September 26, 2013

One of my favorite things: Preschool Prep

So, its Thursday and this week has been a bust. My bathrooms, my kitchen floor...all diiiirty. Like Miley Cyrus dirty. But I'm not cleaning them right now, because my sicky little 3 year old does not want me out of eye-sight and he's busy watching Sight Words on the couch. Day 3 of constant videos and ipad time because this fever will just NOT GO AWAY.

Instead, I will continue to go with the theme that this blog has slowly evolved into this year ( its interesting how I can't seem to share deep stuff in two places at once! Its currently all pouring into my you get this stuff instead!) and share yet another of my favorite things with you....Incidentally, before we get started let me just say that I chatted with my mom a few weeks ago about how Mommy Blogs that review stuff have the tendency to head down this really awful road of becoming a written infomercial. Some pull this off better than others. A blog I use to really like I had to literally block from all forms of communication because it became so incredibly annoying with its "look what cool freebies I'm getting" and all her reviews even though she'd always tell you she was getting free stuff to review the product, were inevitably positive. Not ONE negative review? I doubt it.

Annnnyways, I know others who have found the happy medium of doing reviews for companies that send them free things and yet keeping a level of authenticity that I appreciate and I totally love that they have that opportunity and that I get to benefit from their thoughts on various products...However, I'm just too lazy and unmotivated to figure out how to get on this particular train. And therefore I will just continue to share the things that I love, give you links to those products and probably never really get much in return, except my favorite thing which is that all my friends get to share it the stuff I love! Just the way I like it!*

So, today, I'm going to share with you the secret to how my 3 year old knows his letters, letter sounds**, numbers to twenty, his shapes, his colors and about 15 or so sight words: Preschool Prep.
I promise it was not me being an awesome attentive, creative mom. Nope, it was me catching 5 more minutes of ZZs, feeding Tabitha or me blogging doing housework while Ransom watches twenty minutes of one of these videos.
I've now given these to many friends as gifts and I've yet to meet a kid who hasn't learned at least their letters from these uber-repeative, mindblowingly boring videos. See, these are not your pixar movies or your veggie tales, or even your sesame street, that has built in parent enjoyment. Nope. You will NOT enjoy these videos ( minus maybe the first time)....but your child will AND the repetition will be just enough and their enjoyment will be just enough that they will learn all sorts of good stuff!  Win! Win!

* Except the awesome lady who sales those cool teething necklaces, did let me have some free necklaces for sharing my experience after the fact! So sweet!

** Just kidding, the phonics videos are my least favorite. Ransom did not like them for some reason, they were maybe too advanced because they tried to teach every variation all at once. So I liked Leap Frog: Letter Factory for that particular skill.

September 01, 2013

Second baby things

Lately a lot of Mommy friends out there have been asking me to recommend "second baby" items. You know, those things that you needed to purchase after already purchasing a million and one things for that FIRST baby....So, I've given it a ponder and here's what I've come up with....

 Sanity....Gosh, I wish they sold THAT on Amazon Prime with free two day shipping because I'd be buying it in bulk. Subscribe and Save all the way. ( but seriously, do you know about Amazon Mom? It gets you free shipping on Prime items (that's pretty much everything if you look hard enough)...just the free shipping alone saves me TONS of money , you get Amazon Instant video where your first kid can watch episodes of Mister Rogers Neighborhood for hours *cough* I mean a few minutes!) plus all kinds of movies and other shows that you can watch while you're doing those middle of the night feedings , if you do choose to do Subscribe and Save on things like diapers and wipes, it'll get ya an EXTRA 20% off!! Friends. Jump on this band wagon if you haven't already! Its a yearly fee that, if you're make back in just a months worth of free shipping! Promise!
( And if you'd like to join, click on this link here and I'll get money back on my next order! And I'll love you forever...Amazon Mom

Ok, so other things that are "extras" that I've loved having around with the second baby:

I finally tossed my Baby Bjorn that I'd inherited from a friend with my first baby and I splurged on the Ergo. Honestly, I feel SO STUPID! Why had I been suffering with back and neck pain for years using that silly thing?!?! THIS ERGO IS HEAVEN!! It was worth every single cent, and considering I feel like I carry my second baby around in it even more than my first, I'm never looking back! Grocery shopping, house cleaning, chasing your other child in the park....its a breeze!

I'm not going to post a link to the Ergo, because you just need to start stalking the popular mommy sites like Zulily and Woot and you'll probably find a sale in under a week. I got mine for about 40% off in cherry red ( loooove).

So, of course, I got myself a double stroller too...because sometimes you don't just want to have your baby locked in place, but you want that fully mobile first kid properly stowed....Now, there are TONS of options when it comes to double strollers. I'll just let you know that whichever way you look at it, they are HUGE and really only worth it at the Zoo, at the park and when you're running/exercising...basically wide open spaces. So, this is why I went for a jogging stroller and just use my infant carrier and my umbrella stroller for other trips like to the Mall or the grocery store.

Now, for something that is purely frivolous but that I am really loving having around with baby #2:
I bought myself jewelry. But not just any jewelry. A teething necklace that *I* wear. So not only do I look stylish ( It goes so well with my yoga pants, nursing top and dirty hair look), BUT Tabitha loves slobbering ALL over this thing. I'm thinking it feels pretty awesome on her teeth! The score here is that it's one less toy for me to keep track of when we hit the road ( this is a MUST for any airplane travel!)...I just throw it on and I've got myself a toy for my tiny tot.

There are all sorts of these available, but can I just say, if you can order them from this ebay store. First of all, they were a great price, they had tons of color options AND on top of all that- I was stupid and had three of these shipped to my old address in Georgia ( NOOOOOOOOOO!!!)- I explained my stupidity to the seller and even explained that they were gifts and they shipped me new ones immediately- at no extra charge!! SO COOL! Seriously, I will be using her again and I may even buy myself another one ( the red is super cute).

Next, is something that I found at Wal-Mart. Well, to be more specific, I found the cheapest one of these at Wal-Mart, its the Carter's Child of Mine brand "Wet Bag"...that has a cute clothe outside and a plastic, water proof inside with a wonderful zipper to close it all up. For a lovely $5.99. Sadly you can only find them in stores but get thee over to your local Wal-Mart and pick up BOTH styles ( it comes it two different prints) because you're gonna want these babies. They are big enough for me to stick some diapers and wipes plus an extra onesie for Tabitha in one and then in the other one I stick a change of clothes for Ransom. This is easy on several levels. If your diaper bag is as giant as mine its SO much nicer to just pull out the little diaper bag when you need it OR lets say the glorious day occurs where your husband is nice enough to watch one of your darling children, you can just pull out the unneeded wet bag and leave it behind. Ahhhhh! A lighter diaper bag! I also have one that I use for Tabitha's baby food. Because its water proof its spill proof too! I can stick dirty spoons and empty baby food containers in there and when I come home I just throw it in the wash! No more wasting tons of ziplocs every time you go out! Here's what you're looking for:

So what about you? Whether you're a first time mom or a 5th time mom...or just like buying awesome presents...what's your favorite baby "make life easier" supplies?