Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cool Gifts For Little Boys

 Fun with Magna Tiles.

With the holiday season around the corner, you may be looking for some ideas on what to get your kids. I know before birthdays and Christmas arrive I like to look around for gifts that will hold the boys attention for more than 20 minutes. (Even though 20 minutes is nothing to shake a stick at. AMIRITE?!)

Since I have two boys, it makes me an expert on what toys your little boys will like.


Okay, I'm not really an expert. BUT, these toys both my boys really love. They come back to these toys time and time again.

I enjoy hearing personal accounts of toys that are really well loved by parents. I appreciate the recommendations. I find this gives you some great ideas as well as some unique ideas instead of your run of the mill toy store stuff.

So I thought I would share some of the toys that both my boys (ages 3 and almost 5) really enjoy in case you need a few ideas. 

Actually, these toys would probably be great for any kid. Because what kid doesn't like throwing stuff like ninja stars?! 


Stomp Rocket

The first time I got the stomp rocket, J was 3 and L was 1. They both loved it! It was so easy to use that my one year old could even use it.

You stomp on the air pad and the rockets go soaring through the air. We all enjoyed playing with this one, even the 8 year old boy next door. They played with this one until all of the rockets got stuck on the roof of the house.


Easy to assemble, easy to use and inexpensive.

Letters and Numbers Foam Tiles

Hubby and I bought these on a whim at the toy store. They are letters and numbers in foam tiles that pop out, put them together to make a large floor mat or assemble them to make a fort.

This is a fun toy and we have used this toy a million different ways. We set up the mat and can only jump on one color to get across. I call out a letter and the boys have to drive their cars to that letter. Or, my personal favorite, Hubby and I divide into two teams, each with a kid, and use the foam letters as ninja stars. 


Also easy to use, inexpensive and tons of uses.

Magna Tiles

Recently purchased these for L's 3rd birthday. Both boys love these tiles. They have strong magnets and will stick together to make 3-D objects. Great for teaching them about geometry and whatever their imaginations can think up.

I have kept these out in the middle of the kitchen table since we got them. The boys will go over to play with them at least once a day.

We got the clear color magna tiles. So, the next purchase will be a light-up board so they can have their creations lit up. Cool, right?!

They are costly but they are well-made and they keep coming back to them.

If you can afford it, get some. 

Playhut Mega Fun Tent

Our Playhut Tent is over three years old. In kid years, that is a lengthy amount of time for a toy to survive. Needless to say, this toy does look a little rough.

However, the boys love this toy. Sometimes, I take it out and leave it sitting out in our living room for a couple of days so they can play in it. Other times, I put it away for weeks at a time, just to bring it back out again for them to play in.

We play inside and outside with the tents.

We play Hide-And-Seek, Hungry Giant (where I am the hungry giant looking for kids to eat) and we all just throw the plastic balls at each other.


That's right.

It comes with plastic balls, a small basketball and a hoop.

Never. Ending. Fun.

While ours doesn't look exactly like this one, I still think your kids would enjoy playing with this one.

If you have the space, this one is a fun one.

Which ones are your kids favorites? I'd love to hear from you.

I hope this gave you some ideas.

Happy Shopping!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Awesome Things You Discover AFTER The Baby Arrives

It's the dirty, messy, sleep-deprived superheroes!
SuperMom and SuperDad!

When you are going to have a baby, hundreds of people will give you advice. They will give you over a million little pearls of wisdom.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps!”

“Don’t worry about cleaning the house.”

“Trust your instincts!”

“You know what’s best for your child.”

“Don’t let them sleep in bed with you.”

“Let them sleep in bed with you.”

“Breastfeeding is best.”

“It’s okay to give the baby formula.”

So many people who are care about you and are so excited for you that they try to impart some of their wisdom to help make things easier for you.


Now, after the baby arrives, well…you are in uncharted territory. You try to use the advice that your loved ones gave you. You have just had a major life change and you are dealing with it the best you can. You are like an astronaut on a new planet trying to understand the terrain.

You discover all sorts of things about yourself that you never knew. Things that no one ever told you. Things that you learn all by yourself.

Things like:

You will become a napper. “But Michelle,” you say, “I’m not really a napper.” Oh, you say that now. But trust me. EVERYONE becomes a napper after they bring a newborn home. Maybe not the first night. Maybe not even the second night. But give it time. You WILL succumb to the nap. Morning naps. Afternoon naps. Evening naps. Nighttime naps. Anytime is the right time for a nap.

Your sixth sense will emerge. You will have an innate sense of when your child is getting into trouble in another room. They will have been gone no longer than 5 minutes before you will have an immediate sensation that your kid is being naughty. You go investigate. Sure enough, they are knee deep in naughtiness. (Note: Your ESP only applies to your own children. Sorry. No predicting lottery numbers.)

You will develop super hearing. You will be a sleep deprived, showerless, bleary eyed mess, laying in your own bed with the door shut and the TV on with the door closed, drifting off to sleep, when your ears will perk-up at the tiniest mewl from your baby who is down the hall in their own crib with their bedroom door shut. (Never mind the fact that now you sleep through gale force winds, car alarms and your husband’s loud snoring.) Yep, super hearing.

You will develop super speed. Before kids, you could take your sweet time doing the normal day-to-day things. Now? YOU HAVE NO TIME! You become a master of speed. You take speed and make it your lady friend. Brushing your teeth? 1 minute. Have to pee? 30 seconds. Need to eat? 2 minutes. Got to shower? 5 minutes. BOOM. The speed of light is in awe of your quickness.

You will become less concerned about cleanliness. Okay, I was going to say a slob, but this just sounds better. You will think things like, “Wow! I am really smelly and should probably take a shower. Or I could take a 30 minute nap. Screw it! I’m napping.” Or when your kids get bigger. You think other things like, “Why are all of the flipping toys all over the house?! Why is every dish we own dirty and stacked on the counter?! This place is a pig sty. I guess I should clean up around here. Oh look! The Walking Dead is on!” Trust me. I used to be OCD. (Okay, fine! I still am.) But not as much. Now, I don’t even care that the towels on the rack aren’t hanging the exact same length. I am lucky if there is a towel there at all.

So there you have it. Awesome things you discover AFTER the baby arrives.

Now that I’m looking at this list, it looks like moms and dads develop super powers. Parents are super heroes!! Albeit dirty, messy, sleep deprived super heroes. But super heroes nonetheless!

I like it.

Us parents are superheroes!

Let's go with that.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It’s Safe To Say It Did Not Go Down That Way

 Hubby, Me and J when he was a little guy.

In your life, there are moments you experience that are monumental. Epic. Amazing.

Moments you will look back on and revel in the memory of their marvelousness.

Some of these moments may even be periods of time. Not specifically moments, but hours, days, weeks, months even.

The funny thing is that as time passes it warps our memory. Some moments that may not have been all that fantastic, we recall as being such. We romanticize them. We remember them as more wonderful than they really were.

Take being pregnant for example. 

We look back on that time and think how amazing it was to have a baby living inside of us. How we would cuddle in bed rubbing the belly and watching the baby kick. How we had that “pregnancy glow” that made us look so beautiful. How wondrous the magic of giving birth. How holding that little tiny baby in your arms for the first time suddenly makes your life worth so much more.


It’s safe to say it did not go down that way.

Pregnancy was heartburn from drinking water, rocking some cankles, acne like a pubescent teenager, swollen feet like you ate a block of salt, lower back pain, random strangers touching your belly, nine months of uncomfortable sleep positions, belching all the time like a drunken frat boy, smelling Chinese food from 20 feet away and wanting to hurl, stretch marks that resembled a map of North America.

Or that small percentage of us who lucky enough to have hemorrhoids or sciatic nerve pain or acid reflux.



We completely forget what it’s like to be pregnant after our kid gets to be about 1 or 2 years old. We start to think that maybe we should have another baby because “pregnancy wasn’t that bad”. We can totally handle being pregnant again. We have amnesia as to what really went down.

I mean why else would we decide to have more kids?!

Well, okay, that part about “holding the tiny baby in your arms for the first time” was pretty awesome. You are remembering that correctly. 

And when those little fingers wrap around your pinky finger. And when they smile at you for the first time. Or their first laugh. Oh! Or when you first hear them say “mama”. Or when they give you a hug for the first time. Oh oh! Or when they take their first steps. Or their first day of preschool.


Maybe I’ll get pregnant again.