Recapping a November to remember

Dadbods, unite!

Dadbods, unite!

Early last month, I published a post introducing you dear readers to my idea of participating in Movember, a social media campaign dubbed The Dadbod Challenge. The campaign aimed to celebrate the male body—especially the dad body—with daily photos (by the illustrious Kim Carroll) of yours truly in various forms of undress.

Thirty days later, the campaign ended yesterday. It was a smashing success.

First, we raised more than $6,500 for The Movember Foundation, the only charity solely dedicated to raising money to support and raising awareness for men’s health. Second, because I vowed to match all donations made on my 41st birthday (Nov. 14, for those of you scoring at home) and send the matches to Planned Parenthood, we raised an additional $2,600 for PPFA. Third, we scored some pretty sick media hits (like this one and this one).

Do the math and we raised about $9,000 overall. In 30 days. With a bunch of Speedo pix and some witty captions.

On the most basic level, I am BLOWN AWAY by the generous support of my friends, colleagues, and family members. On another level, however, I’m super-proud of each and every person who got involved. Thanks to all of you.

I’m also excited about how the campaign paid homage to family travel. Because I’m the primary childcare solution for our family, I was forced to drag Baby G with me on a number of shoots. That means many of the images were snapshots of family travel—the Villanos in a vineyard, the Villanos at a luxury hotel, the Villanos at a boutique hotel’s pool (see picture above).

Whether your star-spangled Speedo is literal or metaphoric, I hope these pictures—and the success of the campaign in general—will inspire you to support men’s health and get out there to explore the world.

A key to good naps on family trips

Knock, knock...

Knock, knock…

If your family is anything like my family, good naps for the kids are hard to come by on family trips. General excitement, unfamiliar sleeping environments, and jet lag often work together to disrupt even the most necessary of afternoon siestas. To make matters worse, on those rare occasions when one of our girls actually does doze off, something inevitably wakes her up.

This why I am currently obsessed with the Knock Nanny, which debuted at the 2014 ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas this week.

In a nutshell, the product is a universal doorbell cover that gives would-be sleep disruptors a stern-but-loving warning about waking the sleeping kid. The covers fit perfectly over doorbells at most vacation houses. They also fit nicely over many (but not all) doorbells inside luxury hotels.

Think of the product as the modern take on a handwritten note you’d tape to the door.

Because the Knock Nanny physically covers the doorbell, however, there’s no chance a would-be child-awakener can wake up the sleeping babe.

The device has 27 available decals you can affix to the front—stickers with cute slogans designed to give people the message to keep it down. Most of the slogans are PG; stuff like “Please knock softly,” and, “Shhh! Baby Sleeping.” I also like the one with tiny star icons that says, “Future Star Sleeping Inside.”

Perhaps the best thing about the Knock Nanny is the price: No matter where you buy it, you can get it for less than $6. Not a bad investment for a nap or two on your next big trip.

What are your secrets for getting kids to nap on family vacations?

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