Book Review: Dreaming in Color {The Adventures of Oliver Poons}

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Author, Lauryn Alyssa Wendus, is at it again with a new children’s book featuring her star character, Oliver Poons! You might remember my previous review about Lauryn’s first book, Oliver Poons and the Bright Yellow Hat. If not, you can read it here! My daughter was nearly 3 at the time, but she really enjoyed the first book, so I was not surprised that she was excited to read another Oliver Poons book. Not only that, my younger son (16 months) was excited about the new “kitty book” too!

Lauryn does a fabulous job telling a simple, rhyming bedtime story about Oliver Poons and his pals working together to bring colors back into Oliver’s dreams. It’s a perfect story for little ones, because the rhyming keeps them interested. Kids are introduced to new animals and colors throughout the story, which is great, too. The same characters are brought back from the firsoliver-poons-dreaming-in-color-cover-600px-510x510t book of the series, so in our house, we often can’t read one book without the other. My oldest is into longer stories “with lots of pages, Mom!” nowadays, but she still remained interested in this book and I love that now my youngest can read along with us.

Lauryn’s mother, Lois Wendus, is the book’s illustrator and she does a beautiful job again in this second book. I just love the mother-daughter duo behind this series and their mission, “our products are designed to inspire a happy day and happy dreams for your child.” And it’s not only about their products bringing joy and smiles, but the Oliver Poons Children’s Company also supports children and animal rescue by donating a portion of their proceeds to organizations like Mission for Orphans, Inc. and No Kitten Left Behind. They also have a campaign right now (#YellowHatsforCats) where they donate a portion of their sales to various animal shelteroliver-poons-childrens-co-logos to raise awareness about animal rescue.

You can find both books of the series online in hardcover, paperback, or an ebook version. You can purchase the hardcover book for $19.95 on the books’ site or here on Amazon. There are other items available on the Oliver Poons website, too. Workbook learning activities, an interactive floor game, Oliver Poons artwork, and even the floppy yellow hat itself are available for purchase on the website.

These books would make a wonderful Christmas gift for any little one, especially those who adore cats like mine! You can feel good about giving these books to a loved one because not only are they receiving a fun loving, adorable read, but somewhere else another little kiddo or kitty will also be a little happier too!

Follow Lauryn and learn more about the adventures of Oliver Poons on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

– Megan

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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Dear Daughters: Don’t Always Be Like Me

FullSizeRender (59)There are things I don’t like about myself. When you have kids, you think about all of the characteristics and traits you don’t want your kids getting from you. Not that those traits are necessarily bad, but that you, as a parent, don’t want to deal with in a little person. There are also things you hope your children don’t pick up from watching you because you suck at those things.

Here are 10 things I hope my girls don’t learn or inherit from me.  

  1. My inability to do makeup. Seriously, I am so bad. I only wear mascara and eyeliner (because putting on anything else would take hours) but I end up with black all over my face. I use an embarrassing amount of Simple Face Wipes, they can literally remove anything. I hope while watching me over the years, my daughters don’t think that that is how you apply it. I will be directing them to YouTube makeup tutorials when it comes time for them to start wearing makeup.
  2. The fact that I can’t do anything but straighten my hair and put it in a pony tail. I got a curling iron because I wanted to do “beach waves” (because beach waves are so in) and I literally can’t figure out how to use it. It just leaves kinks at the ends and doesn’t curl very well. So I hope my girls can learn how to do their hair from YouTube tutorials as well.
  3. I’m am stubborn as shit. The only reason I know I am stubborn is because my almost four year old is exactly like me and she’s stubborn as hell. The two of us butt heads like you wouldn’t believe because of it. I can only imagine how the teenage years are going to go. I also pray my four month old is an angel. I cannot handle two mini-me’s.
  4. My daughters will never, ever see me wearing heels. My husband and I have been together 6 years and he’s never seen me in a pair. I have super flat feet and can barely walk in them but when I was 19, I thought I was cool and went clubbing a lot during that winter. By spring, I was in a cast up to my knee to help set my foot (I sprained it one icy night) and the toenails on my both big toes died and fell off. So, no, I don’t like heels and my girls won’t catch me wearing them.
  5. I can’t cook to save my life. Yes, it’s true. I can’t cook and what I can cook isn’t the greatest. My husband jokes that he should have married my best friend instead because she is a phenomenal cook. Maybe I should have married her, too.
  6. I don’t want them to be afraid to make a mess. Even though they see mommy cleaning constantly, I don’t want them doing the same and worrying about the mess they’re making rather than playing with their toys. Mommy has OCD, they don’t need it, too.
  7. Mommy has an anger problem and yells. A lot. Don’t be like Mommy. My parents never spanked us, but my dad yelled and his voice had the power to bring me straight to my knees and tears to my eyes. He can still make me cry just by raising his voice. I’m the same way with yelling, however, I’m trying my hardest not to lose my cool so easily. I’ve already noticed my oldest yelling (like her mommy, because we’re identical) and I hate seeing her getting angry like that.
  8. I look like I’m seizing when I try to dance. I can’t dance at all. I like dancing, but I have no ability whatsoever. So I hope my oldest, who is taking ballet this fall, will have the dancing gene that is completely absent in me.
  9. Please excel in school like Daddy and let us be able to watch you walk at you high school graduation (unlike mommy). It’s true, I got suspended on the last day of school because I drank all night (with about half of the graduating class) and passed out while taking my final French exam. Because of the suspension, I couldn’t walk at graduation. My parents were pissed and I feel bad that they weren’t able to see me walk across the stage and get my high school diploma (I did graduate and get my diploma though). I just hope my girls take school more seriously than I did (and not worry about boyfriends and the crazy parties) and get good grades to get into a good college.
  10. Sunscreen is your friend! I went tanning in a tanning bed almost every day for years in my late teens/early twenties. My skin, at 28, is awful. I will slather the shit out of my kids with sunscreen until they’re physically able to beat me off of them. I better never catch them in a tanning bed either. But seriously, I hope they’re smarter than me when it comes to the sun.

– Casey

My Toddler Needs a Leash


This past Sunday, my two daughters, mother-in-law and I celebrated Mother’s Day at our local zoo. My husband works Sundays so it was just us four. It’s a small, quaint zoo 
which is perfect to walk through for a few hours on a beautiful sunny day. While walking up a hill to the black bear exhibit, I noticed a woman “walking” her toddler. Literally, she had her little girl on a leash which seemed appropriate as the little girl was tryingllleash to run away. As her mom yanked her back several times, I got to thinking about my own crazy toddler. Surely she could benefit from being restrained, right? I had witnessed some disturbing behavior from her while on our outing and since a straight jacket in public seems a bit rash, I may have to invest in a leash.

Playing chicken in the parking lot

When we pulled into the zoo parking lot, I got her out of the car while I got her sister’s stroller out of the trunk and packed our stuff into it. Maybe because I’m new at being a mom to two kids and this was our first real outing, but I sort of wasn’t paying attention and there was my daughter, playing in the middle of the parking lot. Luckily for us both the car that was coming toward her (and by coming toward her I mean at least 100 feet from her) was driving very slow. A leash would have been very helpful.

Keep her away from the penguin exhibit

The first exhibit we came upon was the penguins which is equally fun and scary because you can penguin2walk up a set of stairs and look down into their tank. Unbeknownst to me, she had the head of a little Sofia the First figure in her hand from the car. She walked up the stairs to get a better look at the penguins and tossed poor Sofia’s head right down into their tank. She then had the balls to throw a fit when I said she was gone forever. Leash, please.

She prefers eating lunch off of the ground

When it was time for lunch, all she wanted was popcorn. Which is probably the healthiest thing she at that day (popcorn = corn, corn = vegetable, vegetable = healthy). The small box, which was anything but small, of course made its way to the floor and there she sat, eating it off of the floor. At least she was eating, right? She’s a very picky eater, so I consider this a win.

Name Game

In my opinion, you should always like the name you pick for your child. But when theyname hit the toddler years, you better really love it. I probably yelled my daughter’s name 200 times while at the zoo (four hours total). Every two minutes I was asking her not to do this or that and to come here or stop walking ahead of us. By the end of the day I wanted to rename her Jerkface.

The hills have eyes

What’s fun about a hilly landscape is your toddler trying to roll down those hills. Unless they’re very steep and have pools of water and sharp rocks at the bottom of them. I had to stop her from tumbling down a handful of times and then listen to the tantrum that ensued because I wouldn’t let her throw herself down the hills to mangle her pretty little face.

My little kleptomaniac

The zoo is smart. To exit, you have to go through the gift shop. How genius is that? To leave you have to either buy useless shit for your kids or you have to drag them out kicking thiefand screaming because you don’t need anymore useless crap in your house. Because I was tired, I didn’t want to fight her so I told her she could have a little pink octopus stuffed animal and a squishy little frog. That little klepto tried walking out with said toys because she’s impatient and didn’t want to wait in line. If I had a leash I could have yanked her back instead of chasing her thieving self down.

Mother’s Day at the zoo was a blast, don’t get me wrong. Toddlers are nuts so I expected her to be a little wild. But I’m guessing that mom with her little girl on the leash was laughing at me as she saw me chasing my daughter around. I mean she was the smart one, she just had to give a little tug on that leash to bring her daughter back. One should be running for only 3 reasons: someone’s trying to kill you, something is on fire or someone said free food. Not because your child is insane when in public.

– Casey

I Made a Huge Mistake

I did something really stupid this past December. Something I fully regret and I’m here to warn parents so they don’t make the same mistake I made. It may seem harmless and innocent, maybe even a little cute at first but it quickly turns to hate, frustration and bleeding ears (figuratively of course).  In December, I showed my 3 year old some videos on YouTube of Christmas light displays. She loved seeing the lights around the neighborhood at night so I knew she’d love watching them synched with music on the iPad. I was right, she loved them. While looking through the videos, I remembered hearing about these videos of people opening ‘surprise eggs’ that kids loved for some reason and again thought she would get a kick out of them. I searched for ‘surprise eggs’ and a million and one videos popped up. That is where I made my mistake. I opened the door to YouTube for my daughter. I showed her what kind of whacky people are out there in the world and she now happily contributes to their million dollar paychecks. Yes, a few YouTubers make millions from posting videos on YouTube.    So it started with Christmas light displays then I upped the ante to Surprise Egg videos which then exploded into complete obsession with the YouTube Kids app. Sidenote: YouTube has it’s own kids app that I highly recommend rather than using the regular app. You can customize it with what age range of content you’re okay with your child watching, can set a timer and even remove the option of the search bar for older kids. Now back to her obession. There are several YouTube channels that she is completely nuts over. They all vary with toy-related content, but they accomplish the same thing: they annoy the shit out of the parents.    The premise of the videos are to open, unbox and play with different toys on camera, like Play Doh sets or Kinder Eggs, and show all the fun that can be had if you begged your parents hard enough. Companies send the reviewers toys for free because they’re smart. They know if a channel (who gets millions of views) reviews their toys, kids will eat that shit up and get their parents to purchase it. It’s actually completely genius. They’re so happy and inviting, it’s hard not to watch. Some of them are sort of hypnotizing. They suck you right in and soon you’re on Amazon, ordering every Season of Shopkins they have available. For a few of the reviewers, you only get to see their perfectly manicured hands and nails and hear their almost soothing voice, complete with European accent. They are quite mysterious when you don’t see their faces.    Just don’t fall prey. This is a PSA to keep your child(ren) away from YouTube at all costs. Please don’t make the same mistake I did. I’m still paying for it as I’m forced to listen to my daughter whine and cry over wanting watch her ‘videos’ on the iPad on a daily basis. These videos are sort of like crack for toddlers. Just say no

– Casey