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    Wordless Wednesday: New York Toy Fair 2011

    On Sunday, we made our annual trip to the New York Toy Fair. We had a fabulous time meeting up with some of our current vendors, and looking for new puzzles, games, and stuffed animals for a few of our shops. Honestly, I look forward to this day for MONTHS - it’s like Christmas for adults (okay, maybe just me...) - and I don't even mind the tired feet. Here are a few highlights of our trip. Enjoy!

    The Entrance! There were guys riding pedal scooters around in circles ALL DAY. I suppose there are WORSE jobs to be had...

    Giant. Pink. Play Kitchen. This thing was MY HEIGHT.

    Oh, SMURFS! How I adored The Smurfs as a kid!

    Adam, Jack, and Me... Yarrrrrg!

    Just amazing. And, made of Legos, folks.


    For all you Angry Birds fans!

    Two old folks (Ad & Me) demonstrating how you lose balance as you age.


    Dexter Bobbleheads & ACTION FIGURES?! (yikes)


    Awesome Etsy seller. Aren't those cones are the CUTEST things?

    The SeriousShops.com Toy Fair '11 Crew! Dan, Adam, Spence, and little ol' Me in front of the "World's Largest Puzzle" - 36,000 pieces!!!


    Posted: Feb 15 2011, 22:52 by kelly | Comments (16) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Travel | Wordless Wednesday

    Car Trip Fun

    Traveling by car with children can be fun. Of course, it can also be boring for kids… which can in turn be frustrating or even dangerous for parents who are trying to focus on the road.
    We just recently returned from a 6-hour (each way) road trip with four adults and two children. Here are 10 ideas which have worked to help keep my children occupied and my husband and I sane (and safe while driving!):
    #1 – Wikki Stix! These things are the best $5 I’ve ever spent on a car trip. Similar to pipe cleaners in the awesomeness of range of motion and creativity – they are even more awesomely lacking in the one thing that makes pipe cleaners less-than-perfect: the sharp pointy eye-poking metal end pieces! Kids can make sculptures, wrap things up, and just play freely. They seem to be pretty much endlessly reusable as well. Creative play, no trash, no clean up… what could be better? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing.
    #2 – Paper & a Pen. Quizzes, mazes, games, writing, drawing, folding, ripping… not sure much can beat the old paper & a pen for variety. But how to use them while confined to the carseat? Daddy came up with a great idea! Buy 2 clip boards, clip a note pad to each, then apply Velcro to the top of a pen (and secure with a zip-tie), and the other side of the Velcro to the top of the clip board and… voila! Instant flat drawing space, easy to pass around the car, & no lost pen. If you have younger kids (mine are 3 & just about 6), you can do the same with a crayon or washable marker.
    #3 – Silly Bandz. Okay, okay. I even wrote a post about these. But really, on a car trip, they can be the best. Not only are they lightweight, and conveniently small, they can be wrapped efficiently and decoratively around things other than wrists – thing like: trucks, shoes, and dinosaurs. Busy hands are happy hands, I say!
    #4 – Books. (Books, and more books!) Books with flaps, with stickers, with activities. I Spy books are fantastic, come in differing levels, and even my 3 year old can do them without assistance. The old standby Where’s Waldo is always popular. There are maze books, math books, word game books (like word find or fill in the missing letter or rearrange the letters to form words), dot-to-dot books, and of course good old coloring books! And, for the independent reader, a few brand-new stories or books makes a fun treat.
    Posted: Sep 01 2010, 23:59 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Three Years

    So it happened.  I’m no longer the mom of a baby.  My youngest is now three: not a baby, not even a toddler… a real big boy. 


    It's not like it happened overnight, but man, the last three years sure have flown by. I clearly remember the day he was born: we drove leisurely to the hospital for a non-stress test… and left two days afterward with a baby.  Now, three very short years later, we find ourselves putting our bed back up on its frame and clearing out the baby toys, to make room for the new big boy toys. 



    That’s both a sigh of relief… for the years of night waking and diapers being over; and, a sigh of wistfulness… for the time when he was tiny enough to hold in the crook of my arm.

    My big boy: He’ll talk your ear off.  He loves building and singing. He’s always been a super cuddle hog. And he still thinks his big sister is the best thing on the planet.
    In the blink of an eye, twelve seasons have passed, and my little baby is a big kid.  Parents: hug your babies.  Time goes by so fast. 

    Posted: May 23 2010, 22:21 by kelly | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Babies | Children | Nostalgia