Posts Tagged With: comfort

A Man’s Bag

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When we went shopping for a diaper bag I was totally out of my element. My wife understands this realm of existence better than I do, so I deferred to her decision. We bought a black Fisher Price bag that literally fit anything we needed for the baby. The bag was roomy, but not well built so after 7 months of use it started to fall apart. Also the shoulder strap was not very comfortable which is a big deal.

We were on the lookout for a new bag and this time I had some say on the matter since I had been carrying it for months. I wanted something less gigantic, but with space in it. My wife and I went to a weecycle event that had consignment baby clothes. We found the baby bag section and began to search. I found one that was a little more rugged and my wife found one that was new, but kind of girly. We went back and forth for a few minutes and finally we picked the black Kenneth Cole bag with double loops (like a purse) and no shoulder strap. When I say, “we picked” I mean I unconditionally surrendered and my wife had her way.

After just a few days of having the bag I hated it. I couldn’t carry it. The double loops made it look like a purse and I was not going to carry it like one. So I would basically grab the double loops together and carry the bag in that awkward way a husband carries his wife’s purse. It sucked.

After almost a year of carrying this stupid bag I decided that I couldn’t be the only guy who hates his wife’s choice of diaper bag and so I Googled, “manly diaper bags”. There were lots of different companies that had options but I finally settled with DiaperDude. There were several types and all were manly looking—no purse loops. I got their black bag with the three-zipper pocket front. The bag is awesome. The front three pockets are great for wipes, diapers and snacks. The bag, I believe is made for an outing with baby that could last a few hours. I don’t think it’s the type of bag you could carry everything you need for a full 8+hour outing. However, if you are going out for a few hours and require a bottle, some diapers, wipes and a change of clothes this bag will work for you.

One of the great things about this company is that they have multiple styles of bags and they come in very cool, guy friendly colors and patterns (like cammo). If you have a favorite sport team and want their logo on it you can get a bag with it. At the end of the day there are two things I need from a diaper bag: functionality and that it not look like a purse. Diaper Dude delivered.

The one thing I did not like about the Diaper Dude bag was the price. On their website they are asking $60. I think $40 is more reasonable. This is just my opinion. I tend to be very frugal so take that with a grain of salt. I went on Ebay and found a lightly used black bag with the three-zipper front for $20, which was a great deal.

I have been using the bag for about a month now and I have no complaints. It is supper comfortable, easy to access while wearing it (very important) and most importantly—it doesn’t look like a purse.

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Categories: comfort, diaper bag, diapers, fatherhood, traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nursery Chair

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I was talking to some friends who are getting ready to have their baby about what type of chair they should have in their nursery. To most people this sounds like a ridiculous thing to think about but the type of chair you have in the nursery is pretty important. You’ll be doing lots of sitting and sleeping on it.

Before we had our daughter we were recommended a glider chair with the accompanying gliding ottoman. We tried them but they were not very comfortable and most of them were really expensive. The gliders had these cushion seats that although some were well made, it really didn’t do the job as far as comfort goes. They were not thick enough, or the cushion would come off too easy. No one ever sits straight in a chair so slouching on a glider was pretty rough on the back.

Next we turned to the old school wooden rocker. The nostalgic image of seeing someone rock on those is heartwarming but not comfortable. Although Cracker Barrel does a good job of trying to get people to buy them they really are not ideal for late night feedings and baby/parent naps. Still some people do it.

Finally we decided one day to go to a furniture store and see what they had to offer. We figured there might be a broader selection to chose from. There was more of the same there, but then we saw it. The recliner. My wife and I looked at each other as the scales fell from our eyes.

Screw the glider. We want a recliner!

We instantly knew that a recliner chair was the way to go. It was half the price of a glider and a million times more comfortable. My wife loved it and it was pretty roomie. The upside too was that once the kid outgrows being held on the chair daddy could move the recliner to his man cave. Everyone wins.

We have had our chocolate color recliner for over two years and it is great. We have slept in it with kid in arms. When they are new born it’s perfect because your arms are raised on the armrest and it creates this little area for them to sleep in. If they somehow moved they would bump onto your arms and still be safe. As our daughter grows the recliners size allows for us to still sit in it with her and be comfortable. The cushioning is great and I have never felt wood against my back, or the need to reposition because the cushion moved. Our recliner also rocks back and forth which is pretty awesome since that’s one of the selling points of most baby gliders. I think most importantly the recliner reclines. There is nothing nicer than pulling that lever and instantly having your feet raised and your back dropped to a semi-horizontal position. It is the epitome of relaxation.

Another thing we love about the recliner is the fact that it’s cushioned enough that when your two year old bounces onto the arm rest it doesn’t bust her nose up. If a kid did that on a glider or rocker that’s pure hickory on the snout and a potential trip to the ER. Claire has jumped from her toddler rocking chair (I know it’s ironic) onto the recliner and has been caught by cushion every time.

So those are my thoughts on a nursery chair. Ultimately you need to decide for yourself, but let’s face it a glider in your man cave is gonna be weird. Just saying.

Categories: Baby furniture, comfort, fatherhood, home and family, Nursery, recliners | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Old Days

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There are moments like today where I miss the calm, ordered, predictable life I once had. I had an apartment that was clean. Everything was placed in a particular way that made logical sense. I got up at a certain time. Went to sleep at a certain time. All was calm, ordered and clean.

Life is not like this anymore and there are moments where I miss the old days.

I miss it because it was easy. When you are alone you can set your own pace. Do what you want and have no one disrupt that. It’s nice because it’s predictable, constant and oh, so comfortable.

Life is anything but predictable, constant and comfortable with a family. Everyday has something in it that you were not expecting that frustrates you, changes your plans, leaves a mess, etc. I currently stand in the mist of toy shrapnel in my living room. It looks like Fisher Price sent bombers and toys blew up everywhere. There are socks (none matching) all over the place. Food is smeared on the baby chair and dinning room table. My wife’s school books are sprawled out on the kitchen table, her own socks lie before the grown and there are at least 2 cups of water lying around in precarious places. Dishes peek over the sink and there is a particularly yellow stain on the kitchen counter that I think just winked at me.

Not predictable…not constant…not comfortable and certainly not clean…

Seven years ago I left the Catholic seminary. I was studying to be a Catholic priest; something I had felt a calling in my heart for a long time. After a few years in the seminary I was hooked and thought this was where I belonged. It was predictable, constant and comfortable. I felt like this was where I was supposed to be. Yet, God had other plans. During my second year I began to get a sense from God that this was a pit stop and not my final destination. I was not comfortable with that. I liked seminary and what it was. Needless to say I left the seminary. Not because I didn’t like it, or had a bad experience or any of the sorts. God had made it clear, that for me, this was too easy. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Being a seminarian and eventually becoming a priest is not easy. Priests have very demanding and difficult lives. Ask to shadow your local priest and you’ll see how not easy it is. However for me, and the way I am wired it was going to be too easy.

This may seem confusing to people. Why not do what feels predictable, constant and comfortable? I thought the same thing until I got married. Pope Benedict 16 has a quote that I love, “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” In my life that which is comfortable and easy never helps me to grow. Sure, it’s predictable, constant and comfortable—all things I love. However, these things only help me to live a life that is comfortable and not great. Comfort in this sense is not the comfort one looks for in their couch after a long day of work. Comfort here refers to someone seeking to do that, which is less arduous, and doesn’t demand as much. Comfort in this sense is a lack of living to our full potential—half-assing if you will.

You and me are made for greatness, but a lot of the time we settle for comfort. It’s predictable and constant. But to be who we are meant to be requires effort, pain, sweat and tears—none of which are comfortable.

I stand before a room that is messy; a life that is no longer done “my way”; a life that demands that others be first and myself to be last. There are moments like this one where I miss the old days. Yet, I know that this new life is turning me into the man I am called to be. The lack of predictability, constancy and comfort makes me a better man, a better father, a better husband and a better person all around. It’s like going to the gym and working out. If I only lift weight that my body is comfortable with I will never breakdown the muscle fibbers that will in turn rebuild stronger and bigger muscles, which will make me a stronger and bigger person.

There are moments when I reminisce on the old days, but these new days are better. I have a loving wife and daughter that make life so much better. We can all look to the old days and say they were good. There was a lot of good stuff there that made life predictable, constant and comfortable, “but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”

Categories: best self, complacency, dying to self, fatherhood, fathers, home and family, manhood, Parenting, surrendering, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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