Category - Family

Santa Buddies DVD Review

Santa Buddies DVD ReviewJust in time for this holiday season Disney presents Santa Buddies, a mischievously merry Christmas movie that will not only bring laughter to your home but also touch your heart. Santa Buddies follows a list of fun predecessors including Air Bud, Air Buddies, and Space Buddies, to name a few.

Santa Buddies is a live action film featuring the familiar faces of George Wendt as Santa Claus, Christopher Lloyd as grumpy Stan Crudge, and Danny Woodburn as the lovable Head Elf Eli. Zachary Gordon does the voice-over for the main character, Puppy Paws. Stan is the character you love to hate. Christopher Lloyd plays a spectacularly grumpy dog catcher and his character is very believable. Aside from the human players, there are many fur-covered characters who play important roles in making this movie shine
Viewers will love the rambunctious, snow white Puppy Paws whose curiosity gets him in trouble. Five personality-filled golden retriever pups called The Buddies enhance the fun and laughs. Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Mudbud, and Buddha each create their own hilarious antics from the start of the film to the finish. You’re bound to fall in love with one, if not all, of them. Some of their rambunctious adventures in Santa Buddies include doggie break dancing, a jaw-dropping mud scene, and a Christmas cookie disaster.
I love the movie’s play on the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol. The dog catcher in this movie, Stan Crudge played by Christopher Lloyd, is the villain and, not so coincidentally, his name can be transformed into S. Crudge. Other Christmas Carol similarities are when Stan is visited by the Elf dog resembling Scrooge’s spirits, and there’s even a version of Tiny Tim. I thought it was neat that they added that layer to the film.
The version of Santa Buddies that I reviewed came with both standard DVD and Blu-ray versions. I did not watch the Blu-Ray version of this film but I think it’s great that there is an option. If you have a DVD player in your vehicle you will definitely want to consider buying this so your kids can enjoy it both at home or in the car.
I give this movie two thumbs up for being a delightfully funny family movie while showing children there is more to Christmas than the material side.

Just in time for this holiday season Disney presents Santa Buddies, a mischievously merry Christmas movie that will not only bring laughter to your home but also touch your heart. Santa Buddies follows a list of fun predecessors including Air Bud, Air Buddies, and Space Buddies, to name a few.

Santa Buddies is a live action film featuring the familiar faces of George Wendt as Santa Claus, Christopher Lloyd as grumpy Stan Crudge, and Danny Woodburn as the lovable Head Elf Eli. Zachary Gordon does the voice-over for the main character, Puppy Paws. Stan is the character you love to hate. Christopher Lloyd plays a spectacularly grumpy dog catcher and his character is very believable. Aside from the human players, there are many fur-covered characters who play important roles in making this movie shine.

Viewers will love the rambunctious, snow white Puppy Paws whose curiosity gets him in trouble. Five personality-filled golden retriever pups called The Buddies enhance the fun and laughs. Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Mudbud, and Buddha each create their own hilarious antics from the start of the film to the finish. You’re bound to fall in love with one, if not all, of them. Some of their rambunctious adventures in Santa Buddies include doggie break dancing, a jaw-dropping mud scene, and a Christmas cookie disaster.

I love the movie’s play on the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol. The dog catcher in this movie, Stan Crudge played by Christopher Lloyd, is the villain and, not so coincidentally, his name can be transformed into S. Crudge. Other Christmas Carol similarities are when Stan is visited by the Elf dog resembling Scrooge’s spirits, and there’s even a version of Tiny Tim. I thought it was neat that they added that layer to the film.

The version of Santa Buddies that I reviewed came with both standard DVD and Blu-ray versions. I did not watch the Blu-Ray version of this film but I think it’s great that there is an option. If you have a DVD player in your vehicle you will definitely want to consider buying this so your kids can enjoy it both at home or in the car.

I give this movie two thumbs up for being a delightfully funny family movie while showing children there is more to Christmas than the material side.

Click on the Amazon link to get yours:

How a Cleaning Schedule is Important for My Sanity

So you would think that after 2.5 years of doing this whole mommy thing that I would be a pro at all things domestic. Well do I ever have you fooled! Now don’t get me wrong I do know some pretty awesome tricks and tips to save time and avoid meltdowns, but there are a few sections of the domestic goddessness that I haven’t mastered that I would love to improve upon.

I’m so envious of the moms who have everything planned out, perhaps because before I became a mom myself I used to be so much more organized. Although there are a lot of things that have changed A.C. (after child); my body, (which sometimes I’d rather deny that it’s mine), becoming that late person that I always hated, and memorizing every little thing there’s one thing that I didn’t want to change and it’s being super duper organized.

Perhaps I gave up being so particular for my sanity, considering I had a newborn, packed up a whole townhouse, moved to a new state into an apartment and THEN a new house in only 3 months. So I’m not super mom and realized that it’s okay to put some things off if I can spend more time with my daughter. Oh how things have changed. These days, since Little Miss “A” is a little more self-sufficient I’m able to get more housework done and she even likes to help. (Must record that here in the blog so I can show her when she is a teen.) Instead I think that now it would give me more time to spend with “A” if I were more organized.

I clip coupons, keep a daily calendar of events (sometimes even with 3 calendars I still forget the time of play dates and nights out,) but what’s missing is a little more detailed organization.

Here are my list of things to work on to help improve, let’s say quality of life:

  • Start planning weekly meals (and if I’m good enough even coordinate sales/coupons to meals)
  • Create a “schedule” for “A” so she and I can get more out of her day and bring a little more structure in
  • Start throwing/donating things that are junking up my closets in hopes that my $2 sweater will sell after 5 months on craigslist.
  • Select certain days to clean certain things, oooh this one may be fun, I could do theming: Toilet Tuesdays, Washer Wednesdays, now if there was only a day of the week that started with “N” then I could have a nap day ­čÖé

Those are a few of my current goals, I’d love to start before baby #2 makes her debut. I would love any tips or websites devoted to a decent but not quite there organized momma. I think my Domestic Goddess Award is getting dusty…I may even have it revoked if I don’t do something STAT!

Public Potty Tips

Being the mom to a newly potty trained 2.5 year old I’ve struggled with getting the hang of going potty in our own home. Potty, wipe, flush, wash. Then I realized once I left the comforts of my own home, my step-stool and into the “unknown” of public restrooms that it gets scary.

For those moms who are preparing to take their little ones on the public potty here are a few tips and suggestions I hope you take with you.

A few of my momma friends have actually purchased travel potty seats, a mini toilet cover fold-up version so the kiddos bums don’t have to touch the existing seat. A lot less actual work in the potty. You can find some here: http://www.mypreciouskid.com/potty-seat-cover.html

Most, but not all, public restrooms have the paper toilet seat covers that are a life saver when you don’t want to hold your little one over the toilet in mid-air. Beware, occasionally the seat cover will fall in if you don’t place it correctly and nix all your plans for a germ free-ish potty session. In my search I also found disposable potty covers (like the free ones but better) and these ones even stick to the seat with adhesive tabs! Check them out: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009QYSO4/ref=asc_df_B0009QYSO4955539?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=googlecom09c9-20&linkCode=asn&creative=380341&creativeASIN=B0009QYSO4

Now we don’t have these and if you use the potty seat covers this may be going a little overboard, but if you’re really freaked out by germs then you may want to think about getting some Potty Mitts. Looks like they cover your child’s hands so they can grip the potty but not have to worry about what’s getting on them. I wonder if they make holding on more difficult though, they look a little slippery. Perhaps an upcoming review idea??? If you want to buy some Potty Mitts I suggest these: http://www.amazon.com/Potty-Mitts-Disposable-Hand-Covers/dp/B000ZZCANU

and if all else fails there’s the good ole standby: Toilet Paper. Here’s a trick I like to use while I toilet paper the potty like it’s Halloween on steroids. After trying to get into the largest stall available, (it gives you more space to not bump into anything and keeps little hands further from the yuckies,) I look for a drain, or colored tile, something that I can assign Little Miss to stand on that’s hopefully just out of reach from everything. I double and triple paper each side (including the front) of the potty so she has a spot to put her hands and does not have to touch the actual seat/base.

A few smaller tips I also like to use in the community potty sessions are: putting paper towels under my arm so I have them ready immediately after Little Miss washes so her shirt, pants, shoes don’t get too wet. Also hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer.

What are your tips for using the public restrooms with your children??

Ni Hao, Kai Lan Doll

Kai Lan Plush DollNi Hao, Kai Lan is an animated series that premiered on Nickelodeon in February of 2008 and is blowing up. The show teaches children Mandarin Chinese, about Chinese culture in general, and occasionally a few yoga poses.

The show helps to support social and emotional development for preschoolers through cause-and-effect problem solving. Along those lines Fisher-Price has created four very cute, plush, Kai Lan emotion dolls. We got to try out Sweet, but they also offer Giggly, Happy, and Silly. Read More

Baby Favorites

If you’re a new mom, shopping for a baby shower, or going to be a mommy anytime in the future..here are some things you may want to think about getting to save your life!!!! I’ve listed the top 10 things I couldn’t live without being a mom, at least a mom to a baby. These do not include the givens, diapers, wipes, food, but are definitely things you may want to look into.

In no specific order:

1. Diaper Genie II- especially now that she is eating solids, I don’t think we could live without it. Plus it’s so easy to take out and change the cartridges.

2. Purell Hand Sanitizer- for times when you could use a sink but there’s none around. Love the stuff with aloe so your hands don’t dry out too.

3. Baby carrier- any kind will do, I have Infantino. But this comes in handy for shopping, simple housework or just calming your baby down sometimes even putting them to sleep. Not so great for doing dishes or anything food related.

4. Burp cloths- Avery is the spit up queen, so this was and is still a must for us. We have them upstairs, downstairs, in the car, in the diaper bag, and still that’s not enough. Easy to wash and handy for explosions.

5. Swing- I love love love the Fisher Price Papasan! It’s so versatile you can rock two different ways, and Avery loves the mirror and animals. Unfortunately, the weight limit says 25lbs but Avery is topping it off at 17.5lbs. She is too big for the seat and when we put her in it creaks, probably not a great sign. But she has used it tons since birth, so I’d say we got our money’s worth, if you don’t have one and have a new baby put this on your registry!

6. Gas drops- these were a huge help. I use Little Tummies Gas Drops, I’ve also heard that their Gripe Water is a good one, we buy these in bulk :):)

7. At least 2 changing pad covers- of course changing pad covers are a must, but I love that I have two, when one is in the wash I can use the other, I don’t have to wait for it to wash and dry, this definitely saves me time and is well worth it.

8. Pampers diapers- I was going to just put Swaddlers on here, but since then I’ve also used Cruisers and Baby Dry and love all of the Pamper Line diapers. They are great, as far as diapers go. They may be a little more expensive than some others, but I’ve not had one pee-pee leak period.

9. A good watch- not just any watch, a watch with a stopwatch feature is a must. I use mine to time feedings and also to see how long she is awake and sleeping. Even to this day I am using it to help me remember. Lord knows every mom has a lot of things on her mind already, why not help yourself out a little bit? The only thing is you have to remember to set the timer or else it’s worthless. It’s more sporty than fashionable but then again now you’re a mommy. Sometimes fashion has to suffer when it comes to convenience.

10. One word: Boppy. I use this for lots of stuff. Mainly to feed Avery, it saves my back and gives her and I support. Whether your baby is formula-fed or breast-fed you can use this. We also used to prop Avery up with it when she was very small and then when she was learning to sit up alone used it as a cushion. The covers and Boppy are both washable and easy to travel with.

I hope these suggestions help you. I know there are tons more but these were the most important to me.

The Napping House

When my husband first brought The Napping House into our home, touting that it was one of his childhood favorites, I wondered if it would be current enough to be fun for my 2.5 year old to sit and listen to. (After all, it was published when I was just four years old!)

Well, the short answer to that is that she loves this book, and, secretly, so do I! The playful repetition in the book helps the reader to participate by joining along in the sing-songy lines and fuels opportunities for making animal and snoring noises along with the funny characters we meet in The Napping House.

The book begins with a rainy dreary night in a tired house. It opens with a plump, snoring granny and climaxes with a sleepy child, dog, cat, mouse, and flea all perched atop the granny in the silliest of positions, making readers and listeners alike giggle.

Each character gets it’s own creative way to awaken the next. This wild sequence of events unfolds to a happy house where “no one now is napping.”

My favorite part of this book is the illustrations. The New York Times awarded this book Best Illustrated Children’s Book in 1984. Don Wood’s playful images help children understand each part of the book from the yawning dog to the clawing cat. His depictions of this hilarious tale make the words on the page come to life. The images really convey the story of how everyone ended up in that small bed, bending with each addition, and how each fun character woke the other up in the silliest of fashions.

Audrey Wood and Don Wood have certainly created an imaginative piece of literature that you can read over and over again, each time inspiring laughter from your audience. I would highly recommend this book for kids of all ages.

Make sure you get your copy here:

 

Piggy Paint – Children’s Nail Polish Review

 

Angel Kisses, Twinkle Toes, and Glass Slippers, that’s what Piggy Paints are made from. Actually those are a few of the fun names of these wonderfully non-toxic, hypoallergenic nail polishes. Piggy paints are actually made from water, water-miscible acrylic resins and thickeners (well below 100 parts per million), and glycol ethers.

Piggy Paint has received the Excellence Award from Safbaby.com and their seal of approval as an approved Vendor of Mom approved-child tested products!!

My least favorite part of nail painting are the fumes. Especially now that I’m pregnant I think the smells are ten times worse. When painting my daughter, little Miss A’s nails, I was often overwhelmed by the scent of regular nail polishes and cringed when she would stick her fingers in her mouth only to have ingested some paint chips. I searched for a healthier option and like many was lead to try Piggy Paint, kid-friendly polishes.

When I got my bottle of Piggy Paint in Girls Rule! I noticed the pretty pink purple hue and the fun metallic pearl sheen. I knew Miss A would love the color too. Next, being curious, I put the opened bottle up to my super sniffer, (pregnant nose,) and was simply amazed to say the least.

The nail polish has very little smell and what smell it does have is not your typical nail polish smell rather more of a non-toxic children’s paint smell. The polish remover was just as impressive if not more impressive with the lack of overwhelming chemical scent. A momma’s dream!!

Avery was beyond excited to get her nails painted. The polish comes in a great sized bottle, not too large and bulky and not too small to hold onto. The polish went on very smoothly especially considering a very wiggly 2.5 year old.

The only thing I wished was different was that the product comes off very easily as well, so it’s definitely for short-term use.

The end result, pretty piggies, excited little girl, and healthfully happy mommy. Oh and a new learned skill….

Buy your cute little bottles here:

We Love Chick-fil-A

For those of you who regularly frequent Chick-fil-A with or without your families I don’t have to tell you how amazing this fast food restaurant is. In my opinion, and until I am corrected, this is the top family fast food joint offering customer service, kid friendliness, and tasty food high above other fast food standards.

Chick-fil-A is the only fast food restaurant where I’m greeted and my order is taken in a very polite manner. Occasionally I’ll get a, “How are you,” or a “Please pull up” at other ff restaurants but typically I’m just glad if I get a glum, “Can I take your order.”
Now aside from their friendliness this joint is amazing if you have kids. This is the only fast food that I know of that gives you disposable place mats, bendy straws, and allows the kids to trade their toy for ice cream. On several occasions when dining in we’ve had servers help by brining food to our table and even getting items like high chairs, and silverware for our table instead of staring at us while we struggle like most fast food restaurants. Just that in itself amazes me.
Also on the kid front I love that Chick-fil-A is so involved in the community offering several activities monthly for families.
Now while I’m not always in the mood for chicken, (sorry Chick-fil-A cows,) when I am I do love their fried chicken and the fact that it’s white meat. Maybe not the healthiest lunch but very tasty. I appreciate the reduced fat milk and fruit cup choices for the kids meals.
I love Sunday’s but I do have my sad moments when I realize that Chick-Fil-A is closed ­čÖü
So thank you Chick-fil-A for being kid friendly, community friendly, tummy friendly, and just generally friendly!

Gender Prediction Test for Pregnant Moms – Intelligender

Boy or Girl Gender

I’m totally one of those moms who is super-planner-woman. When it comes to finding out the sex of my babies I’m not one to wait until their birth to find out. I totally applaud those mommas and think it’s neat but SO not me. I need to know if I can buy girlie or boyish clothes, pick out a name, and make sure everything in general is set.

While our first sonogram technician was very clinical in letting us know our daughter was a girl we’re still very excited to find out the sex of this baby that will join us in Spring of ’10. In our talk about gender predicting using wives tales we’ve come across Intelligender. Maybe you’ve heard of it too.

This product is becoming increasingly popular and was recently featured in Parents magazine. Basically it’s an affordable at home urine test that allows you to not only find out the gender of your unborn baby but also find it out earlier than a 2nd trimester gender ultrasound in which is usually given around week 18 to week 20.

Intelligender allows you to take this test as early as 10 weeks. For those parents who are┬áextremely┬áexcited to find out the gender and just can’t wait for the doctor’s appointment this is a fun option. While results are not 100% they do stack up at 82%-90% accurate. I have a few friends who have had positive results.

In my very brief research of this product (as I’m hoping Intelligender will send me a sample to test my results,) I have found a number of complaints in regards to the test not being right. I have found however that in many of these cases the women are either taking the test before 10 weeks and also waiting longer for the results than listed in the instructions. I’m sure that not following the test exactly would give you mixed results.

Although I can wait for my ultrasound, (which I’m ever so excited about and thinking it’s a boy,) it would be fun to test one of these out. Intelligender is sold in many retail drugstores. Check out┬áhttp://intelligender.com/┬áif you’re interested in finding out more about this product.

Here’s a similar product you may be interested in:

From the Makers of Veggie Tales comes Jelly Telly


From the makers of Big Idea, Veggie Tales, 3,2,1 Penguins, and more fun Christian programming comes…… JELLY TELLY!!

Since my introduction to Veggie Tales at Sunday School, (as a high-schooler,) I have loved these cute crudites! Bob and Larry made me laugh while reminding me about the simple things that God is constantly teaching us. Even though these animated story tellers were geared towards children it’s easy for anyone to catch on, and end up rolling on the floor laughing.

I knew that when I had children I would want them to watch Veggie Tales too. So, I asked for the videos at each holiday and bought a few myself. Most of them are VHS but someday I’ll work towards a DVD set.

Just this year we found out that Veggie Tales are now…”On TV!!!” It’s basically a new introduction and lead into the story but they’ve kept most of the same stories to teach Sunday Morning values.

Jelly Telly is a fun website that features Christian media, including games and videos. It’s a great way to get more of the great message of the Bible to our youngsters. Co-Creator of Big Idea, Phil Vischer wants to “Bring the Bible to Life.” Not only are they providing great materials but they’re also inspiring and hiring upcoming new Christian children media designers. Which I think is pretty cool.

They have everything from animation to puppets to human actors. I feel like they have something for everyone, so if you get a chance to go to their website: Jelly Telly
check out some of the fun characters and creations.


Also for those of you Veggie fans Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah’s Umbrella will be released in the U.S. and Canada on DVD on July 31st in Christian bookstores and August 1st in the general market.