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Shopping

Birthday Party Themes for Twin Boys or Girls

Many times when a theme is chosen for a birthday party, it is one that the child liked. However, with twins it may be hard to find something that they are both interested in. This task becomes even harder if your twins are of opposite genders. The only thing that you have is that they are of the same age. Here is a list of birthday themes that will give each twin their own individual take on their birthday.

Dora and Diego

The best party for boy and girl twins is one that is themed with Dora and Diego. Dora and Diego both have their own shows on Nick Jr. that are for preschools. Dora is an explorer with travels to many different areas with her friends Boots the Monkey, Backpack and Map. Diego is Dora’s cousin and he rescues animals from the rainforest with this sister Alicia. These two cousins would be a perfect theme party. They are related, but explore the world in their own ways. Dora has a map and a monkey friend. Diego has a rescue pack that can turn into anything and a camera that can show him the animal that is in trouble. It would be very easy to use these two characters to form a party that would give each child their own individual style.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Mickey and Minnie Mouse have been around for a very long time. Recently, they have been featured-with many friends- on the Mickey Mouse Playhouse. They help their friends solve various puzzles. They love each other very much, just as your son and daughter love each other too. Theses two characters would give a great chance for two different cakes with different colors. Minnie is into bow and girlie colors, and Mickey just looks to hang out his dog, Pluto. While this party does not cater as much to the individuality of each child as much Dora and Diego, Mickey and Minnie Mouse would be great to center a party around.

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell has really boomed in popularity lately. Tinkerbell is a fairy that watches over the lost boys and Peter Pan. Peter Pan is known as the boy ‘who didn’t grow up’. He is a very wiry boy who likes to get into mischievous. This could describe any boy. Peter Pan gives himself credit for almost anything, and Tinkerbell flies around helping him when he needs it. Neither one of these characters could really survive without the other. However, they are two very different characters. This makes this ideal for a twin birthday party. In fact, this will give your daughter some of the ‘normal’ party themes by allowing Tinkerbell into the mix. Many girls love Tinkerbell, and by using Peter Pan you also include your son. This is a great compromise birthday theme.

Football Star and Cheerleader

If you do not want or cannot afford to have your party star one of the popular characters, then perhaps using and football star and cheerleader may be what you are looking for. Boys are often fans of sports; it does not have to be football. It is also very common to have girls that are eager to be cheerleaders. Putting these two things into one party will be simple and fun. This will be a very easy and inexpensive way to keep your twins individuality while coming up with a party theme that is truly unique.

Having twins can be lots of work and fun. If you have twins that include one boy and one girl, then you may want to include these themes in your next birthday party.

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Review Shopping

Preschool Birthday Top Pick: Review of Thomas & Friends Remote Control Thomas

The remote control Thomas train is a fun and not too expensive toy for preschoolers. The remote control Thomas train that is part of the Thomas  amp; Friends collection is age-appropriate and easy to use. This toy train would make an ideal gift for a preschooler, for a birthday or a special occasion.

Thomas  amp; Friends Remote Control Percy Review

Thomas Remote Control

Thomas is one of the trains in Thomas  amp; Friends that is available as remote control toy. There is also a version with Percy and one with James.

Thomas and Friends Remote Control Thomas Set

The Thomas and Friends Remote Control Percy set comes with the remote controller, which looks like big handle. The remote controller has an on and off button and moves the train forwards and backwards. The Thomas  amp; Friends song can also be played with the remote control. The preschooler can move the train at will, or leave it on.

The downside is that the remote control uses six AA batteries. Purchase a battery recharger and rechargeable batteries, if you do not already have those items.

Due to its size, the remote control is easy to find, and won’t get lost.

The main engine comes with the set, along with two train cars. This set does not come with a track, but the train can run on the floor or a low carpet.

This set retails for about $20.

Ease of Use

The remote control and the set are easy enough for a preschooler to use on their own. On occasion the remote control and the train may need to be toggled off and then back on again in order to get the train moving.

Adding on to the Thomas and Friends Remote Control Thomas Set

What’s nice about the Thomas and Friends Remote Control Percy Set is that that additional train cars can be purchased and added to the train. The preschooler will need help adding and removing the train cars, as the little plastic loops can be hard for little hands to maneuver.

A small set of tracks may also be purchased to go along with this train set. The plastic tracks which are sold separately stay together well. Compared to the wooden track set we have, we do not have to reassemble the plastic track as frequently as we do with the wooden track.

What the Remote Control Thomas Will Not Do

The train will move on the floor, but it will not move on a wooden track set that is not made for Thomas  amp; Friends, if you have one of those.

The little train will also struggle with pushing train cars that are placed in front of it on the track. This is something that the preschooler will probably test on their own. The train will either get stuck or derailed.

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Home Improvement Review

Review: Electrolux Harmony HEPA Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Electrolux is my brand of vacuum cleaner. I was sold on this brand way back in the mid 1970’s when I sold them door to door. The Electrolux Harmony vacuum is moderately priced at $298.00. You can order it online and will be shipped to you free of charge. I love this vacuum cleaner because it is light weight and easy to handle.

Most people have the misconception that vacuum cleaners operate on suction that is actually a misnomer; it is actually airflow that picks up the dirt in your carpet. As the air rushes around the particles of dust and dirt they are whisked away with the airflow. If you do not believe me, take a penny and place it in the palm of your hand. Now place the nozzle of your vacuum firmly over the penny on your palm. Don’t break the seal over your hand. Now either turn on your vacuum yourself or have someone else do it for you. Now after a second or two turn the switch off. Wait for the motor of your vacuum to stop. Now remove the nozzle from your hand. If you did that just like I said, your penny will still be in your hand. Now turn the vacuum on again and bring the nozzle toward the penny in your hand. As the nozzle comes close the air around the penny causes it to start moving in your hand and as you come closer the penny will fly off your hand and be carried away into the collection bag or compartment of your vacuum cleaner. So suction does not pick up dirt, but air flow does.

The Electrolux Harmony has a replaceable HEPA filter, two air bags and a caddy for the extra tools. The tools are included are crevice and floor tools, an upholstery brush, and a turbo nozzle that is driven by air flow. I like the Electrolux Harmony because it is so versatile. I can clean my bare floors and my carpets, and at the same time I can be assured that the air in my home is clean also. This machine also has a telescoping wand that I use to vacuum the dust off my curtains and drapes. The HEPA filter captures 99.97 percent of the dust and allergens in the air. This machine is very good for people that have allergies. When my sinuses start to stop up from allergies, I have turned on the vacuum even when I don’t need to clean. I just leave it on to clean the air. The HEPA filter is washable, and only needs to be replaced once a year. The Electrolux Harmony is amazingly quiet compared to many other vacuum cleaners.

I love the way the Electrolux Harmony is able to move. This machine moves on soft plastic coated wheels, and they don’t make a lot of noise as you move the vacuum cleaner from room to room. For me, being quiet is a must, because I work during the day and I usually run the vacuum at night when the family is already in bed. It must be quiet, because I have never been told that I am disturbing them. I recommend this vacuum cleaner to anyone that needs a light machine. You can buy Electrolux Harmony at the allergybuyersclub.com.

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Home Improvement Review

Review of Eureka Maxima 4700A Upright Vacuum

I went for the Maxima primarily because I am cheap. After months of watching my nearly four year old Dirt Devil miss fuzz or string or many tiny particles, we decided a new vacuum was in order.

I had a few priorities. Cheapness I already mentioned. Our house is small and we have mostly hardwoods which means that I do not want to buy a Dyson for a handful of area rugs. With the hardwoods in mind, I also wanted something that could do a basic sweep on hard floors as well.

Finally, I had been fed up by the constantly troublesome adventure of looking for vacuum bags with the Dirt Devil. This also was a major sticking point for me. I can’t remember now which size mine was (B, Y, U?). I do know that it was apparently the size which is never available in my local grocery stores or in my local Target, Walmart, Kmart.

So my needs drew me to the Eureka Maxima 4700A. This was a vacuum seemingly made for me. 12 amps-about as powerful as I have seen. Bagless, Micro-filtration with a very easily emptied dust cup. A couple of tools, like the wand I occasionally use on the floor moulding or on the grill of the bathroom fan. 25 foot cord. This baby looked like it had it all.

I found mixed reviews for it on Amazon.com, but decided that the majority of the negative reviews sounded either like inappropriate condemnations (something like, “I gave this product 1 star because it arrived late”) or the customer had received a lemon (“mine blew up the first time I used it”). In either case, buying locally with the option of returning it would solve most of those potential problems.

Hence, I am now the proud owner of a Maxima and I am loving it. It really picks up everything on the rug (something I began to doubt was possible for a vacuum when I was making excuses for the Dirt Devil-and yes I replaced the belt). It is a little more iffy on the bare floors. You are still going to have to Swiffer, but I wasn’t ever really expecting much. The Maxima was not intended to be a mop. So I am still simply pleased that it picks up large items.

The dust canister is really very simple to clean out, but every once in a while you will have to wash off the filter. It does cake up after a while and require a run under the hose or faucet. Also, be sure that you let the filter dry completely before putting it back into the dust canister.

My biggest disappointment was that I paid 69.99 for it at Sears. We were on a tight schedule and I had not seen it offered at Lowes for 60.82. With gas prices I was not going to be saving a nickel after a return trip to Sears and then one to Lowes. This would be especially true if I caught a lemon at Lowes after knowing that I did not already have one from Sears.

The Eureka Maxima 4700A has served us admirably for upwards of three months, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Health

Coping with Terrible News: When a Loved One Tells You They are HIV Positive

Its probably somewhere up there in your worst nightmares. Someone you love coming to you to tell you some terrible news. You see the pattern, drinking lots of water, wringing their hands and not looking you in the eye. You know something is up. Something is definitely wrong, but how do YOU deal, how do you cope with something huge, like HIV? Its going to be very very important to your loved one that you say the right thing, that you support him or her. Here are some steps you can take if ever faced with this terrible news.

  1. Once he or she tells you take a big deep breath. Think of how hard it was for your loved one to say it. There is no script for us and everyone fears rejection for almost anything we do. So start with a breath.
  2. Hide your fears. Or at least temper them. Your loved one needs you right now. You can take time later to research and talk about your feelings in a journal, a support forum or one of your trusted friends. This time is about your loved one. He or she needs to know that your committed, that your not judging them and that your not blaming them for this.
  3. Your loved one was honest with you and that was really hard. So match your loved one with honesty. Think before you speak. I still remember what was said to me by some important people in my life when I disclosed my status. Anyone with HIV needs as much support and love around them as they can get. It’s a tough road, but its one that can be walked and it can be a long road now with all the wonderful things we know through science and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage. While silence is painful, not speaking the truth will be even more painful.
  4. Please. Please do not ask how your loved one got it. That is something that can be painful for a lot of HIV positive folk. It can be a shameful thing as many feel like they could have and should have prevented it. While that may be true, reliving those shames or painful thoughts isn’t needed. It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t fix anything and most importantly it doesn’t make HIV go away.
  5. Ask if they’ve been to the doctor yet. If your loved one is telling you right after being diagnosed most likely they haven’t been to the specialist yet and time can be of the essence. If you think you can be of support offer to go with him or her to the doctor. That first visit can be so scary. Especially if your alone. Don’t be upset if they say no. Regardless of their answer I can’t imagine your offer not being appreciated.
  6. Hugs and any kind of physical contact can be so affirming. If you don’t know what to say, pat his or her hand. Give a hug. It shows that your not afraid to touch them still and with the old stigmas that is SO important! It means everything to still be seen as the same person you were before disclosing.
  7. Research. Help your loved one. Look up information on the internet, or in books. When it comes to HIV however, try to be aware of the date the information you’re looking at was written. New advances are coming up all the time and things that happened in the 80’s and 90’s, heck even in the early 00’s aren’t always applicable right now. Depending on your loved one this may or may not be appreciated. I know that I was so overwhelmed with all that I found and so much of the information I came across was old and very scary. If I had someone there to help me sort through it and act as a filter would have saved me so many tears and fears.
  8. Above all else be an ear. Hear what your loved one is going through and be open. If you are a particularly empathic person however, and it would pain you to hear of your loved ones trials it is ok request that they not share everything with you.

Make sure you get the support you need as well. Even though it is your friend or family that is going through the actual disease, you are affected too. Don’t deny yourself that. Don’t be a martyr either. Continue to take care of yourself.

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Health

Witch Trials, HIV and AIDS – a Link to the Uneducated

Many of us are familiar with the Salem witch trials of 1692. Nineteen innocent victims were hung for being witches. Salem was a town of Puritans that believed women, children, and the insane were weak and Satan could control them and make them do witchcraft. The penalty for witchcraft was death.

Now forward to over 300 years later, present day. Four women, tortured with hot metal rods, murdered and buried standing up in a pit.

These women were forced to confess to having used sorcery to cause a fatal road crash. Who wouldn’t admit being a witch if continuously stabbed with hot metal rods?

The women were blindfolded with their hands tied before being murdered. They were then placed in a standing position buried in a toilet pit. Two vehicle tires were placed on top of them and a banana tree was planted to hide the site. Police found the site with help of elders familiar with the area.

This did not take place in the United States, but it did happen in Papua New Guinea. Women are often hung or burned to death in this South Pacific nation. Almost all 5.6 million of the population believes in witchcraft.

Does this surprise anyone? And what is being done about it?

The nation’s government has answered, “We have about 800 different cultures and languages, and trying to translate the message in a society that is only 34% literate is a monumental task.”

Villagers in Papua New Guinea are often uneducated and poor. Without education, superstition becomes the answer to all that is unknown.

Death, illness, accidents, and unexplained events are blamed on curses. There is a belief that witchcraft causes HIV and Aids. Papua New Guinea has the highest rate in the South Pacific. It is so bad that many Aids victims are murdered. People do not understand how it is spread. Villagers are usually blaming elderly women of putting curses on the community.

With villagers being afraid and not wanting to risk the accusation of witchcraft, it is difficult to find any witnesses to cooperate with police.

Why should we care?

We should care because of our past. The Salem witch trials are a part of our history. These witch trials took place in America. There was something in us that looked beyond the reality of reason and jumped into a fiery pit of hell. Negativity breeds negativity. The people of Salem became hateful, vile and wicked towards each other.

Yes, the Salem witch trials happened over 300 years ago, but they did happen. It is still happening in our world. Innocent women are being slaughtered. Masses of people are being infected with HIV.

This comes down to being an educated public. We must continue to seek knowledge. We must continue to inform others of news around the world. Opening our eyes and hearts will keep us from blindingly repeating a history that was dark and uncalled for.

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Finance

Understanding Home Equity: Know the Loan and Lender Before You Sign

Home Equity is an important concern to any home owner. You want to not only preserve your home’s equity – you also want to increase it. Sometimes the best way to increase the equity in your home is to make home improvements. It is the old “you’ve got to spend money to make money” routine. However, to do that you might have to tap into the equity in your home via a home equity loan. Obviously this can all become very confusing.

To understand home equity, you must understand what home equity encompasses. Many people erroneously believe that home equity is how much they’ve paid minus taxes and interest; that is, how much they’ve paid toward the principal. That is incorrect. Actually, the equity in your home is based on an even easier to understand formula. The equity is simply how much the home is worth minus how much is still owed on it. So, if your home has a fair market value of $100,000 and you owe $50,000, then you are sitting pretty with $50,000 in home equity. On the other hand, let’s suppose that your property was over valued when you bought it or that, for some reason or other, its fair market value has dropped to $25,000. In that case if you still owed $50,000 you would have zero in home equity despite the fact that you have been paying on this property for some time.

Often a homeowner plans on making some improvements or repairs prior to selling the home or he or she simply wants to make the home a more enjoyable place to live. Unless that homeowner has ready access to cash, that money is usually borrowed. The Home Equity Loan Consumer Protection Act prevents lenders from concealing terms of the loan. Some states have enacted laws which provide the home owner with additional protection. Nevertheless, it would behoove a borrower to always carefully read the loan document before signing.

Usually, when a person takes out a loan based on the equity of their home that is considered what we call a “second mortgage.” The lending institution holding the paper on this loan has rights to your home but their rights are secondary to those of the primary lender. There are several types of these loans.

The first, a Home Equity Loan, is simply an installment loan similar to your mortgage or any other monthly bill you may have. You receive the entire amount agreed upon from the lending institution and you repay it, with interest, in monthly installments. With this kind of loan you are able to use the money borrowed for anything you wish including paying off your other bills

The second type is a Home Improvement Loan. As the name indicates, you can only use this type of loan for home improvements. Sometimes the money is dispersed from the lending institution as the work on your home progresses so that you can pay for the contractors, etc., with the funds on an as needed basis. The funds are then repaid in installments like a Home Equity Loan.

The third type of loan based on a home’s equity is an Equity Line of Credit. This type of loan is rather insidious as it appears to be nothing more than a credit card. Do not be fooled! An equity line of credit is not a credit card. A credit card can be written off, if necessary, as an unsecured debt in a bankruptcy proceeding but anything charged on an Equity Line of Credit, whether those charges be for things like concert tickets or new clothes, is secured by your home. In other words, the lending institution can take your home if you don’t pay.

There is one other kind of equity based loan out there that has been making waves in the past few years. It is called a Reverse Mortgage, and it is completely different than any other kind of equity loan. A Reverse Mortgage is marketed toward the elderly. It provides the senior citizen with funds yet allows them to remain in their home. The concept is that the Mr. Nice Guy Mortgage Company will give the senior citizen all this money and allow him or her to stay in the home so that now the senior has much needed money AND still has a place to live. It sounds too good to be true! Guess what? It is! These lending institutions are snapping up these homes for a song. Yes, the seniors or their heirs can buy back the homes, but the fees associated with that make buying the property back rather prohibitive. Worse yet, because the lending institutions received the property for less than the fair market value, this transaction can, in some circumstances, count as a transfer that can harm the elderly person’s ability to obtain nursing home Medicaid benefits.

Protecting one’s equity is very important. So, when you do decide to bite the bullet and make home improvements, be careful from whom you borrow. When you sign your name on the dotted line you might find you signed up for more than you bargained for.

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Finance

Should You Apply for a Loan with Guarantor?

Possibly regarded as a “silent partner”, a loan guarantor agrees to repay a loan in the event that the primary borrower defaults.

The term “silent partner” is a little too ambiguous really to help you understand the function of a loan guarantor, because it may refer either to a “joint borrower” or to a bona-fide “guarantor.” The two terms and their functions, however, differ dramatically.

A joint borrower, a second primary signer on the loan, shares complete responsibility for the loan’s terms and conditions. “Joint borrowers” are partners, and for the sake of the loan, the two add-up to one: Together, they have one total income, and they qualify for the loan on the strength of their combined credit rating. If they default, the lender launches simultaneous collection actions against them. If joint borrowers default, lenders seize or put charges on both borrowers’ income and assets.

What is a “loan guarantor”?

A “guarantor” has sufficient assets-property, equities, or cash reserves to repay the loan if the borrowers cannot keep up their regular payments. When you apply for a loan with a guarantor, the guarantor, in effect, says, “Yes, I will pay if they cannot.”

Guarantors typically must prove they have sufficient assets to pay-off the full loan amount plus default penalties. Lenders may take-back mortgages on guarantors’ properties, exercising their rights of repossession if both the borrower and the guarantor are derelict in their repayment duties. Respectable, reliable lenders require guarantors to secure independent legal counsel and show proof they have met with their solicitors before approving a guaranteed loan.

Guarantors especially need to know that their agreement to act as a guarantor will limit their own ability to borrow money or secure further credit. When the borrower establishes credit-worthiness with the lender, showing a history of regular payments and substantially reducing the outstanding balance on the loan, the guarantor may apply for release from the obligation.

Benefits of a loan with guarantor

Although lenders grant guaranteed loans for just about every conceivable purpose, they most often allow borrowers to finance home purchases with guaranteed loans. Very technically, most home mortgages are “guaranteed” by mortgage insurance, but major mortgage lenders also extend credit to first-time buyers whose family members guarantee their loans. The majority of trustworthy mortgage lenders restrict guarantors to family members; and, in most cases, borrowers must prove they have the capacity to make the regular monthly payments.

Guarantors typically provide assurance that borrowers can make their installment payments and pay any additional costs associated with a home purchase. In some exceptional cases, guarantors demonstrate they have resources to provide long-term assistance with monthly payments,

In order to take advantage of current low house prices, you may consider the benefits of a guaranteed loan. Although you must meet the income criteria and have a reasonably good credit score, applying for a loan with guarantor may help you secure a lower interest rate or make-up for some of the flaws in your credit history.

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Education

Do FDA Regulations Discriminate Against Homosexual Men?

Political correctness has run amok – with potentially deadly consequences. The folks at San Jose State University, in the suburbs of San Francisco, have banned further blood drives because of the Food and Drug Administration’s rule against accepting blood donations from men who have had sex with other men. The argument is that the FDA regulation discriminates against homosexual men and, thus, violates the school’s non-discrimination policy.

The school’s ban is meant to protest a rule whose intent is not to discriminate, but to protect public health. This is evidenced by the fact that there are also FDA rules against accepting blood donations from intravenous drug users – another identifiable segment of the population at extraordinary risk of HIV infection. Yet, SJSU officials do not protest that regulation as discriminatory. How could they when I.V. drug use cuts across all age, gender, and racial boundaries? In their rhetoric, the protesters refuse to acknowledge FDA statistics showing that homosexuals’ HIV risk is 60 times greater than heterosexuals’ or that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) counted 6,050 people who developed AIDS from HIV-tainted blood products before the regulations were put in place.

From a public health perspective, both regulations are not only prudent, they are absolutely necessary – as necessary as taxpayer supported safe sex education, free condoms, or needle exchange programs aimed at preventing transmission of HIV and other deadly infectious diseases. Even with these donor screening and blood testing regulations in place, the FDA estimates that 1,100 units of tainted blood still make it into the blood banks every year. If the outcome of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis weren’t so dreaded, there might be some comfort in this relatively small number. But, AIDS has no cure, hepatitis B and C can destroy the liver, and death from all these diseases is neither pleasant nor swift. If you or your loved one is among 3.6 million who will receive a blood transfusion this year, any risk of infection and death from tainted blood (no matter how small) is unacceptable.

The officials at SJSU, however, seem to believe that the American public should accept that level of risk – and more. The FDA estimates 62,300 homosexuals would donate blood if the rule was lifted and subsequent testing cannot be relied upon to screen out tainted blood. They say that most HIV-contaminated blood that now reaches transfusion recipients comes from recently infected people who have not yet developed antibodies to the virus. Researchers say that HIV tests now in use detect only antibodies, which may take 25 days or more to show up. Even worse, some researchers now suggest that newly infected individuals are far more infectious than previously suspected.

To respond to such unreasonable protests and lift the regulations that prevent homosexual men from donating blood would substantially threaten the public health. In addition to the potential for more deaths each year from tainted blood, even more people will die because they refuse to accept the increased risk of HIV infection and forego lifesaving transfusion.

To open Pandora’s Box and unleash such misery and death on the American public, for no better reason than the appearance of political correctness, is simply reckless and incorrigible behavior. One can only hope that this irresponsible protest at SJSU will not spread to other schools or businesses. The FDA must remain diligent in its duty to protect Americans from this undeniable health risk. This is precisely why this agency exists – to protect the public health even when we don’t have the good sense to protect ourselves.

Categories
Education

Block Books: Fun and Educational

My 12 month old son has a new favorite toy. Well, actually it has been his favorite toy for about three months now. It’s his set of Soft Play Sesame Block books. He has all three sets that we’ve found. He absolutely loves them! He spends at least a few minutes playing with them every single day.

I think one of the reasons that my son likes the block books so much is because there are so many different things he can do with them. He can stack them up and knock them down. He can open them and look at the pictures. He can squeeze the pages and hear the different noises they make. He can put them in his mouth and chew on them. And he doesn’t have to hear me get onto him for it because I don’t worry about him hurting his mouth or tearing up his toys.

The block books are really cute, too. They feature Sesame Street characters, which are of course a big hit with most older babies and toddlers. They also include only short phrases that are easy for toddlers to understand. The short phrases are also great for parents, because we can get through a whole book before baby starts losing interest.

They have a variety of subjects available. One set of block books includes books that discuss Hugs, Kisses, Smiles, and Love. There are also two other sets of four block books. One set covers the time of day, and the other covers basic learning concepts like counting and opposites.

One thing that I like about the block books is that they can teach babies so many things. Blocks are good for babies because they teach children about cause and effect. Blocks are also good because when babies build towers, it helps to develop their motor skills. Even stacking one block on top of another helps a young baby gain valuable skills.

Another great thing about these block books is their durable construction. These books are made of cloth, with foam pages. There is also one page in each of the eight page books that includes a noise maker of some kind. Some of the block books have a squeaker, some have a rattle, and some have a crinkly page. These noises are all big hits with my son, as I’m sure they are with most toddlers.

The suggested retail price of these block is $19.99 for a set of four. I personally would have been hesitant to buy them for that price. However, now that I have them, I definitely think they are worth the price. After all, most books do cost more than $5.00 each, and these include extra activities. And if you order them from the website, they offer a discount. I’m not sure what shipping is, though. I bought mine at a retail store.

I would recommend the Sesame block books to any parent with an older baby or a toddler. There are so many different things you and your baby can do with this set of toys. They would make a great addition to any toy box or book shelf.