In our house, we have two kitchen helpers.
Miss L is one of them.
This is the other.
It’s officially called a “little helper tower” by Ana White, who provided the online plans to help build it. And it came into our house last year when I sent the plans to my Dad and said it would be great for Miss L. Well, as goes with all the grandparents in the family, an idea doesn’t usually stay just an idea for long, and soon we had our very own “little helper tower” in our house.
You see, before this came into our house, Miss L was helping in the kitchen.
But it was down on the safe area of the floor. Which pretty much limits what you can help out with.
Now, however, there’s nothing that stands in her way!
… and more stirring…
… and of course tasting as well!
Heck, she can even decorate her baked creations after!
Miss L climbs in and out of the tower with ease, and is protected on all sides by the guardrail at the top. It’s made to be counter height, so it pushes straight up to the counter with no gap at all! AND… the platform on the bottom is adjustable to various height levels! So, as she grows, we can lower the platform and it’ll still be the perfect step-stool for the kitchen!
Having this “little helper tower” in our house has made our little chef into an actual one… so while Miss L’s play kitchen area is pretty small, she’s got one heck of a real kitchen to play and cook in!
Honestly, I have to say that this is by far the best “kids item” we have in our house from age 2.5 – 3.5. It’s an invaluable tool for learning, playing and getting meals on the table thanks to a helpful kiddo! It also helps with food pickiness, because a lot of excitement builds up from helping make food AND there’s no mystery to what the ingredients are! Seriously friends, if your kitchen can accommodate it, you should get one!
The materials to make the tower cost under $40 total, and if you don’t have anyone that can make one, you can find various models for $99-200 online (search for “kitchen helper” or “learning tower”). The advantage of making your own, is that you can stain/paint it to match your kitchen cabinets as well!
So thank you “little helper tower” for making our kitchen much more kid friendly!
THIS happened on August 5th, 2013. The only reason I know the date, is because of the timestamp info from my iPhone.
First time she wrote her name out in a legible form… EVER. And it just happened to be when I had wandered outside to draw with chalk with her. My phone was in my pocket, so when I saw the “n” going down, I reached for it to snap the moment quickly. And then I yelled for Mr. M to come outside and see. And I congratulated Miss L on her work. And I sent the photo to everyone and posted it on Instagram too.
And then she kept drawing smiley faces and everything else under the sun and I realized that we’d reached the landmark age where very few more “1st times” were around the corner.
In a way, it’s a great thing! No more moms pushing you for “when did L do this/that/the other?” and me saying, “I think it was…” while I simultaneously didn’t care about my answer or the one they were about to share. I just never became a big “milestone mom” as some do, but just celebrated the accomplishments at their time and looked forward again. I think it’s all those height competitions people would wage with me through adolescence that made me get over any inherent fun in measuring something that was out of your control, for better or worse.
So now that there are fewer in front of us, I get to take a moment to celebrate making a new list of things that are far away from the typical milestone ones.
Like… first football game at the Rose Bowl. Or, first snorkeling trip. Or, first slumber party.
And even, first “E-Ticket ride” at Disneyland (August 9, 2013).
Time to make this list vastly more exciting than “first tooth breaking through” (because isn’t that a memory we all want to lose anyway?), and set up some milestones we can all enjoy together!
The first installment of Austen & Bronte came with the Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre counting primers from Baby Lit. And you jumped over to Amazon and bought them as gifts for all those lovely kiddos in your life (or maybe even yourself). Well, the next installment brings the other Bronte sister and our lovely Jane:
Sense and Sensibility is a board book to teach all about the opposites and Wuthering Heights is a weather primer for the young ones… a pun I’m sure Miss Emily would approve of!
And finally, for all of those budding oceanographers and marine biologists (or just fish lovers)…an ocean primer by Moby Dick!
All of these BabyLit books come out on March 1st, 2013 but are available for pre-order from Amazon right now!
I had the pleasure of being introduced a wonderful online shopping site for awesome kids gifts… Hullabalu.
The concept is pretty simple. Share great character plushies from the world of Hullabalu in an easy to access shopping portal. No need to dig through page after page after category after page in search of a good gift.
Here’s one of their first characters… Pan! (a purple Panda no less!)
Here’s her backstory: Pandora Beribolt aka “Pan” is a panda of the nomadic cloud tribe; living in the sky going where the winds take them. Pan’s parents left her in the care of the tribe when she was very young as they went to investigate a change in the winds. She grew up as an independent, tough kid with a mischievous streak.
And here’s the plushie cuteness of Pan in real life!
Here in the M household, we’re pretty big advocates of having 100x as many stuffed animals as arms to told them… so it’s no surprise that I instantly loved the concept and the execution of this wonderfully imaginative new world. And while the site is still in beta, you can sign up now and get an invite when then doors open in the near future!
Before they had introduced their new characters and redesigned the shop, they carried a selection of some of the best plushies around and I was lucky enough to have them send Miss L her very own Gruffalo…
What’s a gruffalo? A gruffalo?? Why… did you know???
If you haven’t heard of “The Gruffalo” and you’re a parent, I suggest adding it to your Amazon.com queue and never looking back. It’s one of Miss L’s favorite bedtime stories, and she loves reading it to us now! But let’s just say he’s a hideously wonderful imaginary character that comes to life to the astonishment of all… oh, and he has purple prickles all over his back…
So this past weekend, when the big blue box from Hullabalu arrived on our doorstep, I quickly snuck the box inside and set her up to surprise her.
We got to the part where the Gruffalo shows up in the book…
and then magically the Gruffalo appeared in her lap as well!
There’s something simply magical about having a world full of plush friends as a kid… says the former little girl with hundreds of her own friends. And I can’t wait to see what wonderful characters the world of Hullabalu holds in store for us in the future…
When your start amassing your child’s literature collection, you begin with the books you loved as a child. And then you stare at the books on your bookshelves and get excited at the thought of when those books will be read and loved… and sadly that’s many years away.
So excuse my squeals of excitement and glee (Mr. M had to endure my, “OMG… the cuteness! LOOK AT THE CUTENESS!”) when I happened upon these insanely adorable board books from Gibbs Smith.
Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit Board Book
[also available for the iPad]
Romeo & Juliet: A BabyLit Board Book
[also available for the iPad]
And two more books are coming out in March:
Jane Eyre: A Counting Primer and Alice in Wonderland: A Colors Primer