Dear Holly: Could You BE Anymore Obsessed With Minnie Mouse Clothes?!

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

You are at a point where you have all the toys that I could imagine you’d even have time to play with.

With your 2nd birthday a month behind you, Mommy reminded me you still had a gift card with money on it. We couldn’t justify using it to buy you another toy, especially knowing that you undeniably have a certain interest that even overpowers toys:

Minnie Mouse clothes!

Your obsession is pretty bad, actually. After Mommy carefully selected the best Minnie Mouse clothes for you online using the gift card, you were so excited to open them a few days later in the mail.

Needless to say, you wanted to wear one of the shirts immediately; which meant you would wear it to dinner and to bed.

You accidentally spilled some oatmeal on it, to the point it would need to be washed.

But Mommy had a feeling that you were going to want to wear it the next day as well. So while you were asleep that night, she put it in the laundry.

And yes, you wore it the entire next day as well.

If you had it your way, Minnie Mouse would be on every single outfit you wore, including your pajamas.

I’m not sure how and when you discovered your love for Minnie Mouse, or even why you like her so much, but truly, you are obsessed!

Never mind about the new toys you could have right now. You’re all set.

In fact, I’m convinced you’d rather have Minnie Mouse clothes than another Minnie Mouse doll or Minnie Mouse toy anyway.

You are obsessed with Minnie Mouse the same way your brother was obsessed with Thomas the Train at your age.

There must be something about Minnie Mouse and 2 year-old little girls that makes them the perfect match for each other!

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Holly: Now I Finally Believe That Little Girls Really Do Instinctively Love Tea Parties

2 years.

Dear Holly,

Until now, I always thought the idea of little girls wanting to play “tea party” was just a concept invented by toy marketers to sell more product. And for all I know, perhaps it is. But if so, hey… it works!

Because for your 2nd birthday last month, our good friends Lena and Mohamad got you a tea set, and not only did you immediately want to play with it, but you instinctively knew what to do with it!

In fact, having our tea parties together has become a bit of a ritual. Your tea party set is getting a lot of use!

I will say though, for me, you change it from tea to coffee. That’s because for the past 6 months, with me working from home, you have observed me making my organic instant coffee twice a day.

Whenever you think it’s getting near the right time of the day for it, you always ask, “Daddy, coffee?”

My favorite story so far with this tea set was a few weeks ago when I was finishing up cleaning the bathroom upstairs, as part of my weekend routine. I had been up there for a solid 15 minutes.

Then you stood at the bottom of the stairs, and announced to me, “Daddy, coffee!”

Mommy helped explain that you had just made coffee downstairs for me and you wanted me to come down and take a break.

So I gladly did.

It was one of those precious moments that I just wasn’t expecting.

In your mind, you thought, “Daddy’s been up there a while. I bet he’d like some coffee right about now. I’ll go ahead and make him some…”

You are such a sweet little girl. How can I not be completely in love with my little sweetie?

Love,

Daddy

10 Gift Ideas for a 2 Year-Old Girl in 2018, With Helpful Photos and Convenient Links to Amazon

With my daughter turning 2 years old in April, I figured it would be a good idea to share the “gift search experience” with anyone else out there who is also deciding what to get a 2 year-old little girl they know. Perhaps you’ve been invited to a birthday party, or are just looking to send a gift to whoever the little girl is that you know. Either way, I hope to help you in deciding what to get her.

My wife helped me out with this, by giving me links to gifts that she has either already bought our daughter, or is considering buying.

Unless you happen to be the parent of an almost 2 year-old daughter in 2018, like my wife and I are, it can be difficult to figure out just where the child’s development level and interest skills are, in relation to an appropriate gift; one that will not be too much too soon, or too little too late.

So today, I share these with you, in hopes I make your life a little bit easier. Remember, all you have to do is just click the link to the gift idea, and you’ll get straight to the product on Amazon to learn more; and to potentially purchase it right there.

LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket

Thanks for checking out my blog today. Good luck on your search for that special almost 2 year-old little girl in your life. If nothing else, you might stumble upon the perfect gift once you get to Amazon from one of my links.

Dear Holly: Minnie Mouse is Your Best Friend and Elmo is Your Boyfriend

1 year, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

I guess I am learning that every Valentine’s Day at our house is like a “mini” Christmas morning. And speaking of Minnie, she was part of your gifts from Mommy and me:

Pilot Minnie, which includes a pink purse and a pink suitcase.

It is my assumption that little girls your age are equally obsessed with Minnie Mouse and Elmo, with the same mania that teenage girls went crazy over Elvis in the 1950s or The Beatles in the 1960s.

Here is how I perceive things with you right now:

It’s as if Minnie Mouse is your best friend and you want to be just like her. So it’s no surprise to me that yesterday, you clutched her tightly in your hand for both your morning nap and for bed at night. It was like a sleepover.

You just think Minnie Mouse is the coolest girl ever!

And as for Elmo, well… I’m starting to think he’s more than just a friend.

Each time I read you the Little Golden Book, Elmo Loves You, and finish the last page, with a big smile on your face, you lean down and kiss Elmo right on the face: “Mmmmmwhah!”

It’s not like anyone gave you this idea. You just immediately did this the first time, and every time, I have read you the book.

Mommy and I have learned to be careful about even saying Elmo’s name in front you. Because often when we do, you get caught in a trance:

“Elmo? Elmo. Elmo? Elmo! Elmo. Elmo. Elmo. Elmo!…”

At that point, I have to either give in, and take you upstairs and let you watch one of your Elmo DVDs, or I have to find a clever way to distract your train of thought.

So yeah, I convinced: Minnie Mouse is your best friend and Elmo is your boyfriend.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The Paradox of Receiving a Berenstain Bears Book and HALO Action Figure on Valentine’s Day 2018

7 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

I don’t know how normal it is to receive so many little gifts from your parents on Valentine’s Day, but apparently, you are one lucky kid. Because before you even left for school yesterday, you got all your Valentine’s Day gifts from Mommy and me.

It was funny to me; I remember on your 2nd Valentine’s Day, Mommy asked me to pick out a little toy for you. This was a new concept for me. I had never heard of parents getting their kids gifts for Valentine’s Day.

I picked out an 88 cent Hot Wheels red monster truck for you. And since that day back in 2012, I have seen your Valentine’s Day gift selections grow a little bigger each year.

This year, you received a mini Hatchling, a stuffed animal ball, a bag of Trolli gummies, and an inflatable Hulk.

But looking back, perhaps it was slightly ironic, and definitely easily hilarious, that two gifts in particular couldn’t be more opposite:

A Berenstain Bears book called Valentine Blessings, which includes Bible verses about the Biblical definition of love.

And…

A Mega Construx HALO action figure, ready for war!

But in addition to it being both ironic and hilarious, I also see it as perfectly ideal for you right now, as a 7 year-old, 1st grader boy.

While you very much enjoy action of any kind, including your now growing collection of HALO figures, as well as your obvious and, by default, fascination with super heroes like the Hulk, you still are very excited to receive a fluffy stuffed animal or another book from that lovable family from Bear Country.

You are a sweet and sensitive boy, yet I see those undeniable glimpses of you as a pre-teen, as well.

And really, this is exactly how I remember being, 30 years ago, when I was this age.

I think your Valentine’s Day gifts from Mommy and me were a perfect representation of who you are to us at this age.

Love,

Daddy

Here’s What My Son Did With 4 Rolls of Sticky Brick Tape, Which is Lego-Compatible

Being a daddy blogger is fun. I have companies reach out to me and send new products for my family to try out; like Sticky Brick Tape.

While Sticky Brick Tape is not an actual Lego product, it is Lego-compatible. It is designed to enhance play with Legos.

I handed my son Jack the 4 rolls of Sticky Tape and gave him this assignment:

Just play with it and make whatever you want to. Your job is to give other kids ideas of how to use Sticky Brick Tape.

His favorite part about playing with Sticky Brick Tape is that it is “bendy”. He enjoyed making snake-like creatures and vehicles; something a kid can’t do with regular Legos. Sticky Brick Tape has refreshed Jack’s interest in making new Lego creations.

But where does Sticky Tape get its name? While one side has grooves to stick to Legos, the other side can stick to virtually any flat surface: Just peel back the film to reveal the adhesive side. You can even cut the Sticky Brick Tape to the length you want it.

For example, that means you could help your child decorate their desk or bed with sideways Legos.

As for my son though, he never made it that far. He enjoyed the “snake” aspect of Sticky Brck Tape too much to cut it or stick it.

If you’re curious about Sticky Brick Tape, just click here to check out their website.

And if you’re feeling lucky, you can even click here to try to win 4 rolls of Sticky Brick Tape for your child. Make sure you sign up before the deadline, October 1, 2017.

I can definitely tell you my son has thoroughly enjoyed using Sticky Brick Tape. There’s just nothing else like it out there.

It has gotten him playing with his Legos again, that’s for sure.

Guide to Choosing Age Appropriate Toys for Babies to 9 Year-Olds (By Guest Blogger, Katie Santos)

In addition to getting safe toys for kids, it’s also important that kids have toys that can help with their developmental and motor skills as well. Whether they are a few months old, or a few years old, children’s brains are constantly progressing and we must recognize which toys fit which stage of growth.

Although kids develop at different stages, it’s essential to help them stimulate their mind as they continue to grow. To help you find the perfect gift for a child, Gifts.com put together a comprehensive list of toys and activities for babies and kids up to nine years old. In order to provide children with the proper gift, it’s essential to learn the developmental stages.

From birth to five months old, babies are beginning to grasp objects and show emotion. Everything is new to them, so soft toys and textures are ideal.  

By six to eleven months, babies can now use their fingers and hands at the same time. They enjoy banging things together and throwing objects, and also need to be introduced to constructive play.

A one-year-old can stand by themselves and might be able to eat on their own. They are at the point where they want to investigate everything, and imitate sounds you create. Any toys that can stimulate motor skills and memorization skills are great for this age, such as non-toxic markers or shape sorters. 

Two-year-olds grow quickly! They want to run away, play hide and seek and enjoy interacting with others. Focus on toys that require physical strength for your two-year-old, to give them both language and social skills.

When it comes to a three to six year old, they have more strength and coordination skills. Since they have control over movements, get toys that strengthen muscles and stimulate their brains.

By seven to eight years old, your child knows the concept of cause and effect, and can write full sentences. Since they are willing to learn, introduce science toys and educational board games for this age range.

For nine years and older kids, they are becoming more independent than ever, and are beginning to face academic hurdles. Encourage your child to read, as it stimulates imagination, communication skills and vocabulary.