Posted in Blogging, Parenting

Oh How Things Have Changed

When I was a kid, by the start of December, I would usually be flipping through the Christmas special version of the Sears catalog.  I remember flipping through page after page getting excited by a whole bunch of cool-looking toys and gadgets.  I could spend quite a lot of time doing this.

A couple of weeks ago, we received a small booklet from a nearby toy and game shop with a whole bunch of really interesting…well…toys and games.  I was sure that Charles would get excited by it, but he flipped through it once and then moved on to other things.

Today, he looked at a set of flyers that I just couldn’t pry out of his hands to get him to bed.  He kept exclaiming at each page and pointing more than a few items.  He seriously spent a good half-hour pouring through the content, never tiring of turning the same pages over and over again.

Anyone want to gander a guess at what he was getting all excited about?

image
Yup, these are indeed grocery flyers.
Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday – May 6th

TTT

  1. I am thrilled because it is FINALLY sunny outside today.
  2. It’s a bit cool though, but who cares, right?
  3. I made sure Charles dressed to encourage the sun to stay and coax the warm weather to come our way so today he is sporting a pair of neon orange shorts (over a pair of babylegs) and a brightly colored t-shirt.
  4. Little Dude received a small toy pickup truck from his Papi this weekend.  He carries it around with him all the time.  He’d sleep with it if I let him.
  5. I also showed Charles that his potty (which, incidentally, he is not interested in anymore, but that’s fine with me), can be used as a stool.  Now he carries it around the house proudly, happily reaching places he couldn’t reach before.
  6. I am totally hooked on the Mentalist series.  I can’t stop watching the episodes and am almost done season 2.
  7. I was both very surprised and extremely pleased when I met our new tech guy at school who, as it turns out, is one of my old students.
  8. Last Sunday, we went to my friend’s son’s first birthday party with Charles.  It was really fun to see him interact with the other children around (after he stopped being velcroed to me).
  9. Today, I got some really good news with regards to my job for the coming years!
  10. I can’t believe the school year is almost over.  I mean, everyone is doing revisions and the end of year exams are just around the corner.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Posted in Parenting

Reblog Friday: Why We Are Giving Our Son A Doll

I have been searching for a doll for Arlo’s first birthday. I contemplated whether I would write this post, it’s a personal choice and at the end of the day, a doll is just a toy. Who cares if they are typically considered a “girls” toy. I decided to go ahead and post this because dolls are great toys and maybe there are parents out there who haven’t considered buying a doll for their sons – so, this post is for you (and any other parent who is interested in why I think dolls are great toys).

Read the rest of the post here.

I came across this post earlier this week and just had to share it.  It is written by Kerry one of my favourite bloggers.  She is an Australian living in Thailand with her husband Sid and son Arlo.  You can find her blog here.  I really suggest you hop over and give it a read.  I’ve never thought of buying my son a doll because, well, he’s a boy.  I’d just never given it any thought.  But after reading her post, I totally get how beneficial it could be to his development.

Have you ever thought of buying your boys a doll?  How do you feel about it after reading Kerry’s post?

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: The Almost 2014 Edition

TTT

  1. Oh dear, we’re on the eve of 2014 already, whatever happened to 2013?
  2. Is anyone else like me and choose to not do any resolutions?
  3. I finally remember what I’ve been meaning to write in the past month!  My tendonitis is gone!  I had mommy’s thumb for months and I realized about a month ago that I hadn’t had to wear my brace for a while.
  4. Tomorrow morning we’re having brunch at my in-laws’ and supper at my parents’.  It’ll be yummy!
  5. Oh!  Yesterday I went out and bought some fresh goat cheese at a farm near my house.  It.  Is.  Delicious!
  6. Little Dude has so many toys (he got quite a few for Christmas too!).  We split them all into three big boxes.  One is upstairs in the living room, one is in the family room in the basement and the other is put away.  We’ll be doing a monthly rotation of the boxes.
  7. I bough a cookbook filled with cold lunch ideas (because cold cut sandwiches are rather uninspiring, not all that healthy and expensive).  We tried one recipe yesterday and it was really good.  I’ll likely post a few of the best over the coming year.
  8. Though he’s not really using words yet (he can say “mom”, “yes”, “no”, “byebye” and “what”, but babbles them rather than use them consciously), he understands a LOT.  I am thoroughly impressed by his understanding of what I tell him or ask him to do.
  9. These days, Little Dude’s favourite activity is climbing onto things (with or without help) and then proceeding to climb back down on his own.
  10. Happy New Year everyone!  See you in 2014!
Posted in Parenting

Ask Away Friday With Atlantamomofthree

Valerie contacted me a while ago to ask if I would be willing to do Ask Away Friday with her for the month of December.  I was SUPER thrilled and, of course, accepted right away.  We exchanged ten questions with one another and will be presenting our answers on our blogs for everyone to read and know us better 😉  Valerie, Jhanis and Kerry who have done AAF before answered with pictures so I tried to provide some with my own answers.

Here goes!

1.  Do you have any pets?

Yep!  I have three actually!  One sunglow gecko that was rescued from an owner who couldn’t remember the last time he’d fed him, one leopard gecko who I’ve had for nearly 5 years now and a three-legged green anolis.

2.  What does you son’s bedtime routine look like?

We keep things simple.  The bedtime routine starts with a bottle, followed by a bath, followed by teeth brushing.  Then I get the little guy in his jammies and sleep sack, turn on his white noise machine and hold him in the rocking chair for a couple of minutes before putting him down in his crib.

3.  Show us pic(s) from a recent celebration

Though I love to take pictures (of my son! lol) I’m not really the celebration type.  BUT I do have a couple of snapshots from the anniversaries that we celebrated at my parents’ house last weekend.  One of the birthday cake and one of the little dude digging in.

4.  What are a few of you son’s favorite things to play with (at the moment)?

Hands down Charles loves his Duplo blocks.  He loves to put them together and bang them on one another to make noise.  He has also started to show an interest (an actual one) in books.  He grabs them from the shelf and comes to sit on me so that I can read it to him.

5.  Do you decorate for the Holidays?  Let’s see them

We actually decided against decorating for the Holidays this year because Mr. Curious would get into EVERYTHING.  We will be putting up a tree and decorations next year though!

6.  Where do you buy your groceries?

We’re lucky enough to have three grocery stores within 5 minutes of each other (and our house).  We typically go to 2 out of three each week depending on the specials.  We go to Super C, IGA and Provigo.

7.  Can we see your city’s library?

Sure thing 😉  I’ve actually only been there once, but it is rather nice and has a great selection.  Now that I’ve revisited it (to take a couple of pictures), I feel like going back!

8.  How does the inside of your car look (clean or messy)?

Well, um… y’know… I’ve never been very good at keeping the inside of my car clean.  It’s actually not THAT bad right now because I cleaned it up a couple of weeks ago…

9.  What is your favorite room in the house?
 
Must I choose?  I love the family room because it is chalk-full of books and games and I love the basement because that is where all the video games and gaming consoles are.
 

 
10.  What is something that makes you smile?
 
This.  This little guy makes me smile every day.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Today, the first thing he did when he got home from daycare was toddle his way to the pantry, grab a box of crackers and start snacking away.  Oh boy, can’t wait for adolescence to hit…

P1110127

This was really fun!  Anyone up for doing AAF with me?

Posted in Parenting

Musts & Busts: Baby Toys

As a new parent, it can be quite a daunting task to pick out great toys for our little ones.  I mean, we all want the best for our children and the different toy companies put in lots of money to convince us that they have *the* product.  But what’s the real deal?

A while back, I asked some of my fellow bloggers to share with me some of the best and worst baby toys out there and now, I want to share that list with you.

Baby Toy Musts (in no particular order)

1.  (DK) Board Books

Image borrowed from dailymothering.com
Image borrowed from dailymothering.com

Amanda from Writing in White writes:

By and large though, the best “toys” (and I hesitate to even call them that) are books. [My son] never tires of them. They’re his go-to when he ready to play, tired and wanting to rest, for bedtime, or simply just to sit in mommy’s lap and flip through again and again. To be even more specific, books with real photographs enthrall him. Anything with an actual picture of a baby makes him light up – he will even kiss the pages of his favorites! DK publishing makes the best ones – board books that teach them colors and words, with some versions having the touch and feel option, as well.

2.  The Baby Einstein musical turtle

Turtle

This is a submission from Georgia over at McKinley Milestones and one I was going to suggest as well.  Here is why she loves this toy so much:

I have chosen this as a best toy because as we know babies/infants love things that are musical and light up. This toy helps them to create music themselves and associate lights with sounds. There are five buttons that represent different musical instruments. The music played is classical. You can press one button or all five to hear single instruments, or all instruments playing together.

3.  The classic Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box Caterpillar

Why Georgia thinks this is such a great toy:

It is a classic toy for kids under and up to 12 months. It’s pure excitement and joy to watch something pop out of a box.  It can also turn into a peek-a-boo game. “Where is it?” …..”there it is!’  They make many different kinds of jack in the box’s now, but the one that McKinley had was a “Very hungry Caterpillar” and the caterpillar popped out.  It was nice to have a toy that she could associate to a book that we read.

4.  The Crawl Along Snail by Fisher Price

Crawl along snail

Here’s why this toy makes the musts list according to Georgia

This toy lasted us for a good 7 months! In the beginning it was a great toy because it had a mirror for McKinley to look into and of course the snail lights up and plays songs. As McKinley got older however, the snail would crawl along with her as she pushed it. The reason I am voting this as a best toy is because it lasted the longest.

5.  The Fisher Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym

Image borrowed from fisher-price.com
Image borrowed from fisher-price.com

I wrote about this product before and I still think it’s a great one.  In a nutshell, it has a good variety of music and it can be used with newborns, infants and toddlers (it is a 3 in 1 toy).  For more info, you can check out the post I wrote on it a few months ago.

6.  Duplo blocks

Image borrowed from shop.lego.com
Image borrowed from shop.lego.com

My little guy has been playing with these for a couple of months now.  At first, he would look at us build and then promptly destroy our creations.  Then, he started exploring the blocks, touching the smooth and textured sides, putting them in his mouth.  Recently, about a month ago, he started being able to pull two blocks apart and then put them back together.  It really is a great learning toy and it will definitely grow with him.

Baby Toy Busts (in no particular order)

1.  Plastic toys with noisemakers

When writing about these, Amanda explains that this type of toy becomes quickly overstimulating for her son and puts a dent in his naps.  They also have the added benefit disadvantage of driving her nuts.  I think the following sentence illustrates well why plastic noisemakers just aren’t wonderful for babies in her experience:

Give the boy a bowl and a spoon and he can make a symphony. Give him a plastic noisemaker and he just may cry.

2.  The Fisher Price iPhone Ring Holder

iPhone case

Sounds like a good idea at first glance, right?  Georgia explains why this isn’t such a great toy:

This toy I rated the worst because I felt our money was wasted.  It literally didn’t serve a purpose.  While the idea is great, and you can use the iPhone in the case, it’s annoying to put in and take out. If your baby has actually touched an iPhone prior to using this- then they already know that they are somehow not using it.  Kids are to smart!  Also, it’s probably not the best for kids to get lots of exposure to screen time anyways.

3.  The Baby Einstein Bendy Ball

Bendy Ball

Though this toy was rated as a top toy, Georgia explains that her daughter just didn’t get it.  In fact, she never played with it.  Though it could be pushed around or shaken like a rattle, it doesn’t light up or do anything special.

4.  The Playskool Squishy Critter Lion

Image borrowed from http://www.hondoscenter.gr
Image borrowed from http://www.hondoscenter.gr

Besides the fact the it only produces the same two sounds over and over and over (and over) again (a “rawwwr” and a giggle) while being pushed, it’s pretty useless.  It’s actually rather heavy for an infant (granted, the goal is to push it around, not lift it) and, well, it has pretty much been sleeping in the toy box ever since we received it (despite the fact that I took it out numerous times to try to get Little Dude to play with it).

That’s all for today.  A BIG thank you to Amanda and Georgia for their contributions!

The next group post will be posted on November 15th and will be on teething toys and relief (anything from amber necklaces to homeopathic remedies to teething gel and advil).  I would love to hear from you again.  What were the best teething relief options you’ve used?  How about the worst?  Just send your suggestions to mommytrainingwheels (at) gmail (dot) com.

Cheers!

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