Archive for Feeding

Home Grown Super Heroes for Your Kiddos


The question really seems to be, how had I NOT heard of Super Sprowtz before I discovered them at Toy Fair a few weeks ago!? The Super Sprowtz are in our classrooms, in an app, on the television, on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, even on TV in New York City cabs, and they are on a super hero’s mission: to use the educational power of media to help children learn about nutrition, wellness and the environment!  Now that’s a mission Babies Gotta Have It can squarely get behind!

I walked away from Toy Fair with an adorable plush Suzy Sweet Pea puppet which Bean has taken to both animating and using as a pillow. And also the Super Sprowtz Origins: Picture/Adventure Book which traces the beginnings of the Super Sprotwz as they transformed from well-nurtured rooftop garden vegetables to actual super heroes on a quest to defeat Pompous Pollution.  The story is unique and whimsical, the book is made in the USA of 30% post-consumer waste and the art is a beautiful.  It looks like a combination of a dark and gritty super-hero comic and a fairy tale–just right.

Look, nutritional education is getting the short end of the stick in our schools.  But in some ways, helping our children choose what to eat, where to get that food, and how to care for this Earth that nourishes our food sources, is just as important as Math and Reading.  And I applaud initiatives like Super Sprowtz that are out there presenting nutrition education in a fun, accessible and vibrant way using every media available.  And even for those of us who consider ourselves kinda snotty, local sourcing, farmers-market, composting foodies…well I need help encouraging my kid to choose more colorful, healthy foods.  Her school is about to start a school lunch program and the choice of what she eats for lunch will be up to her.  I hope, that when it’s time to pick what she puts on her little tray, that the image of Suzy Pea’s smiling face may come to her mind, and she may mix a little green in there with the beige.

A lifetime of healthy eating habits starts young.  How many of us had to un-learn the habits we picked up in the high school cafeteria?  Let’s start our kids out right.  So check out the Super Sprowtz website for fun activities, recipes, games, videos and more.  And make a commitment today to make healthy eating fun for your kids.

Super Sprowtz! That’s something babies definitely gotta have.

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Join the Koru Herd

Koru Yoghurt (that’s right, Yoghurt with an “h”) has hit Manhattan.

We like our yogurt here in the city.  We eat it for lunch.  We add granola.  We cook with it.  We suck it out of tubes and drink it smooth.  We love it frozen with lots of toppings.  And with the explosion of Greek yogurt it seems hard to believe that there could be something new in the yogurt aisle.

I’m here to tell you that there is.  Meet Koru Creamery Style Yoghurt.  “Creamery style?” you ask.  Yup.  It is crazy creamy.  Custardy creamy.  Really really smooth and delicious.

What else is new about Koru?  Transparency.  All around.  The containers are transparent so you can see just how much fruit is on the bottom.  And transparency in the ingredients–pretty much nothing your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize in the components of this treat.  You can feel really good about giving Koru to your kids and they will love these varieties.

And then there are the flavors.  They are fancy! Peach (my favorite), Strawberry Goji, Mango, Pomegranate and Cherry, and just in time for Valentine’s Day…Passion Fruit.  Fancy and delish.  I’m having a Passion Fruit right now as a little pre-lunch.  Scrumptious.

No, Koru yoghurts are not low fat.  They are not low sugar.  Neither do they taste low-fat or artificially sweetened.  They are natural, they are decadent, and they are a little bit of heaven in a cup.

That’s something that Mamas and Babies definitely gotta have.

Koru Creamery style yoghurts are available at supermarkets near you.  You can also join the herd on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest Koru news.  Moo.

Thank you to Koru for sending me a cooler of Koru yoghurts to try.  As always, all opinions are totally my own and you better believe they were not influenced by anybody.

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Put Down the Cookie and Open the Freezer

Fa-la-la-la-la-la- Fifteen pounds!

Ok. Maybe not fifteen.  But I sometimes feel like it’s at least five!

I love sweets.  Any time of the year.  As far as I’m concerned one of the absolute best things about summer is ice cream.  And winter?  Pie of course.  And Christmas is all about the cookies!

But all those cookies and cakes and candies and pies add up!  I’m sure I’m not the only one who comes home from the holidays feeling like her skinny jeans don’t fit.

So what’s a sweets-loving gal to do?  Listen, when you arrive at your in-laws, head out to the grocery store, ostensibly for a toothbrush or diapers or something…and pick up a few containers of Whole Fruit Sorbets.  We recently had the chance to try several flavors (they came packed in dry ice–so cool!) and they are delish.  I am partial to the lemon.  Doc Hubby was loving the mango.  And the Bean…um…well, we kinda haven’t shared.  Grown ups need their own sweeties sometimes!

So what makes Whole Fruit Sorbets so special?  They are available in seven delectable and really unique flavors: Mango, Black Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Lemon, Peach, and the new Valencia Orange (mmmmm). And they are…FAT FREE!  Yes.  Fat free.  Loaded with flavor.  And they taste like real fruit.  Real refreshing–

Hold on.  Doc Hubby just handed me a bowl of Strawberry Sorbet.  Okay now that’s my favorite.

But where was I? Real, refreshing sorbets that are between 120 and 160 calories per serving. Sophisticated, grown-up flavors that your kids will love too.

And for entertaining?  How beautiful would a bowl of that Raspberry Sorbet look on your holiday table?  So elegant.

So where can you find Whole Fruit Sorbets?  Check out their store finder to find the shop closest to your inlaws.  Sure those cookies are soooo good.  But throw in a couple of servings of sorbet as well.  Your waist line will be glad you did.

We received a sampling of Whole Fruit Sorbets for the purposes of review.  As always, all opinions are strictly my own and not influenced by anyone.

 

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Udi’s for Your Little Foodies

We are in the midst of planning Bean’s 5th birthday party.  It will be a fairy party.  I have signed on to make about a dozen tutus.  Game on.

So far we have blissfully avoided the craziness of New York City birthday parties.  They have all been rather, dare I say, normal.  Nice, but not extravagant. Bowling and crafting. We did go to a neat party at the Madame Alexander Factory which is right here in NYC.  I am planning to have ours in our apartment.  A fairy party is really better suited to a backyard, but we’re kind of short on those up here on the Upper West Side. I think we’ll end the party in the park with a fairy scavenger hunt.

I have been trolling Pinterest and the interwebs for Fairy Party Ideas. I’m super excited about all the cute food options.  We will probably have one child at the party with a gluten allergy so I’ve been definitely thinking about what we can offer her.  Then I found a link to a woodland fairy party (brace yourself, it’s unbearably gorgeous) that described a make-your-own trail mix station consisting of “chipmunk chips” (dried bananas), “wrinkled grapes” (raisins), “fairy berries” (raspberries), and “gnome made granola” (granola!).  And thanks to my discovery of Udi’s Gluten Free Granolas, it’s all gluten free!

I was delighted when the folks at Udi’s offered my family a chance to review a variety of their gluten free granolas.  I have to say, my favorite was the Vanilla Sweet and Crunchy flavor.  I’m a bit of a wheat and gluten addict, and so I do try to cut back from time to time.  Yogurt, granola and berries is my go-to summer breakfast and I have really enjoyed Udi’s in the mix.  The granola is crunchy and has a nice honey flavor.  The almonds are slivered nice and thin and have a satisfying crunch. Udi’s granola is made in their Colorado gluten-free bakery and is available on the shelves at local grocery stores across the company.  Check out the store finder on their website to find a location near you.

Whether you have a gluten allergy or your kids have a gluten allergy or you just like the way your body feels when you go gluten-free, Udi’s is a great option. My best luck losing weight as an adult was when I cut out wheat, dairy and sugar.  Okay, well anyone will lose weight if they do that.  But even after I added a little dairy and sugar back, I stayed off wheat for quite a while.  And I did feel really good.  If you’re curious about going gluten free yourself, Udi’s has a lot of information for you to check out on the website.  And it also has a community page with a forum offering ideas, support, recipes and more.  So check out Udi’s granola to go with all those ripe blueberries coming in right now.  Maybe it’s time for Mama to go back on that diet…

And just remember…Udi’s granola also serves well as “Gnome Made Granola” for your next Fairy Birthday Party.

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Go Plastic Free This Summer and Make Some Popsicles

I’m on a bit of a green kick these last few weeks.  I posted about plant-based compostable paper and plastic cups, recycling kids clothes with thredUP, and now as the temperature soars here in the Northeast I’m back on the no plastic kick.

Plastic is creepy enough.  But when it gets very very hot or very very cold I’m even more freaked out.  How is it that for years we drank tepid plastic-flavored water from plastic containers that sat in hot backpacks for hours and didn’t think….hmmm…maybe that’s not right?  I’ve been trying to learn about food and milk container safety since I started Babies Gotta Have It and I’m pretty convinced by the evidence.

But look it’s summer!  It’s hot!  We all want to have fun and what’s more fun that making homemade popsicles?!  Not much, I say!  My good friends at our partner NoPlastic.ca sent us their amazingly awesome, space-age Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold and we tried it last weekend.  And the popsicles came out absolutely perfectly!

The mold is all stainless steel (obviously plastic and BPA free) and comes with a pack of wooden popsicle sticks which you’ll need to replenish when you use them all (you can even order reusable bamboo ones from NoPlastic).  Insert the awesome shaped popsicle mold into the rack, pour in your filling of choice, lay the lid on top.  Each lid has a rubber, colored disc on top with a slot for the stick.  Stick in the stick.  Freeze.  You can remove one popsicle at a time without having to melt any of the others, which is awesome.  Run your popsicle under hot water for half a second and the metal mold easily slides off revealing a PERFECT popsicle.  The lid becomes a convenient juice-catcher.  Oh and the different colored discs on each mold allows each kid to have his very own popsicle that he made.  Genius.

And homemade popsicle recipes have come a long way.  Check out the offerings on Epicurious. And of course Martha has some amazing looking options.

Homemade, healthy, frozen treats. That’s something Mamas and Babies definitely gotta have.

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Eat Your Vegetabibbles

I had the pleasure of reviewing “Vegetabibbles” written and illustrated by Kathryn Warren.  With impressive rhymes and adorable characters, Warren has created the perfect children’s book about eating vegetables!  And if your children are like my four year old, then this may be the catalyst you need for getting them to try new things!  Reminiscent of Veggie Tales, you meet Bob the corn on the Cob who “runs around with Broccoli Rob.”  CW’s favorite is the russet potato that “fancied a roma tomato” (they met in a stew).  At their wedding the black eyed peas get into a little trouble, which makes CW laugh every time.  Personally, I liked the zucchini in a bikini!

 

With colorful illustrations and funny quips, your children will be talking about “Vegetabibbles” all the time.  And, maybe that will translate into some more eating at the table!  Now instead of asking CW to eat his zucchini, I say, “Eat your vegetabibbles” and he giggles.  Next thing I know, the zucchini has disappeared!  The best part is that “Vegetabibbles” introduces your children to new kinds of vegetables from edamame to kale, while enhancing their vocabulary with great words like bravado (rhymes with avocado) and merit (you guessed it, to rhyme with carrot)!

Incredibly creative, pick up a copy of “Vegetabibbles” today!

photo10 150x150 An In Tents Circus of SoundsKristin is a former high school English teacher and show choir geek enjoying time as a stay-at-home mom to CW and new baby brother MD.

Thanks to “Vegetabibbles”  for the chance to review their new book! As always, all opinions are Kristin’s and her boys’ and were not influenced by anyone.

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When My Little Bean Stopped Eating Beans

Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressings

Sometimes I really miss baby food.  I loved going to the store and looking at all those neat little jars of organic earth-toned purees.  I loved the satisfying clink they made in my reusable grocery bag–the neat little stacks of them in the cupboard.  I see how many more organic baby food options there are now, and that, along with the proliferation of amazing earth-friendly baby products, almost makes me want to do it all over again. Almost.

Back in those days my little Bean ate beans with gusto.  Peas with pleasure. And prunes with…enthusiasm. And lentils and sweet potatoes and squash. And tons of other colorful fruits and veggies.  Honestly, the toddler and preschooler turn against veggies came as kind of a shock to me.  I never once suggested that green food was bad food.  In any way.  Doc Hubby and I model healthy eating as much as possible.  Cate sees a colorful variety of foods on both of our plates, and I say with a bit of pride, that since moving to New York almost 20 years ago our palates have expanded exponentially.  I am almost abashed to say that we have indeed, become foodies.

So when Bean started turning her nose up at vegetables and saying “I don’t like anything that’s green,” I was truly shocked.  Where did this food aversion come from? Sometimes I wonder if all the songs and TV shows encouraging healthy eating actually led to her vegetable about-face.  It seems that these shows make the assumption that kids are coming to them with food aversions.  That when they turn on the TV or open the book or listen to the song, they already don’t like broccoli.  And inadvertently teaching the kids that the standard of kid-eating is no veggies.  Then again, experts say toddler food aversions are natural and unavoidable. Who knows?

Those same experts say that parents need to expose a preschooler to any new food between five and ten times before they can tolerate the unfamiliar taste and texture.  So we have started making a concerted effort to include a vegetable on Cate’s plate at every dinner.  For new veggies, we stick with the “big girls try new foods” policy and insist that she takes a healthy bite.  For foods that we have already acclimated her to, she has to finish the small portion we give.  So far, we have gotten as far as baby carrots with… moderate success.

Bolthouse Farms French Dressing

All this to say, I have also attempted to have plates of cut up veggies on the table for Doc Hubby and me as well so we can model munching on crispy ruffage. And I’m gonna just say it, veggies remain a challenge for me too.  I eat them.  I don’t complain. But I’d rather have a dinner roll. So when the folks at Bolthouse Farms offered us bottles of four of their new yogurt-based salad dressings to try, I immediately said yes! Dipping fresh veggies in salad dressing, to me, is one of the best ways to turn ruffage into refinement!  I may sound like Nancy, but to me, dips make any food fancy. However, if you aren’t careful, dips and dressings are also a way to turn a healthy, low-cal snack into a fatty, sugary treat that may taste more palatable, but will eat up your precious daily calorie count in a flash.

Here’s the good news!  The Bolthouse Farms yogurt based dressings contain 55% less calories and 75% less fat than “leading brands” (ie. mayonnaise-based brands) and all come in at 45 calories per delicious serving.  We tried the Classic Ranch, Salsa Ranch, Zesty French, and Honey Mustard dressings and they were all super tasty.  I also dig that the dressings are all-natural with no preservatives, no artificial flavorings and no MSG. Doc Hubby has expressed a partiality for the Honey Mustard while I have to say the two Ranch offerings are my favorites.  Bean has yet to dip her miniscule carrot sticks in, but I think it’s only a matter of time.  Nutritionists say that offering your kids veggies with various dips to choose from is a great way to make eating fun.  And I like that we can model healthy eating, with delicious dressings that are lower calorie and lower fat while still being totally yummy.

After all, bathing suit season is (groan, moan, whine, complain, hide under a rock, start exercising…) on it’s way. Swapping fatty foods for leaner ones is a wise move as May approaches. Veggies for baby. Veggies for Mama and Daddy. Healthy bodies and balanced diets.

That’s something families definitely gotta have.

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A Neat Seat for Your Not-so-Neat Toddler

Affiliate Link - Prince Lionheart SeatNeat Chair Protector

If your child is a clean eater, then I think you are among the few.  My children leave a graveyard of scraps, crumbs, and puddles under their chairs.  And if you dare to look around the booster, you would be completely aghast!  The amount of crumbs, stains, and marks on my wooden chairs could put even the most relaxed parent into a germaphobic state of panic.

Prince Lionheart SeatNeat

No more.  Prince Lionheart has a solution that I could not be more excited about!  SeatNeat is designed to fit atop any chair to protect wood, leather, and upholstered dining chairs.  It easily wipes clean, and leaves your dining chairs looking great!  You will no longer have to panic when that fastidious friend shows up unannounced and proceeds to sit in “that” chair!

Affiliate Link - Prince Lionheart SeatNeat

The SeatNeat has side flaps to prevent the straps of the booster from rubbing against your upholstered chairs.  And, with a non-slip bottom and water resistance, Prince Lionheart has “covered” all its bases!

Affiliate Link - Prince Lionheart SeatNeat

Although my almost-four-year-old boy does not use a booster at home any more (he humored me for the sake of photos), he does use one at his grandma’s house.  She will be elated to remove the towel that currently protects her chairs in favor of this amazing cover.  You cannot go wrong with the SeatNeat!

Kristin with CW and MDKristin is a former high school English teacher and show choir geek enjoying time as a stay-at-home mom to CW and new baby brother MD.


Babies Gotta Have It is an Amazon Affiliate.

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Amp Up Your Apps With WebMD and The Snow Ball

Here’s another great review from up and coming tech experts Kristin and CW!

Is There a Doctor Available?

I have come to the conclusion that I may be an app junkie!  I love new apps on my phone, and there are a number of apps that I can’t live without.  One of those apps is the new WebMD Baby app!  And if you’re at all like me, you will love this app because it is so simple to use and it’s completely free!  There are weekly tips (this week’s tip for MD is about naps and bedtime struggles…SO timely for us) and daily Doctor tips!  Plus, you can access all of the great information from WebMD about health and wellness questions, as well as an illnesses and emergencies section.  There are other sections Just for Moms, Just for Dads, Parenting Tips, Baby Week by Week, Ask the Pediatrician, Milestones, Vaccines, and Baby Doctor Visits.

Next time you have a question about symptoms, instead of “googling” them, go straight to your WebMD app and see what the experts say.

CW Has fun With "The Snow Ball" App

Your Child Will Have a Ball with the Digital Book “The Snow Ball”

If you are bored with the books and games for your child on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android Motorola Xoom, or Samsung Galaxy Tab devices, you will be happy to hear that another great quality book and game are available now.  David Steinberg’sThe Snow Ball” digital book is accompanied by an adorable game called “Penguin Attack.”  Check out the trailer here.

“The Snow Ball” can be read aloud to your child, or he can choose to read it himself.  On every page, he can touch the polar bears or penguins and they dance, sled, or say cute phrases.  The book is witty with beautiful illustrations by Liz Conrad.  CW laughed at the silly penguins, and especially loved the music selections at the “Snow Day Ball!”  I loved the catchy phrases like, “Thump-thump-galumping.” And, “Balumping on their bellies.  Skit-skat-skadoodle up to Icicle Hall.” The word play is original and fun!

CW Enjoys The Snow Ball App

“Penguin Attack” is great for problem solving and learning early Geometry.  Your child has to try to get the polar bears to the Snow Day Ball without falling in the water holes.  Sounds easy, right?  Well, if it weren’t for all of the penguins that lie between the bears and the ball, it would be easy. Your child has to figure out how to bounce the bears off of the penguins at an angle that will get them into the ball safely.  It is a mixture of pool and bowling, and CW laughs hysterically every time he plays it.

Before this winter becomes a memory,  check out “The Snow Ball” and pick up the free “Penguin Attack” game too!

Kristin with CW and MDKristin is a former high school English teacher and show choir geek enjoying time as a stay-at-home mom to CW and new baby brother MD.

Kristin received “The Snow Ball” app free for the purpose of review, but as always, her opinion is entirely her own and has not been influenced by anyone!

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Baby Gourmet, From One Mama to Another – Giveaway

Baby Gourmet Baby Food

Is your baby ready to eat solids?  Or, maybe you have a picky toddler who eats very few vegetables and fruits?  Have you noticed the overwhelming variety of baby foods available?  Have you wanted to make your own baby food, but just don’t have the time (or equipment)?  While I love my Baby Brezza, and it is so simple to use, I just don’t always have the time (or ingredients) to create fresh meals for MD.  But, I have been a bit disappointed with the variety of Organic baby food products available at my grocery store from the “regular” companies (like Gerber and Earth’s Best).  Recently, though, I was sent some products by Baby Gourmet to try (thank you Baby Gourmet for the sample pack) and my whole life has changed!

Baby Gourmet Baby Food

When Baby Gourmet’s founder Jennifer Broe’s daughter was six months old, she attempted solid foods for the first time.  To her disappointment, she was not impressed by the typical baby food selections.  Like me, she struggled with giving her child those disgusting greyish green, stinky green beans.  She wanted to give her child something that was healthy and flavorful.  So, she started creating her own baby foods.  Then her friends’ babies tried the foods, and she went on to sell them on the weekends at farmer’s markets.  Now, she runs Baby Gourmet.  Every batch is taste-tested prior to packaging, and if it does not meet Jennifer’s high standards, then it is thrown away!

Baby Gourmet Baby Food

I have to say, I am a purist when it comes to eating…I like my foods separate.  My older son eats his foods on a sectioned plate because he doesn’t like separate foods touching.  So, it’s difficult for me to be creative with flavors.  But, now I don’t have to do it alone!  Baby Gourmet offers wonderful mixtures of textures and flavors (I tried them, and they were absolutely amazing…maybe I’ll invest in them when I’m old and can no longer eat regular food).  For example, yesterday MD (and I) tried the Orchard Apple, Carrot and Prune.  Neither one of us wrinkled our noses! Today he had Baby’s Sweet Potato Pie – it was gone and he was looking for more!  Other wonderful flavors include: Juicy Pear and Garden Greens; Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp; Harvest Pear, Pumpkin, and Banana; and many more!

All of the products are made using USDA Organic fruits and vegetables. There are no fillers or thickeners.  They are all gluten-free, unsweetened, and nut-free.  The re-sealable pouches are BPA free and labeled clearly with Stage 1 (6 months+), Stage 2 (7 months+), and Stage 3 (8 months+).  Your child can feed himself directly from the pouch, or you can squirt the food into a bowl.

Baby Gourmet

I have tried a ton of different baby food products for CW and MD, and Baby Gourmet offers the most variety of flavors and textures, with 100% organic produce!  Baby Gourmet is available in most grocery stores and on Amazon.com.  Try it today!

The Giveaway!

And thanks to the great folks at Baby Gourmet, one Babies Gotta Have It reader will win the same 9 Flavor Sample Pack of Baby Gourmet Organic Baby Food that Kristin and MD tried out!  Want to enter?  Read on!

To Enter the Baby Gourmet Organic Baby Food Giveaway:

  • MANDATORY ENTRY #1: Take a swing by Baby Gourmet. Leave a comment on this post sharing which flavor you yourself, not your baby, YOU, would most like to taste.  That’s it!  Entering is that easy!

***Want extra chances to win? After you have made your first entry as described above, do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did!  Maximum of six entries per person.

  • Like Baby Gourmet on Facebook.
  • Follow Baby Gourmet on Twitter.
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. I’ve made it easy just cut and paste: Win a sampler of Organic Baby Food from @BabyGourmet  & @BabiesGottaHavT that will please even the pickiest eaters! http://babiesgottahaveit.com/?p=3723
  • Subscribe to my blog – click HERE!
  • “Like” Babies Gotta Have It on Facebook. Click HERE!
  • Email your friends about the giveaway and link to the giveaway post! cc me in the message (babiesgottahaveit@gmail.com)–I promise I will not spam you or your friends. Cross my heart.

Your email address will remain private and not be shared with anyone. Giveaway only open to those with U.S.  addresses. Must be 18 or older to win. Giveaway begins on Wednesday February 8th and ends on Wednesday February 29th at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. Very soon after,  Random.org will select the winner and  I’ll email them immediately. After my daughter called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. Random.org is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my daughter, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering!

Babies Gotta Have It is an Amazon Associate.

Kristin with CW and MDKristin is a former high school English teacher and show choir geek enjoying time as a stay-at-home mom to CW and new baby brother MD.

Update!  We have a winner!  Random.org says 76″  Congratulations Beckee!  Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

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