Children’s Museum of Atlanta

First timers at the ATL Children’s Museum

Most large cities have some sort of children’s museum, so when we moved to Georgia, I was excited to visit the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. For the size of Atlanta the museum is small, but it was recently remodeled so all the exhibits are in great shape. When we walked in, the girls gravitated toward the most adorable pretend diner set up. It was so authentic, even I was having fun playing pretend behind the counter! Next to the diner is a market where the kids can grocery shop, and beyond that is a farm. Caroline also was obsessed with an indoor tree house set up.

At the center of the museum was a cool climbing thing. For the smaller kids it was easy to get up but difficult to get down. I saw several children get stuck and Mommies having to go in after them. Luckily, Caroline is not into taking risks so I didn’t have to go in after her. There was a giant globe in the center that the kids could climb up into and have a view of all the fun attractions below.

While we were there, there was a cute little educational performance with songs and audience participation. Other cool features were the craft and engineering labs.  In the engineering lab helpers built an airplane with the kids, and in the craft room the children did an art project. There was a sign-up sheet by each door, so if you want to make sure you get a spot, stop by and sign up when you arrive.

On the second floor there was not much, but they have some very cool piano stairs that make the journey up a good time. The lunchroom and vending machines are on the second floor, but there’s no restaurant or place to purchase non-vending food. This is nice because you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on food, but if you forget to bring lunch you’re out of luck.

I recommend visiting the museum if you have children between 18 months to 6 years of age. There were some more advanced hands-on learning for older kids, but since mine are 9 months and 4 years old, we stuck mostly to the “play pretend” areas. They also have some cool kinetic sand, and a little baby spot where you can sit your baby down to play and get some hands-free time in a baby-safe space.

 

Tip- Arrive when they open on a weekday and park next door in the parking garage. There were tons of spots and it was a short walk to the entrance.

 

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The Brilliant Kids Sonic Toothbrush!

We got the opportunity to try out The Brilliant Kids Sonic Toothbrush by Buddy Baby and it was nothing short of amazing!

Not only is it a great toothbrush for reaching all the crevices of your littles teeth, it is fun for them to use. The morning after we tried it out Caroline came running into our bedroom with her new toothbrush in had ready to brush her teeth. The fun led colored lights, pink color and vibration makes it exciting for kids to use.

Check out this adorable video of Caroline using her new toothbrush!

About the product:
  • Sonic Vibration Technology
  • Flashing LED Light makes brushing FUN!
  • Easy to hold handle
  • Lights up and vibrates every 30 seconds until 2 minutes of brushing are complete!
  • Softer more effective brushing with greater plaque removal. Battery operated.

If you are not looking to spend $38.49 on the sonic make sure to give their 360 toothbrushes a try. They have both children and adult sizes. The 360-toothbrush head is soft and reaches the entire surface of your tooth and gums.

 

Our First ATL Botanical Gardens Trip

Summertime can be rough in the South. The hot, humid weather, rainstorms, and bugs can be enough to keep you inside with the AC blasting and your kid’s favorite Netflix show on repeat. However, when family is in town, I am always excited (and motivated) to take them around my new city. I had yet to visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Midtown and knew it would be perfect for these visitors, and I wasn’t wrong.

Right now, the gardens have a collection of giant living sculptures throughout the property as a part of their “Imaginary Worlds” exhibit. These living sculptures – ranging up to 26 feet tall and 21 feet wide – include an enchanting Mermaid, a gigantic Camel, storybooks, a huge dragon, and much more.

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The property was beautiful and the skyline views reminded me of being in NYC’s Central Park. We spent most of our time looking for the living sculptures and in the green houses that were filled with so many beautiful orchids of all shapes and sizes. One was almost the size of my head! I never before have seen such a variety of orchids. They were stunning.

The beautiful, unique walkways accommodated my tandem Graco double stroller for the most part. We went on a Friday just after 10 a.m. to avoid the summer heat. It was busy with a few camp fieldtrips, but overall not too crowded. I overheard a couple talking about the last time they visited on a weekend and how it was much more crowded. So, plan a visit on a weekday if you can, and if it’s summertime arrive when they open at 10 a.m. to avoid the heat.

We walked around and had lunch at the onsite restaurant. The food was fabulous and they had a variety of coloring sheets to keep my four year old entertained. After lunch, we tried to walk around some more but the heat was getting the best of us, so we headed out and made one last stop at the gift shop. Surprisingly, that was also fabulous! They had many unique gifts and some nice home décor. They also had some great kids’ stuff and fun educational books.

One thing we did miss somehow was the kids’ garden. I was bummed about this since I’m sure Caroline would have loved it. Even more reason to go back when it cools off in fall! They have several themed events throughout the year and host a “Cocktails in the Garden” event Thursday evenings. During winter holiday season, they decorate with Christmas lights, one of my husband’s favorite things, so I plan on taking him and the girls this year since he couldn’t join us for our first visit.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is on our list of must sees if you are planning a family trip to Atlanta!  We love our new city and cannot wait to explore more of its awesomeness and share it with you all.

Photographer tip: Come ready to shoot! Their bridge, canopy-covered walkways, and city backdrops make this a perfect destination for photographing your little ones OR to do your next family session.

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Baby Essentials: 0-3 Months

It is hard to create just one list of my favorite baby items, so I have decided to start breaking them down by age! Here are some of my must haves for babies 0-3 months old. I added my affiliate links to this post for convenient shopping.

Little Remedies – Gas Relief Drops

There is nothing more stressful than a gassy newborn! Nursing and formula-fed newborns all experience gas to some degree. Imagine ingesting milk for the first time and requiring your body to digest everything Mom has eaten or the formula contents for the first time in the first few months of life. Having Little Remedies on hand is a must! We used this for gas but also as a distraction from crying with our first and second baby. You will not regret this purchase.

 

Baby Bouncer

Newborns babies require 24 hour supervision and sometimes you need to be able to just put them down so you can be hands free (if they will let you). Bouncy chairs will be a life saver in the first three months! These chairs provide you with a safe place to sit baby while you cook, shower and do whatever it is you need to be hands-free for. Most newborns will sleep for hours in these things, especially if you have one that vibrates. These chairs are portable AND affordable so make sure you have one before baby arrives!

Nursing/Car Seat Cover

Nursing covers have come a long way and I could not imagine not having one of these right now! Now moms can pick from a variety of soft and stretchy covers that are multi-functional. You can use them to nurse, as a car seat cover and fashion accessory. Having one of these covers has made nursing on the go less stressful. My youngest daughter even gets excited when I pull it out because she knows it’s time for some milk! It is adorable.

Boppy Pillow

This nursing pillow can be used for so much more than nursing. I used a Boppy with both girls for nursing and bottle feeding. I also used it just to hold the baby on my lap more comfortably. As your baby grows you can use this pillow to help support them in sitting up or just lying in bed with you slightly elevated for their comfort.

Flyebaby – Infant In Arms Inflight Help

When moms and dads think about traveling with an infant, they often break out in cold sweats and anxiety. However, the reality is if you are prepared, traveling with babies doesn’t have to be a nightmare. One product I used with my first daughter and just used again with my second helps make playing with an “infant in arms” a tad less stressful and more manageable.

The FlyeBaby is a super convenient inflight baby hammock-style seat that attaches to the tray table in front of you and secures around your waist. This seat makes it possible to have some hands-free time on the plane, but it also provides a place for your baby to sit facing you, making it easy to feed them (if they are on solids), play with them, or just let them relax and sleep (if you’re lucky enough to have a baby who knows how to relax).

Overall, our experience using the FlyeBaby with both children was great. The seat is made of cloth with Velcro and buckles, so it folds up into a small case that fits well in my bag. When I got on the plane, I secured the seat to the tray table and let it hang there until we reached cruising altitude. Like baby carriers, TSA does not allow you to use the FlyeBaby during takeoff and landing.

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I absolutely recommend getting one if you plan on flying long distance with an infant in arms. Even if your baby won’t sleep in the Flyebaby, they can sit up and have room to stretch out, not to mention it helps free up your hands! This product is not as helpful on shorter flights because of the set up and take down required, but if you are going overseas (and don’t have the bulkhead bassinette) or on a flight that is more than an hour, I say give it a try.

Some things to consider and tips about the product: The Velcro is color coded so you know what connects to what, but make sure you take it out and try to figure out how it works before you board the plane. It’s simple, but traveling – especially with children – is stressful, so having one less thing to worry about is helpful. Secondly, the seat attaches to the seat in front of you, so be considerate. Just like a kicking toddler or kid, having a bouncy baby in this seat might be an annoyance to the passenger in front of you. Also, if your airplane has armrest tables it will not work, but this is less common unless you are in first or business class.

Feeding Baby – On the Road

Since I was veering from my normal homemade food this past week, I figured I would provide some insight into of some of the new food options we provided Ella while traveling.

Most the food she eats on the go is pouches, puffs and yogurt melts. This is a quick easy way to feed baby and relatively mess free, but when you have a new eater it is always a tad messy. We have tried a few pouch brands and she seems to like them all. Happy Baby Organics, Plum, Sprout and whatever is on sale at Public or Target is typically what we go with. Then I pack puffs, her favorite is Happy Baby Organics Superfood Puffs (banana pumpkin) she also likes the Gerber apple cheddar puffs and pin wheels. These also help with her teething while on the road.

I pack at least two days’ worth of the pouches and puffs for my in-flight carry on and then up 3 days’ worth of meals in my suitcase, just in case we do not have time to make a grocery run the first day or so upon arrival. Side note yogurt bites are super yummy and make a great snack for mamma too. Think space ice cream in small bites.

When we arrive at our destination I make a grocery store run to pick up some more food for the baby. To keep it easy and simple I typically get some avocado and bananas something easy to mash up on the go.

I wanted to try some regular baby food (in a jar) so we got Plum Organics –Baby food bowls at Target since they were on sale. Unfortunately, the food is runny making it hard to feed a fidgety baby. We added some mashed up bananas to thicken it up and that helped.

One thing I have noticed since she is eating homemade food is her stool is a lot softer on the road and she is going more frequently. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing since it is still normal poop but just something to be ready for if you’re traveling with a mostly homemade food fed baby. I started her on the pouches a few weeks prior to leaving to make sure she did not have a bad reaction to them.

It is always good to test new things out before your trip just in case something does not agree with your little. Also, it is important to consider bringing the “tools” you might need to prep and feed the kids. For example, I always bring a baby spoon and bowl with me. Most places will not have tiny spoons to feed your baby and regular spoons are too wide for a babies mouth.

We also bring our Boppy travel chair with us if we have room in our luggage. Typically we pack it in the carseat bag, that way we can just check it in and not worry about loosing space in our suitcases. Having a travel seat is very helpful for feeding baby in a hotel room or at a family members house, especially if they are new to eating “real food.”

Our First Bluum Box – Review

When Caroline was a baby, we had a monthly box subscription with a company that is no longer in business. I loved trying new products and toys I would otherwise never know about so, I figured I would give it a try with Ella.

We ordered a Bluum Box and paid for six months in order to get a discount. We selected her age range and gender so they can customize accordingly. Our fist box came last week and we are excited to tell you all about it!

The box is bright red and Ella seemed very interested in the box itself … just like every other kid, the packaging is always the best part. Inside there were four items. This is less than the boxes I have gotten in the past, but the items were decent in size so that made up for it. One thing that was not in the box was a description of each item and why it was chosen. This is a bummer for a few reasons. One, most boxes give you a discount code if you like the product and want to buy more, and two, sometimes there is a very good reason why the product is great for my kid that I would never have known about without the explanation.

The items selected for Ella were all gender neutral … kind of a bummer. Since we selected her gender, I expected it to be customized that way. (They did have a gender-neutral option to select for those who don’t like all things pink and blue for their kids.)IW5A4288.jpg

In the box was:

  • A Book: Bib on Bunny, a cut cardboard book with a finger puppet insert. Always fun for littles.
  • A 360 Tooth Brush: Stage 5 Baby buddy. This is neat and we needed a baby tooth brush. It says age 4-24months. I noticed on the back they have some starter products for babies younger and go from stage 1-6. I would have preferred something more specific to a baby with only two teeth. This works for Ella’s two teeth, but can be hard to use with a wiggly baby. I would love to try their finger brush!
  • Magnetic Blocks: Tegu- Travel Pals Tugboat. This is super cool for ages zero-up, perfect for babies learning to use their hands, and will grow with them. Again, we got a Tugboat instead of something cute like a kitty, but other than that we loved this toy. Ella has already enjoyed pulling it all a part and chewing on the wood.
  • Warm Feeding Plate: Plato by bbluv. This is interesting to say the least. It is a plate with three compartments for separating food. A silicon suction cup is on the bottom to keep it from sliding, but it does not stay very well. The idea is you pour in warm water that sits under the food keeping it warm. The water opening clips shut but worries me since it is not complicated to open. I could see a toddler getting it open and spilling hot water on their lap. The plate is nice and dishwasher safe, always a plus, but I just don’t see the need for something like this for a baby. We will likely use it as a normal plate and hope the suction helps keep the baby from spilling her food. I plan on testing out the warming part on my four year old since her food needs to stay warm longer than the baby’s food right now. This product is not super practical for an eight-month-old baby.

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Overall we enjoyed the Bluum Box, but were not blown away. It is hard to say if this subscription is worth the money yet. If you are interested in giving the box a try, make sure to look for their latest coupons and offers. Subscription boxes are always running trial deals!

*This is NOT a paid review or sponsorship just my honest product/mom review 🙂