21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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Meetup.com – Meet Cool People Locally

May 27th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Meetup.comI’ve known about Meetup.com for a while, but just recently signed up. I’m not always first in line to adopt things. I feel like I’m “Web 1.9” sometimes.

Last week, I went to 3 events I found through Meetup.com:

  • South Florida Graphic Design/Creative Meetup
  • South Florida Web Design Meetup
  • Babies, Toddlers, and Little People Meetup

So far, meetup.com is 3 for 3. I met some great folks in my industry at the design meetups. I was especially looking forward to the Babies, Toddlers and Little People meetup. Renee was at one of their meetups earlier this year.

The organizer of this particular meetup is Jordanna Egan. She runs a licensed home day care center here in South Florida. She uses the group to promote her business and foster a sense of community. Renee and I felt an immediate kinship with her. Her two children are named Austin and Erianna.

Renee and I continue to get better networked locally. One segment of our circle of friends is an older bunch without children. That was the group we spent most of our social time with until the baby was born. They are a wonderful bunch, but we were hungry for circumstantial peers – other local folks our age with children. Meetup.com is proving to be a great way to fill that need.

If you haven’t checked out meetup.com, it’s worth a look. This concludes my wholehearted, sincere, unpaid, and unsolicited endorsement of meetup.com.

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How to Prepare for a Baby’s Arrival on a Budget

April 10th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Isn’t it amazing that such a small mammal requires so much stuff? Preparing for a baby’s arrival is a huge undertaking. You don’t have to buy brand new. Used is perfectly OK. I will even tell you how to get things for free!

Are you one of those people who likes shiny, brand new things? Get over it! You’re about to have a baby. Some outfits are worn only once or twice as babies grow so rapidly. Clothes still look fresh enough even after a couple hand-me-down cycles. Maternity clothing only gets a couple months of wear as moms expand into the next size up.

Friends and Family

Once you share the joyous news, anyone with available hand-me-downs will speak up. The easy way out would be to just donate the items, but most people would rather offer their help someone they know. Our friend Barb has a daughter a year older than Twilli. She gave us an entire suitcase full of very cute and stylish clothing.

Thrift Stores

You can’t blog about bargains without mentioning thrift stores. Just about everything you’d need except diapers, wipes, and formula is available here. If the expectant grandparents are around, bring them along. The Goodwill chain of thrift stores here offer discounts to senior citizens. On a recent trip to the thrift store, we found an outfit identical to one Twilli had as a newborn, except this one is her current size.

Freesource and Freecycle

I’ve used Freesource and The Freecycle Network to de-clutter my house. When we learned the joyous news, we knew we had to work the groups for free baby stuff.

In large metropolitan areas, there are several groups that you can join within reasonable distance. Baby items are abundant, offered almost daily. You might also score some items that aren’t posted to the boards when you pick up the item you claimed. We got most of the clothes, bedding, blankets, a bath basin, a bassinet, and some toys.

Craigslist

We got our crib for $40 and changing table for $35. The lady who sold us the changing table also threw in a bunch of other goodies she had lying around. Children grow out of things. They are fickle creatures. Many nearly-new toys and items are sold here too.

The Baby Shower and Gift Registry

I’m not saying you should mooch off your friends and family, but creating a baby registry is a great way to obtain some of the items you will need. Your friends and family are genuinely happy for you and they want the opportunity to express their joy. They don’t want to play a guessing game. Ask and ye shall receive. Sometimes, a group will pool together to get you a big-ticket item, but this is not the time to be greedy. Some retailers offer you a discount if you buy items on your registry that your friends and family did not pick out.

Twilli’s mom and I were overwhelmed at the show of support at our baby shower. We’re socially outgoing and we were able to leverage the relationship equity that we spent years building up. Traditionally, this is a women-only affair, but we elected to have a co-ed baby shower to be more inclusive of all our friends. The friends who could not make it to the big bash and our out-of-town friends also came through. We got to know our UPS driver very well.

We couldn’t have pulled it off ourselves. Our dear friend Shantelle is a party and event planner. Part of her gift to us was to provide her services. Now she has built up a successful business organizing tea parties for young girls. You better believe that in a few years, Twilli will be having a tea party.

Take What You Can Get… You’ll Need It.

The arrival of a child is an exciting time. It’s easy to get carried away and fall into the trap of consumerism. You want the very best for your child, but the very best also means that you, as parents, are financially responsible parents too.

When you announce that you are expecting your first child, everyone you meet, especially people who already have children, become very supportive. You’ll need all the help you can get. Accept it graciously. It takes a village.

 

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Changing Tables Map Update

February 26th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad


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Renee originally posted this early last month. She’s added several new locations to the map since then. Keep your eyes peeled and shout out in the comments below if you find more!

Some Parenting Blogs Totally Worth Looking At

February 3rd, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Since the beginning, I was focused on writing content and everything else related to getting this blog started. I know there has been a recent flurry of pimpin’ the ‘zon, but that’s not the main reason I’m here. It’s about time I started sharing some of the great parenting blogs I’ve found since I started this adventure. I found all of these without the StumbleUpon toolbar. The darn thing doesn’t work!

I highlighted a few of our favorite bloggers over at ReneeAndElliott.com. Some of our friends are a little slow getting on board with Web 2.0. This list here is parent-centric. Long-time readers may recognize that some of these are recent additions to the Blogroll.

Parent Hacks – Asha Dornfest

Parent Hacks

Parent Hacks. I hack my kids. Do you? You should too. Asha has really built a sense of community on her site. She’s got plenty of great hacks of her own to share and readers are encouraged to submit their own hacks. It’s a daily read for me.

Metro Dad – Poppycock from a Cocky Pop

MetroDad is brutally honest and forthright. He doesn’t post daily, but when he does, it’s always entertaining. If you’re offended by the occasional (or frequent) F-bombs, then proceed with caution. I get a little sneak preview of what my little one might be like 3 years from now. I hope he doesn’t mind that I’ve branded him as “The F-Bomb Dad.”

Thingamababy

Thingamababy makes me feel good when I read it. AJ, the writer, takes the high road with product reviews. He doesn’t take kickbacks from affiliate programs and writes extensively on products that he really uses. Occasionally, he’ll highlight cool things he’s seen online, but the true value comes from the real-life use perspective. Hooray for investing in some graphic design for the blog header.

Shooting The Kids

Amy and Chris Frazier bring us Shooting The Kids. They have great tips and tricks for everyone, regardless of what camera you own. This is a topic I just started covering myself. There’s room for both of us in the blogosphere but my kid is cuter. Amy is a fellow Nikon DSLR shooter. Yay!

Rice Daddies and Kimchi Mamas

The Rice Daddies (and the Kimchi Mamas) are helping me reconnect with my Asian heritage. When the Korean population in my house increased by 0.5 people, I took notice. The Little One will want to know about where she came from. The whitewash is starting to wear off a little.

Baby Cheapskate

Being a parent means you’re watching your finances more closely. Baby Cheapskate is a one-stop shop for finding amazing bargains, coupons and deals.

Daddy Types

Can’t mention the Yin of Baby Cheapskate without the Yang of DaddyTypes. DT is like the Gizmodo of parenting. I had no idea you could spend $6000 on a crib.

Fort Lauderdale and Greater Miami Changing Tables Map

January 23rd, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad


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Renee over at 21st Century Parenting put together this wonderful map with a little help from Google. It was something I had planned on implementing, but why duplicate the efforts? Renee decided that she couldn’t simply copy someone else’s idea. Her map is annotated even further.

“Dad 2.0” is here to stay. We do everything but breastfeed. Despite this, I suspect the ladies’ room changing table gets more use and abuse than the ones in the men’s room. The men’s room changing table may be in better shape germ-wise.

The lack of a changing table is highlighted even further by the family-friendly image an establishment tries portray. If a business wants to be family-friendly, then make it family-friendly. Cheap food and a kid’s menu aren’t the only qualifications here. A changing table goes a long way. Bravo if the men’s room is so equipped. Thoughtful placement of the changing table goes even further. You win even more points with me if you have family-friendly policies for your employees.

Stop by 21st Century Parenting and leave a comment. Let us know how your favorite hangouts fare.

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