Sunday, November 27, 2011

My 45th & 46th Weeks in Droid Pics

Sorry for the massive photo dump below, but I really didn't want to miss a week of phone pics.  We are SO CLOSE to a year!  

My boys love to read. They also love to pull every book off the shelf.

I see a table like this in our future.

More nice weather & more picnics. 
Preschool crafts are the best.

O sat on the bench like a big boy at story time.

And then he shook his booty at a music class.
I attended New York Mom's World's Baby & Toddler Expo and saw this adorable presentation by BabyGanics.
Lining up the Little People kept him busy most of the morning.

It took O 2.5 seconds to realize he could walk around the table & knock them all down.  He loves terrorizing his brother.
Best toy ever.
Hangin' at the playground.
Enjoying a little "time off" at Starbucks
O insisted on eating with the wooden spoon.
JD had a feast (at 9am) at preschool.

O stuffed his little face.
Our pre-Thanksgiving tradition: Get to my parents' house a day early & hit up the outlet mall.  We get most of the black Friday sales without having to get up at 2am.

The Cozy Coupe just keeps getting smaller.
A Pinterest-inspired appetizer. 

so thankful!
Worst part about not hosting Thanksgiving? No leftovers!  At least the grocery store was empty.

Taking in the view from the front steps.
We started decorating the front yard.  Whenever I wear a headband, so does JD.
I'm not a fan of ladders, but I got it done.
Did you take phone pics this week?  I hope you post them & link up at Amy's

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Small Business Saturday Gift Ideas

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone is enjoying time with their loved ones and indulging in some extra pie.  We're rushing through preparations here so we can relax and watch the parade before the crowd arrives.  My mom has already cooked & carved 2 smaller turkeys and is getting the BIG guy ready to go in the oven.  I look forward to the chaos of this day all year.  
And as you're browsing through the crazy amount of sale flyers that came with today's newspaper, please keep Small Business Saturday in mind.   

My car was in the shop this past week, and when I went to pick it up, I ended up in a conversation with the owner about how times have changed in the 30 years since he opened his business.  And it got me thinking.  

I had planned to support Small Business Saturday, but by "support" I meant shop at my favorite little gift boutiques in town.  I will still be doing this, but I am also thinking outside the box to include other small, local, family-run businesses in my community.  Gifts don't have to come from shops that traditionally cater to holiday shoppers (and my friend at the auto body shop would be ecstatic to set you up with a gift card! And no lines!)

Here are some ideas I came up with to satisfy my shopping list. Please add your own in the comments.
Gift certificates 
lessons (swimming, ballet, piano, baseball, painting, sewing, etc.)
car wash or detailing
gym, stroller strides, or zumba classes
paintball or laser tag
local hardware store
computer repair or tune-up
salon or spa
cleaning service
local theater or art gallery
bed & breakfast or small inn
landscaper/snow shoveler
handyman/carpentry work
favorite diner or breakfast spot
carpet cleaning
pet grooming
furniture or home decor

If you don't want to just hand somebody a gift card (I'm all about having something to unwrap.), most of these businesses sell something to pair up- fancy shampoo with the salon gift certificate, or a new flash drive with a computer tune-up.  

Shop for your treats at the local bakery instead of the super store, and remember the family-owned drug store when you need wrapping paper or a bottle of perfume. 

And if you're looking for something even more personal, ask around about local artists, craftspeople, and musicians.  Or search etsy. 

It may be more time consuming than ordering everything from Amazon, and I'm not looking forward to all of the in-and-out of the car with the boys, but I know this will make gift giving feel even better this year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My 44th Week in Droid Pics

So I was bummed that I missed posting a Tuesday Tip idea I had for today and logged in tonight with the intention of making up for it by putting together a fun Wordless Wednesday. Then I realized I never even posted my week in pics from last week.  I'm a hot mess. What can I say?

So here's our week!


O and I had a lunch date on the High Line.

And a playground date while JD was in school.

We've been having some awesome weather & a lot of picnics.
I finally surrendered the infant carseat and set up the new big boy seat.  And he's pointing at ELMO on JD's PJ shorts.    But he also says ELMO at anything red.

We were trapped outside waiting for this guy to creep away from the handle.  This picture doesn't do him justice.  He was HUGE.  

Fun with the produce stickers.

I found my baby in the newspaper.

JD can climb the rock wall by himself.

The only way I could get him to nap was to make a pile of pillows on the floor & stay with him.

We hosted a play doh playdate for our Moms Club.

We saw a Sesame Street puppet show at the library.

My best friend & I spent the night in Atlantic City finally celebrating our 30th birthdays.  We are now closer to 31.

It was my very first night away from O, but it sure felt good to sleep in & spend the afternoon at the spa!
I'm linking up with Amy.  Head over there and check out everyone else's weeks!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

6 Great Gift Ideas for a One-Year-Old

It's that time of year where everyone starts asking me for gift ideas for the boys.  Everybody wants to get them something fun, but I need to save some special gifts for us & Santa, so it's alway a struggle.  This year I'm really at a loss because O just had a birthday, and he has a ton of hand-me-down stuff from JD.

In an effort to help you, I'm sharing some of the cool gifts that O received from our awesome friends & family.  

Both O and JD LOVE this one!  The mechanics are noisy, but you can still hear all the things he says/sings, and the hand clapping excites O every time.  There are over 25 songs & phrases, and he has our favorites: "If You're Happy and You Know It" and the ABCs.  JD is quick to point out, however, that he sings "Do Your Ears Hang Low" & "Pat-a-Cake" WRONG.  You don't throw the cake in the air!  You mark it with a "B"!

Mwwahhhhh!  There is an adorable video of him kissing it as soon as he unwrapped it, but it's buried in a ton of unedited party footage.
Here's a video of O playing so you can hear how loud the motor is.  And see how cute he is.

We love all the Little People toys.  They are still JD's favorite thing to play with, and they keep him busy for big chunks of time every day.  For his birthday, we got O a bunch of his own since it really pisses JD off when O messes with his organization of the people.  And JD totally knows which little person goes with one of his sets or with one of O's. He's a funny little man.
We like this backyard set because it comes with a DOG and a TRIKE- two things O is very into!

O really likes things that talk to him.  And he likes pushing buttons- especially when his brother isn't tackling him to do it first.  These talking books are great for the car and for when I'm trying to occupy O at one of JD's doctor appointments.

JD has the LeapFrog Leaptop, but I like this one better for O because the buttons are bigger and more baby-friendly.  And it has O's dog friend.  It has a dozen different songs and many more educational phrases in English and Spanish.  For under $20, you can't beat it!

My favorite!  This is a drool-proof, drop-proof playful case for my iTouch.  The boys love playing games, but they are constantly pushing the circle button and losing where they were.  Not only does this keep the iTouch safe, but they can't get to the home button.  This way I can hand it to them in the back seat with a video or game set up, and they can't mess it up.  Sometimes the touch screen doesn't work properly through the case, but we have been using the iTouch 20x more now that I can hand it to them and not worry.
It also has a mirror on the back and teething rings around it.  I can't wait to bring this along on our next road trip

One more education toy.  This one also has songs and phrases about colors & shapes, but it has one thing the other don't.  BALLS.  I didn't even have to explain this one to O.  He'll pop the balls in over & over & over.  And it has a string so he can drag it around the house.
JD has been OBSESSED with helicopters lately, so it is just killing him that this is O's toy.  Good thing O likes to share.

The only decent ideas I have for Christmas gifts are a tiny toddler table for in the kitchen (our table is bar hight, and the chairs are just a bit tall for my wiggle worms) and those inflatable toddler beds for when we travel.  I'm looking at the ones that are a full tent, since it's hell to get JD to stay in a bed in a hotel room.

What ideas do you have for your kids for the holidays?

*The links go through my Amazon Associates account.
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