So I Saw Brave Over The Weekend

 

So after much anticipation by all parties in my family including myself, we finally went out and saw Brave.  We missed it on the opening weekend due to my daughter being sick, but I am kind of glad we did.  Even with some heavy hitting films coming out this past weekend, Brave was still packed.  We found some good seats, bought some popcorn, pulled out the candy and enjoyed a family friendly film.

Overall I liked the film.  I don’t think it was Disney/Pixar’s strongest film, but it has heart.  There was a decent story to be told and the film played it out well.  I expected the story to be more deep and complex but I had to remind myself that this was not intended for me, but for my 4 year old daughter.

One thing that I do have to commend is the intensity of beautiful colors that are in the film.  The hair, the backdrops, and scenes are filled with immensely bright colors that fill the big screen.  This is definitely a film that must be seen in the movie theaters with the loud speakers and dim environment.

My daughter, wife and I enjoyed the film.  There was a lot of humor in it for both adults and kids to laugh at.  Merida ( the princess and main character ) is like every girl growing up and wanting to be independent and make her own choices.  Her dad King Fergus is a jolly man with a heart of gold, while her mom the queen only wants what she thinks is best for her.

Great family fun and I definitely recommend taking the kids and calling it a movie day or night!

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My Gap Picks For My Daughter

When its just my daughter and I, we rarely go anywhere spectacular where she needs to be dressed up. I would say 95% of the time we are at the park, running errands, buying groceries, eating out, visiting other family, or just driving around and taking pictures of what we think are cool.

With that said, we both like to be comfy. Now as an adult, I don’t look too great in lounge pants, but toddlers on the other hand can pull it off pretty well. Especially when they come in cool colors like these.

My daughter also doesn’t like to wear jeans unlike me. She likes to throw on tights with skirts on over them or wear some shorts and a t-shirt. So I personally think these work well. She can throw on a T-Shirt with my favorite denim jacket and some slip on shoes and we are out the door.

These lounge / sweats are from The Gap. They are not thick like winter sweats, but pretty thin and super soft. They are 100% polyester and

At the moment they cost $16.95 each, but it seems like they are having some kind of promotion on a weekly basis so you might be able to pick them up for cheaper.

Flip And Draw Ballerina Or Princess Books

As my daughter is turning 5, I noticed her creative skills really ramping up in high gear.  I love watching her draw, paint, color, and build things that are more and more complex.  I saw this on a blog earlier in the year and was really interested in it.

Its from Mudpuppy, and they manufactuer a bunch of creative fun games and activites for the ever curious and active mind.

The book is divided into three parts that come pre-cut and allow your child to draw / color and turn parts of the page to interchange the outfits.  I like how this shows children how to to use their imagination and to try different combinations of colors, and styles.

You can check out more from Mudpuppy company at
http://www.galison.com/

Calvin & Hobbes and Importance of Stuffed Animals

One of my favorite comics growing up was Calvin & Hobbes.  I really related to this comic.  Calvin had parents that did not understand him, and he relied heavily on his stuffed tiger to keep him entertained.  Children need toys to stimulate them.  I encourage my daughter all the time to play with her dolls and stuffed animals and be young.

So naturally I enjoy playing stuffed animals with my 4 year old daughter.  I hope there never comes a day where she out grows them.  I grew up very lonely without friends.  My parents did not take me around many families with kids, and with their busy work schedules and not being very outgoing, I never attended birthday parties or was involved in play groups.

I did have many stuffed animals.  And honestly they kept me company during my toddler and younger years.  Stuffed animals stimulate the brain so much.  They force the child to look at them as a friend, and make up stories and create story lines with them.

Another important fact is that they keep the child innocent.  They keep them busy and let them enjoy the beauty of being a child.

We live in a world today where we are bombarded with so much technology and marketing on television, internet, tablets, and more and I want to take her away from that as much as possible.  I want her to stay young, and to continue to imagine, and be creative.

To this date, my daughter still consistently asks me to play with her and her animals.  We create stories that she thinks of or learns from preschool and I do the voices of each one of them.  We like to play “school,” or “store,” where at the same time I teach her about math and letters.

Its a shame that Bill Waterson the creator of Calvin and Hobbes decided to retire from drawing and writing.  I still today read to her (and her stuffed animals) some of the more easy story lines from his classic comics and get a good laugh together.

Spy Mouse App For iPad or iPhone Will Equal Hours Of Fun Together With Your Little One

While waiting in line at Starbucks one afternoon I noticed that there was a card by the register with a sign on the bottom that says “Pick Of The Week.”  I picked it up and saw that it was a game called “Spy Mouse.”  Not thinking much about it, I put it in my pocket, ordered my coffee and went about my day.

I later got home and emptied my pockets.  My daughter who greets me everyday saw the card and asked me about it.  During this time, she just started to watch Tom & Jerry cartoons and was excited about seeing this card with the cartoon mouse on it.  She immediately asked me about it, and I told her it was a game of some sort.  Not knowing much about it, and assuming it was for older kids, I told her that if she was good we would look at it later.

Later came and she forgot about it, and so did I until I was up late and saw the card again with the promo code to download for free.  I decided to download it and check it out.  After that, I think I stayed up for an additional hour playing the game.  It was so addicting.  It was almost like Angry Birds all over again.

The game is pretty strait forward and the object is to collect all the cheese from the level before cats get to you.  The game is created to be a maze like format but not as cramped.  You move the mouse with your finger, directing it to go a certain direction or a combination of ways.

The next morning I showed my daughter the game and we must have played together for hours all together.  There are many funny animation acts that some of the characters do, interesting cat behaviors and overall a good game.  It was so much fun connecting with my daughter and laughing while playing the game.  I know that its not educational, but it was a game that the both of us can play together over and over again.

The game is pretty simple to beat, but it has replay value.  There are many hidden rooms and areas that can be found only if you play it over and over.  It makes my daughter very excited and happy when she is able to find these levels by herself, and accomplish all the goals.

Very good game and its available for the iPad and iPhone.

*** It is free right now for iPad with the HD version ***

Disney Marie Shirt From H&M

While browsing online with my wife one night on H&M I found this shirt that I think my daughter would love.  For $5.95 @ H&M you can get this Disney Marie shirt.  Its loud, large, and should attract any little girls attention.  She’ll wear it proudly to school and if she is a fan of Disney, well then that’s another positive.