Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Seven March 19th - 25th




March 19th : Building a house with blocks.


March 20th : Searching for crawfish.


March 21st : Setting up the umbrella for the Step2 Sand & Water Table.


March 22nd : We sweet talked dad into giving us Valentines Lollipops!


March 23rd : Chunky playing at the beach.


March 24th : Riding the Foo Dog at Mowo's house.


March 25th : Found three golf balls in Poppa's backyard.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Step2 Adjustable Sand & Water Table Review




Ready to help out with assembly!

Chunky and Monkey were thrilled to receive a Step2 Adjustable Sand & Water Table for them to review. With the beautiful weather we have been having lately, we went straight to the backyard to begin assembly. As all the parts were being spread across the yard, I was relieved to see that the only tool required for assembly was a Phillips screwdriver. The feature that I found to be neat was the "grow with me legs" that will allow the table to be raised 4 inches. This feature allows you to assemble the table at its lowest setting for younger children and raise the table to the higher setting as they grow. If Chunky would have been the only one using the table we would have probably assembled the table for the lower setting. Since Monkey wanted to be included in the fun it was easier for both my boys to go with the higher setting. With the boys help I simply screwed in two screws in each leg and assembly was complete.

Monkey using his Step2 Home Depot Big Builders Workshop drill to "screw in the legs."

After a quick change into their bathing suits Chunky and Monkey were back outside and ready to go. There are two separate compartments on the play table, one for sand and one for water. The sand compartment will hold 10 pounds of sand and comes with a shovel included for digging and building. The water side will hold 3 gallons of water and includes two floating boats, two bridges, and two cups with holes in the bottom that will keep your kids entertained for a long time. There is also an umbrella included for use in the stand on the table to help keep your child from getting sunburned from playing in the sun.

Chunky playing with the boats and Monkey building sand castles.

Monkey combining the sand and water.
After filling up the two compartments the boys were ready for some fun! The only problem with my boys is that they will often get carried away and have a little too much fun. With the sand and water side by side the temptation was too great not to combine the two. The boys ended up flooding the sand side making a "mud pit." Even though the play table is not designed for this combination, my boys ended up having a blast and played with the sand and water table for over an hour that first day. I was a little worried about the cleanup but it was actually a breeze. There are two drain plugs, one in each compartment.  The plugs are large enough to easily drain the compartment in under a minute without getting clogged or stopping up.

If you prefer to leave the sand and water inside the table, Step2 has included a molded cover with elastic tie-downs for easy storage. The cover fits great and the tie-downs keep the lid secure to stop rain and bugs from getting inside the play table. Step2 thought of everything when designing the table.


Filling the table with water. Chunky made sure the plugs were in.
After seeing what my boys did the first day I decided to let the boys fill both compartments with water this time. The results were the same. The boys had a blast splashing water everywhere. They were even kind enough to give me a little bath while trying to take their pictures.



Monkey decided to splash Daddy as well.
Water War!



Want an awesome Step2 Sand & Water Table for your little splashers? Check them out at Step2.com or you can grab one at your local Wal-mart or Target stores. 

Connect with Step2

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a Step2 Adjustable Sand & Water for review purposes. No other compensation was given. These are my honest opinions and may differ from yours.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thermos FUNtainer Review and Giveaway!

If you have been keeping up with our blog, you probably already know that we have been doing a lot of fun and exciting things lately. Monkey started school, and we have been making a lot of trips to the beach and zoo. Today I am excited to tell you about a product that has been on every trip with us so far.

Thermos was founded in 1904 and is the leading manufacturer worldwide of insulated food and beverage containers, children's lunch kits and other innovative consumer products. I was recently given the opportunity to review a food jar and a bottle with some of the kid's favorite characters on it, Buzz and Woody. Both the bottle and the food jar have double wall vacuum insulation for maximum cold temperature retention. The bottle will keep your drink cold for 12 hours while the food jar will stay cold for 7 hours. The food jar is also made so that it can keep food hot for 5 hours, which is easily long enough to keep your food hot until lunch time comes.  Both the bottle and food jar are made with an unbreakable stainless steel interior and exterior that will withstand the daily wear and tear from your children. My two boys have dropped their bottle many times, and it still looks good as new.  The bottle comes with a hygienic push button lid and a pop-up silicone straw that is easy to open and use. They are also very easy to clean because they are dishwasher safe!

Monkey enjoying lunch at home.
With Monkey starting school I now have the added responsibility every morning of making him a lunch. The one thing I know must go in his lunchbox every day is his Thermos FUNtainer Bottle. I simply add his favorite drink to the bottle and drop in a couple ice cubes on our way our the door. The bottle holds 12 ounces, so it is more than enough to get him through the day with a few fill-ups at the water fountain. Monkey loves the bottle because it is super easy for him to open the lid with the push button and easy to close when he is finished getting a drink. I was curious if the bottle would really stay cold and I soon found out the answer. The first day Monkey came home from school I could hear something rattling inside his backpack. On further inspection I discovered that the rattling noise was actually coming from his bottle. Much to my surprise he had almost finished his drink and the ice cubes were still frozen inside his bottle! This was after a 6 hour school day. The bottle really does keep your drink cold.

Monkey also loves to take Tinkerbell Soup (aka Tinkerbell Spaghetti O's) for his school lunch. Since the food jar is stainless Steel I have to first heat the spaghetti in a separate container before transferring to the jar. The jar holds 10 ounces so I have to pour out a little juice to fit it all.
Taking a break from the giraffe's to enjoy lunch at the zoo.


My favorite feature about the FUNtainer set is that it is dishwasher safe. Many other food jars and bottles I have tried in the past are not dishwasher safe, and I had to clean them by hand. This was a tedious chore that I hated to do. I would often choose not to use these bottles just to avoid having to hand wash them. With the FUNtainer I simply give them a quick rinse and throw them in the dishwasher. It can't get much easier than that!

You can purchase the FUNtainer as well as any of their other amazing products by going to the Thermos Website and browsing their catalog.

If you would like to keep up with Thermos to find out about all the latest products as well as any deals, I encourage you to connect with them on Twitter as well as on Facebook.

The amazing people at Thermos have allowed me to giveaway one Toy Story 2 Bottle and one Toy Story 2 food jar to a lucky Chunky and Monkey MD follower. All you have to do is use the Rafflecopter widget below, and follow the simple instructions to enter to win. Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were sent a Thermos FUNtainer Toy Story 2 bottle and food jar for review purposes. No other monetary compensation was given. All opinions are our own and may differ from yours.

Stay at Home Dad

Crawfish-ing

We had some heavy thunderstorms come through our area yesterday flooding everything around us. After the rain moved out I left the house to go to the grocery store to pick up some food to cook for dinner. As I was exiting our neighborhood I noticed something crawling along the street in the flood water next to the curb. Much to my surprise the flooding rain brought a lot of crawfish out of the ground from the surrounding fields. Since this looked like something the boys would have a blast doing we went home to get our rain boots to do a little crawfish-ing.

For people who have no idea what a crawfish is the best way I can think to describe them is as a miniature lobster. They are often referred to as mud bugs because they live in the ground and come out only certain times of the year. They are found in freshwater throughout the Southeastern United States. Louisiana is king of the crawfish with their swamps and farms supplying 98% of the crawfish harvested in the United States. Crawfish are a delicacy often being enjoyed by boiling them in seasoned water with potato's, sausage, and corn. Although we really enjoy eating crawfish, all the crawfish we caught today were catch and release.


Monkey looking for crawfish.
Chunky looking for crawfish.






This way Bubba. Hurry up!


Chunky found their home.


One of the crawfish we found.


Our catch for the day. Hungry anyone?


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Treasure Hunting!

Over the weekend I took the boys to stay at Maw Maw and Paw Paw's beach house for a couple days. The boys are beach bums and absolutely love it there. There are so many fun activities to keep the boys busy and out of trouble. This past weekend Chunky and Monkey were able to fly a kite, draw on the concrete downstairs with sidewalk chalk, build sandcastles, jump waves, and Treasure Hunt! Although Chunky is just starting to get interested in finding beach treasures washed up by the waves, Monkey considers himself an experienced professional. He can disappear for hours walking the beach with Maw Maw in search of treasures. The best part for him is that you never know what might wash up. Monkey usually brings back colored sea glass, sea beans, shark teeth, sand dollars, and a variety of shells. The big find for Monkey this weekend was a whole sand dollar that he found all by himself! I even got in on the action a little and found a handful of shark teeth. It was a very productive and exciting weekend.

Monkey flying a kite all by himself!
Chunky drawing with chalk.



Monkey Jumping waves.

Monkey using a paper towel roll to spot treasures.
Chunky looking for treasures!


















Monkey with his sand dollar.
Chunky found a treasure too!


















My finds this weekend. The big shark tooth that is broken off would have been 2 inches long!


My prized collection from 20 years of hunting. All shark teeth here are 2+ inches long. In the center is my collection of arrowheads that I found washed up on the beach. Won't be long and the boys will have a collection as good as mine.



Monday, March 19, 2012

Mini Kick Scooter from Kickboard USA

Kickboard USA is the official US distributor for the Swiss company Micro-Mobility Ltd that manufactures scooters. They distribute and sell scooters for everyone from 2 to 99 years old! What sets the Kickboard USA scooters apart from the other brands is the quality and craftsmanship that goes into the scooters. Using a combination of Swiss design and cutting edge technology the Micro family of scooter products have won numerous international awards for design and quality. Best of all is that Kickboard USA scooters will provide hours of fun and entertainment while encouraging movement and exercise. (Hopefully burning off some of their endless supply of energy!)

Riding full speed ahead!
In case you have not noticed my boys LOVE toys with wheels, especially if it is something they can ride. Needless to say my boys were thrilled when the mailman brought them a "present" the other day and they discovered it was a Blue Mini Kick Scooter from Kickboard USA. I wish you could have heard them squeal as we brought the package inside and started to open the box. While they impatiently waited with excitement, I could not help but wonder (like I always do) how many pieces there will be inside the box. I am always fearful that there will be a million parts inside the package that my boys will spread all over the house while I try to assemble the new toy. Much to my delight there was only two pieces inside the box and all they did was snap together! Assembly was truly a breeze and could not have been any easier for me.

The Mini Kick is a three-wheeled scooter that is ideal for children ages 3 to 5 years old. Weighing only 3.3 pounds Monkey quickly picked it up and ran outside to play. As with all riding toys where there is a risk of falling I recommend the use of a helmet. Monkey had no problems at all getting the hang of the scooter. He looked quite comfortable and I was surprised to see how stable he looked riding the scooter. The deck of the mini was large enough for Monkey to put both his feet on at one time so he could switch legs once one leg started to get tired. He was even able to build up enough steam and put both feet on the deck to coast for a pretty long ways. What I found fascinating about the scooter is the lean to steer feature. Unlike a lot of toys where you use the steering wheel or handle bars to turn, on the Mini Kick all you have to do is use your body weight to lean the handlebars from side to side. This will cause the mini kick to turn right or left. There is even a foot brake positioned above the back wheel to stop the scooter. This foot brake is similar to most of the scooters for older kids. Although Monkey has not yet grasp the concept of using the foot brake but I am sure he will figure it out soon. 
Press down on left handlebar to turn to the left.

Monkey absolutely loves his new Blue Mini Kick Scooter and had been riding it almost daily. He is starting to get the hang of riding the scooter and is getting a little braver now. He is even starting to experimenting with some "new tricks." Even though he might not have the most coordination yet, knock on wood, we have not fallen off or injured ourselves. This is a true testament to the stability of the scooter.  I can really see the mini kick scooter helping Monkey to develop his coordination and motor skills over time.

Riding on two wheels!

Did I mention that the scooter is also excellent for indoors? When the weather turns bad there is no stopping the mini. It is perfect for indoor use as well as for outdoor use.  Monkey has no trouble at all riding around on the carpet and tile. He loves to "zoom" up and down our long hallway chasing after the cats. Although I could not find any information I would use caution when letting your kids ride around on your hardwood floors as it might scuff the surface. I do not believe there will be any problems but wanted to make a note for you to consider.

The Mini Kick Scooter comes in eight color options and costs $84.99 with the exception of the limited edition Mini USA model that costs $94.99.  You can purchase the Mini Kick Scooter directly from the Kickboard USA website where they are offering free UPS Ground Shipping on all orders! If you prefer to see the scooters in person you can use their authorized store locator to find a location near you. I tired their store locator and was able to find three authorized locations within 50 miles from my house. The mini comes with a six month warranty for material and workmanship faults with a valid proof of purchase. You can even buy accessories as well as replacement parts directly from Kickboard USA once your kiddo wears out the wheels or any other part from all the excessive use.

You can connect with Kickboard USA on Facebook as well as on Twitter for updates and product information. I have noticed from time to time they also post giveaways on their pages so keep an eye peeled to win!

This Stay at Home Dad recommends the Mini Kick Scooter from Kickboard USA. Monkey loves riding his scooter! About the only thing I can say negative about the Mini Kick is that Chunky is already starting to fight Monkey for the scooter. Looks like a purchase will be in our near future.

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


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Seven March 12th - 18th




March 12th : Going for a ride in our Burley D'Lite Trailer and playing the LeapPad.


March 13th : I am Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger!


March 14th : Popping bubbles in the backyard.


March 15th : Playing in my "tent bed" aka PeaPod Plus by KidCo.


March 16th : BODYSLAM! Give me a 3 count Daddy!


March 17th : Monkey at the beach flying a kite all by himself. He was so proud!


March 18th : Jumping waves at the beach. Monkey can get some air.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day - The Lost Facts

I was asked by Monica to do some research on St. Patrick's Day to come up with some unknown facts about the holiday for a team building exercise at the hospital. I'm not sure what type of team building exercise they are doing but when asked to do something I typically find myself doing what I am told. Anyways, I came across some unknown or lost facts about St. Patrick's day that I though would be interesting to share.

  • St. Patrick was not Irish and his name was not Patrick either. The man we know as St. Patrick was born in Great Britain and was actually named Maewyn Succat. He was not religious at all. While he was a young boy he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. When he was 16 he formed his religious beliefs while enslaved. After escaping he became ordained as a priest and returned to Ireland to convert the Irish Celtic pagans to Christianity.  
  • St. Patrick actually wore blue! Everyone now celebrates St. Patrick's day by wearing green and  eating and drinking green anything and everything green. The fact is that St. Patrick actually wore blue. The tradition of green is used to commemorate St. Patrick's use of the shamrock in his religious teachings. 
  • St. Patrick is celebrated for driving  snakes out of Ireland which is still snake free. However, biologists now believe there were never snakes is Ireland to begin with. The legend of the snakes is most likely a metaphor for St. Patrick driving paganism out of Ireland and converting so many people to Christianity.

Happy St. Patricks Day Everyone!

All facts were found on AM 1240 WJON website. 



Stay At Home Dad

Friday, March 16, 2012

To Infinity and Beyond!

Yesterday Chunky and Monkey asked me if we could watch Toy Story for movie time. Being one of our favorite Disney/Pixar movies I said yes and we all sat together on the couch to enjoy the movie. As Toy Story played I could tell that the boys were really getting into the movie. They kept standing on the couch jumping up and down shouting instructions to help Buzz and Woody out of trouble. Towards the end of the movie is the part when Buzz and Woody light the rocket attached to Buzz and fly into the sky together. Right before the rocket explodes Buzz opens up his wings cutting the rocket off and together Buzz and Woody "fly" landing in the car next to Andy. Seeing Buzz fly really excited the boys! Immediately as if a light bulb went off inside Monkey's head he ran to his room to get his Buzz Lightyear jet pack. After safely securing the jet pack to his body we went outside to FLY just like Buzz!



To Infinity and Beyond!!!


Crash Landing  :(


Chunky Up Up and Away!!!


Another Crash Landing   :(


Guess we should have read the warning before trying to fly!


All stunts were performed by the true professionals Chunky and Monkey. Do not attempt to try these stunts at home. Serious injury or death might occur.

No children were harmed in making this post!

Stay At Home Dad