Toys that span the 3 and 1 age group

You know what I love?  Toys that make both of my girls giggle and it just so happens that the toy that Bright Starts™ sent over for a review is one of those toys! I was so giddy when we were picked for Bright Starts™ toys because they all looked like something my girls would love.  Even more awesome was getting chosen to test out the Jungle Fun Ball Climber™–something I knew the girls would have a blast with.  You see, Tay and Peanut both have a teeny tiny obsession with toys that shoot balls into the air.  Something about the pop and all the excitement of it all that gets them going like no other. This time we invited our friends to come over for a Friday play date and check out the new toy that I kept hidden away for 4 days (p.s.- not easy).  The girls couldn’t even wait for me to go get some scissors before they tore into the box.


The kids eagerly turned it on (Peanut, really) and waited patiently (to my surprise) as the balls made their way up the little climber and rolled down the slide. That lasted one turn and then it was a free for all.

2014-08-01 bright start-003.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-004.jpg

And to no surprise, within 10 minutes Hunter figured out that there was a little hook at the top that rolled the balls down the slide. See that look in his eyes?  That’s mischief. 2014-08-01 bright start-005.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-006.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-007.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-008.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-009.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-011.jpg

On the plus side, the toy doesn’t break that easily.  That, friends, we tested. Thoroughly, I might add. 2014-08-01 bright start-010.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-012.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-018.jpg 2014-08-01 bright start-019.jpg  

And since the play date, we’ve actually kept the ball climber in the living room, where only a handful of toys go.  The girls love pulling it out and letting the balls go flying. Now, the fun part. Learn a little more about Bright Starts™ and check out your baby’s Baby Laugh Index™.  And if you’re at BlogHer’14 conference, they’re one of the sponsors and will debut these new toys there! Want to get a $100 Visa Gift Card?  Tell me what toys make your baby laugh the most. Share your answer in the comments below for a chance to win one of these Bright Starts™ toys: Jungle Fun Ball Climber™, Hide ‘n Spin Monkey™, or 3-in-1 Step & Ride Lion™.

You can also check out Bright Starts™ on social media: PinterestFacebookInstagram, YouTube and Twitter.


Sweepstakes Rules:


No duplicate comments


You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:


  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.


This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.


The Official Rules are available here.


This sweepstakes runs from 8/11 – 9/14.


Be sure to visit the Bright Starts™ Brand Page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


Potty training essentials

Do you guys know what the latest and greatest topic of conversation in the King household is?


It’s always been poop.

Or at least since the littles were born.

Peanut is now fully potty trained although we still have some…set backs in the poop department from time to time.  And Tay?  Well Tay has decided that she prefers to poop on the potty rather than her diaper at the ripe age of 1.  This kid is in such a hurry to grow up.

Now before you all freak out that she’s like all advanced and ready to take over NASA or something – it’s all in the “tell.”  I can tell when she has to go which is pretty much around the same time each day and she has always hated going in her diaper.  So when it’s time, I sit her on the potty and she just goes.  I don’t know how it works but it just does.  It’s not every time but it’s a lot of the time and it’s nuts. (not literally though).

Anyway, so there is a lot of poop talk in the King household as of late.

And since we’re talking about poop, I thought I’d post about poop.  Because who doesn’t want to read about poop?

If your little ones are ready for the next step that is potty training, here are a few essentials that have helped us.

2014-07-22 cottonelle wipes-003

1.  A stand-alone potty.  We had 3.  Yes 3.  For whatever reason Peanut just did not like the first two.  Sure they were nice to look at but when it came time to go potty, she refused.  Until we got the Summer potty.  Then she was more than happy to sit on that potty.  It’s not expensive and it’s not fancy but for some reason it just suited her needs.


2.  A potty that goes on top of the toilet.  Yes, our kid needed both.  In fact, when we were in the “training” phase, we used both of these.  Then we put away the stand alone potty and just use the one that goes on the toilet.  And, since we really enjoy spending our money on potties, we also tried out 3 different ones and settled on 2 (one for each bathroom).  The small bathroom that has a regular size toilet we use a cheepie that we got at Walmart.  The main bathroom has this weird elongated toilet (don’t get me started on the two culprits who chose it) and all the potty seats we’ve tried don’t fit right and there have been a number of occasions when Peanut almost fell in the toilet.  Until we got the OXO potty seat.   Which we all love.  Yes, we love a potty seat.  Remember? We talk about poop here.  A lot.

3.  TP and wipes.  I know there are many awesome parents who can just use TP (that stands for toilet paper for those of you that are not spending countless hours discussing toilet items) and that’s cool with me.  But for us that just means half a roll down the toilet and more laundry.  Gross laundry.  So instead we use wipes with the kids.

I know there are other wipes on the market but most of them are not safe to use with a septic.  Then I was asked to review Cottonelle wipes which are safe to use with a sewer and a septic.  They’re flushable, alcohol-free and have an awesome dispenser that doesn’t draw your eye straight to the wipes.  Ummm….win win?  Yep.  Win win.   Instead of half a roll of toilet paper, we use 1-2 wipes and everyone is cleaned up and on their merry way.

4.  Plastic gloves.  You know the ones they use at hospitals and daycare?  Yes, those.  For those who know me, you know that I h a t e poop-related things.  I gag.  My eyes tear.  I can’t do it.  But with a potty training kid you can’t gag.  So when we started potty training the daycare teacher who has had a good 500 laughs at my poop-hate told me to just go out and buy gloves.  She said it would make a huge difference.  And so I did.  And ya know what?  It makes a huge difference!  I don’t even mind wiping butts (as much) anymore.  Unless the husband is home.  Then it’s totally all him.

5.  Books. iPad.  Toys.  Things that keep them entertained on the potty while they wait to go.  Self explanatory, right?

6.  Step stool.  We love the kind that folds up and gets put away.  We got two of them, one for each bathroom, at Homegoods and they’re super easy to get out of sight and out of tripping distance.


So there you have it.  Our potty essentials.  What are yours?

Interested in trying to Cottonelle wipes too?  Click here and grab a Cottonelle Coupon here.

(This post is sponsored by Cottonelle but all opinions are my own).

If you are looking for our potty training experience, here it is:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.