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Review: Little Tikes Little Champs Sports Center

Written on November 30, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Here I am again, presenting to you another one of my wonderful toy reviews. It was a hard choice picking a toy this week because I just realized that I have so many great ones. This week I decided on the Little Tikes Little Champs Sports Center.

I picked out this toy with some leftover birthday money that I had laying around after our great trip to Disneyland. It is a great source of enjoyment throughout my day. It basically has 3 toys in 1 which is always nice. It includes a basketball hoop and 2 balls, football and even a baseball and bat. I really enjoy putting the ball into the hoop and when that happens, it lights up and makes some noises. Ever better, I like to stick my hand in there to get the noises to happen. Nothing wrong with that, right?

I am still working on enjoying the 2 other toys as basketball is normally my favorite sport. I however am beginning to understand the concept of the bat and baseball. I have begun tapping it with the bat all by myself. Mom sure gets a kick out of it. Speaking of kick, the football I guess is made to be kicked but that seems a bit crazy to me. For now, I like to spin it a few times and then move on. No sounds or noises happen when I play with anything other than the basketball.

I think I still have a lot of growing into for this toy but I would recommend it to parents. I think that most kids, well at least boys, would like this one. This would probably make a good Christmas gift.

Christmas Light Displays

Written on November 29, 2006 by Kevin.

When I was a kid, I recall going around a couple of times with the family to look at Christmas light displays. They were always a great thing to look at and then take off for the next one. It seems to me that this was slowly becoming extinct until the last year when videos of the light shows went all over the Internet.

We took Rylan to see one of the biggest light displays I have ever seen. It was just a few blocks from our house so we parked outside for a few minutes while the sun set. Once it got dark, the lights came on and Rylan's eyes lit up. My wife walked him around while I took a few pictures and video.

Amazing Christmas Light Display! - video powered by Metacafe

Here in Arizona, we have an event each year called the Glendale Glitters in which they light up the old downtown district in thousands of lights and on the weekends have food/gift booths to purchase from. We plan on taking Rylan back here again this year as we are sure he will enjoy the amazing lights. More on that another day..

First night in a new bed

Written on November 28, 2006 by Kevin.

There are a few signs that experts will tell you to look for when your child is ready for their own bed. We have been noticing these over the past couple of weeks so we decided to give it a try.

We purchased the Vikare extendable children's bed from Ikea and decided to put it together downstairs. Rylan had always seemed to enjoy it while at the store but we wanted to get him used to it downstairs before sticking it in our room. After a few weeks of him getting adjusted to it and sleeping on it occasionally for naps, we decided last night would be the night to give it a full try.

We spent some time preparing the room including baby proofing it. After a bit of rearranging, we brought the bed up and then Rylan. He looked amazed. His eyes were as big as could be. You could see the excitement in his eyes when he saw the bed up in the room and the crib no longer there.

It is not uncommon for us to be able to lay Rylan down in his crib and let him fall asleep on his own but we wanted to make sure he was asleep before leaving the room during this first night. After a bit of expert bouncing from my wife, he was off to sleep. With our newly purchased baby monitor, we worked down stairs putting up our Christmas tree while listening for any sounds. I faintly noticed a noise and after a quick inspection, my wife said that he woke up, drank from his cup and then passed back out. Perfect!

My wife tells me that this morning during his normal wake up time that he was walking around the room looking excited again like he was a big boy. He really is.

Our mission now is being able to get him to a point where we can lay him down and let him fall asleep on his own. This may be a challenge but we are up for it.

Between you and me dad.

Written on November 27, 2006 by Kevin.

My wife picked me up this journal sometime around Rylan's birth and I kept telling her that I would fill it out. Now it's been over a year and the pages are still not written in. That was until today.

The journal allows me to write about my youth so that Rylan will be able to read it when he gets older. They make these books for all types of family members but I am the lucky one to have this one. It asks me a whole bunch of questions that Rylan may be curious about years from now and while I still have a small memory, I can answer them. I can even start a sentence with "When I was young...." if I wanted too.

One thing that you quickly learn while writing in this book is that writing with a pen hurts. It has been years since I really sat down and wrote something and this just proves it. My finger aches and my handwriting is worse than ever. I may need to assign a translator so that Rylan will be able to read the chicken scratch that is in front of him.

Overall, the journal is a great idea for any parent. It really allows you to bring back your own memories and help share them with your child while you can still remember. While there are many books similar to this one, mine can be found here.

Week in Review

Written on November 24, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Holy shmoly! I had a great time yesterday for Thanksgiving.

My dad started the day super early. I mean 5:00am early. We quickly got dressed and headed over to my great aunt's house. She was making sticky buns for us, including me. A couple pieces of the sticky bun kept me going for the rest of the day it seems. We made our way down to the only parade in Arizona and staked out or sidewalk area. It seemed like an eternity but then the parade started. At first I didn't know what was going on but I soon caught on. I began to clap and point when I saw some great looking floats.

Curious George was at the parade and I got a picture with him and my mom. We all look really cute together. They threw out candy and I tell ya, they sure are nice. I have more candy than my Halloween bucket had. Now let me tell you about the best part of the parade, the girls. Boy do I like looking at the cheerleaders.

After a long parade, I took a very short nap as we headed back to my great aunt's house. When we got back, more food was ready for us to munch on and more people began to arrive. Most of this family has not seen me since about Easter so they were in for a surprise. They thought I was the cutest thing and really enjoyed me walking around. I even got to see my great grandma and grandpa again. They are really great and I like to be around them.

The food was ready now and my mom got me a plate. My mom and dad came prepared with a floor mat to easily pickup my mess. My parents sure are smart. As you can see in the pictures, I did a pretty good job clearing my plate. The food was great. I had a chance to eat just about everything that was served.

I sure had a blast this Thanksgiving. I hope everyone else did as well.

2006 Dangerous Toy List

Written on November 22, 2006 by Kevin.

Here is a friendly reminder for everyone to check out the 2006 dangerous toy list at this link. Further information can be found here.

Toys that are not safe are not always recalled so this website has some very valuable information. I know that my wife has already found one toy of Rylan's that has potentially toxic chemicals. This was certainly news that we did not want to hear but glad that we did.

Some of the toys on the list may shock you. Check it out.

Review: Mickey Plane Ride-On Toy

Written on November 21, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Alright, the first toy that I will be picking out of my toy bin is the Mickey Plane Ride-On Toy. I received this toy from my mom and dad at my birthday party. I was simply amazed at this gift and I pretty much couldn't stay away from it. Initial appearance is awesome.

When I got back from my birthday trip, this was one of the first things that I played with. I wanted to get the full feel of it. Mom sat me on the seat and pushed me around like I was a real plane flyer. I had so much fun. It has a handle on the back to help your parents push you along. It also works nicely for little kids that are beginning to walk because it helps them balance themselves.

This plane has a whole bunch of fun buttons to press that make different noises and even start up the propeller. The propeller, as you can see, has a bunch of lights on it. Let me tell you, they are very mesmerizing to watch. I really like to push the buttons a lot so that I can hear Mickey talk.

This toy also has some fun things to help kids learn. It has plastic shapes that fit into sections so I can learn some new skills. I have fun trying to put the shapes into their holes but I'm not there just yet. For now, I like to push the button that makes more noise when you get a shape put in.

Unfortunately this Mickey plane does have a few bad issues. The most important thing is that the propeller is already starting to die. I think that this may be caused because sometimes I push the plane into the wall and then turn the propeller on and it can't move. Maybe my dad can fix it. The other thing is that because it has a lot of lights and sounds, it does go through batteries pretty quickly.

I guess that's it for this review. Look for some more in the future.

The secret society.

Written on November 20, 2006 by Kevin.

When you have a child, you are immediately entered into the secret society of parenting. You now get to experience and know things that non parents just won't ever know until they have their own child.

While at a recent IKEA trip, we let Rylan roam around the children's furniture/toy section. He was having a great time pushing a push cart toy when another father began telling us how great Rylan was. My wife kept an eye on Rylan while I began a conversation with this father. When you step into the secret society of parenting, you always have a way to start a conversation with another parent. We began talking a few things when he began to mirror my exact feelings on parenting. It was amazing.

This father had the possibility to be a stay at home father for the first year which is simply amazing. He now has his daughter wrapped around his finger because of the constant supervision and teaching over the past couple of years. It is amazing to see such a good kid when most are running around wreaking havoc.

As parents, we don't hear it enough but this father multiple times explained that he could tell how well we were doing as parents based on how Rylan was acting. I certainly agree with the idea that parents can be judged by their children's actions.

With a quick goodbye as Rylan and my wife walked away, that was it. It's empowering to hear from another parent how well we are doing as parents. Most parents must think they are doing great but when you hear it from someone who has no reason to lie, it definitely means more. We will continue to teach Rylan as much as we can and hope that he accepts it with open arms.

Week in Review

Written on November 17, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Phew! I finally got over my sickness. I am sure glad that is all over with. I can get back to my toys now and not have to worry about being sick on them. Yippy!

A lot of big changes are happening around me lately. As I mentioned a few days ago, I found out that I will have a cousin soon. With my expert opinion, I have been able to help pick out gifts for the soon to be baby. I may have mentioned before as well that my grandma is moving back to town. She lives in Las Vegas now and she would have to come to town for a couple days. Now she is staying forever though. I really like to see her.

Christmas is just around the corner so dad has been planning a trip up to Sedona, AZ so that we can see all of their Christmas lights and even see Santa. I remember that guy from last year but I was still a wee little lad. Now I am old enough that I may even get scared of him. Dad had better take his picture fast.

I have been expanding my palate by trying my hand at new foods. Normally I like them but sometimes I don't so they get tossed aside, literally. Last night, I tried a bit of my moms enchilada. Ey caramba! That thing was pretty good. I tried my hand at some potato soup the other night as well and that was good too. I like trying new things and not getting stuck with the same old thing each day.

Clap. Clap. Clap. That is my new favorite thing to do. My days of waving are long gone and I have no replaced it with clapping. Anytime I see something I like I clap. If my mom or dad say yay!, then I clap. You should try it sometime, its really fun to clap. I really like it when mom and dad join in with me and we all get excited.

Have a good weekend. :)

Stimulation is critical.

Written on November 16, 2006 by Kevin.

My wife a while back saw an old friend that recently had a baby. She saw her at a restaurant and after talking with her, she found out that this was her first time out of the house in a year. This really blew us away.

Is it really good for both the parents and baby to be stuck in a house for a year? Sure, the child probably had time outside of the house more than just doctor visits but if someone makes a comment like that, it's a good chance it's the honest truth.

We have made a very strong point to get Rylan out into the world to see and explore things. We take him to the park, museums, fairs, movies and obviously to Disneyland. We do this for a couple of reasons. The main reason is simply stimulation. Rylan loves to be exploring things and we want to have him learn about everything possible. As parents, we notice children and while not necessarily judging them, we notice that some children do not appear to be as alert as other children. Is it possible this is because they are not stimulated the way others are? My unscientific belief is that children who are not stimulated early in life will show signs of it later in life.

The other reason why we take Rylan to all of these places is because we want to enjoy new places with him. New places for all of us sometimes and others may be places we enjoyed as kids and we wanted to see again. We do our best not to let having a child effect the way we live our lives. Having a (planned) child should not effect you from doing everything that you had previously done. Sure, things are going to change and you have to approach things differently but with a bit of planning and luck, you can do everything you had in the past.

We understand fully that Rylan is not going to remember much if any of his first couple of years but that does not mean you have to keep him inside staring at his toys and a blank wall. Children need to be taken out and allowed to see the world. This has to show itself later in life. I can't wait until Rylan is my age and I can see how his personality and knowledge have developed.

A cousin!

Written on November 14, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

I learned just the other day that I would have a cousin soon. My aunt and uncle told us that they are having a baby due in May. I am definitely excited about this because right now, I have no one else to play with. I hope that it's another boy for me to run around with but if it's a girl, I would be happy too.

Man, I can just imagine all of the fun we will be having in a few years. I can't wait to show them all of the great things that I have learned over the past year. Maybe I can even teach them to walk. Oh boy, I cant wait!

What a week...

Written on November 13, 2006 by Kevin.

As mentioned before, Rylan has always been healthy but this past week has certainly been a roller coaster. We have gone from good days to the bad days where Rylan fusses nonstop. This is certainly not the normal behavior we know from our little son.

We have seen a pattern recently where Rylan has been sucking on his thumb more and more. We have done minor things to help prevent it but nothing has worked so far. Even the doctor we recently visited could not give us many great ideas that we had not already tried or thought about. A combination of teething, no longer nursing and a terrible stomach bug certainly caused his sucking to get worse. We have always been against the use of a pacifier and while we did not like Rylan sucking on his thumb, this has only become a bigger issue recently. His thumb will tell you that it has been bitten and sucked on too much by the sore that has developed.. Any ideas on how to prevent this?

My wife tells me what today Rylan is back to his old self in regards to eating and other bodily acts. We encountered one day that Rylan did nothing but sleep but otherwise, he has tried to remain mobile during his sickness. With this sickness though we saw a side of Rylan that no parents want to see. Rylan has been dealing with what we consider temper tantrums. This is new to us.

Like all kids, Rylan would have his fussy days but recently he began to really start showing signs of tantrums. He has begun crying and then quickly stop when he thinks he is getting somewhere. We are curious to see if this is him starting his 'terrible twos' or is it happening because of his sickness and need for comfort.

Let the fun continue. My wife began to show signs of a stomach bug a few days ago and it looks as if it has struck her as hard as it has Rylan. I am putting my immune system to full test. Let's hope that I can prevent the bug from getting to me and Rylan again. I am not sure if he could handle it again.

Week in Review

Written on November 10, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Boy has this week been cruddy. I have been sick nearly the entire time it seems. I haven't even had an urge to play with my toys very much lately. In fact, I slept the majority of yesterday and didn't make a smile until my dad got home later that day. The doctor tells me its a stomach bug, I wonder where I got it from.

I think that I have been a pretty healthy little guy for the past year but dang has this bug been a doozy. I hope that I get over it soon because I have a lot of work to do that unfortunately is having to be put off for now. My plans to take over the world have been halted because of a terrible little bug. Phewy!

I will be visiting my grandpa this weekend for his birthday celebration. I think that will cheer me up because they have a park near their house and even a water area where water shoots up and stuff. I went there before but wasn't walking well enough to check it out. I think I will remind my mom to bring my suit.

I guess that is all for now, I am going back to sleep because I really need to get rid of this bug!

Tummy bug disappointment

Written on November 9, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

I was really looking forward to writing my first review yesterday but I had to take a day off to help fight the stomach bug that I have. I have been having to deal with everything that comes from a bug such as a fever and upset tummy.

Yesterday mommy and daddy took me to the urgent care because my temperature spiked really high but by the time the doctor saw me, it had already gone down. This morning was no fun either as my upset tummy came back to haunt me. My mom has done a really good job taking care of me though.

I will work on writing a toy review shortly and getting it posted next week. I was really looking forward to it but it seems that something always seems to come up. Keep an eye out next week for the review.

I'm going back to resting and relaxing...

Plastic food find at Target.

Written on November 7, 2006 by Kevin.

My wife and I both grew up with a large assortment of plastic food toys. It appears to just be one of those toys that each child has sometime throughout their early years. We had in mind months ago to look for these types of food when Rylan began getting a bit older. That was until the other day.

We have always had good luck finding very useful things at the $1 section at Target. We recently noticed that they were selling plastic children's foods that was exactly what we wanted for Rylan. These toys are for children 5 years and up which is fine by us and what we expected. Their choices of food and accessories is great. They have items such as hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and even cereal.

I know that my wife and I both loved these types of toys as kids. I can't see a reason why Rylan wouldn't enjoy something like this. Maybe if we start him early on working with food, he can cook us a meal sometimes.

If you are interested in starting a collection of these types of plastic foods, I would definitely suggest checking our your local Target, you may be surprised at what you can find.

Love of Luby's

Written on November 6, 2006 by Kevin.

All parent's know that it can be difficult taking a small child out to a restaurant. As much good that I talk about Rylan, his devilish side can certainly come out sometimes when we step into any restaurant. It is not uncommon now for Rylan to have more food on the floor rather than in his stomach. We obviously try to counter this problem by ordering foods that we know he likes but this does not always seem to help.

Rylan was having a fussy night on Saturday, most likely because of new teeth coming in, but we decided to take a stop at our local Luby's restaurant. A restaurant that I know has some of most plain and bland food every concocted. The location of this Luby's is in the heart of Sun City which is a retirement town here in Arizona. The result of that is a very quiet restaurant with the vast majority of the visitors being over 70 years old. You would think that it would be a terrible place for a child to be taken. I thought so until we stepped into that door.

Rylan flipped a switch once we stepped inside after we placed him in a high chair and wheeled him down the food line, we made our final stop at the table. For the first time since he was near flawless in his eating and social skills. He ate everything on his table and even gobbled up his Jello dessert. We had many people walking by talking with him and waving which Rylan seemed to really enjoy. We left the place finding only 3 pieces of food on the floor which seemed to be when he dropped them on accident rather than in a irritated fashion.

For those interested, Luby's has free kids meals on Tuesdays and Saturdays I believe. Does anyone know of any other free kids meal days at other restaurants?

Week in Review

Written on November 3, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Halloween, what a blast! Mommy and daddy took me to so many things on Halloween and I sure had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed going from house to house begging for candy. Mom and dad told me what little kids do on Halloween so when they dropped me off at the door, I would of course look cute but I would speak to the door person too. They sure got a kick out of me being a moo cow. I know that daddy showed the candy that I bit into but what they don't know is that I got a whole pocket full before they caught me. I have it stashed in my crib and I like to nibble on it after they go to bed.

I am a year old now and I feel like I deserve a bit more responsibility so I asked dad if I could do some reviews on all of the toys that I now have. I think he is OK with the idea so from now on the reviews will be from me instead of my dad. I know that he likes the toys too but my point of view is always a bit more accurate. Definitely keep an eye out for those reviews coming over the next couple of weeks.

Many people tell you that if your baby has curly hair and you cut it that it will no longer be curly. That may be the case but my hair has grown back out now and the curls are beginning to show again. I think it may be time soon to get another cut. I have to present myself to the ladies as a clean cut kind of kid because that's what I am. Heck, the girls love me either way.

I guess I will bring up walking. My mom grew onto the Robeez style shoes when we found some at the Disney store. After picking up a pair, we went back for more and I have been wearing those for the most part. My walking has improved significantly and now even with heavier and clunky shoes I'm doing better. I walked around Mervyns last night with dad while mom was keeping herself occupied. I didn't even fall over!

Daddy has been teaching me a lot of things recently and one of them is how to handle things. When I was walking around the store last night, I really really wanted to tug on the clothing tags but when dad saw that I was aiming towards them he told me to be gentle. I fought the urge to tug and decided to give daddy a cute look and then I clapped. I clapped because I did a good job by not tugging on it. I like when mom and dad tell me how good of a boy I am.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Trick or Treating 2006

Written on November 1, 2006 by Kevin.

This year we wanted to take Rylan trick or treating so we made plans to check out the Radio Disney sponsored event at a local mall. Rylan helped out trick or treating around the stores by very carefully selecting which candy he wanted. People were very responsive to Rylan walking around begging for candy and most of them seemed to get a kick out of it. We finished up our candy snatching there and decided to move on..

We made a quick stop at a local neighborhood and decided to try our hand at trick or treating there. We walked Rylan in between the houses but when we got to the door we would put him down and give him his bucket. After a quick ring of the doorbell he would step closely to the door and wait for it to open. As if he knew what to do, they opened the door and he would speak. He would even say something on his way out.

We stopped by grandma and grandpa's house to do a bit more trick or treating and then decided to stop by a local church that was having a large event. They had all types of events to try out but unfortunately Rylan was a bit too young for them. We did however score a bit more candy for Rylan.

What you see above is the aftermath of Rylan's secret attack of the candy bucket. While going between houses he snuck into the bucket and proceeded to munch on some of the candy. We quickly put a stop to it but dang was it funny. It seems to us that he thoroughly enjoyed this Halloween, I know that we certainly did.