Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/blogsgi/public_html/wp-includes/ms-load.php on line 138
Parenting | Who's Your Daddy? | giggle Blogs - Part 2

Archive: Parenting

September 26, 2010

Barcodes for Kids?

Everybody knows technology changes fast.  I feel like I’m somebody who generally keeps a pretty good handle on it, but sometimes you just can’t see it all coming.  The last five or ten years, we’ve seen things like RFID  become hip as chips have become smaller and cheaper.  So much so that you can implant one in your pet in case they get lost.  Great technology for pets, but not some much for kids. 

With the explosive growth of iPhones (and other smartphones with cameras), add “an app for that” and you’ve got millions of mobile scanners running around.  So that is why you might or might not have recently noticed strange looking square barcodes on various advertisements among other places.  Take that one step further and AT&T Wireless has given you the chance to create your own barcode with Create-a-Code , as I have done:

Scan this barcode.

You’ll have the get the AT&T Code Scanner App if you want to see where this one goes, but you can create a barcode that links to a website or that contains contact information.  Take that the next step and you’ve got kids running around with tattoos (or for the squeamish perhaps ID cards) that link to parent’s contact information.  Hey, I guess it’s better than implanting a chip in their leg, right?

September 24, 2010

Easy On The SweetFarts

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a great opinion piece by Thomas Spence titled “How to Raise Boys Who Read.”  I encourage anyone who reads this blog to click on over (after finishing reading this of course).  I won’t steal Mr. Spence’s thunder, but I have noticed the disturbing trend he speaks of in his piece.  As I kid (and I may be dating myself here) reading The Hardy Boys and being caught up by the books of Jack London, John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway (Old Man and The Sea in particular).  Now, when shopping for books for the Little Man we’re faced with choices like SweetFarts, Captain Underpants and SpongeBob Squarepants.  It is easier to find a cab in Manhattan on a rainy Friday night at 5 then it is to find any decent books for boys these days.  The article was like the alarm going off after hitting the snooze a few times and it is time to wake up.  The best intentions pave the roadstraight to SweetFarts.

June 24, 2010

Private Video Sharing With Vidme

A smart kid (the Little Man) once told me that if you put it on the internet, it’s there forever and you can’t get it back.  So maybe you’re a bit hesitant to post photos or videos of your kids or with open access for the world to see.

If you do share some awesome moments, maybe you take steps to keep it a bit non-descript like posting only videos away from home without names like my semi-famous in my own mind “Over The Lake Man!” video of the Little Man.  Maybe you’re not worried at all and you’re like the iGeneration who wants to broadcast every photo, video and other detail of their lives.  If so, you can stop reading (but don’t).

Sites like YouTube or Vimeo have always been so “everyone” focused with people trying to gain fame and fortune.  Many of us would rather just share some of those classic kid moments with friends and family.  A new company wants to help.

Vidme a new site that instead focuses on private sharing with lots of easy controls to limit access so you might feel a little more comfortable uploading some classic moments and sharing with your preselected group (with no 25 person limit like YouTube).  So if you’d like to share some videos of the kids with friends and family, but not the world, you might check out Vidme, that for now is free.

Full Disclosure:  I have no relationship with Vidme and have received no compensation for this blog post.  Vidme doesn’t even know I exist.

June 21, 2010

Dirty Diaper App for Next Generation Diapers

Scientists at the University of California San Diego working on “smart underwear” are testing chemical sensors printed directly on the underwear that measure bio-markers found in sweat. These sensors will allow the “smart underwear” to monitor key chemicals found in the wearer’s sweat to administer medications automatically for soldiers in the field or for other, more close to home, applications?

I imagine a day in the not too distant future where a line of diapers that will have these electrodes built in and be linked to a “Dirty Diaper App” on your phone that will alert parents when a diaper change is needed. I can’t wait to see the Apple commercial for this app…

June 10, 2010

Words of Wisdom from Modern Family

So, if you’ve ever read this blog before, you know I’m a huge fan of ABC’s Modern Family. I often take some key parenting tips from the show.  So I thought it would be a good idea to share some fatherly words of wisdom from America’s best father, Phil Dunphy.   How could you not follow advice from this guy:

Without further delay, take it away Phil:

“You never want your kids to see you scared. You want to be that rock that they grab a hold of in a stormy sea. Actually, a rock would sink. So a floating rock.”

“Give a kid a bird and he becomes one of those weird dudes who walks around with a bird on his shoulder. But give him a pair of wings, he can fly… unless he has absolutely no hand-eye coordination.”

“I always felt bad for people with emotionally distant fathers; it turns out I’m one of them. It’s a miracle I didn’t end up a stripper.”

“I act like a parent and talk like a peer, I call it “peerenting.”"

“In nature, fathers are known to eat their young. Is it because they’re delicious? No. It’s because they want to give their female bear, giraffe, what have you, the honeymoon they never had. Just to be clear, I’m not condoning eating your kids – but I sure as heck know why giraffes do it.”

And of course one not parenting related but one my wife hears often:

“It’s just the beginning. Buckle your seatbelt, lady. You’re being wooed.”

May 27, 2010

Never As Expected – Always Perfect

As we approach the Memorial Holiday weekend, we’re all starting to think about summer and vacations and all the wonderful things that go with that. Also, some of us are planning those family moments where everything will come together in one shining moment – or not. In watching the Modern Family finale (“Family Portrait“) last week, it was a perfect example of that specific moment planned down to the last detail that does not come off as expected, but is perfect none the less (and yes, I’ll admit, I may have more than a little Claire in me). So as summer and all its family moments close in, just remember that sometimes the unexpected and unplanned ARE the perfect moments.

May 4, 2010

Technology Baby!

Dads love technology.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love the gadgets, whether cameras, iPods, GPS, etc.  I love to have the latest and the greatest and now that the Little Man is getting older, I’m looking at many of the giggle products in my rear view mirror wondering, where was that when I had a baby?  Here are four of my favorite technology products for baby that I wish I had when the Little Man.

Mobicam Digital Wireless Video Monitor  Keep an eye on baby from any room in the house, including sound and night vision.  Can you say awesome?

Flip Mino HD Digital Video Camera   I have the regular old school video camera and I never take the thing anywhere because it’s just too big.  Enter the Flip Mino HD that allows me to drop in my pocket and catch video clips of all those great kid moments.  Check one out here if you want to see some actual video (although taken with the non-HD version so yours will look even better).

Babysense Infant Movement Monitor   If the Mobicam isn’t enough and you want to know about baby’s every move, then the Infant Movement Monitor is for you.  Sleep easy at night knowing that Babysense is on the case and keeping baby safe.

Supergoop! SPF 30 Sunscreen Swipes   I’m sure you’re a bit perplexed why sunscreen is included in a technology post.  If you’ve ever tried to put sunscreen on a toddler then you’ll agree this sure feels like a technical advancement.  Being able to apply sunscreen to your little one just by wiping them down with one of these is a dream.  I can also admit that they come in quite handy for adults as well.

April 29, 2010

On The Road Again…

No matter if you’re a working parent or stay at home parent or somewhere in between, there will come a time where you need to hit the road.  Be it for business, pleasure or some combination, it is great to get away, but also sometime excruciating to leave little ones behind.  With Who’s Your Mommy on the road this week, it got me to thinking about how we try to keep it together when one of us is on the road.  Here are a few things we do in our house to make travel easier on everyone:

  1. Web Video – with webcams in every laptop it is even easier to stay in touch while you’re on the road.  Web video is an easy way to say hi face to face from anywhere in the world.  For little ones, you can play peek-a-boo and old kids can share their days, projects, stories, etc.  Skype (www.skype.com) has been a major tool in our house for all travel (and staying in touch everyday with extended family).  See some video chatting basics from the Wall Street Journal at With Video Chatting, It’s a Small World After All
  2. Local Photos – Your iPhone or Blackberry has a camera in it, so use it.  Take a photo of yourself in the city you are visiting and email it back to your kids.  It is a great way for them to feel connected to you while you’re gone. 
  3. Local Weather – Ask older kids to check your local weather each day.  When you talk on the phone, let them tell you your weather.  It is a great geography lesson and also keeps them connected to you. 
  4. Gift Ritual – Frequent travelers can make it a regular part of coming home to bring a small gift that relates to the city or country you visited.  Try to keep it small and if you’re always rushing, perhaps even something you can get at the airport.  Landmark souvenirs, keychains, dolls or local snacks all work great. 
  5. Direct Flights – It seems obvious, but sometimes a direct flight that is a few dollars more will save you a ton of headaches and time from missed connections, weather delays and disappointed kids. 

Happy travels, but get home soon.  Your kids miss you.

April 28, 2010

Take Help – Stay Sane

"Wanna Party?"

 Having a baby enter your family is one of the greatest joys I have known. We talk all the time about how we can’t even remember life before the Little Man. Then five years goes by and you think to yourself, “When was the last time we went out?” Before kids, the concept of “Date Night” was completely foreign because every night was date night.  Before kids, you and Lionel Richie partied “All Night Long” right? 

Well those times may be over, but as parents, you can’t lose your identity as the couple who started the whole thing. Hold on too tight and you will squeeze the fun out of parenthood. If you are lucky enough to have family and friends willing to help out occasionally to give you some “me” time or “us” time, I strongly suggest you take it.

Your family or friends may not do it exactly as you do. They may give an occasional treat or let bedtime slip by a few minutes, but your child will survive. We all did. Look at it as broadening your kids’ horizons while keeping yours from shrinking to the size of a nursery.

April 22, 2010

Common Sense (From Phineas & Ferb via My Seven Year Old)

So Who’s Your Daddy had big plans for you in this next post.  I had visions of a hilarious viral internet video speeding around the globe.  I’ll spare you the dirty details but the high level was that I planned to make a parody video of “Pants On The Ground” from American Idol fame.  I enlisted the Little Man to help me film my masterpiece and once he understood what I was planning, this conversation ensued:

 “Dad, are you sure want to do this?” he says.

 “What do you mean?  This is going to be hilarious!” I answered.

 “Ok, but remember, once you put it on the internet, it stays there forever.”

 [Dramatic Pause]

 “Where did you learn that?” I curiously asked hoping he would reply that it was my sage advice coming back to me in some cosmic boomerang.

 “Phineas and Ferb taught me that” came the deadpan reply.

 And there it was.  Irrefutable evidence that cartoons may have occasionally redeeming value beyond mom and dad getting a few precious minutes of extra sleep.  Consider my world rocked.  See the PSA here to find out about Internet Safety for kids from Phineas and Ferb.  And this is what it has come to, getting common sense reality checks from my seven year old.

 The video project remains on hold…