New Career Adventures

A week from tomorrow, I will begin a new path in my career with my current company.  I will still be in management, but I will be going through an 18 month program, which will give me all of the tools I need to be a shop supervisor for the truck leasing company that I work for.  I am currently managing a rental department for the same company.  My wife and I talked about this new position, and I thought about it long and hard before I decided to apply.  It has it’s benefits, but also has some downfalls.  For me, the benefits outweigh the downfalls enough to make it worth it.  There will be some sacrifices, and I may have a longer commute once I get placed as a shop supervisor after the program is over.  I am also losing a company car (not a big deal, as the fuel mileage in that car was ridiculously horrible, and I had to pay for gas).  Along with that, during the training program, I have to go where ever they decide to place me within the area.  This means I could be commuting as far as 85 miles each way, but again, the positives outweigh the negatives here.  The pay for the duration of the training program is around 28% more than I am currently making.  On top of that, one of my biggest hurdles at my current job is our requirement to do cold calls and sales calls.  I’m not a salesman.  Never have been, never will be.  I can do all the operational aspects of my job pretty easily, but sales have never come easy to me.  With this new job, sales is out of the question.  Once the training program is over, my salary bumps up to roughly 65% more than I am currently making in my job.  For those of you doing any kind of math, you realize that a 65% increase in pay is a significant jump.

 

As I sit and reflect on the move that I am about to make, I realize a couple of things. Firstly, I am blessed to work for a great company who does things right, and promotes from within the organization.  Secondly, this new job is going to be a struggle as it might mean working graveyard shifts and weekends, but the increase in pay should make it worth it for the most part.  I am excited for this new venture to begin, and can’t wait to see what new things I learn, and what new challenges this position will offer!

 

Until Next Time,

Scott

Happy Birthday Paige Marie!

 

Paige, the day she was born.

Paige, the day she was born.

 

As I sit here, waiting for my coffee to brew, in the quiet of my house, where my wonderful wife, and my now 2 year old daughter are sleeping down stairs, I wonder where the time has gone.  2 years ago today, our daughter,  Paige Marie,  was born.  I remember when she was born, my mom said to me, ” Just wait, you’ll see how fast they grow up.”  I still didn’t believe her, and she’d told me numerous times that kids growing up happens in the blink of an eye.  Well, she was right.  I can’t believe it’s already been 2 years since Paige was born, but it’s been the best 2 years of my life!  Watching her grow, learn, develop, play, and be just plain crazy has been a blessing beyond measure.

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We’ve done a lot together as a family, even though it feels like I’m constantly away working.  

Paige, thank you for being the incredible blessing that you are, and know that Mom and Dad both love you more than you can ever imagine!

 

Happy 2nd Birthday beautiful girl!!

 

 

Maestro’s Classic Beard Care Products

As a dad with a beard, I’ve been constantly looking for quality beard care products.  Well, one day, I was surfing Instagram and Facebook, and ran across Maestro’s Classic Beard Care Products.  After doing some research on them, I knew I wanted some.  They offer three different blends of Beard Wash and Beard Butter; “Modest Blend”, “Spirited Blend”, and “Mark of a Man Blend”.  The “Modest Blend” is formulated to be fragrance free, the “Spirited Blend” has a blend of Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Juniper Berry, and the “Mark of a Man Blend” has a blend of Grapefruit, Black Pepper, and Bergamot.  Each blend comes in either a small or regular sized order.

 

I opted to acquire the small “Mark of a Man” blend set, and one of their cool wooden combs.

 

 

 

I got the product just 4 short days ago, but I have used it every morning since I got it, and I felt like that gave me a good base for a review of the products received.  When I first opened up the beard wash and beard butter, I was impressed with the aroma the products put out.  It really did smell pretty MANLY!  The first thing I noticed after using the beard wash was that my beard hairs did not feel nearly as coarse as they normally did.  I then applied beard butter, and noticed immediately that all my longer and stray beard hairs stayed neatly groomed to my face, and the products made my beard smell GREAT!  

 

The awesome wooden comb is on a completely different level in terms of beard combs.  It’s a solid chunk of pearwood, and works flawelessly.

Bottom line, I am pretty sure I’ve found my new beard care go to products.  Not only is the company top notch in customer service (They answered any questions I had very quickly), they also ship fast, and the product is awesome!  I highly recommend you check out Maestro’s Classic beard products!  I’ve included links to their website, facebook page and instagram below:

 

Website:

http://www.maestrosclassic.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/maestrosclassic

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/maestrosclassic

 

Until next time,

Scott

 

It’s catch up time…

Ok, so I know it’s been WAY too long since I’ve written a blog here.  There have been A LOT of changes and craziness in our lives, but it’s all been good change, so I can’t complain.  Paige is almost 2 (8 more days to go, as of this writing).  I can’t believe how fast she is growing up.  Here are a couple of pictures, one a day or two after she was born, and the other is one I took just the other day… It’s AMAZING how fast these kids grow up.  My parents always said that my brother and I grew up so fast, and I never believed it, until I had a child of my own..

 

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On top of watching my baby daughter grow up, at what seems like the speed of light, I’m also in the process of changing career paths.  I’m still working with the same company, just a different side of the company, in maintenance, instead of the rental department.  It took a lot of talking and deep thought before I decided to apply for this position.  It meant a significant increase in pay, but it also meant I lose a company car, and I had to go buy a new commuter vehicle.  Once I found out that I had gotten the position, I started my hunt for a new commuter vehicle, and settled on a 2014 Hyundai Accent SE with a 6 speed manual transmission.  I have not yet started my new position, as they are working on finding my replacement before I can move on, but at least I will be ready once I have to give up my company car:

 

 

 

 

I’ve only put about 900 miles on the car since I bought it, but I am loving every minute of it so far, and the great fuel mileage doesn’t hurt either!  This new position also means I may end up working graveyard shifts, and may have a long commute depending on where I end up being placed, but the increase in pay was significant enough that it made it worth it to apply and interview for the position.  I am excited to get started in my new position, which should happen sometime in the next couple of weeks.

On another note, my wonderful wife has jumped into the art of weaving hand woven wraps for baby wearing.   She is AMAZING at what she does, and is working on getting everything completed to start up a business, making and selling hand woven wraps.  Please check out her store at http://www.mountaingirlwovens.com and her facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mountaingirlhw.  

All in all, there have been a lot of good changes around the Bearded Dad household, but so far, they’ve all been good!  I’ll do my best to keep up on this blog from now on!

 

Thanks for reading!

Scott

 

 

Whatever it Takes.

I’ll tell you right now, you’ll either love this post, or you’ll hate it.  It’s been on my mind a lot lately, so I felt I should put something down.  As with most red-blooded males in this country, my family is my life.  I cherish every moment I get to be with them, and in my case, I will do whatever it takes to protect them as well as my property, should it be in jeopardy at any point.  I guess it should also be known that I am a conservative white male, who believes it is an American RIGHT to keep and bear arms.  Now, that being said, I do believe that keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons is necessary for a variety of reasons.  I DO NOT believe, however, that banning “Assault Rifles” is necessary, nor is creating a “Gun Free Zone” around schools/parks/government buildings.  My view is this, if you are proven to be a responsible American citizen who just so happens to enjoy heading out to the local gun range, or somewhere on your private property to shoot things, and you like to do it quickly, I don’t see why you should be banned from owning whatever firearm you choose.

The latest trend I’m seeing on the news is the creation of “Gun Free Zones”.  These zones are put in place at schools and parks, and I’m sure if it’s not done already, soon it will be government buildings.  This seems utterly pointless to me.  Do you really think a criminal with the intent of walking into a school to harm some people is going to see this sign that says “Gun Free Zone”, and think to himself “Gee, it’s a gun free zone here, I better just turn around and go home.”?  If you believe that’s how it will play out, I also have some ocean front property in Arizona I’d like to sell you.  In my opinion, all a “Gun Free Zone” is going to do, is make it impossible for a school guard, or teacher or principle to defend themselves and their students, all the while, the criminal or shooter will just walk in and start shooting, with no fear of repercussion.
I strongly believe in the 2nd Amendment, and I will defend our right’s as citizens to keep it.  I personally own two firearms.  I own a 12 gauge shotgun, and a 9mm pistol.  I keep them both locked up, and I practice safety first.  As a big supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I am constantly reading up on news surrounding guns.  With the last shooting that happened at LAX International Airport, I can tell you, it’s only a matter of time before the government tries more gun grabbing techniques.  Here is the part of this that makes no sense to me.  If someone gets killed by a drunk driver, the driver is the one that gets blamed, not the car.  If someone is obese, it’s usually their eating habits to blame, not the utensils that they used to eat with.  So, given that logic, when a shooting happens, why do we so quickly place the blame on guns, and try to take those away from the people that use them sensibly, when it’s the SHOOTER that caused the problem, and IS the problem?  Making it increasingly more difficult to legally purchase a gun, is NOT going to stop these shootings.  Do you think the shooters that committed these heinous crimes legally owned the guns that they used to carry out these shootings?  Do a little research, and you’ll see that in most, if not all, cases, the guns were not legally owned by the shooters carrying out the acts of violence.

Part of being a legal gun owner, and in my opinion, a 2nd Amendment supporter, is to be a responsible gun owner, with safety at the forefront of gun ownership.  Like I mentioned, there are multiple guns in my household, but each one is locked up, and out of reach of my child, and the ammunition is kept separate from the guns, with the guns unloaded.  Guns are a huge responsibility, but I will continually defend our right to have them.

If you get nothing out of this blog post, walk away with this.  Guns are a great tool for protecting your family, as well as lots of fun at the local range, and when used properly, are incredibly valuable to have at your side.  This next statement may cause me to lose some followers (not that I have many to begin with).  I am such a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and the right to defend, if you come onto my property, and try to disarm me, you’ll be taking my guns out of my cold dead hands.

 

Molon Labe.

Baby Wearing World Record 2013

My wife and I haven’t been parents long, and we may not know what all the correct choices are, or what’s best for our child all the time, but we do know one thing.  Baby Wearing has been immensely helpful to both us and our daughter, and has caused our bond as parent and child to be stronger.  Not only is baby wearing convenient when out and about or running errands, it’s a lot less cumbersome than hauling around a stroller and all the necessary equipment for transporting a baby when you’re out and about.  Another added benefit to baby wearing is that your arms don’t get tired, like they would if you were holding your child in your arms, and you have both arms free to use for whatever else you may need to carry.

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We had originally looked at attending MommyCon in Los Angeles, just because it looked like it would be a cool event where we could learn a lot about parenting, but unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for us to pay to go.  While researching MommyCon and seeing what it was all about, we came across the Baby Wearing World Record event that was set to take place just before MommyCon, and best of all, it was FREE to register.  So of course, we jumped on that chance, and registered.  We just kept thinking about how cool it would be to be a part of the largest, record breaking group of baby wearers.  Shortly after we registered, my wife was talking to her friend Amanda, fellow mom, and baby wearer, as well as the writer of the awesome Mommy Mandy blog.  Amanda mentioned that she had been talking to Lillebaby carriers about being on “Team Lillebaby” for the event, and she pulled some strings for us, and got us in touch with the crew from Lillebaby so we could get setup to be on their team.  So, Thanks Amanda for the awesome opportunity.  If you’d like to take a look at my thoughts on the Lillebaby Complete Carrier, check it out here!

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With all of that being said, let’s talk a little bit about the Baby Wearing World Record.  With our Lillebaby Complete Carrier in hand, my wife and I drove from our house to the Los Angeles Convention Center, which was about a 2 hour drive.  Once we got there, and figured out where to park, we went and got in line for registration of the baby wearing world record.  My wife had originally registered both her and me for this event, but when we got up there, they said that since we only have 1 child, that only 1 parent would be able to participate.  Since Paige can’t seem to be away from mom for more than a minute at a time, we decided that she would take part in the event, and I would stay in the observation area and take pictures.  As we got there, the first thing we did was find where the crew from Lillebaby Carriers was hanging out, and checked in with them.  We were handed a goody bag from Lillebaby with all sorts of fun stuff in it.  After that, we wandered over to a table with poster board and markers, and ran into Emily Knight from Our Knight LIfe, a fellow blogger who was instrumental in putting together Team Lillebaby.  Thank you Emily for helping with this event, and putting the team together!   We hung out for a good hour or so, before the festivities began.  We spent the majority of the time running around chasing Paige up and down the stage stairs.  Then, just before the event, the organizers of the event got on stage, gave away some swag.  The founders of both Beco baby carriers, and Ergo baby carriers stepped up to the stage to say a few words.

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The time came for the world record to start.  There must have been over 1000 families with babies there participating.  I don’t have an exact number yet on the amount of people that participated, but I’m pretty certain, if there was a record for baby wearing, we smashed it out of the park at this event!  All of the participants got together, and walked down a hallway, and through the convention hall where Mommycon was being held.  All in all, the baby wearing world record was successful, and it got a lot of like minded parents together for a great cause.  I can’t wait to hear what the final numbers were for the event, and hopefully they do it again next year to try and break the record once again!

 

EDIT:  Just minutes after I published this blog post, I found out from fellow blogger MommyMandy, we had a total of 1003 baby wearers at the event!!!!!!!!  Way to go!

 

 

Lillebaby COMPLETE Original Baby Carrier

logo-lillebaby

Anyone that reads this blog, or knows me, knows that the wife and I have a serious collection of woven wraps, and ssc’s (soft structured carriers); which are, of course, baby carriers!  I have found that woven wraps and ssc’s are both handy to have around.  The wife and I currently own a couple other ssc’s, and now, thanks to being on team Lillebaby with my wife for the Babywearing World Record, we own a Lillebaby Warm Orange Complete Original Baby Carrier.

Since my wife and I are on Team Lillebaby for the Babywearing World Record, I figured I would share some of my thoughts on this carrier, so here we go!

First impression:  

First thing I noticed with this carrier was that it was packaged immaculately, in a nice box with a carrying handle.  It came complete with great instructions, along with directions on how to use the carrier in different positions.  The color we got was a nice soft/burnt orange color, with a cream colored interior.  The quality of this carrier is excellent, and it looks like it’s going to be a great carrier that is fairly simple to use.

In Use:

The carrier was delivered to us just in time to head to Disneyland for a day of walking and babywearing, and I figured, what better way to test out the carrier than to go to the happiest place on earth and walk around all day?  For some reason, we had to park in the Simba parking lot, and walk all the way through Downtown Disney, just to get into the park, so we got in our fair share of testing before we even got to the gates!

Since I was the one taking the pictures to put up on the blog for review, and my daughter can’t seem to be more than five steps away from her mom for any length of time, my beautiful wife was the one doing most of the testing for the day.  I was asking her how she felt about this carrier, and how it compared to the other ssc’s that we currently have.  She seemed to find it to be just as comfy and easy to use as either of them, and she seemed to have no problems when our daughter wanted “milkies” (my wife breastfeeds, so I’ll leave it up to you to decipher what “milkies” means). She also used it for both front and back carries, and found it to be really comfortable in either position. (The Lillebaby also has the option to be converted into a narrow based, front facing carrier; but this position usually isn’t as ergonomically correct/comfortable for larger babies like our daughter, so we skipped it.) The wife would have loved to try the hip carry, but in all the excitement of the day, we simply ran out of time!

One neat feature the Lillebaby has that our other ssc’s lack is the adjustable neck support. If you have ever had a toddler with a floppy head fall asleep on your back, you know how handy this is. It can be snapped down to the body of the carrier when not needed, and then flipped up and snapped to the strap.  Really neat!

Our daughter spent A LOT of time in the carrier today, as we got there at about 8:30 a.m. and left at about 3:45 p.m.  She seemed to find it comfortable, and did not complain about it, as I’ve seen her do with other carriers.  I have personally tested it with our daughter on a few walks around the neighborhood, and I found it to be very easy to use, and very comfortable. My wife’s one request was a pocket, but she carts too much junk around anyway!

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Overall Impression:  

Overall, I have found that the Lillebaby Complete Original Baby Carrier would be a great addition to any wrap or carrier stash.  Given the price point and the comfort level, I think it’s a carrier that everyone should have around.  They come in a wide variety of colors and are very easy to roll into a compact, easy to tote package when not in use.  If you’re looking for an easy to use carrier, that’s comfortable, and has a nice price point, Lillebaby’s Complete Original Baby Carrier should be at the top of your list!

*Disclaimer, this Lillebaby Complete Original Baby Carrier was given to me by Lillebaby for review, but the impressions and opinions on this carrier are completely my own.