Monday, February 27, 2012

SodaStream: The Giveaway!

If you have been following our site long enough you will remember our post from last November when we were able to review a SodaStream. The SodaStream is a machine that makes carbonated beverages right from home that taste just as good as store bought name brands. If you are new to our site I encourage you to go back and take a look at our review for the SodaStream. Now for the amazing part! The great people at SodaStream have allowed us to giveaway a SodaStream package to one of our loyal Chunky and Monkey MD followers! This winner will receive a Fountain Jet Soda Lovers Start Up Kit ($99.95) retail value. To make it easy for you to enter all you have to do is follow the rafflecopter form below to be entered to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: We were sent an SodaStream for review purposes. No other monetary compensation was given. All opinions are our own and may differ from yours.

After being contacted winners will have 48 hours to respond back before a new winner is drawn.
Stay At Home Dad

Hello again, zoo!

When you only get one day off per week, you have to make the best of it! I always try to do something fun with the boys when I have a full day off. Trips to the zoo, beach days, taking Monkey to a movie, "date nights,", etc. have become the norm when I get a chance. We also have lazy stay at home sort of days... but we really try to get out and do something fun to burn off a little of the boys' energy and do things that Trey wouldn't be able to do alone with them. This past week we headed back to our favorite zoo. We hadn't been in a couple months - and it was the perfect weather for a zoo day! It ended up being almost 80 degrees and overcast with a nice breeze. We stopped off at our usual favorite spots - the aquarium, the elephant enclosure, Johnathan the lion and our 2 absolute favorites: the giraffes and the carousel!

Monkey zooming through the underwater tunnel in one of the fish tanks! This giant plastic tube is one of the boys' favorite things to do every time we go to the zoo.

This elephant was a little more Monkey's size!
"C'mon, Little Bubs! We have animals to see!"
Chunky checking out the lionesses! This kid loves his lions!
Time to feed the giraffes their lunch!
Chunky enjoyed a little snack while the giraffes finished off their lunch.
Carousel ride #1. Monkey picked out a a big gorilla - shocking! He actually really wanted to ride a white tiger... hence, ride #2 for Monkey!
Chunky and Daddy on ride #1 for Chunky! He picked out the cheetah!
Chunky had a blast on the carousel. This was his first time to really "get" it and enjoy the ride. He cried when his turn was over.
Stopping by the water and ducks on our way home from the zoo!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chunky visits Chuck E

Since Monkey started school I now have the opportunity to spend some quality one on one time with Chunky. He loves all the extra attention he has been receiving lately while Monkey is away at school. Don't get me wrong he loves "Bubba." They are the best of friends but he also loves his alone time with me. Yesterday while Monkey was at school I decided to let Chunky run around Chuck E Cheese like a wild man. Since we have been here a few times before he ran straight to his favorite game... skee ball!

He immediately gave me his silly grin and asked for a ball.

Throwing the ball scoring the big points!
Playing a little basketball. Nothing but Net!
Can't forget to feed the dog.
Football Time!  Made the Hall of Fame with a little help from dad.
Redeeming our tickets to get a prize!

As you can see Chunky really had a blast playing all the games. For a little guy he did a pretty good job scoring 102 tickets! I plan to start making this a weekly event with him so we can spend some time together. Hopefully next time I won't forget the camera so I can take better pictures.

Stays At Home Dad

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Plasmacar: The Giveaway!

A while back I posted a review for one of my boys favorite ride on toys the PlasmaCar. Chunky and Monkey are still in love with the PlasmaCar as much now as they were when we first tried it out. After going back and looking at my PlasmaCar Review, who would like a chance to win a one? Here is your chance. The amazing people over at PlaSmart are graciously giving 1 PlasmaCar (RV $60) to one of Chunky & Monkey, MD's readers! To make it super easy on you, all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were sent an PlasmaCar for review purposes. No other monetary compensation was given. All opinions are our own and may differ from yours.

After being contacted winners will have 48 hours to respond back before a new winner is drawn.
Stays At Home Dad

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Little Chef: Chunky loves his Step2 Kitchen!

Monkey was at school today so Chunky had a lot of time to play and get creative without big brother's help. He is only 21 months right now and is still exploring the concept of pretend play. Monkey has a vivid imagination and often includes little Chunky in his pretend world, and Chunky is starting to catch on with pretend play. Instead of plopping him in front of the TV we encourage him to build on his budding imagination with unstructured imaginative play at the recommendation of American Academy of Pediatrics. This type of supervised, unstructured play has been found to foster his little developing brain much more so than electronic media. This isn't to say he never watches a movie or has any screen time, we just realize that this type of play is much more beneficial!

For his first birthday we bought him the Step2 Lifestyle Master Chef Kitchen, and what a little master chef has become over the past few months! We have been thrilled to receive coffee and fruit breakfasts, sandwich lunches and all sorts of Chunky concoctions! I love how his little imagination is blossoming... and maybe one day he can be our real personal chef!

He really, really wanted some "soup" while we were playing kitchen today. He tried everything he could think of to open his can of "soup" - using his spoon, banging it on the counter (maybe he saw mommy doing this once or twice...) and trying to peel off the lid with his fingers. All of a sudden a light bulb went off and Chunky ran out of the playroom as quick as he could... and he came racing back with - a can opener! He had managed to open our utensil drawer and grabbed the handheld can opener (without even being able to see in the drawer!) I was very impressed! I let him "pretend" to open the can and pour his "soup" into his waiting blue bowl. I kept a really close eye on him to ensure that there were no fingers getting pinched in the mechanical can opener. I probably should have grabbed it immediately and found a new, higher drawer to put it in, but he was just so cute (and very well supervised) that I had to let him try!

The same exact kitchen we got for Chunky is currently on sale at for only 139.99 + 2.99 shipping! Great deal on an amazingly fun kitchen!

Disclaimer: This product was not provided by the company for a review. Chunky received this from us for his 1st birthday. We are proud to be Step2 Mom and Dad bloggers, and this post is to share our love of all things Step2 and our cute and grown up little Chef Chunky!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Barnyard Breakfast

Every morning as soon as Chunky and Monkey wake up there are two things they have to have... #1  "good morning chocky milk" and  #2 Pancakes! While walking through Macy's the other day a Martha Stewart pancake maker caught my eye. Barnyard Animals! How cool was that! I knew my boys would be extremely excited so how could I pass it up?
Martha Stewart Barnyard Pancake Maker

I decided to surprise the boys this morning by making them animal pancakes instead of their regular circle pancakes or Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes. Although the griddle is a non-stick pan they recommend using PAM to keep the shapes from sticking.

First attempt, didn't use enough PAM. Some of the animals got stuck.
The most challenging part for me is getting the heat setting to just the right temperature. I am always used to being able to flip pancakes to finish cooking them. For this griddle you cook them at a lower temperature and wait for them to cook all the way through.
Second attempt, used plenty of PAM but cooked a little too long
Although I have not yet mastered the art of cooking barnyard animals my kids had no problems eating them. They were very excited to see the different shapes and now have a new favorite breakfast pancake!

Stays At Home Dad

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dr. Scholl's Technogel Pillow - Review and Giveaway

If you are probably like me when you hear Dr. Scholl's, you immediately think of very comfortable foot care insoles. We have all seen their displays and commercials, but would you be surprised if I told you that Dr. Scholl's also makes a line of sleeping products? Technogel Sleeping is part of the Dr. Scholl's family and makes pillows and mattresses to help solve all your sleeping problems. Technogel's technology (try saying that fast five times) deforms 3-dimensionally and reacts differently than other materials used in most mattresses and pillows. By deforming in all three directions (vertical, diagonal, and horizontal) Technogel will actually mold itself to the users body type. Pressure is then evenly distributed along the entire sleeping surface making for a much more comfortable sleep. As if that wasn't already enough to help you sleep better, Technogel is designed to have open air channels to deliver better air circulation. As a result, you will feel the cooling sensation. Technogel Sleeping also realizes that it is not enough to offer just one type of pillow. Not everyone sleeps the same way. They actually have four pillow options available for purchase depending on your sleeping preferences - side sleeper, back sleeper, thick pillow sleeper, ect. If you are having trouble deciding which pillow would be best for you, visit their Pillow Selector page to help make an informative decision.

I have always had trouble falling asleep at night and staying asleep. I am constantly waking up andtossing and turning in the middle of the night to try and a comfortable position. I feel extremely sorry for my wife because my tossing and turning will often wake her up as well. With her working long hours at the hospital and getting very little sleep at home, I often find myself being a good husband by sleeping on the couch so as to not interrupt her sleep. I feel that my current pillow is to blame for most of my restfulness. I never can seem to find that perfect position to help me sleep. I always wished I could find a comfortable pillow to help me sleep and stay asleep at night so I could rejoin Monica back in our comfortable bed.

For my review I was given an Anatomic pillow to try out. This pillow if perfect for people who prefer to sleep in their sides like me. While taking the Technogel pillow out of the box I immediately noticed that it is heavier than your ordinary foam or feather pillows. Even though the pillow is a little heavy due to the gel inside it is extremely soft to the touch and I knew right away I would love sleeping on it.  You will still need to cover the pillow with your own pillowcase. The first couple of nights I was worried I might have trouble sleeping on a new pillow so I reluctantly decided it would be best to sleep on the couch to not disturb Monica. To my surprise I actually fell asleep much sooner and did not toss and turn and wake up throughout the night! The pillow was extremely comfortable and provided a cooling sensation for my "hot head." I was in love with the pillow and was ready to put it to the real test of reclaiming my half of the bed. I still remember the first night I sneaked back into the bedroom. Monica had just finished a very tough 12 hour shift and the first thing she said to me was "I am extremely tired and need a good night's sleep. You better not wake me up tonight." She even gave me one of those looks letting me know she was serious. Talk about throwing the Technogel pillow into a tough situation needing to perform! I am happy to report that I quickly fell asleep and did not wake up until my three year old Monkey came in the bedroom and started jumping on the bed. I was lost and did not know what time it was until I rolled over and looked at the clock and found out Monica had already been at work for a couple hours. I found a note on the nightstand saying that I did not wake her up once throughout the night.  She did mention however that I was snoring very loudly when she got up for work. I guess the Technogel Pillow is not designed to help with snoring. For me at least I know snoring is a good indicator of a great nights sleep!

I am extremely impressed with the Anatomic Technogel Pillow and do not think I will sleep another night without it under my head. I even bring it with me every time I leave with the kids to visit family. This pillow really is the top of the line as far as I am concerned. Do not let the $169 price tag scare you away. It is worth every penny for the quality of sleep you will get in return. You can continue sleeping on a cheaper pillow and wake up feeling unrefreshed with a crick in your neck or you can pay a little more and wake up every morning after a great nights sleep feeling refreshed and ready for a long day. To purchase a Technogel Pillow you can go to their website and find an authorized dealer. All Technogel Pillows are covered by a two year warranty against defects in material or workmanship starting from your date of purchase. You can even extend the warranty for the pillow only for one additional year by registering your pillow within three months of purchase on their website.
After removing the covering you can see the blue gel inside the pillow.

Disclaimer: We were sent an Anatomic Technogel Pillow for review purposes. No other monetary compensation was given. All opinions are our own and may differ from yours.

Be honest.... Did you try saying Technogel Technology five times fast   :)

Now for some great news. Technogel Sleeping has offered to give one Chunky and Monkey MD reader a free Technogel pillow! All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below. If the winner of the pillow is also a blogger Technogel Sleeping might be willing to let you review the pillow and give one away on your site as well! I will forward the winners information to my contact at the company and let you discuss the possibility of hosting your own giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were sent an Anatomic Technogel Pillow for review purposes. No other monetary compensation was given. All opinions are our own and may differ from yours.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

May your day be filled with tons of love! Happy Valentine's Day from Dr. Love and the Handsome Little Devil!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine Color Love: Crayon Hearts!

I saw these in one of the million magazines I get in the mail and just had to make them for Monkey's new preschool class for the Valentine's Day ice cream party!

They were super quick and easy to make (even with my total lack of domestic skills and very busy schedule)...

The easiest way to start is by throwing an entire box of crayons into some warm/hot water. This will loosen up the paper wrappers. I pulled off the wrappers, allowed Monkey to help break up the crayons and sorted into color-coordinating matches. I picked 3-5 colors for most of ours.
I already had this heart mold from the Target dollar spot. It is meant for cupcakes and larger than the ones I had seen in the magazine. It took 5 crayons to fill up each mold. Stick in the oven at 250F for about 15 minutes until all of the crayons are melted.
Allow to cool and completely harden in the mold. This took about 15-20 minutes for the large hearts. I was able to easily pop them out of the mold. 
I let them cool a little bit longer to make sure that the wax was completely hard and room temperature before wrapping them up.
I took each individual crayon and wrapped it in clear wrap and tied it with a ribbon.
I placed them in cute little robot boxes (again from Target) with a bag of candy, a tube of bubbles, and a Hershey's kiss!
Ready for Monkey's preschool class!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Day of Firsts!

Monkey had his first day of preschool this week. Seriously?! Oh my gosh... I cannot believe my little guy is growing up and old enough for school! We decided that he really needed some more social interaction with kids his age, so we started him in gymnastics a few weeks ago. He loves it! He runs around like a wild little monkey, jumping on the trampoline, swinging from the rings, etc. but it showed us that he really ought to be around kids his own age more often. We signed him up for the "kiddie academy" at the same place he does gymnastics. The program seems to focus a lot of gross motor skills and is very active play-based, which is exactly what we were looking to give him. He isn't a sit down and do your work kind of kid, and he is too young for that. We wanted him to run around, have fun with friends, and maybe learn a little something, too! His first day was last Wednesday and he was so excited! He had a blast, and his teacher said he did really well. He only goes two days a week, plus one day of gymnastics. We'll see how it goes... but he had an awesome first day!

Little Monkey thinks he is "too cool for preschool!"
Off for his first day with his backpack!
"Bye, Monkey! Have fun!"

And if that wasn't enough of a first this week.... Chunky started gymnastics! Now that Stays At Home Dad has some free time with out Monkey, we thought it would be a great idea to get Chunky into a Daddy-Baby gymnastics class. He started the same day Monkey started school. He was in baby boy heaven! He loved it!
He loved jumping on the trampoline!

He needed to hold on to something for comfort and a little balance - I guess his shorts worked just fine!
The big slide...
that dumped him off into the big foam block pit...
which was his absolutely favorite part of gymnastics!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spenco Medical Company: Yumi Sandal Review

Anyone who really knows me well can tell you that I am a flip flop kind of girl. It does not matter what the weather is like, rain or shine, you will always find me wearing my flip flops when I am away from the hospital.  With that being said, I jumped at the opportunity to do a review for Spenco to talk about their sandals. Being around the medical community I knew that the Spenco Medical Company was well known for their foot care insoles and various health care items. I knew very little about their sandals and was excited to compare them to my current sandal stash.

Monkey modeling my Yumi sandals! I would model them... but I haven't had a pedicure in ages! His feet are way cuter than mine!

According to the Spenco Company's Website,
The Spenco PolySorb Total Support Sandals combine the support and stability of their best-selling insole with the comfort and simplicity of a slip-on sandal. The sandals are great for after sports, training, or just kicking back and relaxing both indoors and out. Unlike other slip-on sandals, Spenco Sandals are designed with orthotic-quality arch and heel support. They provide superior impact cushioning and motion control help reduce pronation and supination—common problems associated with flat, slab-style sandals.

The Total Support Cushioning System Absorbs shock and helps prevents over pronation while the EVA surface custom molds over time to conform to the unique shape of the wearer’s feet. The Stability Cradle provides advance arch support and deep heel cupping and the Metatarsal Arch Support offloads pressure from the ball of foot help relieve forefoot pain.

My current flat flip flops, while more comfortable than my work shoes or running shoes, always left my feet feeling sore and tired (and throw in a little back pain, too.) I just assumed that all shoes would leave my feet aching if I wore them long enough. I was curious to see how I would feel about Spenco sandals having the arch support and a heel cup. I did not have to wear them very long to form my opinion. I can tell you without a doubt that these are quite possibly the most comfortable sandals I have slipped on my feet. I did not know how nice it would be having the support in my sandals. My feet felt less tired and I didn't seem to mind standing for long periods of time in the new Spenco Sandals. Even the straps are very comfortable. I have worn them for a while now -- to the park, zoo, aquarium, and even the beach and have not developed any blisters or sore spots. It took a few wears for me to get used to have the foot support arch, but now it is a lifesaver. They are very well constructed and can withstand my 3 year old jumping on my feet (sandals held up well, my feet -- not so much.) I've found myself turning to my black Spenco Yumi sandals more and more as the weather starts to warm a little bit.

Spenco Sandals come in three different styles with a couple color choices for each style. They are available for both men and women, and you can purchase Spenco sandals from one of their authorized online retailers or you can find a store near you. At a price of $39.99 they are well worth every penny In fact, on a recent trip to our Academy Sports and Outdoors store I saw a display of Spenco Sandals and bought a pair for my husband. Needless to say I often find him wearing his Spenco sandals when we head out for a family trip.

Disclaimer: We were sent a pair of Black Yumi sandals for review purposes. No other monetary compensation was given. All opinions are our own and may differ from yours.