REVIEWS: Airport Assistance, A Meet & Greet Service

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If you’ve traveled lately, the airport departure can be stressful – you need to work through the check in machine quickly, check in your luggage and go through security. Try that experience with kids, making sure not to lose one, have them run into oncoming pedestrian traffic or have an incident during the security clearance all while pushing a stroller and rolling your carryon. Before our recent vacation, a friend recommended Airport Assistance. This meet and greet service walks you from airport arrival to your gate – no stress, no worry and FAST. After I met with our greeter, we were checked in, done with security and waiting at the gate in less than 15 minutes. I’ve known people that missed their flights because they were stuck at the security lines.

This greeter is your helping hand and airport know it all. They handle the check in machine, explain your options, check in your luggage and walk you through security with little to no wait. Our greeter was excellent and the main reason we choose this service – it’s great for families, especially with young kids. Rates vary by location but definitely worth the price to have a helping hand.

Why? Here’s a picture of what happened to Lil’ M2 on our return.
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At airport security, we were all separated, checked and of course during that time Lil’ M2 had an “incident”. No extra pants, the tiny airport only offered sweatpants. Never thought sweatpants would be the only kids item at a tropical island airport.

It’s APPtastic: Fax Burner (FREE)

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From time to time, I get asked to fax a document. I don’t have a designated fax machine or a land line to connect my printer/fax combo: why would I? Who still faxes? So what’s a mom to do? Staples? FedEx? The library? You really want me to take 3 kids to a store just to fax a one page document? Not anymore! Recently, I discovered the Fax Burner app by Networx Online, Inc. It so easy to use, I took care of a fax on my iPhone. Save the document in your Dropbox and create a cover in the app. You have 25 free fax pages per month and can pay for upgrades including your own line. The receiving line changes after one day of use. Best part, the app is FREE. Next time you need to send a fax, use Fax Burner-It’s APPtastic!

Wompy’s – More Than Music

As a stay at home mom, I’m always on the hunt for activities, free or paid.  One of my favorite resources is your local library. They introduced me and my kids to Wompy’s, a musical play program.  I’ve seen my share of music programs and classes for toddlers.  Often these trials didn’t leave me convinced and my kids weren’t interested.  Wompy’s offered a trial one day a week for one month at my local library – which was more than enough.  They had me at the catchy opening song and convincing moms is just as important as the kids.

From the moment Wompy’s starts, the kids are focused and excited.  Each child is provided with a “shaker” and Wompy, the music program’s dog mascot puppet, welcomes them to their class.  Throughout the 45 minute session, the instructor pulls out either a story board or prop, introduces the lesson, song and musical instrument.  Then the full song is played along with the kids playing with their musical instrument or prop.  After the song, each child is instructed to return the instrument.  When this concept was first introduced, I cringed at the thought of my child getting a new toy and then have to put it back so quickly.  This was due to all my painful run ins at the toy aisle or the sighting of a toy display.  So the children have the instrument aka shiny new toy, for the duration of the song (probably 30 seconds or less) and the seconds before when introduced to it.  To my surprise, all the kids return the instruments and with urgency.  Even my “me me me, mine mine mine” Lil’ M2 was one of the first to return the instruments.  This cycle of intro, instrument, song, return continues throughout the class.  The last prop is a bubble machine – pure genius! Kids and bubbles, you can’t take them away from it.  Even as an adult, I am fascinated with bubbles.  So much so that my summer time fun time budget must include extra bubble juice and toys.  The class concludes with a farewell to their beloved Wompy and a sticker to send each child off.

Ms. Lauren teaching the class with props.

Ms. Lauren teaching the class with props.

I’ve never been more of a skeptic with musical classes such as this.  But my kids absolutely loved it and I did too.  It wasn’t lame, boring or cheesy.  Co-Owners, Rick and Lauren Greenberg are involved and care for each child’s musical education.  A lot of these types of programs always seem so cold-hearted and out for the quick sale.  But with this married duo, you can tell they love children and what they do.

Ms. Lauren takes Wompy around to greet each student.

Ms. Lauren takes Wompy around to greet each student.

Wompy’s is more than a music program.  It teaches them discipline, manners and respect.  Also, it is a great social experience for children before they start school.  According to their website, Wompy’s is suitable for kids 6 mo thru 4.  Come see it for yourself and try it for free.  You won’t regret it and you’ll be immediately convinced.  Check their site out here.

A Cover Like No Other

This weekend I attended the New York Family Magazine’s New York Baby Show.  It was  a great display of baby/child related vendors.  If you were expecting or have kids, the show had something to offer.  To me, the product that stood out the most was the Booby Trapper.  A Canadian company, the nursing cover was developed in 2009 by Nancy Armstrong and features a double rimmed canopy.

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The Boobpy Trapper

With so many nursing covers out in the market, and after nursing my first two (1 for 11 months and 2 for 18 months) I have definitely gone through my fair share of covers.  My first was the Peanut Shell Nursing cover purchased at my local baby store.  Although it featured a nice lightweight pattern, it did not provide the appropriate coverage on the sides. The rim was weak and provided no line of sight to the baby and the breast.  Next up, my fellow nursing moms owned the popular, Bebe Au Lait.  But after my trial and inspection, the sides still didn’t cover my guns and had a single rim.  After a few months and a few gusts of wind providing a little show, I found the Balboa Baby Nursing Cover.  At the time, it was the widest cover I could find.  I chose a dark colored fabric and it had a single rim.  It served its purpose but the dark fabric was very difficult for me to see the baby, especially in a dimly lit place like a restaurant.

Side by Side Balboa Baby (Left) and Booby Trapper (Right)

Side by Side
Balboa Baby (Left) and Booby Trapper (Right)

Now with my youngest at 2 months, I was in the market for a new cover.  The Booby Trapper caught my attention and I was given the opportunity to try it out.  The fabric is comfortable, loose and comes in beautiful light patterns.  The double rim is like no other.   When I nurse Baby Girl, my opposite arm/hand doesn’t have to adjust the cover.

My view down. Notice the extra space to view the baby.

My view down. Notice the extra space to view the baby.

I can focus on her, the proper latch and feel secure that I am covered on all sides without being confined to fabric that flaps over her face and blocks proper attachment to the nipple.  I love this product and will recommend it to all nursing moms.

Try this for yourself and check out the unique double rim feature.  After you’re done nursing, the cover can be used as a car seat cover or folded up nice and neat into your diaper bag.

Holiday Breeze Fabric Pattern

My favorite pattern: Holiday Breeze

Booby Trapper can be found at http://www.boobytrapper.ca