Fill In The Blankie!!! What a great baby gift!

March 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured Review

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One of the fun perks about doing this blog is the occasional offer to review a product that I had never heard of but instantly love. After Jillian was born I was given the wonderful gift of designing a Fill In The Blankie blanket for her. It is much more than personalized, you get to customize all 4 sides of the blankets edges with the baby’s info, sweet sentiments or a favorite lullaby. I chose to write Jillian’s full name and the date and time of birth on the 1st  side; her length and weight on the 2nd side; “Ethan, Bennett & Jamie love their little sister” on the 3rd side and “Mommy & Daddy love Jillian very much” on the 4th side. I also got to choose from 27 fonts & 12 thread colors for the message. There are options for cute icons and even some glow in the dark thread! Of course there are A LOT of choices for the actual blankets (32 blanket styles/colors) and I couldn’t resist the Pink Magnolias print with solid pink on the back for Jillian’s. It is great quality blanket and the perfect size for using with her infant car seat, over a bouncy seat (like in these pictures) or in the stroller. When she is a little older I’m sure she’ll like to snuggle with it but for now she likes to feel the satin trim and put it in her mouth. This cute blankie will be a nice keepsake but for now its something functional that we really use! If you are looking for a gift for a new baby in your life I think designing one of these blankets would be a great idea (ours arrived really quickly after I placed the order online)!

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Our kids LOVE their Curious George Game & you can WIN one too!

March 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Past Contests, Reviews

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Our kids go through phases of only wanting one show until they’ve seen every episode a million times and then move on to the next one. We have been in a Curious George phase for months now and when we were sent a Curious George Super Helper game to review I knew the kids would be thrilled. Here is a short description:

“You can be a neighborhood Super Helper just like Curious George! Volunteer at the firehouse, pitch in at the restaurant, or help tidy up at home. Flip over three cards to see who needs help. Chose where you want to help—at home, the firehouse, or the restaurant—then drop the ball, coin, or cube into the tower and try to make a match! The bouncy ball, flippy coin, and dice cube tumble through the roof of the tower and magically come out on different sides. The player who helps the most wins the game.”

All three kids like playing the Curious George Super Helper game but I like to play just one on one with them. Its a nice game that is fun to look at and play. The amount of time it takes to play is perfect and I like that some of the game cards ask you to “say something nice to someone” or “promise to help put the game away when done”. The kids like that you drop game pieces down through the building and they come out at the bottom (we sometimes have to drop them a few times to get them in the right spot but the kids don’t mind). Jamie is still young for it since she isn’t 3 yet but the boys are 4 and 6 yrs and they both seem to be good ages for it.

This game was a perfect fit since the kids love Curious George and love playing board games! I like that the I Can Do That! games are designed to help build self-esteem in kids. The other games are Curious George-Discovery Beach and Curious George-Hide and Seek Animals (plus I Can Do That! makes Dr. Seuss games too).

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You can one of the Curious George games pictured in this post! To enter:

  • Leave a comment with which game you would like to win AND since these games are designed to build self-esteem please tell us  “what you do to build self-esteem in your child?”
  • Open to US and CA mailing addresses.
  • Contest ends Friday April 10th

Jillian is FIVE months old today!

March 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Our Life

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I can not believe my little baby is 5 months already. Since 4 kids seems to be our max I am feeling like this is a bittersweet time for me. I just wish she could stay my tiny baby forever! She is the sweetest baby though and gets more so every day. She is changing and doing more things so quickly right now. On Sunday she really found her feet for the first time and now she grabs her toes. She is so alert and likes to make eye contact with me above all others right now (of course I love that). So many smiles and now GIGGLES! Her brothers just crack her up now (she had a huge giggle fit with Ben one day). Seems like she really is looking more like Ben now and her hair is most like his at this age so I have my fingers crossed that she’ll have the thick wavy hair too. Oh and she is now an arm waver and a leg kicker, she will have little excited fits with arms and legs flying. Toys are a hit with her now and the other kids are having fun giving them to her. What I love the most lately is her super soft chubby hands and feet when she grabs at me or kicks me. I just can’t get enough of that and off course the smiles.

Bugs and Bots

March 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Geek Dad

Families in our area have been getting hammered by bugs the last few weeks.  Flu bug, stomach bug, strep throat, and who knows what else.  I got sick with the mini-flu that is going around a few weeks ago and promptly passed it on to a co-worker who then shared with his car pool and someone else in our office.  Some how our family didn’t get sick then, but now that I’m better we have all 4 kids coming down with a fever and boogers.  Fun.

The exciting news in our house is an upcoming project I am researching.  We subscribed to the Best of Youtube podcast and have been watching it on our TV at night (thanks to PyTivoX).  One of the videos was instructions on building a Bristle Bot.  A bristle bot is a simple robot that uses vibration to achieve locomotion.

There are 3 ingredients:

  1. The head of a toothbrush (w/ angled bristles)
  2. The vibration motor from a pager or cell phone
  3. A watch battery

While cleaning out our spare bedroom to gather things for our upcoming garage sale I discovered 3 of our old cell phones.  Next I need to hit the dollar store for some toothbrushes and see if we have the batteries lying around.

The tricky part is extending the wires on the motor.  For the video they soldered on wires.  I’d love to get a chance to try soldering, but that would mean buying a soldering iron.  I think I’ll try to simply attach longer wires with electrical tape.

Of course, the uber-geek in me is not satisfied with construction without an element of destruction.  My brother sent me a video with ideas for modified bristle bots.  So now I am thinking we could get creative with a little aluminum foil and some paper clips.  Using the boards from our Kaskey Kids Hockey set we can have our own Battle Bots ring!

Stay tuned.  I’ll make sure to document the whole process and get some video of the bots in action.

HONEY Kix, my family loves it! WIN a great prize package from Kix!

March 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Past Contests, Reviews

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My kids are big fans of cereal and luckily not just the bright colored candy-like kind! We usually buy them the “grown-up” cereals that John and I like ourselves. When I got the offer to review new Honey Kix I was pretty sure that the kids would like it and I was right. I didn’t ask the kids why they liked it but the box didn’t last very long and that says a lot. John and I thought it was pretty good too, not very sweet but sweet enough. Ben was definitely the most excited and he loved taking it to preschool for snack time. In the prize package from Kix comes a neat cereal container with a cold section for milk that screws on the bottom and a folding spoon. Ben loves the neat container and at 4 yrs old he can do it all on his own at school (I heard the other kids want one too). Now that our box is finished I can’t wait until our store carries this new cereal, we bought a box of regular Kix while we’re waiting and the kids are eating it without complaint but I miss the honey version!

Enter  to win your own fun prize package from Honey Kix. You’ll get a box of the cereal, an adorable ceramic honey pot, 2 Kix bowls, a great cereal storage container and the cereal/milk snack container (I’ve got to find out where I can buy more of those). *JUST FOUND OUT THAT I HAVE THREE OF THESE TO GIVE AWAY!

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To enter:

  • Leave me a comment on this post. Any comment will do but I’d love to know what your kids like to bring for snack/lunch or anything else interesting!
  • Contest ends March 27th
  • Open to US residents only

J’s are lucky! Congratulations to Josie, Jacqueline and Josie!

Hats

March 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Art Projects

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For the past week I’ve been making hats while I am feeding Jillian. Its addictive once you get started! Here are my 2 favorites! The yarn is about 50 years old from when my grandparents owed a knitting/sewing store so it makes the hats more special to me. I haven’t done much crocheting before, just some granny squares back in college but it was pretty easy. Stacie found these patterns online and when I saw the adorable hat she made I had her send me the links (HATFLOWER). I want to make some skull and crossbones hats for the boys next but those look a bit tricky.

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Chubby Baby!

March 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Pictures

My wonderful friend Stacie took some pictures of Jillian for me last night. Here are some of my favorites! img_6824

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The pink blanket was mine when I was a baby and I have pictures of me and Jamie on it all around the same age.

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Jillian has been chewing on her hands a lot lately and she likes to put her hand in her mouth backwards with her palms up so I was glad we got a picture of that.

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Jillian was very easy as always and I’m hoping to go back to Stacie’s often for more pictures (hint)! THANKS STACIE! You can visit Stacie’s blog to see her beautiful pictures of her girls here: Sarah and Hailey

Blogging break while I pack away clutter!

March 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Our Life

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I haven’t been in a blogging mood lately! I think I’ll be getting more excited to do it again soon but I am trying to focus my energies on getting things more in order around here (and with 4 little kids thats moving slowly). My current project is that I’m organizing a big garage sale at our preschool. I am going through the house and getting boxes of things ready to sell there. It should be fun since there will be a lot of us selling things and doing a bake sale. My main goal is selfish since our house isn’t in a good garage sale location and we have lots to purge but its nice to raise some money for the school too! We’re holding the sale on March 28th so I’m hoping to really weed out all the things in the house that won’t be missed.

The Perfect Nightlight

March 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Sylvania has announced a recall of some Rocketship PalPODzzz.   Details available here.

One year ago I wrote a post asking for a kid friendly light.  I wanted something that was sturdy and  wouldn’t chew through batteries that they could use to read, draw, or play in bed at night.  I search online, but all I could find was lights that took AA batteries and looked pretty cheap.  I gave up my search and as a result if I didn’t go back upstairs to turn off the boys light, it would stay on all night.

When Parent Bloggers sent us the new Sylvania PalPODzzz Rocketship to try out we were thrilled.

Ignite your child’s imagination with PalPoDzzz, functional LED nightlights. Soft ambient light is perfect for night
time. Removable flashlight is ideal for nighttime reading, playing with friends or as a power failure safety light.

3 Functions in 1:

  • LED Emergency Back Up Light during power outages
  • Rechargeable LED Flashlight
  • LED Nightlight
  • After using this light for several weeks we are now huge fans and plan to order at least one more for Jamie’s room, but possibly more.  Here’s what we love:

    1. The design is very cute AND sturdy.  Perfect for kids.
    2. The rocket AND the base have a soft ambient light when the room is dark.  Great nightlight.
    3. When you remove rocket ship from base it becomes a flashlight.  Has an on/off switch.
    4. Rechargable.
    5. The light is soft.  Does not blind when inevitable flashed in someones eyes.

    This is exactly what I was looking for.  The boys have been taking turns using the rocket ship at night to play or read in their bed before falling asleep.  No worry about wasting batteries because it is rechargable.  Since their room is always a minefield of Legos and toys it is great to have the nightlight in case they wake during the night and need to find their way out of the room.

    As perfect as this product is for kids, I also think it would be great at grandma’s house.  The nightlight is perfect for a hallway or the bathroom and when the power goes out it makes a great emergency light.  The added bonus is the kids can use it during visits when they’re having trouble sleeping in a different house.

    I highly recommend this product.  Since we’ve had the rocket ship the light in the boys room has stayed off every night.  The PalPODzzz is cute, highly functional, rechargable, and a huge hit with the kids.  Exactly what we were looking for to solve our bed time problems.  The only problem is that now each kid wants their own.