One 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.
LTD 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.
LTD 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).
Now 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.
Now 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.
At 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.
Now 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.
Easier said than done as the saying goes. The OSOM Box is really a kid product for parents. As anyone alive on Earth knows, no matter how much we try to avoid it, people are constantly staring at our iPhones. Two Minnesota dads wanted to give parents a simple tool to allow us to put down our phones and actually make eye contact with one another. The concept could not be more simple yet there is an elegance in the clean lines of a box designed to save us from ourselves. The idea is to place your phone inside (don’t worry you can still charge it) and then enjoy some phone free time in front of the TV. I’m kidding of course but not only does the box create a safe no excuses place for you distraction device but in theory if you use it you won’t use lose your phone as that one person in your family who always exclaims, can you call my phone, I can’t find it. As in the beginning it is easier said than done, but a noble cause.
Every time BB acts out I always say he is “terrible twoing.” One of his most recent
demonstrations of just how much frustration he feels about not getting his way is to grab any piece of technology you show him. He can no longer be shown an iPhone photo without wanting to posses it as if he wants his soul back. Any time we are trying to use skype or talk to Nana he again demands possession of the phone or laptop. It is almost as if other people were experiencing the same hardships when they created the Kid lid. The BPA-free laptop cover is designed to protect your tech from the devastation that is wrought by youngsters. The board is trifolded so you can carry it as easily as you would a laptop. Of course one still needs to worry about dirty figure prints on the screen because no kid can look at picture online of a lion without touching it. NO KID. The cover is also simple which is always a plus as whenever designers trick things out for kids they always break. Now the only problem is that my skype keeps freezing.
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.”