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Archive for July, 2009

Wheely Bee – PVC Free!

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If you haven’t seen Prince Lionheart’s line of Wheely Bugs, you are totally missing out. I snatched one of these up for Christmas when V was just over a year and she’s still scooting around on it a year and a half later. Only now she yells “Wheee……Bee”!

Wheely Bugs come in two sizes, Small & Large and three different styles, Ladybug, Cow & Bee. They have a 50 lb. weight limit and have won countless toy awards. The Wheely Bee is a nice, light, modern, soft shelled ride-on toy. I love it mostly because it’s completely non-toxic and PVC free! There’s a 1″ layer of foam underneath the PU covering which is super duper easy to clean (a big help when dealing with messy toddlers) and it’s got a renewable plywood base. The multidirectional castors move with ease and it works well indoors & out. V uses hers inside, it’s nice and quiet and it doesn’t wreck our floors. We have the small size which still suits V well at 2 1/2. I have a feeling when little sister arrives she’ll inherit the small one & we’ll get V the large size. It’s held up amazingly under all kinds of abuse, it still looks brand new.

Another toy I am totally pleased with, as I’m a big fan of toys that are sturdy and have a very long life. Yay!

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2.75 years after giving birth and 5 months into my second pregnancy, I started working part-time. I’m filling in for a friend of mine who just had a baby. I figured it would be perfect: Part-time, close to home, temporary, just what I needed to get my feet wet again. The job is great, the people are awesome and the setting is amazing (right on the water). It’s almost like a little oasis for me.

Back in the day I never saw myself as a SAHM. I mean, I never even really thought I’d have kids! The first time I got pregnant I was working in my friend’s coffee shop. I was straight off of a stint collecting unemployment after the gallery I was managing went kaput. It was a total surprise & we had no idea what to do. My husband had just put most of his savings into his business to get a studio up & going and I, well, I had no savings. We busted our asses to get health insurance for me and scrape by. I worked for as long as I possibly could slinging coffee and then I stopped working for the first time since I was 13.

And that was it.

We had Violet & I was an instant stay at home mom. It was crazy. Jesse went off to work every day and I stared at V, amazed at what we had just done. I looked for jobs but given I went to college for all-in about a semester, I hardly qualified for any of them and had had my fill of being a waitress. After crunching the numbers it seemed more cost effective for me to stay at home.

Some days, being a SAHM sucks. Hard. Raising little ones is hard work. The changing, the feeding, the crying, the fussing… I found myself daydreaming about having a 9-5 job, being able to put V in a fancy day-care and all that. But then there are the days when they eat their first pureed bananas, or laugh or say a word they’ve never said before. The days that you sit on the porch & blow bubbles, build sandcastles in the sandbox, or ride public transportation just so your kid can ride a trolley or a bus. Could you pay me enough to miss that? Hell no.

All in all, the past almost 3 years that I’ve spent with V have been incredible. I’ve watched her grow into this incredible little person and no day-care or nanny can take any of the credit for it. Now that little sister is on the way, I find myself wondering again, should I try to work? I love my new job, and if they wanted me to stay, I’d be happy too. I mean hell, it’s nice to be able to buy groceries & not have shoppers guilt about it. However, I’d hate to miss out on all those great things that I’ve experienced with V with this new little one. I guess it’s all a matter of preference but I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out. If we have to be broke for me to spend the best years with my kiddos, it’s totally worth it.

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Kites!

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I can’t believe it, we have had a weekend full of sun here! This weekend was The Newport Kite Festival, not something I’d usually haunt but I thought V would love it. I happened Saturday & Sunday so I bought her a kite on Saturday & hid it in the back of the car until today.

The Kite Festival is a pretty crazy scene. I never knew how many hardcore kiters (is that what you call them?) were out there. I even saw a cooler with a “Wind Junkie” sticker on it. The kites were huge! Some of them were similar to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. V was practically losing her mind (in a good way).

We took a nice stroll around the park, which is right on the ocean & then headed back to the car. Jesse then presented V with her very own Sesame Street kite. It’s times like this, when you are watching your husband show your daughter the workings and operation of a kite that make you truly appreciate the little things.

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Plan Toys Dollhouse

Contemporary Dollhouse from Plan Toys

I’ve been wanting to buy Violet a dollhouse for about a year now & I can’t say if that’s more because I’ve always wanted one or not. However, dollhouses are kind of expensive so I’ve been taking my time trying to find the right one for the right price.

Enter a bored me cruising around one of my favorite places to “window shop”, The Land of Nod. LON is Crate & Barrel’s kids branch, and they have an outlet section! It was there that I stumbled upon the Plan Toys Contemporary Dollhouse for more 100.00 off it’s usual retail price. I couldn’t believe it, they had the furniture set on sale too! Of course I had to buy it, can you blame me?

Firstly, the Plan Toys brand is one that I really love & trust, they are an award winning ‘green’ company committed to excellency & they do a very nice job pulling it off. They provide a huge selection of excellent environmentally friendly toys for children of all ages. It’s worth perusing their website for not only their great toys but they offer up a lot of information about the company itself, which is always a huge plus to me. I like knowing about where V’s playthings come from & if the people making them are good guys, you know?

I was hoping to be able to squirrel the dollhouse away until V’s birthday in October, but once I had it in my hot little hands, *I* wanted to open it, so I caved and let her have it. The house itself was super easy to put together, two halves & the floor, I think the total was 4 screws. The wood is super smooth and I love the colored panels; two slide, two are to be used as room partitions and there are panels in the skylights & the staircase. The furniture is so cute, with a modern flair and pretty sturdy for dollhouse furniture. I love that the open floor plan allows for imagination in the set up of the house and also makes for a good amount of room for hands. The dollhouse stands about 21″ high, which is a nice medium size. It’s big enough without taking over the living room and it’s really light so it’s very portable.

I am so happy that we scored this dollhouse. Violet adores it and plays with it for a fair amount of time every day. We don’t have a proper Plan Toys family for it but so far Brobee, a Luchador, Bert, Swiper & a Playmobil British Soldier crash there. There are tons of cute accessories & families you can get for the Plan Toys dollhouse, like a baby nursery, pets or even patio furniture. The possibilities are endless.

You can still get the house (not the furniture set) at Land of Nod for only 49.95, a total bargain! They’re also in the middle of a big Summer Sale so make sure you stop by.

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Happy 4th of July!

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The sun is out again!

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We have had an unbelievably rainy summer here in New England this year. I think we’ve maybe had a week of sunny days total (this photograph is from our last “Holy crap it’s sunny out let’s play in the yard for as long as we possibly can” day with her friends Zora & Sadie) and today is one of those days! Please cross your fingers hat it holds at least until Sunday so V can see some fireworks this weekend. Now that she’s almost 3 I think she’ll appreciate the coolness of them. We’re headed out in search of a new umbrella because I mistakenly left ours out (and open) during the two thunder/wind storms we had this week. Then we’re hitting the sandbox & relaxing in the yard until it starts to rain again. Heck, maybe I’ll manage to get some yard work in as well.

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OXO Candela Guardian

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I have been coveting these forever & I just happened to stumble upon one at TJ Maxx the other day for 8 bucks; Score! A few weeks ago, we set up a tent in the living room & V has been asking for a flashlight. I thought this would be perfect and it was.

I’ve loved OXO products from the get go, my favorite chef’s knife is made by them (and happens to be the very first item that my husband, then boyfriend & I purchased together, how romantic) & I’m always impressed by what they come up with next. The Candela Guardian is awesome. The charger acts as a nightlight with a super soothing blue hue & the lantern immediately comes to life once taken off the charger. Because it’s an LED, it never gets hot, one charge lasts for about 8 hours and there are, brace yourself, no batteries needed! Super light & super durable, V drags this thing everywhere. Most mornings when I go wake her she’s in bed clutching it and it’s a total bonus for those occasional middle of the night stories. We all loved this light so much that I went back for the last one so we could keep it in the bathroom, thank God it was still there!

For more information on OXO products go to: www.oxo.com

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