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Gear Thursday: The Happiest Baby on the Block

So this went up early but it is Thursday in New Zealand and Australia and I have some great readers there so this one's for you.

Well I was going to do a wrap up of the baby room but we just watched The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD and I decided the room can wait because the DVD had some great info.

We heard about Harvey Karp, a pediatrician from Santa Monica, and his Happiest Baby philosophy from a bunch of friends who said it completely changed the way they calm their babies.

He starts off talking about the idea that since babies (the human kind) are born much less developed than other mammals the 1st three months of life are really considered a 4th trimester. Then he speaks about the calming reflex which is when a baby instantly relaxes upon receiving cues similar to what is experienced in the womb.

To get those cues of the womb he suggests the 5 S's:
Swaddling – recreates confinement in the womb...he shows you a simple fast way to do it.
Side/stomach position – it was cra…

Ready to Go

In 2 days Staci is full term so you never know when she'll go into labor. Since she's a planner, which is good, we've packed a bag, prepared all info for how to get our dog Kalli to the spa, it's actually called a spa, and packed her bag as well.

In Staci's bag is the usual things you'd see in birth bag or whatever it's called. I only have a pair of sweats and a shirt in there. I could get in to all of the contents but other people on the interweb have written that better than I can so I suggest a little Goggle search. I do however have what I consider to be the most important bag packed. My camera bag.

In that I have:
2 bodies (Canon XTi and 7D)
3 lenses (the nifty 50 f/1.8, Tokina 12-24 f/4.0 and the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8...I had the craptastic 18-55 kit lens in there but as I was writing this I realized it's so bad and I don't need it.)
580EX II flashKodak Zx1 HD video camera
2 back up batteries for the XTi plus 1 in camera1 back up battery for the 7D pl…

Gear Thursday: Veggies on the go – MiYim's stroller rattle

When I was a boy I don't think we had stroller toys or rattles. I think I just played with my mom's keys except when we went grocery shopping. Apparently when I was in grocery stores I would play with Jello boxes and bread eating through both of their packaging.


Warning: it looks much nicer in person.

Now there are a bunch of things out there Velcro® onto a stroller to keep your baby occupied. We just received this cute rattle the other day.

Made by MiYim: Simply Organic it's a cute little pea pod stroller rattle with a small elastic piece that connects to your stroller. We have the Under the Nile Veggie Crate and this is a great way for the little MF to take his/her when we're out.

It's super soft and the color is really nice. Miyim dyes the organic cotton in a water bath with dyes from plants and minerals. As it says on the packaging it's "free of harmful substances, from start to finish."

Here is a quick low down on their organic cotton collection
ce…

Another pregnancy update post: he said/she said version.

How far along? 34 weeks and 5 days.

Total weight gain/loss: I don't understand the question.

Stretch marks? Nope. 

Sleep: Nope.

Best moment this week: Baby passed the biophysical with flying colors...8/8.

Movement: Tons.

Food cravings: Anything edible.

Gender: Either a boy or a girl.

Labor Signs: Head down (the baby's).

Belly Button in or out? Sort of looks like the Snorks from the cartoon from the 80s.

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach.

What I am looking forward to: Kissing the babies itty-bitty toes.

Weekly Wisdom: It's OK to admit that while this is amazing it's not always easy.

Milestones: So close to full term.



How far along? Just under 35 weeks, according to the voodoo math.

Total weight gain/loss: Down another half pound which makes the total 3.5 pounds...I've slacked a bit.

Stretch marks? No.

Sleep: I've been falling asleep an hour and a half earlier but getting up a half hour earlier so it's about an hour more than before.

Best moment this week: Folks at my job t…

Gear Thursday: 2 gifts from our shower

We had our baby shower last weekend and Staci and I both bought gifts for the pre-kid. So I thought I'd show those because I like them.


I bought a Sex Pistols 'God Save the Queen' onesie. It's a super soft. The crown in her hair, and the safety pin in her lip are metallic ink which is a nice touch...I was just schooled by folks at work for just saying metallic and not metallic ink...hence comment number 1. It also comes in baby shirts.


Staci got an Ebulobo Woodours Daddy and Baby Bear stuffed toy. She wins because her gift is awesome and it was sweet that she wanted to get a dad and baby toy.

The baby bear, which has a rattle inside, lives in the daddy bear's tree trunk stomach. The Daddy bear holds a removable fishing pole and flower. The flower has crinkle paper inside. The dad carries a bag that has a fish in it, you can pull the fish, which is on a string, and it wiggles back in the bag.

This video shows how everything works. While I don't understand French…

Random shorts

One: Some of Staci's friends threw her a baby shower this weekend. A bunch of our friends came as well as her mom...and my mom flew in for a special appearance. We got some awesome stuff so I wanted to thank all the people who came, and her friends for putting it on.
Staci and I both got gifts for the pre-kid...I'll post them Thursday.
Two: The baby room is just about done. I have to frame 2 pieces of art...then we need to get some sheets for the mattress. We started early...the slacked off...but it looks like we're finishing on time.
Three:
The baby turned head down and dropped. Since it wasn't head down in our last ultrasound Staci was able to get another to make sure all was good...in the pics they saw a full head of hair...kinda cool they can tell.

The pre-kid's freaking huge...you can feel it's butt and head and see arms, knees or feet pushing out.

Of course I mean huge based on it's current housing situation. Staci is worried that we'll blow through n…

Gear Thursday: some of our favorite Etsy finds.

I get emails almost everyday, sometimes a couple times a day from paypal letting me know that I've paid somebody for something. It's because Staci is a bit addicted to Etsy.

I thought I'd share with you some of our fave finds...there are of course a lot more, but these are rising to the top to me right now.



The first is Urban Thimble they have super cute onesies/bodysuits. Minimal felt graphics on good quality clothes, the one we got was American Apparel. Sadly I just found out she's giong out of business so if you're digging this from you should head to her store and snap some up.



Staci did find Finch Design and they offer similar stuff. The baby bodysuits (what's the difference between a body suit and a onesie?) are all fair trade which is awesome. You can check out the Finch Design stuff here.





Next is One Lucky Baby...maker of cool, super soft blankets and little stuffed animals called tweets. We just grabbed a the blanket shown, but might pick up some tweet…

I rank 5th in a google search for 'businessy'

So this is going to be a businessy post in hopes that I increase my rank in searches for 'businessy, ' which probably no one searches for anyway...and has no relation to my blog...but I feel this will be my ticket to making billions.

Some day I'll do a post on the crazy searches that take people here, but besides businessy I can tell you I get quite a few people here from a search of combination of the words: squishy, fruit, plums, nectarines, pregnancy. A lot of people apparently search that stuff. It comes from my post about Staci's cravings.

Any way google searches aren't the only reason I'm doing this post.

I have an update on my giveaway for the book ABCs for Expectant Dads. Everyone who entered won. The author was kind enough to give signed copies to all the folks who entered...that's awesome. Congrats.

I have another awesome giveaway going on. It's for some Kid Basix gear; first place gets a Safe Sippy2 cup and a Safe Starter bottle while secon…

Gear Thursday: my thoughts on cameras (and video recorders)

With the holidays coming up a lot of friends have been asking my opinion on what camera to get because they are looking to upgrade. Most questions are what's coming up? What looks good? And what's the best for them? I try to stay current but I admit I'm a bit behind since I bought my last camera a few months ago.

I'd love to do a post about what would be a great camera for all my readers...but since you all have different needs that would be tough. Plus there are dedicated sites out there that rock...I'll get to them later.

There are a couple of things I always look for when searching cameras..I'll share that info here. This is high level so you can use this as just a starter guide. I won't really get into what is the best.

A lot of folks look at megapixels and think that more is better...this isn't always true. Yes 10 is better than 6.  If you're never print over 10x6 you'd be fine with 6MP, however what if you get an amazing shot? You'll …

A bit of a scare but a lot of learning

2:00 A.M. Sunday morning Staci woke me up because she had some pains in her bellyish area/ribs. I comforted, cuddled her and took care of her in every way possible.

Okay let's start this over a bit. I am not a morning person...at all. I can go to sleep whenever but I can't wake up early. And when I'm woken up I'm not happy...I don't talk...if under duress I will only grunt or spit out short sentences. That's why we have a plan that once the little dude/dudette is born I will be taking care of it late night. So here is how it actually went down.

Staci told me she was having some pains...I said something like "yeah?" and went back to sleep. About a half hour later she told me she was still having pains...I told her they were Braxton-Hicks....and went back to sleep. About 15 minutes later she was writhing in pain...I asked if she wanted to go to the hospital...and told her it was probably Braxton-Hicks. She went down stairs and grabbed her coat. I took …

Random shorts: things I've learned or have been thinking

One:
On Wednesday Staci learned that she had Gestational Diabetes. So on Friday we headed to a class to learn how to deal with it through diet and such. I was kind of dreading the class. Then I saw a clear tub with fake plastic food in it...wow...fake burgers, pizza and rice can't lead to good things. Luckily since it was the day after Thanksgiving we were the only one in the class. When all was said and done it was actually an interesting class. Of course a lot of info was basic but there was good stuff on carb servings vs. actual serving. It made me really think about when I order curry fried rice, eat the whole thing and fall asleep hard..maybe it's too many carbs.

Thanks to all the twitter folks who gave me info on GD.

Tomorrow I have another story about our adventures this weekend...that one includes 2 words I'm no longer allowed to say.

Two:
I wrote a guest blog for Jen over at MOmMy bRain it's about some of my new irrational fears including the crazy floppy neck…

Gear Thursday with a Giveaway: Safe Sippy2 from Kid Basix

If you've been reading this blog for a while you may remember I did a post about the Safe Starter from Kid Basix. It's a stainless steel bottle with a silicon sleeve and is a great alternative to plastic bottles because it's sturdy and BPA free. Check out the original post for all the info.

Kid Basix actually has a full line of great products all of them stainless steel and BPA free. One of their newest products is the Safe Sippy2.

I had to move some of my reviews off this blog so please click here to see the whole thing...it's easy.

A little blog award

Last week I was awarded a blog award called the Kreative Blogger award. Carli from MiniLaLa gave it to me...thanks Carli.

There are some things they tell you to do when accepting the award so here they are:
1. Copy the picture and post it on your blog.
2. Thank the person that gave it to you and link to their blog.
3. Write 7 things about yourself we don't know.
4. Choose 7 other bloggers to pass the award to.
5. Link to those 7 other bloggers.
6. Notify your 7 bloggers.

So here are seven things you all probably don't know about me:
1. I geek out about science and I came really close to adding Physics or Anthropology on as a double major to my Photo degree...but that required too much school.
2. In 1991 I made the last call for the first season of MTV Real World.
3. A couple years ago I got to hang out with Maya Angelou at her house while art directing a photoshoot for Target. Kwaku Alston was the photographer. Dr. Angelou is amazing.
4. I learned to whistle by watching the T…

Another Fantastic Fox...I'll get there eventually and then go on another tangent.

Fair warning...this post is long and goes all over the place so here is a spoiler: I think the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, coming out Thanksgiving day, looks awesome. That being said you can stop reading and go about your day.

Two weeks ago I did a post about a cute stuffed toy called Semi-Fantastic Mr. Fox stuffed toy we got. This week the caliber of fox I'm writing about is even better.

Last week I got an email from a marketing agency that is working to promote the new animated movie Fantastic Mr. Fox. They found a bunch of bloggers and offered them the opportunity to have a conference call with Jason Schwartzman, one of the stars, to chat about the movie. I wasn't able to participate because it was during my 9ish - 5ish.

At first when I got the email about the call I was super psyched...I'm a fan of Schwartzman and I think the movie looks awesome. But the same day I got the email about the call I was bombarded with about 15 other emails about products that people felt wou…

Gear Thursday: Retro Fisher Price

I was out of town the end of last week through the beginning of this week so I didn't have much time to review anything for this week...but I did find some goodies online.

Fisher Price has released some of their retro stuff including the Chatter Telephone pull toy. It's pretty much the same one that was around when I was a kid, although I assume there is less lead in the paint...hopefully no lead. The eyes still roll up and down, the mouth chatters and the dial still rings. The funny thing is kids will have no idea what it is.

When I was a kid this toy was a great primer on how to use a telephone...now it should really be an iPhone with wheels and a pull cord (patent pending by me.) Maybe you can get this for your child and then take them to a history museum and tell them how much it sucked to call a friend who had a lot of zeros in their phone number.

The only negative I saw in the Amazon reviews is that the phone cord is super short...I'm assuming that's a safety th…

Trying to figure out what babies are thinking

I just got back from a trip to Chicago to see some old friends. While there I stayed at with friends who have 2 kids.

Their youngest is 13 months...he's just on the verge of talking. He'll say small words like dada and up. I was semi fascinated by him.

He's at that age where he's to young to speak but also too young to get frustrated that we don't understand him. I have never actually spent good time with a kid that age. I'm used to that stage he'll be at in a month or even a few weeks. That stage where they really know they are saying things but we have no idea what they are saying.

I'm totally geeked out by human development...that's actually one reason kids really used to freak me out. Their brains are sponges and I think babies are relatively more intelligent than adults...different knowledge but they have crazy brain development and learning ability. Plus they observe and judge everything they see...it's intimidating.

Any way it was so cool to…

Gear Thursday: Semi-Fantastic Mr. Fox by Bird and Little Bird

Well I was going to talk about strollers this week and mention how we went with a Maclaren Easy Traveller because we heard from so many parents that this simple, lightweight system is much more convenient than regular all in one strollers. But then the recall went out. While I'm sure the fix will be fine I am going to hold off until I get the hinge guards and reevaluate then.

So here's something more fun anyway...Staci found it on Etsy. It's a custom made fox toy made by Annie who goes by Bird and Little Bird. The fox is made of all natural materials and filled with organic cotton.She also offers a custom bunny and patterns for both.

While Annie does offer some ready made foxes what's cool about her stuff is that she works with you to customize it to go with your nursery or whatever you want. The body is linen but she will send you pictures of swatches to be used for the ears, arms, legs and scarf.

There are buttons on the arms and legs so maybe it should go on a she…

New Giveaway: ABC's for Expectant Dads - 10 awesome copies

Winners have been picked for the giveaway. Todd was so nice as to give all who entered by the deadline a copy of his book. Thanks all who entered...I sent an email to you for your info. Please email me (info on the header) if you don't get that email. Rommel I could not find your email...please let me know your contact info.



A bit ago I found Todd Lieman in Twitterland and he sent me a copy of his book ABC's for Expectant Dads: The Ultimate A- for Dads-in-Training. I'd looked at a bunch of expectant dad books and I thought most were terrible. I did pick up The Expectant Father and I liked it but I haven't looked at it in months.

I think it's tough for dad's because we're just reading about what's going on with the mothers and it's easier to hear it from them. Staci is reading so much that she keeps me up to date on things I should know and I'm sure most expectant moms are the same. I'm also luckily in that doing this blog has connected me to…

Random thoughts: a trial run, time and pseudo science

This was once again written on the bus so pardon the typos.

One:
We had a 24 hour trial run as parents this week when a friends 2 year old son stayed at our house. We've had kids over but only when their parents were staying over. And Staci's watched kids a lot but no one has left their child in my care before....

It went well. I realized I'm not as bad with kids as I thought.

Part of that could be because I thought you had to talk baby talk or talk down to kids so I had no idea what to say. But I just spoke normally and it was easy. Sarcasm didn't go over well because when I asked if he wanted to fix the thermostat in our dryer he got excited.

That's when I learned the most important thing about caring for a child...you need to use misdirection.

Look at woof (what he calls are dog) was all it took to get him on a different train of thought.

He was super easy to play with and take care of. He's already potty trained which was awesome because although I'll be doin…

Gear Thursday: Road ID Fixx

For this Gear Thursday I chose something that isn't baby related because I think it's a great product, and although geared towards active adults I think it would be great for kids too.



It's the Fixx ID dog tag made by Road ID. They make 6 different styles of identification but I went with the Fixx ID because it's the one that's easiest to wear all the time and it fits my style.

Identification is good to have because first responders look for them if there is an accident. They are usually looking for any kind of medical bracelet or necklace but they would see that your ID has your info and it could help them out and save time. They speak for you if you can't.

I got mine 4 years ago when I got my road bicycle and started going for long rides. Then I started wearing it while snowboarding. Next I got a scooter and just started wearing it every day so I don't forget to put it on. Now that my family is growing I find it even more important to have my info at han…

Anticipation of things to come

Originally posted on Dad Camp:

I’m not sure how I got my views of what raising a newborn will be like, but apparently they are pretty off.

I realized it when my wife and I were discussing ditching cable. She said it would be great to have at those times our baby won’t sleep and we have to be up with him/her. I told her I’d just play some games on our Wii while I get they baby to sleep…so I won’t need cable.

I guess I kind of thought you just pick the child up when it cries, it stops, you keep it close to you for a bit and then put it to sleep. You see the only experience I’ve had with a baby waking in the middle of the night happened less than a year ago when we had friends in town and I was left with baby.

When he woke up crying I totally freaked out and called Staci to ask her what to do. She told me to figure it out. I did…I grabbed him from his pack and play at a full arms length in case of wetness. When I realized we were all good there I put him on my lap and swiveled in a chai…

Random shorts: things I've learned or have been thinking

I was pretty sick over the weekend so I didn't think about what I was going to write. And right now my head feels like it's in a vice because of sinus pressure and I can't concentrate when I'm like that...so this will be really random.

One:
I've really been improving on the comfort level with kids thing. I again talked to a 5 year old and felt pretty comfortable. I was even engaged in the conversation and asked questions. If you've been reading you know that's a huge step for me because kids kind of scare me and until recently I could only ask them about their shoes (because Staci told me they like when you ask that.) I think that makes it a total of 3 kids that I didn't know that I felt comfortable with. Huge number.

Two:
A little setback in the above area socialization. My office had a halloween party and people brought their kids. I hid at my desk.

Also we didn't give candy out this year at home because I was feeling crappy so we hid out at the in-…

Gear Thursday: Daddy Diaper Bag Round-Up

I'm really into good bags. Bags that not only look cool but also work well for what they are made for. For me it's about Form and Function. If a bag has both I'm a fan.

When I started my search for a diaper bag I had low expectations...I thought I'd have to get a women's bag in black or grey. I didn't realize that they make them in styles for men. Then I started doing research and realized there are some daddy diaper bags out there.

I found 4 bags that are geared towards dads....there are more but if you're looking for a daddy diaper bag I think this round-up will be a good start. These are order of when got to check them out.




Billboard series messenger bag by Dad Gear


Dad Gear actually makes 4 styles of bags; the satchel, messenger, backpack and courier. They all come in a bunch of designs but the first three are available in the billboard series. What I like about the billboard series is that each one is unique...and they remind me of Freitag bags. The f…