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Rylan feeding Kaitlyn

Written on March 31, 2008 by Kevin.

This was Rylan's first attempt at feeding Kaitlyn. I think they both were having a good time.

Week in Review

Written on March 28, 2008 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Puffs everywhere! There are those pesky Gerber puffs everywhere in our house right now. My mom feeds them to Kaitlyn in the kitchen but somehow they seem to find their way into every other room of the house. I saw one stuck to my moms back yesterday. It was pretty funny.

Speaking of Kaitlyn, my mom is slowly trying new foods with her. They are having to take it super slow because of her allergy attack a couple days before Christmas. They tried Soy formula yesterday which caused no reactions except a sour face from Kaitlyn. She isn't used to drinking from a bottle or cup so she isn't too interested. The flavor and smell of the formula certainly doesn't help either.

Our mom and dad have a big weekend ahead of them. They are planning on painting our bedroom to match all of our new furniture that will be put in soon. We are going to have a very IKEA'ish bedroom which should be pretty neat. They will definitely be putting pictures up when its done. It's going to be a shocker.

My dad has been teaching me numbers and letters for a long time now and I am pretty good at saying my numbers up 30 and my ABC's. My mom yesterday taught me how to write a 1 and a 2. I did pretty well but I still need to work on it. The other day I drew a perfect circle which my dad was pretty excited about. The best thing about doing this stuff is I get a high 5 afterward. It's super exciting.

Kaitlyn and I have begun filling up our piggy banks. I have a Mickey Mouse piggy bank that we got when we went to Disneyland one time. Kaitlyn has a Pooh Bear one. I now have an eye out for any pennies that I see on the ground and then I like to save them in my piggy bank or spend them on M&Ms. Kaitlyn gets some random change from my dad whenever he has it. I like to hear the money jingle inside.

I think that's about it for us this week. My mom is making sticky buns tomorrow morning which I am super excited about. They are yummy yummy tasty. Have a good weekend.

Chicken Nugget!?!?!

Written on March 27, 2008 by Kevin.

Definition of chicken nugget:
A chicken nugget is either whole or composed from a paste of finely minced chicken and purposefully added chicken skin, which is then coated in batter or breadcrumbs before being cooked. Fast-food restaurants typically deep-fry their nuggets in oil. Oven baking is the usual method of preparation at home.

That is how we know and use the word chicken nugget but not in Rylan's little world. About a month ago, Rylan started randomly saying the phrase "chicken nugget". As expected, we figured he was talking about wanting some chicken nuggets. We brushed it off for a few days but he continued to say it. We finally got him some chicken nuggets to eat one evening and he wouldn't eat them. What's that all about? It turns out that he doesn't actually want chicken nuggets, it's just his word to end all words. Example..

Dad: Rylan, let's go upstairs to brush your teeth.
Rylan: Chicken nugget.
Dad: Come on, let's go upstairs.
Rylan: Chicken nugget. (emphasis when he bobs his head)

Fast forward two weeks and it has become a bit more of a meaningful word to him. When he is upset he now yells "Chicken Nugget!" in a deeper voice. It's like the devil has taken over and he is hungry for those dang chicken nuggets. Without even knowing it, he uses it as somewhat of a curse word.

Chicken nugget is not the only word that he has used like this. In the past it was "Mario!". He made us laugh one day when he was running scared from a walking toy we had in the kitchen. In a panic and pure terror, he ran out of the room yelling "Mario and Luigi!". How can you not laugh at that. Rylan is still waiting for the two of them to show up and save the day.

Rylan, the helpful grocery boy.

Written on March 26, 2008 by Kevin.

When Kaitlyn was first born, it made life a bit more difficult when it came to heading to the grocery store. My wife used to be able to push the empty cart while I held Rylan but when Kaitlyn was born, we placed her carrier into the cart and then depending on what we were there for we would either have to somehow get a second cart pushed around or carefully place groceries around her. This nuisance was made worse when Rylan went through a phase of not wanting to listen to us while at the store.

Fast forward many months now and Rylan really is a changed kiddo. He now lets me know when he wants to be held or put down. Most of the time when he is put down he immediately puts his hand up for me to grab and hold onto. Perfect. This has helped in so many ways and it has been a long time coming.

Lately, I have been doing a bit of father son bonding by taking Rylan to the grocery store. Sure, it may not seem like much but it gives me a chance to teach him a whole bunch of new words. As we pass through the aisles, I try to point out new and old things and either tell him the name of it or let him tell me. He is learning words at an amazing pace. Last night we headed out for cereal and fruit. As we passed by the bakery, Rylan knows that they give out free cookies so each time politely asks for a cookie. Unfortunately for him, the bakery tends to be closed at the later hours that we go. We picked up a bit of fruit and we focused on learning the words pineapple and mushroom. After getting back home, he carried the pineapple from the car and when the door opened up he yelled pineapple to his mom. We made a few trips back to the van and each time when returning, he would say what he had in his hands. He loves showing people that he knows big words and it always makes us laugh.

Rylan is now officially my grocery buddy. We get to spend that short bit talking and bonding and that means a lot since I am away from home while at work. Kaitlyn benefits from our grocery trips too because I come home with baby food that I can then sit down, spend some time with her and feed her. My wife, she gets a short break from tackling 2 kids at once. It's a win win for everyone.

Easter Recap

Written on March 24, 2008 by Kevin.

It appears that the kids both had a wonderful Easter this year. The kids had a moment to pillage their baskets a bit before heading off to the family Easter party. Rylan's basket included a bit of chocolates, cotton candy and a Melissa and Doug dinosaur magnet set. He of course loved munching on the chocolate that were shaped in bunnies, ducks and bees. He preferred the chocolate over the cotton candy which was a bit of a surprise. His dinosaur magnets were also a big hit. I think that he will find them very entertaining while in the kitchen.

Kaitlyn's basket included pink bunny slippers. She has a bit of growing to do before they will work with her of course but I can only imagine she is going to look super cute with them on. Her basket also had a stuffed bunny with the body of a carrot. Bathtime is a bit more fun now that she has a new rubber ducky dressed as a bunny. A Melissa and Doug Monkey Face Grasp and Shake Toy rounded out her basket. This goes along with her other wooden toys. She likes to grip onto it and shake it around. The googly eyed look that the monkey gives you is bound to get some laughs from her soon.

The family Easter party was fun. The kids had a chance to see some of their great aunts and uncles that they had not seen since Thanksgiving. It took a bit of warming up but Rylan eventually took to them very well. We hung out at the pool because it is already near 90F here in Arizona. We had a small Easter egg hunt and Rylan did exceptionally well this year. He was quick to find just about all of the eggs. Kaitlyn got a few as well with the help of her mother. Next year, Kaitlyn should be fully capable of fighting with Rylan over the hidden eggs which should be fun to watch.

Week in Review

Written on March 21, 2008 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Welcome to another week in review. Kaitlyn and I haven't done too much this week so we are really looking forward to this weekends Easter party at my grandma and grandpa's house. We will get to see some of our great aunts and uncles as well which is nice. The last time that we saw most of them was around Thanksgiving I think. We are bringing some yummy food as well which is always nice.

We are working hard right now trying to clear our house of old unneeded baby items. It won't be too much longer before Kaitlyn is in a bed of her own and we get to totally redo our room. We are going to have the same beds but with different sheets. Mom has it all planned out. We have a huge pile of baby stuff that just needs to go so we can make some room for it all. It's hard to get rid of some of our old stuff but it's time for it to go.

I have been playing the Cooking Mama game for the Wii lately with my mom. It is a game where you are instructed to make sushi, hot dogs or a whole bunch of other meals. I am still working on getting the techniques down because they can be a bit tricky moving the controller certain ways.

I think the day has come when Kaitlyn is going to be able to defend herself. For many months now I have been stealing the toys that she was playing with. Well the other day when my mom was changing my diaper, she crawled up and whacked me right on the arm. I didn't like it very much but I think she did. I am going to try and be more nice now.

Kaitlyn has been getting more and more active lately. She buzzes around the room now and even likes to dance. She stands up and shakes her butt. It's pretty funny. She is also saying mama which I think is really good. She's a smarty and a cutey. Oh she wanted me to tell you all that she now claps as well.

We are going to leave it at that. Expect a few cute Easter pictures up on Monday. Have a good holiday weekend.

Child Safety Car Seat IDs

Written on March 20, 2008 by Kevin.

I don't recall how I came about this idea but it is a good one indeed. In the terrible event of an accident, you as the parent(s) are unresponsive but your kids are still alive and well. Paramedics arrive and with no one to tell them anything about the kids, they do things based on training and instincts. If you child is allergic to this or that, they would not otherwise know.

In comes the idea of car seat ID's. Simply a piece of paper attached to the seat with some very valuable information such as:

- Child's name
- Height
- Weight
- Birthdate
- Medical conditions/allergies
- Several family contacts
- Recent photo

These items on a small card can help protect and speed up medical help in the case of an accident. These would even work well for adults as well really but with young kids not being able to speak or too frightened to do so, this could mean a lot. Just having the paramedic know your child's name should help calm them down a bit.

I am currently working on making these up for our kids and I would suggest doing the same.

Review: Baby Jamz Products + Giveaway!

Written on March 17, 2008 by Kevin.

**Full Disclosure** I am writing this review after receiving these sample products from the TeamMom(yes, I do realize I am not a mom) website.

Welcome the Baby Jamz toy products. Toys for kids who simply love hip-hop music and the butchering of classics. When I first heard that I was going to be have a chance to sample a couple new products I was excited but was soon disappointed with what came next. I was to sample and review a couple of the Baby Jamz toy products. The first thing I did was hunt down exactly what I was going to receive. I read over numerous reviews and was quite surprised to hear such great words. Kids and adults both loved these products and the twist on classic nursery rhymes.

Baby Jamz Boom Box Shape Sorter ($14.76)
This was the first toy that we removed from the box after opening it. With a quick bit of confusion, I process what is in front of me. A boom box, I guess. This toy plays music when your child inserts the colored shapes into their appropriate slot. Additional buttons on the right allow your child to mix in extra sounds as to possibly make it sound like you are a DJ of some type. I think I had the most fun with this toy simply by annoying my wife with my super slick DJ'ing skills. There is nothing like repeating one of the 3 nursery songs over and over again. This toy is designed for 6+ months so of course Rylan mastered it with his eyes closed. Kaitlyn doesn't seem too interested in it. The blocks do fall out quite easily so travelling with this would likely be difficult.

Baby Jamz Music Crew ($4.88)
I am trying to hold back the real words that are going through my head when I think of this toy. I'll start off and just say that this toy too is meant to be a boom box. Small plastic characters are placed on top and music is then played. Music can be played despite the characters by pushing another button. Why exactly there are two ways to start the music is unknown to me. The characters fall off, alot. They are held in with the slightest bit of pressure which simply doesn't work. Now my favorite(most annoying) thing about this toy is the music that comes with it. Our boom box came with the classic nursery song of "Hush Little Baby" after it had been eaten by a walrus, processed and then given back to you on a plate. Let me give you a short bit of how they changed the song.

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
Mama's going to buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Mama's going to buy you some new bling bling.
so shhhh
Be quite, be be be quiet
so shhhh
Be quite, be be be quiet

Did they honestly just butcher one of the most well known nursery songs and include the word bling in doing so? I believe they did. Everyone that I have played the song too just happens to agree. If I had to price this item, it would be closer to half of what it currently is at $4.88. This is very much a throw away toy.

Baby Jamz CD, Nursery Rhymes Volume 1 ($10.47) I can't bear to open and listen to this CD. They have a sample button which gives you small taste of what is on the CD and we just can't do it. What is on the CD you may ask? Well they are classic children songs redone into a hip-hop version. Read below on how you can win this if you feel so daring.

So to sum things up, these are certainly toys that I am glad that I got to sample rather than buy and then kick myself later about. Our children do not listen to many of the classic nursery rhymes so we thought that this may be a good chance to introduce them to it but we will graciously pass. Baby Jamz was created by the father and sister of Beyonce Knowles and they don't like to hide that from you. I told my wife that I feel bad when Solange Knowles has a kid of her own and then she informed me that she already has a kid and this of course is where the idea to these toys likely came from. These toys feel and look cheap but of course their prices would possibly say otherwise. Just below, there is a small commercial(?) that BabyJamz seems to have put up on YouTube. While they do not go into detail about the toys, they atleast give a good impression of what the toys are about.

** For the parent's who are actually interested in this toy, we did check over a bit of each of the toys and found no lead. (This is not 100% guaranteed however)

The rules are simple, if you want the Baby Jamz CD, just write a short comment saying so. I don't want to drag this contest on any more than necessary so I will wrap it up on March 23rd at 11:59pm PST. I will randomly choose a winner and you will be contacted shortly after.

The lucky winner of the Baby Jams CD is comment number #8, Ford. I will be in contact with you shortly. Thanks everyone for participating.

Week in Review

Written on March 14, 2008 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Well the big thing this week was getting to have with fun with our cousin Hayden. He came over with his parents to hang out. We had sandwiches and then we all played on the Wii. I played a bit as well before I got distracted with Hayden. Kaitlyn kind of got teamed up on and was a bit bullied but everything went really well and was super fun. They got to see our newly finished house so that was pretty excited.

The new van of ours is working out nicely. It has plenty of room for me to stretch out and throw my toys. I am now within arm reach of Kaitlyn so I can pick on her all that I want until my mom spots me. I like to climb in the back seat when we first get into the car and put on the big boy seat belt. My mom says I look really cute.

Easter is not too far away and we already have our plans made. We are going over to our grandparent's house to celebrate with family and do a mini egg hunt. I think my dad said we may go to the park. Maybe we will bring my golf set as well.

Kaitlyn was super chatty yesterday. She has been really into watching movies with me lately so maybe she has been trying to say some of the words. I like when she is chatty and I can't wait until I can talk to her with real words. For now we just have to talk to one another in our secret mind trickery. I always seem to know when she has a diaper to change.

Next week my dad will be doing a review on a new product we were given to sample. It was an interesting toy to review to say the least. Best of all though, he will be having a giveaway to go along with the review which is super exciting.

Have a good weekend everyone.


Written on March 11, 2008 by Kevin.

I was browsing through the new items on the IKEA website and came across the BARNSLIG. For a whopping $5.99 you too can get a mini child restraint. Just stick your kids feet gently in the cushion and wrap the legs with a bit of duct tape. Packing tape may do as well. Now watch your child scream in terror as they try their best to get out. They will have nightmares for years but at least they won't harass you for the moment.

The BARNSLIG works for both girls and boys in which they happily provide both green and pink models. Don't let this one pass by! Stop by your local IKEA today.

The Plot.

Written on March 10, 2008 by Kevin.

Week in Review

Written on March 7, 2008 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

We are writing to you today from on top of our new carpet. Besides being a bit stinky, it really is nice. Our mom said that all of our major upgrades are done with so that is pretty exciting. The house really has come a long way. Kaitlyn is taking full advantage of the new carpet and is roaming around everywhere now.

Speaking of Kaitlyn, she was super super excited yesterday when she stood up all by herself. She actually stood up with the help of a toy and then let go. She stood there all by herself! She isn't even 8 months old yet. I don't know if I am ready for Kaitlyn to be running around with me. Now I have to watch out for more of my toys. She already tries to take them as it is.

My mom and dad are trying to explain to me the concept of sharing but it is really difficult to grasp. I like all of the toys in our house and I really don't think Kaitlyn needs to be playing with them. Mom and dad don't really agree however. I don't think Kaitlyn does either.

Toys everywhere! Our mom and dad have done it again. They have been buying toys that we will be given over the next few years including birthdays, Christmas and every holiday in between. Their room is filled with toys that they were able to get for great prices so they snagged them up. I have already seen most of them but I don't get to play with them until I am 3 years old at the earliest which is a bit of a bummer. Kaitlyn is going to have to wait a long time before she can play with most of hers. I did see her Easter gift though and I think she will like it a lot.

I think that's about it for the week. We need to help mom clean the house because our cousin Hayden is coming over this weekend. It's going to be fun.

The day has come..

Written on March 5, 2008 by Kevin.

Welcome the newest member of our family. Our new 2001 Ford Windstar van. Yesterday was the day we purchased this van and our lives changed forever. My wife moved one step closer to becoming a soccer mom and me, well I just look like a typical dad now.

The car is in great shape for being a 2001 and only has 67000 miles on it so I hope that it can give us double that if we treat it nicely. My brother-in-law, who works for a Ford dealership, was able to snag this deal for us as it had just been traded in that same day (thanks again).

The kids certainly have worked it in already and we have already had a few crying fits and toys are scattered throughout the inside. Word of advice, don't put puzzles on top of the van if you are prone to forgetting them. Rylan now has one less puzzle because of my mistake.

My only concern at this point with the car is the massive amount of room in it. My wife will have an uncontrollable urge to fill it with goodies from Disneyland, Target or really anywhere else.

The Migration to Wood...

Written on March 4, 2008 by Kevin.

My wife and I have always wondered about cavemen and how they lived with their crazy screaming kids. We are told that they were very aggressive and how they didn't just toss their babies off the side of a cliff always boggles my mind. They must have had fun toys for the kids to pass the time with while their caveparents went looking for a woolly mammoth to devour. If the toys of the caveman were good enough for them than they are certainly good enough for my kids. I am talking about good ol' wooden toys. No I am not talking about having Rylan use a tree branch to beat up on his sister, I am talking about wooden classic and new toys.

We have our fair share of plastic toys from Fisher Price and many other companies. Some of them have been affected by the lead scares of recent years but most have not. Regardless, we are making a point now to purchase toys from respectable companies that take the lead in making sure their products do not contain lead. Melissa and Doug is currently the company we are after and are seeking hard for their toys. While their toys can originally be a questionably high price, they can be found at stores like Ross and Tuesday Morning for a considerably discounted price. We have been able to purchase many wooden puzzles for both Kaitlyn and Rylan that they can use in the future. Speaking of the future, these toys are made to last for generations and they stand behind their product with a lifetime guarantee. They will even replace puzzle pieces if your kid was to lose them.

Thinking about way into the future I think these purchases will be a wise one. Boxing these toys up when the kids are done and allowing their children to someday play with them will be nice. I think they will find that day special as well.

Birthday Celebration

Written on March 3, 2008 by Kevin.

My birthday turned into a birth week as we celebrated my birthday just about everyday of last week. We started out with a nice pizza night at the kids grandfathers house. Rylan is always ready for a good round of pizza. Later in the week we met up with some of my wife's family and had a nice dinner.

On Saturday we had our carpet installed and despite it smelling not so fresh, we had the kids grandmother over for the night. My wife out did herself this year by throwing together a slew of treats including rice krispy bars, ice cream cone cupcakes and even a Lego shaped cake. As to be expected, Rylan loved each of them as did I.

I am starting to realize that with age and now with kids, birthdays are certainly not the same as they used to be (the night was filled with 2 crying kids in their carseats). While my actual birthday on Wednesday was just a typical night, my wife certainly made up for it with her treats over the weekend.