Thursday, June 11, 2015

@SwimToday- How Swimming Can Be the #FunnestSport

I'll be the first to admit that after my swim lessons as a toddler, I took a long hiatus from swimming until I was in my late twenties. Today, things look very different for me and my little ones. These guys take every opportunity to jump in a a body of water - even using their goggles in the bathtub!

My extended family knows the tragedy of losing a child to drowning so I've made it a personal goal to make sure my children are well versed in water safety. We've tried lessons with both the boys before they turned three. Emphasis on tried. I actually got in the water with my guys and they flailed and grabbed on so tightly to me that it appeared I was trying to dunk a tomcat into a tub of water.

Enter Dara Torres. Yes, five-time Olympian and gold medalist Dara Torres!

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her through @MomTrends and and inspiring doesn't begin to describe it! Her story is amazing. She and the other panelists (mothers of competitive swimmers) made me want to get myself and my children back in the water this summer. I'm even going to allow myself to brush up on swim lessons - no nonsense bathing suit and all!

SwimToday has started the #FunnestSport initiative to allow more children greater access to swim instruction and competition and to change the misconception that swimming isn't a team sport. Because water safety is important for the littles, I'm completely onboard with getting children confident in the water - especially given the enormous fear of water that some of my older family members have.

The very best part - we received summer swim lessons and gear for Baby D from SwimToday and I'll be documenting our summer swim adventure here. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 22, 2015

New York Baby Show - A Look Back

A mild May afternoon on Sunday set the perfect stage for my reentry into blogging. My youngest is still a baby and a handful of our friends are expecting their first children in the coming months. So, YAY! for ideas at the New York Baby Show - the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country.

To start, my mom and I took a day off from the children to be treated for a few hours of fun (and make-up!) in the Blogger's Lounge. We were introduced to a new must-have service for our kind of friends - ladies on the move. Glam Squad  is company that provides just what their name implies - a glam session before a big weekday meeting, a weekend event or just for a girls' night out. They have an app that allows you to schedule time for your glam session. What I like besides the convenience of it all - is that the prices are straightforward and very reasonable for in-home beauty services. I have a feeling that this will be the greatest thing since pockets once my working mom friends catch on.

After my make-up was (flawlessly) finished, we took a photo and headed into the show.

Whoa. Pier 92 is much bigger than it appears from the street. I was blown away by the sheer number of time-saving gadgets - like BiteSizers and the Windi. I was immediately drawn to BiteSizer - even before I found out they were included in the Blogger's Lounge gift bags. I'm constantly worried about cutting food into small enough pieces to prevent choking with my little ones - especially due to the fact that they tend to grab food on the move in our house. These food scissors have rounded tips, are certified food safe and have a little green dot that gives distracted parents a sizer guide to cut food into pieces no larger than half an inch in diameter. I tried them and found it pretty helpful that they are easy enough to operate with one hand...while holding the baby in the other hand.

The next two genius ideas are from an innovative Swedish company, FridaBaby. While listening to my eldest scream in agony as a 6 month old with terrible gas, I thought, "I wonder if there's a valve I could switch to release it for the poor little fella." The Windi is just like this. It's a single-use catheter that helps babies get rid of excess gas. Kind of like that wonder valve I imagined... Another one of their products is the NoseFrida, a nasal aspirator for babies. Its doctor-invented and includes filters as added protection for the squeamish among us. We needed us this week in order to survive Baby J's cold. I can't wait until this child can figure out how to blow his nose. Until then, we've got NoseFrida on deck.

It wouldn't be the start of summer without the common cold or camp. Mabel's Labels gave us personalized iron-on and stick-on tags but I know from past experience with them that those bad boys stay on. Long after the boys have run the clothing the labels were attached to into the ground. I do like a small company with quality (and very cute) wares so we'll continue to don Mabel's Label's in our camp clothes and school uniforms this year.

These were just a small sampling of what the New York baby Show had to offer. Whether you go to view the gadgets, cutting edge group classes for wee ones, children/family photography, monthly educational toy kit clubs or even if you're into Cord Blood preservation, they even had plenty of booths for all types. I've got to make a note to self next time - bring a pre-inked address stamp for all the raffle entries!

I'm a longtime Nikon user, but I really liked that a large camera outfit like Canon sponsored the New York Baby Show. Somewhere, I'm hoping that a new mom or mom-to-be is remembering to enjoy the little moments, try to get a snap of the big ones and doesn't forget to get in the picture.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

New York Baby Show

We're on our way to the New York Baby Show! I'll report back later today on the newest tips, tricks and gadgets to help make parenting easier!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!

May the year 2014 be your brightest yet!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Holidays

So, I'm terrible at choosing presents. Just awful. I usually get something I like and its usually completely incompatible with the receiver's interests. BUT, through trial and error, I've found some no-fail toys that delight (and keep entertained) all the little guys in my family.

Pet Vet by B. Toys
All of the Age 5 and Under crowd LOVE this toy. My sister owns this play set as well - the larger version with 6 doors. The ring of keys that fit with the color-coded corresponding doors are perfect for small, busy hands. The older and the younger guys like to put the stuffed puppy and cat in the kennel rooms before bed - only allowing them out in the morning. I like the unisex colors on this one also. We have a few of these and they haven't gone out of style so far!

Large container of dinosaurs + little boy = hours of independent play. This is always a treat when we bring these as birthday presents.

Woofer by B. Toys

I always tread lightly with noise-emitting toys but this one has pretty cool music. It also has a self shut off - super important for the little ones who wander off to other things after a while. They strum the strings and change between the different music modes so they never get bored.

Giant Tee Pee Tent by Pacific Play
This is the fancy equivalent of the always popular large appliance cardboard box. They open it, bring in toys, close it. Fight, giggle and nearly destroy it. We liked this one. Grandma even has one at her house.

Anywhere Chair by Pottery Barn
Yes, the price point is high but our children adore these chairs and we love how cute they look sitting in them to read, play or (gasp!) watch a show on TV. These are also great for siblings who don't like to share (do they ever?) - each can have their own color customized with their name. They work well in our house.
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