Latino Dad Summit 2017!

 

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Is there something local that may need your attention directed to it? Yes there is. It’s the Inaugural Latino Dad Summit 2017 being held on Sept. 9th. The venue is at Maker City L.A. in downtown Los Angeles. This will be a day of planned keynote speakers, a marketplace of various brands, panel discussions & an overall celebration of Latino Dads and friends.

Here are 5 reasons to attend this local event.

Reason 1: A Safe Space For Dialogue
One thing that helps dads be better providers, caretakers and men is conversations. There will be keynote speakers and panel discussion. Some of those include Rick Najera and Eddie G. Various dads near and far will share some insight into masculinity, blended families and talking to your children about race.

Reason 2: New Learning
We all have the ability to learn and expand on our knowledge. Whether it be from entrepreneurs, other dads and brands that support the community. Some topics are on health, mental wellness and college education for your children. Time to expand your mind.

Reason 3: Celebration Of Dads
As one may or may not know this event is to celebrate dads. Dads are special. The newest societal change is the present father being seen and heard. More and more dads work hard for their family and at home. Stereotypes are being broken everyday with stay at home dads. Even dads making sure laws apply to men for paternity leave and changing tables in men’s restrooms. Let’s all celebrate each other.

Reason 4: Small Business Marketplace
There is great opportunity to meet various brands and local small businesses. Dads are represented more and more in brand marketing too. The support for dads is overwhelming and welcomed. Some brands that will be on hand are Carlos by Carlos Santana Shoes for Men, Calchonies, Shop Latinx, Funky Town Pomade, Smarty Pants Vitamins and many others.

Reason 5: Brotherhood & Food
Yes I know technically it might be 6 reasons. Food and brotherhood go hand in hand. Well you can have commonality in your food tastes. Plus having support, experience and knowledge from other fellow fathers. There is plenty of time to talk to other fathers over some food. We all need food and the brotherhood support helps too. Snacks are being provided by Goya Foods. Also I Love Micheladas will have samples to offer.

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So consider attending the Latino Dad Summit. Tickets are currently $25. What admission will get you is a parking voucher, snacks, lunch, all programming and some swag. Use this 25% off checkout code – joelleoj_dadsmatter and come experience the Inaugural Latino Dad Summit 2017.

The event link is here:
http://www.latinodadsummit.com/

 

 

…is “Optimizing” Our Must-Dos

…Like buying diapers.

Last night I was able to attend a networking event.  I met a dad who, the minute he found out I was a dad, immediately said, “You use Amazon Prime, don’t you?”

Amazon Family Discount
Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. (As evidenced so clearly above)

I laughed and said, “of course!  Who has time to make diaper runs after a ten-hour work day?”

As funny as it was having that conversation last night, more amusing was the timing of coming home today to my sister telling me “We’re going to be out of formula tomorrow.”

Then my wife came home and announced “we’re all out of eggs, tuna, and dried parsley.”

Because dried parsley is super high on dad’s priority list at the moment.

All of these needs, combined with our need to cook dinner, do a two-hour bedtime routine, and possibly see each other and catch up about work (my wife went back this week, she’s amazing).

All I could think to myself was

Darth Vader Dad
…way am I running to the store in LA traffic after working all day!”

Thankfully, living in a major metropolitan city means I can jump on Amazon Prime and get free Next Day Delivery on our Gerber Good Start Gentle without breaking a sweat (or honking my car horn).

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Stop blogging & get us clean diapers!

And yes, this blog may seem crafted to highlight those advantages for me, having made all of 61 cents from sharing this news.  I hope you dads out there see this as an actual integral part of our lives – how to optimize our time & our money best for our families.

Tonight, in an effort to save and optimize our time even more, I spent five minutes exploring Amazon‘s Subscription features.  Subscribing to bunny litter & food, diapers, formula, and a ream of paper every month saved me an additional 20% on those purchases.

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Yeah, this makes Amazon Prime totally worth $100 a year

Remember, this is on top of the gas, parking (it is Los Angeles after all), and most importantly time spent dashing after these things when we notice we are running low.

So take advantage of my 30-Day Amazon Prime Free Trial if you need, or just sign right up for yourself.  Whether I get your click or not, you’ll be grateful for how it makes you look to your wife and kids:

Best Item on Amazon

…is Putting the Kids Down For Bed

5 1/2 months old: Is it normal to feel like you spent “all night” just putting them down for bed, one getting startled just when the other is finally asleep, starting all over again, trying every binky, song, rocker, stuffed animal, multiple burps, finally letting the one who wants to be a Roly-Poly do so on your bed with five different pillows until he gets snuggled just right – 3/4 on his tummy with his legs splayed different directions (supervised the whole time of course), only to sneak out of the room & realize it was really only an hour and half and you suddenly feel victorious?

Cover Photo of a much more peaceful nap time this weekend for good measure.

Who has a similar story of a night they’ll never forget?

…is Admitting You Need Each Other

You may have noticed I haven’t posted in awhile.  Or it never crossed your mind, since bloggers slip in and out of the blogosphere constantly, losing steam, getting derailed, or simply running out of things to say.

Well that’s not me.

I’ve got a backlog of products I want to share from our past month, baby and parent tools which have helped ease (somewhat) the transition from 4th Trimester into full infanthood.

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Studies Show Babies (& Dads) Need 12 Hours of Sleep a Day

Right around the time of this transition, our live-in help (my wonderful sister) decided to take a three-week vacation.  While vacation timing is never great, this probably worked best considering my wife returns to work soon and the chance at a vacation then will entirely evaporate.

So for three weeks starting the last week of May, we were entirely on our own at home with two twins we were suddenly going to attempt to sleep train.

A few days into this period, fellow dad-blogger Doyin Richards reached out and asked me if I wanted to take part in a shoot for Today: Parents.  Like any responsible, caring father, my immediate reaction was SIGN ME UP!

Our shoot was timed so the video could release the week of Father’s Day, and our shoot went incredibly well with some other amazing dads.

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Recognize the leaders of our L.A. Dad’s Group?

The premise of the video is a great one, and one that many other dads have had negative experiences around.  Simply put, don’t call a Dad “the babysitter” for taking care of his own kids!

And my line made sense – I was the only dad of twins on set, so naturally I would say “Thanks, but I can handle them all by myself” while both boys are on the ground needing a diaper change.

I’m a dad.  I got this.  Rise to the challenge!

Heck, I actually have done that with them both before, in an alley behind a restaurant so my wife could enjoy her food when we had a “Double-Double” so to speak.

And while it works wonderfully in context of the video, as an individual I still feel a responsibility to my wife to clarify.

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Yeah, I got this!  …for one, three-hour stretch, while they nap…

While I can handle them for a time by myself, both of them, including feeding time… OH MY GOD I NEED YOU AND CAN’T DO THIS ON MY OWN!

I think it is backwards that we praise dads for being around and present for their kids.  I know I was blessed to have a dad who raised me, not “babysat” me.  I’m proud to have been a part of this video and even reading the Facebook comments, many others agree or wish that they didn’t feel this way when a father in their life engages briefly.

Still, after three weeks without help, and even the two weeks since, I have no clue how I would survive if my wife weren’t the amazing Wonder Mom she has been to our lovely and ornery boys!

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Click the Picture to Watch the Video

Are you a dad who’s “got this”?  What is your best advice?  Leave a comment below or tweet us @beingagrownman

…is Taking Gums to the Thumbs

Who knew GUMS could inflict such pain???

(Most moms, I am sure)

Last night, Logan was NOT eating, and yet was crying whining fussing like nobody’s business.  With his new grabbiness, he reached out, took me by the thumb, and JAMMED my appendage into his mouth.

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“Hey, now that we are sleeping all night, let’s cause some new trouble!”

And wow that kid is a crocodile!

It took less than a minute before the combination of gum-strength and saliva had worn down the area around my nails into a horrendous dry-thumb/hangnail combo.

My first thought was “do babies even start teething at four months?”

Second thought: WOW how has my wife been tolerating this for the past 4 months?  #WonderWoman

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My Wife also Managed to Win the Box Office this Weekend

As I endured the chaffing, I couldn’t help but think about my boys as well.  They’ve been sucking on their hands for the past week; are they in need of some cocoa butter?

Thankfully we did have two teethers already, from meeting the fine folks at Benir Baby at the last baby show we attended.  The problem is logistics.

Apparently you aren’t supposed to “freeze” teethers anymore (this is why you never take safety advice from my opinion blog fyi).

Even a great teether like Benir, well cooled in the fridge, tends to warm up within a few minutes of being the single focal point of baby’s energies.

Hence, my wife‘s text today:

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Yesterday Can’t Come Fast Enough! Get your Amazon Prime Free Trial*

The logic of “we have a teether for each baby” just doesn’t hold up, even when using water-filled cooling teethers.

Also, our particular choice of teether led us to find that for their current age the… Dragonfly?… isn’t functional because they can’t quite grasp that one as easily as the rounded Lady Bug.

vs.

(In a fight tho, my money is on Mothra)

Thankfully Benir makes a three-pack, and of the plump, round varieties.  With a FEW of these three-packs, plus the expedient joys of Amazon Prime in a major metropolitan area, we should be set.

By tomorrow.

What was something you needed “yesterday” at a certain point in your child’s development?  Help us be prepared, leave a comment or shoot us a tweet.

//rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?o=1&p=12&l=ur1&category=primemain&banner=1MDTME9E9G651CJTDA82&f=ifr&lc=pf4&linkID=adb64c5466acadac197d9bcfa4f08265&t=prayn4food-20&tracking_id=prayn4food-20

*We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

…Is Reviewing Diaper Dude Male Diaper Bags!

This review is of the Diaper Dude Grey Courier Messenger III.  This bag was given to our blog by the company for the purposes of doing a review.

…& thank god it was!

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Last Thing on His Mind: “Are My Parents’ Hands Full?”

It was our first day leaving the hospital with the twins after 12 days in the NICU.  We pulled up to the house and began to unload, each of us picking up one of the car seats & myself grabbing our then-diaper bag by Happ.

 

That was when I knew we were in trouble.

We had purchased this particular diaper bag at my wife’s urging back in November.  She loved it for style and comfort, and still does to this day.

When I am “being the man” and carrying up the diaper bag as well as a baby, it just isn’t functional.  The short strap, perfect for my wife, slides right off my shoulder, down to my wrist where it swings and slaps the car seat while I walk.

We stayed in over the next few weeks.

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I also have a lightweight Messenger I for when we need less burp cloths

Fortunately I met The Diaper Dude at a Big City Mom’s Event in March, & I stopped to ask him about his unique brand for dads.

My Dad Days changed forever.

 

After we connected and he heard about my twins & diaper bag ordeal, The DD (we’re on a nickname basis now) graciously offered me a bag complimentary.

 

The next week when we took our first road trip, I saw the difference simply walking down to the car.

Maybe it’s a guy thing, maybe it’s a me thing – I cannot find ANYTHING in a woman’s bag!

I remember my mother’s diaper bags for my younger siblings always seeming crowded and stuffed.  My wife can blindly distinguish chapstick from lipstick in her purse; I can’t find either, even using my iPhone flashlight.

This bag, for some reason, is oriented to my head and, as simple as it is, everything has its own spot.

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– Baby, check!

The initial hook is of course the Checklist on the inside flap.

Beyond that, could it be that different from a traditional diaper bag?

Insulated pockets on the side hold formula at temp (we use one side for our quick access tube items – sunscreen, sanitizer, lip balm, butt paste).

Three external flaps are perfect for diapers & travel wipes.

Inside, there is a large stuffable compartment; there are also three sub-pockets that are great for keeping accessories readily accessible (phone charger anyone?).

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No Shame in Stuffing Your Bag with Baby Show Freebies! #GoGurt

It’s 2017, so of course there is also an additional flap for your iPad.  This helps the Diaper Dude Messenger convert to a convenient messenger bag for events even without baby!

If there is one gripe I have, it is that the zippers can come undone on their own sometimes.  It has happened to me with main compartment zipper AND the smaller zippers around the various flaps.

On the other hand, when I had my first Public Restroom Changing Table experience, being able to easily rip the bag open with my one free hand came in “handy.”

Since getting this bag, I’ve noticed other dads struggling with their traditional (or even fashionable) diaper bags.  Every single time, I male-model my Diaper Dude Messenger & they all echo my sentiments about what a simple notion it is to design a functional bag for dads.

Finally, it must be noted that Diaper Dude is under the True Dude Movement, and 5% of all sales go to support Futures Without Violence, a charitable organization focused on coaching boys into men.

Their Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) program provides high school athletic coaches with the resources they need to promote respectful behavior among their players and help prevent relationship abuse, harassment, and sexual assault.

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Hoping our Boys can Grow into Men who Respect Others

That sounds like #beingagrownman to me, and the perfect bonus for dads who need a functional bag anyway.

Get your Diaper Dude bags & more thru the True Dude website.

What dad-accessory did you never expect to need & now can’t imagine living without?  Leave a comment below or reply on Twitter

…is Being a Surgeon General

We’ve previously discussed the remarkable naturals weapons human children grow quickly in their infancy.

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Logan: Aptly Named

Thankfully, with time, patience, and the steady hand of a head of surgery, there is a solution to this problem.

The question is, what parent has a readily available supply of time, patience, and steadiness?

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Not this guy, that’s for sure, he’s too busy showcasing 17 different brands at once #GoCubsGo

However, between the two of us (and the overwhelming amount of work my wife does for the boys), the task of “surgery” has fallen to me.

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My new Sunday Morning routine

Fathers: nothing you have done or encountered can properly prepare you for the task of cutting your infant children’s fingernails.

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Don’t let that innocent face fool you into complacency

For starters, there is a unique property to infant fingernail clippers – they are SHARP! Unlike the dull clunkers made for adults, each blade of infant clippers is fine enough to turn fingernails into the phyllo dough used to make baklava.

Contrast that with the infant’s fingernails – fine, paper-like white lines that blend in perfectly with their skin, despite being able to slice you like an envelope edge.

Add in the three cups of coffee required to even be cognizant at 8:15 AM after a night of bottle-fussiness, and you’ll WISH you’d spent 8 years in school preparing for this moment.

Now imagine having twins.

I can’t complain too much right now, because thankfully THIS morning Archer was content to lay in his boppy while I worked slowly and steadily around Logan’s fingernails.

Not too much later, Logan dozed off to sleep just in time for me to get to work on Archer.

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“The patient is prepped for surgery, Dr. Lovegren.”

Perhaps I am too cautious; there is nothing that ruins my day more than a hangnail.  Maybe babies don’t yet have the sensitivity in their fingertips for that to be a concern (who wants to fact-check and let me know?).

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She’s Earned a Slight Respite!

Still, until they are old enough to wield the Scissors of Doom themselves, this routine will be done with patience, meticulousness, and lots of internal stress for dad.

At least it is one less thing for my wife to have to do.

#DadWin

Do you have a task you always perform around the house or for the kids?  Let us know with a comment here or a reply on Twitter!

…is Letting Boys be Themselves

Today at work, I received the following text:

 

Now you can imagine the number that text did on my heart strings!  My baby boys, cognizant, noticing each other, acting like joyful old friends reunited at only 16 weeks old.

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Or “Peanut Butter & Peanut Butter”

As one of four boys, I can only hope my sons have the close bond I will always share with my brothers.

 

As twins, society (& us parents) can also carry an expectation that they WILL be close, best friends, identical.

The main thing I struggle with even as a new parent is finding the balance between wanting the best for my children, & wanting what my children want for themselves.

Will my boys be baseball fans?  If I try to make them baseball fans, will that turn them off?  What if they are… Cardinals fans?!?

And every class we took before our kids were born reiterated the point: treat each twin on their own terms, never assume they are close or even like each other!

So when I see a situation I have zero control over, such as their first reactions to noticing each other, the joy when it goes “my way” is immeasureable.

Now I just need to know how to handle it when they finally react the way I DON’T want in a situation.

“Alright, one cute vid & we can have them all fooled for life!”

…is One Step at a Time

Yesterday I had a client cancel a meeting.  I used this “opportunity” to stop by the local LA-mega-complex that included a fine off-the-rack retailer, a grocery store, & of course Target for the necessaries.

Because fatherhood means being prepared!

I was immensely proud of myself, because when I arrived home I could present my wife with a treasure trove of things we had needed.

Of course, the second I came in the door Rexford needed to go out, one baby was crying while she fed the other one as quickly as possible (a feat only mothers can do which amazes me – how do you make them eat faster?!), & I was carrying two grocery bags, a Nordstrom Rack bag, Target essentials & my messenger bag with laptop in hand.

FYI – if you take your laptop with you to work every day, do NOT get a 15″ screen!

My magic moment gone, I immediately rushed to the tasks at hand.  Proud to say I rose to my wife’s level & we got those kids fed, changed, laid down, right back up again & fed, & finally to sleep by 9 PM for her to start resting.

It feels good to be king.

Until you look over at 11:45 PM the NEXT night & realize you forgot to put away the two most important things from your trip:

I still haven’t put folded the Laundro-Crib either…