That’s MomGenius!

Posted by Fitz


My cousin Caitlin is super cool and hip, so when she and her husband showed up to visit my girls with gifts in hand, I’m not going to lie – I was excited.   Along with a much needed bottle of champagne and an adorable Melissa & Doug toy for the Bean, she brought us this little music box that I think is the coolest thing since sliced bread. 

Made by Tree by Kerri Lee, the music box is simple perfection.  It is only 4 inches wide and 8 inches tall, but packs a lot of style and craft into its small package.  Ours is a lovely, soft sage green and plays Hush Little Babv…turn the knob to hear the song, and read the back to make sure you get the lyrics right. 

This is such a creative gift for a new baby, and one that we’ll treasure for years and years to come.  Cait, this is a public thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness – we love you!


Posted by Duff

Who doesn’t love Melissa and Doug toys? They’re affordable, classic, and well-made. And, a huge hit with the kiddos.

I have to thank AVM for this idea, though. The Dervish came upon Lovey’s M&D Birthday Party at a playdate when both were around 2, and was floored. I mean, who doesn’t love a birthday party?

This one comes complete with (wooden) candles, toppings (which allows it to double as pizza), and slices that velcro (and stay) together, but also pull apart easily enough as to not encourage your Dervish to hurl the whole kit and caboodle against the wall.

It’s also gender neutral, which makes it a fail-safe gift for kids 2-4. I mean, even though we already have one, I’m sure The Dervish would be thrilled with another. Or, the pizza kit. It’s one of the few toy sets we have where all the pieces remain together and interest never wanes; there is always occasion for a party or a picnic in Preschoolville.

Thanks M&D, you rock!

Posted by AVM

If your situation is anything like mine, your cabinets and drawers are overrun with art work by your toddler.  Aside from her at-home creations, each day, Lovey brings home finger paintings, crayon drawings, and other masterpieces from school.  I’ll be honest with you.  With some of what I see, not a whole lot of effort goes into this so-called “art” (yes, I’m critiquing a three-year-old’s artwork, what of it?).  But more often than not, there is real beauty in her work.  We have framed some of Lovey’s best stuff for our playroom, but some of the other stuff – the first time she drew our family, the first picture she signed by actually writing her name, or beautiful swirls that just make me happy to look at – that we display in our kitchen.  There we have hanging My Art Show by Alex (my FAVORITE source for arts and crafts supplies for Lovey).  We have a rotating art show that Lovey curates, it saves our fridge from looking like a disaster, and it fosters her creativity.  Win-win-win.

Posted by Duff

The Dervish is rather…particular. When it comes to her clothing, however, and specifically how it feels,  she has a list of non-negotiables:

  • The fabric has to be soft, and NOT itchy or scratchy
  • It can’t be confining, but it also can’t be too loose
  • She had better not feel any tags rubbing against her
  • It can’t hang funny, hold static, or restrict her movement (if it gathers at the bicep, don’t even bother)

You probably think I’m annoyed by this. I can’t be –I’m the same way. The difference is, I’ll handle the discomfort and wear the item again, and be irritable all day. The Dervish collects all of her annoyance into a single, feral howl, and tears at herself until she is freed from her fabric prison.

Which is why, when she told me she wanted to be a princess for Halloween, I was a little nervous.

Because I’m not that bright, I took her to a well-known store that carries THE princess dresses. Every one I looked at had gathers, or elastic or fabric I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing (a sure sign of no-go for my Princess and the Pea).

So I searched online for ‘non-itchy princess dresses’ and found Little Dress Up Shop.

We’re talking princess dresses (the very same princesses your Dervish will want to be), fairy dresses and wings, discounted sets, accessories, and dance clothes (including tutus!). Free shipping, too. 

You might be saying, “I have a little boy and he’s not into princesses.” And that’s cool. Because Little Dress Up Shop also has boy gear (including superhero capes!).

You CAN play rugby in a dress.

You CAN play rugby in a dress.

So The Dervish tried on her lovely (and machine washable!) pink princess dress (she put it on herself – no complicated zippers or doodads). And didn’t cry. And kept it on. And was soooo excited to wear it for Halloween (the first one she ever completed in costume). And the day after. And the day after that. And Veteran’s Day. And most Tuesdays.

So there you have it: the iron-clad endorsement of The Original Tough Customer.

Kind of makes you want to be three again, huh?


Psst, you can. And if any of you want to show up at my house wearing this, you just might convince The Dervish to sit on the potty. Think about it, at least.

Posted by Fitzy

Every once in awhile, you come across a truly gorgeous piece of jewelry that makes you feel taller, more beautiful, more confident, and a darn good dresser.  Then you find out that local moms are responsible for actually handcrafting this jewelry, and you love it a little more.

This is an untraditional Momgenius post in that I’m recommending a product that is JUST for you, Moms.  It doesn’t clean anything up, it doesn’t store anything, it doesn’t make your life easier.  This jewelry makes you pretty.  And we don’t put that high enough on our priority list, do we?

transparentDesigns by Rali was founded by Rachel Leslie and Ali Hurwitz, Norwalk area moms with a passion for jewelry and an eye for beauty.  They started out creating fun and affordable jewelry for their friends, and have now expanded their business to home parties and boutiques.  They are on the brink of greatness, and it’s high time that you treated yourself to something gorgeous.

Go ahead, check them out.  You know you want to.

Posted by Duff

Thank you,  Graco, for allowing my household to sleep.

When I was pregnant with The Dervish, I registered for the Angelcare monitor and never got around to getting it.  No big deal, I thought. Instead, I just checked on her 55 times a night, sometimes waking her up when putting a hand on her chest to check for breathing. Infants, when they sleep, sleep so very soundly, it’s crazy-making.

It wasn’t until Atticus was born that I stopped this practice (at least where The Dervish was concerned).

But, as babies do, Atticus had his own agenda, and it boiled down to acrobatics. Since he wouldn’t sleep away from me, he slept on my chest. He didn’t sleep well. When I finally fell asleep, I slept so deeply that Atticus was able to attempt a feat of newborn gymnastics without my waking. It was the end of the co-sleeping I’d never wanted to do in the first place.

My son screamed at me from carseats, bouncy seats, sleep positioners, and of course, his back until he was a sweaty mess. And I had a breakdown. We were all exhausted, and he couldn’t be prevented from readjusting himself  to his belly. The poor thing was beyond overtired, and spent the better part of his days and nights howling, trembling, inconsolable.

And we gave up. And took shifts watching him sleep. Even though he rolled over at two weeks and could do a pushup by six, I was (and still am) petrified of SIDS.

And then a seasoned mother of three tummy sleepers recommended the Angelcare monitor. *

The first night we used it I had a lot of trouble falling asleep. Until the alarm sounded. Atticus had scooted too far away from the sensor. Which assured me that the monitor took its job very seriously, and was highly sensitive to lack of movement.

We have slept better ever since. The alarm still sounds occasionally, but only because Atticus already uses the full expanse of his crib and could probably scoot the length of the house if bars didn’t hold him in.

I always said my kids would sleep on their backs, in their cribs, from day one. 

Kids have a way of stomping on “I Never”, though.

The Dervish fell for a sleep positioner and partial swaddle. From day three, Atticus had no intention of staying asleep for more than an hour unless given free reign, and his insomnia was in danger of hampering his development.

Now, he flings dimples at me far more than the frustrated, irrational tears of sleep deprivation. I daresay he is happy. Most of the time. Something that, as a parent, I am not used to.

I still worry, because I usually believe the AAP when they make recommendations. But Atticus has all but told me I have no choice but to trust his judgement.

I will breathe a sigh of relief when he turns one. But in the meantime, the Angelcare monitor helps us all sleep at night. That and having adopted the zen attitude I’d previously reserved for staving off fears of various apocalyptic events.

Nine and a half months to go.

*IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Graco does not recommend that infants sleep on their stomachs and does not state that their product will make such positioning safe.


Post by AVM

Well, I’m officially done with being pregnant.  T-minus-seven weeks to go, and I’m ready for this baby to get here already because the unbearable discomfort that joyfully accompanies the end of pregnancy has begun.  My one saving grace (aside from the pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food Ice Cream I manage to polish off every third day) is my Boppy Pea in the Pod Prenatal Pillow.   Shaped like a slightly odd kidney bean (my husband calls it my “comma”), it’s a great option for women who want the support for their back, hips, and pelvis without the desire for a stuffed apparatus large enough to relocate your significant other to the guest room.  Sadly, for my first pregnancy I didn’t have one of these gems, and my nights, from about 20 weeks pregnant on, were horrible.  With this miracle, I actually sleep through the night, and I have noticed a marked difference during the daytime hours in the decreased back and pelvic pain I feel with this pregnancy in comparison to my last.   Better late than never, right?  Any little bit helps.  Get one, moms-to-be, you’re going to love it.

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