The Grandma got me something cool for the holidays but sometime there is a price to be paid for cool. She found a shirt on etsy that has a track for Matchbox cars on the back. Once you put it on you are forced to lie face down while the children drive on you. It is pretty cool and if you trick your brain enough it feels like a day at the spa with hot stone massage, however the price spoken of earlier involves the carpet not being vacuumed enough. This one of the products that I secretly hate because it falls into the category of “I should have thought of that.”
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.
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.
As BB enters the terrible twos we have tried many things to chill him out and have even resorted to LTD singing, which actually works. However, since we don’t love LTD’s singing as much as BB seems to, we have turned to Sol Republic’s DECK wireless speaker. Of course, LTD digs it because it looks like it is from the future, but the wireless feature is a first for us. In the past the small speakers we used in the kids room met a cruel fate at the hands of BB, the destroyer of all things that can be destroyed. The Mommy has been using Heist mode to pair and steal my playlist and replace with hers, let’s just say that BB has been listening to a lot more Adele than before. We mostly use it in the kid’s room, but the speaker features an outdoor boost that we haven’t tried but LTD keeps talking about it since it sounds like turbo boost. Also, BB doesn’t make a lot of conference work calls from home but the DECK does work as a speaker phone. Needless to say we have come a long way from my Mickey Mouse record player.
Since LTD and BB share a room one of the challenges has been dealing with their different bedtimes. One way we have dealt with the situation is by letting LTD use a flashlight. But as long time BTCS readers know LTD loves anything that is even remotely close to being robotic. I blew it up and gave the little guy the LuminAID solar-powered, inflatable light. Sure the lightweight and waterproof light is designed for camping and disaster relief, but hell it also works awesome in a home-made sheet and pillow fort. The company has also sponsored and lit charitiy project all over the world so I don’t feel so bad using their light under a blanket instead of in Haiti. In short, any light that I inflate in front of LTD is worth the price of admission.
A confession of sorts, we have never been the best about making the kids take as many baths as they probably should. However, now that BB is getting a lot of food (a lot) in his hair the bath has become more and more of a “have to” instead of a “we should.” Rubber Duckie & Friends showerhead and wand distracts BB long enough for us to get the rice or pasta that usually embeds itself into his mane. The showerhead has a kid-friendly flow that doesn’t blow them out of the water, which is good as LTD always wants to use it as a squirt gun. The showerhead comes in a choice of animal designs including duck, frog and hippo. Our goal of course is not only to rinse the boys quickly which is hard because as difficult as it is to get the boys in the bath, of course, once in they never want to get out, but to transition LTD in to taking showers.
Seeing this NYT article reminded me that LTD has been digging this game, Robot Turtles. Of course, he would have loved it based on the name alone, but he actually has been understanding it, which makes me feel slightly slow since he figured it out before I did. The game is designed to teach youngsters the basics computer programming and coding. I like it because even though it is about computers it is an actual board game and LTD has no real idea that it is about programming. The game has card like Use Laser and Function Frog so right off the bat we were in what my dad used to call, fat city. One of the “rules” is that the player must make funny turtle noises when moving and I must say that LTD’s robot turtle impression is not to be missed. One cool feature is that unlike the games of Trouble (with the pop-o-matic bubble) Robot Turtles can be played pretty quickly. The future is here when you can play a board game about coding for pres-schoolers and the future will really be here when LTD uses his new knowledge to replace me with a robot as he has threatened to do (don’t worry, he doesn’t use the word replace, he says he just wants a robot version of me as well, but I can see the writing on the wall).
LTD received Zingo as a gift a few years ago and I have seen it in many homes. LTD recently rediscovered it in our house as our BB baby proofing resulted in a few things being put not only out of reach, but out of our memories. LTD’s continued screaming of Zingo got me thinking about other Think Fun items we have enjoyed. BB has been crushing on in his Move & Groove, while LTD has been taking his new 5 year old status out for a spin with Square By Square. BB has been learning to dance with Move & Groove or should I say The Mommy has been re-learning to dance with the bright plush cube. You roll the cube like dice and whatever color it lands on, you pick one of the matching dance move cards. The cards have categories including Workout, Body Parts & Silliness. Truthfully, he isn’t going to win Dance Fever any time soon, but he seems to enjoy watching us make fools of ourselves demonstrating the cards. Of course, LTD has fixated on the card instructing him to Dance like a Robot.
Speaking of LTD, he has long enjoyed tan-grams and puzzles and so the Square By Square is challenging him pretty good these days. The game has 60 different puzzle cards to try and make on the square using 8 blue pieces and 6 green ones. The cards include hints so you do have to monitor him to prevent taking the easy way out. Okay, yes, I too have occasionally had to resort to using the hint to help him, but rarely. I also like that the game comes with a bag for easy travel.
I never thought little pancakes would be a thing that I would ever care about, but becoming a parent has changed my feelings about many things. In the past five years sure my priorities changed, but so has the places I go and the food I buy. Obviously, Trader Joes has unbeatable prices and certainly is a great place to take the little ones. Of all their products the Little Pancakes that come frozen and heat in less than a microwave minute are the best. Why because you can not beat the simplicity. In short they are a game changer. LTD dips them in real maple syrup (I’m from Maine so our house is exclusively real syrup) and pops them in his mouth. Why is so amazing, because it normally takes him forever to finish a meal as he is easily distracted and has zero time management skills. However, five small pancakes in a circle on a plate with syrup in the middle streamline his breakfast like no other meal. I know what you’re thinking, why is he going on about pancakes? Anyone who has ever tried to get a child out of the house in the morning know all too well that you can’t do it alone. The Fates have to be on your side. And Trader Joes Pancakes may arrive frozen but they heat up our son’s slow morning routine.
Sadly, BB is still having trouble in the solids department, but thankfully, he is okay with liquids. Now that we are beyond bottles it has been difficult to find a good cup not only that he likes, but is actually spill proof not just says its spill proof. The MAM line features what they call the Starter, Trainer, Learn to Drink, and Sports Cups. Each member of the family is BPA-free, PVC-free, lead-free and CPSIA-compliant (I have no idea what CPSIA is but it is probably good that they are compliant. Additionally, the cups are dishwasher safe which is a very good thing if you have ever left milk in a cup and that cup under the couch for many weeks. However, what is pretty cool is that MAM has a design feature on their site that allows you to pick from themes including animals, nature, rock n roll, but all of that is irrelevant because they only design feature that matters (to LTD anyway) is Monster. Right now we are happy that BB is enjoying his spill proof cups because his brother tends to get animated during meals and has been knocking over glasses left and right.