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We love our Mom Mondays, but we are interrupting them for the month of June to celebrate Father’s Day. That’s right – it’s Dad Monday! Our dad who kicks off our month celebration is Mat Thompson. We met Mat through his company, Bazaarvoice and were eagerly awaiting his arrival in Chicago for a meeting (he lives in Texas), only to get a phone call that Mat could not make the meeting because his little bundle of joy decided to make her debut early! Mat glows with daddy pride so we had to interview him.
As a first-time dad, how did you approach getting ready for your baby?
We had a hard time containing our excitement. We were amazed at the amount of planning required to have a baby. We had literally hundreds of decisions to make over 9 months. We had to research the best products to buy, the proper tests to have, facilities, plans…it was pretty overwhelming. Fortunately, we were able to rely on the experience of others to help us make informed decisions.
Your baby arrived early. What was it like going through the roller-coaster of emotions of having a preemie?
My wife, Christina’s pregnancy was going perfectly. I was returning from a late evening mountain bike ride when my wife went into emergency early labor. We were pretty shocked and scared. That night the doctor on call looked at me and said “you guys are having a baby tonight”. I looked back and told her – “no we aren’t.” But, the doctor was right, Maggie was on her way. It was honestly both the worst and best night of my life. I was terrified at the thought of losing both girls in my life. Thankfully, both Mom and daughter were happy and healthy. Maggie was just over 5lbs, and did so well, that she did not have to go into the NICU.
Also, that night I had to utter the dreaded, “I’m sorry, you were right” words to my wife. As I was standing in the hospital, sweaty and still in cycling attire, Christina reminded me that just a few days ago I was teasing her about packing for the hospital six weeks in advance.
What has been your biggest surprise about fatherhood?
I remember sitting in the hospital the first night, holding my tiny baby. I told my wife, “I’m amazed how you can love something so much, so quickly”.
What is your biggest challenge?
So far, parenting has been a team effort, but make no mistake, my wife is the Quarterback and I’m the Punter. Christina is breastfeeding, so she carries the majority of the workload. I think my biggest challenge is letting her know how much I appreciate what a great Mom she is.
If you could receive ‘expert advice” on one aspect of parenting, what would it be?
Christina and I were talking about this just last night. It seems like all of the books prepare parents mostly for the delivery and the experience in the hospital. We really wish that we had been better prepared for the first eight weeks at home. It’s tough, and there are so many things that would have made the process easier for us. For example, get a swaddling blanket, in fact get three.
Random fun with Mat
What is your must have baby care product?
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. It works. Plus, I really enjoy speaking with a ridiculous Cajun accent when I change Maggie’s diapers.
Favorite pastime pre-baby?
Cycling. I love to ride both Mountain and Road Bikes.
Favorite pastime post-baby?
It remains Cycling. My wife and I try to do our best to share responsibilities and allow each other to pursue personal interests.
I-phone or Droid?
I-phone. It is my favorite device ever, I mean, aside from Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
If someone was going to put your life to music, what genre would they use and what would the title of the song be?
I live in Austin, Texas – The Live Music Capital of the World, so music is a big part of my life. I even play a bit. Genre wise, I tend to gravitate towards Americana. I’ve given up on lullabies and just sing great songs to Maggie at night. She seems to prefer Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones, so it appears she inherited her Dad’s great taste in music.
A song that matches my life would be one of my favorites, “Just Us Kids” by James McMurtry. It lays out the different stages we go though in life and how at the end of the day, young or old, we are still a bunch of kids hanging out in the parking lot.
Here at Kolcraft we love this video mat sent us of when they were learning the gender of their baby. Mat was spot on, so we are thinking maybe he can pick the winning lottery numbers for us! And we know you won’t have a dry eye after seeing this video montage of Maggie’s first moments.
If you have any questions or comments for Mat, feel free to leave them in our comments section.
We love Dads here at Kolcraft and we are ready to celebrate all those amazing dads out there who coach your child’s (name your sport) team, who work hard to pay the bills, who change diapers, assemble your baby gear and who never skimp on hugs and kisses. We know there are a lot of unsung heroes out there so now is your chance to tell the world what a great dad your husband, significant other, dad, grandpa, uncle, brother or friend is and win him a $100.00 gift certificate!
This contest is super easy:
- On our Facebook wall, just put a photo of the dad you are nominating along with a 100 word or less explanation of why he is the world’s greatest dad.
- Our judges will be looking for originality and creativity among entries.
- Contest ends at midnight CST on June 20, 2009.
- The winner of the contest will receive a $100.00 gift certificate to his choice of Cabelas, Home Depot or MLB.com, NFL.com, NBA.com or NHL.com.*
- Dads cannot nominate themselves
*Editors note. We strongly suggest if the winner picks the NHL.com gift certificate, that he uses it on Blackhawk items. What can we say, we love our team here in Chicago.
A couple of weeks ago we told you about our Sealy Select Eco-Plush 2-stage Infant-Toddler Crib Mattress that won a Parenting award from NAPPA. As if we weren’t excited enough about that, our crib mattress made an award-winning debut on Fox News TV.
Happy to send autographs.
We love our pets and our children, but when we hear the tragic news of children being mauled by pets what is a parent to do? A few things to keep in mind so both your child and your pet can be safe.
Teach Your Children NOT To Run Away from Strange Dogs
Your instincts may tell you to “scream and run”, but that will set off the dog’s “prey response.” Instead, teach your child to use a loud, firm voice and tell the dog to “go home”. If the dog is just curious and watching your child (ears perked, tail wagging, relaxed stance) tell the child to walk away calmly. If the dog is standing in a threatening manner with ears laid back along his head, body tense, tail up (may or may not be wagging slowly) tell the dog to “Go lay down” in a firm voice, do not yell, do not scream. Any sudden move may trigger an attack. Tell your child to start to walk away slowly.
Never Approach a Pet When It Is Eating
Every child should know to leave a pet alone when it is eating. Animals are protective of their food and may snap at, bite or claw at someone who tries to disturb them while eating.
Give Your Pet Space
Your pet should have a place it can go where it cannot be bothered: a pillow, a crate, a doghouse, whatever. This place should be totally off limits to kids and adults.
Never Leave Your Child With a Pet Unattended
Even the friendliest pet will bite if it is in pain or just had enough. Teach your child to be gentle and respect the pet just as she would respect any member of the family.
More tips for pet safety can be found on the ASPCA website.
What tips do you have for pet and child safety? Please share them with us!
Congrats to our FB fan Shannon. Random.org chose you as the winner of our umbrella stroller contest. We will contact you for your info. Shannon said she would use this when she gets together with friends b/c it takes up less room in their car. We hope you love it.
Thank you to everyone for participating.
PTA meetings, family gatherings, children’s sports, after school activities… the list goes on of so much to do and only 24 hours to accomplish it. As a parent you will do anything for your child but at times putting your kids first means saying “no.” If you say “yes” to every invitation, volunteer opportunity, etc. you will become run down. It’s not easy to say “no”, but in time you will experience the power of no. Saying “no” opens up your schedule and many times your sanity. Cherish the priceless moments you spend with your child, even if it means saying “no” to something else.
What tips do you have for balancing the demands of parenting?
It’s Memorial Day weekend and for some that means vacation or a trip to visit friends and family that entails a long drive. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your cool when you are asked for the millionth time “Are we there yet?”.
Memorial weekend is the unofficial start to summer which means more time outdoors! Whether your summer plans include a trip to the zoo, an amusement park, a vacation to Disney World or exploring your own city, one thing is for sure – if you have a little one you need an umbrella stroller.
Umbrella strollers are lightweight and compact so they fit in any vehicle. Our Kolcraft Tour Sport Reclining Umbrella stroller is perfect for summer trips.
Some features we love:
- Parent cup holder
- Storage bag that holds all your gear
- Reclining padded seat back
- Sun-shade canopy that adjusts to block the sun
Kolcraft is giving one lucky reader this stroller for their summer adventures! All you have to do to enter is:
- Fan us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (if you do both, you get two entries!)
- Leave a comment on our blog that you follow us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us where you want to use this stroller this summer.
The winner will be chosen on Tuesday June 1st by Random.org
It’s seems like you were just bringing your baby home from the hospital and now she is graduating Preschool or Kindergarten! While she may not be moving out for college, Preschool and Kindergarten graduation is a milestone and a time to celebrate all that your little one has accomplished and all that is before her. Some simple ideas to celebrate:
- Ice Cream Social. Invite over a few of your child’s friends to celebrate by making sundaes. Create an ice-cream bar by buying a few flavors of ice-cream or sorbet, fruit (bananas and fresh strawberries are usually a hit), chopped nuts, whipped cream and other toppings. Let the kids create their own sundaes. They will have lots of giggles making their creations and fun eating their yummy concoctions.
- Park Play. Celebrate at your child’s favorite park by inviting some friends, preparing a few snacks and letting them play on the swings, slides, etc. It is a simple and free way to let them get together and just have fun. Buy a graduation button for your child at your local party store so he can feel like the “distinguished guest” at his party.
- Coloring Party. Head to your local Dollar Store and pick up some crayons and coloring books. Invite your child’s friends over to a coloring party. Cover the table they will color on with a disposable tablecloth so you don’t have to worry about your furniture being marked up and let the kids color away! End the party with graduation cupcakes.
We love Lil Sugar site for other graduation party themes and activities.
Is your child graduating from Preschool or Kindergarten? What ways are you celebrating?