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The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide is coming...

I sincerely hope you enjoyed my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide here on The Rock Father! Believe it or not, preparations for the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide are already underway. Do you represent something that my readers should know about? Click here for details on how to submit your item for possible inclusion, today!

THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Preview & Discussion - NOVA: VACCINES -- CALLING THE SHOTS #vaccinesNOVA

PBSTonight (Sept 10) at 9pm/8c on PBS, NOVA: VACCINES—CALLING THE SHOTS will air, an important documentary that focuses on one of the hot topics facing parents today: to vaccinate or not? My wife and I are 100% in favor of keeping our girls up-to-date on their vaccinations, though we have spread out some of them over a few visits due to the sheer amount needed. As a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), I was given an advance look at the new NOVA documentary, and my stance is unchanged, but perhaps even more solidified. Parents - especially new parents - need to be informed, and in the modern era - years after mumps, whooping cough, measles and other infectious diseases have been eradicated, it's alarming to see them starting to make a return. Check out a preview of this new film below...

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Introducing goumikids! Learn their Story, and Enter for a Chance to Win a Newborn Starter Kit!

I'm always intrigued by, and in some cases bummed that a lot of the new baby products weren't around when I could actually use them for my own girls. Even in the jumps between the release of our first daughter in 2009 and the sequel in 2012, there was so much cool stuff that didn't exist just three years prior, and here I sit with my youngest now two, and it's really set-in that my days of having a "baby" in my life are over. But, for those of you that are just entering your parenting adventure (or perhaps starting a new chapter in it), goumikids is a new player on the scene - a Portland-based company founded by two Moms (Lili Yeo and Linsey Ebuen), longtime friends on a mission to improve the lives of not only those around them - but Global residents as well.

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Watch: Dove Men+Care returns for #RockFathersDay with more #RealDadMoments

With Rock Father's Day less than a week away, there's quite a few companies that are showing respect for Dads and the changing face of Fatherhood... some of which you've even seen featured here on THE ROCK FATHER. While the efforts of all are appreciated, Father's Day wouldn't be complete without an appearance by one company that has been championing Dads from the start, featuring #RealDadMoments each and every day, 365 days a year, spreading smiles through their social networks and helping to show Dads in a positive light. Just this morning, my friends at Dove Men+Care have issued a new video - one that even features a few guys I know - and it's a video you should definitely watch. Take a look...

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Safe Baby Wearing: Facing in or Facing Out? #FreedomTogether

When people find out that I'm an at-home Dad, there's often an image that comes to mind that is not quite accurate, and is largely fueled by the "TV depiction" of stay-at-home and work-at-home Dads: A group of four or five guys standing around a park with outward-facing babies dangling from their chests. If this happens anywhere, I have not witnessed it, nor been a part of such a gathering in the past 4+ years of my career as a parent. When I have seen babies worn by other parents (and sometimes myself), the big question has always been "which way is the right way - inward or outward." It's been the subject of vigorous debate among parents, but the folks at Boba Family just might have the answer, and that answer is inward.

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VOLBEAT Gets Lullabied! Baby-Friendly Collection Hits the Streets...

VOLBEAT is one of those bands that has an interesting level of crossover appeal among rock and metal fans. You always run across people you wouldn't expect to dig 'em, yet they're all over 'em. Then again, I've run across several people that I figured would love some VOLBEAT, and they absolutely can't stand 'em. Me? I'm in the middle and find them to be overrated and overplayed around these parts (particularly their latest album), but I really like 2010's BEYOND HELL/ABOVE HEAVEN. If you dig 'em and want to introduce your baby to their music, the folks at Roma Music Group have a new collection out this week to help you do just that. Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star: LULLABY VERSIONS OF VOLBEAT hit iTunes today. Check out "Lola Montez" below, along with the full tracklisting and cover art.

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Premiere: "Perfect Day" from LULLABY VERSIONS OF LOU REED and THE VELVET UNDERGROUND

The death of LOU REED saddened many earlier this Fall, with countless artists paying tribute immediately. As my social feeds lit up, one thing constantly mentioned was how future generations would one day discover Reed's music, and that of his time with THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. In that spirit, the folks at Roma Music Group have announced that they will bring to a close an extremely busy year with the release of LULLABY VERSIONS OF LOU REED and THE VELVET UNDERGROUND on December 17th as part of their popular TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE ROCK STAR line of baby-friendly jams. A dozen songs from Reed's discography have been reworked into lush instrumentals, perfect for your smallest listener and their nursery. Pre-orders just went live on iTunes tonight, and I've got the premiere of "Perfect Day" below. Take a listen...

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Lullaby Versions of Disney Classics on the way from Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star...

After dipping their toes into the Disney waters with the release of LULLABY VERSIONS OF THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS back in October, the crew over at Roma Music Group is gearing up to release Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star: LULLABY VERSIONS OF DISNEY CLASSICS on December 10th. This new collection features 18 songs made famous in movies like TOY STORY, THE LITTLE MERMAID, SNOW WHITE, CINDERELLA, and more. While the original songs were certainly kid-friendly from the get-go, these lullaby versions present them as mellow instrumentals perfect for your baby's nursery. Pre-orders are up on iTunes right now, with "When You Wish Upon a Star" as an instant download. Preview that track, and check out the tracklisting below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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When I First Found Out that I'd Be a Dad... and Some Thoughts on Cord Blood Banking...

This post is brought to you by Babycenter and CBRIt was five years ago yesterday that I found out that I would soon become a parent for the very first time. My wife and I were in the car, driving down I-94 outside of Chicago on the way to her Dad's house for Thanksgiving dinner when she turned to me and stated boldly: "You knocked me up." I distinctly remember grinning ear-to-ear, and beginning our first real conversation about our new reality: we were about to be parents. The following summer, on the exact date of our 10th wedding anniversary, Addie was born and I would effectively become "The Rock Father." The build-up to that day was filled with planning... uncertainty... and questions. I didn't know then that parent blogging was a thing, and the manuals? Well, there are none as far as I'm concerned.

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PROJECT WILD THING: This looks like a movie that all parents need to see...

With running this website, being extremely active on social networks, and making a large part of my living from "new media" over course of the past decade, it often surprises people when they learn that I'm not big on tech for kids. Yes, I share news on the latest Apps and App-enabled toys, but I do that for the majority - the folks that are into that sort of thing, a large portion of my friends and readers. While I won't rule it out for the future, I do not own an iPad, nor do I own a tablet of any kind. While my little ones do, on rare occasion, get to check out an App or video on one of our Windows Phones, I'm not into giving them a "device" or "screen" to occupy their time, and would prefer them to embrace imaginative play, spending time outside whenever they can. I've spoken a bit about this before, and now comes a movie that hits me right in the sweet spot: PROJECT WILD THING. It's a British film created by a Dad - a film that encourages families to swap some "screen time" for some "wild time" - time spent outdoors. Watch the trailer and learn more below...

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You Want It All But You Can't Have It (Actually, You Can)

Note: An earlier version of this post was previously published as a guest blog for gDiapers as part of their "It Takes Guts" Father's Day promotion back in June.

When I became a Father for the first time back in 2009 (on our 10th Wedding Anniversary!), I entered into the job without much by way of expectation. I was excited to be a Dad, but there wasn’t any real or definitive outlook for how the experience would actually be. I didn’t enter into Fatherhood with the “fear” that some seem to put forth, nor did I have any grand plans for how those first days would be. Sure, there was preparation (and a lot of nesting), but I steered clear of the parenting books, and somehow managed to miss the fact that “Parent Blogging” was even a thing.

What I’m saying, is that my wife and I entered into parenthood by winging it. Actually, she was probably better-prepared than I.

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