Wait, poke a what?

August 30, 2008

Somehow, my daughter got exposed to Pokemon a few months back. I suspect school.

All our play centers around Pokemon. “You gotta be the bad guy, daddy, and I’m Pikachu!” Okay. Then she lays there and expects me to know what to do. Any play involving Disney movies I can do. I’ve seen them, I know what happens. I can even do a lot of the voices. Pokemon? Not so much.

I try several plot lines and my daughter, Pikachu, just lays there. “You gotta help me out here, sweetie, daddy doesn’t know what to do.”

I’d decide a different tactic to buy time… Read the rest of this entry »

Via goes on the wall!

January 21, 2008


We love our daughter’s toy boxes from Via. And after building and installing (by which I mean standing it upright) it in my daughter’s room, my first thought was, “Are all the cool kids gonna copy me?” And, of course, they did.

My second thought was, “Where the heck are we gonna put this thing once we need to upgrade her to a full-sized bed?!?”

Well, thank goodness Via has solved my problem with their new wall mount system.

I’ve always thought a storage system similar to the Via Toy Boxes (something from IKEA) mounted to the wall would rock in the Play Room / Office, mounted over the computer. Yeah, space is at a premium in our house, so the only way to go, in some cases, is up.

For some reason, I never thought of this kind of solution for the Via boxes, but reconfiguring my setup (easy to do with Via) and sticking ’em on the wall over the bed would be a great solution.

Oh, it seems they also have some new colors.

Check ’em out.

I guess all we gotta do now is get our daughter a Snow White another generic, not at all associated with Disney princess dress.

Green to Grow Bottles

November 28, 2007

Oh, hey, did I mention we got our http://www.greentogrow.com/ a couple weeks ago? I mentioned them originally here. You know, the Bisphenol-A and Phthalate free ones?

Well, we used them fairly extensively for the first time on our trip back home for Thanksgiving. I like ’em. There are, like with everything, good and bad point about them, which I will attempt to outline here:


  • Plastic. And not the bad plastic. We like glass, but to put the glass in a diaper bag is not something we like to do.
  • 5 ounce size. The glass we have are 4 oz. Believe me, the extra ounce comes in handy. Especially when travelling. We also have some Born Free Bottles, but they only come in sizes which are way too big right now.
  • They are kind of cool looking. Yeah, I know – silly, but a plus, none the less.


  • As I mentioned before, they are a bit pricier than glass. Maybe that will change if more people buy them.
  • The stuff printed on the bottle scratches easily. We didn’t have this problem with the Avent plastic bottles we used with my daughter. And we used those for years. It isn’t really that big a deal if the cute cartoon fruit guy on the front gets scratched. But, if we lose the measurement stuff on the back… that won’t be quite so okay.

Overall, we’re happy with them. Will we buy more? Probably not. We use glass in the house, and three is sufficient for most travelling. Maybe when we move up to a bigger size for him, but then again, we already have the Born Free in the bigger size…

Giving Thanks

November 26, 2007

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Sorry for the late wishes. Especially sorry to our Canadian readers, to whom this greeting is especially late.

Our Thanksgiving was, well… a lot of driving. And the first time with two kids instead of one.

We weren’t sure how it was going to go. In the past, one of us sat in the back seat next to my daughter. This allowed us to interact with her – playing, reading, singing. This time, with both kids in the back seat and both of us up front, we weren’t sure how either kid would react and how we would deal with it if they needed attention. I set up the third row seat, just in case. It was piled up with stuff, but it could be moved.

Oh yeah, the stuff – two kids requires more stuff. And a baby requires more stuff than a 3-year-old. Fortunately, we had the car-top carrier from my last car in the garage.

We wound up not needing the third row. This time. Both kids did great. This time. The baby slept just about all of the trip. This time.

Ms. Kaz is still worried. That’s why I am researching Toyota Highlander Hybirds and Toyota Siennas (Ms. Kaz’s suggestion).

Yeah, I’ve got a Highlander Hybrid now, but the 2008 has a 2nd row center console which can be removed, creating a bit of a pass-through… sort of like a minivan. The third row seating is a little more spacious, as well. And the Sienna? Well, it is a mini-van, and offers all a mini-van has to offer to a family of four.

The thought is — and if anyone has any knowledge or advice on carseats in third row seating, it is greatly appreciated — we could put one carseat in the second row, and on in the third, and we could move about, as needed, to offer attention.

I think Thanksgiving travel went well enough that we are going to see how Christmas goes with the car we have.

Oh, and I asked my daughter, at the dinner table, what she was thankful for. I had high hopes – a week or so before, we had been watching the Little Match Girl, and she was telling me things like, “We’re lucky to have a home,” and, “We’re luck to have a family.” I was hoping everyone could hear some of these gems.

Her response? “I’m thankful for my toys”.

Oh, well. Maybe next year. Now, she and I have to go back to browsing through toy catalogs.

Big Girl Room: Part IV – Via Toy Box

September 26, 2007

Via Toy BoxI loved these when I first saw them… uhm… on some blog somewhere. Probably on Daddytypes. I knew I had to find an excuse a justifiable reason to have these in our home.

I mentioned them very briefly before, but Via Toy Boxes are very nice quality, configurable storage options for, well, I guess not just for kids necessarily, but they definitely seem targeted to kids.

Basically, you are purchasing each individual box. You get your choice of shape (or door) and color for the front. The rest of the box can we either natural or white. Each side and top and bottom of the box has 4 holes in it for attaching boxes together (with supplied hardware).

This allows you to configure them any way you want. With the space we had, we went 2 wide by 3 tall (click photo for larger version). But, you can do whatever you like (although bases and tops are only available for certain widths).

To help you, Via will send you a kit with cutouts for the boxes, shapes and colors. You can cut these out and plan your configuration. There are also ideas and pre-configured (but not pre-assembled) options on the website.

Now.. how easy are they to put together?

Read the rest of this entry »

Big Girl Room: Part III – More Blik

September 23, 2007

Taking my expertise garnered from my previous Blik wall decal installation, I decided I was ready to tackle the alphabet…


Of course, that meant 26 of these things to put on. And, with an alphabet, it isn’t like you can just leave the decal off if you screw it up. Not that my daughter would know for a white yet.

I decided to go window-to-window, going over the bed and the toy box. There was a little more wall than I wanted to use, so there were some gaps between letters that were bigger than I wanted. But I also wanted to overlap some letters.

The experience with the flowers helped, although I still had the occasional difficulty with getting them to stick to the proper sheet. The advantage of these were that they were smaller than the large flowers.

There were many new difficulties I face with the letters, however… (more after the jump) Read the rest of this entry »

Big Girl Room: Part II – The Flensted Mobile

September 19, 2007

butterfly1My daughter wanted a butterfly mobile. I didn’t want a cheesy mobile. Luckily, there was Flensted.

The mobile is actually a kit. The wiring is all done for you, but the butterflies you assemble yourself. There are 4 pieces to each each butterfly.

The body is made of a spongy kind of material, much like what those little put-it-together-yourself little toy gliders are now made out of.

You poke a hole all the way through where the antenna goes, and push the antenna through, centering it. The antenna is made of plastic, halfway between the width of fishing line and the line for a weed whacker.

Next, you pick two pieces for the wings. This is made of more durable, yet flexible plastic. The nice thing is that you pick your color combinations yourself. They give you more wings than you need for the mobile, so you can make many combinations. My daughter had fun helping me pick out the combinations.

The string for hanging it is way longer than you could possibly need, which is nice. I actually trimmed mine very short to discourage my daughter from standing on her bed and attempting to reach the mobile.

butterfly detailWe placed it over her bed, where the dragon was in her old room, near her feet. I actually used it the first night, telling my daughter, “if you have trouble sleeping, just watch the butterflies, and they will help you fall asleep.”

On the second morning, she told me, “I watched the butterflies last night!”

And they look great in the new room (click on pics for larger versions).

Previously: Hanging around with Flensted.
Also: Big Girl Room: Part I – Blik, etc
Coming Soon: More Big Girl Room Updates, including more Blik and Via Toy Boxes.