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Book Review – And Two Boys Booed

judityhWhen you hear the words, by the author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, you take notice. I always wonder why Judith Viorst didn’t write more but than I realized it was none of my business. And Two Boys Booed is her brand new book with illustrations from Sophie Blackall and is very different from Alexander. The first thing you notice is that it is a flap book which makes for more direct reader involvement it also means I have to keep it away from BB for the immediate future (#onemanwreckingcrew). The tale centers around an boy (name unknown) as he prepares to sing in the school talent show. The other students each do their act and through repetitive phrases we see the boy totally ready to sing and completely without nerves. As with all Beyond the Car Seat reviews I will not spoil the ending except to say that his previous boasts that he was not nervous were not exactly on the money and kids do in fact boo (which I like because it is realistic) but I betray no confidence in concluding that it has a happy ending.

DIY All Hallows Eve

legosSince The Mommy is once again making an awesome costume for LTD, I thought this was interesting.

Jenna Fernandes, CEO of CareBooker.com, the “Open Table” of family and pet care services, offers ideas for parents to help kids make their own popular Halloween costumes.

From the scariest villain to a classic super hero, here are the top 5 DIY trends in Halloween costumes for 2014:

  1. Frozen: There should be no surprise here. The Disney movie captured the hearts of millions of kids (and adults!). With Elsa costumes flying off the shelf, you may need to act fast on securing your little one’s costume before they sell out. You can make your own making a cape out of magenta fabric, using a blue princess dress and finish by styling your child’s hair in braids.
  1.  Maleficent: Disney’s evil queens never go out of style, and Maleficent is the next character to add to the iconic list of costumes. This one is easy to put together if you can’t find it in the stores – look for a long black dress, black crown, and wings.
  1.  The Lego Movie: Think colorful handmade cardboard boxes – this is something kids can help to make their Lego costume their own. Plus, it’s a great group costume idea!
  1.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Not only is this nostalgic for parents, the new movie brought on a whole new generation of fans. Paint a disposable baking pan green for a makeshift shell and add a colored bandana around their head to complete the look.
  1. Spiderman/Captain America: Superheroes are a staple for any Halloween and this year is no exception.  Your little one wants to save the world – and this isn’t a bad thing! Here’s a tip – a lot of stores have Spiderman and Captain America Pajamas, so if you have young child that will be dressing up for Halloween, you may want to opt for the PJs rather than a full costume.  This keeps them warm and comfortable, and they will be ready for bed when you get home.

Product Review – Elektrokidz

elektor

We recently had BB evaluated based on our Pediatrician’s recommendation, but BB isn’t really delayed so the team told me they were not needed. However, the physical therapist commented on his high energy level and that we needed to keep him active. As we don’t have a lot of room in our condo it was time to boogie. Elektrokidz look like troll dolls from the fads of decades past, but no troll ever shook their money maker like these guys. They come in 6 different styles including silver and gold all with funky hair. When you crank up the tunes the little guys dance (or more accurately their hair dances) to the beat. No two dance alike and don’t get me started on what happens if their hair touches each other. I’m not sure how long these bad boys will hold BB’s attention but for now he is moving and grooving. 

What if

what ifLTD has developed a very specific set of questions that he asks frequently, I mean very frequently the questions are all different but they all begin the same. “What if…” It doesn’t stop ever. The topics range from the ridiculous to the theoretical possibilities. He focuses a lot of brain power on the morbid, what if that person was dead, what if their head fell off, what if they came back as a zombie? Truthfully, I have no problem with the creepy stuff, it is the mundane that I am losing patience with. What if the car won’t start? What if we didn’t pick up Mommy? I find myself answering and then going down a rabbit hole of scenarios and end with an exasperated, “then that would be our new life and we would deal with it.”Sadly, it has reached the point where my blood pressure rises when I hear any sentence that starts with the chilling phrase, what if?

Book Review – Humans of New York

Little Humans of NYI got my sister a copy of Humans of New York because she asked for it as a birthday present and it turns out I basically got one of the last copies before they needed to print more. I guess it was popular. As such, we never want to seem uncool so we have been reading LTD Little Humans by Brandon Stanton. The tale features big crisp photos of kids around NYC. The tagline is, “Little humans can do…” followed by different photos depicting concepts like friendship, love and helping. It is all very neat, but all that matters to my boys is that one of the pages features the answer to the titular question: Super Hero tough! with a picture of a boy in a Batman costume and his dog in a Robin costume. However, I am running into a problem as some of the kids have clearly dressed up for their picture and now LTD wants to go on a shopping spree. 

Desire

i-want-it-all-and-i-want-it-nowSince BB and LTD share a room and said room is basically the only place in the house that has a gate to keep BB from destroying the house, the boys spend a fair amount of time there. However, unless LTD is on the top bunk, BB follows him around with a case of, “I want that.” Anything that LTD picks up instantly becomes an object of desire for BB to possess immediately. As you can imagine this behavior has never resulted in anything other than both children screaming. My default statement is always to tell LTD to just give it to him and he will get bored and forget about it. Thankfully, LTD is pretty good about appeasement and is beginning to learn to just take the book or toy downstairs when BB isn’t looking. It makes me proud that LTD has figured out BB’s pattern of theft, but frustrated that he sometimes falls into the yank it back trap. And truthfully, he is right to be concerned because BB has a near perfect record of destroying anything that can be destroyed. 

Book Review – The Monsterator

monsterbookThe Mommy is a big Halloween nut and has influenced the children to join her in practicing the dark arts of the season. LTD likes to walk the razor’s edge between scary and not really scary at all. It is for this reason that we focus a lot on Halloween books instead of haunted houses. Keith Graves’ The Monsterator features one of LTD’s favorite things (the other two being Robots & Dinosaurs). The tale focuses on Master Edgar Dreasdbury, a boy not really interested or excited by all that Halloween has to offer, that is until he discovers a little titular machine called the Monsterator. As usual, I won’t spoil the ending except to tell you he does get turned into a monster but is surprisingly cool with the change. The real neat feature of the book is the last few pages that contain flip book style options for the reader to create a whole bunch of different mix and match monsters. As BB is frequently in destroyer mode, he is the only thing a monster book fears and will have to wait until older to enjoy.

The Art of Seduction

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BB has developed a little habit that manifests itself only in very certain circumstances. He has learned to flirt, self taught of course. He only does it in very specific instances. He treats young women very differently then he does everyone else. He particularly likes to try new moves out on waitresses or nannies at the playground. He is not really shy but when in most situations he hides behind my leg, looks down or shakes his head when introduced to new people. However, if you are a young lady, look out he engages in a full on charm offensive. I’m talking about huge smile, walking away with a turn and a look. Today, he tried the casual pat on the knee to a young mom at the Aquarium. Let’s hope he can keep the cool factor up as he grows and not copy LTD’s style of announcing that he is wearing underwear and not a diaper followed by showing proof.

Product Review – Organic Slammers

slam While we are almost done the now lengthy process of weaning BB off of baby food, the convenience of packets make it hard. Every parent knows that if you don’t have snacks handy for the little ones things can go south but quick. As with most parent developed products they usually always fit the bill. Organic Slammers pouches come in four flavors: Epic, Awesome, Chillin and Pumped (yes, I know those words aren’t flavors) The translation is Orange-Mango, Super Berries, Banana-Berry, and Tropical Banana Bread. As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know The Mommy is all organic, but I am about what is easier. Many of the quick kid snacks are not organic so it is nice to have a handy alternative. Unfortunately, when LTD first was introduced to pouch snacks the family took to calling them goo so now when he wants pouches he asks for goo, which is fine as long as no one else hears, but that is not always the case. The Slammers have the added benefit of preparing the boys to feed me when I’m old and (I assume crooked) nursing home bound.

We Survived

LANDINGAABack home after an interesting first airplane trip adventure. The boys were great and handled flying like pros. Of course the trip was not without its drama. On our way to Chicago just when I thought we were almost there the pilot informed us that we had an oxygen leak and would be landing in Cleveland. This intense moment was mitigated by the fact that we landed about 5 minutes after he informed us of before mentioned leak. The whole thing was bizarre as we boarded a new plane with the same crew and finally made it to Chicago only an hour late. First Lieutenant Brett, having a four month old at home, was feeling cool so he let LTD try out the cockpit and touch what seemed like every button. If he let every kid do this it may possibly explain why our plane needed to make an emergency landing. How was the return flight? We will never know as we had to drive back since O’Hare was shut down due to an FAA building fire. All in all under the heading of it could have been worse I think we are ready to fly again by choice.