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.
Now that it is nippy out and I had to get down the family’s winter gear from the attic we could finally see if BB was up for my favorite game show, Will The Baby Keep His Hat On? I’m not sure if it counts as a win or not because the game show’s rules are a bit fuzzy, but BB does indeed NOT keep his hat on. Much like his socks there is nothing he does faster than take his hat off. Which is why we needed a something a little stronger. Dots on Tots, made from organic cotton, are double thick baby hats that feature Velcro on the flaps. Of course like most good baby products these hats are made by a mom in the good ole US of A. The flaps completely cover the youngster’s ears to try and prevent ear infections. Dots also makes a Noise Reduction hat with ear protection inserts in case you’re like me and you keep taking the baby to Metallica concerts. I’m still waiting for someone to make a hat that doesn’t just cover the ears, but also stops the little guy’s nose from running as it does all winter.
I had a hunch that LTD would dig getting his first ever sleeping bag, but I was not prepared for the extreme level of reaction he had. In fact, as I write this I’m still trying to get him out of it. We are in the very early stages of figuring out how to expose LTD to the concept of camping outside. So far he loves tents but we have only set them up inside. When I was a boy one of the things about camping that I didn’t like was being cold (as oppose to all the people that like being cold) so I want him to be, in his words, ‘toasty’ warm. Deuter’s kid sleeping bag is a little hard core for simple sleep overs at grandmas, but it is as LTD would also say, the real deal. The Little Star EXP features an adjustable foot section that allows you to take the bag from 3 feet to a little over 4 to compensate for a child’s growth. The bag is made from all sorts of durable space age stuff but the words Thermal Bonding have been tossed into the mix which means it is wicked warm but is able to breathe. Unfortunately, the current heat wave forced LTD out of the sleeping bag or else he would still be inside.
Being back in the baby business for the second time is a lot like the first, but I will admit we are slightly more tired (lazy) then for the first dance. Of course we are using most of LTD’s gear for BB, but amazingly in the last four years there have been some cool new developments that we could have used the back then. The Mommy and I have never had good luck with the diaper bag (as I always wanted a backpack and she did not) so we basically used two and half bags and I it was hard to find things. For BB we have done things a little different, Me+Mine Files by SugarSNAP is basically a filing system for the diaper bag. The five mesh bags, which fit in a diaper bag or basically any bag you want, feature blank tabs for you to write the contents of the bag or you can use the category stickers provided. And like most good baby products these were created by two moms who saw and a problem and fixed it. I know what you’re thinking; won’t I lose the bags inside my bottomless black hole of a bag? Each bag has a detachable ring that hooks to a larger central ring for a key ring effect, so in theory you shouldn’t lose them. The mesh bags are semi-see through so you can tell what is inside in case someone put something back without reading the label. The system works well so that you can make any bag a diaper bag much like having a car seat base for each car.
I would like to say that now that BB is five months old and we are starting solids that we are back in the bib business, but truthfully that the way LTD eats yogurt we never left. As my number one priority when it comes to bibs is in the cleaning department, I am all about the BPA free silicone. Ulubulu Silicone Baby Bibs are, as LTD would say, the leader of our bib collection. I don’t like to put bibs in the laundry since they have so much food wiff on them that I think it is gross to put them in with the clothes (trust me the cloth diapers already meet the household gross laundry requirement). Not only are the Ulubulu’s wipe clean capable but feature a crumb catcher that works overtime when the little guy eats anything that generates crumbs. As an added bonus they come in silly monster designs and you can never go wrong with silly monsters.
Growing up in Maine where the state bird is the mosquito I was no stranger to bug spray. Of course the kids of today no longer need to empty a can of Raid on themselves to fight of flying bugs. The youth of today can use more natural and less harmful bug repellants. Now that the weather has brought us flying biting pests LTD sports the BugBand insect repellent wristband. The band (that comes in many colors) uses Geraniol to create a force field around the wearer. What is Geraniol, you ask? Geraniol is a “powerful ingredient extracted from geranium plant oil through a unique refining process, does indeed provide a natural – and extremely effective – insect repellent.” In addition to avoiding any messy spray or eye rubbing incidents the BugBand works for up to 120 hours. I am pleased that the little guy’s legs will remain bite free as I know he would totally scratch and I don’t want him looking like he has the plague by the end of the summer.
What can I say, the boy likes smoothies. Okay, I can say one more thing, he often likes to take the straw out and whip it around or play with it in other un-productive ways. Do you want to know how many smoothie ingredients stain? The answer is a lot. The Sili Squeeze goes a long way to stop blueberry spots from turning up on the ceiling. As the company says, it’s not a bottle as much as it is a way to eat blended things on the go. The Sili is dishwasher safe and BPA and Phthalate free. After the baby stage one can move up a weight class with the Sili Squeeze with Eeeze, which features an easier nipple spout because toddlers don’t suck as hard as babies. One of the reasons I like the Sili is that for awhile LTD hit an applesauce phase, but has since drop it like a bad habit. I use the Sili as a fun applesauce delivery system. Also, it looks like something people will be drinking out of in the future on Star Trek or something.
The Mommy is always using bags for various activities, but truth be told she uses them mostly for knitting and baby stuff. One of the bags in heavy rotation is her Virescent bag. These eco-friendly American made bags are actually part of something pretty cool, they help you with fundraising. No more door to door candy bars or wrapping paper. You basically pick out the type of campaign you want to run and then open a custom web storefront and then you are good to go. You also have the option of putting your foundation or school logo on the bags. Additionally, Virescent will work with you to design a bag from scratch. The bags are created using recycled and 100% organic cotton and they feel solid. Certainly solid enough for The Mommy to hold what seems like a whole sheep’s worth of yarn (so far it has also resisted getting a hole via knitting needle). Now if only they could invent a bag you don’t forget in the car when shopping.
The future is here today with a container that looks like it was from The Jetson’s prop department. I present the Gyro Bowl. This bad boy is built like a NASA deep space probe and features a inside bowl that rotates 360. Why should that matter you ask? Because when a toddler is jumping on the couch or running around the living room when you scream at him to stop you only have to yell, stop it and not, stop it and pick up all those cheddar bunnies you just dropped. Like most things these days the bowl is BPA free and dishwasher safe (sorry nuke lovers do not put it in the microwave). For me one of the only drawbacks is that LTD plays with the bowl a lot more than he actually uses to take food out from. However, now that the little guy has a really hard time sitting at the table to eat and has expressed a strong desire to do what ever he wants whenever he wants to, the spill proof bowl definitely provides an added layer of security for the living room rug. The bowl is a little hard to clean, but since we only put things like raisins or hop hops (cheddar bunnies) inside it isn’t really that big a deal. Now if only I can get him to stop playing with it I can have a go.
While on a trip to our nation’s capital a buddy of mine saw something awesome and immediately thought of LTD. He was in the airport and spied a realistic Astronaut costume. Aeromax toys make a long line of professional costumes including firefighter and police officer, but the Jr. Astronaut costume is truly out of this world (I couldn’t resist). The suit comes in pretty much all sizes from infant to adult. The realistic outfit comes in orange or white and features patches, buckles, zippers and a cap (which LTD won’t wear). This is one of those things that makes me jealous that the little guy has so much cooler stuff than me. Sadly, since the shuttle program ended all this role playing is pretty much just for fantasy, but maybe it will inspire him to reach for the stars anyway. Not that I want my refrigerator to break but it would be awesome to get a new one and turn the box into a wicked cool rocket ship. Since the little guy is old enough now to really appreciate Halloween the Jr. Astronaut gear came in handy as a back up costume for the numerous spooky activities we attended.