Archive for the 'Family' Category

3 Piece Crib Bedding – What To Look For?

Some of you who read a couple of my posts could already figure out that I do most of my shopping online. Amazon is an excellent option, especially for the people like me. Here is the thing: I don’t like having a huge variety of choices without knowing what other people think about them. Crib bedding is the perfect example. I got a task from my wife to find this item at a reasonable price. I’m guessing a lot of you know as much about crib bedding sets as I did a couple of days ago – practically nothing. 2 days of exploring and reading reviews after, and you can say that I am the most informed dad in the world on this subject. So here is what I learned.

The color matters

Usually, girls get pink, boys get blue bedding and white is sort of a universal choice. But, here is the thing: you want to go with patterns. First, if you spill something or stain it the first day, it’s not as noticeable. Second, the colors and patterns attract your baby’s attention and stimulate the brain. Many parents reported that patterned crib bedding made their kids calmer during the day.

The feel

Where you might think that material matters the most, it is actually the feel that you should be focusing on. Most of the manufacturers use cotton to make crib bedding, but there are major differences between the softness and the quality. And another misconception is that softer is always better. That is not necessarily true in all cases. A lot of kids, especially infants, like their bedding to have a bit rougher feel to it. When they touch it, it gives off a sharper, definitive feedback that stimulates their sensory center. It sounds like a science mumbo-jumbo, but if you actually watch your kid “scratch” the bedding, you can see this effect in action.

Accessories

Crib beddings usually come in 3 pieces: quilt, crib sheet, and skirt. But some of them don’t actually offer other optional accessories that you can incorporate into the kid’s room to make it look like a set. These accessories include stuff like window valance, crib bumpers, side skirts, etc… This is more for the parent’s sake than for the kids, but I came to a conclusion that the sets with more accessories options do better sales wise.

Using this knowledge, I found a crib bedding set that had positive reviews in all of these categories.

https://www.amazon.com/Trend-Lab-Piece-Crib-Bumper/dp/B0075ZNELU

 

Based on what I read, this is one of the better crib bedding sets on Amazon. A 4.6-star rating and very positive reviews gave me the confidence to present it to my wife. She was thrilled with my choice and satisfied with the time and effort I’ve put into this task. Needless to say, I got a special lovin’ that day.

-Marko Lipozencic

Bratz Styling Head – favorite amongst little girls

As the Christmas draws near, I really get into the holiday spirit right after Thanksgiving. You can call me old-fashioned, but this is my favorite part of the year. The thing is, I like picking out presents for my family and friends and I always like to be very personal doing it. Generic gifts and all that: really not my style. In there lies a problem. My older daughter is just so picky when it comes to the things she wants. And the thing is, I can’t say no to her. Not because she is spoiled or anything, but because she is the only one that takes Christmas more seriously than me. As it turns out, much more.

I asked my kids to write to Santa this year and here is what I did: we sat down, I explained the rules and made it very clear that Santa likes kids who obey them:

  1. You can only ask for something you really want.
  2. You can ask for one thing, and not like PS4 with all the games (my oldest last year).
  3. Santa will do his best to grant you the wish if you are a good kid.

So check this out:


All three of my kids (I got 2 daughters and a son) asked for this in the letter to Santa. At first, I thought it was a mistake, but it wasn’t. Then I asked my wife should I be worried that my 11-year-old wants a make-up doll? She then told me the most remarkable story I have ever heard.

So we got three kids: David (11), Meg (6), and Brook (3).

Meg is the mastermind behind this entire operation. She really wants this toy and she proposed a deal to the other kids. Meg told Brook that she will practice on the doll and then put make-up on her if they get this gift. So naturally, Brook was on board. And then she promised David all of her next year’s candy from trick-or-treating if he writes to Santa for this toy as well. I mean how the hell did she come up with this idea? Do I have the cunningest kid in the world or what?

The moral of the story is that my kid really wants this toy. And from what I heard from other parents, this is a really popular toy amongst little girls. If you follow the link I posted, you will easily notice a 4.5-star rating that only confirms the fact that kids love this thing.

So I made Meg a deal: She would have to fulfill all the promises she made to Brook and David, and she would have to make her bed every morning until Christmas, and I would write to Santa for this doll as well. She told me: DEAL, and squeezed my hand as hard as she could with the widest smile in the world. Man, kids these days are really something!

Marko Lipozencic

The Lion Guard – Ono, Plush Toy For Children

Getting presents for the kids was always my wife’s job. It’s not that I don’t like it, she is just better at it. Well, I watched television with my kids this entire weekend and learned something that will benefit you all (actually just those looking to buy presents for kids). Gifting is easy when you pay attention.

Meet Ono

This is a bean plush toy for kids ages 3 and up. It is around 8″ tall and although it cannot really stand on its own, it can sit and lie very well. The build quality is excellent and it’s quite soft to touch. The thing about this toy is that kids simply adore it. And there is a simple reason behind it

There is a Disney show called The Lion Guard. I watched it through the entire weekend with my kids and to be quite frank, the show is good. It is one of the better programs for kids on television these days. There a couple of characters and each of them has its own toy. Now, I noticed that my kids love most of them, but as soon as Ono showed up on the screen (or rather I should not say as soon but EVERY time) my kids were quite excited and cheerful. And from what I hear, this show is really popular all over the world. If you don’t believe it, check out the average rating for this toy and read a couple of comments.

Yesterday, I thought of an idea to buy an entire set of The Lion Guard toys and give them out to my kids by Christmas as a reward for doing the chores like making the bed and cleaning out their room. The amazing thing about these toys is that in a show, each of them has a special ability. Ono, for example, has high-level intellect. So, I will challenge my kids to finish up their homework (not all of them go to school, but all of them got homework) and reward them with this toy. That way, I can teach them valuable lessons and they will have no trouble accepting it. And if it all goes well, I’ll proceed as planned.

For a simple toy (ok there is the show as well), I’d say that it is quite an effective gift. When you got kids, you learn something every day and that’s the real beauty of it.

Marko Lipozencic

 

Kaleidoscope Projector – A Gift Your Kids Will Appreciate

A couple of my fondest childhood memories date way back to my preschool years. I used to love Christmas (which child didn’t) but for a very different reason you all might think. The memories I cherish have nothing to do with presents and treats, nothing to do with family dinners or eating cakes, and to be completely honest, nothing to do with family. It is the feeling that I remember most accurately, the feeling of Christmas and gratitude.

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and although my sister and I never lacked any of the essentials, presents were just not that rich and lavish. It was the small things, not toys, but the things we needed, pajamas, socks, stuff like that. But the presents themselves were irrelevant, at least to me. It was the anticipation the night before.

It was always snowing during Christmas and the house we grew up in had one really amazing feature. The living room, where the Christmas tree was, had a great balcony with glass doors overlooking the yard. And there was a street lamp right across the street which was the only working one in the entire neighborhood. When there was snow on the balcony ledge and the three branches above, the light was literally sparkling into the room at night. I used to stay up waiting to see the Santa as he comes to our house. For hours, I would stare at those lights on the walls and ceiling and believe it or not, those are my fondest childhood memories. During those nights, anything was possible and a massive sense of gratitude would overtake me. Sitting and waiting, wrapped up in my blanket and listening to the 8-bit sound of the carols coming from a small thingy under the tree, that was my Christmas, or at least my favorite part of it.

The snow is not at all a probability at my house these days, but there is something I found that can at least, in some sense, replicate the setting from my childhood.

I bought this yesterday and I will have it installed this Christmas. I would like for my kids to know the feeling I felt during the Christmas night. Although the kids these days are much more mature than I was at their age, there is still some magic to it, and that feeling of gratitude is something they need to feel for themselves, just like I did.

The thing is, I do still believe in Christmas magic and if my kids can experience at least a smidgen of that feeling, my heart would be full. Nothing in the entire world would make me happier.

Marko Lipozencic

How The Peppa Pig Board Game Made Me Brilliant

peppa-pigI remember when we used to be kids, way before the computers and smartphones, we used to have fun playing all sorts of board games. At the youngest age, Shoots and Ladders, Parcheesi, Tanks, and later on Risk and Monopoly. Heck, we still get together with friends and play Risk (although I tend not to play with my wife, it’s risky enough for me as it is, I don’t need more chances to piss her off).

Anyhow, a couple of nights ago, we were out with two other couples and there was a discussion about the values the children are learning today. The point that some of the parents were debating was that if there isn’t a screen or a ball in front of the kids (or maybe a doll for girls) they can’t have fun. An average screen (this is what I call all smartphones and tablets and things like that) can run you up to $500-$600 easily. I sat there quietly and waited for them to get all excited and only after I had a couple of laughs,

I showed them this.

I bought this for my kids way back as a present for the Easter. My youngest is addicted to Peppa Pig (and I do mean addicted to the point that I should probably be worried about it). The middle one, on the other hand, is not really into anything other than spending time with us.  We tried signing her up for kindergarten, we organized playdates, but nothing really peaked her interest. She likes being at home, period (kinda like me). And my eldest is always getting in trouble since he is hyper-competitive. When I bought this game for them, my wife (for the first and probably for the last time ever) told me I’m brilliant.

The thing is, this game suits our family perfectly. But from what I was able to hear from other parents, basically, everybody loves this game. And it offers a great way to separate the kids from the screens. To be completely honest, I just like seeing my kids playing a board game and having the same experiences we had as children.

If some of you are still undecided in regards to the Christmas presents, you really should consider this one, especially since you can get it for under $25. It has been a couple of months since I got it for my kids and they still play it at least once or twice a week. Not to be cheesy, but this is one treasure you should hunt yourself this Christmas.

Marko Lipozencic