The Last Day

To My Kids, Thank You for Making Me a Dad

The Last Day

Six years ago around this time my wife and I were gearing up for the birth of our first child. I am pretty sure we already had the nursery painted and a collection of everything we would need for our baby girl. Physically, we were ready for this kid to make her grand appearance. Mentally, we were no where near ready to become parents. Sure we had some semblance of experience from being an awesome aunt and uncle but being ultimately responsible for our own human, that was something I don’t think we were ever ready for.

Thanks Baby

The day finally came for our daughter’s arrival. Our unpreparedness showed as we did not have a “go bag” ready, we forgot our camera, and were just overall not ready. Six hours later, Abby popped her little head out. Being a couple of novices at this whole parenting thing, we got our first scare just a few moments after Abby’s birth. She didn’t start crying immediately like you see on T.V. This scared us, but the nurse told us not to worry, she was OK, except she got a little meconium in her and the nurses had to help clear all of that out.

Cries finally filled the area where our beautiful daughter was being cleaned up. Never have I ever fell in love so fast. Before her birth I already knew I loved my daughter, but when you finally have that chance to see your child in real life and not through a ultra-sound screen everything changes. It was at that point that I became a real dad. With the meconium and everything else all cleaned off of my tiny daughter, I took her in my arms and thanked her for making me a daddy.

Abby and Daddy

Watching her grow into a little lady over the years has been filled with joy. Hearing her first word (dada), watching her take her first steps, and taking her to her first baseball game are all memories that wouldn’t be possible without her and because of that they will be treasured forever. Listening to Abby sing-a-long to songs and watching her create amazing artwork makes me realize just how thankful I am for this little girl. I see her personality growing into a little mini me and it just fills my heart with so much joy. Thank you Abby for making me a dad. I could not have done it without you (and of course mom).

Pampers, which has always been a big part of my toolkit when it comes to raising my kids, has released a new #ThanksBaby video that I think is great and beautifully captures the journey of fatherhood as it begins.

Years later I never thought I would be experiencing the same feelings again that I did the day my daughter was born, but I guess history is capable of repeating itself which is exactly what happened the day my son was born. This time however, we were more prepared. I had the bag and camera ready. When you become a father, preparedness becomes ingrained in your mind. But in reality, nothing can prepare you for fatherhood, except having a child.

Alex

Our son Alex was a born stuntman and immediately started stealing hearts. He has grown up so fast and has dad wrapped around his finger with his “I sowry, it a ackident” when he gets caught doing something he shouldn’t be doing, like jumping on the couch or crawling into bed to sleep next to daddy just about every night. He loves his toys and has an imagination that can be envied by all. The little guy just melts my heart. Even though I know I will get some crumby sleep, how could I say no to this little cutie’s snuggles. Thank you Alex, you have taught me how unconditional love can be so amazing. You also taught me how to worry non-stop with your stuntman antics which you so eloquently call “magic tricks”. Your heart is as big as your bravery and I love that you’ve taught me to just go with it once again. You and your sister are me and your mom’s everything and I cannot thank you two enough for making me your dad. I love you both!

AlexandAbby

When a baby is born, a dad is born. This Father’s Day share using the hashtag #ThanksBaby to give thanks to those babies that have made us the dads we are today. Because of them we have grown in life as dads that do what needs to be done to help those little babies have a better, loving, more fulfilling lives. I know it is going to be a sad day when my two leave the house, but at least they will finally be out of Pampers and maybe one day in the far future they will have children of their own and I can share my fatherly wisdom with them on how best to share a bed with a toddler.

Pampers_logo

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad  and Pampers for this promotion. Check out www.pampers.com and be sure to follow them on social media to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your baby get the most out of love, sleep and play.

Website - http://www.pampers.com/en-us

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Pampers

Twitter - https://twitter.com/pampers

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/pampersus/

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The Butt Butler is #KickingRash

bpThings I like, hamburgers, nights out, and sleeping. Things I don’t like, making the bed, picking up toys, and jumping on my furniture. That is why I am working with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® to start #KickingRash and taking names. For this post I have partnered with Life of Dad and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste®, but my opinions are my own.

Taking care of an itchy booty is just one of the things this dad does for his kids. So much that I might as well consider myself employed as the resident butt butler to these kids. “DAAAADDDYY!!, BOOOTYYY!!” is all I need to hear to know what needs to be done. When my kiddos have a red booty they need something that’s going to work and work fast. Bourdreaux’s® new Maximum Strength Butt Paste® is exactly what is needed when those little butts get too red. With no harsh ingredients it’s amazing how being formulated with 40% Zinc Oxide can start relieving diaper rash in as little as three hours!

What I really like about the product is that while it’s great to use with your own kids, it’s also a good gift for baby showers. You could go with one of the other creams, but seeing someone’s face opening up Butt Paste, it’s great. It’s pediatrician recommended so why not pick some up. You can get it at stores like Target and Amazon!

So Bourdreaux’s® sent me the new Maximum Strength Formula Jar, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. My kids are super happy after the Butt Butler visits. I would even be bold as to claim that the Butt Butler is more popular at bringing joy and happiness to our family than even Santa. That’s right, the big red jar is even better than the big red guy.

I bet you’re thinking, “How can this dad be so confident that something called Butt Paste® is better than Santa?” Well, I am glad you asked, because I am going to prove it!

ButtPasteHere in exhibit A; you can see very clearly how Butt Paste® can easily take care of messy bed. I’m not the best bed maker, but you can see that Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® does a pretty good job.

Sure it’s just the bed. It’s not like I’m not gonna mess it up again. But this Butt Butler likes keeping my bed beautiful, I just don’t like making it. Thanks Butt Paste®!

In my next example you can see how a messy floor covered with toys can be cleaned up with ease. The over 2x the rash fighting ingredient of Butt Paste® makes cleaning up these toys a breeze.

Last but not least, the kids themselves. Yeah Butt Paste® takes care of the rashes and itchy booties of these two adorable monsters, but what about their behavior?

I mean, we already see that Butt Paste is #KickingRash at making beds and picking up toys. How about getting these two stuntmen to calm down. Watch and see.

Imagine that! Butt Paste® does wonders on the kids themselves! Actually, it doesn’t but I sure wish it did. It works so well that I could have sworn that it was going to make my bed, pick up the toys, and keep the kids from jumping around the house. I guess the Butt Butler will just have to start #KickingRash myself.

Be sure to follow Butt Paste® on social media!

buttpaste.com facebook.com/buttpaste buttpaste instagram.com/buttpastebaby

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#ISleepTo Be Amazing

 

richie-sleeping2

Sleep. It is probably my favorite thing to do. Yeah, kids, wife, family, etc. They are all amazing and awesome to be around but sleep, oh sleep, it is quiet. It is relaxing. It is dreamy, literally.

Sleeping is how I reset and recharge my body as well as my mind. It’s important for everyone to get rest. Unfortunately for some it’s easier than others. My wife and I have had plenty of conversations about how “easy” it is for me to fall asleep, while she may lay restless for hours before finally getting just a fraction of sleep she feels like she could have gotten. Enter sleep monitoring.

SleeptrackerWe could wear a special bracelet or some other wearable device but for us, that just doesn’t work. Personally, I don’t think they are fashionable. I’m happy with my nice beautiful watch and don’t need another gadget that I have to charge on my wrist. Beautyrest to the rescue. Their Sleeptracker monitor was a great solution to a specific need. The Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor is super simple to setup. Just place the sensors under your mattress where you sleep (in-line with your pillows), plug the wires into the processor, sync up to the app, and you are ready to go. I was very curious how my data would come back. For forever I have always told my wife that it probably takes me about seven minutes to fall asleep. I never measured this so I was excited to learn that after the first night my “Time To Sleep” was six minutes. Six minutes! That’s awesome! After a few more days my “Time To Sleep” has averaged out to 18 minutes. I think I can get that average back down after using the product more.

The other data provided was incredible. Avg heart rate, breathing rate, efficiency, deep, light and REM sleep times, and more. Since I was already confident in how well I sleep I wasn’t surprised to see good percentages with just about everything. What I was surprised to see is that I don’t sleep as much I as I think I should. On a day when my wife let me “sleep-in,” my data was awesome. I need more days like that.

IMG_8494Because I already feel like I sleep pretty good I wasn’t sure how I could use Beautyrest’s Sleeptracker monitor to improve my sleep but then it happened. So when the unit came in the mail and I got it setup it was a work week, so I wasn’t sure about using the Sleep Cycle Alarm feature. I didn’t want to be late. Typically, I have my alarm clock set for 5:30A.M. and 5:50A.M. (just in case). Most of the time I am hitting snooze from 5:30 all the way to 5:50. This has two repercussions; 1) doesn’t make my wife happy and 2) I sometimes wake up groggy, even though I knew I got plenty of sleep I wasn’t sure why. So I started looking at the graphs in the app. I noticed that a lot of times I am in REM sleep right before I wake up. I read that it is best to wake up when you are in light sleep, so I decided to try out the Sleep Cycle Alarm. Instead of setting an alarm to go off at specifically 5:30, you give it a range of say 5:30-6:00, the Sleep Cycle Alarm will work with the senors and determine when you are at your lightest sleep and sound the alarm at that time. If you are not in a light sleep stage by the end of the range then the alarm will sound regardless.

So with this data I was able to use the Sleep Cycle Alarm to start waking me up during my lightest sleep. In turn I have actually been waking up just a little bit earlier than usual but I feel pretty good when I wake up too. Even though I know I can hit snooze, I don’t and I start my day. I feel so much better because of this change.

As I said earlier, sleeping is how I reset and recharge my body as well as my mind. It’s how I become amazing. If I am tired and groggy, I’m not amazing. Beautyrest’s Sleeptracker monitor is proving how getting a little bit of data can make a difference. When at home I can’t be in a bad mood because I didn’t sleep great or having an alarm go off at the wrong time. The same goes for work. Being as amazing as me just doesn’t happen overnight. It takes precision planning and sleep monitoring.  Oh and that photo at the top. That’s me monitoring my sleep. It’s as easy as that. Credit to my wife for taking the photo. I’m glad she highlighted my nose. Look at the size of that thing. Yikes! #ISleepTo be amazing.

I have partnered with Life of Dad and Beautyrest for this campaign, but my opinions are my own.

BeautyrestSleeptrackerLogo

 

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See St. Louis in a New Way

IMG_7908Saint Louis is a great place to be and a great place to explore. There are so many things that you can do that it may even be too much to take in all at once. There are also some great pictures of St. Louis that are floating about on the Internet but what if you had a different view. Let me introduce to you Modern Map Art.

Modern Map Art reached out to St. Louis Dad and wanted to send over a print of a map of St. Louis. If you mention St. Louis and art, I am interested in checking it out. I must say, these maps are amazing. They are very artistically detailed and have a few different styles available depending on the city. St. Louis for example has a two awesome black and white options, as well as a blue and yellow, and blue and red, which could represent the Blues and the Cardinals.

IMG_7935I asked if they could send over one of the black and white prints and I was very surprised that they sent over a full sized poster. There are options for smaller prints but having the options for full size posters is just as awesome. Once the poster arrived I carefully removed it from it’s shipping tube and noticed that the paper was of excellent quality. This poster was not like the posters your kids hang on their walls. This print is a lot heavier in material and demands to be framed. Printed on museum quality matte paper and using UltraChrome water based HDR ink-jet technology to print to the edges on every poster, brings a this beautiful print to life. It’s not necessary to frame if you really don’t want to, but I do, so I did.

I hung this amazing print in my home office and I am very happy with how it looks. It just looks incredible and brings a smile to my face seeing my home city in this artistic way. I highly recommend checking out the various St. Louis designs on Modern Map Art. If St. Louis isn’t your city, check out some of the other city map art options. There are a bunch and are all worth a click.

Modern Map Art provided St. Louis Dad with a complimentary print in exchange for an honest review. Check out Modern Map Art’s website for more amazing artistic prints of maps!

I can’t wait to show this off! Find out what it is on the blog Monday!

A post shared by Richie Williams (@dadstl) on

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