Category - Toddlers & Preschoolers

Jib Jab Personalized Bedtime Book App {Guest Post}

Jib Jab Story Screen Shot

I try to be a good mother. I teach my kids to wash their hands, be polite and not act like bullies. I also teach them a very important lesson that many kids seem to have never been taught: The world doesn’t revolve around you, buddy.

But let’s face it — sometimes it’s nice to feel like, even for one brief, shining moment, that it is all about us. And kids love it when they have something personalized just for them. It gives them a feeling of ownership, and it captures their attention.

Knowing this, I was really excited to try out a new line of kids’ books from JibJab. You know JibJab, right? That’s the hilarious company that makes those electronic greeting cards, the ones where you can add your face to the dancing characters and send it to all your friends so they can laugh at you. Don’t act like you’ve never Elfed Yourself — you know you have.

Well now JibJab has created JibJab Jr. This is a fantastic ebook concept for the iPad. Instead of plugging your boss’ face into a turkey, you plug your child’s face into the main character of a book. And suddenly, your kid becomes the star of his very own personalized story!

This app is super easy to use. It comes with one free book — a cute story about a kid who makes a ginormous pizza. Once you select this story, you’re prompted to create either a boy or girl character.

 Jib Jab Boy or Girl

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The Gruffalo – A Movie Review

The Gruffalo DVDAs soon as I heard The Gruffalo was coming out on DVD, I knew for sure I’d have to check it out. There are a few books that were my childhood favorites and I still hold dear, and this was one.

Although I couldn’t actually remember the full story I knew as soon as I started watching I would be reminded of the plot. I watched with my 4 year-old and 1.5 year-old and we are very cautious of movies because our oldest is very sensitive to material that could be perceived as “scary”.

For Miss A and Baby C the movie was appropriate. I was amazed at the quality of animation in The Gruffalo DVD. Seriously, from the little details to the perspective of the movie I was very impressed. Read More

LeapFrog Product Party

LeapFrog logoAll four of us at the B household love a great themed party, and when Mom Select and LeapFrog approached us about the opportunity to throw a LeapFrog inspired party at our house we were totally in! (Who wouldn’t be?)

We asked all the moms to dress their kids in green in honor of LeapFrog colors, and made some tasty treats to share with our friends.

Not only did we get to play cool games like, “Frog, Frog, Toad” (like, “Duck, Duck, Goose”,((which the kids loved!!)), but we played, “Tad Says” (kids always enjoy any version of “Simon Says”, plus it tires them out and helps them to get ready to listen too!), and most importantly, kids and moms got to use the new LeapFrog LeapPad™  learning tablet, LeapFrog Tag™  Reading System, and the LeapFrog Tag™ World Map.

Here are some pictures of the party, snacks, activities, cute kids and all:

LeapFrog Party

A handful of the attendees already owned a LeapFrog Tag™, but for those who weren’t familiar with it found it to be a great choice for children learning to read, I always suggest this product for children who are a little more cautious with their belongings, since the pages in the book are made from paper and can be torn if not careful, {or if you’re like our family and have little ones who like to grab everything aka Destructo.}  One lucky mom left with a brand new LeapFrog Tag™ for her daughter just for attending this awesome event.

At the LeapFrog Tag™ World Map table, some of the children were able to explore the world with their moms. This interactive map not only helps learn geography, but it also teaches your child about the people who live across the world, different languages, explains about each culture and has lots of fun learning games. It is one of my new favorite LeapFrog products because we want our girls to know that there is a whole world full of amazingly different people out there and what better tool to do it?!?

The majority of the kids were drawn towards the LeapFrog LeapPad™, of course, it’s like mom’s tablet or a cool video system with a large screen that interacts through touch and movement. The kids loved the video and picture function of the LeapPad™ as they built their own stories. They also got to check out some well-known character based learning games and I kid you not, it was very hard to get the children to share this one {which is a good thing}, but I was able to pry it away occasionally to let those who hadn’t tested it out have a chance.

Here are my thoughts on LeapFrog products:

All-in-all the party was a great opportunity for moms got to watch their children interact with these toys in a non-store setting, at their own pace and many of them left the party saying these LeapFrog products were on the top of their holiday shopping list. And the B family fell in love with LeapFrog a little more that day.

I’ll leave you with this cute picture of the kids giving me their best, “surprised” faces. Aren’t they cute!!!

LeapFrog Party Kids

I received free LeapFrog products in order to host a Learn, Create, and Share Party. LeapFrog did not influence my opinions expressed in the above post.

Ruby Moon Laundry Detergent {Guest Post}

Diaper Parties by AndreaI first took the “plunge” into cloth diapering about a year ago. I’ve faced several challenges along the way, which is a post in itself, but one thing I’ve had an issue with is detergent.

Cloth diapers enthusiasts will tell you that you need a detergent specifically formulated for cloth diapers that doesn’t contain optical brighteners, phosphates and other chemicals that can increase the likelihood that your diapers may experience odor or stain issues.

I’ve tried several cloth diaper detergents and believe some work better for us than others because of the hard water we have in the South where I live. Read More

BePe Baby Slipper Review {Guest Post}

BePe Baby LogoMy daughter thinks she’s a ballerina. No, we don’t take dance classes every Tuesday evening after school. But we do watch a lot of Angelina Ballerina and we’ve learned a couple of moves along the way. The lack of instruction hasn’t hindered my daughter’s dancing skills. She can still be found skating, floating and dancing around the house in her socks. This scares me as we have hardwood floors and they’re not fun when you fall on them. And when she does fall, it’s not fun. I’m sure her sobs can be heard down the street. Like most four-year-olds, small accidents are tragic. And while I make fun, these falls do worry me. I’m your typical neurotic mom that wants to protect my daughter from every fall in life. Literal and Figurative. Read More

My Twinn Doll Review

My Twinn LogoBecause my girls are biracial often times it is hard to find dolls for them that have features like theirs. Sometimes we will find dolls with some of their features but they’ll be missing one or two important features. Now it’s not essential that they have dolls that look exactly like them, and of course we want them to have all kinds of dolls because God created all kinds of people, however it’s always nice for my girls to be able to have things to relate to in all areas of their life.

I want my girls to love who God created them to be inside and out and with My Twinn Dolls facilitates that desire. Each My Twinn Doll is a one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted, pose-able, and 18 inches tall. There are so many customization options like; face shaps, eye color, skin tone, and hair color/length/texture/cut/bang options. Artisans also hand-paint on freckles, birthmarks, eyebrows, plus the doll’s cheeks and lips are enhanced with hand-painted colors as well.

The My Twinn Doll website makes it easy to choose your custom options to create a doll that resembles your 3 to 12 year-old child. They also have you submit photos of your child to ensure that they capture their features as best as possible.

My Twinn Website

After making our selections that best fit Miss A, submitting our photos, and filling out the birthmark form, we excitedly waited for our doll to arrive. I don’t know who was more excited to open the My Twinn Doll packaging, {which was super cute by the way} but once I saw her I knew that My Twinn did an AMAZING job. See:

My Twinn Doll Face

Here “Olivia” is in comparison to my very tall (95% height for her age) 4 year-old:

Miss A and My Twinn Doll

And here they are faces next to each other, no it’s not 100% but being her mom I see all of Miss A’s faces and I think they did an amazing job and didn’t make it look too similar to be creepy, you know what I mean! I actually did Miss A’s hair to look like “Olivia’s” too.

Miss A and Twinn Doll Faces

Miss A was delighted to see her doll and immediately named her Olivia, and started playing with her. Because My Twinn Dolls have 18 joints you can pose them and better yet they can actually sit up, unlike a lot of dolls we currently own. Miss A loved this feature. She also was excited to see her birthmark on the doll and said, “Her outfit is adorable.” Lucky for us My Twinn has clothing for their dolls, and also for your child. A My Twinn outfit for Miss A is already on the Christmas list.

Speaking of Christmas, or the holiday season in general, be sure to check dates to see when last orders for specific dates are. Standard My Twinn Dolls run about $149.00 retail value and includes your customized doll and one clothing choice from select My Twinn options. There are so many extras that you can purchase as well including earrings, wheelchairs, clothing, and more.

Now you may be thinking $149.00 is a lot for a doll, yes, I completely agree, however My Twinn really isn’t “just a doll”. Personally I feel like this is a keepsake that is so personal to Miss A and there is nothing out there that I have found that compares to her being able to say, “This doll was made for me, to look like me”. It’s durable and made with great quality, but also made with great care. If something happens to the doll there are care options and resources to “fix dolly up”.

If you are interested in purchasing this doll, or want to ask for it as a gift, or even go half-in with someone else here is the link to the My Twinn Doll website: http://www.mytwinn.com and you can check out their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/MyTwinn

Also you can win your very own My Twinn Doll and here’s how:

HOW READERS CAN ENTER TO WIN THEIR OWN MY TWINN DOLL

My Twinn is hosting an online contest through December 5, 2011. Log onto http://www.mytwinn.com/Doll-Giveaway to enter!

What are you buying your children for Christmas? Would you consider one of these awesome dolls?

I received this My Twinn doll in order to give my honest thoughts about My Twinn Doll’s website and product. This in no way effects the outcome of my post and all opinions are mine, however yours may vary. 

Themed Halloween Costumes for Kids

As you all know, my girls are little, at ages 1 and 4 {mostly for the 1 year old} I can pretty much get away with dressing them up in the costumes I think are cute. Miss A definitely has her input, but can be swayed for sure, as long as the costume is cute and girlie.

Last year the girls dressed up as Snow White and her, {ahem} poison apple. Baby C was a cute poison apple for sure though. See:

B Girls Halloween

Adorable girlies 🙂 I loved that they were themed too, and so did everyone at the parties we attended and houses we stopped at. The girls got lots of, “ooooohs” and “ahhhhs” and “Oh my goodness, they’re too cute” ‘s. I loved it. And this year while both of them are somewhat agreeable I decided to pair them up again.

Miss A has agreed, {and actually is excited} to be Toy Story’s own Lil’ Bo Peep, and Baby C will be her sheep. I am still deciding on which sheep costume I want for Baby C, but here is Miss A’s costume from http://www.childcostumes.com and one I think is cute for Baby C too. What do you think?

Family Halloween Costumes

We were completely satisfied with the quality of the costume. I really like that the costume came with a cute shepherd’s crook to complete the outfit. Once Miss A put the costume on she did not want to take it off, but alas I convinced her. I love that  fact you can layer with long sleeves or take off the pants depending on the weather outside, because sometimes, depending on what area you live in you can’t tell if it will be warm or cool. One thing to think about when purchasing costumes it that this Halloween costume, and most costumes, do not come with shoes, which is not a big deal since we have a couple pairs of plain black shoes that will coordinate nicely. Also a small note our pants ended up being a little long on Miss A but nothing a little rolling won’t help, plus when in doubt I always say go with a bigger costume than smaller because it’s easier to make alterations.

I also love it when whole families dress up in a theme too, I tried to get DaddyB to dress up as DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba a couple of times, but he just wasn’t having it. Maybe in a few years he’ll warm up to the idea.

What themes have you dressed your children or family up as?

Have you seen any really creative costume ideas?

ChildCostumes.com has a wide variety of costumes whether you decide to go with a family theme or not, check their website out here: http://www.childcostumes.com

 

 

 

I received a costume from http://www.childcostumes.com in order to complete this review. My opinions in this post are my own, honest opinions. Yours may vary.

 

 

New and Improved Moon Dough

Moon Dough Logo

Moon Dough Logo Hip, hip hooray for a new Moon Dough formula. Truth be told I can COMPLETELY tell the difference. DaddyB bought some of the old formula Moon Dough at CVS because it was on sale and it was so hard to hold onto and mold because it was very crumbly, definitely not fun to play with from my perspective or Miss A’s.

This new Moon Dough however, I have to tell you, is a huge step in the right direction. It holds together so much better which makes molding it to the shapes you want, with or without the included mold much easier. Not to mention that Miss A noticed the weird smell of the old Moon Dough, whereas this new formula, completely odor-free.

New and Improved Moon Dough

We were able to try the really cute Push N’ Pop Breakfast Moon Dough kit. It comes with 2 different colored packs of Moon Dough, 3 really cool push molds, {super easy even for Baby C, who’s 18 months – although not recommended for children under 3}, a fun breakfast plate inspired play mat, and 1 traditional twist mold and it retails for $9.99 so it’s an awesome deal if you ask me, perfect for gift giving and small enough to travel with.

We even took this with us when we went to Nana’s house in New York over Labor Day weekend, and weren’t worried about it getting into the carpet or making a huge mess all over the table.

I loved playing with Miss A and making lots of pancakes with syrup and butter, french toast and waffles for breakfast, yum. At first I wished the colors were closer to the colors of the food, but then I realized that Baby C and other kids may be enticed to eat them even more, so I’m just fine with red pancakes, really.

Here are a few more pictures of us using the set, we get it out often and sometimes even more than our Play-doh because there’s a lot less clean up. And to be brutally honest, this may take over our Play-Doh collection once every canister of it drys up. Yet another cool fact about Moon Dough, it NEVER dries out, never. They just may be onto something.

Moon Dough New and Improved

Moon Dough Push 'N Pop Breakfast

Aside from our Moon Dough Push N’ Pop Breakfast kit, Moon Dough also has Push N’ Pop Ocean Pals, and Moon Dough Snack Shop and can be found at Toys ‘R Us, Target, Walmart, Kmart, Amazon.com, A.C. Moore, Michaels, and eToys. If you want to find out about their other products, {because with this new formula you’ll want to stock up on different molds and play sets} go to http://www.moondough.com

I received the Moon Dough Push N’ Pop Breakfast kit through my affiliation with Team Mom and Child’s Play Communications in order to give an honest review of this product. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, not influenced by any outside sources except by the input of my assistant tester Miss A, my 4 year-old daughter. 

Discovery Place Kids – Can Can’s Masquerade

Baby C Dress Up

Above ALL else, my girls favorite activity for play time is playing dress up. No matter if it’s trying on fancy dresses and shiny, plastic jewelry, or wearing their favorite character costumes, they could play dress up all day long. They have danced, ran errands with me, and even eaten in their dress up clothes, and if I would allow it I’m sure they would have slept in them, tiara and all, {ouch!}.

Miss A Dress Up

 

 

 

 

Lucky for us, my girls ultimate dream is coming true. The biggest dress up night of their lives {yes all 4 years for Miss A and 1.5 for Baby C,} is coming on October 21st, and you can come too!

 

 

Discovery Place KIDS' Can Can

Can Can, Discovery Place KIDS’ awesome mascot, invites you to her Masquerade Ball at Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville. Put your fancy pants on, shine your dancing shoes, and get ready to celebrate the Museum’s one-year anniversary!

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served for the young and young at heart. Masks and costumes are welcome but not required, but of course you know my little ones will be dressed up for sure, and maybe mommy and daddy too!

Friday, October 21, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
105 Gilead Road
Huntersville, NC 28078

Purchase tickets online http://www.discoveryplacekids.org/events/event/18/Can-Cans-Masquerade-Ball or call 704.348.1994 to purchase over the phone and for additional information.

Cost per ticket is: $25 per child (ages 1-13 years) & $50 per adult (ages 14 and up).
*Children younger than one are free

All proceeds from this event will benefit the educational programming at Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville.

So won’t you join me and my “dresser-uppers”, Can Can, and The Charlotte Moms {who are giving away 2 tickets through 9/25} for this fun night to celebrate Discovery Place KIDS’ first birthday?! We would love to see you come out and support the community and have fun with the kiddos too.

What are your child(ren)’s favorite characters to dress up as?

Readeez Volume Three {Guest Post}

Readeez LogoLast weekend I tried out a new learning tool for my 4-yr old son, Jeremy. Jer is the kind of kid who devours books and has an appetite for learning that rivals even my nerdiest days in high school. So needless to say – I was really excited when MommyB invited me to do a guest review on Readeez.

When I brought the mail in – my son immediately gravitated to the fun exterior of the Readeez Volume 3 DVD case. He was all over me asking if that was for him. I explained it was a teaching tool to help him learn to read and even though it was Saturday morning, he gladly gave up watching cartoons (he never does this) to switch to Readeez.

Readeez Volume ThreeAs a mom – you’re always excited to watch your child’s reaction to something new. Even though this particular DVD – Volume 3, was a bit over his level – he loved every bit of it. Jer is a music lover. In fact he informed his dad and me that he wants to be a rockstar. The Readeez DVD was just up his alley. I watched him rock out to the cool tunes and sing along while learning. I was shocked to realize he remembered the math portion later on at dinner. He just randomly blurted out what 4+4 was. Needless to say – I quickly became a fan too.

If you’re a parent who loved Schoolhouse Rock. Get on this! It has a similar feel and the music is super cute without becoming stuck in your head. Your kids can have fun learning without feeling that they have to sit still. Personally – I plan to check out their Pre-K offerings so he can start at his level and move up.

Final verdict from our household of 4…eight enthusiastic thumbs up!

To check out some great video clips, other DVDs and CDs from Readeez or to purchase your own copies head over to the Readeez website here: http://www.readeez.com

Debi Adam is a Charlotte, NC resident and Mom to Jeremy and Jessica. Connect with her on twitter: @debiadam

Debi received a copy of Readeez Volume Three for the purpose of this review. This in no way effects the outcome of this review and all opinions are the honest opinions of Debi.