If you take even a passing glance at this site right now, you can see that Christmas is a big deal around here. Each year, around mid-November, I deck my virtual “halls” just as I deck the real ones here at home. As a big kid, the holidays have always been important to me as a magical time filled with sparkling lights, glistening snow and the festive sounds of the season. As parents, it's a chance for my wife and I to create lasting memories for our girls as we stake out new traditions while sprinkling as much of that “magic” into our little ones' lives as possible. Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference, and it's not always things that we, as grownups, make note of.
Out of all the adventures that I've had this year (and there have been many), one of my favorites was the trip I took to the Vancouver set of JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2 back in March. When word came down that Twentieth Century Fox and WWE Studios were doing a follow-up to The Greatest Holiday Film of All-Time (the 1996 classic JINGLE ALL THE WAY), I was in. Little did I know that I'd have a chance to actually spend some time on-set with Larry the Cable Guy, WWE Superstar Santino Marella and Director Alex Zamm. With the film now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD ahead of it's World Television Premiere on the USA Network this Sunday as part of WWE Week, I'm sharing a few more stories from the set (read Part I of my set coverage here) along with some photos of some Jingle-themed activities we did at a family Christmas party last weekend. Ready to Jingle?
If you're like me, chances are you've had some of these on-hand and put to good use with your little ones. That's why I'm excited to be teaming up with Boogie Wipes and Kandoo to spread the word about two of their great products - and to offer you a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card! Whether you're looking to fill stockings or just want to stock up for cold and flu season, these two products will have your kids begging to blow their noses and wash their hands - and they're on Rollback at Walmart now!
As parents, it's the little things that my wife and I do for our girls that will likely have the biggest impact on their lives – from shaping their opinions and habits, to helping guide them toward the right choices down the road. Reality is that we're winging it, just like everyone else – there is no road map for what we do, and each day brings its own set of struggles and triumphs. The constant is that we each play our own role in providing for the little ones. From my wife's long hours working outside the home to my weird schedule that often allows for minimal sleep, there's a yin to the yang that makes it all work. While the bigger whole may go unnoticed, it's the smallest parts that make the biggest differences.
I tend to think that my recent experience changing diaper bags was a lot like when my wife switches out her purses. It sure felt like it usually looks, anyway - 5+ years into parenting and this is only the second time I've made a full switch - a switch into what is undoubtedly the best bag I've ever owned. The Daddy Messenger Bag by Daddy & Co. is a sturdy beast of a bag that packs much-needed functionality into a stylish form, available in the orange-ish "copper" edition (sent here for review) or basic black. After using this here at Rock Father HQ for a bit, I'm including it in my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide as a great "Gift for Dad."
Technology and kids. If you've been following my online ramblings long enough, you probably know that I'm hesitantly cautious whenever new tech comes along that in some way involves the little ones. I put my money on crushing the "App Toy" trend a couple years ago - those annoying items that required someone else's technology (like a quickly-outdated smartphone or tablet) to be inserted in it to run. Once the tech was obsolete, so was the toy. I was the mean Dad that bought a new crossover without screens in the back, and I absolutely despise seeing grownups instinctively shove "devices" into their kids hands like a micro-chipped pacifier (funny enough, we really didn't do actual pacifiers with our girls, either). I've actually had other people's children tug on my shirt asking to use my phone to "play a game." No. As an adult, I'm already too tethered to my gear, so I'd rather my kids not be. But, like most things, tech can be great in moderation, and there's some fine stuff out there that serves a real purpose if you're looking in the right place. Unexpected tech, like the elo™ Pillow.