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Book Review – The Alphabet of Bugs

bugsWe have a ton of books in our house I have no problem with that as LTD is reading well above his grade level and BB has plenty of pages to rip, but some of the books are frankly boring. That is why I am always pleased to find something truly interesting. The Alphabet of Bugs by Ann Cutting & Valerie Gates truly makes your eyes pop. The giant bright pictures of various insects followed by a letter based description makes for a non typical story time. Of course the difficulty level is challenging for those who find words hard to pronounce. Take the letter M for instance: Mason Wasp magnificently mimics Moccasin. Not for the faint of heart. And yes the book ends with a glossary so you can prove to the children that a Mason Wasp is a real bug. However, I do think I will need to get a Master’s degree to pronounce X for Xyleutes.

Happy Father’s Day

Fathers-Day-2015-WallpapersAs I experience another Father’s Day of trying to get at least one of the boys to take a nap I reflect on the only parenting advice that really matters: Make school lunches the night before. Happy Father’s Day.

Book Review – Chizi’s Tale

jones_photoAs much as I applaud the cause I will admit to a certain level of jealousy that I never published a book while 18 year old Jack Jones did. The story centers around an abandoned baby black rhino in a Zimbabwe wildlife park. The manager took the rhino home, naming him Chizi and raising him with his own family. While this cute, the real message is one about endangered species and poaching. However, the important information was slightly lost on my boys as a discussion of getting our own pet rhino was the main take away from the story. I was able to persuade them against it, and again I don’t want to spoil the books ending, by rereading the portion of the book about Chizi going back to the wild. I also like books that have a call to action showing kids what steps they can take to help and thankfully this books does included good information for the future without telling people where they can get their own rhino.


Pool Safety for Summer

I found this article scary but interesting. Here.

Toddler amputee zooms by parents in new prosthetic

Good luck not rolling a tear. Click here.


permissonBB has entered an interesting new phase of development. He has taken to semi-jokingly asking permission to do things. However, they are things he doesn’t really need seek or have permission for, so I think he is just trying to be funny. I know what you’re thinking, what am I talking about? Okay, here is what he does, he stands near the couch and says, Can I sit on the couch? or he sits on his chair and says, Can I get down? The jocularity comes into play when he asks, Can I hug? or Can I kiss Princess Leia? He has never once asked one of these Can I questions without a big grin on his face so it is always with the same pleasure that the answer is always sure. On occasion he will go for the daily double and ask a series of questions in a row, Can I throw ball, Can I go get ball, Can I have ball? Lets hope the trend continues into adulthood and has actually asks before taking the car.

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.

Copy Cat

copycatThe best and quickest way to get BB to do something is to make LTD do it first. Of course the downside of BB’s slavish devotion to doing everything his older brother does, is that we now have to get two of everything. Please note this copying fetish does not apply to food as BB still won’t eat anything you need to chew, but he still asks for what LTD is eating and then shakes his head no, when you actually give it to him. But I digress. If LTD is playing with a toy, sticker or wearing a hat, BB orders the same thing immediately. I have to tell LTD not to play with anything fragile or important to him in front of his younger brother because not only will he yank it out of his hands but he will probably destroy it. Sadly, but thankfully only occasionally, the copy catting goes in reverse. If BB is given something LTD needs one as well. Usually, not a problem if I remember to get two in the first place always an issue when I need to go back to get some lame free sticker from the supermarket that LTD doesn’t actually want or care about except the thought that he is missing out. So far the trend hasn’t really been a big deal as the items are of limited value but when BB demands a new car he is going to be disappointed.

Book Review – Weird & Wild Animal Facts

banimalsNow that, amazingly, LTD is reading books to BB I like to give them something with the right blend of words and fun pictures as BB is easily distracted during story time. In that regard, Weird & Wild Animal Facts has plot or moral lesson, instead offers cool action pics of even cooler animals with short (as the title implies) facts. The perfect book for a two year old to cut his brother off mid-sentence by flipping pages forward. The splash pages feature one animal at a time with the best being the Naked Mole Rat. However, and without giving away any spoilers, the best fact is that Hippos secrete something called Blood Sweat which protects them from sunburns. Stay for the kangroo as it appears to leap off the page.

Product Review – OSOM Box


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.