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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many of the baby products geared specifically for “DAD” usually have some built in cheesiness and a wink that the maker feels is perfect for a product that they perceive to be traditionally female only merchandise. However, I like Diaper Dude’s take on the diaper bag (from Elm Baby) because it is basically gender neutral and sleek. The sturdy bag can handle the in and out constant nature of always needing the diaper bag. I also like the messenger bag design as I’m usually caring two kids. The Diaper Dude also comes with a changing pad that if you are like me you will always forget to use. When I’m carrying a bunch of kids around, I like to keep things clean and simple plus I get to say dude a lot if anyone asks about the bag. A video is here.
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.
As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know well, I like things that are not only simple, but do what they claim to do. In honor of Halloween’s arrival and the possibility that your kid may be dressed as a ghost and actually disappear, Uh Oh Bands are an easy way to gain piece of mind. The silicone waterproof bands slip on with ease and allow you to write the child’s name and number in case of misplacement. They also have bands for allergies and medical conditions. I have seen child info tattoos and stickers, which work well, but require a little extra effort; bands are as easy as it gets, as the bands simply state, “Uh Oh I’m Lost.” I’m still waiting for them to come out with an adult version since I can never find The Mommy in Target.
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.