Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My New Look

This is what tired looks like. This is what's left on the living room floor after spending an evening with my friend, Jane, who is graciously hosting my entire family for two weeks. Yes, two weeks. She's a generous soul, my friend.

I'm rethinking the whole proposition now, since Jane took me out walking last night. It's true that we only walked. And it's true that our pace was very moderate. But it's also true that the most exercise I've had for the past 6 months is looking at the elliptical machine my sister-in-law is storing at my house. So I am tired. And sore. Not only from the walk, but from carrying my baby up and down hundreds of flights of stairs at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House yesterday.

I soaked my legs in a hot bath for as long as I could last night, but didn't make it very long as I was in danger of falling asleep and drowning. Did I mention we walked for and hour and a half! I was shocked. And I am insisting that our route was three miles, but Jane says it's not. We will measure it today and I hope I'm right. We're planning to do this every night (mostly) in preparation for a 5K run/walk on my final day here in Utah. The Lavender Festival is supposed to be very pretty and fun for the whole family. I don't know how much fun that 5K will be for me, but at least I'll be able to cross #21 off my list. And let's hope that all this exercise contributes to a new look for my body.

Monday, June 15, 2009

They're cute and don't poop

Do you have pets? Do your kids want them? My family is currently without a dog, and until recently our only pet was a beta fish named Sharkbait HooHaaHaa. But now we are happily infested with furry little rodents, thanks to Mom Select.

These new toy hamsters, touted as just like the real thing, but mess-free, are sure to be the "it" gift for the holidays this year. From the ad copy: Go Go Pets are fun, interactive hamsters that talk, move and even navigate their way around their own habitat. There are dozens of add-on sets so your child can create a custom world for their new friend. We're sure you'll be as amazed as we were at the sheer cuteness of GoGo Pets! Watch this adorable video to see for yourself.

Go Go Pets will be released nationwide in the fall, but are offered in the Phoenix market only right now (you can buy at Walmart or Toys R Us). As a marketing promotion, party kits were offered to local mom bloggers. We received a huge box full of Go Go Pets on our doorstep one Saturday morning. And since my boys had been watching the video twelve times a day they could barely contain the joy. We opened the box to find 11 hamsters and one box of each habitrail set they make. Very generous! The individual boxes stayed closed until a few days before the party, but we let the boys pick a color and pet them through the hole in the box. It was love at first sight between my Emmett and his NumNums.

We planned the party, sent out invitations, and talked non-stop about how much fun it would be. And no one was disappointed! We put the habitrails together the day before without any trouble and let the boys play with everything for a bit so they could show their friends. Initially, I wasn't impressed with the quality of the sets - the plastic seemed a little flimsy and didn't stay together as well as I expected while we were playing with it. But, as I watched, I could see how hard the kids were on everything. It's all on the ground and things got stepped on and kicked a lot. And that flexible plastic allowed for bending in the pieces. Even if things came apart, nothing ever broke. And a more rigid plastic certainly would have cracked and broken under kid-pressure. So even though it was sometimes annoying to have to reconnect the habitrail tunnels, it's preferable to kids crying over a broken toy. Teach them to put it back together themselves!

Another worry for me was that the entire set, once put together, is only about 4 foot square, which doesn't fit 11 kids around it. Four or five or six fit well, but the party worked out perfectly because plenty of people were late or left early, and we had food and other breaks. I was surprised at how well the kids took turns. And of course, the kids could put their hamsters down anywhere and just watch them run around alone. The games suggested in the party pack would not have worked for our young crowd (no way do ten 3-year-olds wait while one hamster at a time races through the tunnels). But we improvised and had a whole dance segment during the party. The kids just held their hamsters while we did the hokey pokey, chicken dance, bunny hop, and wild hamster dancing.

My pictures turned out horribly (I hate my camera) but you can see how much fun the kids had. I know of at least two parents who have purchased more Go Go Pets hamsters or habitrails. The hamsters are only about $8 and so cute and fun, even if you don't have accesories. They make over 40 sounds, which will endear them to your child, but the volume is low, which will endear them to you. Keep these in mind for birthday and Christmas presents.