January 20, 2013 : 5:15 PM
2012 Year in Review
Year in Review: 2012
2012 was a good year for me. I believe I've had a good run as 2010 was amazing, 2011 was pretty special for many reasons and at the risk of sounding like a lame dad, 2012 will be hard to top thanks to the birth of Mojo.
4.39am on Aug 3, 2012 my little boy Mojo was released from BETA.
Upgraded The Kitchen!
It did mean getting some new pots and pans but again Ervi had no complaints. It heats so much faster than our old electric cooktop, it's easier to clean and looks awesome.
Went to the Most Epic Kids Party
Our Place Flooded
Made Some Art
No autographs please!
Scored 187 in Bowling
My Two Year Long Junk Mail Experient Ends
Bought a Kindle
Organised & Hosted a Movie Premiere
Game Jam 2012
Let Bannerblog slowly die
Well not really :)
Bought a new camera: Sony RX-100
Got an Iphone 5
Bought a Lot of Stuff on Kickstarter
Watched Some Movies
Spoke in Belgium
Thumbzilla on Amazon Store
36 Faces of Facebook
Got a 3d printer
1: Travel to Japan
47: Create a Top 5 free or paid iOS app/game (USA Store)
48: Have a photo of Mojo become a Meme. (Success kid style)
49: Have a video of Mojo go viral (Charlie bit my finger style)
50: Make a billy cart with Mojo
November 28, 2012 : 9:54 PM
New Parent Must Buy List
I have now been a parent for 3.5 months and that pretty much makes me an expert right? Sadly no, but I have found that some items we bought have been used everyday while others have hardly been touched. Here's my must buy list for any new parent.
Cloth Nappies x 20
We don't actually use these as nappies. We tried for one nappy but it was just too much hassle. But we use them for everything else. They go under Mojo when he's sleeping to catch any spit and milk. I use them to wipe his face, they go on the change matt to catch any accidents (as it's easier to just throw a cloth nappy in the wash than to wipe down stuff)
We saw this wipe system at a Baby Show and have never looked back. We still use disposable wipes when traveling on longer trips but trust me when I saw that Cheeky Wipes make cleaning up a DEFCON 5 (all over the legs and feet) baby poop a breeze.
This is the easiest swaddle you'll find. When it's 3am and you're still half asleep the Woombie makes getting your little guy swaddled a breeze. In fact you'll start to appreciate zippers more than ever. Also the baby looks funny. It's like a caterpillar or baby body bag
How do you unblock a baby's nose?! You suck it out! If the idea of giving CPR to a snotty nose freaks you out like it does me then grab one of these Nose Frida snot suckers for $10.
Nappy Bin System
This is a recent purchase but has stopped Mojo's room smelling like a urinal. The Angelcare system we got was just $50. So far has stopped me from building up a massive bag of nappy's which ends up like a Santa sack of smells.
2 minutes and you're bottles are ready to go. Waiting for something to boil is for chump parents. We use this Avent one (Who new Philips also made baby products!?) but the basic idea of simple microwaveable device vs something more expensive is the way to go.
I had no idea a Thermos could keep water so hot for so long. 12-16 hrs later and it's still just as hot yet the bottle is cool to touch. A must have if you formula feed and are traveling. And make sure you get a real Thermos brand not some cheap knock off.
Jumbo Play Matt
Grab one of these jumbo rubber mats for each main room and you'll never have to worry about poop or vomit getting on the carpet again. These mats are quite soft too so kneeling down to play is actually easier too. Compare this to the mats that have puzzle pieces. You spill a drink on that and the liquid goes into the puzzle piece gaps.
Brain Rules for Baby
This baby book made me rethink a lot of things about how to raise a happy and smart baby. No TV, video games or computer screens for Mojo until he's at least 5 now. And trying to keep up 2100 words a day is tough but gives me a goal to make sure I speak to Mojo as much as possible. It's a very interesting read about the science on how baby's brains work and learn.
This book was given to me by the guys at work and they swear by it too. Some great tips for dads.
Our's is a Sponge Bob Square Pants lamp but you can mix it up. A portable night light is great for the feeds between 11pm and 5am when you need to see your way around but don't want to wake the baby. You can then carry it to the change area once feeding is done.
The coolest piece of clothing. I've spent a small fortune on funny prints from Threadless, funny nerd baby "creeper" items from Think Geek (my fav) or the zippable Wondersuit from Bonds. Three simple clips (or one zipper) and you're ready to change a nappy. The clothes that require you to clip several times or take off completely to change are a waste of time.
We call it the Super Suit and it's how mum can walk around the markets and go shopping without the major hassle of a pram in the way. Mojo also prefers to look outwards than be stuck lying down all day. We have the Stokke Baby Carrier which is a lot more complicated than it needs to be but will allow us to put Mojo on our back. The latest Baby Bjorn looks much simpler and softer material too so I suggest you test them both out.
Foldable / Flexi Bath
This is an awesome bath that lets us bathe Mojo where ever we want and it folds up to fit in the car for travel or cupboard for storage. Also it's green (it comes in haps of colours) which is awesome.
Rather than trust my elbow I let the Rubber Duck decide if the water is too hot for Mojo. It lights up green when it's OK. Mojo likes to play with it too.
You'll also need the basics (Cot, pram, change table, bassinet, nappy bag, toys) and there's literally hundreds of options for each. I just thought the items above were a little more obscure and might be missed on most "baby buy" lists.
September 23, 2012 : 8:22 PM
Dad = True
4.39am on Aug 3, 2012 my little boy Mojo was released from BETA.
I filmed the entire thing on a head mounted GoPro Hero2 which is handy as it's kind of a blur now. I remember cutting the umbilical cord (it's very rubbery) and holding Ervi's hand and that's about it.
Mojo was chosen as a name as it's fun, original and if we have a girl Jojo will complete the awesomeness. Yes it's a Powerpuff Girls reference. As silly as the name is I can't see the little guy having a name like "Peter" or "Paul" or something regular like that. If we have another boy I'll go with choice two Milo (yes named after the drink but luckily also means other things like Apple or an ancient Greek wrestler. The name is gaining popularity too.
The best part about having a newborn is taking funny photos. Here's two of my favs
Newborns have no control over their arms or really anything so these are just flukes. Mojo has my wrinkly forehead!
I've also become one of those dads that post nothing but baby photos now. My desktop computer and phone has him as my wallpaper. But as nothing else is happening in my spare time besides feeding and pooping it makes sense.
I've also learnt a few baby hacks in my 7 weeks of being a dad.
Putting him on the washing machine is a simple way to get him to sleep.
Walking up and down stairs also works but is much more tiring :)
If he's being cranky I just crumple a packet of chips or his baby wipes and he goes quiet almost instantly. I can see him later in life at the cinemas being mesmerised when someone is eating a packet of chips behind in.
I've also spent a lot of money buying all the baby items on the list. One that I've really got good value out of is Cheeky Wipes. It makes changing a nappy a breeze.
Oh and a nose frida to suck the boogers out of his nose. Seriously the alternative is not even worth thinking about.
I also love the pram we got.
The Mima Kobi. It's a beast but been great so far. It's also less obvious than a Stokke Explory which every parent seems to have these days. It's the show off item for all parents. I haven't tried to get it in the car and I expect that to be... fun.
I can't wait till Mojo gets old enough to speak, smile, laugh or just respond to me. Right now he's on auto pilot and while rewarding it's when he can laugh at me farting near him (not the opposite) that we'll start to have real fun. I also hope to record some funny "viral" videos and retire on a "Mojo bit my finger" video.
Even though I earned less this year than previous years I was able to donate more than I ever have to charity. Luckily the$4025 I raised for Variety doing the Indie Game The Movie screening pushed me over the edge. It's kind of cheating as I was able to pay the money as my donation even though I only put in $500 or so of my own money. So in essence I cheated.
I'm still amazed by the amount of spam I receive from charities. It's as if they all share a database because I'm sent junk from charities I've never heard of nor would ever support. They waste a lot of paper too and I can only imagine how many others receive this junk.
Another interesting thing is you get the same message whether you donate $20 or $1000. I expected something like the following;
Donate $20: Thanks for your donation, blah blah
Donate $1000+: Wholly SHIT! Here's a hand written note from someone who works here thanking you for being awesome.
Donate $4000: SRLSY! Here's a photo of the entire office spelling out your first name. It took almost 15 minutes to organise but you're name had 6 characters and we had to pull in the cleaner.
Maybe I'm naive to the number of people who donate large figures and to get the response I'm expecting you have to drop corporate money like $100k. But if you got a scaled response to a scaled donation maybe more people would donate?
August 22, 2012 : 11:48 PM
Make Your Own Whatever
A small R&D project has gone into BETA. Konstructorz is a merging of a lot of old project art into one platform for kids to creative anything.
I love watching kids create crazy stuff like these Dragon Ball Z type characters from the assets we provided.
There's a weapon and robot set coming soon. With a Mexican inspired monster set and then we'll be done until we grow the audience. That said even without any real pushing we have had 22,000 visitors in just over a month. So it can only go up from here.
The site targets young boys in an effort to have a core audience for advertisers and brands to buy. If we went broad we'd end up with less focus. We're looking to spin off a girlie version of the site once we build an audience.