Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ho Ho Ho! Santa Was Generous!

Hi too-long-neglected friends! I hope that you all had a happy holiday and that Santa (or your gift-giver of choice) was extra nice to you this year. We had a really nice Christmas celebration surrounded by friends and family--and the gifts weren't too shabby either!

Here's a quick rundown of some of our favorites received by Andrew this year. In-depth reviews of most of these are to come once they have been played with and trampled on to Andrew's liking. There's really no better product tester than a bruiser of an almost-two-year-old! 

We got this My First RC Construction Bucket Lift for $25 off of Amazon. Its pretty cool due to its ease of operation and I find myself playing with it more than I should! (Now that I'm looking at the picture of it again, though, I think that I threw the little man out with all the post-gift-unwrapping trash. Oh no!)

My mom and dad got Andrew this Step2 Lifestyle Custom Kitchen from Toys R Us ($99.99 at TRU, but you can get it for $79.99 with free shipping on Amazon if you are a Prime member). It is so darn cute I want to play with it myself. Andrew loves it too, although he wouldn't let us mount the microwave or oven control panels because he thinks they are cell phones!

My older brother went all out and got Andrew this awesome Ford F-150 Power Wheels from Amazon ($149; Free Prime Shipping). All I can say is that the awesomeness is so great that I do try to ride this myself and it is pretty hilarious--just imagine a 5+-months me straddling this mini truck and pushing the pedal with my hand.

Andrew loves his "vroom vroom truck"--with or without me on it--and I can't wait to take him outside in it. The only problem I foresee--it has no brakes!! I better get my running shoes.

As I mentioned, full reviews are (eventually/hopefully) to come of these and some of the many other awesome things Andrew was gifted this Christmas. He is truly blessed to have so many family and friends who shower him with love (and toys). Seriously, some toys still remain in their boxes for rainy/cranky day bribery purposes!

Happy holidays to you and best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Success! (At the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, NY)

Andrew was not yet a year old last Christmas, so we didn't really do much regarding explaining Santa Clause to him or taking him for a visit. So we didn't know what to expect when we took him for a visit and photos at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack this weekend.

I was really expecting a meltdown--after all, I was placing him in a stranger's lap and walking a few feet away--but he actually started clapping as soon as we neared Santa and smiled for such a sweet Christmas photo!

The Santa at the Palisades Center is really amazing, which definitely helped. He spoke with the children as if he'd known them ("My you've grown so big since I saw you last year, Andrew!") and had a real and impressively long white beard. He gave Andrew a little kiss for being so good and a peppermint bark chocolate, which every child receives as a present.
If you're headed to the Palisades Center to meet Santa, he'll be sitting right outside H&M on the first floor, next to a gigantic Christmas tree. The line for photos can be long, but it moved quickly even on a busy Sunday, and there is a large open swath of carpet for kids to run around on if one parent will man the line while the other watches the child.

Photos are a bit pricey--the lowest being $24.99 for one sheet of photos featuring one pose and a variety of sizes of photos (we picked a one 5x7 and four wallets configuration). But, you can pick up a CD of all your poses for $30, which makes sense if parents want to jump in for a photo too and/or if you plan on printing duplicates (the one photo sheet then becomes $12 with the purchase of a CD.) There are also a bunch of frames, bears, and other accoutrements to buy at the photo kiosk.

So, we had a great experience with Santa! I was left wondering where all the money made went to though! I hope the company that provides the Santa experience, Noerr, donates at least some of the proceeds to charity--its Christmas, after all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Baby to yogurt: Get in my belly!

Thank you, Jezebel, for posting this hilarious video of a boy's love for his yogurt yesterday. I just love the gusto with which this child eats--I think Andrew may feel the same way about bananas or mini marshmallows...


Great Idea! Milkies Milk-Saver for Breastfeeding Moms

What a great idea! Milkies Milk-Saver is a contraption that collects the precious breastmilk that leaks while you're feeding on the opposite side. I had no idea that such a thing existed when I was breastfeeding my son a year ago! Milkies Milk-Saver is BPA free and holds up to 2 ounces of milk--or you can attach it to any milk storage bag. Sure, you could hold a bottle in one hand and try to catch the leaking milk, but this hands-free gizmo seems like a much more awesome solution.

But, here's my question: does it work well? You'll have to help me out mommy friends--have any of you tried the Milk-Saver and loved it?

I was really bad about pumping with Andrew since it was easier just to breastfeed as a stay-at-home mom, but with this next baby I'd like to build up a better supply. I'll definitely be spending the $26.50 to get a Milk-Saver from Amazon just to give it a go. And of course I'll let you know how it works out come next spring!