My Baby Doesn’t Like Me

Dear Mr. Dad: My two-month-old baby doesn’t like me. He’s perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I’ve backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn’t seem to be working. I’m starting to think I’m just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

A: There’s not much in this world that can make a grown up man feel more incompetent than a baby can. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to get past those feelings—and no, it’s not too late. Not even close.

Before we get into the what-to-do part, we need to do something about the way you’re thinking. First, get the idea that your baby doesn’t like you or that he thinks you’re a bad father out of your head. Do you really believe that someone who’s a few months old is qualified to make a judgment about your parenting skills? What other dads could he possibly be comparing you to?
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Superfoods for babies and toddlers

Dana Angelo White, author of First Bites.
Topic:
Superfoods for babies and toddlers.
Issues: Defining superfoods; what growing bodies need; what they don’t need; simple recipes that emphasize fruits and vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, and eggs; getting kids to make good food choices on tier own.

Family Travel and Adventure + First Bites

travel & adventure showJohn Golicz, CEO of UNICOMM, which produces Travel & Adventure Shows. travelshows.com.
Topic:
Travel & Adventure shows.
Issues: Travel options for families, couples, and singles; budget and luxury travel options; domestic and international travel destinations.

peter greenbergPeter Greenberg, Travel Editor, CBS News and petergreenberg.com
Topic:
Family Travel.
Issues: Preparing for a trip; being smart about food safety; should you buy travel insurance? The secret to breezing through airport security; biggest mistakes families make when traveling;

Dana Angelo White, author of First Bites.
Topic:
Superfoods for babies and toddlers.
Issues: Defining superfoods; what growing bodies need; what they don’t need; simple recipes that emphasize fruits and vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, and eggs; getting kids to make good food choices on tier own.

To Tech or Not to Tech? How ‘Bout Both?

Although we love toys that don’t have an on/off switch, there’s definitely a time and place for apps. Here are two very clever games that combine tablet and touch, a sleek tablet, and something totally low-tech.

tigglyTiggly
Recent research shows that young children are spending so much time on tablets that they their muscle tone and hand-eye coordination aren’t developing the way they should. That’s where Tiggly comes in. Tiggly develops interactive apps that incorporate object manipulation to help kids build spatial- and fine-motor skills, creativity, and reasoning. Tiggly Counts is an award-winning math-learning game for kids 18 months to 6 years old. To get the correct answers to simple math questions, kids have to physically put the right number of special Tiggly devices in the right place on the screen. Tiggly Shapes brings the same basic technology to shape- and pattern recognition. Each game comes with the appropriate devices and several additional apps. They’re colorful, entertaining, educational, and kids can play by themselves or with mom and dad. For Android and iOS (sorry Windows Phone). $30 on http://get.tiggly.com/counts.

painting luluPainting Lulu
Part coloring book, part app, Painting Lulu is a delightful blend of technology and design. It starts with an actual paper coloring book (remember those?) where kids start their drawings. Then they (or a nearby adult) scan their drawing into a tablet using the free Painting Lulu app. The art shows up on the screen, where those little artist can color, erase, retouch, and change as much as they’d like (using the included digital crayon, of course—wax and screens are not a good combination). When the masterpiece is complete, print it out and send it off to Grandma and Grandpa. For iOS and Android devices. Sells for $9.99 on http://www.paintinglulu.com.

camelio skinCamelio Table (Vivitar)
The Camelio Tablet is great for families that would like everyone to have a tablet but don’t want to spend the dough on each one; hey, those things can get pricey. Camelio features Android 4.1 and can accommodate up to five users using “Personality Packs.” Those packs allow each user to customize wallpaper, camera, widgets, lock screens, games, and, of course include a themed skin for the device. Prices vary. http://www.cameliotablet.com/

burg watchBURG Smartwatches 
There are a lot of smart watches out there, but BURG watches are among the very few stand-alone phones, meaning you can make and receive texts and calls without being connected to any other device (although you can if you want to). BURGs accept SIM cards so you can take them on the road, and you may be able to add yours to your wireless family plan. Features vary widely depending on the model. The BURG 25 has as 2.0MP camera, step- and calorie counters, and GPS. The 16A doesn’t have any of those. But both have MP3/MP4 players, Bluetooth, calendar, calculator, alarm, and can store up to 500 contacts.  Prices vary by model. Aat major retailers and www.burgwearables.com 

silly mcgillySilly McGillly
And just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and gleefully devoid of technology, comes Silly McGilly, who’s the Irish version of the “Elf on the Shelf” or “Mensch on a Bench”—an impish little elven creature who plays tricks and creates mischief leading up to his favorite holiday. McGilly comes with a book and an adorable little leprechaun that will help you and the kids spend some quality time together between last-minute runs to the grocery store for green food coloring. The little leprechaun doesn’t have a beard and is about as huggable—and as far from scary-looking—as it’s possible to get. The set retails for $29.95 at www.sillymcgilly.com.

Initiating a Divorce: The Proper Steps, Part 2

In the first part of this article, we talked about the importance of separation from your soon-to-be-ex, working with an attorney, and keeping your spouse in the loop on what’s happening. Now we continue with the next steps in the process.

It’s Time for Negotiations

The negotiations can quickly become the most overwhelming part of your divorce. In most cases, a trial is set for a year away, and you’ll need to participate in a temporary hearing to establish child custody and support issues. From requesting exclusive use of the marital home and temporary custody of minor children to who gets the car, everything will be covered.

What Happens if You Can’t Agree?

If at this point you cannot agree, the attorneys involved may submit your issues in question to the Judge during what is known as a pretrial conference. Pretrial conferences are held in the Judge’s chamber, and both of your attorneys will need to be present.

Your attorney will present their position to the Judge, and the Judge will make an educated recommendation for settlement. It’s important to remember that the Judge’s pretrial recommendations are not set in stone, but they’re a sign as to how the Judge thinks the case should be settled. In most cases, the pretrial conference is the greatest motivation for agreeing on a final settlement without needing to prepare for a full trial.

The Final Step

Once you’ve made it into the divorce court, it can become ugly in no time at all. Your attorney’s job is to win the case for you. Are you worried about a jury? Don’t be. Most divorce trials are held with only a Judge present. Once you get through the part where you promise to tell the truth, things take a serious turn. You’ll have to settle on the entitlement to divorce, child custody/visitation rights, distribution of property, child support, spousal support, and much more. Of course, if you don’t have children, you only have to worry about a few of these things. If your spouse isn’t happy about the results, they possess the right to appeal. If the Judge grants the appeal, it’s back to the courthouse to start over.

Divorce is Not for the Faint-hearted

Divorce isn’t easy, but no one ever said it was. If you think divorce is the only option you have in your marriage, be sure to prepare yourself for a year-long battle. While you and your spouse may not disagree on a lot of things, divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in anyone. Choose your stance wisely, and make sure you get what you deserve.