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The Tablift Tablet Stand

Tablift

It’s not pretty, but I love it. The new Tablift tablet stand looks like something out of War of the Worlds, so I was a bit skeptical about using it. Until I used it! Touted as “the most stable tablet stand on the market,” its four bendable rebar-like legs keeps it stable on the couch, chair or bed without touching your body. Therefore when you move, it doesn’t.

The Tablift works with all models and sizes of the iPad and Samsung Galaxy. I tried it out on my iPad – both horizontal and vertical. It’s comfortable and stable and very handy for reading (watching Netflix) in bed or tweeting along with your favorite television program on the couch!

It would most likely fit over most preggo tummies, and I can see it being a great asset for kids and toddlers who want to watch their shows or play their games on the couch, in bed or at a table. It also folds up to be very compact, for travel or storing away:

Tablift - folded

Disclaimer: I did receive this product free for review, but am seriously considering purchasing several more for holiday gifts. You can get it here for about $50. For more information about this product, visit the Tablift website.


Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

goldilocksGoldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

by Mo Willems

Many people love author/illustrator Mo Willems for the wit and humor in his fun Pigeon books or the sentimental Knuffle Bunny, but our family most enjoys his lesser-known titles.  Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct is a top 10 read aloud in our household.   When I discovered Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, I was psyched to see yet another dinosaur-related book from Willems.

The title clues you in that this will be a re-telling of the classic fairy tale.  A great way to capture kids’ interest is to make them laugh by reading the title, alone.  Check!  Another great way to capture kids’ interest is to feature dinosaurs.  Check!  Before you open the book, they’re already curious and giggling.  And, of course, it doesn’t stop there.

Instead of meeting a bear family, we meet a mother and father dinosaur.  Where’s the baby in this version of the tale?  He’s been replaced by the very random “some other dinosaur” who is visiting from Norway.  Cue the giggles!  Willems tells the story with playful  irony.  The dinosaurs were “definitely not hiding in the woods waiting for an unsuspecting kid to come by.”  The “poorly supervised” Goldilocks thinks she hears the dinosaurs yelling at one another regarding her demise, “but that could have been a rock falling.  Or a squirrel.” She’s a girl on a mission, and she thinks she’s going to the three bears’ house like the story is supposed to go.  Yet…

Everything she sees in the house is scaled HUGE (you know, they’re dinosaurs), but naive Goldilocks pays no mind to that being out of the ordinary.  She smells chocolate pudding, which is much more appealing than porridge, no? After gorging on pudding, she needs to have a seat.  All the chairs were far too tall for her, and she decides to rest in the bedroom.  She gets a little irritated when she sees that even the beds are huge and couldn’t possibly be for bears.  Yet she sticks around until she finally hears what is “either a passing truck or a Dinosaur gloating, ‘A few more minutes and she’ll be asleep!  Delicious chocolate-filled-little-girl-bonbons are yummier when they’re rested!'”  Kids reading along or listening to the story will have slapped their heads 14 times by now because of Goldilocks’ obliviousness.  But they will cheer as it finally clicks for her!  She takes a minute to look around, realizes where she is, and then she bolts to safety.

The silliness of the re-tell is obvious and fun and quirky, but a real bonus in this book is the background humor in the illustrations.  Searching for jokes in the wall art, decorations, signs, etc., is a great activity for repeated reads.  Older, nerdier kids will love the Science and Geography jokes — like the wall calendar that says, “Norway – ‘Gateway to Sweden;'” and a basketball team poster in the bedroom features a dinosaur in a sweatband with the text, “Go Asteroids!  Feel the Boom!”  Aaaaah, extinction humor!  There are many little funny surprises in this book, and it makes it very enjoyable for kids and adults.  While the target audience for a read aloud is usually preschool-first grade, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a great selection to read to most school-aged children… especially if you’re very good at faking a Norwegian dinosaur accent.

 


Marla Sokoloff Is Expecting Again
Marla Sokoloff

Marla Sokoloff

It’s the baby routine all over again. Marla Sokoloff is reprising a familiar role with her family: getting ready for baby! A rep for the actress confirmed to People that she and husband Alec Puro are expecting their second baby, due in the spring. Sokoloff and Puro are already parents to 2-year-old daughter Elliotte.


Stanley Tucci Is Going to Be a Dad Again
Felicity Blunt & Stanley Tucci

Felicity Blunt & Stanley Tucci

Stanley Tucci is making news all over the place! Next month, of course, he’s reappearing on-screen as Caesar Flickerman in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1. This month, though, the news is from closer to home! Us Weekly is reporting that Tucci and his wife Felicity Blunt are expecting their first. Baby-to-be is the first for the couple, but parenthood isn’t a new role for Tucci, who also has three children with his late wife Kate.


Jude Law Is Going to Be a Dad Again
Jude Law

Jude Law

Someone’s got diaper duty on the horizon again! Jude Law is going to be a dad for the fifth time sometime next spring. Law’s rep confirmed the news in a statement released to People, “I can confirm that Jude Law and Catherine Harding are expecting a child together in the spring. Whilst they are no longer in a relationship, they are both wholeheartedly committed to raising their child.” Law is already dad to three children — Rafferty (18), Iris (13) and Rudy (12) — with his ex-wife Sadie Frost, and one — Sophia (5) — with Samantha Burke. His latest film project, Black Sea, is set to hit theaters in January 2015.


The name Nausicaå

Hi Jennifer!

Ever since I first saw Hayao Miyazaki’s movie ‘Nausicaå of the Valley of the Wind’, I’ve loved the name of the titular character. Since your website doesn’t have it, I did a brief google search and found that it means ‘burner of ships’, but there wasn’t any citation to a reputable source, so I’m little doubtful on how accurate this.

Is this indeed the meaning of the name Nausicaå? Any information about the name would be greatly appreciated, I think it’s a beautiful name.

Thanks,
Cora

Dear Cora,
The name originates in Homer’s Odyssey, as the name of a character. The name literally just translates to “of the sea,” similar to the word nautical. It does not mean “Princess who finds Odysseus,” as most baby name sites state. That is a description of the character.

Unfortunately, this is a good example of how other sites just copy content from each other without research. Here are BabyNames.com, we pride ourselves in our research and have two international name scholars that work on our database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer


Gibson to Honor Stepfather

Hi Jennifer!!

I have a spelling question for you! My husband and I are planning another child in the near future and would like to honor my stepfather who’s last name is Gibbs. I came across Gibson at one point and thought it was so unique and masculine and would be a good way to honor my him. My question is…is it silly to spell it Gibbson since Gibbs has two B’s or should I just stick with the traditional spelling?

Thanks!!
Brittany G

Dear Brittany,

How many times have you had to spell your name for people? Yep, that’s what I thought. STICK TO THE COMMON SPELLING: Gibson. You don’t need the two Bs to honor your stepdad.

Sincerely,
Jennifer


Pronunciation of Maille

Hi Jennifer!

First off, let me just say I love looking at your website. I’ve been coming to your website since I was young just to look at names for fun and I love all the advice you give!

I’ve always wondered how to pronounce the name Maille. I’ve looked up how to pronounce it and some sites it says it’s pronounced like ‘Molly’ or ‘Mehl-leh’ or ‘May-lee’ or ‘My-lee.’ Is there any certain way you would pronounce this name?

Thank you!
Georgie

Dear Georgie,

Maille is a French surname. It came from the name of a small coin, and subsequently a tax of the same amount. Most likely the surname came from a nickname for someone who collected this tax.

In its original language it would be pronounced similar to “My” or possibly “MY-ah.” However, since the name is so rare and nobody in the U.S. really knows the proper pronunciation, you can pronounce it any way that you want.

Sincerely,
Jennifer


Cool Vermont Name

Hi Jennifer,

My huband loves going to Vermont, and his parents own a house in Stowe, Vermont. I was looking up names that we could use as a middle name when we have children that had something to do with Vermont, and I found a name that isn’t in your database. The town of Stowe, Vermont was chartered by a man named Benning Wentworth. When I heard the name Benning, I thought it would be good as a first name too. Do you know anything about this name? Thanks!

Sarah K.

Hi Sarah,

Very often early Americans from prominent families were given surnames as first names. This was to show their glowing lineage! As in, “Oh, you’re a BENNING! I know that family.” This naming practice has now become trendy again, but not for those reasons. Names like Mason, Harrison, Taylor and Harper are all top names that were originally surnames.

Interesting fact: Benning is one of the earliest surnames recorded in history. It is derived from the Latin “Benedictus” which means “blessed.” Other related surnames are Bennett, Benedict, and the French Benoit.

Thank you for the new name! I will make sure it is added to the BabyNames.com database.

Sincerely,
Jennifer


Kreatyve Name Spellings

Hi Jennifer,

I was wondering your opinion on using names with non-traditional spellings. My name is spelled in a non-traditional way: Karlee instead of Carly. I am almost always called Kaylee or Callie when first meeting people; not to mention I have to spell out my first name or have it spelled wrong every time. Even after I have told people how to spell my name they still spell it wrong (even family members)! Honestly, it can be a bit frustrating at times. I know my case isn’t as drastic as some such as Emmalie for Emily or Cidnee for Sydney. Just to clarify I’m not against changing a letter or two, and I’m not saying everybody has to be the same either. I just think sometimes people go too far with it. I would love to hear your insight on this. Thanks so much!

Sincerely,

Carly with a K and two EE’s

Dear Karlee,

Personally, I hate them. Professionally, I hate them. For the reasons that you stated, above. When I approach a name professionally, I approach it from the perspective of the child–the person who will bear the name for the rest of his or her life. Can the name be a burden on the child? And how much of a burden? Will he/she have to spell it for people their entire lives?

Some people with (what I call) “Kreatyve Names” say that they like their different spelling. That it makes them unique. But most of them say they only learned to accept it as an adult. As a child, it was a burden.

If you want a unique name, choose a unique name. Don’t choose a popular name and misspell it. Life is hard enough for kids. Any comments from Kreatyve namers or namees?

Sincerely,
Jennifer

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