Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wear them Wednesday May 13, 2105

On Wednesdays I sometimes blog about a wrap, sling, or other baby carrier I've tried and loved, one I hope to try someday, and one way to wear a wrap, sling, or other carrier. 


One I love
My favorite new wrap right now is Ovolo Summit Opal. This 100% cotton beauty is the kind of wrap that feels soft enough I wouldn't hesitate to wrap a newborn in it (I tend to gravitate towards pretty solid wraps though) but it's also sturdy enough that doing yard work with a 25lb toddler wrapped up feels nearly weightless. I would definitely call it grippy, not slippy, with not much stretch, but with enough to not be diggy. And it looks super cute with my teal dress! 

Right side: 

Wrong side:



And it's part of Ovolo's "budget line", so while the quality is still high, the price is a bit lower than some of the other Ovolo releases! And it comes with a super cute bag: 


Ovolo is a really great company run by a (super nice!) American mom and has wonderful customer service. In my opinion, this wrap definitely shows that their product quality is as high as their customer service standards. I would definitely recommend trying one someday if you get the chance!

One I want
Oscha Oz line! A creative Oscha fan started a Facebook campaign, the Oscha Oz Initiative aimed at convincing Oscha to create a line of wraps inspired by the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz." If Oscha ever decides to go for it, it's hard to predict which wraps they might choose, but of the ones the group has mocked up (these are pics of existing wraps from the Oscha website, re-colored with computer software to get some ideas of what potential colorways might look like!) I think I'd want one of these most: 

SekaiLove TinMan


Andaluz Dorothy

Or Nouveau Emerald City

Aren't they gorgeous?!? Join the Oscha Oz Initiative if you too want to encourage Oscha to take a journey somewhere over the rainbow!

One way to wear it
This great video from Babywearing Faith (who you really ought to follow on Facebook and YouTube if you're interested in learning new carries!) demonstrates how to do a Double Rebozo back carry with shoulder flip and candy cane chest belt. I'll try to update again later with a pic of me doing it if I'm successful!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Transformers Rescue Bots: Dino Island iOS app review

What it is

Transformers Rescue Bots: Dino Island is a new iOS storybook app featuring the Transformers Rescue Bots in a brand new adventure that requires them to transform into dinosaurs!

Who made it
Hasbro and PlayDate Digital, creators of many great apps featuring favorite kid characters like Transformers, My Little Ponies, and more.

Our impressions


My 5.5 year old is very impressed with this app. He played it 4 times the first day we downloaded it! He says that his favorite parts are the game parts where you destroy the droids with your powers and when you try to break Optimus Prime out with your powers. 
If he could change one thing about this app, he would add another game where you can find out more about Optimus Prime as a dino bot.

We both had fun with dino cam




As a mom I appreciate that the Transformers characters are bright and colorful in this rendition and that  the violence is cartoony and very mild. I'm not opposed to a little good vs evil battle action, but I prefer not to have him play games that feature cruelty or gore, so I was glad this app didn't. Mostly it was shooting water or lasers at robots or landslides.

There was only one time that a human character was arguably harmed, and he was basically pushed or thrown and there was no blood or gore. 

It took my son about 10-15 minutes to read through the entire story each time on "read to me" mode. 

Pros
Characters kids love
Encourages reading

Cons
Tiny bit of violence

Get it
You can download Transformers Rescue Bots: Dino Island from the App Store now!

I received a free download code for this app for review purposes. I received no other compensation for this review.

Monday, May 11, 2015

ABC Universe Children's Book Review

What it is



ABC Universe is a board book featuring cool space words for each letter of the alphabet. 

Who wrote it
ABC Universe is written by the American Museum of Natural History and published by Sterling Children's Books. Besides their main websites, you can also find AMNH on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. You can also connect with Sterling Books on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Our impressions
One of the most noticeable things about this book are the amazing pictures. While there are a few diagrams, like one of the solar system, most of the pictures are actual photographs taken through telescopes! I also thought this book had a really great level of detail for preschoolers. The definitions and descriptions weren't over his head, but they did contain a lot of new information, which made it just right for him. I even learned new things myself! My toddler obviously wasn't ready to learn the defintion of a comet or a quasar, but he did like looking at the pictures and working on learning letters. Both of my sons seemed very interested in it and I think it'd be equally appropriate for girls. 

Pros
Real space photography!
Age appropriate definitions for preschoolers and early elementary students
Sturdy
Reasonably priced

Cons
Most kids old enough to enjoy these detailed space definitions already know their alphabet


The bottom line
Awesome book and highly recommended for kids 2-6ish who like space!

Get it
You can purchase ABC Universe for $7.19 at time posting this review. 

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. I received no other compensation for this post. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

3.21 T-Shirt Fundraiser and Pavo Wrap Drawing!

In case you haven't heard of it already, 3.21 Carry is an awesome charitable organization (run by a friend!) that provides baby carriers for families with babies or kids with Down syndrome. As mentioned in my blog post on babywearing and Down syndrome, not all carriers work for babies with DS, and sometimes affording carriers that do can be a big strain on the finances of families already struggling to pay medical bills and other expenses. Not all families with kids with DS are in that category, but for the ones who are, the help of 3.21 Carry can be a godsend and I totally support the work they do!

And they are currently doing a great fundraiser  http://www.booster.com/321carry right now, selling these cool t-shirts for $20:



Plus, besides getting a t-shirt, which should arrive in time to wear it for World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st, everyone who purchases a shirt also receives an entry into a drawing to receive a free Pavo wrap!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year!

I've been enjoying the holidays and thinking about my plans for Crunchy Con Mom. I'm definitely going to keep blogging, but I'm going to make a few changes. 

I hope to bring in 2015:

More book reviews
More reviews of "crunchy" products
Fewer reviews of anything else
More fun posts
More opinion posts

I hope it will be a great year for all of you and your families!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spectrum Workbooks from Carson Dellosa Review

I got to check out the new Spectrum workbooks from Carson-Dellosa and can't wait to share what we thought of them!

What they are
A new line of workbooks currently covering math, language arts, and science for grades K-5

Who made them
Carson-Dellosa, one of the leading companies for workbooks and educational supplies (I'm a huge fan of their bulletin board materials!)

Our experience
My son loves new workbooks, and these definitely kept his attention. We got to try 5 of their workbooks, so we chose a variety of kindergarten level books. So far he seems interested in all of them, and like they're all really helping him learn!

The Spectrum Kindergarten Sight Words seems like a great way to introduce and work on sight words. I love that there are workbook pages with a variety of activities but also flash cards and word lines to cut out so we can work on learning sight words in many different ways. 



I really love this phonics book. I think my son is going to really make great progress by working through this book towards being able to read and write anything he wants! I am impressed with the wide variety of activities in it.


I was a little skeptical intitially-how can kids who can't spell yet do a spelling workbook?!? But this book has tons of totally age appropriate activities to encourage learning to spell.


My son is so excited to learn to read and this book has so many great tools in it to help him reach that goal. The focus seems primarily on understanding what you see or read, sequencing, etc, so it pairs really well with the other language arts books. 


I really love this math workbook. My son is very mathematically oriented and loves the variety of exercises in this book. I can tell he's going to learn a lot and enjoy doing it while using this book. It covers counting, addition, and even simple subtraction. I do with they had a bit more explanation on the page with a number grid since that's "new math" since I was in kindergarten and I think many parents are not confident in navigating the new math. It wasn't hard to figure out in the K book, but in higher grade levels I think some explanation for parents might be very appreciated!

Pros:
Variety
Tons of content
Reasonable prices

Cons
No science for K

The bottom line
Definitely worth having for any family who homeschools, supplements school or preschool with workbooks, or uses workbooks over the summer!

Get it
You can buy Carson-Dellosa Spectrum workbooks directly from Carson-Dellosa, on Amazon, or at many other great online and brick & mortar stores!

I received 5 free workbooks for review purposes. I received no other compensation for this post.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bummis Dimple Diaper & Whisper Cover Review!

I recently got to try the new Bummis dimple diaper and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

What it is
An awesome new fitted diaper (with insert) from Bummis plus one of their classic covers combined to make a perfect nighttime diapering solution!

Who makes it
Bummis, a leader in the cloth diaper industry, specializing in high quality, made-in-America diapers using US sourced materials whenever possible.

Our experience
We got to try one of the Bummis dimple diapers and a whisper cover in "big city" print. Overall I would say that we love this diaper, and I've been recommending it to lots of people as a nighttime solution because it works so well for us. Once it had been washed enough times to reach full absorbency, the dimple diaper was absorbent enough to handle nighttimes and long car rides without making my son fussy. The whisper wrap pairs with it pretty well, but if you're new to fitteds & covers, make sure that it's tucked in everywhere around all the edges. We had one leak with this diaper, and it was a time it didn't check to make sure it was well tucked in around his thigh. 
The dimple diaper, booster and whisper cover feel very sturdy yet soft-it's obvious they're made of high quality materials. The snaps on the diaper and the hook & loop on the cover both open and close easily for me but stick well enough to deter my toddler from attempting any diaper changes on his own. We liked that the fitted diaper is made of natural fibers, but did find for overnight that the polyester stay dry side of the insert seemed to be more comfortable for him. We have tried it without the insert, with the insert on the cotton side, and with the insert on the stay dry side and all seem to work well. 

Pros
  • Absorbent
  • Comfortable for baby
  • Natural fibers
  • Flexibility

Cons
Price


The bottom line
A fantastic solution for nighttime, road trips, and general use, especially for heavy wetters!

Get it
You can buy the Bummis dimple diaper and whisper wrap directly from Bummis, from many cloth diaper stores across the country and online, and from Amazon

I received a free Bummis diaper as part of their tester program but received no compensation for this blog post.