Christmas Gift Ideas

The countdown has begun, the toy catalogues are showing up in the mail, the kids are yelling “I want that!”  at literally every commercial and I have started to figure out how I’m going to budget in fun toys for each of my four kids for Christmas.    As a mom my job is to figure out what each kid wants for Christmas, research best prices, research reviews if the toy is good or ridiculously dumb and figure out how to purchase and wrap everything in secret.   The place I start is typically with TARGETs toy catalogue. The kids know this is my favorite store and I also have the Target app on my phone. I literally hand my phone to my older two so they can search the toys online and add items to my cart.   I let them know these cart items are building a list for Santa. They also go through the catalogue and circle, or my favorite, post-it note the items they want. My daughter this year had literally 40 post-it notes in the catalogue (I REALLY need to limit the amount of post-its I give her!).   We had to go through the list probably 5 times before I convinced her to pair her list down to her top 10! My kids realize Christmas is NOT all about the presents. We start right after Halloween every year and clean out closets and toy bins. Each kid needs to donate toys to the needy and choose toys for their new “wish” list that they will actually use/play with!

I thought I’d share a few top toys in case you are starting to research top 2018 toys

0-12months

Plush Security Blanket – Christmas stuffed animals are always fun for little ones and offers great comfort from the soft plush material.

Play Mat – Perfect for a baby who is still laying on their backs.

Peekaboo Bear – Super cute, soft and plays peekaboo with your baby while you are making dinner or cleaning.

Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube – This is an educational toy that has colorful buttons for baby to push and hear musical instruments play.

Ball Pit – For babies who can sit (typically 6m+) Choose a ball pit that is soft and offers and easy to clean up option.    Fun for babies but, be prepared to have these fun little balls be everywhere but, IN the pit. My kids loved these but, I felt like I was busy picking up these balls all the time.   

Skip Hop Hedgehog Accordion Toy – This toy is easy to push, pull, and make music.  This is great to work baby’s fine motor skills.

Kid O Activity Board – Great to teach cause and effect.   Turn the dial to hear a heartbeat sound and press a button to hear a bee buzz and vibrate slowly or quickly to name a few!

Mirari Juballees – Looks very simple but, offers many playing options including splitting the balls to mix/match, using as mini maracas, linking, rolling, and stacking!

1yr – 3 yr

Toot-Toot Friends Kingdom Pirate Ship – Interactive pirate ship that opens up to reveal a treasure island.  This ship has a cannon that shoots cannon balls, has a trap door and a spinning octopus.  Comes with a few characters and has lights and sounds that you can also turn OFF!

Nella the Princess Knight Talk & Sing – Soft doll with movable head.   This doll says 10 phrases and sings the theme to Nella the Princess Knight.

Ty Sequin Flippables – My daughter is obsessed with these big eyed stuffed animals! When she sees that there are 11 new collectibles I’m sure these will also be a part of her list.   These dolls come with the “sequin flip”. Pet your doll and “flip” the sequin to change the color.   

Sylvanian Families Grand Department Store Gift Set – Great detail including a revolving front door, elevator and balcony.  Like a cute little doll house for animals!

Paw Patrol Rescue Ultimate Fire Truck Playset – this is my twins interest this year and I “suggested” my mom/dad buy this for them!   Actually I just ordered it and sent it to their house to wrap before they sell out. This firetruck is equipped with a 2ft extendable ladder, a mini fire car and flashing lights/sounds.  Comes with a Marshall figure, water ‘plumes’ to fire from the water cannon, a hose, and a grabbing claw.

Flipazoo – This is a cute stuffed animal that you can “flip” and reveal another animal.  Cuddly, cute and good for all ages!

4yr – 6yr

Fingerling Untamed Dinos – These dinos are slightly bigger than last years monkey fingerling craze and respond to motion and sound.   They respond with growls and roars for those dino loving kids!

Elasti Plasti – Slime is no fun for any mom but, if your kids are like mine they LOVE it.  This version of slime is actually really cool and get this it is NON-STICKY! It is expandable by 100 times and you can blow bubbles with it!

Pikmi Pops – These are brightly colored lollipop style surprise balls.   Some of these have multiple surprises such as stickers, lanyards and plush toys.   Some are HUGE stuffed animals. There are many different sizes and varieties. These toys are honestly very cute and a bonus is they smell fabulous!  No joke –they are scented!

Crate Creatures – There are 6 of these monsters to collect and they make 45 different sounds.   Your child can have fun while “unboxing” these with the crowbar provided. These are not too large and good for smaller hands to carry around and enjoy.

Shopkins Hairdorables –These dolls come with BIG hair and 11 different surprises.  There are 36 different dolls to collect!

Chow Crown Game – This game is recommended for 5+ but, honestly I think even if you didn’t have kids you would have fun with this game!   This game comes with a hat you wear that plays music and spins…..all while the wearer needs to try to eat all of the attached treats.   You choose your own snack and enjoy some laughs.

LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train – Very cute and colorful.   Includes a harbor, boat, café, loading station, 2 cranes, 3 Duplo figures and track pieces.

Hatchables – These are little eggs that you hatch by holding in your hand until the purple heart turns pink then the shell is ready to crack.   There are over 100 to collect. These are small, cute and affordable. If you have a COSTCO near you they have a good deal on a large set of these this year.  

7yr – 9yr

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express – I haven’t been able to find any reviews on how many legos are actually in this kit but, if your kid likes Harry Potter and Legos consider this a win.  This set comes with a train and 5 mini figures!

Monopoly ‘Cheaters’ edition – makes the game a bit more challenging and fun by allowing for fake dice rolls, stealing bills for the bank and even skipping rent.   Possibly not the best things to teach a kid which is why it’s suggested for 8 years and up as they can understand this is a GAME!

GraviTrax Starter Set – This is like a modern day marble run and is super cool.  You can make your own tracks or use the tasks/blueprints included.  

Nerf Laser Alpha – Great light and sound effects.   You can sync these to a phone to track your performance.   Even your husband will think these are fun!

Electric Kids Scooter – My son loves his electric scooter and as soon as he got comfortable with it he “flew’ down the sidewalk.  My daughter on the other hand was terrified of her electric scooter and falling off. So as a parent think of each child and make sure they are safely prepared to ride on this type of scooter – there is nothing wrong with the good old fashioned foot powered push scooters!

There are many many many new toys out there!   If you don’t even know where to start here are a few ideas.    Hand your kids a chart with 10 boxes, a toy catalogue, scissors (if they are old enough) and glue.   They can cut out their top 10 toys/choices and glue them in order of importance! You can try handing your child a toy catalogue and a limited amount of post-it notes to mark their choices.   Another idea is to hand them your phone (for the older kiddos!) and have them add items only to your cart to make shopping a tad easier for you! Remember Christmas is a beautiful time of year and spending time with your family, baking cookies, singing, watching movies and playing in the snow (if you have it) make it magical time of year.  Try not to get caught up in the stress of picking out just the right toy – hopefully this list has helped give you a few ideas.

 

From Cribs to Toddler Beds to….CAFFEINE!

I am in need for caffeine……where did my good sleepers go!?!   Who are these super active two year olds!?!?  Our twins have been fabulous sleepers ever since they were one month old!   After they turned one we would get a few naps plus a full nights rest from them.   Once they turned two they would nap 2 to 3 hours and then go to bed at 7:30pm and wake after 8 sometimes 9am!  It was FABULOUS! Friends and Family would comment “Wow they sleep so well for you!” Right before they turned 2 they discovered they could indeed launch themselves out of their cribs and out their door.  This scared the heck out of me as our bedroom is on the first floor and the way our stairs are built there is no easy way to add a baby gate. They do walk down stairs very well so I’m not entirely concerned at this point of them taking a tumble but, when everyone is asleep I worry about them sneaking downstairs and getting into mischief……plus they should be SLEEPING!  A Toddler who parties all night and gets no sleep is not a happy camper during the day. Continue reading From Cribs to Toddler Beds to….CAFFEINE!

No More Babies “R” Us …Amazon Baby Registry Way To Go!

I decided to write this Blog Post more so now because Babies “R” Us, is no longer going to be around. I truly don’t remember how I found out about this, but when I was pregnant I had two registries. One with Babies “R” Us and One on Amazon. It worked out great because everyone shops on that site and we had a lot of family that live out of town. It was easy for them to pick what they liked and ship. Also some of those things I registered for that are on my “Must Have List” weren’t in the stores , but were so good! So the Amazon Baby Registry allowed me to add those things.  Just a little bit of advice, there is some juggling with the registries. Sometimes, since I had twins, I split up the things I needed that were “Two of”. It worked and I was very happy with the registries. But now with no more Babies “R” Us, I just keep wondering what are the new moms going to do if there is no Buy Buy baby near them.  A little tid bit, sign up for Amazon Moms. There are a lot of benefits from Amazon Moms, especially the Diaper buying and the delivery. The cheapest way to get diapers and juggling the delivery is really easy! Just use the Subscribe and Save; Its worth it!! I was quite amazed at the benefits amazon had and it took me a bit to figure out. I wish someone had told me earlier about all of them! I know some people don’t even realize amazon has a registry amongst other things. I even do a kids wish list for their birthday, so instead of family members asking me what the kids need or like. They can see it for themselves if they want too. It works out great! So click this link if you want to see what the Amazon Baby Registry is about!

A List of Must Haves for your Baby or Babies!

So you just found out that you are having twins and are in complete shock! The question is; what do u need? What do you really need to survive. Some of the things I am going to list are also if you have a singleton baby, so please read on and get some ideas for yourself. I have included links on the products that I used from the very beginning. I hope these things will help you like they have helped me survive! Continue reading A List of Must Haves for your Baby or Babies!

Twin Size Beds versus Toddler Beds

So  the first question is are the twins ready for no more cribs? Well mine were just at the age of 23 months and one climbed out of there crib. And I thought ok its time for beds. THIS SHOULD BE INTERESTING! The are not even two!! So I asked around! I had some people say, “you have to do toddler beds”. Than I had others that said don’t waste your money and just go to twin size beds! Well you guessed it, I wasted my money. Well Kind of!!! Continue reading Twin Size Beds versus Toddler Beds

Potty Training

So your little one has finally indicated what a toilet is! My twins were 2 1/2. She or He asks to sit on one, they ask to change their diaper. What should you do next? Well its time, go out and get some pull-ups and boys underwear or girls underwear! You will need to put the time in for this one, to get the end results! That means shut off the phones and stay around the house! And yes summers are easier! Less clothes to change!! What to do next? Continue reading Potty Training

The Book I Swear By For Sleeping!

When I had twins, I went back to work at week 8! While at work I had a singleton mom sit me down and say. “You have got to read this book!”  I don’t usually listen, but for some reason I did. I was Exhausted and really wanted the Twins to sleep through the night! So I ordered the book via Amazon; Let me tell you its a quick read! Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old (click to see or buy)! I was very apprehensive at first and was thinking “This is not going to work”! BUT IT DOES!! Continue reading The Book I Swear By For Sleeping!

Being a Mom is hard….lets be honest

There are some days that I feel so organized and everything just falls into place.  Then there are some days I wish I could just crawl back into bed. I’m almost positive I am not the only mom who has had those days.   Did you ever wonder how do I get all of this done? For those of you single moms do you ever think how can I do this all on my own? It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed.   It is completely normal to get frustrated. It is completely normal to yell and not be little miss mommy sunshine every day. Then if you are like me as you look at your ceiling trying to fall asleep at night you second guess EVERYTHING and think I am a terrible mom, I could have done better, will my kids be upset with me, oh CRAP I forgot to do (and list off a thousand things that never got accomplished in the day). Continue reading Being a Mom is hard….lets be honest

Throwing a Birthday or Halloween Party and Need Some Goodie Bag Ideas?

It’s October and that means I have been planning my twins birthday as well as Halloween festivities for school. I have been mainly trying to figure out what can you put inside a goodie bag or Halloween goodie bag, that’s peanut free or a non edible item. Meaning toys only! Continue reading Throwing a Birthday or Halloween Party and Need Some Goodie Bag Ideas?

No I am NOT pregnant!!! Help Getting Your Stomach Flat Again

I think it should be a rule to NEVER ask a woman if she is pregnant – and I mean NEVER – even if she appears to be ready to give birth right in front of you.    After my first son was born I bounced back to my pre-pregnancy weight without any problems. After my daughter was born it took a bit longer to bounce back. After the TWINS…..well they are two and the only thing bouncing STILL is my stomach!   Continue reading No I am NOT pregnant!!! Help Getting Your Stomach Flat Again

This One is for the Parents! Just a little knowledge…

This one is for the twin moms and towards the singleton moms and society. Have you ever had that one person, whether it me a family member, friend or another mom make like you are just nuts because you keep a very tight and protective schedule? Well there are many reasons for that and any mother who is a parent of twins would completely understand this. And if you are a parent of a singleton there is no way you can figure out why or understand why. So don’t even try! Lets explain: Continue reading This One is for the Parents! Just a little knowledge…

When and Who decided that Kids are no longer Kids at 5yrs old?

As you all know we just started kindergarten this year and my twins are still Four and will be turning Five in a month! Within the first week of school I am trying to figure out why have we stopped kids from being kids. Isn’t that our job as parents to let them not have a worry in the world and to let them play and be happy? First, let me say this opinion is coming from someone in the United States and in the state of NY so I can’t speak for everyone. So how do we let your kids stay kids when the school system and society doesn’t allow for this option. Let me explain: Continue reading When and Who decided that Kids are no longer Kids at 5yrs old?

Terrible Twos or the Friggin Fours. Which is worse?

What a summer its been! I just said to someone forget the terrible twos, its terrible fours…They told me no its the Friggin Fours ( I modified it to be a little bit to be politically correct)! I loved the term so much I had to blog about this one! Continue reading Terrible Twos or the Friggin Fours. Which is worse?