Mom, What’s Under Your Tree?

tree1I’m always interested in knowing what items other moms deem as super-duper gifts. Whether it’s stuff for the baby, the toddler or the preschooler, let me know what kind of goodies are sitting under your Christmas tree this year. I’m also curious to know what you are buying for the hubby. If he’s not on the naughty list, of course. Mine is always on that list, but he get lots of presents anyway. Lucky guy. 😉

Here are a few things that made it under our tree this year. Obviously my kiddos don’t read my blog, otherwise I’d be ruining some good surprises.

1. – Reading Tent AKA Home Sweet Play Home from The Land of Nod – Our friends have this for their kiddos and my little guys loved it. Since my oldest is an avid reader, I think he’ll really enjoy some quiet time away from all of us! I also got him the matching cushion.

2. –  Twilight Turtle – Our little guy is getting his very own turtle. I opted for the regular as opposed to the Sea Turtle because there aren’t as many lights. There’s just something special about falling asleep under the stars, even if they are battery-operated. We’ve had Twilight Sea Turtle for over a year and he’s still a family fave.

3. – “Jerry” the Peterbilt from Cars – I have no idea where you can find this toy. I bought it on eBay because I couldn’t find it anywhere. I’m sure it’s back in stock at Target now!

4. – NASCAR Slot Car Racers – This is going to be the biggest hit by far. Dale Jr. & Jeff Gordon can race each other all day long. I sure hope it can take some abuse. And lots of screaming.

5. – A Drum Set – Oh, yes! Are we gluttons for punishment or what? It’s a pretend set, so it’s not all that elaborate. We love encouraging our kids to be musical because none of us are. I sure hope they can sing too. (I gotta admit, I’m still undecided about this one…)

Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what made your list!

Wheely Bug: One of the Best Gifts for Kids Age 2-5

I’m a Wheely Bug junkie! If any of my friends ask me for a great gift idea for little kids, this is at the top of my list. I seriously think it’s one of the BEST gifts you can give a child age 2-5. If you’re still trying to find that hip, fun, lasting Christmas gift, you’ve found it! Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug – Bug – Large

Last year, I even wrote an ode to Wheely Bug on MommyQ. Yes, I’m that obsessed. And so are my kids. Our Wheely Bug is a constant source of fun and learning. I say learning because it really helps toddlers develop motor skills and balance.

The Bee and the Lady Bug are cute, but you just can’t beat the Cow. There’s something about those little wooden horns that makes you grin. Make sure you buy the large Wheely Bug. Your children will outgrow the small one way too quickly. Even if your kiddos are little, buy the big bug because they will grow into it in a flash.

Smart Holiday Shopping with BlueAvocado Totes

blueavocadoIf you haven’t discovered BlueAvocado reusable totes, you need to check them out. I love this unique system of reusable bags because they are stylish and easy to store. In other words, you won’t look like a goofball in the checkout line with these eco-friendly bags. Every gal in town will want to know where you got them. I promise. In fact, they’re so sure you will love the Starter Kit as the perfect holiday gift that they’ll even give you a FREE one.

For ALL orders over $75 placed by end of day WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16th,  get  a FREE Charcoal (or Raspberry) Starter Kit (charcoal available while supplies last). Kits will be included from our warehouse so no promo code needed.  Finish your Christmas shopping with style!! Take part while while supplies last. Shop now!

Want to learn more this awesome Avocado? Read my previous posts. I’ll also be announcing a terrific BlueAvocado giveaway over at Droolicious soon. Stay tuned!

Because Moms Need to Know: Shopping & Dining


MommyQ’s Inbox is always overflowing with information. Sales, grand openings, new products, special events, community giving and more. Seriously, I have 125 unread messages and they ALL pertain to motherhood. I never knew it was such an email-intensive job. Here are some of the highlights so you don’t miss out on something special or as my two-year-old says, “sumpin peshal.”

Kirsten James Handbags Holiday Sale
I LOVE these diaper bags. I have one and use it all of the time. These bags are a great gift idea for any gal on your shopping list. Order your custom bag now and get 10% off your entire purchase. Plus, you’ll receive it just in time for Christmas.  Spend $250 or more and receive 15% off your purchase! (Remember, this company give 5% of the amount you spend to their non-profit too.)

You can receive your discount by using promo code “KJ Holiday Sale” in the message to seller box at time of purchase (your discount will be refunded thru paypal within 24 hours of order). Sale ends on November 30th. Visit Kirsten James today!

Four Days of Feasting in Austin
If you’re going to be spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Austin, you must attend these events. Hosteria Verde, owned by the fabulous foodie Anne Rutt-Enriquez, is teaming up with FLAVORS of Austin to present four consecutive days of unique dining events. You can get all of the details at Hosteria Verde. Buy your tickets today and invite your friends to join you. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this tasty fun.

The Brand New LK Stationery Company
Welcome to the BRAND NEW LK Stationery Company, proudly offering new designs by artist Laura Kelly. Welcome to the bright, fun, and whimsical world of Laura Kelly. We look forward to offering you happy and artistic designs on stationery items. From mini memos to note cards to placemats, if you can write on it – they’ve got it! Shop until your heart’s content at LK Stationary.

Black Friday for Dummies: It’s Just A Misunderstood Friday

Oh, no! Black Friday is coming. Batten down the hatches! Hide your children! Expect dark skies and creepy cloud formations and perhaps, locusts. Run, run for your lives! Wait…oh, sorry. Black Friday is actually a good day. Oops. My bad.

Black Friday is special because it’s the very first shopping day of the holiday season. And if that means nothing to you, think of it as the first steaming hot Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. Now I know it sounds sinister like a black cat or a black hole, but it’s not. You see, in the crazy world of finances (and media) black is actually a good thing. “In the black” means turning a profit. Who knew!

To avoid some of the implied gloom and doom, if I were Black Friday I’d consider changing my name. Fantastic Friday, Yummy Friday or Purple Polka-Dotted Friday sound much more fun. According to Wikipedia, the gloomy Black Friday term was coined by employees who had to work on that hectic, long day. I feel sorry for the person stuck in the sweater department that probably had to refold the same cashmere sweater over and over again. You know, the one with the sleeve that doesn’t quite match up with the other sleeve, so the sweater doesn’t fold right and every time it looks decent some idiot picks it up, carries it around and doesn’t buy it. Ugh! Stupid sweaters.

As far as I’m concerned, Black Friday is simply the day after Thanksgiving when most people feel guilty about eating everything they ate the day before and will continue to eat until the leftovers are gone. It’s a great day to sit around and be lazy. And eat. Is it “the” day to shop? Not in my book. It’s just another Friday.

Do people really line up outside the stores at 5 a.m. for special Door Buster sales, rush inside and shop? If so, why? The sales typically go through January so there’s really no need to rush. Why shop in the crowds at all when you can buy everything you’d ever want online?

When I was a kid, I was always so excited to see the new holiday displays with the mannequins all bundled up in turtle necks and tacky argyle sweaters playing in a tiny heap of cotton balls. And there was always one mannequin that got stuck in a reindeer hat, sitting askew on his head. Poor guy. Shops have ruined that small delight because now holiday decorations start appearing in October. Just like bathing suits mysteriously start appearing in January.

Anyway, you’ll be hearing a lot about this Black Friday for the next week or so. Plenty of talking heads will appear on television blabbing about it. Do yourself a favor and treat it like any other Friday. Rest easy knowing you can join millions of procrastinators by doing your holiday shopping the Sunday before Christmas, also known as Scrambling for Something Sunday.

Agree or disagree with MommyQ?

Hi. I’m Your Baby, and I Want this Stuff for Christmas.

I’m the sweet, innocent, adorable little light of your life – your princess – and I have needs. Just like you, I desire the finer things in life. A nice crib to yell in. Gourmet foods to spit up. Soft diapers to poop in. Plush friends to boss around. Miracle creams. So this holiday season, here’s my list of demands suggestions that might make me smile. Then spit up.

Dress me in designer duds. My drooling babbling classmates look up to me as a fashion icon. I may be small in stature, but my sense of style is revered throughout the block and possibly the neighborhood. Play dates call for something sporty yet comfortable like this Juicy Couture Baby Velour Tracksuit. It’s only $98. I’m really fond of this Gucci Baby Sneaker for $228. I can already envision quietly taking one off while I’m in the stroller and losing it the very first time I wear it. Fun! And when it gets chilly outside, please keep my tiny feet warm in $50 Baby Erin UGG Boot – pink, of course.

When it comes to the nursery, I’d like Bratt Decor furniture because that’s what J.Lo’s twins have in their room and I’m so much better than they are. Even combined. I want the Chelsea Sleigh Bed and that’s about $1,500. But don’t worry, if there’s ever a huge winter storm and we get snowed in, I can lead us all to safety in my bed. The Discovery channel swears this will happen in the next 100 years. And don’t you dare sleep me on a normal crib mattress. I need a $999 Natural Mat, just like Halle Berry’s kid has – because it’s eco-something. Best of all, it looks like the inside of a Snackwell Cookie. Mmmm…cookies.

We all know German engineering is best. That’s why I’d like a mountain of Baby Dior Silicone Pacifiers. They’re only $45 each. I will lose one every on the hour for about three days. Then I’ll have a whole bunch to play with and then – POOF! – they’ll all disappear again. I’d love to tell you how I perform this trick, but then I’d have to kill you. Sorry. I also need quite a few Baby Dior Crown Baby Bottles – anything with a princess crest on it, you know.  It’s odd that you’re paying $45 for a plastic bottle that isn’t labeled BPA-free. It’s not even glass. Oh, I get it. Ha-ha. Those Germans crack me up.

If you must carry a diaper bag, please don’t make me cry by toting a Looney Tunes monstrosity. You may choose a Petunia Pickle Bottom Chocolate Cherry Cake Society Satchel because the name totally defines everything I love. Chocolate, cherry, cake, society and well…okay not satchel, but you get what I’m saying. This is the only bag I’d like to be seen with, especially in the mall where I might run into one of my cronies/friends/enemies, so just deal with it. Oh, it’s $325.

Let’s see where we stand, shall we? I’m just a baby so my math may be off, but it seems like your grand total is $2.1 million. Okay, now let’s discuss the thread count of my blanky…

If your baby could make a ‘Wish List’ this holiday season, what would it be?

Five Great Gifts for Autistic Preschoolers

As the mommy to a four-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I’ve discovered many wonderful  mainstream toys that are both fun and therapeutic. Toys that improve language development, sensory and motor regulation, build core strength, muscle tone and coordination. Toys that spark my son’s inner drive, encouraging more engagement and child-lead interaction.

Here are five of MommyQ’s favorite toys, from $18 – $300. Most of them are eco-friendly, which I personally love. I’m not speaking as a medical expert here, just as a mom. If you’re the parent, relative or friend of an autistic child, maybe this list will make your holiday shopping a little bit easier. I hope so!

Wheely Bug – If you haven’t seen these cute little ride-on critters, you need to check them out. I bought the cow for my boys last month and my ASD son loves it! (Also available in bee and ladybug!) It really helps him with coordination and balance, while building his core. We he first started riding it, he was wobbly. Now he can lift his feet and maneuver it around every corner. It has helped him adjust to motion that had bothered him in the past. In my opinion, this is one of the best gifts for an ASD child. Make sure you buy the big Wheely Bug to get the most use out of it. Eco-friendly! $70

Breakfast Menu Set – These types of wooden toys are great for a variety of reasons. Many autistic children have issues with food due to textures. By incorporating pretend food into playtime, it seems to make real mealtime easier. You can ‘prepare’ the pretend food together and takes turns ‘tasting’ it. That way your child is more open to the idea of trying different foods. Manipulating smaller toys, like shaking the salt & pepper shakers, improves fine motor skills too. Plan Toys is a wonderful green company and makes a huge selection of incredible wooden toys. Eco-friendly! $18

LIKEaBIKE – This is a unique eco-friendly bike sans pedals! That’s because this bike was designed to boost your child’s confidence and comfort in riding a bike, while building their balance, core strength, etc. They start out slow, usually walking with it and then as they improve, they can go much faster. Obviously this is not great for hills or steep surfaces, but on flat streets, in the driveway or at the park, it’s a wonderful (and fun) toy. Our OT therapist has mentioned it multiple times. Eco-friendly! $300

Haba Ball Track Master Builder Set – Many autistic children love toys that spin and roll. My son does a variety of activities at OT therapy involving marbles, which is why I love this toy from Haba. Your child can build the track and then watch the marbles spin through it. This is the big set and Haba also makes a smaller set for $43. This toy is perfect for fine motor skill improvement and development. It also gets the imagination and interaction rolling. Eco-friendly! $200

Hopscotch Puzzle Mat – Another great toy for improving balance, motor skills, interaction and organizing thought processes is this cute Hopscotch mat by Alex. First you put it together like a puzzle, then you play the game. This gives you child a great opportunity to practice hopping on one foot and then jumping with two feet. It’s also a good game for ASD kids to play with their friends or siblings. $23

Read Ode to a Wheely Bug to see the cow in motion!