Tech Dadding With The ClarkNova: Video Baby Monitor


Ok, so here’s my take. I’m a tech dad. I like “techie” things, so naturally when I saw the video baby monitoring systems on the market for fairly cheap I said “cool” right? NOPE. They are all shit. Tech dads, there is a MUCH better way to do this. I’m sure this is not a novel approach, as I have not really looked around, but nevertheless, it should be shared.

Wireless IP Video Cameras (such as this one) can usually be purchased for the same price, if not cheaper, than the baby monitoring systems currently on the market. Not only are the wireless IP cameras cheaper, they are MUCH more flexible in terms of A/V monitoring capability and quality (think remote viewing capabilities, night vision, remote-controlled pan, zoom and tilt with high quality video and bi-directional audio). The wireless IP camera can, of course, be viewed from any device connected to your home network via computers, laptops, and the handiest one of all: wi-fi enabled smartphones! Now you can be anywhere within range of your home network and still be able to view a live stream on your device anytime you “just want to check”. But wait. It gets better!

So you finally found a baby-sitter and are going out for the evening? Unlike most current baby monitoring systems, now you can check on your kiddo(s), even when you are away. All you have to do is setup a VPN on your home network’s router! Most, if not all, smartphones have VPN capability, so now you have the best reason of all to use it: something to take away that nagging feeling of whether or not your baby’s OK without having to call the sitter 500 times on your date night.

P.S. Feel free to post your questions comments or concerns.  If enough people show interest I will do a how-to.

Be Good,

The ClarkNova

Cooking With Clark: One Ingredient Ice Cream


Trying to keep Cookiebear cool at 41 weeks pregnant is a task! I think our heard our AC crying last night… then I remembered I saw a recipe on Reddit last week for 1 ingredient ice cream. Ready?

The 1 ingredient…

Peeled bananas (I used 5) cut into 1 inch slices

Directions:

Freeze sliced bananas 1-2 hours in a pie pan. Once frozen solid, put the slices into food processor and blend away. The frozen bananas will eventually become “crumbly” and start sticking to the sides of the food processor. Scrape from sides back into the center of the food processor and keep blending. The fats in the banana will start to work their magic then voila…

Tips:

  • Use ripe bananas for a sweeter ice cream.
  • You can add peanut butter, chocolate chips or maybe honey to it while blending. Be creative.
  • Immediately after blending, the texture will be much like soft-serve, refreeze to get the texture of regular ice cream.
  • Yes, it tastes like bananas.

My bananas are freezing right now. I will update this post once consumed and let you guys know if its worth your time and effort (what little effort there is… come on, its one ingredient.)

Update 1: The bananas are taking a bit longer to freeze than the suggested 1-2 hours.I’ve had mine in the freezer for 3 hours  now and they are almost solid. I think that if I were to blend them right now, not being completely frozen, I’d wind up with mush. 1 more hour should do it. I think cutting them a bit thinner next time will speed this process up. Maybe 1/2 inch pieces. Just another test of patience.

Update 2: Success! After waiting another hour or so in the freezer the bananas were frozen solid. Perfect! I threw them into the blender and started blending. I had to scrape the sides about 3 or four times then something magical occurred. The chopped up bananas turned into what can only be described as soft serve banana ice cream heaven. It came out exactly like the picture! Try this guys. You WILL NOT be disappointed.

Be Good,

The ClarkNova

The Modern Dadding Method: Online Baby Scrapbooking (just keep reading…)


     We recently got a baby book as a gift from my grandparents, and so, of course, my wife started filling it out immediately. However, like any normal parent, I wanted to contribute somehow (in my own way) in the documentation of all the amazing shit I know my kid will do.

     Here is  one of the better ideas I came across across for the modern dad: an online baby scrapbook (unfortunately, I cannot seem to find the original article). Creating your own online baby book is as simple as setting up an email address/social networking profile/blog for your new kiddo as soon as you find out you are expecting. Once you have done this, you can send email and updates to your baby with pictures and videos attached and, as long as you are regular with your emails, the scrapbook will be chronological. Every time the kid does something awesome, just email the awesomeness to your online baby scrapbook, trapping it within the internets, so that it may not escape. It’s a great way to keep all those memories from getting lost or destroyed. Putting it all online also keeps you from having to buy multiple books since many only go up to a year, some go to 5 years, etc. This way, you have one spot to keep everything. The best part: you don’t have to color-coordinate anything or add bedazzles!  If you really wanted to, you could have a book printed through sites like shutterfly, snapfish, or lulu of all the letters and pictures you have emailed your bébé over the years.  Better living through technology. Onward Ho!

Interesting info. according to this study:

  • The average age at which a child acquires an online presence courtesy of their parents is at six months, and by the time they are two 81% of children have some kind of ‘digital footprint’.
  • A third (33%) of children have had images posted online from birth
  • A quarter (23%) of children have even had their pre-birth scans uploaded to the Internet by their parents
  • Seven per cent (7%) of babies have even had an email address created for them by their parents
  • More than 70% of mothers said they posted baby and toddler images online to share with friends and family
With that said, just be mindful of your kiddos privacy. Take the path of least resentment and keep the naked baby pics to yourself.

Be Good,

The ClarkNova

Don’t Be Such A Cry Baby!


Teething baby: first sign of the lower right i...
Image via Wikipedia

Babies cry. It is an ear piercing, spine chilling, make your blood run cold, noise that sounds like a demon howling from the void. That’s just what they do. They can’t help how they feel. However, you can! I’m gonna give you a list of the most obvious reasons below, and hopefully a solution on how you can shut the kid up. You know, before you go postal and start shaking all the babies!

  • Hunger – Feed your freaking baby. They eat a shit ton. That is a tenth of a metric fuck ton (Every 2 – 3 hours when newborn). If they aren’t getting full, add cereal to their milk/formula. My mom did it. No allergies if that’s what you were worried about.  People have suggested adding only half a tablespoon to keep it low.
  • A dirty diaper – Having to sit in your own shit is definitely reason to cry. You will be changing diapers every 2 -3 hours when newborn. Get used to it. For some reason I can’t smell fresh papaya any more without my stomach retching.
  • Needs sleep – Babies sleep a lot. Well, hopefully yours does, and if it doesn’t then try what has worked for other people. Most, if not all, kids will fall asleep quickly when riding around in a car. There is another way. Put them in their car seat and (with constant supervision) set the car seat on top of your dryer or washer. Turn it on. It works.
  • Wants to be held – Do what it says. That child will grow up to resent you if you don’t. Seriously this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Gas, colic, and more! – This is just a fucking nightmare all in itself. It seems like
    everything your kid eats somehow gets turned into pure pain. This truly sucks. After battling this for a day or two you will want to pull your face off. There are drops that help, but they seem to never be around when your child is being racked with what appears to be excruciating bowel pain.  Word to the wise: keep a few bottles on hand.
  • Needs to burp – Shit. I feel you! When I’m drinking and I can’t burp it DOES NOT make for a happy dad. Firm pats across the back usually do the trick for both dad and baby.
  • Too cold or too hot – If it’s not your SO, it’s your kid. Learn how to layer. Same goes for the kid – make them comfortable. 1 extra layer of clothing more than what you would need is sufficient warmth for your baby.
  • Something small – Anything thing can screw with your baby. It’s a crazy world out there and they are just trying to take it all in. Don’t be a dick about it. Again, try to make them more comfortable. Imagine tripping on the best acid imaginable with all five of your senses literally overloaded. Yeah, that’s your baby. Well not really, but it’s how I imagine it. Just be cool.
  • Teething– Jesus Christ!!! Little pieces of bone growing through the soft tissue in your mouth. No, wait. Let me fix that: Rather large, razor-sharp pieces of bone-like substance cutting through the soft sensitive tissue in your mouth. Not for the weak. Cold things to chew on, those (delicious) teething biscuits/cookies and Orajel will be your only hope. Be careful with the Orajel, some babies have had severe reactions to it.
    Looks like hes going to have a bad trip...
  • Wants less stimulation – Back to the acid analogy. The kid is obviously trying to take it all in and process everything. It’s just that this is their “first trip” so to speak, and you guys need to realize that. Put the clown mask away and give the kid a break.
  • Wants more stimulation – Play with your kids. They just might literally be bored to tears! Give them something to do or do something with them. Just make sure you don’t shake them!
  • Not feeling well – Who hasn’t felt like shit? Crying is the only way a baby can say “I feel like dog shit today”.  This is what you have to deal with. Don’t fuck around; go see a doctor, or at least talk to the first person that will answer at two in the morning.
So, PLENTY of alternatives to shaking babies, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, who wants to shake a happy baby, right?

Be good,

The ClarkNova

Never EVER Shake A Baby…


They prefer to be stirred. All kidding aside, this apparently was (these commercials are old, as if it wasn’t fucking obvious) enough of an issue that some organization decided to make a commercial to inform us not to shake our babies! Seriously, people. The ones out there shaking babies know it’s wrong, especially if the kid has been shaken hard enough to be hurt or killed! These ads were created with good intentions, but I believe they missed their mark. Just a note of caution! IF you do shake your baby, take care, because they can explode all over you when you least expect it, ruining a perfectly good pair of shoes and making a mess in general.