Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

My husband will be home for the holidays two weeks after we will celebrate as a family with his parents and four sisters on the 25th. He is being released from the military after two surgeries. I'd like for his family to try and wait until he arrives before celebrating. Is this a bad idea even if they haven't seen him or our three kids in almost four years? Also, there's a large number of kids, from newborns to age 20, who will get to see each other for the first time. Should I contact the parents and ask for suggestions for each one or just buy according to ages? I'd like to surprise them though and was hoping that you might have some neat gift ideas.
We got Robeez Shoez for our little kids who are standing or just beginning to walk. They are soft, 100% leather yet non-slip and very well made. For kids who are teething, Malarkey Kids Munch Mitt is a soft, washable mitten with bumpy silicone on one side and has a crunchy sound that babies love. A similar one is Crinkle Squares from Baby Jack Company. There are different sizes and patterns and they are sewn well with ribbons and double stitching. Each one makes an attention-getting sound that intrigues babies for hours. Snap & Shop snack tray is amazing! It fits on any shopping cart handle and has two areas for snacks for kids while parents do their shopping. We also bought the book, “The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane,” by Sarah Addington. It has wonderful pictures and shares the boyhood story of Santa Claus. - T. M. in Washington, D.C.

From Jodie:
If no one brings up your idea to wait, mention it and see what type of reaction you get. Activities for the whole family would be pretty cool. “26 Popular Children's Games from Around the World” is a new card game that teaches families how to play popular games that children in 26 countries enjoy and promotes tolerance and understanding of different cultures. Buildr TAPE is a peel and stick building block tape that kids can link together to create all kinds of things using their imagination. It's fun for everyone and even sticks to walls and peels off. See https://buildrtoys.com for ordering. There's a new site that features a very intelligent monkey named Q who shares various life lessons for kids and ways to resolve problems. It has music and beautiful graphics, activities and even different quality products interlinked to Q that can be purchased. Go to www.qwunder.com and set up a free trial. It's also available in an app. Also, Magna Ready makes very nice shirts for men and women with physical disabilities and have magnetic buttons with the traditional button look on the outside. Check out http://www.magnaready.com for more details.
Please Note: Rival 5 Math Game, mentioned in last week's column, can be purchased online. Go to https://www.rival5game.com for more info.

We have 5 kids under the age of 16 and get a lot of gifts for holidays and birthdays. People don't listen to gift suggestions because the kids don't really care for most of them. We end up returning or regifting a lot. I don't know what to tell people when they ask how the kids liked their presents. Should we make up excuses or what?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040 Email: direct2contact@parenttoparent.com,or go to www.parenttoparent.com which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

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