THD's Favorite Photos of 2014

Here are each of our favorite photos with our children in 2014.


Craig's favorite photo

My favorite photo of the year has to be this shot from my wedding. Not only was it my favorite day of the year period but this shot just kills me. We were trying to take a nice and proper family photo and Sierra just had a case of the giggles. It really captures Sierra perfectly. She's a happy, goofy, great kid and she's always making her parents laugh.

PS. Full post on my wedding coming soon!


Don's favorite photo

So many great moments were captured this year but my favorite was captured by Alex from abostonblazer.com. I always love exploring and introducing my daughter to art and culture, on this day we were at American Field, an all american made artisan market. She decided that she wanted to be my eyes as we walked around, I tend to see a lot of the world through her eyes these days. 

     

 

 

 


Xander's Favorite Photo

My daughter Penelope was born in June this year. And while this actually isn't my favorite picture of the two of us (there is a great picture of me holding her over my head with her laughing), I couldn't NOT post this picture. She is 6 days old here and it's the day Felicia and I (finally) got to take her home from Newton-Wellesley hospital. SHE WAS SO LITTLE!


Chris's Favorite Photo

My favorite photo of 2014, Henry's reaction shows the pure excitement of the day I got to marry my best friend.


Will's Favorite Photo

My favorite photo of 2014 is this ultrasound photo (Baby due in July). I haven't been able to go to any ultrasound appointments up until this point due to my work schedule. This was the first time I got to go to an appointment and was also the first time my wife and I got to see the baby's profile rather then something that looked like a ball of gas. We watched it move and what appeared to be waving. Up to this point I haven't felt much but after seeing the live feed on the ultrasound screen and the printouts I can honestly say I feel excited and anxious to meet this person.

Boston Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' (2014)

When Sierra was 3 we took her to her first production of the Boston Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’. This was the night that started one of our family's favorite holiday traditions. We went this year for the third year in a row and it gets better each time. Sierra started taking ballet this past summer and is enamored with positions, leaping, and tutus so it was extra special for her this year compared to the last two. A combination of that and her age made it much easier for her to pay attention, really soak it in and it was really magical.

(Here is the blog post from our first year going to The Nutcracker)

Dancers: Shelby Elsbree, Lauren Herfindahl, & Maria Alvarez Photographer:  © LizaVoll Photography


Dancers: Shelby Elsbree, Lauren Herfindahl, & Maria Alvarez
Photographer:  © LizaVoll Photography

We have a lot of holiday traditions; picking the christmas tree, visiting family, special dinners, opening gifts together on christmas morning, etc but there is just something really amazing about just the 3 of us getting all dolled up and heading downtown for the ballet. Watching Sierra get so excited, pick her dress, pack a little basket of ballerina dolls, and jumping up and down is so memorable.

Dancer: Sierra Photographer:  © Mom


Dancer: Sierra
Photographer:  © Mom

The performance itself is unbelievable; from the sets by Robert Perdziola, to the music by the Boston Ballet Orchestra, and of course most importantly the dancers - it's all top notch and really an amazing sight to see. 

One of my favorite things about 'The Nutcracker', as a parent of a small child, is that it's the perfect mix of ballet and theater to keep adults enthralled but enough playfulness to make it a delight for children: most notably the dancing bear, rat king and of course 'Mother Ginger' - Sierra's favorite by far.

Today is this year's production’s last performances and if you’re close to Boston I really suggest you snag some last minute tickets and head out tonight! It’s well worth the time and money, I assure you. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.bostonballet.org/nutcracker and the performance is at 1:00 and 7:30 PM, with a special New Year’s Eve show full of surprises!

If you can't make it today then make sure to write it in your calendar for next year. Follow the Boston Ballet on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest throughout the year for updates!

-Craig

Dancers: Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Nutcracker Prince Photographer: ©Gene Schiavone


Dancers: Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Nutcracker Prince
Photographer: ©Gene Schiavone

Hand made holiday shopping in Boston!

I compiled a small list of places to buy last minute hand-made / locally made / artisan gifts in the Boston area for all you last minute shoppers!

If you know of more let me know!

Sterling Silver Shiba Inu Dog Post Earrings

Newbury handmade Market (Newbury St)

http://www.newburyhandmademarket.com

Cambridge Artist Co-Op (Harvard Sq)

http://www.cambridgeartistscoop.com

Sign of the Dove (Porter Sq)

http://www.signofthedoveco-op.com

Magpie Gifts (Davis Sq)

http://www.magpie-store.com

William Carlton Workshop (North End)

http://wcworkshop.tumblr.com

7 months

Sometimes I think about writing in this blog but there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. I love going back through it and reading my thoughts, looking at the photos and remembering where I was in life at certain stages. Because I look at the blog as a journal of sorts about myself and my family I feel badly when I don't write in it because I won't have that 'time capsule' for the future. That being said it's been about about 7 months since I've written in here.

In that time lots of things have changed. Sierra is now 5, she's in K2 in the Boston Public School system, Don and I are starting a new company and Lauren and I got married! I'll elaborate on all of these items in forthcoming posts. Talk soon.

-Craig

This morning started off great!

Our pal Don Naylor (another Hipster Dad) is staying with us for the week while his ladies are back in New York as they await their new apartment to be ready (Movin’ on up!!). So this morning he, Sierra and I ate breakfast together, played with dolls and then got ready for our days. Don went off to work and Sierra and I scooted to the bus stop. She loves riding her little scooter and it makes getting to the bus so much faster / less of a hassle.

Now this is where the day starts to go down hill. Once I arrived back home after dropping her off I throw my helmet and sunglasses on and jump on my bike to head to work. About one block later I realize my tire is flat. I don’t have a working pump so I walk the bike back home and throw all my stuff from my bike bag to my regular work bag and check the next bus arrival time (hooray public transit!). Luckily one was arriving in 4 minutes so I quickly sprint out of the house and proceed to RUN for 3 blocks to the bus stop, only then realizing i left my regular non-sun glasses in my other bag. I’m practically blind without glasses so there’s no way I could make it through the day without them. So I miss the bus and walk back home, cursing the whole way of course. I retrieve my things and check the next bus time which is in 30 minutes so I say fuck it and call an Uber. Worth every penny.

This shitty morning is exasperated by the fact my Vespa scooter also stopped starting two days ago for no apparent reason. So now my scooter and my bike are out of commission on the first nice weather week of the year here in Boston. Why do my vehicles all hate me? Anyway - it could be worse but I felt like having a mini-vent session. Hope everyone else’s day is going better than mine!

-Craig

Tuesday Tunes!

1. XANDER'S SONG - Into It. Over It. - New North-Side Air – It might be a bit of a cop-out to go with the first track on the album, but this tune really resonates with me (specifically the first line about quitting smoking and focusing on family/home life). They played in Boston last week, and it was an incredible show despite my 6-month pregnant wife not exactly enjoying herself (in retrospect, she probably should have stayed home.) The album doesn’t slow down from here, and it’s highly recommended from track 1 to 12.







2. CRAIG'S SONG: Schoolboy Q - Prescription/Oxymoron -  Can't get enough of this song. Vivid storytelling style hip hop at it's best in my opinion. The breaks with his daughter's voice are haunting and really hit hard, especially as a parent.







3. MICHAEL'S SONG: A$AP Rocky - In Distress (feat. Fesaffelstein) - Most unlikely of coupling for a$ap to date, tech house producers meet the front lines of the new wave of hip hop lyricists. What's next Danny Brown x DJ Hell?




4. DON'S SONG - Glocca Morra - My Black Dog / Cosmic Being - Been jamming these guys a lot lately. Reminds me of when I used to call music "emo" and it wasn't a wack thing. Makes me nostalgic for basement shows, backpacks and rolled jeans.  

The Diaper Lab – Cloth Diapering Workshop

If the concept of cloth diapers scares you, you’re not alone.

If you don’t know where to start with cloth diapering, you’re still not alone.

Luckily for my wife Felicia and I, we live in the Greater Boston Area and can take advantage of the resources offered by The Diaper Lab in Davis Square, Somerville, MA. We attended their Introduction to Cloth Diapering Workshop over the weekend -- and it was money well-spent.

For an hour-and-a-half (and at $10 per couple), we sat in a small room with other equally confused couples and listened to Jen Patashnick discuss the ins-and-outs of all things cloth diapers  including varieties, use-cases, and laundering requirements.

Jen made cloth diapering seem easy. And fun.

She began by demonstrating the cheapest (yet most difficult) option  pre-folds  before moving her way through pocket diapers, one-size, all-in-ones, and hybrids. Each time passing around examples so the expecting parents can see what they’re getting themselves into.

As an expecting father, three key points stuck out for me:
  1. Cloth diapers are cheaper
  2. Cloth diapers help prevent blow-outs
  3. Cloth diapers make potty training easier
And for me, this outweighs the cons of having to deal with washing soiled cloth vs. throwing away disposable diapers. Additionally (and surprisingly) Felicia and I even think the more difficult pre-folds aren’t even all that difficult at all, and are a great option for us.

After the class, all couples were invited into their adjacent retail store to poke around and were each given a coupon. In addition to everything you’ll need for cloth diapers, they also carry several slings and packs for baby-wearing, diaper bags, and a small assortment of toys and stuffed animals.

Cloth diapers may or may not be a viable option for you and your little one, but if you’re interested in learning more, please check out www.diaperlab.com, or visit their brick-and-mortar store at 200 Elm St. in Somerville, MA.

Please note: The Hipster Dad is not affiliated with the Diaper Lab, but will gladly accept free samples.

“Disrupting the Pink Aisle” with GoldieBlox

In case you missed it during the Super Bowl this year, GoldieBlox won over the “parents and soon-to-be parents of little girls that want their daughters to be more than just princesses” demographic. Alright, maybe not the largest target audience for the television commercial event of the year, but it was hard for anyone to ignore this one.

Founded by Debbie Sterling, a Stanford-trained Engineer, GoldieBlox designs toys for girls that promote engineering principles while “disrupting the pink aisle.” Their product line contains building kits that focus on skill concepts such as; wheel & axle, hinge & lever, and belt drive systems. Their apparel contains their “more than just a princess” slogan complete with images of tools.

GoldieBlox earned this 30-second commercial by beating out tens of thousands of other small businesses as part of the "Small Business Big Game” contest sponsored by Intuit. Take a look at the (extended) clip below and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments! Personally, I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough for one (or all) of these kits.

 -Xander

Hello! My name is Alexander Montville

Felicia and me

Hello! My name is Alexander Montville, a new addition to the Hipster Dad family. Most people call me Xander, others (mostly family and co-workers) call me Alex -- I’ll happily respond to any variation except for Al (don’t test me).

I joined this group of strapping young lads through a friendship with Craig. His better half and mine were college friends, and the rest (as they say) is an incredibly boring history. We hit it off with similar interests in football (soccer), music, books, liquor, and (now) parenting. It didn't hurt that my wife and I lived in his beloved New Bedford for a few years, either.

I think it’s important to point out that I’m actually not a father yet.

Felicia and I were married after a 7 year relationship in the summer of 2013. We’re

expecting

our first daughter in June of this year. Needless to say we’re both incredibly excited and incredibly scared (at least I am).

Coming soon!!!

It’s funny, when Felicia and I first met I would swear up and down that I would never have children (of course, I was 18), but I could not be happier about this new addition to our lives.

I’m looking forward to contributing to this blog and leveraging the experience of my fellow bloggers for advice (I’m sure I’ll need a lot of it as a first-time father). Hopefully I’ll be able to eventually offer some valuable insight of my own. Or maybe I’ll just post a lot of cute pictures and respond to fatherhood-related YouTube videos.

Either way, I can’t wait!!

-Xander

We made our own Peppa Pig book

Sierra has recently become OBSESSED with Peppa Pig, a UK based show about a little pig and her friends and family. The other day she told me a story she made up about Peppa going to daycare so we decided to make it into a little book. Total time: 20 mins. Check it out below.

Tools needed:
  • Paper
  • Sharpie
  • Crayons
  • 3 Hole Punch
  • Yarn
  • Scotch Tape





Parenting: You win some you lose some.

This was a post I started writing 6 months ago and never finished but figured I might as well post it anyway. Enjoy.
-Craig

--

This morning was tough. I mean really tough. When I woke Sierra up, all she wanted was her Mom. The scene played out like this: me trying to dress a 3 year old while she SCREAMED and cried for "Mammmmmmaaaa!!", tears flowing down her face, boogers streaming from her nose into her mouth, hair matted against her cheeks, going boneless, underwear half on and me with my head buried in my hands trying to breathe deep yoga breaths and compose myself enough to figure out how to get this child dressed without screaming and crying as well. We eventually both calmed down and got the job done but only after some snuggles, rocking and "shhh shhh shhh-ing". The rest of the morning went a lot smoother and happier. She helped me peanut butter her mini-bagel, we sang songs, we learned the letter V and we got out the door only 30 minutes late.

Moments like this can feel defeating. The 'terrible threes' are hard and theres no way around it. But there are also the wins, the moments where you are so full of happiness and love you just want to squeeze your kid forever and can't whipe the big shit eating grin off of your face.



SIERRA STARTED SCHOOL!

So a few weeks ago I started a blog post on how Sierra was about to start school (see below) but life got busy and I never finished it. So anyway she's been in school for a few weeks and it's been pretty great. She's very happy, loves going and has met a lot of new friends. There were a few hiccups though: Some kid said "I don't like you" to her (and I got a lot of good / vulgar feedback about it on Facebook) and an after-school person gave her a non-vegan cupcake even though it's clearly listed on allergy sheets. Besides those two little things it's been a lovely experience and I'm enjoying her daily updates about what she's doing, getting to hear about all her new friends and I am looking forward to watching her grow throughout the year.

Will post more about my little kindergartener soon! -Craig


PS. I will probably post a blog entry on the 'i don't like you thing' at some point. Got a lot of solid feedback on how to deal with it, read a lot of great stuff online etc and figure I might as well pull it all together for a "How we dealt with it" post. Later this week maybe!

PSS. Feel free to leave a comment about your back to school experiences / If you've ever had to deal with / explain to your child why someone would tell them they don't like them. #Feelings

















--

In about 2 weeks Sierra starts school and it's all I can think about. I've seen photos from friends with kids who have already started going back and the instagrams full of screaming and tears makes me pretty nervous of how Sierra is going to react on her first day.

She says she's excited and can't wait but that may change when the time to actually go inside and be left by your parents comes.
 

My birthday AKA Thank you Ironworker guy!

So I turned 27 on this month. That still counts as mid-20's right? Please?

Anyway about that Ironworker. For my birthday present to myself I bought a motor scooter! I've wanted one for awhile to get to and from work quickly and just around the city in general when the misses is using our car. So I scoured Craigslist and found a good deal on a 2010 scooter with only 305 miles and picked it up the day before my birthday and I LOVE IT. I've been using it to get to work, around the city and just joy rides for 2 weeks now and couldn't be happier with it.

That was until this morning* when halfway to work at a red light it just shut off and woudn't come back on. So I'm sitting in bumper to bumper Boston morning traffic on a 200+ pound scooter and have to push it to the corner / up onto the sidewalk while some guy (asshole) behind me is honking.

So after about 30 seconds of "Did I buy a lemon?!" and "I think I got screwed!!" I try restarting it, giving it a little gas but nothing. I look at the battery, not that I'd know what to look for, and figure maybe it's a dead battery or low fuel. Luckily I broke down right near a gas station so I push it there and put some gas in the tank and try starting again and still nothing. As I'm waiting for my cab to arrive to bring me to work a gruff looking man of about 50 on a scooter pulls up to me and asks what the problem is. I explain and he tells me he's been fixing scooters for years and proceeds to get down on the ground and fiddle with the engine. After about 30 seconds he tells me to try starting it up. It rolls over instantly and is running perfectly. He explains I flooded the engine when trying to restart it and should be fine now. We spoke briefly, mostly me thanking him a thousand times, he tells me he's a local iron worker and that he hopes I have a great day.

Anyway it meant a lot to me that someone would stop on their way to work to help someone they don't know. Maybe there is a shred of humanity and decency left in this world.

THANK YOU IRON WORKER GUY. YOU MADE MY DAY.


* "this morning" was actually last week. I started writing this post then but only finished / posted now.

Happy 4th birthday Sierra!

Well hello there. It's been (almost) 2 months since we've blogged. Lot's to talk about  (make excuses for why we haven't blogged) but I'll save that for another post.

The reason I came here to post today is because it's my daughter's FOURTH BIRTHDAY. She's four, it feels weird to even type that. Four sounds so much older than three. This time last year we were gearing up for her to go back to daycare and this year we're trying on school uniforms. YES school, Sierra starts K1 in September! I can't believe how fast she is growing and learning these days.

She astounds me every single day with the things she knows and does and I feel so lucky to be able to help her along the way. Before I start crying, I'll just say: Happy Birthday Sierra!

Love,
Dad



Sierra the comedian.

Sierra has randomly been telling me jokes. Yesterday we were in the car and from the backseat I hear: 

Sierra: "Daddy why don't ducks drink milk?
Me: "I don't know, why not?"
Sierra: "BECAUSE THEY DONT HAVE WHEELS!! HHHEHAHH"
Me: "Oh. Good joke. Who taught you that?"
Sierra: "Nobody. I just knew it!"

I look forward to hearing more of her comedic genius and will be sure to post them here.

-Craig

What a weekend a.k.a. WE GOT ENGAGED!

What a weekend!

Saturday morning Lauren's mother, Nana, came to get Sierra for an over night sleepover (first time ever!) and Lauren and I were going for a night away alone (first time ever!) to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We wanted to stay nearby so we went an hour or so North of Boston to Hampton, NH. Hampton is a small town with a long boardwalk full of restaurants, bars and arcades running along side a big beautiful beach. We had visited Hampton once before in the winter and have always wanted to see in it's summer season.




Packing



Leaving our lovely city.






We left Boston around noon and headed north for the night. We had a lovely drive listening to and singing along to the cheesiest music possible; Dashboard Confessional was in heavy rotation. Once arriving in New Hampshire we were both famished so we stopped at Good Karma Café, a delicious raw vegan gluten-free place in Exter. If you are heading through NH and have dietary restrictions (or even if you don't) I highly suggest you stop here - the food was wonderful!




Uplifting sign as you enter the restaurant. Thanks Good Karma Café!





After lunch we went to our hotel to drop off our things and take a quick dip in the pool and a nice relaxing lounge in the jacuzzi before heading up to our room to search for fun things to do (on our iPad. Thanks for the present Gramma!). Hampton is full of things to do, including tattoos and mini golf which is of course what we decided to do. We found a place that had great reviews and photos of their work just down the road from the hotel called Jim's Tattoos and decided to check it out. We both got quick little tattoos and love the way they came out! If you're ever in Hampton and in need of a tattoo i suggest Jim's HIGHLY! They do great work, it's affordable, friendly and FAST!




Our New Tattoos.




After that we went and played 16 holes of mini-golf and I kicked Lauren's ass (by two whole strokes). After my PGA quality game we rushed home, changed into fancier clothes and rushed out to dinner.


Dinner was amazing - seriously. Blue Moon Evolution is an awesome vegetarian & vegan friendly restaurant that is in situated in an old restored barn in Exeter, NH. It's dimly lit by candles and string lighting, has a great menu and the service was top notch. If you're vegan and in need of a good date spot in New Hampshire this is it - no contest. For an after dinner drink we went to 10 Water Street down the road on the river and Lauren even let me watch the 3rd period of the Hawks v. Kings game... THAT LATE GOAL RIGHT?! 




Blue Moon Evolution and 11 Water Street - both great spots!!


After our drink we headed to the Boardwalk back in Hampton and went for a lovely walk and even hit up an old school arcade to play skee ball. We grabbed one more drink nearby and headed to the beach to star gaze.



The arcade and our loot.


By this time it was nearing midnight, making it June 9th, officially our anniversary. I'll spare you the mushy details of my proposal but she said YES and thats all that matters!


We had a child first, then we moved in together and now we're getting married. Not the traditional order of events but it's worked for us. I feel incredibly lucky to be engaged to such a gorgeous, smart, caring and supportive woman who I have a beautiful daughter with and I couldn't be happier or be more lucky.

-Craig










Tuesday Tunes!

1. "When I Come Around" by Green Day - Here is my Tuesday Tune for this week, I am going a little old school and going with an all time favorite song of mine. I love music that just makes you move your body and takes you back to a carefree time.Well more like awkward middle school dances. -André


2. "Skeleton" by The Front Bottoms - One of my favorite songs off one of my favorite albums of 2013: "Talon of the Hawk" by The Front Bottoms. The entire album is so solid and amazing. Did I mention my record label helped put it out? -Craig

Better late then never, a Mothers day video I made for Adriana

Its been a while since I saw this end of the blog, I tend to keep up with the instagram and twitter and neglect the meat and potatoes of The Hipster Dad, shame on me. A lot has been going on in my camp, including the cooking up of a new baby boy! Expected on September 30th, I will officially have a 3 boy army at my command. Aside from that things have been pretty quiet on the homefront, actually I dont know if that is entirely true, its never quiet here!

I am going to post a lot more this summer, as we have finally started venturing out more, made our first trip to the beach in Jamestown, a little premature, but fun nonetheless. You can see a couple videos of this trip on my Vine, my username is: MichaelSavant. I'm warning you ahead of time, my kids are weird, I wonder where they get it from? Here is another warning, I am playing Moonrise Festival the first weekend in June and plan on documenting the hell out of that experience! It is hands down the biggest show I have ever played, combined with the release of my first EP that month, pretty stoked! OK, the real reason for the post is to share a video I made for Adriana for mothers day. We made a family trip to Misquamicut beach for their annual festival and I brought my camera along to take photos, and ended up filming instead. I obviously didnt have a steadycam or any other fancy rigging with me, so its a bit shaky and long, this was meant to be a family video, but I wanted to share regardless. I feel like both Hendrix and Christians personalities shine through, and Adriana couldnt be any cuter. Without further adieu, here is our trip to the carnival (its 1080 so be sure to change the settings in youtube and watch it full-screen):



Audio: Sea Wolf - Old Friend



Man i love the internet sometimes...

I've liked the author Mark SaFranko for a few years now.  His work “has its roots in painfully lived experience”, and portrays a grimly realistic vision of life. “It's ugly and bleak but then so too is life, especially when you're on the losing end. (via)”.  I fell in love with his book 'Hating Olivia' and have since purchased and read all his other available work. A few years ago he and I had briefly discussed me doing some design work for him but for one reason or another it never happened but we stayed in touch on Facebook regardless. Recently I noticed he had posted about a new book titled "Travaux Forces". 



I was really excited for a new piece of work but realized it was only in French. I saw he was on G-Chat so I reached out enquiring about plans for an English language version but he explained his sales in America haven't been great but the market for his material in France has been really amazing so for now he's focusing on that market. Bummed by this news but determined to get my hands on the book (without having to learn French) I explained I'd be willing to pay him if he would send me the manuscript in English even if in nothing but a Word Document or email. Surprisingly he agreed to it thanking me for my years of support. It's moments like these that remind me why the internet is so amazing. The ability to reach out and speak to people blows my mind on the daily.

Anyway thats my little story about why I think the internet is awesome. Lastly - go buy Mark SaFranko's books right now guys: http://www.marksafranko.com/works.htm

-Craig