If you are looking for stilletto recommendations, you are in the wrong place. I need to be able to run after my kids without falling on my face. Want to know your smartphone's metapix? Sorry. I only write about whether it can survive 5 minutes in the hands of my kids.
It is always fun getting together with other Moms and their kids for a fun playdate. But add a pool, and LeapFrog Touch Magic Toys, and it became a rockin’ party and parade.
Once we all arrived, everyone got into their bathing suits and had a splash in the pool.
We then had a break and enjoyed some ‘green’ snacks because, as my toddler mentioned, [leap]frogs are green.
Then we got busy playing with the LeapFrog Touch Magic Learning Bus and Rockin’ Guitar. The Learning Bus has piano keys and drum pads so kids can create their own music or add to the built-in songs. There are also games to learn letters, sounds and objects too.
We loved that the kids really knew how to jam on the guitar. (Seriously, how do they know this stuff?) The Rockin’ Guitar enables kids to strum along with 10 songs and add guitar riffs, silly sounds and drums.
The jamming session lead to a lead singer, a guitarist, and a drum player, which meta-morphed into a parade.
All in all, the kids loved playing with the toys, and it was hard to get them home for nap time.
Us Moms liked the fact that you could adjust the volume, and the touch surface made it easy to keep the toy clean. No nooks & crannies for gunk to accumulate.
It was fun playdate and based on the response, these toys are a hit for these two and three year olds! Even better, everyone went home with an activity book and coupons to have more LeapFrog Touch Magic at home.
Note: From August 1-November 30, 2012, you can enter a LeapFrog contest to win $500. Check out the details on LeapFrog.com!
…………………………………………………………………………………………….. MSRP $24.99: Available at Target & other major retailers.
Disclosure: I received a LeapFrog Touch Magic guitar & bus, but the thoughts & opinions are my own.
Getting a baby to sleep can be one of the most frustrating things a parent must endure. Most notable is the endless bouncing to soothe them. Thus, cue my KidsII InGenuity Automatic Bouncer review.
I don’t know how many times I have had to use a ball to bounce my kids to sleep. As both arms are used to bounce away, I imagine what my hands could be doing: the laundry needs to be folded, a pile of email needs to be read, and the dishes need to be washed.
Bouncers seem to be a solution to our sleep deprivation woes, but most require the baby to kick for the bouncing to ensue. This is a great feature for motor development and cause & effect learning, but in the early days, we need more (especially more sleep.) Other bouncers offer a vibrating feature, but I don’t know many parents who can vibrate their babies to sleep. How is that a natural feature?
Having a bouncer that simulates the bouncing we do with great color choices (at Target as shown, or at other retailers in other patterns), at affordable price point ($49.99), with soothing & adjustable music, a movable play arch, and proper incline, it is no wonder I wanted to write and create TWO videos about the Kids II InGenuity Automatic Bouncer!
This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Kids II, Inc. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review. However, I was not compensated for my time in creating the videos and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recently, I had the privilege of staying at a Residence Inn property. More on my adventures later, but it is one of the most family-friendly places to stay. I’ve thought of the Residence Inn as a place for business travelers or little league sports teams. Yet staying here just one night made me realize how it it perfect for families.
When we went on family vacations growing up, we stayed in timeshares; condos with kitchens and laundry facilities. It made vacationing easy as there was space for privacy, unlike a regular hotel room, so you can stay up watching TV without disturbing the kids. The ability to pack lunches, have breakfast, and on a couple of nights make dinner, plus doing our laundry, kept the vacations low-key, on budget and healthier since we weren’t grabbing take-out all the time.
Having my own family now, we have begun to think about our vacationing habits. So I was excited to be hosted for a night at a local Residence Inn property, as part of a blogging group, to see how this Marriott brand would play a part of our future hotel habits. Known as an extended stay property, Residence Inn has features that a regular hotel doesn’t have.
I think this Residence Inn commercial showcases that fact pretty well.
The impressive family-friendly features are the full fridge (not a dorm-size fridge) plus a dishwasher, microwave, coin laundry onsite, free WiFi, stove, daily hot breakfast, and even the ability to have staff get groceries for you (at cost). So no more packing an extra suitcase full of food for your family vacation or coming home with a huge pile of laundry.
The fridge with freezer can keep ice cream treats, formula or breast milk, sippy cups and snacks for the kids. I’d probably get lunch meat, bread, and cheese to pack lunches to save money on the vacation. With the hot breakfast every morning (with lots to choose from to satisfy all the members of the family), you only have to eat out once a day during a vacay. Sometimes it is not even about saving on food costs, but rather the hassle factor. Bringing babies or toddlers out to eat is never a picnic, if you know what I mean.
The free WiFi is key for kids who need their tech toys, and us parents who need to stay connected via email or want to upload pictures of the kids at the beach. If the kids are getting restless, send them to the pool. My favorite feature based on my current state of life? The dishwasher. No more hand washing bottles or kid cups in the bathroom sink.
All in all, will we continue to stay at regular hotels? Absolutely. But I love having this option for extended vacations. It makes traveling with kids so much easier, and it brings back my own childhood memories. We will be back for sure. Why? Because it is not a hotel, it is a home away from home.
Being sponsored at BlogHer by MinuteClinic was a wonderful honor, and it was also great to sit down and chat with the executive team behind the MinuteClinic brand.
As we chatted, we talked about all things health care; from legislation and laws, to vaccinations and immunizations. Which reminded me of a recent experience I had when I was in the hospital delivering my baby girl.
For anyone who has delivered a baby in a hospital, you know the day after the birth, you are inundated with forms and decisions; from social security and insurance to vaccinations and feedings. As I went through all the forms, I saw one about the Pertussis vaccine. In this case, however, it wasn’t for my newborn, but for me.
But what the heck is Pertussis? Pertussis is known as whooping cough, and often seems like the common cold. Typical symptoms include runny nose or congestion, sneezing, and possibly mild cough or fever. But, after 1-2 weeks of these symptoms, severe coughing can begin and continue for weeks. Pertussis can cause violent and rapid coughing, which tends to produce a “whooping” sound between coughs, like taking a noisy, deep breath. (You can hear what it sounds like here.)
To minimize contracting Pertussis, infants and children can get the DTaP vaccine, and the pertussis booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Having a toddler, I knew about DTaP, but I didn’t know why I was being asked to get a booster shot.
Well, let’s focus on some facts. Pertussis outbreaks peak every 3 to 5 years. Often, however, the outbreaks are more severe than stated because many cases go unreported and are mis-diagnosed. So it is concerning to hear that as of July 2012, 37 states have reported increases in the disease compared with the same time period in 2011, which prompted the CDC to issue a health care advisory stating it may be the worst outbreak in 50 years.
Yet, if Pertussis is common, and outbreaks are expected, what’s the big deal? Well, the issue is that severe outbreak results in more incidences and more incidences result in more deaths. The majority of deaths continue to occur among infants younger than 3 months of age, and the incidence rate exceeds that of all other age groups. (The second highest rates of disease are observed among children 7 through 10 years old.)
Since the CDC had reported an epidemic for this year, and the mortality rate is greater with newborns, it was considered important to have me vaccinated to reduce the risk of me contracting the disease and then passing it to my baby. Especially since the CDC doesn’t suggest vaccinating newborns with DTaP until 2 months, which leaves them exposed during that period of time.
I chose to get the vaccine, and left the hospital already immunized. However, if you are concerned, and want to minimize the risk in contracting the disease and spreading it to your children, head to a MinuteClinic to get vaccinated. You don’t need an appointment, just walk in! Most insurance plans will cover it too. Yet, even if you don’t have insurance coverage, you can still get the vaccine. The out-of-pocket cost is about $100. MinuteClinic will also vaccinate children over 18 months of age.
To learn more about Pertussis, visit the CDC website, and check with your doctor, pediatrician or health care provider to see what is right for you and your medical history. To learn more about MinuteClinic and the vaccinations they offer, visit their website or Facebook page.
I received compensation for this post as part of my BlogHer sponsorship. However, the decision to write on this topic, and other thoughts and opinions, are my own.