Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our first give-a-way...

The stacks of unread magazines and unsolicited catalogs continue to grow, and grow. They're piled up next to the garage door, ready to be taken to the recycling center (which will hopefully be something Chris takes on, because I have ZERO urge to do so).

Every so often, I will walk by and a teaser on the cover will catch my attention and actually make me pick it up (so to the cover illustrators / editors... you're doing something right!).

One catalog that intrigued me is One Step Ahead [link], which is filled with innovative baby & toddler products that I haven't seen anywhere before (honest - this is not a paid advertisement, nor was I solicited by them to create a post about their products or website). Whether you're looking for designer crib bedding or baby slings, carriers, or teething aids, you'll find them here at One Step Ahead, along with a great selection of educational toys.

Having an adorable daughter with a unique (and notable) name, it is impossible to find items that has her name on it, but this company can personalize items that end up looking divine: from toy boxes to canvas bookshelves, puzzle stools to travel beds.

In addition to the personalized products, they have items that I've never seen before, such as these garment extenders. Kensington, having been given so many cute outfits, is outgrowing items that she's only worn once or twice. What a SHAME!!! These will help s-t-r-e-t-c-h the lifespan of her one-piece outfits! What will they think of next? This garment extender set not only works with Carter's and Onesies, but GAP, Old Navy, and many other popular brands.

Because I'm so excited about this product, as well a new site to do tons of shopping at, we're giving away a $20 e-Gift card to One Step Ahead... and because we love our readers all so much, we're making it easy to enter with multiple ways to win.

Receive one entry when you comment on this post. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Comments/contest will close on June 30, 2009 at 8 PM EST. One comment per person, please (unless you do the extra credit)

Extra Credit:

2 entries if you become a new Follower to It's Daddies. Plural. on blogspot (see the "these people are the best followers ever..." section on the right side of this page and hit "follow")

1 entry if you are one of the amazing 51 people that are "following" us currently on blogger. Just state that you're a follower in your comment.

2 entries if you blog about this giveaway on your own blog. It doesn’t have to be a separate post. Just include a link to your post when you leave a comment. If others visit our site and give your blog credit, you get an additional entry.

The winner will be chosen by

We hope you enjoy this give-a-way.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

Today is THE day. Our very first Father's Day as, well... you know - fathers.

On Thursday we received our first Father's Day card from the Carnevali-Oliver family. It was addressed to "Popi's Plural" :) Thank God I took two years of Spanish and could tell that the front said "A joyful wish on Father's Day".
I'll be honest.
Two years of Spanish and I can only say, "My name is.." and "the bathroom". You really can't do much in life with 'my name is the bathroom' (which, by the way is, 'mi nombre es el cuarto de baƱo'), trust me - I've tried :(

There was translation on the back :)

On Friday, we received the cutest "First Father's Day" card from Mary Cay and the M2 clan.

So, with multiple cards received, I still forgot to send Fazha the card I bought for him last week. And its not like I forgot I bought it or thought it went in the post when it didn't... I saw it 4 times each day as it was in my laptop bag. So every time I took my computer out and put it back it, it was staring back at me, and each time I thought, I'll get to this in just a minute. My only excuse is that I know have "daddy brain" and can still use the 'sleep deprivation' card. Are you buying this, Fazha? I hope so!

On Friday, Kensington's school did the sweetest thing - they had Kensi make two Father's day paintings/cards for us. One for "Daddy" and one for "Papa". Mine said, "Papa, I love you - for all that you do. I'll kiss you and hug you 'cause you love me too. You feed me and need me to teach you to play. So smile 'cause I love you on this Father's day.

And, she happened to give us the BEST gift ever this weekend. We can't tell you what it is... but you can see for yourself.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"You are never given have to take it" -- Harvey Milk

We just signed up for the National Equality March in DC this October. On October 10-11, we'll march on the National Mall with one simple demand: Full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered people in all matters governed by civil law. In all 50 states. Now.

We will march. And we will leave energized and empowered to do the work that needs to be done in every community across the nation.

This is different from any of our previous marches. This march is part of a sustained campaign of people acting locally to make national change. It will take committed activists in every one of the 435 Congressional Districts to make that happen. And we have to begin before October.

Soon we'll begin meeting with our Senators and Representatives across the country to demand change. Join me, and invite all your friends:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An early 'Happy Father's Day' two new gay dads in Germany!

Happy Fathers Day to a gay penguin couple in Germany's Bremerhaven Zoo.

This cute couple has been fostering a chick given to them by zoo handlers, after the egg was rejected several times by its biological parents.

The new gay dads are one of three same-sex couples in a colony of twenty at the zoo. Scientists originally tried to split-up the couple to encourage breeding, but the they continued to come back to each other.

Since hatching a few days ago, the chick is thriving! Congrats... and welcome to the world of gay parenthood!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meet Melanie & Matt

Over the past six months, we have received many inspiring notes and emails from a wonderful mix of individuals: friends & family members, new and 'seasoned' adoptive parents, expecting parents, birth moms/parents that have placed a child up for adoption, as well as women who are pregnant and wondering if choosing adoption is right for them. Please know that while we may not have the opportunity to answer all of them in a timely fashion, we do read them and talk about them together - and each one of them touches us. Many make us laugh... some make us cry... and some make us laugh and cry. All of them make us thankful for what we have, and thankful that we have so many caring people in our lives.

With that being said, we realized that we have a wonderful venue to share stories, memories and opportunities with our followers, as well as those doing searches on the web.

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times. I believe everything happens for a reason. the good. the bad. the indifferent. It may take me weeks - months - even years to realize it, but there is a plan in place (and even if I don't agree with it 'in the moment'), and everything works out in the end.

I feel very strongly that we made the perfect choice when choosing Creative & Sons to create our adoption portfolio / adoption profile. Adam did such a wonderful job showing the true sides of "Paul & Chris" and through the process of creating it, a great friendship has formed. Adam shared with me his latest adoption portfolio/profile, and I would like to introduce to you, Melanie & Matt. This cute couple have been together for eight years and would like to start a family.

As I've heard from many of the adoptive parents out there, word of mouth is the key in finding the right placement. Chris and I were lucky enough to find a wonderful agency, Friends In Adoption, that helped us in finding S&S, our bio parents. While Melanie & Matt are using a different venue (being from Charleston, SC), I wanted to share with you their story in hopes of making their journey to a match a short one. To learn more about them, you can visit

Sunday, June 14, 2009

All eyes on me!

Kensington is learning how to crawl... well, actually, she's getting up on her knees, rocking back and forth, and then leaping for her life. I've been trying to get this on film (is it still considered that if it's digital?) but every time I grab the camera she stops and poses. I wonder where she gets this from (umm... maybe her pappa!) It's the funniest thing ever. It's like she can sense the camera being pointed in her direction.

[I think we've created a monster]

I was able to take a couple video clips by having the camera rest on the couch and not having it in my hands, but by then, she'd already given up on her crawling activities.

NOH8 campaign

Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz and his wife Ashlee Simpson Wentz have posed for a portrait for California's NOH8 campaign, which seeks to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage.

In the portrait, Ashlee holds a wedding veil and the couple appear with duct tape over their mouths to symbolize the silencing of the gay community's voices on the matter.

The couple have been outspoken supporters of over turning Prop 8, which bans gay marriage in CA. They also took part in a protest in Hollywood last month when the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on same-sex marriage.

Be Aggressive! B-E Aggressive!

The chants and screams of a cheerleadering squad are among the most treasured (ummm... vomit-inducing) sounds of our high school years. With pom-pom shoe laces, extremely short skirts & bloomers, tight ponytails that cut off the blood circulation to the brain and a frighteningly high degree of pep, the four most awkward years of our lives just wouldn’t have been the same (less mentally scarring) without the glory (horror) that was our pep squads. And yet... I find myself in the dawn of parenthood with my hand in "blade formation" (okay... I'm a gay dad, and I have five nieces - forgive me for knowing the terminology), chanting "Be Aggressive! B-E Aggressive!" when it's feeding time.

From the moment we left the hospital with our little chickpea, feeding time has always been a hurried experience. Meaning... Kensington is a very aggressive eater. Each time she takes a bottle, it's like it's the very first time she has eaten, and she can drink anyone under the table. The pediatrician has told us that we have nothing to worry about, she's eating plenty and we're not starving her... she's just 'aggressive'. When we picked her up from school on her first day, the teachers told us, with smiles and a look of sheer puzzlement, that she was an 'aggressive' eater. In earlier post I've mentioned that after they feed her, they have to either put her down for a nap or place her across the room for an activity so she doesn't see the other kids bottles, but she wants it - and is very vocal about her needs.

We've read numerous articles that talk about transitioning a baby from formula to solid foods, and how it could take anywhere from 4-12 times before it becomes a desired taste. Ummm... not for our child. If it's on a spoon or in a bottle, she'll eat it! From rice cereal to oatmeal, sweet potatoes to green beans, our little Kensington wants it. And she wants it NOW.

Yesterday I had her in her Baby Bjorn and I ended up getting a bottled coke from a vending machine. Now that she's able to reach out and hold her own bottle, she's reaching for mine. When I didn't want to give it to her, she loudly informed me that my bottle was HER bottle. I ended up handing over the closed bottle to her so she could hold it up to her mouth in order to calm her down.

Please excuse her little bedhead :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dad of Invention

When Jim Whitney's daughters were ages 3 and 5, this Toronto dad found himself watching his kids play and wondering why there wasn't a toy that could be assembled and reconfigured in different life-size shapes. "I wanted something that could be a cave today, a pirate ship tomorrow, and a castle the next," he says. "Oh, and you'd be able to drape sheets over it for hiding." Voila! The Crazy Fort was born. Check them out at or go directly to Barnes&Noble to buy the product here.

Children of all ages love building fun structures where they can play endlessly in their imaginary worlds. And Crazy Forts makes play so easy and so fun. Simply connect the balls and sticks and cover the structure with bed sheets to create places where imaginations flourish.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Help Block Out Skin Cancer

A little sunshine is a good thing, but your little one can easily get too many rays. A baby's skin is 10 times more sensitive to the environment.... and those under the age of 6 months should never be exposed to the sun.

With a thinner skin and a developing natural protection system, a baby's skin needs special protection from the sun and irritating chemicals.

While flipping through "American Baby", I saw a wonderful ad with my two favorite brands - Johnson & Johnson and the American Cancer Society. Johnson & Johnson's Neutrogena has come out with a Pure & Free Baby Sunblock stick. I can't tell you how excited I am about this (I know, I know... I'm a little geeky). This product has no irritating chemicals, is fragrance free, hypoallergenic, won't sting eyes and has no dyes and oils. Perfect for our little Kensington!

Skin cancer is a very real issue, and melanoma is deadly. One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life. Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer, and one that is relatively easy to prevent. You should learn the signs, visit your dermatologist to check for skin cancers, and be vigilant about using sunscreens such as this one. Actually, you can visit the American Academy of Dermatology here and find a free screening in your area.

To find out more information about skin cancer, prevention and detection, contact 1.800.227.2345 or visit

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and Neutrogena, working together to help prevent skin cancer, support the use of sunscreen.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

One step forward... two steps back.

Chris and I have been cracking up lately. Kensington is trying to crawl, but she is stuck in reverse. That's right, reverse. She'll flop on her stomach, and stretch her little arms out to grab something, but will get further and further away from it the more she wants it. But, the little devil, is getting smart. She'll roll herself around and crawl backwards in the direction that she was originally going for. Now, that's what I call genius!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dad Who Goes the Distance

There's a lot that 7-year-old Mary McAuley, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, can't do. Born with cerebral palsy and suffering from epilepsy, she's confined to a wheelchair, can't speak, and needs a feeding tube to eat. But her dad, Tommy McAuley, has helped her achieve awesome physical feats.

They are a father-daughter triathlon team. McAuley pushes Mary in a special stroller for most of his runs, pulls her along in a trailer when he bikes, and tugs his child in an inflatable raft as he's swimming. T.E.A.M. McAuley (older brothers, Grant, 11, and Griffin, 9, are members too) raises money and awareness for other families with special needs to get equipment to participate in triathlons. The biggest reason for racing is Mary. "She loves the feeling of not being disabled, spending time with her family, and the wind blowing through her hair," says McAuley. How can he know this about a child who can't speak? "If you saw her contagious smile, you'd have no doubt," explains this proud dad.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Bangles may have had a manic Monday...

today I encountered a troublesome Thursday.

After hitting snooze two too many times, I finally rolled out of bed and hit the shower.

After getting myself ready, I entered Miss Kensington's sanctuary. Before I could even reach for the light, I was hit with the smell of the Diaper Dekor that sits next to the door. "Wow... I thought the pail was suppose to contain that smell." I then, in my mind, called Chris every name in the book because it was his turn to change out the bag. Before heading to her crib to wake her, I did his chore and brought the bag out to the garage. I head back upstairs and reach for our little angel and picked her up and smoothered her with her morning kisses. I carried her over to the changing table and then looked down at my sleeve.

It wasn't the Diaper Dekor that was the source of the odor... it was the diaper she was wearing that exploded. And it came out of her onesie. On me.

So I'm now trying to unbutton my shirt, one handed, while holding her down with my elbow so she's not 1) rolling in it, and 2) playing with it.

I get her diaper changed and throw my shirt, her onesie, the crib sheet and the changing pad in the washing machine and I put on another shirt. I made her bottle, fed her, burped her and got her dressed. As we prepared to head downstairs, she spit-up ALL over shirt number two.

Okay... let's try things again. They say third times a charm. Right?

I get on the road and we're off to school. We go into her class, I sign her in, we play for a few moments and I giver her goodbye kisses and then it's off to work. So I thought.

There is major construction. They are tearing up the road so they can construct a new supermarket and they have to run all of the piping. Seriously? At 8:35 in the morning. Haven't they heard of the morning commute? This puts me about 20 minutes behind. I get past the construction and now I'm on the highway and entering New Jersey and the phone rings - it's Kensi's school. She's out of formula. (WHAT!?!?! We get a daily progress report that alerts us to anything that is low and formula was not on it!!). I get to the next exit, turn around and head back into PA.

It's now about 45 minutes after the call that I'm pulling into her schools parking lot. I rush in and drop it off and then off to face the construction once again. Wait. I know what I'll do... I'll take the back road short cut. While it's hilly and bumpy, it's better than sitting and waiting.

Three miles into the trip, I'm faced with a Department of Transportation worker. Holding a stop sign. There is construction up ahead. Really? Is this what my day is turning into? Now I'm waiting and waiting. There is a car in front of me and two others behind me. Waiting. More waiting. Finally I roll down my window and wave the guy over... and then I'm informed the road ahead is flooded it will be about 30 more minutes before traffic can go through (was he planning on waiting the entire time and not tell us the problem so we could turn around?). So now I have to get out of the car to tell the folks behind be so they can back up, which would allow me to back up so we could get on with out day. Doing this I had to encounter the supermarket construction again.

It took me an additional two hours to get to work this morning. Yes. Two long additional hours.

Thank God tomorrow is Friday!!!

Must-Know Tips for Starting Solids

Now that Kensington has started solid foods, I decided to do some additional research on the new feeding wisdom. It seems like EVERYONE has an opinion when it comes to starting solids.
When I dropped Kensi off at school today, I noticed this cute picture on the wall of her class with "Aiden in June Parents Magazine". What?!?! I was just skimming through that magazine last night. Did I miss an article? Did I not recognize that cute little face in the magazine? What do you know... I did miss the article. Guess what the topic was? Come on. This is an easy one. I just tee'd it up - "Baby's First Foods".
The article [which is just the right length a piece should be since more than likely it's a busy parent trying to read it in between bottle feedings, diaper changes, naps and life] was a great one-pager that discussed the 'myths' of solid foods and some great advice every parent should take. For those of you wanting to read it for yourselves, you can click here.
As for little Aiden here, I think we have another contender for "The Courtship of Kensington Grace". Come on... look at those eyes. We do have to work on the table manners though.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Designer Dad

After having children, Chris Pegula, aka The Diaper Dude, realized that diaper bags were way too feminine for guys to carry with any enthusiasm. So the Santa Monica, California, dad decided to design his own line and in the process changed how fathers deal with diaper duty (no more toting baby's gear in a gym bag). Check out his line here.

Pain Relief Secrets

I wish I would have read this article in Parents Magazine before Kensington's last vaccination.

Whether your child is getting a shot or having surgery, there are ways to protect her from unnecessary agony (but your doctor may never mention them).

There are a couple easy, and inexpensive ways, to help take the sting out of shots.

EMLA Cream
Topical anesthetic that deadens pain. You request it before the visit and apply it beforehand.
Pro: Works very well and most pharmacies carry it.
Con: Must be applied an hour before the shot, so it takes some planning.

Vapocoolant Spray
Rapidly cools a small area of skin to help reduce the pain of needle pricks.
Pro: Works within seconds.
Con: Many pediatricians don't keep it in their office. Some studies show it doesn't reduce pain nearly as well as EMLA.

Numby Stuff (Iontophoresis)
An anesthetic similar to EMLA is applied to the skin, and a device uses a tiny amount of electric current to speed its absorption.
Pro: Numbs the skin in about 15 minutes.
Con: The electric current feels funny to some kids and can cause mild irritation. Most doctors don't have it in their office.

Pacifier Dipped in Sugar Water
Start giving it to your child a few minutes before a shot to distract her with the pleasant taste.
Pro: Cheap and easy, it works within two minutes.
Con: Not as helpful with older toddlers and doesn't eliminate pain entirely.
Originally published in the June 2009 issue of Parents magazine

To find out what parents can do before a routine check-up, in case of common infections, or during a hospital procedure, visit here.

Knock, Knock...

Who's there?

Nobody :(

Does this house look familiar? For many of you, probably not... but for Pete and Melanie, you may notice that you had company at your house while you were away.

Rule #1 - Never EVER leave your key under the door mat. That's the first place we looked. And want do you know - there it was.

Rule #2 - Always stock your your refrigerator with an ample supply of brie. You never know when you're going to have guest, silly. :)

We miss you and hope to see you soon.