They’re Heeere! Brand New Editions of “The Expectant Father” and “The New Father” Are Out

The brand-spankin’-new, updaed, revised, improved editions of The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be (Fourth Edition) and The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year (Third Edition) are here!

With more than a million copies sold, both are considered the classics in the field. They’ve been completely revamped for the modern dad and feature the very latest research and discussions for today’s fathers.

Dragons: Race to the Edge–More Than Just Another Hiccup.

dragons race to the edge

Disclaimer: I’m part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, but I’ve been a Netflix power user for years and it would take a lot more than a few free movies to influence my opinions.

When my kids were young, say under 10, it was easy to get them to snuggle up somewhere cozy and read stories together or watch movies or special TV shows. Some of my happiest memories with all three of them involved exactly that. Over the years, I read hundreds of books—doing special voices and accents for each character—including every single one of the “Harry Potter” and “Series of Unfortunate Events” books.


I also dug into some timeless classics like Beverly Cleary’s “Henry and Ribsy” books and Eleanor Cameron’s “Mushroom Planet” series, and some of my childhood favorites, from “The Phantom Tollbooth” and “A Wrinkle in Time” to “Mr. Poppers Penguins” and everything ever written by Lloyd Alexander and Roald Dahl. The kids read to me as well, practicing their decoding when they were first learning letters and words, picking out their own favorites and the library, reading their assigned books from school, re-reading some of the books I’d read to them (and doing their own voices), then making their own book choices, such as Rick Riordan’s entire “Percy Jackson” and “Kane Chronicles” series, “Bone,” and “Amulet.”
[Read more…]

Expecting Anxiety

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m 34 and my wife is just a few weeks away from giving birth to our first baby. I’m excited about becoming a dad, but my anxiety levels over the past week have been through the roof and sometimes I feel like I’m having a heart attack. On top of my shortness of breath and dizziness, I’m also breaking out in hives. I’ve seen my doctor about this, but he has yet to solve my problem. My wife has been very supportive, but I hate feeling so helpless when she’s the one who has to give birth. What can I do to be normal again?

A: Good news: as unpleasant and frightening as your symptoms are, what you’re going through is actually perfectly normal. There’s no question that your wife’s physical experience of pregnancy is a lot more intense than yours. But psychologically, the two of you are going through pretty much the same thing. I sometimes think that the above-the-neck part of the pregnancy might even be more profound for men than it is for women. Women have far stronger social networks than men do and they’ve got mothers, sisters, aunts, and female friends to talk with about their fears, worries, and concerns. Men tend not to want to admit to anyone else (sometimes even ourselves, and especially not our spouse) that we’re scared half to death of the way our life is going to be turned upside down and inside out.

Those fears—and the accompanying anxiety—make perfect sense. If you’re like most first-time expectant dads, you have no idea how your life is going to change. Sure, everyone you know has probably told you that “life’s never going to be the same.” True, but have you ever wondered what that means? One of my favorite quotes came from a woman who was asked to describe the way everyone told her that parenthood was going to be like and the way it actually turned out to be. “It’s like the difference between watching a tornado on TV,” she said, “and having one tear the roof off your house.” She’s right, and there’s nothing you can do to prepare 100% for your little tornado.
[Read more…]

Dairy Deception and Thriving without Milk

Alissa Hamilton, author of Got Milked?
Topic:
The great dairy deception and why you’ll thrive without milk.
Issues: The major players in promoting milk in the U.S.; how milk makes us sick and increase the risk of bone fractures; the need to balance calcium–which we get a lot of–and Vitamin D and magnesium (which we’re not getting enough of).

Potty Training + Got Milked?

Jamie Glowacki, author of Oh Crap! Potty Training.
Topic:
Everything modern parents need to know to do it once and do it right.
Issues: How do I know if my child is ready; why won’t my child poop in the potty; how do I avoid power struggles; How can I get their daycare provider on board? what about nighttime? why children regress.

Alissa Hamilton, author of Got Milked?
Topic:
The great dairy deception and why you’ll thrive without milk.
Issues: The major players in promoting milk in the U.S.; how milk makes us sick and increase the risk of bone fractures; the need to balance calcium–which we get a lot of–and Vitamin D and magnesium (which we’re not getting enough of).

Don’t Know Much About…

Whether you call it the “summer brain drain” or the less-catchy “summer slide,” the sad fact is that most children forget a lot over the summer. According to the National Summer Learning Association (http://www.summerlearning.org/), “students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.” Low-income students do worse than their middle-class peers. The result is that, on average, teachers have to spend the first 3-6 weeks of the new semester reviewing the previous year’s material instead of teaching new material. This week, we review several products that will put a plug in that brain drain.

 

super genius - multiplication super genius - 5 gamesSuper Genius (Blue Orange Games)
Super Genius is a collection of five very clever games that are designed to be used at home or in school to help early elementary age children learn, review, and master basic math facts and sight words. The basic platform is the same throughout: match something on one card with something on another. With the math games (Addition and Multiplication) about half of the card have five equations (2+3, 2×4) and the other half have five numbers. With the word-based games (First Words, Reading 1, and Reading 2) half the cards have pictures and the others have words. We’re not sure how they did it, but there’s always one match between any cards in the two decks. Each Super Genius game comes with instructions for how to play five different matching games. Some require memory, some speed, some both. What’s especially nice is that the names of those games and the basic rules are the same in each set. So kids will be able to move from reading to math and back again without having to learn new rules. All games can be played with 1-6 players. The reading games are targeted to kids 5 or 6 and up, and the math ones for 7 or 8 and up. And all take a maximum of 15 minutes to play. Prices ranges from about $8 to $14 at your favorite retailer. Or visit http://www.blueorangegames.com/

 

talking USA puzzleTalking USA puzzle (Discovery Kids)
Every year we hear the results of surveys that show that American school children can’t find China, Iraq, India, or most other countries on a world map. That’s bad enough, but the real shocker is that a lot of Americans (some estimates go as high as 20%) can’t even find the U.S. on a map. And if they can’t locate the country, they’ll have a really tough time identifying individual states. The Talking USA puzzle will definitely help with that. There are two components: The largest is a colorful puzzle with pieces that are shaped like each of the states (although a few of them combine some of the smaller east-coast states). Push on the state and you’ll learn its slogan, capital, and a fun fact. The other component is the USA Fun Fact Map that has a visual hint for each state and a series of statements. The object, of course, is to match “This ‘Pine Tree’ state produces 99% of all the blueberries in the country” with Maine. Although this puzzle is theoretically for kids, geographically challenged grownups will learn plenty. (At the very least, people on the coasts will be able to stop saying, “somewhere over there” when asked to identify a state on the opposite coast. Although, in defense of the West, some of those East Coast states are really, really small.) Batteries included. Comes with a pull-out storage drawer to keep the pieces from getting lost. About $30.