Everyone who knows our family or who has read this blog knows that we've struggled to keep the Captain in his own bed at night. You see, shortly after D was born, just after the Captain turned 2, we decided that he needed his own "big boy" bed. We put him in a different room, in a twin bed with bedrails. It worked pretty well. D was not in the crib yet, but everything I had read suggested to give the older sibling time to adjust to the new baby "taking over" his old bed. Hubby and I were house parents at a children's home and would be going back to work shortly, so we wanted to hurry up and get it done, in case the Captain had trouble adjusting. Well, the Captain adjusted dreamily. There were no problems, (except for that he rarely actually wanted to go to bed.) But, he slept through the night in his big boy bed and was well rested, which was great, because we were getting newborn sleep.
This Doodle Pants post was written by me. I received a free product in exchange for my honest opinions.
With having two boys, (and one on the way!) I have always felt our options are limited in the way of cute clothes. Sure, there are a lot of cute clothes for boys, but it's rare that I find something different that is fun, functional, and just plain cute. When we first received these Doodle Pants for D to wear, I honestly wasn't sure if he would go for them. But one look at them, he was game. In fact, he tried them on and wore them around the house for a few hours, in the summer, and then asked for his Doodle Pants the next day! I have a feeling they are very comfortable and they are super fun to just lounge around.
Baby D is two. He has become very independent in the past few months and while it is a natural, good part of his development, but it sure is tiring on his mommy! I remember when the Captain went through this phase, his favorite phrase was "My do it!" and D is no different. Everything must be attempted at least once by himself before allowing anyone to help and if you don't allow him to at least try to do it himself, a meltdown is sure to occur.
The other day we had just gotten the car inspected and they gave us a free car wash. They left the car in line for the car wash and I quickly put D in his carseat. He yelled "NO! My do it!" and then proceeded to climb completely out of the car and climb back in and attempt to buckle himself before saying "help, please." There is no such thing as hurrying with an independent two year old.
The Captain has always been on the skinny side, so finding a pair of pants that fit has been hard, especially after he started wearing underwear at 2 1/2. We've had to donate or put aside pants that were just too big…until now. We received the Dapper Snappers for toddlers and both boys can wear it to make their pants FIT. I like how easy it is to use the Dapper Snappers, and that the boys wear it in the back so they can't continually mess with it. Out of sight, out of mind!
Check out our video review! (thanks to my awesome hubby for being on camera!)
Toddler Dapper Snappers like the one we reviewed sell for $10.95 at Dapper Snappers. They also sell belts for older kids and women, in many styles and colors. The Dapper Snappers for mom can be used for maternity, too, which is cool! Connect with Dapper Snappers on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on information and sales!
Dapper Snappers is giving one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader a $25 code to spend at DapperSnappers.com. Enter in the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends on February 7, 2012. Good luck!
Giveaway has ended and Natalie P. is the lucky winner!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
The Captain LOVES to do artsy and crafty things and while I was a kindergarten teacher, I am NOT as crafty as the typical kindergarten teacher. Lately he has been coming up with ideas of things he'd like to make and I've been assisting him as much as I can. And lately he's had the idea that we need to "sew" things. I DO know how to sew, but I do not have a sewing machine, so, alas, I cannot sew him a police costume like he wants. So, we settled on a police badge. This is FAR from Pinterest worthy, but my friend Janet isn't scared to show her crazy crafts for kids and neither am I!
1. Get an old cardboard box. We seem to have a TON of these to spare lately:
2. Draw or trace your badge design. I started with a star, as you can see, but the Captain didn't like that. This looks more like a shield but the beauty of working with a 4 and 2 year old is…..they're 4 and 2 and don't care!!!
3. Cut out badge. I learned back in my teaching days that cutting out two or three at once is the fun, easy (lazy) way to do it. Just stack two pieces together and cut!
4. Cover the badges with foil – something a four year old can do! We used a small piece of packing tape on the back to secure the foil.
5. I cut D's to sort of curve on top. Yes, it looks like a tulip. The Captain didn't like that and wanted to leave it the way it was:
6. Next up, decorate. The Captain wanted an eagle on his and instead of figuring out how in the world I'm going to draw an eagle, I let him practice his drawing skills:
Time out. It really bothers me when "kid" crafts I see on Pinterest are *SO* perfect. Like….I honestly see some that claim their 3 year old made them and it's obviously not true. It's OKAY for crafts to look like crap. (sorry I said the "c" word, Mom!) They don't have to be perfect and they don't have to be framed and chances are, you can throw them in the trash in a week anyway! So stop trying to make them perfect and let the kid do it! Honestly. I know a few kids off the top of my head who are OCD about their work because *someone* implied to them that their work wasn't *perfect.* Stop it! Okay, rant over…let's continue…
8. With that said…D wanted nothing to do with drawing on his, so I just drew this for him. (ironic after what I just said, I know, but he's 2!)
9. Hot glue safety pin on the back. This part is obviously only for parents:
10. Baby D was BEYOND proud of his new badge. You would've thought I just sewed him a new costume!
11. And the Captain was beyond thrilled with his badge as well. This is him being a stern policeman:
After this picture was taken, however, he went to his room and got out a blue outfit to wear. Then he wanted to make a police hat out of cardboard. Seriously, he is the mouse from "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie." I should've named this post "If You Give the Captain a Homemade Police Badge…" But, it's cute, and he's four, and he has an active imagination. I let him try to make his police hat and it was cute how his little mind was racing, trying to figure out what he could use to make it.
A few notes about our project….Sharpie rubs off of foil eventually so maybe next time we should use something else OR just keep rewriting over it. Also, the hot glue doesn't hold forever, either, but it's not bad. If your kid wears it all day, you'll just have to reapply hot glue at night.
We have been very blessed this year and the boys have a lot of STUFF. Toys, food, candy, ride-ons, carseats, etc, etc….there is just no way I can stay up to date on all of the recalls that happen daily by checking out manufacturers’ websites and subscribing to email lists. Most of the time, I notice a recall weeks or even months after it happens and that is frustrating. Unless it’s a MAJOR recall that affects the health of a lot of people, there is a delay in when I actually hear about it and can take action by removing the toy or tossing the food product.
We recently found out that the Captain is allergic to pecans and walnuts. A lot of things we eat contain these nuts, so it’s helpful to know if a product contains them. A lot of times products aren’t properly labeled and need to be recalled because they contain allergens that weren’t known to begin with. I LOVED hearing about Recalls Plus because it’s a simple app that immediately alerts you to any and all recalls. You can specify what recalls you want to know about. Of course, we want to be notified of recalls pertaining to products containing tree nuts, so that’s already on my “Watch List.”
You can also add ages of children, companies, and more to your list. So, if you’re only buying Graco products, you won’t be notified with every Britax recall there might be. I love this aspect of Recalls Plus!
Features of the Recalls Plus App include:
• Proactively delivers timely recall alerts for the items on your Personal Watch List (a personalized list of the brands and products that you wish to monitor)
• Hand curates every product and food recall directly from government agencies (CPSC, NHTSA, FDA, USDA) for relevance to children and consolidates them in one place
• Provides parents a simple, easy-to-use solution to track recall information and instantly share it with family and friends
Recalls Plus tracks recalls issued by four Federal agencies in the US:
• Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
• National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
• Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
• United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
As you all know, Baby D loves to eat. He is getting to the age where he doesn’t really want to try anything new, but pouches from Ella’s Kitchen are always a sure bet. You should have seen his face light up when we received this box of goodies from Ella’s Kitchen to review:
He has eaten almost all of the pouches by now, and there wasn’t one he hasn’t liked. He didn’t really care for the apple and ginger baby cookies, but the 15 month old that we gave them to just adored them! He did like the mango and carrot Nibbly Fingers!
I love Ella’s Kitchen because it’s all organic, easy to serve, pack in a bag or lunchbox, and know that your kids are getting a healthy, delicious snack! Baby D’s favorites were the apples & bananas and peaches & bananas, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the delcious flavors of Ella’s Kitchen. And it’s not just your general fruit and veggie pouches, either. They have incorporated grains and even made meals (or side items!) like the cheesy potatoes with veggies!
Ella’s Kitchen is a great company who believes in healthy, organic food for little ones and also giving back to the community. We’re sold on Ella’s Kitchen! You can pick up some yummy fruit & veggie pouches, nibbly fingers, and more at Target, Kroger, Buy Buy Baby, and more. Check the Ella’s Kitchen website for a retailer near you!
Samii A. is the lucky winner of the Ella’s Kitchen box of goodies! Congrats!
We were able to travel on the "Polar Express" on the Texas State Railroad. The boys hadn't watched the movie, so they didn't really know what it was about when we told them. They just knew they were going to get to ride on a train, which was enough to get them both very excited because they LOVE trains. I explained to them that the kids on the Polar Express wear their pajamas and get special treats and then we would travel to see Santa.
Well, there was some miscommunication between me and my GPS man, also know as my husband. The Polar Express leaves from Palestine, which is about 2 hours away from us. I missed the part that you should arrive about 30 minutes early so you can get your tickets and wait for the train. Well, right after we left for the 5:15 departure, we realized we wouldn't make it in time. I called the Texas State Railroad in Palestine and they graciously changed our tickets to 6:45. I do NOT recommend this because the nice lady on the phone said they do sell out a lot so…just don't chance it! Anyway, we went on our way and that allowed us some time to grab something to eat at the train station. I will tell you, the food is like that at the fair. We paid $5 for a hamburger that wasn't very good. It was great to have that option, but I wouldn't go there just to eat. They also have corn dogs, popcorn, etc.
Arriving there early also allowed the boys to stretch their legs. They were playing Christmas music at the train station and the boys spent about 15 minutes dancing to it while we waited for the train:
Then…the train arrived! The boys were SO excited because this was the closest they had ever been to a train!
We waited while the previous train riders exited the train and within 15 minutes, we were able to board the train and find a seat in our car! The dancing and singing chefs were a hit!
We sang Christmas songs and the chefs delivered fresh cookies and hot chocolate to every passenger! The boys loved the cookies. The hot chocolate was perfect – wasn't filled too full and had a lid to prevent spillage. The boys weren't into the hot chocolate at all though, but, that just meant more for us! But they sure did enjoy the cookies, which I believe were Snickerdoodles.
We loved this chef. She was very animated and showed the pictures as a recorded reading of "The Polar Express" played over the speakers. It was a little loud and my boys weren't paying much attention to the book, but she was very good at talking to them and explaining things when she walked by!
After the story was over, we approached a beautiful light display out the window. And then saw some elves and Santa:
Then the train stopped and Santa and the elves came on the train. He greeted every child and gave them a beautiful silver bell.
The boys loved their bells! Baby D was a bit scared of Santa until he found out he had something to give him. After that, we went back to the train station and sand Christmas songs on the ride back.
We had a great time riding the Polar Express! I think it was a great experience for us. The boys would have enjoyed riding the train more if they could see out the window, as it was dark outside, but I guess that's the point for the whole mystery behind travelling to the "North Pole" to see Santa. My boys just weren't into the Santa part as much as they were into just riding the train. Everyone was very friendly and they really catered to the kids.
We received four free coach tickets to promote and review the Polar Express. If I had the choice to take my kids next year, I'd honestly have to say that we would opt out unless there was a special discount. For all four of us to travel, it would cost $120. I know that it must cost a lot to operate the train and then there's the cookies, hot chocolate, and bells for the kids, but the whole experience is less than an hour and I know that I would have been disappointed if I had spent $120. There are other seating options available that would make it more enjoyable. And if your child is older and REALLY into Santa or "The Polar Express," it would be worth it, but I just want to share my opinion in case your family has a tight budget. I think we will go for more train rides with the Texas State Railroad, however!
**Disclosure: I received four tickets at no cost by participating in this program through US Family Guide. All opinions expressed are all mine.**