Friday, June 14, 2013

It’s A Bird…It’s A Plane…It’s Super Daddy!

As seen in New York Family Magazine:

Our resident toddler reflects on the many reasons she loves her dad

Dream: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … Super Daddy! It’s Father’s Day, and I am flying through the sky with my daddy. He is wearing his superhero uniform (which is already stained from playing with me) and I am his little sidekick. As we fly, he holds me up with only his pinky finger. Whee! Together, we can do anything!

Reality: Daddy is the most fun person in the world. He comes up with the best games and is always inventive, wild, and crazy. From the early baby days when he would carry me around in one arm and the puppy in the other, he has always known how to make me giggle. Daddy is so strong that he can throw me high in the sky and still catch me: I fly just like a birdie! He twists and twirls me and makes me giggle so hard it hurts. Daddy also bounces me better than anyone–even my ride-on zebra. And Daddy can hut, hut, hike me up like a football or spin me around upside down. Yahoo! Daddy always has terrific tricks up his sleeves that even he didn’t know he could think of.

When the week day is winding down and I hear the door open, I immediately drop everything (literally) and run to greet Daddy. I scream, “Daddy, Daddy!” with my most enthusiastic soprano voice and run directly into his arms for a big, daddy hug. Now I need to figure out how to top this sensational display of affection on this special day coming up called Father’s Day (I wonder why they don’t just call it Daddy’s Day?).

To get ready for the big day, I practice with my baby doll. Usually, when I am with Mommy, I feed baby some food, share my milk, get her dressed, comb her hair, and give her play time and a bath. But with Daddy, baby likes to roughhouse. So I throw baby up in the air again and again (I only drop her a couple of times–not bad for a beginner!). Next, I feed her and make her say “Yum, yum!” in a pirate voice. Then, right after she eats, I spin her as fast as I can until we both fall down!

My energy level is so high and so is baby’s. Mommy says to calm down, so I do what Daddy would do and run and snatch baby up for a great big hug and just as our arms embrace she flies up into the air. Baby is having the best time! I pull her in for another hug and a kiss right on top of her head–her favorite spot. Daddy always knows just the right spot to kiss and hug and tickle. Daddy does things different than Mommy and I love that about him.

Daddy reads me books in hilarious voices (you should hear his Fluffy voice), makes napkins resemble pouring rain at restaurants when I get bored, tells me funny stories based on our favorite books (like A Bad Case of Stripes), bounces balls over my entire body… the list goes on and on! And when we are not wearing our silly pants, Daddy is the best person for me to cuddle with (and sometimes even fall asleep on) after our adventures. Daddy wouldn’t tell you, but he is a big mush. I had him wrapped around my finger from the moment I was born when I grasped his pinky with my newborn reflex. Even then, I knew a good thing when I saw it–I knew to hold on tight to Daddy and never let him go.

Father’s Day will be extra special this year since I can take Daddy out to eat and actually share his meal (his food always tastes better even when he says it’s the same). I will do all the fun things he likes to do (after the mostly successful practice rounds with my baby doll). It’s going to be an incredible day and I cannot wait to honor and love my daddy. We should all give our daddies a great big daddy hug and sweet baby kiss on Father’s Day. And I will tell Mommy to let Daddy throw me up in the air higher than ever!

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Few Of Elle Belle’s Favorite Things: Summer Fun Edition

As seen in New York Family Magazine:

From mini sunglasses to floating toys to natural sunscreen, this baby’s got all the essentials she needs for a season of fun!

Hello sunshine! This baby has been getting summer ready since last summer ended. I’ve been perfecting my toddler figure in my gym classes and watching what I eat…watching it all go yummy in my tummy! Now that summer is officially here, I’m ready to hit the beach and playground and frolic outside. But I simply couldn’t get by without these summer essentials:
I don’t leave home without a pair of these…this light-eyed baby is sensitive to the sun and must protect her baby blues. These shades are 100% UVA and UVB protected, stylish, and, best yet, come with a lifetime guarantee. So if I lose or break them, I get another pair…guaranteed. Not that I plan to do either but accidents happen. Given this, they are Elle Belle tested and Mommy approved.
Crocodile Creek Balls
Every kid at the playground needs a Crocodile Creek ball. Mommy once took me to the playground without one and I tried to take everyone else’s. Lesson learned. Crocodile Creek balls come in a variety of sizes depending on your whim—small enough to hold and play or large enough to kick and dodge. Although I must admit, even when I have mine, sometimes my friend’s balls are more interesting to bounce since they come in so many fun colors and designs.
Starting at $7.99,

Gazillion Bubbles
After seeing the Gazillion Bubble Show, there were no other bubbles this little lady could have. And what baby doesn’t love bubbles? I may not be able to blow a bubble big enough to fit inside, but these fun toys make me so happy. And it reminds me that bubbles give me the simplest pleasure while stimulating my mind. Mommy always has these bubbles on hand in case of an emergency. They instantly turn frowns upside down.
Starting at $4.39,

Green Toys Sand Play Set
This play set can keep this tiny toddler busy for hours (okay, minutes) on end. Equipped with a bucket, shovel, rake, and sand castle mold, I can dream up my perfect fairy tale castle and then use the tools on hand to build it in the sand. I can also store all of my sea shells and other treasures in my bucket. And Mommy told me not to share this…but you can also use the rake to comb your hair, the bucket as a drum, and the shovel as a drum stick…and so much more. It lets your imagination go wild. And as always with Green Toys, it’s made from environmentally friendly materials.

Honest Company Sunscreen
This natural, water-resistant, and unscented Honest sunblock keeps babies 6 months and older safe against the sun’s harmful rays. With the primary ingredient zinc oxide and UVA UVB SBP 30, it keeps out the bad rays without putting in any bad chemicals. I may still squirm and fight while Mommy slathers it on me, but it’s worth it to be able to play outside and be carefree of burning my delicate, snow white skin.

Huggies Little Swimmers
These disposable swim pants (okay, diapers) are a baby essential. It would be an awful mess if I jumped in the pool or playground fountain in my regular diaper. It would simply disintegrate. These strong swim diapers keep everything inside, plus they are comfy and stylish. They even have Nemo and other fun friends on themmaking them both cool and practical.
Price varies,

One Step Ahead Baby Spring Float Activity Center
This is the mac daddy of pool floats. Mommy almost got me a simpler one, but this was so worth it. It has an octopus with eight legs and different toys on each that I can play with or throw in the water. It has a UV canopy to protect me from the sun in case I toss my bonnet in the pool. And I can be in the water without Mommy having to hold me constantly. I could almost fall asleep while floating if I wasn’t busy having so much fun.

Skip Hop Central Park Outdoor Blanket
This blanket makes picnics a snap…literally. The spacious throw easily folds down, zips shut into a messenger, and can hang out on your stroller with your diaper bag. But when unzipped, it expands into a large (5’ x 5’) water-resistant picnic party blanket. It’s large enough to feast on and drive my toy car across. Plus, it scores extra Mommy points since it is PVC, BPA, and phthalate free.

Happiness is...

Happiness is...getting dizzy spinning in the tire swing!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Baby's Dream Escape to Sesame Place

As seen in New York Family magazine:

Even though I’m just a tiny toddler, I’ve been down many city blocks. And last weekend, I found myself on the best one ever: Sesame Street! After a short car ride and accompanying nap, I woke up in an instant. I pinched myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. This place was for real!

My stroller wheeled in under the Sesame Place sign and the magic began. I could see familiar places and all sorts of friendly faces coming my way. Just like on the TV show, I was first greeted by Murray. Between you and me, I might have cried a little at our meeting. Murray looks much bigger in person and the excitement was so overwhelming that I did shed a tear…or two or three…but I soon climbed back into my stroller and was ready for my sunny day Sesame style. Next, we saw Rosita and Zoe. I stayed safely tucked inside my stroller while they came by to smile and wave. We are BFFs now. Really! Even though Elmo is still my favorite.

We first stopped at Elmo’s eatery to get some lunch. Everywhere I looked I saw Elmo stuff! I got to eat yummy mac and cheese on an Elmo plate and Mommy had an Elmo cookie. Yum! We got souvenir cups with cool twisty straws. While sipping away, I looked out the window and saw a Sunny Day carousel. GG (that’s my grandma!) and Daddy let me ride and it was so much fun that I kept asking for more and more. We went on again and again. Whee!

We next stopped for a snack at the corner of Sesame Street by Hooper’s store. Cookie Monster must have been hungry because he came to visit…meaning he wanted to share our food. Mommy gave Cookie a high five and a big hug—and it made me jealous. So I ran up and did the same. Cookie said my hug was the best and he wasn’t even upset that I ate off an Elmo plate. Next, Grover walked by and we said say hi and gave high fives, too. I picked the best corner to have lunch. It was celebrity sighting central!

After getting yummy in my tummy, we went to see Elmo Rocks! It was a fanatic show starring my favorite pal Elmo, along with Zoe, Cookie Monster, Bert, and Ernie as they auditioned for a rock band. We all got to rock out to the music. To celebrate, there was colorful confetti everywhere and lots of fantastic dancing. I gave it a big round of applause by clapping over my head. How cool is that? We danced up an appetite just in time for snack time, so we went to Cookie’s Cafe where I shared a cupcake with Mommy. Delish!

Then it was off to the rides. Luckily, we never had to wait in a long line. While Big Bird’s Court was made for the under 5 set, this little daredevil wanted to enjoy some big-girl rides. I flew up in the air like a bird in the trees on Big Bird’s Balloon Race. Tweet tweet! And on Ernie’s Bed Bounce, I ran and jumped stronger and faster than the big kids. I wish my bed was that big and bouncy. Boink! There were so many great rides for kids of all ages that I had to skip my afternoon nap to fit it all in.
After that, we were off to another show, Elmo’s World, where my favorite Sesame Street segment was brought to life. Elmo, Mr. Noodle, and Dorothy taught us all about dancing. I was moving and grooving in my seat and then in the aisles chasing after Elmo. It was a whole new world being on a TV set. I’m such an A-list star now.

To confirm my A-list status, I was escorted into a VIP meet and greet with all of my Sesame Street friends. I mean, anyone who is anyone was there: Elmo, Abby, Cookie, Zoe, Big Bird, Super Grover, Count, Bert, Ernie, Zoe, Telly, and Prairie Dawn! I played it cool and hung out in my stroller and let everyone come say hi to me. But I had to get out of my stroller and squeal when Elmo came over. I totally lost my cool! But he gave me an extra hug and high five. I’m never going to wash that hand again. Well, as long as I can keep it away from Mommy. Before I knew it, they all wanted to take a group picture. It was off the charts special. More special than my recent tea party. During the photo, Elmo hugged me extra tight. His fur tickled! And I’m still seeing red!

But the best was yet to come. My Sesame friends were so jazzed by my visit that they put on a whole Neighborhood Street Party Parade just for me. Everyone in the park stopped to watch the spectacular sight. There were colorful floats, educational songs, and more. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, we went to Dine With Me where I had dinner with Elmo and friends. It was a disco party with singing and dancing. Now I get what happy hour is all about!

After conga lines, spectacular sing-alongs, and ice cream, the dinner hour came to an end (with great hugs and “see you again soon”s). I left the park clutching my new Elmo stuffie and didn’t even resist being plopped into my car seat. Before the car backed out of the parking lot and I could say bye-bye, I was sound asleep with visions of Sesame friends dancing in my head.

Happiness is...

Happiness is a sunny trip to sunny FL to see Grandma, Grandpop, and Auntie where I learned to say house, pool, and more!