Brain Quest Bargain



I found some fun learning games at Costco a few weeks ago called Brain Quest and my kids LOVE them. I thought it was a pretty good deal for about $7 (they are $10.95 on the website). Each package contained two sets of cards (of the same level) held together by a grommet. There are 85 sets of answer and question cards per package. The first card contains questions and the card behind it has the answers and so on. The set for ages 3–4 had simple questions such as, “Which pair would you use to go ice-skating?” and it has a picture of skis, ice-skates, and roller-skates. Of course, my three and four year old kids can’t read so I have gone through the cards with them several times, but now they know them well enough that they like to flip through them themselves or quiz each other. It includes questions on colors, patterns, sequencing, alphabet, and other preschool appropriate subjects. I also bought sets for the 4–5, 5–6, 6–7, and 7–8 age groups and Luca has loved reading through them with me, reading them on her own or reading them to her brother and sister. Lincoln keeps one or two by his bed to look through at night and they all like


to take them in the car.

I noticed on the Brain Quest website there are many sets that are not offered at Costco, so I will be watching for more to purchase to hold onto for stocking stuffers this Christmas.

Technorati Tags: Brain Quest, Educational games for kids, Costco


Mourning My Maui Jim’s


Boy do I miss my sunglasses. Brett bought me my first pair of really nice Maui Jim’s three years ago and I have not gone a day without them….besides those days that I never leave the house…which sadly is too many to count. They were comfortable on my nose and ears and were very light weight. I had the rose tinted lenses and they were light enough when wearing them that I didn’t have to take them off when the sun went behind the clouds or we drove through a tunnel, but dark enough to keep me from squinting even on the sunniest days.

Well, pregnancy brain caught up with me and I somehow left them at the snack bar of the movie theatre a couple of weeks ago. By the time the movie was over and I realized they were missing from my purse they were long gone. They would have been in their case some somebody must have noticed the “Maui Jim” on the case and snagged them. I was hopeful that somebody would turn them in and I would get a phone call saying I could come pick them up, but after a couple of days I realized they were gone for good. As disappointed as I was to lose them I felt really crushed that nobody would turn them into lost and found. I lost my purse once, left my brand new Coach wallet in a food court at the mall, and misplaced my day planner numerous times as a teenager…and they were always turned in. I think most people are honest and I just happened to leave them at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

So I bought a new pair of $20 sunglasses at Fred Myer tonight to get me by until I feel worthy enough to get another nice pair. I thought of going mid range and getting a bit of a nicer pair without breaking the bank, but I know that nothing would compare so I will just wait until I trust myself with another pair of the exact same ones I had!

Technorati Tags: Maui Jim, Sunglasses

Some More Useful Pregnancy Apparel

While browsing maternity apparel on Amazon the other day I came across the Bella Band. I liked the reviews and it sounded like what I was looking for. I decided before I spent $26 on one I would run down to the Motherhood Maternity outlet a few miles away and see what they had. I found their version called the “tummy sleeve” for about $16 so I decided to get a white one and try it out. I have been pretty happy with it. I have been able to pull out three pair of my pre-pregnancy pants and start wearing them again. I use a button hole extender similar to this (but without the fabric panel) and then I put the tummy sleeve low on my hips so it covers the open zipper and I pull it up as high on my tummy as I can for the little bit of extra support it offers. When I put a shirt on it looks like I have just layered a longer t-shirt underneath it. I have used it a lot, but the fabric is quite thin and I bunch it a bit over my pants so that you can’t see my jeans through the white material.

I was at the mall the other day and passed a Mimi Maternity store and decided to run in and see if they had a black one like the one I bought at Motherhood. They had one and I snatched it up and went up to the counter to pay. It turned out to be $24 so as I left I was thinking it better be good! As soon as I opened it I could tell it was a lot thicker material and it was a tighter stretch so it would hold my pants up better and hide the bulk of the zipper and button. I have been very happy with it and now I want a white one in this brand because I like it so much better than the one from Motherhood. I can see that it will be great to wear after the baby is born and I am still not back in my old size. I hear they are also good for nursing mom’s to hide their lower bellies from view while they nurse their babies. I will try it out and let you know how that goes as well!

If I try another brand I think I will try this lace Bella Band…it is so cute and feminine.

Technorati Tags: Bella Band, Motherhood Maternity, Mimi Maternity, Pregnancy Apparel

A Classy Comfortable Shoe

franco sarto

I went shopping yesterday to get another pair of my favorite pregnancy shoes, Franco Sarto’s Bocca Loafer in black calf. I bought a pair of these shoes when I was in the first trimester of pregnancy with Luca and by the time I was in the third trimester it was the only shoe I wore. I wore it clear through my next two pregnancies as well, until my big toes finally worked their way through the seams. They have just the right amount of heel and arch support and they are flexible and stretch the right amount when my feet swell. They look like an unlikely pair of shoes to pick for comfort, but they have worked well for me and I think they are rather cute!

Technorati Tags: Franco Sarto, Pregnancy Apparel

Bringing Me Back With A Free Burrito

A friend and I went to Chipotle for dinner last night. It is the place that I have craved this pregnancy. I already had my mind set on a shredded beef burrito, and as much as Michele tried to convince me to try the tacos I already knew I had to get the burrito to ease my craving. I got up to the counter and placed my order and before they even told me the beef was gone I spotted the empty pan and I felt my heart start to race and my palms get sweaty. They offered me the steak, pork, or chicken and I hesitantly agreed to try the chicken instead. Michele ordered hers and we got an order of chips and salsa to share and each got drinks. My grand total came to $10 and I told her she must have forgotten something because I was expecting it to be more like $18. She said, “nope, that is right. Your burrito is free because we didn’t have what you wanted.” I thanked her and we went to sit down and I told Michele, “That is what brings me back to places like this.” So I got a free burrito and I found out the chicken one is pretty dang good too!

Jumping Rope

We got Luca a jump rope a couple of weeks ago at Target and she has been practicing nearly every day since then. She has been very proud as she is able to jump a few more times each day and has also learned to skip forward or backward as she jumps.

We were browsing this weekend at our favorite toy store in downtown Seattle, “The Magic Mouse” and I saw a 16 foot braided jump rope and I had to get it. We had a rare sunny and somewhat warm day today so as soon as Luca got home from school we went out to play and I took out the jump rope. Luca and I went out into the culdesac and started practicing turning it together and within five minutes we had about eight people around us wanting to join in. The twelve year old girl from across the street and her grandma, the eight and twelve year old girls (and their mother) from two houses down, a couple tweeners from next door and a girl I didn’t recognize that must have walked by the culdesac and saw us and came up to check it out. We had a blast for the next hour and a half chanting “Cinderella, dressed in yellow….”, and “teddy bear teddy bear, turn around….” and so forth. It brought back so many memories of playing jump rope for hours with my friends. Even Lincoln and Anna tried it out. The tweeners taught us a new game called “watermelon” that the little ones were able to do with a little help. Basically, you just try to run through the jumprope (with it changing directions each turn) without it hitting you and if it does you swap places with one of the turners.

It was another good lesson to me that sometimes the simplest things can bring the most fun and enjoyment.

Boston Legal-ized

Brett and I bought the first season of Boston Legal on dvd and loved it. We are waiting anxiously for the second season to come in the mail because the last episode of season one really leaves ya hanging. Anyways, we are so dorky and get excited when we first turn it on and the theme music starts to play. We both start singing “Bow. bow. bow bow bow bow bow bow” along with it. If you haven’t seen the show you have to listen to the link or that makes no sense. So the tune sticks in my head and I sing it to the kids all the time and they are starting to sing it to. I will sing, “Lu. Luc. Lucey luc luc la luc” (to Luca of course) and she will sing back, “What. Mom. Mommy Mom Mom MaMom?” Then I will say, “Go. Get. Rea-dy for schooly-school” and she will answer, “But. What. Am I goi-going to wear. “ You get the picture. (you must be thinking, “this. chicks. ve-ery weird weird-y weird”)