks of the girl’s, they were alive, we actually got to stay in the hospital. We’d eat there, we slept there, showered there, up and down the room to their room, or into the NICU. We didn’t need anything, right away because they weren’t coming home, obviously. Let’s just get through the next day, the next couple of hours and just keep going. Then they had to get stronger and healthier and grow. Our mindset wasn’t getting or acquiring the things we needed. While we were there, we needed a stroller, a double stroller. Somebody was kind enough, they had heard our story and actually gifted us a double stroller, which was fantastic. Ultimately, these girls come home and they’re going to be fragile to give the right vehicle. Are they going to come home on special … on oxygen, or anything like that. What we need would be bigger because of that. Then you just slow yourself down and remember, take a day at a time. Let’s just get through the next day. As it gets closer to the time they come home, you start to have to think about that stuff a little bit more. Joe: When they first went into the NICU, were the doctors able to give you any kind of projections or estimates of how long they would need to be there? Or was it really just a day by day experience? Matt: Initially, we didn’t even ask. We wanted to make sure they got through the next day before we worried about them even coming home. We knew it was going to be a long, long haul. Partially because my sister had, had her twins in the NICU and I’d know just from that experience that even at 31 weeks, while that’s a lot further along than our girls, they typically didn’t get to go home until their actual due date. Coming home, in the first couple of day, that wasn’t even a question. It’s, “Are they going to survive?” The doctors were open and honest with us. Our girls were strong from the get go. They did a fantastic job and obviously they’re still here. They did survive. They didn’t need to tell us much. I will say one of the worst things, and decisions I made was I think the third night in the hospital. This is when we actually got moved into the Ronald McDonald suites. I read a few pages from a book, that they’d given us. One of the first few pages that had statistics of survival rates of micro preemies. What you can expect as they come home. That was the worst decision I could have had, because the survival rates were very low. Even if they did come home, they were going to have some sort of difficulty based off the numbers. That was a bad idea so early on. As I got further along in the NICU stay, then you can start to ask some of those questions. What’s the likelihood of having a mental handicap, or some other issue that goes on? Definitely not good reading the first few days. Joe: How did you mentally overcome that? It could possible be very depressing news to learn those statistics. How did you keep kind of positive outlook with your girls in the NICU? Matt: I’m just a generally very happy person, typically. I just blocked it out. I forced myself to. I started talking about other things with the nurses. I talked about success stories. I read success stories of other families and then how they overcame things. You just force yourself and put yourself in a different mindset, because you can’t have a negative attitude, when you’re in the NICU. It could be a bad day, but you have to be positive. I really feel your child feeds off that. So if you’re positive, you have a good attitude and you’re happy and upbeat, I think they can feel that. It helps in some way, shape or form. Helps them get through and remain strong. Joe: How were you able to interact with your girls while they were in the NICU. Matt: The first week, I want to say, week and a half, you go in and talk to them. We were in the room, because we were at the hospital, from the time they got up, minus lunch or dinner, until ten o’clock at night. You’re in there. You talk to them. You read to them. The nursing staff and the doctors were very good about helping us take charge. When it came to us feeling comfortable with it, it was doing the diaper changes, taking the temperature. It was okay to stick your hand in and hold their little, tiny hands. For the first couple of weeks, we did that. I think it was the two week mark roughly, was the first time that my wife got to do skin to skin with them. First one, then the other, which is vitally important for parents to do with their child, especially mothers. I made sure that she got the first couple of cracks at it, because again, it’s so important. Shortly after that, I took my turn because I wanted some too. That’s really it. While they’re in the isolette on oxygen, or on a ventilator, you don’t get a ton of time to actually hold your child like a normal newborn. A lot of it’s scheduled based off how their stats are for the day. If they’re having a rough day, maybe it’s better to leave them in. Let them get healthy. Let them learn to breathe better that day, before you try and take them out. That’s how we did it. Gosh, it wasn’t until the four week mark probably that we did the first bath. I shouldn’t say bath. Until we started wiping them down and doing the sponge baths, which was fun too. Joe: You mentioned that you were in the Ronald McDonald house for three weeks, or so. What led to the transition out of that, and your trip back home? Matt: We have two dogs, so we had friends that were watching them but we knew we had to get back to somewhat of a normal life. At that point, our girls were getting a little bit stronger. We probably could have stayed there longer but we needed to get back to reality. I also started back at work after two weeks. Being home and being in my own bed, being able to shower, helped me. Joe: When you went back to work, what was your schedule as far as visiting the girls? Matt: I get off work at five o’clock, straight down to the hospital. Get there about five thirty. Was there until nine thirty, ten o’clock at night and then back home. That was it. Weekends I was there eight, nine o’clock in the morning, until ten o’clock at night. Joe: Did your wife has … Was she on maternity leave? Had she left her job, at that time? Matt: Our bosses and our employers were phenomenal through the whole thing. She got time off, basically as much as she wanted, for the girls. She took her full six weeks off until, and maybe a little more. Then she went back part-time, for a couple hours a week just to again, get some sort of normalcy outside the NICU. Your mind is weighing heavy with all the other stuff going on, so it’s hard to focus. That’s why our bosses were so lenient. So, if we needed to go and go to the hospital, we could pretty much anytime. Joe: How long were your girls in the NICU before they were able to come home? Matt: Brynn was in there for 101 days. Harper was in there for 106 days. Joe: Tell us about when you were able to bring your first daughter home. What was that experience like? Matt: Scary as all get out. They’ve just been off oxygen really five days before, six days before, without any assistance. It’s overwhelming. You’re able to … and a lot of mixed emotions. When you’re leaving the hospital that night, you’re able to take one baby home, so you’re so excited but at the same time, you feel awful because you’ve got another daughter that’s still there. When you finally get over that kind of emotion, that night you get home and you realize that you’ve got this little child that was so fragile, and is still, in your mind, so fragile. What are you going to do? There wasn’t a lot of sleep that night. Especially for the first couple of nights. We kind of tag teamed it. Both get up as needed, so one or the other person could sleep. At that point, we knew that Brynn had come home, we also knew Harper was coming home soon. I then took off from work, so at least we were both home. We’d do all of our normal stuff. We were on such a routine and regimented schedule. Every three hours you were doing something. We did as much as possible while Brynn was home with us, but we would just take her right back to the hospital the next morning, or every morning to stay in the NICU with her sister. We just kind of did everything like we always did. They kept a bed in the room for Brynn as well still, since she had just left. It was kind of surreal, and it was hard, but because we were able to take Brynn back to the hospital, the only difference was she came home with us at the end of the night. Joe: All right. Were there any lingering complications once you brought your girls home? Matt: Thankfully, no. Both girls came home without the need for any oxygen, which we didn’t think was going to be the case. We were just worried about having a spell. Those spells are a couple of things. You could forget how to breathe, so your oxygen level dips, or you could have a cardiac episode, where your heart rate dips. When you’re in the hospital, you get used to looking at a monitor and seeing what their heart rate and oxygen levels are. You get to know what’s good and what’s bad. When you come home you don’t have that safety net, so to speak. We had gone out and purchased a couple of outlet monitors to help us monitor on our phones, when they slept at night. But, during the day we didn’t have that. You’re constantly checking on them. Worried that something could go wrong. But yeah, we didn’t have any … anything thankfully to this date, any known or lingering issues. Joe: Tell us a little bit about those monitors that you got. Matt: They’re Owlet Monitors. They’re pulse socks, is really what they are. They have a little sock that fits on their foot that reads their pulse and oxygen rate levels, and will alarm if they get too low. We kept them on them when they slept at night, and the monitor would feed a little base station. Either the base station would go off, or you could have an app on your phone that would alert your phone. If you weren’t in the room, or didn’t hear it, it would alert your phone. We only had a couple of instances where they’re pulse would dip during deep REM sleep. Thankfully nothing that was too bad. It would alarm briefly, and you’d kind of jostle them. They’d come right back up. Joe: How are your girls doing with feeding? Matt: It was rough. They didn’t really learn that sucks, swallowing and breathing until 34, 35 week mark. You start off with small doses, as any parent does with a newborn. We had to feed with a bottle. My wife wasn’t able to produce enough milk to breastfeed or to pump, mostly because of the shear, how early they were born. The stress didn’t help that, as well. We were on formula, and more expensive formulas as well, because they needed extra calories. Feedings for us were every two and a half, three hours, on the clock, as regimented as possible, just to keep them on schedule. Sometimes they would take an ounce. Sometimes they would take three ounces, every feeding. They also … One of our girls had really bad reflux, which doesn’t help. They’re spitting it up a lot, and they’re very uncomfortable during and after the feeding, so that was unfortunate, as well. We had to put her on some medication for a while. As infants, you get used to wiping up a lot of spit-up, that’s for sure. Joe: How did you and your wife rotate responsibilities overnight, with the twins? Matt: Early on we thought it’d be a good idea that you get up for the full hour. At nine o’clock we had a feeding and then at nine thirty. At nine o’clock it was Brynn, nine thirty was Harper. We thought it was a good idea at that feeding, whoever takes that one, then at the midnight feeding, the next person gets up, and does the full hour, which turns into an hour and a half, two hours. So on and so forth, through the evening. We found out when we did that, we got a lot less sleep. After a couple of weeks of that we actually switched to, we’d just both get up and fed them, in the middle of the night. Going to two and a half, three hours of sleep for each of us, we were starting to get five to six hours of sleep, which was a huge bonus. Joe: Yes. Sleep is always … You never know how much you miss sleep until it’s not there. Your babies to that to you. They press your limits on what’s physically possible to endure. As you’ve gone over the last 19 months with your girls, what have been some of the milestones that they’ve hit, or things that got a little bit easier, in parenting? Matt: Feeding themselves has been awesome. Once they started to take on solids and we’d be able to put them in their highchairs and they kind of feed themselves, where I don’t have to sit and bottle feed them. That’s just great. Seeing one of my girls take off and start to walk recently was amazing. We’re still working on the other one. She’s getting there. She had an injury recently where she dropped a can of beans on her foot, so she’s just a little bit more hesitant in the last couple of days to try and walk. She’ll get there. I’m not going to lie. It’s kind of nice when they’re not mobile. So now that they are mobile, and crawling and climbing and stuff, you gotta watch them a lot more. It’s fun, because they start playing with things. The sheer enjoyment they have when they accomplish something. As far as putting something together with blocks, or climbing over the chair, or rolling around on the floor, it’s all fun stuff. The easiest part now is definitely not having to bottle feed them. Also, not having to change so many diapers. That’s also nice to see as they got a little bit older. Joe: Have you seen any kind of mimicking or behaviors between your girls where one will do something and the other will then follow suit? Matt: They’ll make the noise and they’ll pat their hand over their mouth. Harper will start and then Brynn will follow sometimes. They copy after Mila. I will do it to them, but now they do it to each other. Otherwise, they’re really independent from each other. They know that each other is there but they kind of do their own thing. I have one adventurer who loves to climb and play around. Like I said, I have one that likes to sit and focus on things. To some degree, they’re just very separate individual children, which is awesome. I’d like to see them play a little bit more together, I guess. There’s not a ton of mimicking, back and forth other than once in a while when they get going on their talking. Joe: How is their speech developing, right now? Matt: Slowly. I guess one thing we did see coming from the NICU, I’d say there weren’t any outstanding issues. Brynn actually has a really raspy voice. She has an issue with her vocal cords, from where she was intubated for so long. The vocal cords should go together. When they go together they vibrate and that’s how they produce sound, and then your voice. Because the intubation tube was in there, it was actually resting against her vocal cords as it was developing, and actually created a small gap. So, it doesn’t close all the way, so she doesn’t talk a lot. She does make some noises, but she’s not quite there yet. She’s also not walking. That’s one of the big milestones that happens after you start taking off and walking, you start to find your voice and start talking a little bit more. We’re hoping that happens soon. Harper on the other hand, is walking, running around. She is babbling up a storm. She’s not saying a lot of major words yet. She does say, what. She says, woof, woof, for dog, which is pretty funny. They’re speech isn’t there yet. For being micro preemies, one thing that any parent of a premature child should know is that for the first couple years of life you don’t go based off of the actual age for a lot of milestone developments. You go off what their adjusted age. In this case, they were born four months early, so they’re 19 months, actual. Their adjusted age would be 15 months. We look at goals and things that they should be doing that a 15 month old child would be doing. Based off that, they’re not really too far behind. They’re doing a lot of stuff on both ends of the spectrum, that a 19 month old child would do, but still a lot of stuff that a 15 month or a one-year-old child would. Joe: That’s a great point for other to remember is, careful when doing comparisons between where your child is, and other children of that same age, or even between the twins because they will develop at different rates. You mentioned the dogs. How did you get them ready for babies? Matt: We heard, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but we had heard, while they were in the hospital, give them blankets. Give them hats, whatever. Make sure it’s in the isolette with them. Instead of coming home and washing it, come home and give it to the dogs. Let the dogs sniff it. Our dogs are small. One of them is about eight years old. He’s kind of the most relaxed, laid back dog in the world. We weren’t too worried about him, but we did have essentially a puppy, as well. He was about a year old at the time. I think because he was still so young and when the girl’s came home he kind of started to grow up with the girls. Once we brought them home, he’d sniff them, look around them, but he was very careful around them, which was great. I don’t know if that had to do with bringing stuff home and him knowing what the smell was, or just having an innate sense that these are babies. Be careful. He’s been phenomenal with them, too. Joe: What’s a typical day in the life of your twins right now, as far as schedule goes with eating, nap time, sleeping? Matt: We still try and stay on a pretty good schedule. The last couple of weeks they’ve been sleeping in until about seven thirty in the morning. We get up. Come downstairs, diaper changes. They sometimes will play a little bit. Then we get them in for breakfast by about eight, eight thirty, where they’ll have some eggs, an Eggo, some fruit, some milk. Eight thirty, nine o’clock then they play for about an hour, or so. Around nine thirty, ten o’clock they go down for about an hour long nap, sometimes longer. They wake up. They’ll have a snack. They’ll play for a little while longer before lunch at around noon, twelve thirty. Eat. Depending on who’s with them, if I’m with them, or mom’s home with them too, we might go out and do something in between those times. If the nanny’s with them, same thing. Then they’ll go to sleep, take a nap around two. Sometimes, again for an hour, to two hours. Wake up and usually it’s either a small snack. Play some more, then dinner around five thirty. Lately I’ve gotten in a really good routine. We go for a nice long walk. Come home between seven and seven thirty, we get their bottle ready for bed. Feed them, and hopefully they’re asleep by seven thirty, eight o’clock. We stay on a pretty tight schedule still, and kind of work our lives around the schedule for now. If we’re out and about, change things up a bit. One thing we didn’t do early on because obviously because we didn’t want to take them places, we didn’t go to a lot of restaurants. We’ve sort of introduced restaurants right now, where we take them. We still go out to eat for lunch or dinner. We fit that around their lunches or dinners, as well so we’re still on the same schedule or as close to it as possible. Joe: That’s very similar to what we had to do, adjusting to their schedule, their nap schedule, their feeding schedule. We found when we would break that, they’d be cranky, things wouldn’t go as well as we wanted, so it was worth adjusting our schedule to accommodate them. Tell us a little bit about the work situation and daycare situation, childcare. How did you make some of those decisions? Matt: We were very fortunate and very lucky. Work situation, I work eight to five, Monday through Friday. My wife works Tuesday through Friday. Her schedule is a little different, where she works early on Wednesdays from eight until three thirty. On Fridays from nine to five. Tuesdays and Thursdays she works twelve to nine. We didn’t need daycare on Monday, but we also didn’t need somebody nine to five through the rest of the week, except Friday. Daycare was a big challenge because we have twins. For anybody who’s listening, daycare is expensive, but we have a neighborhood website that I went out on. I just said, “Hey, we’re looking for childcare. Are there any nannies available?” One hit, but she was looking for something a little different time. I kind of brushed it off, and I’ll think about it as it gets closer to actually needing one. The girls came home in May. My wife took off for six weeks. Then I took off for another eight weeks. I think that’s the timeframe, roughly that we took off. When I was looking for the nanny initially, while they were still in the NICU, trying to get a jumpstart on it. When I started pricing out daycare’s because they were astronomical for combined between $400 and $700 a week, combined. I was like, I don’t know how we’re going to swing that. Like I said, I put that thing out on the website, and the dates she wanted didn’t line up. About a week into my maternity, or paternity leave she messaged us again and said, “Hey, my nanny gig fell through. If you’re still looking for somebody at the end of September, I’m still available.” We met with her. We loved her. She’s phenomenal. We ended up going the nanny route. It was for us cheaper. When you’re talking two kids, and most daycare’s require a static Monday through Friday. You pay us if you’re there or not. The nanny was just a better alternative, more flexible for our schedules. Joe: Is your arrangement where you pay her per hour, or flat fee per month? Matt: Per hour. If she works, she gets paid. The only caveat to that is, if we cancel on her less than 24 hours, for whatever reason, we would have to pay her for that day. But otherwise, if we give her a heads up and she knows our schedule, or we know her schedule, it works out well. Joe: Matt, as we wrap up today, if listeners would like to get a hold of you, what’s the best way to get in touch? Matt: You can hit me up on Facebook, if you can find me. Otherwise, email me. I’m happy to talk to anybody that has any concerns or going down the same path as I went down. Our family went down with having a premature birth for our girls. It’s Mgray1@tds.net. Joe: Excellent. We’ll link up to that in the show notes for this episode. Matt, thank you so much for spending time with us on the show today. We really appreciate it. Matt: No problem. Thanks for having me, Joe. Joe: I hope you enjoyed the show today with Matt, about his amazing journey with his twins from such an early arrival though the challenges of those preemie babies, to bringing them home and the progress they’ve made since then. If you want to go back and listen to this Podcast or any previous Podcast episode, or check out the transcript head on over to Twindadpodcast.com. As I mentioned at the top of the show, today’s episode was brought to you by my first book, Dad’s Guide to Twins: How to Survive the Twin Pregnancy and Prepare for Your Twins. You can get a free audiobook version of that book at freetwinbook.com. If you enjoyed our conversation today with your fellow father of twins, and would like to be on the show yourself and share your story, I’d love to host you. Drop me an email at Joe@dadsguidetotwins.com. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next time. Subscribe to the Podcast To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below: iTunes (for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) Stitcher Google Play Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) Share Your Thoughts Please let me know what you think of this episode of the podcast, you can contact me with any questions or comments or leave a comment on the blog. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help other parents of twins find the show! Download the Podcast Download the podcast in .mp3 format (right click and “save as…”) You can find Joe on Twitter and Facebook.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 69 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago more
  • 13 Tips for a Safe Halloween13 Tips for a Safe Halloween

    Pardon my slightly (very?) snarky intro to these 13 Halloween safety tips. There's nothing funny about our kids' safety, and these tips are worth a quick review.

    A Daddy Blog / 71 d. 5 h. 8 min. ago
  • Back to School Means the Return of the Kid PlagueBack to School Means the Return of the Kid Plague

    You might be happy about the kids finally leaving the house during the day when school starts, but September means the return of germs and the Kid Plague. It’s especially demoralizing because you know it’s coming. It’s inevitable and it looms over everything. You watch your kids like a parental hawk looking for signs of sickness. And just when you think maybe you’ve escaped this year’s Kid Plague — BOOM! Your kid sniffles. Then he wipes his nose with the back of his hand. Then he touches the kitchen counter. Suddenly there isn’t enough cleaning products in the world to stop what’s coming next. However, while the Kid Plague is powerful, there are little things you can do to improve your chances. Like this easy tip from yours truly, winner of the “Small Victories Award.” And if you don’t believe me, you’re in luck because there are a bunch of great bloggers with some additional tips that will prove really helpful. Watch this great video. If you’re not already in the midst of Kid Plague, congratulations. But be warned, it could come at any moment. Because of that, I’d like to leave you with a few tips that might help mitigate things when the going gets tough. Do you know how to properly treat a fever? Be confident that you are safely dosing your child. It’s tough to know when it’s allergies and when it’s a cold. Here are some tips on telling the difference. Be confident you are making smart, informed choices before treating your child’s symptoms and learn why reading the Drug Facts label is a critical step before offering an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine to your kids. For tips on how to treat your family with care all year long, log onto KnowYourOTCs.org. This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are my own. The post Back to School Means the Return of the Kid Plague appeared first on The Daddy Files.

    The Daddy Files / 74 d. 22 h. 31 min. ago more
  • Journaling The Rambles Of My MindJournaling The Rambles Of My Mind

    This space has always been treated as an online journal first and any other word you might choose to call it second. I collect my thoughts and process the ones that I want to share with the world. The ones not for your eyes go down on paper in some sort of semi=regular schedule that is far from daily. Last night as I walked the dark streets of Boston I reflected on friendship and how it works. We use to call, write and touch base with those we cared about. Today a thumbs up, like or retweet seems to pass for being a friend. It is interesting that those that you don’t consider a close friend are the ones that will check in on you, invite you to dinner or reach out when you are least expecting it. We tend to assume that what we see online is an accurate portrayal of how someone is doing when we all know only the extremes are shared. Earlier in the night as I sat at the penny covered bar of Worden Hall, I read a 2012 commencement address from Neil Gaiman. His words hit me directly in the soul. Reminders of things I knew but had not been following. This morning I awoke from less sleep than I try for. The frosted flakes were needed and the coffee was assigned. Today? Today I’m going to let my mind wander some more. To think about the art I’m not creating and the friendships I’m not making the most of. How is your day going? What aren’t you doing that you should be? Make the most of it.

    C.C. Chapman / 76 d. 8 h. 13 min. ago more
  • Best Family Car for the Zombie ApocalypseBest Family Car for the Zombie Apocalypse

    The Jeep ZS1 Zombie Slayer—Because the Zombie Apocalypse is no time to drive a Prius! Yes, this is a real car. Here's why you should drive one...

    A Daddy Blog / 76 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago
  • Weego TWIN Baby Carrier ReviewWeego TWIN Baby Carrier Review

    I have been compensated by Weego for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. When our twin girls were infants, we loved to carry them around. Having them close by was both comforting to them and soothing when they were cranky. Plus it freed up our hands to work on other things. Babywearing for the win! Unfortunately, when our girls were babies, we only found baby carriers that allowed us to carry one baby at a time. The good news for you is that now there is a great option for wearing both your babies on your front so you can see and care for them easily. The Weego TWIN Baby Carrier is an innovative solution to carrying both your twins while keeping your hands free. There is just some magic with baby wearing that immediately soothes and calms fussy twins. This is a huge lifesaver for twin parents like us. Weego sent me one of their Weego TWIN Baby Carriers to review. Carrier Overview The Weego TWIN Baby Carrier folds up very compact and is easy to store. In fact, when it arrives, it comes in a very tidy canvas bag: The Weego package comes with the carrier, some burp cloth attachments, and instructions on how to adjust and wear the carrier: The Weego TWIN Baby Carrier is made from a sturdy and durable fabric. At its core, it has two containers on the front, one for each baby: The back of the carrier is what rests against your chest. Here you see the shoulder straps with securing straps that go across your back, plus the belt with buckle that fits around your waist. These help keep the carrier firmly attached to you and distribute some of the twins’ weight. When you open one side of the Weego TWIN Baby Carrier, you’ll see that each twin pouch is really two pouches in one. An inner pouch is used to securely hold the baby. Each twin will sit in one of these inner pouches with a leg on each side. A great thing about these inner pouches is that they support the babies’ backs and on the sides – preventing the spine from tipping sideways. The rows of metal snaps allow you to adjust the position so as your child grows you can move the inner pouch to accommodate that growth. This way, the outer pouch will always be at the correct place to best support your babies’ heads. Who fits in the Weego TWIN Baby Carrier? The Weego TWIN Baby Carrier weight limit is a maximum of 33 pounds (15kg) combined weight of your twins. The carrier is designed to be used for twins that weigh at least 4 pounds (1.8kg) each. This means that most newborn twins can go straight into this carrier and you’ll be able to wear them until the 33lb weight limit is reached, or when they feel too heavy to carry, which usually occurs around 6 months of age. The head support of the carrier allows use even if your babies can’t yet hold up their heads. This carrier is designed for use on your front with each child facing you. Only adults should wear the carrier and you always need to wear it with both twins, otherwise you’ll have things lopsided and not as safe and secure as you need. Even if your twins are different sizes, this carrier will adjust to fit them (see details below). How to Use the Weego TWIN Baby Carrier Typically you’d get the carrier on first, and then pick up each twin and get her secured in the carrier (see video below), but to get a close up view of how things work, here are some example pictures. First, you’ll open both the outer and inner pouches. While supporting your child, lean them against your chest slightly above the inner pouch. Work each leg into the slots and then velcro and snap at the top of the pouch. Then zip up the inner pouch. Once the your baby is secure in the inner pouch, velcro and buckle the outer pouch around their head. This outer pouch supports baby’s head and shields their body. Zip up the outer pouch and you’re done with this baby. This combination of inner and outer pouches creates a very cozy pocket for each of your twins to hang out while you carry them. Plus the outer pouch deflects prying eyes and fingers of random strangers that want to touch your babies. You’ll wear your babies high on your chest. The best way to see if they are high enough is to see if you can kiss them on the head. Once one baby is secure, you’ll be ready to repeat the process with the next twin. Here’s a great Weego TWIN Baby Carrier video from a twin mom showing how she gets her twin boys in and out of the carrier: Two bonus features on the Weego TWIN Baby Carrier make life with infants a little bit easier. First, each side of the carrier has a leash for pacifiers. This loop will keep your twins’ pacifiers or toys from constantly getting lost or falling on the floor: Secondly, the Weego TWIN Baby Carrier comes with a set of bibs that snap on to the top of the carrier where your twins’ drooling and spit-up prone faces rest. This way you can swap out the bib and wash it without having to wash the entire carrier every time your twin makes a mess: Overall I think this carrier’s design is pretty cool and I wish we had something like this when our twins were infants. Get Your Weego TWIN Baby Carrier You can order your own Weego TWIN Baby Carrier directly at http://www.weego.com. They have a couple of different styles to choose from and ship worldwide.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 76 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Arbeitskleidung für Heimwerker – für jeden Anlass die richtige KleidungArbeitskleidung für Heimwerker – für jeden Anlass die richtige Kleidung

    Der Begriff „Arbeitskleidung“ umfasst jegliche Form von Kleidung, die während dem heimischen Handwerken getragen werden kann. Die Arbeitskleidung für Heimwerker ähnelt sich mit der sogenannten Berufskleidung, die im Handwerk, in den technischen Berufen oder in der Landwirtschaft getragen wird. Die passende Kleidung für den Heimwerker dient zudem als Schutzkleidung, die auch im heimischen Bereich Verletzungen vorbeugen soll. Welche Arbeitskleidung benötigt der Heimwerker? Die Arbeitshose für den Heimwerker Die Arbeitshose spielt im Bereich der heimischen Arbeitskleidung wohl die wichtigste Rolle. Die neue Arbeitshose muss häufig großen Verschmutzungen und Belastungen jeglicher Art gewachsen sein. Sie sollte bei handwerklichen Arbeiten, bei Renovierungen oder bei der Gartenarbeit einiges wegstecken können. Die Arbeitshose schützt den Heimwerker vor hartnäckigen Lacken und Farbflecken, Schnitt- oder auch Brandverletzungen. In einigen Fällen bietet sich hier die Heimwerkerhose an, die als Overall oder Latzhose erhältlich ist. Wer sich also im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes in seine Arbeit hineinknien möchte, braucht eine robuste und perfekt sitzende Arbeitshose. Für einige Tätigkeiten rund um Haus oder Garten mag eine ausgediente Jeans oder Jogginghose ausreichend sein, doch bei den meisten Tätigkeiten werden die schlabberigen Hosen an ihre Grenzen stoßen. Aus diesem Grund bietet der Fachhandel eine umfangreiche Produktpalette an verschiedensten Arbeitshosen für den Heimwerker an. Allen Heimwerkerhosen ist allerdings eines gemeinsam: Sie sind leicht zu reinigen, extrem belastbar und aus einem widerstandsfähigem Material genäht. Besonders eignet sich an dieser Stelle Baumwolle. Sie bietet einen hohen Tragekomfort, ist hautfreundlich und atmungsaktiv. Die glatte Faserung des gewebten Baumwollstoffes verhindert zudem, dass sich Flecken und Verschmutzungen festsetzen. Die Arbeitshosen für den Heimwerker können in der Regel bei 60 °C in der Waschmaschine gewaschen werden. Dass die neue Arbeitshose bequem sitzen sollte und nicht scheuern darf, versteht sich von selbst. Hier erweisen sich Latzhosen, die am Bund weiter geschnitten sind, als sinnvoll. Generell sollten Arbeitshosen als auch Arbeitskleidung im Allgemein auch bei Übergrößen viel Bewegungsfreiheit bieten. Die gängigsten Modelle werden zudem mit breiten und robusten Trägern gehalten. Der Latz schützt zusätzlich den Brustbereich. Empfehlenswert für Arbeitshosen in jeder Form sind diverse Taschen, in denen Zollstock, Werkzeuge und andere wichtige Utensilien verstauen lassen. Arbeitsjacken und Oberbekleidung für Heimwerker Bei den Arbeitsjacken für Heimwerker verhält es sich ähnlich wie bei den Arbeitshosen. Soll die neue Arbeitskleidung hauptsächlich für die Gartenarbeit verwendet werden, bieten sich wasserabweisende und robuste Materialien an. Die widerstandsfähigen Jacken schützen dabei nicht nur den Körper, sondern auch die darunterliegende Freizeitkleidung optimal. In der Werkstatt, also beim Arbeiten mit Staub und Schmierölen eignen sich schmutzabweisende Fasern mit Ledereinsätzen besonders, da diese sich leicht von hartnäckigen Verschmutzungen säubern lassen und den Heimwerker zudem vor Schnittverletzungen bewahren. Ob Arbeitsjacke oder Arbeitspullover: Spezielle Fasermaterialien mit Ledereinsätzen sind auch im Forstbereich jeglicher Art sinnvoll. Bei der Reinigung verhält es sich in der Regel wie mit den Arbeitshosen: Die meisten Modelle sind für die Waschmaschinenreinigung bei 60 °C ausgelegt. Die passenden Sicherheitsschuhe für den Heimwerker Arbeitsschuhe sind nicht nur fester Bestandteil beim beruflichen Arbeiten, sondern auch im heimischen Bereich eine sinnvolle und notwendige Investition. Sicherheitsschuhe sind in den unterschiedlichsten Designs und Formen erhältlich, damit jeder Heimwerker das für sich passende Modell finden kann. Arbeitsschuhe für den Heimwerker sind als klassische Halbschuhe sowie als Stiefel erhältlich. Zudem lässt sich das robuste Schuhwerk in verschiedene Sicherheitsstufen unterteilen, die auch für den Hobbybastler daheim empfehlenswert sind. Die geringste Stufe ist wasserabweisend, beständig gegen Kraftstoff, biegsam und reißfest. Das Obermaterial der Sicherheitsschuhe ist in der Regel aus Leder gefertigt. Die Schuhsohle weist oftmals eine aus Gummi, Polyurethan oder Elastomeren gefertigte Kunststoffsohle auf, die wiederum wasserfest und beständig gegen Kraftstoff ist. Arbeitsschuhe sind für die unterschiedlichsten Einsatzzwecke eine lohnenswerte Investition. Die Reinigung der neuen Fußbekleidung lässt sich durch die abweisenden Materialien recht einfach umsetzen: In der Regel genügt das Abbürsten mit einer mittelfesten Bürste und klarem Wasser. Ob beim Renovieren, beim Hausbau, beim Arbeiten mit Holz, beim Handwerken in der eigenen Werkstatt oder bei der Gartenarbeit: Robuste und perfekt sitzende Arbeitsschuhe schützen den Heimwerker vor Verletzungen und garantieren zudem für einen sicheren, festen Tritt. Der Beitrag Arbeitskleidung für Heimwerker – für jeden Anlass die richtige Kleidung erschien zuerst auf Dad's House Blog.

    Dad's Houseblog / 78 d. 1 h. 15 min. ago more
  • Meizu M6 Note Review, A $500 Smartphone for $170 ???Meizu M6 Note Review, A $500 Smartphone for $170 ???

    If I were to ask our US readers to name some top smartphone companies you would probably hear… Apple, Samsung, Google and maybe LG and Motorola. What you most likely would not hear is Meizu.  However, if you are looking for a very impressive and feature rich smartphone, that is incredibly well priced, you might want to start learning about Meizu! The Meizu M6 Note Review, A Whole Lot of Smartphone for $170 We just completed an extensive video review of the Meizu M6 Note Smartphone. Please watch the full review here… In the end, we feel like you are getting about $500 worth of features (if you bought a comparable Apple or Samsung model) for under $200. Here are just some of the key features you get in this $170 Android phone - Qualcomm Snapdragron 625 Processor 5.5″ Screen, 403 PPI, 1000:1 Contrast and 1920 x 1080 Resolution Dual Rear Camera For Blurring In Portrait Mode (12 and 5 Megapixel) 12-megapixel Sony IMX362/Samsung 2L7 camera 16 Megapixel Front Camera with Arcsoft Beautification Algorithm 4,000 mAh Battery with 18W Fast Charging 4 LED, Dual Color Temperature Flash Adreno 506 GPU For Awesome Gameplay mTouch Fingerprint Scanner Allows .2 Second Quick Unlocking Dual PD Allows Incredibly Fast Focus – just .03 seconds Android 7.1.2 Nougat Flyme 6 OS All Metal Body MicroSD Card Slot Click here to read the full specs. And Now For The Incredible Photos… As we discussed in the video, we were blown away by the quality of the photos you can get in this $170 smartphone (about $250 if you want the 4G+64GB version).  Below are examples of photos we took on the M6 Note.  We did absolutely no post editing to any of the photos, these represent the photos you can take directly with this phone.  We did reduce the size of the images, just for faster loading on the site. Many of the images show the ability to have a blurred background using the Dual PD. Please click any image to see a larger version. Remember, all of those photos were taken with a $170 smartphone and no editing was done to the photos! The Meizu M6 Note Is An Impressive Phone at An Even More Impressive Price If you need the absolute best technology in your smartphone and price is not a concern, you will still go with the latest and greatest from Apple and Samsung.  On the other hand, if you want an extremely affordable and sophisticated Android phone, filled with features, all day battery life and an incredible camera – the Meizu M6 Note is a great choice. More Information: Visit the Meizu Site To Learn More. The Meizu M6 Note (3G+16GB) sells for about $170 USD in China.  The 4G+64GB sells for about $250 USD.

    Dad Does / 78 d. 3 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Daddy’s Baby Bump – The Ugly TruthDaddy’s Baby Bump – The Ugly Truth

    Many of you have asked, and if there's one thing I've learned from the political scene lately, it's important to respond to allegations quickly. So… am I really Mudflap Man?

    A Daddy Blog / 78 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago
  • Don’t Trust Others To Care About Your CareerDon’t Trust Others To Care About Your Career

    Dylan started college earlier this month. On the cross-country road trip, many stories were shared and advice given. He has a few years before he has to worry about it, but I reminded him that the only person he can fully trust to care about his career is himself. Recently, I was reminded of this fact and by now it is something I should know since more than once I’ve put my faith in others and then had it thrown away. What it boils down to is that you need to be sure you are looking out for your best interests first. Yes, there are people who work in the Office of Career Services when you are in school and friends later in life who can and will help you. But, none of them has you as their top priority. I tell my students that if they really want a job, they have to go out and find it. Make the contacts, reach out and say hello and then land it on their own. Everyone else can help and support, but in the end, you are the one that has to do it. Over the course of the last five years, too much of my faith has been put in others. I’d commit my heart and soul to something too early and it would turn around and bite me. Fool me once right? Dummy me didn’t learn. This last time did enough damage that I’ve learned my lesson. Never again. The world is full of good people who want to help you. Yet, there is no one more dedicated to your success than yourself.  

    C.C. Chapman / 78 d. 9 h. 40 min. ago more
  • Heyyyy StrangersHeyyyy Strangers

    Hey guys, I am sorry I have been gone for so long. Its been awhile since I have logged in, and I am desperately in need of advice. Just to catch you up, we still have 4 kids. Quinn (our oldest) will be 11 in November, William is 8, Greta is 4 and Lucy will be 3 in December. I am still in the Army, currently deployed to United Arab Emirates until July 2018. So about a year ago, my wife and I h...

    Daddyplace.com / 78 d. 14 h. 14 min. ago more
  • Mr. Rogers on Scary Things in the NewsMr. Rogers on Scary Things in the News

    When the nightly news is dark and frightening, I find quotes like the following from Mr. Rogers help provide comfort and renewed confidence in my fellow man...

    A Daddy Blog / 81 d. 8 h. 37 min. ago
  • Your Potty Training Twins Adventure – Podcast 150Your Potty Training Twins Adventure – Podcast 150

    Episode 150 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes Listen as I share how our experience went with potty training our twin girls and what you might expect with your twins, including: when to potty train why you should potty train each twin solo realistic expectations of what can be accomplished in a day when one twin doesn’t want to potty train For more details articles on potty training twins, see: When to Potty Train Twins Essential Supplies You’ll Need to Potty Train Twins How to Potty Train Twins How to Get Potty Training Twins Back on Track Transcript Hi everybody and welcome to the 150th episode of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast. This is Joe Rawlinson. As always you can find me on the web at TwinDadPodcast.com where you’ll find the complete transcript for this episode and all previous podcast episodes. Today’s show is brought to you by TwinTShirtCompany.com where you’ll find dozens of T-shirts designed specifically for fathers of twins, mothers of twins, grandparents of twins, and more. I’m sure you’ll find a shirt that will make you smile and make others smile as well over at TwinTShirtCompany.com Today on the podcast we’re going to be talking about potty training your twins. Want to share a little bit about our experience with our girls potty training them and some of the principles that we learned that worked effectively for us. And hopefully can help you as you prepare for a potty train your twins as well. Now about the time that our girls turned 2 years old my wife and I had the conversation that went along the lines of “OK it’s time to potty train our twins now.” Potty training isn’t something that any parent really looks forward to doing but it is a necessary step and milestone. So we went back to the playbook that worked so well for us with our older two boys. And that was the book “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day“. Now this book was a great handbook to guide us through the process of potty training our boys and it worked very well for them. Of course your twins were not naturally know how to use the potty. They don’t know how to pull down their pants, sit on the toilet, use toilet paper, or pull up their pants, wash their hands unless you show them how to do these things. These are very tactical skills that are essential to potty training and too often as parents we assume that kids just know how to do those things. You need to make the effort to set aside a time to teach and practice these skills with your children. So using the principles outlined in “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day” we successfully trained our older two boys. My wife had potty trained our older son. I took a turn on our second son and a potty trained him. And so the time came for our twins and after discussion my wife decided that she would be the one to potty train them. So when the day came for potty training we’d set aside time on the calendar because we knew this was going to be a big event and so we started talking about that day with our children leading up to the event to get them excited about potty training and even took them to the store to help them pick out big girl underpants to help them prepare for the big day. We planned a time over our Thanksgiving holiday. So I was home from work and my wife was here. And so I could take our boys in one of our girls out of the house so that it was just my wife and our one of our twins at home to focus on potty training for the day. That way she can spend all of her efforts and attention on one child focusing on helping her potty train and not be distracted by the other children. So that’s what I did for the first day of potty training. And so during the day my wife using the principles outlined in “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day” did practice drills and reinforcements when things were working. Celebrating the successes and helping train my girl during the day and by the end of the day when when I came home with her sister and her brothers she had mastered the skills of running to the bathroom going to the bathroom and doing the necessary actions. Now keep in mind that even though you can train your child to use the toilet in less than a day they still take some time to master the feelings that their body gives them the signals that the body gives them to help them know when to actually use the bathroom so that takes a little more time but they know the mechanics and logistics of it in a day. So after this successful first day went OK, the next day we were going to focus on her twin sister. And so the second day I took my sons and the freshly potty trained girl out of the house for the day and I left the youngest went home with my wife to train. She went to the same practices same drills throughout the day. But this one didn’t go quite as well as her sister had done. By the end of the day my youngest daughter was having a lot of struggles. She was really frustrated because she was having lots of accidents and things are not going as well as she would have hoped. And so by the end of that day of potty training she parked her heels and said no I want diapers. Understanding that of course she’s not going to be in diapers forever, we decided OK let’s put her back in diapers for now and we’ll revisit this when she’s ready. But her sister was still potty training and going ahead as planned. So I realized at this point that well maybe they weren’t both ready to potty train and you know what. That was probably OK. So what we did was we focused all of her attention and praise on the girl who continued to potty train. So when she went to the bathroom successfully she got celebrations and cheers and reinforcement and praise. And then when she had dry pants when we do dry pant checks she got celebration and praise and recognition. And well it didn’t take very long for her sister, diaper girl, to start to see what was happening that every time potty training girl did something well she got a lot of attention from mom and dad. A lot of praise and a lot of celebration. So diaper girl wanted some of that for herself. So in about a day and a half of watching this, diaper girl comes to us and says I want to potty train again. And she did and she didn’t look back. And she’s been potty trained to this day. So we learned a very valuable lesson here in that where you focus your attention and your praise that’s going to be the outcome that you’re going to get with your children. So instead of focusing on the fact that our youngest daughter did not successfully potty train that first day and that she was having a lot of trouble and sort of focusing on those negative things and think that things had not go according to plan. We instead focused on what was working and who was giving the effort that we that we wanted to see. And in so doing the twin who was not doing what we wanted to have happen. She turned around right. She changed her mind change your attitude and jumped in and started potty training. And so we’ve seen that through out a lot of our parenting with our twins when one of them is doing something right. We focus our attention and praise on them. We focus our energy on what is working and not what is the behavior that we don’t want to see because we realize that when we focus on the outcomes that we want to see we get more of those and we tend to focus on what’s not going right or the bad behavior. We tend to get more of that bad behavior because the children yearn for that attention from you and they’ll get it in a way they can whether it’s good behavior or bad behavior. They just want your attention and approval. Potty training our twins took a little bit of a twist and a turn. We did have success with the principals in that book “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day” and I’ll link to that in the show notes for this podcast over at TwinDadPodcast.com. But even after the mechanics of potty are mastered you need to consistently praise and reinforce the behavior you want to see with your twins over the coming weeks and months and in time they’ll become more and more self-sufficient and be able to use the potty unsupervised by themselves and they’ll be fully potty trained. But you need to continually praise them and reinforce when they’re doing the right thing to help them along their journey. If you have already successfully potty trained your twins I would love to see what worked for you and your family some of the challenges you had and how you overcame those. You can head over to TwinDadPodcast.com for this podcast and share what worked for you in your family. Once again today’s show is brought to you by TwinTShirtCompany.com where you’ll find dozens of T-shirts designed specifically for parents of twins like yourself. It’s awesome to be a parent of twins and you should celebrate that with some of these unique designs that have been created specifically for parents of twins like us. Once again that’s TwinTShirtCompany.com. Thank you so much for listening today and I’ll see you next time. Subscribe to the Podcast To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below: iTunes (for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) Stitcher Google Play Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) Share Your Thoughts Please let me know what you think of this episode of the podcast, you can contact me with any questions or comments or leave a comment on the blog. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help other parents of twins find the show! Download the Podcast Download the podcast in .mp3 format (right click and “save as…”) You can find Joe on Twitter and Facebook.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 83 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago more
  • more news
  • A Walk to Remember – On Our 11th AnniversaryA Walk to Remember – On Our 11th Anniversary

    The walk I'm speaking of is the walk down the isle of a church that my wife and I took eleven years ago. And really, I'm writing not just of that walk, but of a journey... about the independent paths we traveled alone to get to that wedding day, and the walk we've taken hand in hand ever since.

    A Daddy Blog / 95 d. 4 h. 38 min. ago
  • How to Help Your Child Adjust to Twins with Jason Corns – Podcast 149How to Help Your Child Adjust to Twins with Jason Corns – Podcast 149

    Episode 149 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes We continue our father of twins interview series with Jason Corns, father of identical twin girls. Listen as we explore his twin journey, including: Breaking news of twins to a toddler son Helping make sure son gets enough attention even after twins When the twins share a placenta and have associated complications Roller coaster of emotions with each doctor’s visit When one twin’s growth is lagging the other (Intrauterine growth restriction) One of the twins got down to 7% weight forces early delivery Handling a three year old when mom goes into labor Arriving just in time for the delivery NICU stays of 24 and 28 days Going home from the hospital without your infant twins Key NICU milestones Introducing big brother to the twins in the NICU Bringing one twin home before the other How one twin interacts and distracts the other Tricks to telling identical twins apart How life revolves around the twins’ schedule Reach out to Jason, email him here. Transcript Joe: Hello everybody, and welcome to the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast, Episode 149. This is Joe Rawlinson, I’m glad you can join me today. As always, you can find me on the web at twindadpodcast.com, where you’ll find the transcript, and show notes for this episode, and all previous podcast episodes. Once again, that’s twindadpodcast.com. Today’s show is brought to you by twintshirtcompany.com, where you’ll find dozens of T-shirts designed specifically for fathers of twins, like yourselves, mothers of twins, and grandparents of twins. Check out those shirts today at twintshirtcompany.com. Today we are continuing our Father of Twins Interview Series with fellow father of twins, Jason Corns. Listen in as he shares his story of how they handled twins arriving earlier than expected, how they helped their toddler son adjust to life, and prepare for life with twins, and much more. Let’s jump right into that interview. Today I’d like to welcome to the show fellow father of twins, Jason Corns. Welcome to the show, Jason. Jason: Thank you for having me. Joe: Jason, how old are your twins right now, and what’s the best part of this stage of your twin journey? Jason: My twins are three months right now, and I’d say the best part right now is they’re on the same schedule. They eat at the same time, they sleep at the same time, so we’re not fighting one another to get one done, and the other one’s crying, or nothing. Joe: Yeah, when you get them in sync, that’s like magic, right? Everything starts to fall into place. Jason: Oh yeah. Joe: It’s a huge relief. Jason: When there’s only one parent around, and they’re both screaming, it’s one of those you’ve got to be … you need three or four hands. Joe: Absolutely. Let’s rewind a little bit, back to when you found out that you were having twins. What was your family situation like? Jason: Our family knew that we were pregnant, and then we also have a three-year-old right now, so we went for our ultrasound, and that’s when we found out we were having twins, at our nine-week ultrasound. It was just shocking. It was shocking for us, and shocking for our parents, and relatives, and everybody. Joe: Yeah, it was shocking for us as well. We had no family history of twins, and it was the last thing on our minds that we were expecting to have more than one in that pregnancy. You’ve got twin girls, right? Jason: Yes, identical girls. Joe: We have identical girls as well, and we found out, they don’t need family history to have twins. Identical twins are random surprises that we get. I’m sure you felt some of that shock as well. What were some of your biggest concerns that you had during the twin pregnancy? Jason: During the whole twin pregnancy, I don’t think we had any concerns. It was just once we found out some more information about our twins, and there were some other complications and stuff, that’s when we started to worry. Joe: How did you go about preparing your son, who I guess at the time was two, to get ready for your new babies? Jason: We just kind of told him that he’s going to be having baby brothers, or baby sister at the time because we didn’t really know we were having twins, but he was excited. He loves kids, and he loves them now. He shows the affection all the time for him, but he’s adjusting. He’s a three-year-old to start, and then he’s not getting as much attention as he used to. Joe: Have you done anything in particular to help make sure that he gets some more attention that he might need? Jason: Oh yeah. My parents, and her parents are around where we live, and they’ll take the girls once in a while, and my wife, my son, and I will go to a baseball game, or we went to the fair recently and stuff. We set time aside for him. Joe: When we had our twins, we had two very young boys, age three and under, very similar to you. It’s interesting to watch their interactions with the twins. One of our boys showed affection, like you’re describing your son, and one of them was kind of standoffish in the beginning with his little sisters. You mentioned as the pregnancy went on, you had a few things pop up that were of concern. Tell us about what happened there. Jason: We found out that they’re mono/di twins, and they were sharing the same placenta. Then we, the wife and I, kind of did our own research, and we came across all the complications that can happen in a Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. That started worrying us. We were sent to a high-risk doctor at the time. They have to tell you information because they have to tell you, not necessarily that that’s what’s going on with you, so my wife and I would leave every appointment not knowing if that was a good one, or a bad one. We would just have to wait until the next appointment. It was just every appointment was a flip of a coin, you know? We’d go to one appointment with our heads in the air, can’t wait to meet these little girls. Then we’ll get some news, and the next appointment we’re walking in with our heads down hoping that we get some good news. We never knew what kind of appointment we were going to have. Joe: Yeah, that’s so rough. We had the same thing. We had mo/di twins, and you’re right. You’re excited for a doctor’s appointment because you’re going to get an update on their progress, and hopefully, it’s good news. Maybe you’re getting an ultrasound, but then you’re right, the doctor just tells you everything, all the possibilities, and it can be overwhelming. Did you have some medical issues pop up with your twins during the pregnancy? Jason: Yeah, we had Baby A, she was behind Baby B by quite a bit, but they ruled out Twin-to-Twin Transfusion after, I believe it was 25 weeks, or something like that, but she still had intrauterine growth restriction, and they were watching her progress. That was when the high-risk doctor moved us to ultrasound every week, and then we were getting two ultrasounds a week just to keep an eye on Baby A. Every appointment or so, she was losing a little, and losing a little. They were just keeping a pretty good eye on her. Then that’s pretty much what sent my wife into labor there is she had just got to the point, she got down to seven percentile, so her doctor set up her scheduled C-Section, but she ended up going into labor sooner than that, so everything was a big hassle then. Joe: How far along in the pregnancy was that? Jason: 34 weeks. Joe: The babies came before the scheduled C-Section? Jason: Yes, they set up her scheduled C-Section, and then we went to an appointment before that, and they told her a week prior, so they moved it up a week. Then they had everything set up, and then she went into labor two days before her C-Section. Joe: What did you do with your son when your wife went into labor? Jason: I was at work, and my wife was home with my son, and she drove herself to the hospital in labor. Her mom left work early, and met my wife at the hospital front door, and they just exchanged my son right there. My wife went and checked herself in, and I was headed there from work. Joe: You were able to be there for her at the birth. You were able to make it from work in time? Jason: Barely, yeah. I walked in, they threw scrubs at me, and pointed me towards the ER. Joe: Had your first son been born VIA C-Section? Jason: No, he was natural. Joe: How was your experience different this time around? Jason: Mainly nervous for her. Neither one of us knew what to expect. You only hear the stories, and read the articles of what happens, but I stayed strong for her. I couldn’t go in the room while they were giving her the spinal tap, so that was just nerve-wracking for me, pacing in the hallway until they told me I could go back there. I seen the relief on her face when I walked back in that room. It just put me at ease. It was just waiting for the process to take place. They said, “Happy Birthday to my Baby A, Emma, and then it was just a relief that the girls are finally here. We head them crying. We knew everything was okay. Joe: Yeah, that’s a great feeling when you see them and you hear them, and you know it’s going to be okay. Were you able to hold them right away? Jason: No, because they went right on oxygen right away. They were trying to clean out their lungs and everything. We could go look at them, but we weren’t allowed to touch them right away. They cleaned them up in the operating room. I was able to go over there, and take a couple pictures, and they took them over to the NICU right away. Joe: How long were they in the NICU before they were able to come home? Jason: Baby B was in the NICU for 24 days, and Baby A was in there for 28 days. Joe: Tell us about the experience when your wife’s recovered from the C-Section, she’s ready to be discharged from the hospital, and you have to go home without your babies. Tell us about what you were thinking and feeling at that moment. Jason: That was terrible. I mean we knew they were in good hands, and they were in the best place they could be in the NICU, but we talk about it to this day. That walk out of the hospital room to our car when we were discharged, that was the worst walk. Then every time we would go visit them in the NICU, and we would leave the NICU, and walk down those hallways, and down the elevators without our babies, that was horrible. It kind of takes away from the bringing the new baby home experience, you know? Joe: How did you work your schedule around visiting them in the NICU? Jason: My wife’s a stay-at-home mom, and I would leave extra early for work, and stop in there and drop off the breast milk because she was pumping. I’d visit with the girls for a little bit, then I would go to work. Her and my son would come up mid-day, then I would stop on the way home from work. You know, all of us would go back in the evening, or she would go back. We were there three or four times a day. Joe: How much time were you able to take off of work? Jason: I was able to take a … I had a week off. I had the weekend, and I took a couple vacation days. It was one of those, my wife was home, and everything was okay, and without the girls at home with us, there was kind of no big reason for me to be sitting at home. Joe: What were some of the milestones that you were looking for with your twins in the NICU? Jason: Just every day we went in there, and we got the positive news. There was a couple times we went in there, they took them off oxygen, then we’d go in there the next day, and they’d be back on it, or the bilirubin light, we would go in there, and everything was great, their numbers looked great, then the next visit, they’d be back under the bilirubin light. It was just great to see when they were finally off of all that stuff, and they were just on their own. Mainly they just had to gain some weight to get out of there, eat on their own and everything. Joe: What was the experience like for your son. What did he think of seeing his little sisters in the hospital hooked up to machines, and things like that? Jason: He had a lot of questions, naturally. We just had to tell him that everything’s okay. The NICU nurses were great. They let them hold his hand, and he was able to sit in a chair next to them, and stuff like that. They were pretty good with them. He always asked when they were able to come home because he knew we had all their toys, and their cribs, and everything ready at home. They just weren’t there yet. He adapted really well. Joe: You said there was like four or five days between the two of them coming home. How was that experience, bringing one of the babies home? Jason: It’s not the same. You need them both there. Having one kind of gave us a little warm up for the night time feedings, and all the diaper changes, and everything, kind of got her warmed up again for when the other one came home. Joe: Once they were both home with you, all together, what’s something that kind of surprised you the most about having twins in the home? Jason: My girls definitely had twin sense. One will be completely asleep, and if one starts fussing and crying, the other one will wake right up, and start crying along with her. It’s kind of funny how they interact with each other. Joe: Are they in the same room with you, or are they in their nursery? Jason: They’re in our room right now, but they sleep in their bassinets. Joe: You mentioned that your girls are identical. How are you able to tell them apart? Jason: Right now, Baby A, or Emma, she’s still a couple pounds smaller, so visually just by their size you could tell them apart, but other than that, they are identical in the face and everything. Their smiles, their eyes, everything. Our family members can’t tell them apart until they stare at them for a while, but my wife and I go right up to them. Joe: That’ll be fun as they get older. Our girls have been very similar. They’re very identical. One was a little size difference, just like yours are. One was a little bit bigger than the other one, and it still fools people today, and our girls are nine. We used to dress them in different colors to help family members tell them apart, but eventually they have a preference, they have an opinion on what they wear. The systems that we devise as parents go out the window. Today, one of them has pierced ears, and one of them does not, and that was their choice, so that’s kind of the permanent distinguishing factor right now. Are your girls being breast fed, or bottle fed? Jason: They’re on formula right now. They were being … My wife was pumping, and they were getting the breast milk, but with the three kids at home, and the whole hassle, she kind of had to give that up. Then the pediatrician put them on a high-calorie formula, tried to get their weight picked up a little bit. Joe: Have there been any milestones since you’ve brought the girls home that have made your life a little easier on a day-to-day basis? Jason: Yeah, they’re entertaining themselves now. You know, you don’t have to keep a close eye on them, and entertain them. When they wake up from their naps or something like that, they’ll stare at the ceiling fan, or they’ll start cooing, chewing on their fingers or something. You don’t have to constantly worry about what they’re doing, or listen to them cry all the time now. Joe: Has there been any particular baby gear that you have used that’s really made things easier for taking care of the kids? Jason: We do have a double stroller, and that makes our shopping trips, and everything nice because you can’t fit the two car seats in a shopping cart, but it’s pretty much a two-parent job now to go to the grocery store with all the kids. We just purchased the carriers where you strap them to your chest, and we haven’t had the opportunity to use them yet, so I’m curious to see how that works out. Joe: What kind of carrier did you get? Jason: Infantino. We have two of them, so there will be one of them in the front of each of us. Joe: We had something similar with a front carrier. My wife would wear one, and I would wear the other. Now that your girls are three months old, walk us through a typical day in the life of your schedule. What’s your schedule like from when they get up to when they go to sleep? Jason: Well, the last feeding’s usually around 8:00. They’ll probably wake up around 3:00. We’ll do our feeding, and from there I’ll just get ready and go to work. Wife, bless her heart, is home with all three kids until I get home from work, or she’s there for about 10 hours with them all. I get home, and we’ve got another feeding to do. By then, wife, and I, and my son will eat dinner. That pretty much revolves around their schedule. If they’re crabby, and they’re crying, and it’s kind of hard to calm them down or something, that means we don’t go to the store that night, or we don’t go out for our walk, or go visit family. Kind of life revolves around them right now. Joe: How are they doing on their naps during the day? Jason: They take about an hour, hour and a half at a time. They’re eating about every four and a half hours, four hours, four and a half hours, so usually in between there is about an hour and a half nap, then they just … Like I said, they’ll wake up, and they’ll entertain themselves. They’ll sit and stare at the TV or the ceiling fan. We don’t go over and pick them up right away unless they start fussing or something like that. We kind of let them be. Joe: If you could share a piece of advice on how to keep your marriage strong throughout this whole twin journey, and the ups and downs that you experienced, what would you tell your fellow fathers of twins? Jason: I would say just to relax. Frustration builds up all around. My wife and I, we’ll kind of butt heads here and there, but it’s one of those where we both just take a breath, and we just kind of calm ourselves down, and realize we’ll get through everything. It’s only this one time that they’re crying, and we’re kind of frustrated with something else that’s going on in our lives, and we just got to remember that it’s no one’s fault. You just got to get through that moment. Joe: Well, Jason, as we wrap up today, if listeners would like to connect with you, what’s the best way to get in touch? Jason: I’m pretty good at responding to emails. My email is jasonc9270@gmail.com. Joe: Jason, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. We really appreciate it. Jason: Not a problem. Thank you for having me. Joe: I hope you enjoyed that interview with Jason today. If you want to reach out and contact him, go ahead, and check out the show notes at twindadpodcast.com, or I’ve linked up to his contact information. If you would like to share your story, as a father of twins, on this very podcast, why don’t you reach out to me, and we’ll make it happen? joe@dadsguidetotwins.com. As I mentioned at the top of this show, today is brought to you by twintshirtcompany.com, where you’ll find dozens of T-shirts designed specifically for parents of twins. That’s twintshirtcompany.com. Thank you so much for listening. Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you next time. Subscribe to the Podcast To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below: iTunes (for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) Stitcher Google Play Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed) Share Your Thoughts Please let me know what you think of this episode of the podcast, you can contact me with any questions or comments or leave a comment on the blog. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help other parents of twins find the show! Download the Podcast Download the podcast in .mp3 format (right click and “save as…”) You can find Joe on Twitter and Facebook.

    Dad's Guide to Twins / 97 d. 8 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Drone N Base Gaming Drone Review and Giveaway ($470 Value)Drone N Base Gaming Drone Review and Giveaway ($470 Value)

    Flying a drone…that is so 2016. Battling drones using augmented reality…this is where it is at for the 2017 holiday season! I know, it is just the start of September but before you know it, it will be the holiday season.  Because we care for you twice as much as any other blog, we’ve got you covered in two ways… First, we have a full hands-on review of the brand new Drone N Base Gaming Drone Package.  This is the super cool gaming drone that allows you to do races and battles with augmented reality. Second, we are giving away not 1 Drone N Base Gaming Drone…but 2 Drone N Base Gaming Drones.  This way you and a friend can have battles to the death…but don’t worry, it is virtual…so no one really dies. The Drone N Base Puts the Game in Drones A year ago, it was enough for kids to get a drone and fly it around their house.  Now kids are looking for something more…and the Drone N Base provides it.  By using augmented reality and a smart base, the Drone N Base Gaming Drone Package…is just that…a drone that puts the emphasis on gaming. Sure, you can free fly the drone around and it is very stable.  However, the real fun comes when you load up the iOS or Android app and start battling physical and virtual drones.  Fire lasers, do damage, take damage – it’s all in there! Rather than tell you about the Drone N Base Experience, let’s show it to you! Please watch our full review of the Drone N Base Gaming Drone Package… In that video we show one Drone N Base Package (Drone, Base, 2 Batteries and cable) but we also have another brand new package.  So one lucky reader can experience the thrill of battling a friend, we are giving away a pair of Drone N Base Gaming Drone Packages…    On September 20th, 2017 we are giving away A Pair of Drone N Base Gaming Drone Packages ($470 value) Do I Have to Give Up My First Born to Enter? Not only do you not need to give up your first born to enter, you can even keep your 2nd and 3rd born as well! We tried to make this as easy as possible, so here is the 3 Step Process… Step 1 – Join Us (Mandatory) If you clicked that nice little Join Us button in the past – you’ve already got a ticket in the Drone N Base Giveaway!  Any member of Dad Does is automatically entered into any giveaway we do. Not a member yet? No problem, all you have to do is Join Us – requires just your email, 100% free and takes about 6 seconds. So, just Join Us once and you are automatically entered in any giveaway we ever do – simple – right? Step 2 – Leave a Comment Below And Increase Your Odds of Winning by 5x (Optional) If you are reading this post, you deserve a better chance to win. So, just leave a comment below – say anything you like, and we will give you 5 additional entries into the giveaway. Maybe, after watching the video review, tell us which feature of the Drone N Base you are most excited about. Step 3 – Complete Your Entry Using The RaffleCopter App To help us randomly pick the winner and keep track of the entries we are using a cool little app called Raffle Copter. Once you have Joined Dad Does and left a comment on this post, just complete your entry by using this RaffleCopter app – a Rafflecopter giveaway It is very important you record your entries in the above app, as it is how we will notify winners.  Even if you have joined us in the past, we still need you to put an entry in the Rafflecopter app. To recap, you Join Us, that gets you 1 entry. Already a member? You already have your first entry (but please still complete the info on Rafflecopter). If you want, leave a comment below, that gets you 5 more entries (giving 6 entries as the maximum anyone can get). Record your entries using the RaffleCopter app on this page. If you win, tell us where to ship it. Pretty darn easy, no? We will randomly pick ONE winner on Wednesday September 20th, 2017.  The winner will get two Drone N Base Gaming Drone Packages.  One package is brand new and the other was lightly used to film the video. Sorry, but prizes can only be shipped to a US or Canada address. Let The Fun Begin! Join Us – takes about 6 seconds and gets you an entry in this contest and all other contests we ever do. If you want to increase your odds, just leave a comment below – that gets you 5 more entries (maximum of 6 entries per person). Rub a rabbit’s foot, grab a four leaf clover, kiss a leprechaun and let the fun begin! More Information: Visit Drone N Base  To Learn More About Their Collection of Gaming Drones   Leave A Comment Below And Increase Your Odds of Winning By 5 Times! Good Luck to All!  

    Dad Does / 97 d. 23 h. 5 min. ago more