Tag Archives: Yo Gabba Gabba

Product Placement

There are mornings, usually the ones where nobody has to be anywhere until noon, when Zoe is raring to go at 6:30.

Then there are mornings, usually the ones where I have an 8:30 meeting that I really can’t be late for, when Zoe sleeps late and then moves through her morning routine with the speed of a glacier.

This morning was shaping up to be that second kind.  Zoe woke up around eight; Mike had to leave at 9:15; and the sky was overcast enough to make me want to drive Zoe to daycare instead of walking as I had originally planned.

Miraculously, Zoe and I were out the door by 8:45.

What’s my secret, you ask?  Simple: my secret is product placement.

To convince Zoe not only that she wants to get dressed before breakfast, but also that she wants to wear whatever it is I’m offering, I select her Yo Gabba Gabba concert tee.  It cost (Grandma Marilyn) $25, but that kind of speed and acquiescence  is worth every penny.  (Pro Tip: Her $5 Captain America t-shirt works pretty well, too.)

The shirt in question.

To convince Zoe that she wants to eat breakfast instead of watching Netflix, I offer her Dora the Explorer cereal.  This is straight up product placement: it’s not just Dora on a box of Cheerios, it’s a General Mills cereal that did not exist before Dora came along to put her face on the box.  (Bonus: it’s not terribly unhealthy and it tastes pretty good.)

If you are above the use of children’s television characters to dress and feed your child, I salute you.  If you are looking for ways to speed up your weekday mornings, I recommend product placement.

How do you bend a toddler’s will to your own?  Or, how do you distract her long enough to slip on her jacket and shoes?


Filed under Your Moment of Zoe

“The Christmas Room!”

Zoe and Rody rock their Christmas hats.

When I woke up this morning, I found our new Christmas tree sitting in the living room, along with all the boxes of Christmas decorations.  It was a Christmas miracle!  (Pro Tip: Your husband bringing the Christmas stuff out of the basement because of a leaking water pipe totally counts as a Christmas miracle.  No question.)

I love putting up Christmas decorations, especially decorating the tree and arranging the nativities.  I have the fondest memories of doing these things with  my mother and sister.  (Dad’s job was to get the tree in the house and into the stand, put on the lights, and retreat.)

We would listen to Christmas records, follow my mother’s Ornament Hanging Guidelines (ball ornaments on first), and reminisce about some of the more treasured decorations.  It was very heartwarming and wholesome, especially once all the swearing that came with getting the tree in the stand was over.

So, imagine my delight when Zoe joined me in decorating this year!  Her fine motor skills have improved since last Christmas, so she can actually hang ornaments.  She went to town on our little tinsel tree, then transferred most of the ornaments onto the big tree when she saw it was open for business.  As Zoe always says, “Go big or go home.”

The soundtrack: Willie Nelson’s Pretty Paper  (the very record I listened to growing up) and Zoe singing Yo Gabba Gabba Christmas songs (“Decorate! Decorate! Decorate the Christmas tree!”).  The result: Christmas cheer.

Note: The “Christmas room” is Zoe’s new name for the “living room”, of course.


Filed under Thankful Hearts, Your Moment of Zoe

Rocket Girl

“This rocket costume is cute, if you have a boy,” said the other mother pawing (excuse me: perusing) the 70% off Halloween costumes at Target this weekend.

Well, I do not have a boy, but I do have a girl who picked that rocket costume over a variety of dresses, a Scooby Doo suit, and an airplane (pro tip: if you have the opportunity to choose between a plane and a rocket, you obviously want the rocket).

She held the rocket costume in her arms through the rest of our Target trip and the whole car ride home, where she immediately put it on and started jamming on her kitty keyboard.

I’m pretty sure this episode of Yo Gabba Gabba is responsible (apologies for the poor video quality, if you are so inclined to check it out).  Thanks, Nick Jr., for teaching my child that rockets are better than princesses.  At least for now . . .


Filed under Thankful Hearts, Your Moment of Zoe

Road Trip Ready

"Let's go, Mama!" she said Friday morning, before being captivated by the Wonderpets saving the crane from the very volcano Zoe herself was planning to escape.

Zoe and I are hitting the road bright and early Monday morning for a glorious week in Chicago and a very quick stopover in Milwaukee.  We are leaving Mike at home to hold the fort (and write his brilliant doctoral dissertation), so nobody try to break in and steal our valuable Wiggles DVDs and plastic toys while we’re gone.

Only kidding.  We’ll be taking the most valuable Wiggles DVDs and plastic toys with us, of course.

But seriously, planning a road trip with a toddler turns out to be a lot more work than planning a road trip without one.  I end up packing way more toddler clothes than necessary (good thing they are so tiny) and not quite the right clothes for myself.  I cram sippy cups and toddler spoons into tiny suitcase pockets, never to be seen again.  I ponder the selection of bedtime books, only to miss the one book she will ask for every single night we’re away.  You get the idea.

So for this trip, I am making the preparation more fun for myself (obviously, Zoe doesn’t care if I have fun packing all her accoutrements or not).  I bought blueberry Eggo waffles for us to eat in the car Monday morning, since we will be leaving as early as Maggie-and-Zoe-ly possible.  I bought special road trip snacks like puff corn, mostly because I love hearing Zoe’s delighted little voice cry, “Puff corn!” when she sees that dark green bag.  I bought a brand new toddler water bottle that “looks like Mom and Dad’s but is specially designed for kids”.

And, lest you think all my preparations involve spending money (pro tip: of course they do), I unearthed a travel case filled with CDs I haven’t heard in ages, in case we want to listen to something besides the Wiggles, Raffi, or Yo Gabba Gabba.

Unfortunately, we will not be taking our road trip in this school bus.

Of course, this is a Toddler Road Trip, so I know nothing will go exactly as I envision it.  Zoe will want the one snack food I didn’t bring.  She will demand to hear the same stinking Wiggles song seventy-five times in a row (and it will be “Getting Strong”, which is basically the words “getting strong” over and over for a minute and a half, and yes, this is based on a true story).

In fact, Zoe has already commandeered her new water bottle and decided that it does not look “just like Mom and Dad’s”.  It looks just like a baby bottle, so I get to cradle her in my arms and feed it to her like I did when she was a baby.  That is going to work very well while I’m driving the car.

But here’s the thing: I don’t mind catering to Zoe’s snack food demands, or listening to her favorite songs over and over (and over and over).  I am just thrilled to be on the road with my girl, heading toward our family and friends.

And cradling her in my arms like a baby?  I don’t mind that at all.

Here we go!

What are your favorite road trip stories / memories / tips / do’s and don’ts?


Filed under Thankful Hearts, Your Moment of Zoe