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.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

All of the Other Reindeers...

In preparation for his holiday show, Baby D is learning all about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. They had me thinking about poor old Rudolph. for many children, he's their first experience with the concept of bullying. I know, I know, we hear the term about fifty times a day in the news.

Those plain-nosed reindeer tormented Rudolph because he was different and he only became special because Santa saw the utility in having that illuminating nose. As our firstborn, Baby D usually has no issue telling potential bullies to take a hike but I wonder how he (and his younger brother) will handle troublemakers in public school.

He has already asked us if he should hit his schoolmate back should the offender attempt to strike him again in school. Based on the fact that the little fella never hit him again, I'm pretty sure he resolved the issue to his satisfaction. And no, I won't tell you how we advised his strategy. That's privileged information.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Well, Hello There!

You know, it's funny how a lull in the action on the work front can really make you appreciate the arts. I never get much time to do what I love - photography, paper crafting or just watching terribly produced television shows. You'll see me around here more often because I've got a little bit more time on my hands these days.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dinosaur Train Book Review and Giveaway!

We LOVE our local zoos and aquariums. So much so, that we have memberships to every. single. one.

We've got a book and product review for you that will help you enjoy the fun of summer while keeping your little ones' minds sharp during their break from school.
Buddy's Favorite Trips features different playscapes of - you guessed it - Buddy's favorite trips! Baby D loves this type of interactive book because he can stick and reposition the stickers to suit the story he creates. The book features over 75 stickers and a book full of colorful, familiar scenes from the Dinosaur Train show. It's a great book for our summer time car rides - which are especially long in the NYC Metro area. This book was such a hit in our home that Baby D even shared (!) some of his stickers with his friends.

Speaking of trips - summertime is a great opportunity to gather the family and take a trip to explore your local zoo and aquarium, as well as to visit the websites of America’s great zoos and aquariums. Many of the sites offer excellent educational resources, including photographs, videos, facts, lesson plans and activities.  The Association of Zoos and Aquariums provides a collection of links to their accredited zoos and aquariums.

The Jim Henson Company has also recently created The Dinosaur Train Discovery Tour, which provides some great resources for you that any young DINOSAUR TRAIN fan is going to love! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Growing Up

We've been so busy around here. So busy, in fact, that we haven't had much time to post. I've been keeping up with the Project 365 but all things non-blog have been so time consuming that I've got tons in the hopper that I'm just waiting to release.

On a brighter note, the wee ones are growing everyday. Baby J takes steps, claps his hands, waves and already beats up on his other brother. He grabs food right off the table and takes a bite before you notice. And he's a flat-backer and jelly-legger like his brother. He can squirm his way off your lap with two kicks of his legs all the while completing a full body rotation, making it impossible to hold onto him. By my estimate - a natural athlete.

Baby D scoots along, taking corners and curves with a serpentine smoothness the way only an experienced kid regularly visiting city skate parks with his hip Aunt A can. Its amazing. He's even got a smartness about him, showing that he caught on with the teens whizzing by on their skateboards while he sails on his scooter. He yells "Whatever!" when we caution him to slow down when he's back in the suburbs. He also declares that he's "#Winning!" when he does a no hands trick. Scary. But sweet.

If ever there were a perfect mix between me and Big D - these two guys are it. I see so much of us in them - mixed in with the city coolness that I haven't yet developed myself. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

P365 - Day 195

Yes, that's marker on his eyelids. Perils of a playdate.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

P365 - Day 183

Baby Curl Top

Delivery Man Preview!

I was honored when given the opportunity to preview the movie Delivery Man. Vince Vaugh is always funny but this is a movie that will most likely also touch  your heart. In the film, he plays a lovable, if somewhat underachieving, guy who finds out unexpectedly that he's fathered 533 children! He now must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them want to meet their biological father. Just as unexpected is what happens next...

This movie will remind you that families come in different shapes (and SIZES!) and the definition of family is  ever-evolving - making the unconventional the new normal.

DELIVERY MAN opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd

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Follow on Twitter: @DeliveryManFilm  

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Follow on Instagram: DeliveryManMovie

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Project 365: Day 176 - 90+ Degrees in the City

He doesn't know that one of them didn't make it home. Yikes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Here's a cute Dinosaur Train card for your little Dino to color and give to Dad!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day Photo Opportunities at Best Buy

So, this Mother's Day, I'm going to try to get everyone together for a portrait. That's going to work. NOT AT ALL. But seriously, I'm the family historian and I'm looking forward to being IN the picture this time. I've done all the legwork - giving mini courses on how to operate my DSLR and a primer on composition to my family members.

What happens to all those memories once they've been digitally preserved? In an attempt to get them off my memory card and make them a living centerpiece, we use digital frames around the house. Every time we walk by, we get to see a different memory. Best Buy has them all here. Right now, they're offering an extra 25% off select digital frames.

Another sweet offer if you plan on upgrading your camera at Best Buy: you can trade in your old camera for a Best Buy gift card! I probably have five 2 megapixel cameras from 1989 that need to be turned in. They have free shipping on all cameras if you have a toddler who refuses to let you leave the house.

If you're looking for good deals on preserving your spring memories, Best Buy has a little something for everyone.

I hope you're reading this Big D. Mama needs a new lens.

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

P365: Day 120

"Look, Mom! I look like Chilly Willy. You know, the penguin." Queue the perfect penguin waddle with proper wing-hands.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

P365: Day 111

A lesson about money on a Sunday.

Testing the light. With a smile.

It DOES grow on trees. And we pick it up here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

P365: Day 109

Chicken coops bring wonderful nostalgia from my childhood

I hope to help him build the same great memories

I think we already have.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

P365: Day 104

Oh no! Selective color edit. Yay! Two fish!

Initially, he wasn't impressed with the prize.

Popcorn! Delicious. Also a choking hazard.
Not to worry. Mom is ensuring slow & complete chewing.

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