pat jacobs photography

Adventures in Photography

the understudy

We have said from the inception of this blog that we would always be “dads first.” I have spent the last year carrying The Starlet around and making sure she doesn’t fall down the stairs, electrocute herself, or scratch my eyes out with her finger nails of fury. In that year, I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would have liked, but I have been experimenting and honing a skill that I’ve always wanted to explore…

Photography. With an expensive camera.

Allow me to explain…

We bought an expensive camera before the birth of The Understudy so that we could capture amazing pictures of our new life with a child. For a year and a half, I committed the ultimate sin as an “expensive” camera owner– I used it in Auto Mode the entire time.

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huggies wipes

Concerns About Huggies Wipes

Glass in baby wipes
In 2012, Huggies was challenged by the Dad Blogger world to change the depiction of fathers in their advertising campaign focusing on the “Ultimate Dad Test.” The short of it was that their diapers could withstand the test of, well… Dad. (*cue suspenseful piano music*)

The charge to end the message that the gender of the parent should have nothing to do with the strength of a diaper was lead by Chris Routly who blogs at Daddy Doctrines. Huggies responded quickly and actually remade their commercials from their “Dad Test” series of advertisements, “to make clear that it is the DIAPERS being tested, not the DADS.” Since then, they have the support of dads everywhere and have remained parent-centric in their advertising.

Recently, Huggies was in the news for concerns about glass found in their wipes. Huggies performed independent testing and released the findings on their website confirming that “NO glass or fiberglass was present.”

Huggies has decided to take it a step further and create a Huggies Parent Panel for a roundtable discussion with the Huggies brand to hear parents’ questions, concerns and any insights that they want to share. They felt it was important to have a voice from the stay-at-home dad contingency and it was decreed, by the powers-that-be, to be me, you see.

huggies surveyOn Monday, October 5th, I will attend the Huggies Parent Council where I can bring concerns, comments, and/or criticism to the Huggies brand from the most important people in the world; parents. Please take a quick moment (seriously quick, like less than a minute) to fill out this anonymous survey. Are you concerned about the Huggies brand or about glass in their wipes? Let me know and when the council is over, I will update you on your concerns.

Finding Fatherhood: 5 Ways for New Moms to Help New Dads

finding fatherhood

No matter how many baby books you read, nurseries you decorate or informative five point lists you share; nothing prepares you for having a child. The best I can say is that it’s like dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, except the water never stops, and the temperature keeps changing.

New mothers I meet sometimes share their concerns about the fathers of their children. Will he be a good dad? Can a man be caring enough to establish a loving bond with their child? It does not matter if a father is blue collar, white collar, northeast, west or southern; all men are capable of that. If anything, this generation of fathers wants to be involved, but doesn’t know where to start in an environment geared towards moms. New dads can be hesitant, but that does not mean they don’t want to learn. Here are five ways for new moms to help new dads.

Don’t Crush Them With Lists

When you have your first child, neither parent knows what to do. Moms focus that fear of the unknown into an unending pursuit of books, blogs, and Dr. Web MD. Dads hope to come across a parenting video that uses 80’s references and explosions as teaching points. Guys don’t have the same hulking expectations from society, so we get overwhelmed by a bottle-preparation list longer than most car owner’s manuals. Lists are fine, but discussions are better. Continue reading

nuby bath toys

Octopus Bath Time Toss : Nuby Review

nuby bath toys

When we received our very first shipment of products to review for Nuby Parent Bloggers, The Understudy and I saw the Octopus Floating Bath Toy and realized… it’s a game! We quickly practiced tossing the rings onto the tentacles and set a date for the World Championship of Octopus Bath Time Toss. It was going to be epic.

nuby bath toy

The Understudy gets ready for the World Championship.

Before we get into the details of the World Championship, we want to tell you a little about this bath toy from Nuby. The first thing that I noticed was that it didn’t have the air hole that most floating bath toys have. You know, the one that gets water left in it and turns into a biology experiment within the belly of said toy? Yeh, that air hole. No air hole; no biology experiments for bath time which means we all survive to bathe another day. On top of that, the tentacles were super interesting to The Understudy and once we started throwing the 3 rings (a star, a circle, and a fish) onto the tentacles, we were hooked.

I’ll be honest, the ring toss aspect isn’t easy, especially the star. In fact, I had to spot The Understudy a few points in the World Championship just to give him a fighting chance. However, the little guy loves putting the rings onto the tentacles and exclaiming “I DID!” You can’t argue with that. Continue reading

Nuby Breaks the Norm

parent bloggerAs a stay-at-home dad, it is my job to be the primary caregiver for our family. I buy the groceries, take the kids to doctor appointments, and do the shopping for our kid products. In August, I was shopping for new toddler plates and found the perfect ones from Nuby. The only problem was that the packaging told me they were, “Designed to make feeding fun for baby & easier for mom.” I set them back on the shelf. If a product or a service isn’t gender specific, why should it be branded and advertised as such?

Let’s be clear. Moms aren’t the only parents that feed their babies. Dads feed babies. Grandparents feed babies. We’re all caregivers, right? I wanted the plates, but didn’t buy them. Instead, I tweeted a picture to Nuby and asked if they had any that made it “easier for parents.” I mean, after all, I’m a dad and I need these too. I don’t like being considered something that I’m not just because I care for my kids and I know I’m not the only one.

Nuby responded immediately and what they said came as a welcome surprise. Continue reading

A Birth Story – Here Comes the Son

For my son’s birth, I wanted to make sure that he would have something to look back on years later to see what we went through that day. I will never forget staging our bags by the door, our family arriving at the hospital, the pain my wife went through after 25 hours of contractions, the relief she felt after the epidural, and the rest she was able to get and needed before the final 3 hours of pushing. I will never forget taking the first picture of my son, the first time he wrapped his little hand around my finger, the first time I looked at my wife and my child together, and the wonderment of holding him for the first time. My son.

Happy 2nd birthday to my little man, The Understudy.

Arrangement by Jennifer Tumminaro
Original music & lyrics by the Beatles