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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 3, 2010

Green Spring Cleaning – Still Time!

Yes, it is still spring and yes you still have time to do that spring cleaning you’ve been putting off since March 20 (the date spring officially started). Junk in your garage, crumbs under your refrigerator and dust bunnies everywhere else. As a parent, we want to give our children everything and that should include a clean and safe environment, both in their home and the planet we stick them with.

So take the opportunity to get ready for summer (which in New York feels like it’s already here) and get your home cleaned up. I recommend the giggle Better Basics line of natural, plant-based cleaning products (that I can honestly say I use everyone one of in my house) that are safe, nontoxic, biodegradable, and wonderfully effective you’ll be ready for a clean and healthy summer.

November 3, 2009

Little Man Big Decisions

Our Little Man participates in his school’s afterschool program a few days a week.  So for one day of the afterschool experience, we had thrown in a Spanish class.  As I mentioned in other posts before (see Màs?), we would love to give our son the gift of a second language.  Before the school year started there were many protests and “discussions” but we held fast thinking he gets to choose two days and we get one.  Fair enough, right? 

As the year has gone on, the protests had not stopped, but in fact had multiplied.  The entire walk home from that day was a recount of the atrocities he experience in his 50 minute Spanish class.  It was enough that we decided it might be best not to forever brand the second language option as a terrible forced experience.  We agreed to change that day to Soccer Club (with all his friends) with hopes of preserving another chance at language in the future. 

Little did we know what an impact this would have on the Little Man’s world.  It started this weekend and continued right into this morning.  He got up today literally singing and joking like he Emceeing a comedy roast or something.  If he wasn’t six, I might have checked his backpack for some kind of mood enhancing substance.  Laughing at everything, doing what we asked, telling us he loved us at every turn, who was this kid?

Thinking more about it, it’s not that surprising.  As little as it seemed to us, this was a major change in his world for the better (in his opinion).  Our little ones go from school to activities to homework to meals to bed, very little of which they have any control over or say in.  Perhaps the most important lesson was him teaching us “No Màs” might be the right call sometimes.

October 21, 2009

Our Little All-Stars

 

Soccer season has kicked off and now is in full swing.  As coach of my son’s U7 team I get to be in the front row for the amazing show that is youth sports.  As coaches, parents, relatives and friends, I’m sure we all wonder what is going through the kids’ heads sometimes.  Most of us were probably young athletes but don’t recall (or don’t care to) much beyond hopefully fond memories of running around the field or court and maybe even picking a flower or two out in center field. 

I am lucky enough to be friends with a very experienced, championship winning, long time NBA coach (now retired).  I recently asked “Coach” about coaching and he shared a youth sports story from personal experience, namely one of his granddaughters.

Coach’s granddaughter has recently started playing volleyball in middle school.  She is a gifted athlete, tall for her age and has coaches drooling at her prospects.  Her first game was a gem with her in the front line blocking, spiking and generally ruining her opponents’ day.  Coaches, parents, teammates were all excited and looking forward to a great season. 

As the second game begins, she immediately seems more hesitant.  Unenthusiastically moving around the court without her previous fire in the belly and nothing like the tornado of arms at the net like the last game.  The game ends and her supporters are puzzled.  Her mom approaches her after the game to see if she is feeling alright.  She gives that distant “yes” that we are all familiar with from kids.  Her mom beautifully explains that she shouldn’t feel any pressure to play and that everyone just wants her to be happy.  If she decides, though, that she does want to play, she should give her all every time.  Her coaches, friends and teammates deserve that from her. 

As the discussion moves along, she explains she does want to play, today was just a unique day.  When moms gently probes deeper, she answers, “I forgot to shave my armpits today and didn’t want everyone to see.”  Enough said.

So to all your youth sports coaches, parents and friends out there, cheer those kids with all your heart.  But remember, we all have days where we forget to shave our armpits.

August 28, 2009

End of Summer Already?

We say it each year as Labor Day closes in on us, but how in the world is it August 28 already? Where did the summer go and how did I miss it? For some, the end of summer is a very sad time. No more vacations for foreseeable future, our winter clothes are peeking out of the top shelves of closets and generally we all just get busier. For others, it is a time to rejoice. Kids back to school, the weather may finally cool off and our routines return to normal.

I’m not sure which I feel. I miss the routine that school brings and I sure am looking to cool evenings of autumn in New York (arguably our best season). That being said, enjoying the freedom of summer with my son is amazing – especially for the fleeting time he still is young enough to think it’s cool to hang out with Dad. In a few years it will all be homework, friends and sports and hanging with parents will be a fate worse than teenage acne.

I guess that leaves me with the reminder that I’ve learned over the first six years of his life and that is that as soon as you get used to one stage of your kids’ development – it changes. Don’t look too far forward and certainly don’t check the rear view mirror. I, of course, am terrible at this and need to take my own advice. So for now, I’m going to enjoy the waning days of summer with the little man and then be just as excited for the first day of school.

July 28, 2009

Head First In The Deep End

Today was a big day and I didn’t even know it was coming. My son has been taking swimming lessons at the local community center this summer. Having progressed from Level 2 to Level 3 they are now working on the freestyle or “crawl” stroke. I figured the two weeks would be filled with lessons on swimming with big arms, kicking, breathing and probably some work on the backstroke. But today, the kids were told they were heading to the deep end of the pool. The deep end?!? Are you kidding me? We just started the crawl four days ago. Who’s running this show?

I was sure I could hear the thoughts running through my son’s head a million miles a minute. “The Deep End? Nobody warned us about this! I’m not ready. Dad?”

All I could do was nervously sit and watch as the kids swam one by one into the deep end. Unphased, my son just swam right in and climbed up the ladder ready for more.

Next they were told they were going to learn how to dive. Diving? What’s next? Navy seal training? Night drops from helicopters into heavy seas? Man, this is getting hairy and fast.

Low and behold, those five kids just lined up and learned how to dive into the deep end. Sure there were belly flops but no one cared. It was all good, belly flop or tentative dive, these kids were jazzed even with nervous parents staring wide-eyed from behind the pool fence. And when it was time to end the lesson, kids with big smiles came out to get wrapped in brightly colored beach towels by proud parents.

As I sit back and think about it, my son may have learned to swim in the deep end and dive today, but I’m the one who got the lesson.