Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Polarn O. Pyret Winter Clothes Preview

The ProcFam are outside people.  Cold weather people. Between playing in the snow, snowboarding, and hunting we are outside.  So when I was invited to check out Polarn O. Pyret, or PO.P. (Buddy and the Little Guy is the Swedish translation) as it can be referred to here in the states, I was immediately interested.  Thank you Brianne, from Stroller in the City for the invite.

Polarn O. Pyret formed in Sweden in 1976 and is the leading children's brand there, coming to the US in 2009.  Currently there are two stores in NYC, I visited the one in Tribeca meeting Jennifer Athanasan, President of PO.P.  She gave us a rundown of all the cold weather gear kids need to stay warm and be kids.

I loved how she stressed the importance of kids being outside and "being kids", which I love and how I am with my kids.  Go outside!  For cold weather, layering is huge. 3-in-1 coats, waterproof overall liners,  and 1 piece fleece sets.  Polarn O. Pyret offers more outerwear choices then other lines.  Their bright colors and patterns are great for all ages and they have you covered from babies-12 years old.

Not near NYC?  You can shop online. Need to learn about layering, check out their article about everything you need.

Check them out online too for all your winter layering needs. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

NEW: Disney Magical World 2

Attention Nintendo Fans!  There is a new game out and you want it.

The New Disney Magical World 2 game for 3DS is officially out.  We checked out the game during the launch in NYC with Singer/Actress Olivia Holt.  She even helped me with my costume.  -Jack (6)

I like that you can pick your own character and dress up/design to how I want them to be and then play with them on the different levels. - Charlotte (5)

There are assignments during the game, you have to make your character complete. -Jack

We cannot wait to play with it on our own after seeing the features and trials at the event. -Charlotte

I loved dressing up as a princess and having my hair and makeup done, Olivia Holt even watched me.   - Charlotte

Game is available now and perfect for kids of all ages, worlds have improved from the first Disney Magical World 2, new music and fun.  Go check out your favorite characters and play this game, so many new hours of fun.

Hanging out with Olivia Holt

You can find the game at your local stores or online at  AMAZON (ad link).

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dreamland Fairy Kits for Kids

We love building, imagining and creating. We have fairy gardens outside, doors on the inside and now a fort in their bedroom.   We sure do love fairies, which is why we love Dreamland Fairy.

We chose the Dreamland Tooth Fairy Fort, as the kids are starting to loose their teeth.  Actually the day Jack lost a tooth, he painted and decorated it, we read the story and placed the tooth in the chest that the fort comes with.  The Story explained to us that it can be hard for fairies to find teeth under lumpy pillows and having it in a chest is easier for them to find the teeth.  The fairies leave a treat in the chest, money for him.  We liked the fort so much, he lost two teeth, two days apart.   

From a parent perspective this was easy for me, since I don't have to worry about possibly waking him up. The chest is small, a perfect size for dollars or a treat.  Their own creativity is on display with how they decorate, and between teeth it sits on their dresser.  

In the story that comes in the book, the fairies like to fly to their assigned kids and listen to their dreams to gather stories to return to Dreamland and share.  Besides the Dreamland Tooth Fairy Fort, there is also the Fairy Kit, a house with a small secret door that is left open when the fairy has stopped by to listen to dreams.  Ready moms, for us its a routine when turning off the night light while they are sleeping.  Also it doesn't happen each night, so its a surprise when its opened (when you remember).  

The kits come unpainted and ready to go with paint and accessories.  How to paint is up to your child's imagination. Great rainy day activity, present for a friend or gift when your child gets their first loose tooth.

Find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Disclosure:  We received a Tooth Fair Fort for review.  All opinions are my own and as always honest. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Toy Insider's Holiday of Play #WeKnowPlay

The Annual Toy Insider's Holiday of Play event took place this month.  As a parent I want to know what is the best for the kids this holiday season, makes shopping easier and I know what toys we are investing in also.   I want toys that will last longer than a week with the kids interest.

The Toy Insider’s Hot 20

0-2 years

Laugh & Learn Crawl-Around Learning Center (Fisher-Price)
Go! Go! Smart Friends Enchanted Princess Palace (VTech)

3-5 years

Disney Frozen Northern Lights Elsa (JAKKS Pacific)
Disney My Time Singing Elena of Avalor (Hasbro)
FurReal Friends Torch My Blazin’ Dragon (Hasbro)
Lion Guard Training Lair Playset (Just Play)
PAW Patrol Monkey Temple (Spin Master)
PJ Masks Headquarters Playset (Just Play)
Pokémon My Friend Pikachu (TOMY)
Talk-to-Me Mikey (Playmates Toys)

Mini Tonka Blind Crates

6-8 years

Animal Jam—Club Geoz Dance Party Playset (Jazwares)
Hatchimals (Spin Master)
Hot Wheels AI (Mattel)
Shopkins Happy Places Happy Home (Moose Toys)
Snuggles, My Dream Puppy (Moose Toys)
Skylanders Imaginators (Activision)


LEGO Star Wars Resistance X-Wing Fighter (The LEGO Group)
Nintendo MarioKart 8 Quadcopter (Carrera of America)
Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon (Nintendo)
Speak Out (Hasbro)

Air Hogs Helix Sentinel Drone (Spin Master)
Barbie Hello Dreamhouse (Mattel)
BOSEbuild Speaker Cube (Bose)
CHiP (WowWee)
CodeGamer (Thames & Kosmos)
Kurio Watch (KD Interactive)
LUMI (WowWee)
Mebo (Skyrocket Toys)
Meccano Meccasaur (Spin Master)
Sky Rover Voice Command Drone (Auldey Toys North America)
Sky Viper Hover Racer (Skyrocket Toys)
Zoomer Chimp (Spin Master)

3Doodler Start Essentials Pen Set (WobbleWorks)
Barbie STEM Kit (Thames & Kosmos)
Bloxels (Mattel)
Code & Go Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set (Learning Resources)
Geckobot (Thames & Kosmos)
Mighty Makers Director’s Cut Building Set (K’NEX)
Project MC2 We Heart Chemistry Kit (ALEX Brands)
Roominate Cotton Candy Carnival (PlayMonster)
Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar (Fisher-Price)
VEX Robotics Zip Flyer (HEXBUG)

I know my kids choices include many included on the these lists.  We especially love the Code & Go Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set (Learning Resources), CHiP (WowWee), Hatchimals (Spin Master), Snuggles, My Dream Puppy (Moose Toys), and Disney Frozen Northern Lights Elsa (JAKKS Pacific).  

The Toy Insider‘s 2016 holiday gift guide will appear in the November issue of Family Circle magazine, on newsstands on October 11th, and online at thetoyinsider.com. This year’s guide is the biggest ever, featuring more than 275 toys from more than 110 manufacturers. Parents and gift givers can easily search by a child’s age (broken out into 0-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9+ age groups) and interests using the handy skill-development key. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Nintendo Games and Our Family

Nintendo Games and Our Family

Over the past 7 months, Jack has become obsessed with video games. Especially the original Nintendo and Atari games, he calls Mario his original name Jumpman from Donkey Kong games. He has become an expert at old video games, when they were made, the background and how to play. He takes in everything, wanting to learn more.

What I love more is conversations about these games.  He talks, we all know its hard to get our kids talking, especially young ones.  I won't forget him telling me about his "new game" Tetris! He is explaining it to me as if it is magic, these shapes coming down and I turn them to match and then disappear.  I let him continue since he was so enthusiastic about it until I told him how it was my first game except it was in green/grey for me back in 1992.  He then told me I was old.

Original GAME BOYS at the Nintendo Store NYC
In early July, we visited the Museum of Moving Image to check out their Arcade Classic exhibit, open until September 18th. Currently featuring over 30 classic games including q*Bert, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, Pong and more.  This again all stemmed from the movie Pixels he watched back in March.  His obsession quickly it grew.

Currently his summer favorites:

Favorite WiiU Game: Yoshi's Wholly World
Favorite 3DS game: Art Academy 
Favorite 2DS game: Mario Kart 7


  • Get protection for everything! The screens, the console, and the games.  I shopped at GameStop and Amazon for supplies. I just do not trust my kids breaking everything. 
  • Organization Bag: I keep everything together in one location.  He has a bag that keeps everything 2DS and 3DS together, he travels with it, so everything is always in same place and can't be lost easily.  

Family time/bonding. Jack and Charlotte are playing games together more and more.  Whether it be on the same team or against each other.   I have been playing with Jack and Tim loves to play with the kids.  Did I mention how the kids kicked me down stairs with my office and TV down there?

Jack has also been saving up his money and earning more by doing chores and extra favors and work around the house.  He wants quarters for video games when we are out and also to buy his own games. Luckily Grandma works next door to Game Stop and he gets to look their, make a plan for what he wants and then work towards his goal.

Now we will just grow with Nintendo, systems and games.   Shhh! Don't tell the kids technically I can set the WiiU up in the car or the Atari system.  Saving that for a long road trip surprise.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

I am a First Responder Wife

I started as a Military Wife, when I married a Sailor.  I then became a First Responder Wife, when he became a fireman. I am a first responders wife. 

I came home to finish college while he finished his time in the military and was deployed.  I did not want to be a military mom away from my family, neither did he (military dad). What he wanted to be was a fireman in NYC. So he left the military and became a fireman. This lead to a whole new schedule and routine, and truthfully there are days I feel the military would have been easier. The schedule and routine would have been more manageable.

If you are a first responder wife, I am sure you will understand. Share the same frustrations, complaints and joys.

After being in a long distance marriage for over a year, I was very independent and had my routines. School, work, weekends even with pets, I managed it all.  Had fun with friends and family and traveling to see my love when he was in the states on weekends.   Once in the fire department, I had him back with me and a new routine to get used to.  I was still able to sleep in when I could and I had two to three nights a week alone still.  Those nights, I caught up on my TV shows, worked late, met friends or just relaxed.  During the days I commuted to work, taught, attended meetings and drove home. Holidays were done with respected families, and missing them for work wasn't a big deal.  I even said work so the guys with kids could be home for Christmas, Halloween and others.  We made everything work and our time off together really "off".
While deployed I could squeeze his arm and hear Tim's voice

Change came, KIDS:
Suddenly juggling a baby, work and my husbands schedule that changed daily/weekly/monthly made life difficult.  This Mom runs the house, we have missed several holidays and firsts together, many nights of tears before bed and questions, lots of questions. Sick days are hard, a lot falls on me, bandaids, car rides, birthday parties, school obligations and more.  Kids also brought JOY to our house. Their daddy is their HERO. They look up to him like a superhero. They talk about him like a superhero, and they visit him as if its Marvel headquarters. Always wanting to bring their friends to see him.

Once they saw him in action, for the first time my heart ached "make sure my daddy comes home safe" my 4 year old told the EMT standing nearby.  They understand the unmentional.  This is another possibility, one we don't speak of by always think about.  The kids play us, when its mom only night, they go to bed, sleep, and its early.  If we are both home? We need one more kiss, one more hug, bathroom break and sip of water. They have our fireman wrapped around their tiny fingers.  They are good! Days off don't exist. There may be no work, but the kids are up. they need meals at a normal time.

Empty Nest Dreams/Goals:
Retirement?  Does anyone retire in 20 years? Can we even afford it at 40 years old when kids would be just in their teens and starting high school?  Do more years at work? Wait until college, after college? Then travel, I mean our goals were always to travel, or move to Utah or Montana. Our dreams, after the stress.  I don't know what I would do sleeping next to someone 7 nights a week. How do people do it? Retirement will be a huge adjustment, for now its a dream.

As a first responder wife, I do have fears-  Will he come home, get hurt, and what if something horrible happens?  But if I dwell, I wouldn't be able to leave the house or deal.  So I spend time thinking about the good stuff, I think about the future, and I think about everything being okay.  That's the sacrifice we make for our spouses.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

KidzVuz Back to School

credit: Josh Strauss Photo

I love Back to School, as a teacher and especially now as a parent because the kids are back to school.  KidzVuz 3rd Annual Back to School event brought together top brands with kids in July.  Jack, Charlotte and I headed down to meet with the thirteen sponsors.  These events hold great exposure to brands but also so kid friendly, many times the brands/companies talking directly to the children.

Juicy Juice had new Splashers to try- YUM! and coloring sheets for the children while I did discuss with the representatives more about Juicy Juice and incorporating it in the lunch boxes for the fall.

Classroom Direct is your go to for all classroom and student needs.  I have used them in the past when I was in a classroom teaching, LOVE them and their customer service. Teachers take note!

Domain Me- The new .ME (Dot-me) domain name for websites. Perfect for people wanting to start more personal blogs, I am thinking for the kids to make their own or use it to link to their KPROCKIDS TV page. (Stay tuned!!)

EZPZ Patches- The no iron, no sow patches for kids to customize everything.

Lucky Bar- Mom-made yummy bars for kids with "more protein than 2 eggs" in each bar.  jack and Char each tried on and finished, WINNING, since I have two very picky kids.

To find out more from sponsors you can find them on social media:
Juicy Juice                          @JuicyJuiceUSA
Classroom Direct                @ClassroomDirect
Galxyz                                 @GalxyzLab
Fin Fun                                @FinFunMermaid
Domain.Me                          @DomainME
Philips                                  @PhilipsNA and @PhilipsSonicare
Pips Island                           @PipsIsland
EZ PZ Patches                     @EZPZPatches
Lucky Bar                             @pickyeatersrule
BackYard Foods                   @backyardfoodco
Bway Zone                            @BwayZone
Zandra Beauty                       @ZandraBeauty
Love, Hallie                            @love_Hallie_

And from the gift bag:
@drinktickle - yummy natural sparkling water
@baronfig  - bespoke notebook
@nealbrothers - amazing potato chips
@DTailsULike - Adorable jewelry
@storyarcs - Pop Tropica and Galactic Hotdog Books
@MabelsLabels - indispensable write-away labels
@NYIscream - BackPack Squishems
@sillicandy - Awesome baking molds