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Product Review – Top That!

top thatOne of the things that warms my heart is that LTD really enjoys playing board games. Of course we are still working on conflict resolution and breathing exercises when he loses. Some of the board games he chooses are insipid and I simply can not play them. He isn’t quite old enough for Risk and doesn’t really understand the goal of Monopoly as noted during a recent game in which he didn’t want to buy Boardwalk as it meant he would have to cash in his $500 bill and he liked the way it looked. Blue Orange Games consistently has creative games but the main attraction from my point of view is that the game play is incredibly fast and therefore when LTD loses we can quickly play again to avoid any drama.  Top That! appeals to his love of magic and helps with his passion for hiding things (like my car keys). The stacking game features a challenge with three rules. “objects printed in color must be visible on the stack, objects printed in grey must be hidden INSIDE objects on the stack, and objects surrounded by stars must be kept empty.” At first he had a little confusion around the concept (and flying the stacking hats across the table) but now he is beating me (only when I’m holding BB as he is always on my team). And yes he has named the rabbits.

 

Product Review – Dr. Eureka

eurekaAs previously mentioned, the boys have recently begun enjoying board games (don’t worry folks they are still glued to the iPad). One new game they have been experimenting with is Dr. Eureka. BB has to play on my team for now and mostly runs away with the pieces. The game is basically a brain teaser and even allows solitary play. You choose a challenge card ant then using test tubes and balls complete the scientific formula or as LTD puts it the, mad scientist formula. You can’t use your hands to touch the balls so it is good practice for when one of the boys becomes a nuclear arms dealer, but I suggest you play on the carpet as the balls hit the wood floor pretty hard. Also be prepared for one of your kids to make Dr. Frankenstein laughter and the other kid to copy him.

 

Product Review- Skip Hop Lunch

skiphopjarAs long time readers know well, BB is what they call a problem eater (not a picky eater) and in that regard he will not eat anything he has to bite like a sandwich or apple. So his diet consists mainly of mac and cheese and as he calls them ricebeans. The insulated food jar by Skip Hop is pretty cool because it comes with its own spork and keeps his mac and cheese warm all day. As we constantly try to expand BB’s horizons he has begun tentatively eating blueberries. The Zoo Lunch Kit has a special container that is the right size for such bite sized berries. By making the presentation special hopefully the trick will work to get him to chew. They are dishwasher safe and fit nicely in his Batman lunch box. Keep your fingers crossed that he will be enticed by the box to eat what is inside.

Product Review – Estes Rockets

rocketOne of the joys of parenting is getting to re-create childhood memories with your own children. Of course this rarely goes well as they either don’t care or can never appreciate things the way you did (since they are different people no matter how much we try and make our own clones). However, one thing that I loved from summer camp was making and launching model rockets. The boys are now able to enjoy this as much as I did because, come on, they are rockets. Estes makes a full line of rockets for all skill levels. Most model rockets use the engines that are flammable and use an igniter etc. My boys aren’t quite ready for that level of NASA just yet. Thankfully, they make a line of air rockets that don’t involve me having to explain to The Mommy why I burnt everyone’s eyebrows off. I have started a tradition of having a full launch countdown as each department gives us a go/no go for launch a and then these babies really soar. Soon LTD will be ready for the engine rockets but for now he is content to pound the Sonic Boom which is so hardcore that it goes up to 150 feet. It makes the Stomp Rocket look like home made inventor trying to turn the washing machine into the ship from Interstellar. One added bonus is that when these bad boys lands a mile away I make the kids run and get them so by the time we get home they are ready for naps.

Product Review – KoalaSafe

koalaLTD has long been a slave to the iPad and now BB is getting in on the action. They only stop using it when the battery dies but now we are trying something different. The device that looks nothing like a Koala but is called KoalaSafe plugs into the wall and then goes all Big Brother on the screens. You can set time limits that shut off the internet and also block sites and apps plus enforce safe search on different engines. Another feature that we haven’t used to much since the boys are still pretty young is what I call the NSA feature. You can see how your household usage compares to other families and monitors if there is a jump in your own site use. Of course in an ironic twist you monitor everything from the app on your phone (do as I say not as I do). Now let’s hope The Mommy doesn’t get any ideas about blocking certain sites I frequent.

Product Review – Name 5

GameName5LTD has a habit of wanting to play board games that are above his pay grade and BB has a habit of wanting to sit on my lap and be on my team. In that regard, LTD has been getting into the Endless Games release Name 5. In the vain of Scattergories and games that involve shouting things out Name 5 lives up to the title as the cards direct you to name 5 things as the timer counts down. Five seems doable but when the sand runs down staring at you, you do get jammed up. Of course even LTD can rock obvious categories like name 5 video games, but when we get into name five vegetables that begin with “a” he gets as BB says, Fwustrated. The game is fast paced enough to hold the boys attention but The Mommy doesn’t particularly enjoy the shouting. I’m sure as they get older and game play gets easier the volume will decrease (name 1 thing that isn’t true).

 

 

 

Product Review – Frogglez

frogNow that BB is three, The Mommy and I figured it was time he learned to swim. Since he has watched LTD swim with goggles he wanted his own. The only issue was that even though he demanded googles he wouldn’t wear them. Of course one frustrated dad came up with a cool solution. Christian Hahn took the pain and the hair loss out of the google equation and came up Frogglez. And yes they float. Frogglez use a neoprene headstrap that uses easily adjustable velcro to allow for swimming without the screaming. Of course, I know what you are thinking, yes BB still screams in the pool but they are not screams of pain only screams of fun (fun that is for everyone outside of ear shot). Now if only the googles could teach him to swim I could save a fortune on lessons.

Product Review – Rockport Shoes

rockportNow that BB is way past allowing us to be in a stroller and way way past sitting still, I find that not only does my back constantly hurt but so do my feet. The Mommy has strict rules about what I can wear in public and shoes with holes do not make that list. Rockport’s Walk 360 Oxford handles two of my concerns. One they look cool and the sole has this special design that LTD thinks makes the shoes look like they are from the future. Secondly, they sport hard core cushioning so my dogs don’t bark when I spend all day chasing BB from one end of the Earth to the other. Additionally, they feature something I never knew I needed which is a good amount of breathability. How do I know this, you ask? Well, when I get home my socks aren’t drench in gross foot sweat which was a strong feature of my old shoes. Shoes are one of those things that you always forget are important like a good mattress, but now that I actually notice a different it is probably time to start paying more attention. Of course BB pretended to eat my feet the other day so maybe I won’t need shoes soon.

Product Review – Daddy Caddy

blue_1At two and half BB is still in diapers but slowly showing interest in potty training (did I say slowly?). In that regard I still need to remember to pack a few diapers and wipes when we are mobile. Since I am on the tail end of the baby stuff I no longer carry any diaper bag (much to The Mommy’s chagrin, but I do like things easy and quick. The hands-free Daddy Caddy is just the right size to handle my diaper situation without reminding me I still need to be in a diaper situation in the first place. The water resistant stealth design allows for the only things I need diapers and wipes plus a secret pocket for hand sanitizer.  I don’t need those diaper bags that look like swat gear to show I don’t have a mommy diaper bag, what I do need is one I can hide as I like to travel light.

 

 

Product Review – LabelWorks Safety Kit

labelmakerNow that LTD has started losing things not only at school but during aftercare I have leaned into labeling things with gusto. Epson’s battery powered LabelWorks Safety Label Kit creates hardcore labels in terms of durability, which is good because once a label starts to peel it never recovers. Of course none of this matters because LTD has taken over the situation after finding out that some of the labels glow in the dark. I like the ones that reflect for not losing the water bottle at night, but for him glowing in the dark has become a religion. Thankfully, I stopped him from labeling his brother. The label maker also includes a ton of symbols instead of just letters and again this setting has taken the device out of my hands and into LTD’s. Not sure if his bedroom is actually radioactive but it is now labeled as such. In theory it can be used to label items in the basement or garage for power outages, but since I can’t get it away from LTD I will just have to continue to stumble around in the dark looking for the breaker panel. And because it is designed as a safety label I can technically keep it away from The Mommy to prevent her from labeling baking or knitting supplies and the boys can keep labeling items as toxic.