Alex Jr. Bop and Roll [VIDEO]

We received the Alex Jr. Bop and Roll as a gift, and I will admit, as a new mom wanting all the newest and greatest things for my kid, I wasn’t impressed. But, it was for ten months and up, and he got it around 6 months of age so I wasn’t able to see its full entertaining potential.

My son is now 22 months old and it’s still one of his go to toys. We put it back on the shelf all the time and the next day it’s been pulled down again. Wooden toys win the day with this one! And believe me, now that I’ve been going through the first phase of toddlerhood, the less noise these damn toys make the better!! I will take a ball slowly circling around a hole for 30 seconds over a singing VTech toy any day!

In any case, this toy has turned out to be a favorite. It’s so simple, but my son loves it. It came with a hammer and three balls, which we still have, somewhere. One is usually always around at least, and that’s really all he needs.

My only complaint is that when one of the balls got wet the paint peeled. He isn’t using that one at the moment, so we are down to two, somewhere.

I give this toy 4 out of 5 stars for peeling paint. But it’s still a great toy!

Green Toys Review [VIDEO]

My son has three of the Green Toys brand vehicles in his ever expanding toy collection. As he’s becoming more and more interested in cars, trucks, and planes, these toys are becoming a bigger hit in our house.  The construction is really solid with no sharp burs or ragged slicing edges.  They had held up extremely well to drops, smashes, silly ride-on attempts, sticky fingers, angry meltdown hail Mary passes and more.

The Green Toys Air Plane is so much fun. My son walks (or runs) around the house with this toy, making it fly through the air. He sticks one of his animal figurines in the pilot seat (although not always successfully) and flies it around the house. He’s only 21 months old right now so the play is limited, but this is a favorite and I can see him playing with this for many years.  Watching him awkwardly pilot it is adorable as our the whooshing sound effects he makes.

Tug Boat Bath Toy
The Green Toys My First Tug Boat bath toy is something we use in the bathtub occasionally. It’s fun to fill it with water and let it sink, then dump the water and let it float. My son hasn’t quite gotten into playing pretend with this one just yet, but I’m sure as he grows up this will be more fun. Right now he just ignores it. It also doesn’t help that we don’t have a tub, so baths consist of about 1-2 inches of water in the bottom of our shower. We got this boat thinking it wouldn’t need a deep bathtub and it doesn’t really, but ultimately baths aren’t baths without a tub!! Someday, I hope!

Truck and Race Car
The Green Toys Truck and Race Car are lots of fun for my son. I will admit that these weren’t as popular as the plane at first but he’s recently been playing with them more. Technically he doesn’t play with them together much yet. The car he drives around the floor and the truck he tends to sit on and tries to ride. This is rarely successful but leads to lots of entertaining tumbles! Recently his animal figurines have been hitching a ride on the back of the truck.  One of the things we love about this set is that you get TWO toys for the price of one. Vroom-Vroom!

The Green Toys are great fun. They are well made and they have so many different options. It’s hard to resist the Space Rocket we saw at the store a few weeks ago, but it can wait… his birthday will be here soon enough!

4 Best Selling Baby Carriers Reviewed

Early on in my pregnancy I knew that I was going to have to carry my son a lot as we live in Brooklyn, and strollers aren’t always the most efficient mode of transportation. Pushing a stroller through snow banks only to find yourself carrying it down a flight of crowded subway stairs gets old FAST!  So one winter day I dragged my husband to a local boutique baby store and made us try several carriers in hopes of narrowing our options.  We liked three options, and we had already registered for the original Ergo carrier.  Over time we ended up buying and trading our way through 4 carriers.  My husband and I both used these extensively.

The following article reviews the carriers that we ended up purchasing and using:

Kinderpack Infant Carrier

Using the Kinderpack to wear the baby AND do laundry. SuperDad?

We ended up purchasing the Kinderpack infant carrier by Kindercarry because I was having my son in the summer and I knew the Ergo’s infant insert was like a sleeping bag and way too hot for a NYC summer!

The Kinderpack is great because you can purchase it with a mesh front where baby sits allowing for ventilation on hot days (see featured image).  NYC summers can be brutal, and I am one of a few in this world who hates the heat.  In addition, it’s design is highly customizable allowing you to convert it into an infant carrier and then gradually transition it to a toddler size.

The Kinderpack straps also criss-cross in the back, which we have found is much more comfortable for us. In fact, the Kinderpack excels in this regard.  It has straps that can be adjusted from various angles making it easy to get the perfect fit.  Or, if you don’t like cross crossed straps you can wear it like a reversed backpack. My husband used to take our infant son out for walks at night and his only complaint was that while this carrier is hyper adjustable, he found that it was not always easy to adjust when he was by himself and unable to reach some of the back straps.

Their design also allows the Kinderpack to be worn in a hip carry position and on your back with your little one looking over your shoulder.  The one thing the Kinderpack does not offer is a forward facing front carry.

Kindercarry is a small family run business and all carriers are hand sewn in Illinois by a handful of people.  It feels great to support a small family business for something so convenient and well made as the Kinderpack.  They also have carriers in a wide range of fun prints.  Many of the prints appear to be limited, so if you see one you like it may not be available in 6 months.

I give the Kinderpack 4 out of 5 stars.  It really is an excellent carrier.  It is very comfortable, lightweight and the mesh is a great feature.  I just wish it had a forward facing/front carry option.  We have only experimented with back carry a few times.  Our son seems a little young for this, but perhaps as he gets older this position will fulfill the forward facing need.  In fact, I think it’s time we try it again… hold on… [trying back-carry again]  Okay, My husband just wore him around the house for 15 minutes and Jr seemed to like it, although I think he’s still a little too short and ended up watching a lot of my husband’s shoulders and neck.


  • Lightweight and breathable fabric.
  • Very customizable straps for excellent comfort.
  • Also supports hip and back carry positions.
  • No need for accessories if you want to use it as an infant carrier.
  • Fun prints!


  • Not great for cold weather (if you purchase the mesh version).
  • Doesn’t support a forward front carry.


Ergobaby Original

Ergobaby Original

Now, I have raved about the Kinderpack because I think it is a fantastic carrier, but I will admit that I still used the Ergo Original a lot.

I used the Ergo primarily through the winter. Since we bought the Kinderpack with mesh, it wasn’t great for the miserable NYC winter. The Ergo is a very comfortable carrier, provided you don’t require the straps to crisscross your back.  The straps are very well padded, the weight distributes well, and it was cozy warm.

The pocket on the front of the carrier allowed me to slide in a wallet or keys when I just needed to run to the grocery store, and the hood was great to pull up over my son’s head on cold days when he would fall asleep.  All in all, the Ergo is a great carrier, and I am sure I will continue to use it, but we eventually purchased the Beco Gemini, which changed baby carrying for us in a big way.

I give the Ergo Original 4 out of 5 stars.  It is very comfortable, it was a great carrier through the winter, but it is a little warm for the summer months, especially with the infant insert. It would be nice if the straps could cross in the back and if a forward facing/front carry were an option, without having to upgrade to the Ergo 360. In retrospect, I wish we had registered for the 360 instead as it offers many of the features found in the Kinderpack and Beco Gemini [reviewed below].


  • Very well padded straps.
  • Great for cold weather.
  • Helpful front pocket.
  • Popular, so it’s easy to find this used or as a trade.


  • Straps can only be worn in one position, like a reversed backpack.
  • Requires an additional insert to carry an infant.
  • In retrospect I wish we had registered for the Ergo 360 instead.
Braving the winter cold! Using the Ergo with an additional fleece cover.

Didymos DidyTai

Didymos DidyTai
Didymos DidyTai

When we went to the boutique store to try out the carriers, I tried on and really liked the Didymos Didytai.  It was lightweight, and a mix between a structured carrier and a wrap carrier.  It was also comfortable.  Keep in mind that I tried this with an 8 lb doll.  Effective, but VERY different from a live squirming baby.

Since there are no clicking buckles to struggle with, snaps in weird places or Velcro to scratch you, the result is a very natural feeling carrier that conforms to your body shape. A DidyTai allows for many tying variations including a front position, a hip carry and a baby backpack.  It doesn’t allows for a forward facing carry.

I purchased this wrap from another mother as it was out of my price range new.  I gave this wrap a try on a number of occasions.  I wore it through the neighborhood, into Manhattan, on long and short walks, and I realized as much as I liked the carrier, it just didn’t work for me.  I needed more structure.  The carrier constantly loosened on me and dropped too low.  I could never keep it at the correct height and I was always concerned something was too loose.  I still like the carrier and I think it would work for someone else.  It is a great concept and I really do wish it would have worked for me.

I give the Didymos DidyTai a 3 out of 5 stars for being a great concept, but it just didn’t fit me well. My husband wore this a few times.  It’s definitely the most feminine of the carries we owned so keep that in mind if your husband is concerned about those types of things.


  • Lightweight!
  • Great for infants.  Super snuggly!
  • Comfortable.  Because it’s a wrap the weight is distributed widely across your body.
  • Unique look.


  • Can be a long process to put this on, especially if your kid is fighting it.
  • Hard to to adjust once you have it on.
  • Less structure than other carriers.
  • No forward facing option.

Beco Gemini

As I met other moms in the neighborhood and started to see all of the other carrying options, I began to see some of them wearing their little ones faced forward in the carrier.  This is something that I knew my son would LOVE.  Sadly, the Ergo Original and the Kinderpack did not allow for a forward faced carry.

I was able to trade the Didymos Didytai with another mom for the Beco Gemini.  I have to say, the minute my son was able to face forward, his mind was BLOWN.  Walks and outings became exciting trips.  He could see the world, not just my throat.  He rarely if ever fusses when in it, and it is as comfortable for me as the KinderPack and Ergo.

Now, that being said, facing him in again may not be an option.  We will see once winter comes again and the cold wind picks up, but every time I try to face him in now he tends to fight it, or tries to turn or hang out of the carrier so that he can see out.  I have tried back carry and hip carry both in the Beco Gemini and Kinderpack and those work fine as well, but nothing is the same as forward facing.

Let’s talk about the straps.  These can be worn Crisscrossed across your back or in the reverse backpack position.  Each has it’s own benefit.  The backpack style is very fast to put on and remove, although my husband never felt that this was as comfortable and secure as having the straps cross your back.

The Beco Gemini also has buckle locks.  Basically once you clip the straps together they have a third button your need to press in order to undo them.  This has been a mixed bag.  It’s nice having the extra safety, but taking this off can be a tricky feat of coordination until you get used to it.  We can undo them one handed now.

Once adjusted, this carrier stays in place and doesn’t drift or loosen.  Yet, somehow, the Beco Gemini has proven to be super easy to adjust as you wear it.  Sometimes we loosen it up if our son wants to squirm, other time we tighten for a snug feel.  Loosen it again to sit down and then tighten when we get up to walk again.  Loosen again to breastfeed, etc.  Besides the option of forward facing, the ability to easily adjust the carrier while being worn is it’s killer feature.

I give the Beco Gemini 5 out of 5 stars and our MostRoyal badge for being so versatile!   My husband also prefers using the Beco to carry our son, even at a his heavy 14 month old weight.



  • Forward facing!
  • Allows for other carry positions such as facing in, back carry, side carry.
  • Confortable.  Straps are easy to adjust even after you have it on.
  • Straps can be crisscrossed or worn backpack style.
  • Extra safety locks on all belt clips.
  • No need for accessories if you want to use it as an infant carrier.


  • Fabric seems to get dirty easy (then again we use this the most).
  • We’ve read some complaints that the leg gap becomes too narrow as kids get older.  We are watching for this.
  • Extra safety locks on all belt clips would be a bad option for anyone with finger joint mobility concerns.


In conclusion, I would say that the Becco Gemini carrier has been our most versatile carrier.  The forward facing feature made such a difference for us carrying our son around the city.  The Kinderpack and Ergo come in a close second, and the Didytai was nice, but not for me.

I would absolutely recommend trying on carriers before you make any decisions.  If you have a baby who will cooperate, use them! If your little bundle of joy has yet to be born a weighted doll will suffice, so check to see if the store has one. Many do. If you are far into your pregnancy and have a belly to contend with, bring along your spouse or a friend who can also try the carrier on and give you their thoughts.

Baby carrying is a great way to bond with your child, and if you’re living in a city and do a lot of walking like we do, it is the perfect mode of transportation.

5-Point Harnessed High Chair! [VIDEO]

I purchased the Fisher Price Space-Saver High Chair for my son at around 12 months of age.  We live in a small Brooklyn apartment and do not have space for a standard high chair, and this one straps to one of our kitchen chairs, saving us a ton of space.  He had previously been using a much older version (about 11 years older, handed down to us by family,) that he was decidedly destroying at mealtimes.

This chair has been a life saver for us.  Mealtimes can be a headache, a mess and with the previous chair my son was able to literally rip it apart whenever he would get angry about the food I was insisting he eat.  This chair is solid.  The tray is solid too; it stays locked on and he can’t rip it off (yet…).

AND this high chair has a FIVE POINT HARNESS.  Which means he cannot get out of the chair!  It’s like strapping him into a stroller. The tray requires two hands to put it on and take it off, but that’s ok.  I will take that over having to pick it and all of my sons food off the floor.

Note from Dad/Jeff:  This seat was really easy to un-install and re-install from our kitchen chair when I needed to take photos of it for the website.  You can easily bring this highchair over to grandma’s, a restaurant, etc.

Maybe this is overkill, but for a kid who does his best to squirm out of every high chair he encounters (restaurant chairs and the ancient chairs owned by family being the main culprits here,) this one holds up against his tirades.

One thing I have not yet tested is how well the seat comes clean, and boy do I need to test this! [UPDATE BELOW] I do laundry once a week at the laundromat, it’s easy to forget the high chair as I am gathering and putting giant bags of laundry into a cart, and packing up my son with toys and lunch and anything else we might need for an afternoon at the laundromat, aaah… city life… In any case, I will update this review once I give the seat a wash.

5-Point-Harness and the chair fabric in need of a major scrub down.
5-Point-Harness and the chair fabric in need of a major scrub down.

I give the Fisher Price Space-Saver High Chair a 4 out of 5 stars because as a stay at home mom, who is feeding my son most of his meals, I have found this chair to perform great for us.  He can’t get out of it and he can’t rip the tray off, which is all that matters to a strung out Mommy! I will update this post once I wash the seat.

Update: Since writing the above review of this highchair, I have washed the seat cover twice.  The first time I sprayed the cover down with a stain remover shortly before washing and it came clean beautifully.  The second time I washed it I did not use the stain remover and it still came perfectly clean!  So I still stand by my originally rating.

This toy has a pull string. It does so much more! [Update!]

The VTech Chomp and Count Dino asks the user to feed it certain foods, which are provided on little pucks with an image of the food. The child is supposed to put the pucks into the dinosaur’s mouth and they then fall into its stomach where the kid can retrieve them. He also loves watching us tow the dinosaur by the attached pull string. …more on that later!

Our son loves taking the little “food” pucks out of the compartment and he tries to feed the dinosaur.  At 13 months he doesn’t know the difference between the pucks, and therefore doesn’t follow its instructions, but he is starting to become successful at getting the pucks into the dinosaur’s mouth.  It took him a few weeks to understand that he really needs to push the puck through, as it doesn’t just easily slide through the hole (the puck needs to trigger a small switch inside the mouth so that the toy responds). My son really enjoys this toy and he has spent a good amount of time sitting and playing with the pucks, putting them in and taking them out of the Dino’s belly.

VTech Chomp and Count Dino Toy

He grew so attached to this toy, that when he would play with it he would hold the pull string in one hand while feeding the dino with the other. He was so insistent on not letting go of the string that he took his first 10 steps while pulling the dino across the room! We were thrilled to say the least. Bonus points for that! Up until that moment he had really only been walking while holding onto our hands, even if it wasn’t needed. I think it was a security thing. The string apparently fulfilled that role and now he walks on his own. If only we could keep up!

Being a VTech toy, the music is lacking any sort of… musicality. I have decided that VTech puts no effort into creating decent songs and tunes for their toys. They are often out of tune and each song just ends, strangely. This is a bummer since the VTech Chomp and Count Dino seems to sing incessantly. I swear, these are undiscovered songs written by the Shaggs.


Our son is now almost two and half and this toy has come back into our lives with a whole new level of excitement.  He loves feeding it, dragging it around, pretending that he’s a dinosaur and tons of creative play.  I’m really glad we held onto this because it’s had a whole new second life…and I’ve gotten a bit more used to the music.  🙂

I give the VTech Chomp and Count Dino 4 out of 5 stars because my son really enjoys playing with it, but I just can’t stand the music!

Is this Freight Train or Soul Train?

Freight Train, by Donald Crews, is a simple book.  At first I was skeptical for its lack of story and simplicity, but we have really grown to like this one.  The illustrations are great.  It is perfect for a young child.  Just basic enough to teach them about a train, with illustrations that are slightly abstract – and wonderfully dated – to help keep their attention.

We love the funky 70’s beat poetry vibe to the text. There is definitely a rhythmic feel and I our son really responds to that. It also makes it fun to read because it gives you excuses be playful with your interpretation and to pause and point out the groovy illustrations.


The length of this book is just right too. It goes by rather quick making it a nice bedtime and nap book. In fact, if our Little Guy starts to get fussy the story is conducive to skipping pages. For those nights when you need a bit more activity you can easily drag it out and point at the pictures, as mentioned above.

This is definitely worth picking up for your little one. Especially if they are into trains (or iconic graphic design from the 1970’s, obviously).

4 out of 5 stars

A heartwarming story!

The Crown On Your Head, by Nancy Tillman, is a beautiful, sweet book and I enjoy reading this to my son. The illustrations are unique; at times they can feel a little overly Photoshop-ed, but this does not bother me.

I have to admit, I am typically not a sentimental person, but my son has made me a softy.  When I first received this book as a gift I kind of rolled my eyes thinking that it was going to be sappy, but it really wasn’t, and I really like the message. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t give away the story but for those wanting more info you can go to Amazon and and read a section.


I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, only because it isn’t something my son gets excited for, but at 12 months, I wouldn’t expect him to be interested just yet.

A Good Naptime Book

I thought I would write a short review of this book because it is one that I can recite at a moments notice if needed.

We received this book from a family member and found that it was a duplicate in our library.  I chose to make this book part of our nap time routine when I began crib training at nap time (admittedly WAY too late in my child’s life: 7 months of sleeping with a baby on top of me at every nap became quite tiresome!!!)

I like this book.  It is simple, it was easy to memorize, and now that I have read it a minimum of twice per day for the past 5 months, my son is beginning to interact with it as well.  There is a section of the book where all of the characters are exercising and I always take the time to point out each animal and what they are doing (based on my own interpretation of course.) At this stage, my son actively points to each animal with me, which I find very charming.  Soon enough he will be telling me what each animal is and what they are doing! Kids grow up too fast!

What I like most is that as soon as I pick up the book my son settles in, starts rubbing his eyes, and acts sleepy.  This could have happened with any book I selected, of course, but I thought this was appropriate since its title happens to be “The Going To Bed Book.”

4 out of 5 stars 

How to keep your sanity. (6′ iPhone cable)

As new parents we have our phones with us at all times. We Google symptoms of illnesses, play white noise to get the kid asleep (Pro-tip, remember that one!) we browse Facebook and Instagram at 3am while the kid sleeps in our arms, and most common of all we text our spouse from the other side of the house to say, “Is he asleep yet?” and “I need help” and “HELLO!??! I NEED YOUR HELP, GET THE F BACK HERE. WHY ARE YOU IGNORING MY TEXTS!?”

There is only one problem. When your phone dies. We all know it. We are trapped under a sleeping baby and the phone craps out. Now you get to sit in the dark for another 30 minutes until you can sneak him in his crib. …I mean, you don’t want to chance it and wake him before he’s in a deep sleep! Or should you? Quick Google it. WAIT, MY PHONE IS DEAD! NOOOOOOOOO!

So, order a handful of these 6 foot long iPhone cables (or similar if you have an Android phone). What a life saver these have been for us! The standard iPhone cable is so short you can’t move more than an inch from the wall outlet. These let us sit in the rocking chair or on the far side of the bed or on the toilet for a moment alone. “What are you doing in there for so long?”

We have tried a few brands. They all started to fray and break after 3-4 months.

So far the Cable Matters® Lightning Cable in White 6.6 Feet/2 Meters has lasted without any issues. Fingers crossed. But at this price, even if it does die I will just order another.

4 our of 5 stars.

Points taken away because:

  1. It’s another thing to baby proof around the house.  Make sure you keep these coiled up and out of the way.
  2. Because other brands, including Apple, break over time I suspect that will happen with these too. At this price it’s more of a hassle than a deal breaker.  And as I said above, so far these have NOT broken!