Month: January 2008

One Sling Fits All

With all the love that I have professed for the pouch sling, it definitely has one downside: It’s made to fit you and only you, which isn’t so great when it’s your spouse’s turn to take the sleepy baby off your hands. So I was definitely intrigued by the Baby Bee sling from Honeywear which is truly one size fits all. Made locally from sustainable materials and an organic cotton lining, the Baby Bee actually grows with your baby. A simple pull of the adjustable shoulder strap and you can raise or lower it in a snap, and sling newbies with baby...

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The One Time the Babies Kiss the Candidate

Given the wide range of Presidential candidates still in the running this year, why not add one more? I love the Me for President layered tee from Wrybaby’s limited edition political collection. Depending on your perspective, the tee or bib are either a vote of confidence for your own future leader, or a cheeky way to check "none of the above." Personally, I’m hoping that my daughter might garner a few write-in votes just by wearing her tee and get that name recognition started early. Forget issues and policy; she’s totally running on cuteness alone....

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Armored & Dangerous

I cannot tell you how glad I am to be out of the spitty drooly baby stage. Or maybe I should say my shirts are glad. Even with the loads of burp cloths I collected over almost four years of parenting, I still ended up with cruddy spit-up on my shirts, and I’m not talking about just the shoulders.  But with my new fantastic find, the Burp Armor Burp cloth, new parents (and their clothes) can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Created by a dad who was tired of burp cloths sliding off his shoulder, the Burp Armor is the Mercedes of burp cloths. Well really it’s more like an...

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Sing Your Math

One of my few claims to fame is that I can sing the twelve cranial nerves to the tune of My Favorite Things. Hey, it got me an A in anatomy and physiology. Chances are, you’ve used music to try to remember things too. Um. Like the alphabet? So you can’t knock teacher William Avery for creating catchy learning poems then setting them to music. If you’re a lover of traditional song fests then this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re into quirky, somewhat off-the-wall songs–43 of them, to be exact–that will get your kids singing their multiplication tables even...

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Obama? Hillary? Duck?

I admit that my eyes have been glued to the Presidential debates and caucuses, much to the chagrin of my Noggin-addicted three-year-old. So instead of fighting about when she gets to watch the Backyardigans next, I’m going to get her fired up about a better show: The 2008 Elections. What better way to do it than with the timely re-release of Duck for President, the third book from author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Betsy Lewin. This delightful duo tells the tale of a duck who grows tired of his chores and decides to hold an election to replace Farmer Brown. His disgruntlement...

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Show the Love All Year Long

We’re certainly not anti-Valentine’s Day here at Cool Mom Picks; I mean what crazy person is going to turn down an excuse to eat chocolates and get flowers? But we like to think that if you’re going to stock up on holiday-type stuff for your kiddo, spend your cash on something that she can wear all year long. Like these super adorable heart ponytail holders from Annie and Olive. Handcrafted by Texas-based artist Bethany Fields, these felt hair pieces are perfectly festive for February 14, but can be worn just as easily on March 14 without anyone thinking twice. Be warned, however, that every...

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So Good That I Don’t Mind Licking the Spoon Either

There have been times when I’ve finished feeding my son and without thinking, licked the spoon. Blech. But since being introduced to Jack’s Harvest, I actually have to stop myself from eating more than just the remnants. Created by two Atlanta-based friends and moms, Jack’s Harvest offers some of the tastiest frozen baby food my son (and I) have ever eaten. Using 100% organic locally-grown ingredients, Heather, the cook of the pair, has put together more than a dozen different treats for your baby in frozen little cubes you just pop in the microwave. My son digs the bananas with...

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Not Your Ordinary Mortal Alphabet Book

I’ve been calling my daughter Wonderbaby for, like, forever. She’s always seemed the type of child – even when she was only days old – who might just take off at any moment and leap tall buildings in a single bound. So when a dear friend sent me The Adventures Of WonderBaby From A To Z, I was pretty excited. An alphabet book! About Wonderbaby, for Wonderbaby!  I wasn’t sure how it was that author Oliver Chin and comic illustrator Joe Chiodo knew about my kid (did they read my blog?), but still: cool. Each letter of the alphabet...

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That’s Kangaroo Rat to You

With the gaggles of educational animal shows and books out there, the cows, chickens, and puppy dogs of my childhood have been replaced with orangutans, meerkats, and my daughter’s current favorite, chinchillas. When not just any old farm animal shirt will do try one from Birdlette, the collaborative effort of couple Andrea and David, two small-town New York based artists who have a penchant for smart and simple designs. We’re intrigued by their twenty-some-odd options that feature some of the most obscure, but still adorable animals we’ve found–like a party hat-wearing tasmanian devil, or my personal favorite, the jamming kangaroo rat [pictured]. Whichever...

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Stick It To The Kids

When I sent my older daughter off to day care, I scrawled her initials on masking tape and stuck these makeshift labels haphazardly on her bottles, thinking that ought to suffice. Oh, how wrong I was. Some of her things never made it home, and those that did were labeled by her caregivers – in black permanent marker. Right on the item. My fault I suppose. I have learned my lesson well: Label everything yourself. Preferably with cute personalized stickers and tags like the ones from Stuck On You. They have a huge variety of cute, sort of hand-drawn...

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Enviro+Chic

These days, you can’t throw a virtual stone without hitting a new environmentally conscious boutique. As we can attest, not all are created equal. Note to boutique owners: Just because it’s got hemp in it doesn’t mean I want my kid wearing it. On the other hand, Hazel Wood Children gets it absolutely, totally, 100% right.  Both eco and chic in equal parts, you can absolutely see owner Jennifer Thornton DiDonna’s design background in the carefully cultivated selection of  responsibly made baby and kids wear,  room decor, fun toys, and thoughtful new mom gifts. We especially love their shop’s...

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Child Development Expert? Yeah, Me Neither.

As much as I would like to believe I’m an expert on my own child, I’ve been known on occasion to bring home a book before realizing that yeah, maybe she’s not quite ready for the whole "and then Bambi’s mother dies" thing. Now Savvy Source is helping me out quite a bit in this department. The website (that we’ve reviewed in the past) has evolved quite a bit from its original premise as an interactive preschool database, and one of their newest features is  a very helpful quiz to help match your kid up with the learning toys,...

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You’re So Green and You Don’t Even Know It

In trying my hand at a new greener lifestyle, I have to say it definitely takes effort. But this Re-Run Bag from the Fleurville diaper bag empire spotted at fantastic green boutique Generation Orange, requires nothing but the ability to sling it right over your shoulder. At first glance it’s just a incredibly covetable diaper bag, with a lovely silkscreened print and plenty of pockets, pouches, and handy extras, like a wipes case and silicone cell phone holder. But given that it’s made in part using recycled plastic (10 bottles per bag, to be exact), it’s extremely kind to the...

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Pulp Non-Fiction

You’d think it would be easy to shop for a newly pregnant woman, but it’s harder than it seems. Especially if you don’t know whether the mama-to-be would prefer a pedicure or that everyone just leave her alone and stop touching her, dammit! Pulp Factory Calendars may have the ideal gift for any friend in the throes of her forty weeks in the extremely cute Pregnant Girl’s Life Giftpack. It includes a notepad, sticky notes, and a spiral-bound, undated calendar featuring vivid illustrations on glossy paper. It functions as a journal too, with space for scribbles plus fun stickers...

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Sleeping More Beautifully

It seems that while baby blankets are bequeathed to new moms in abundance, quilts and toddler pillows are overlooked. Blink your eyes and your infant is now a kid whose cold feet are sticking out from under that baby blanket. That’s when you turn to Jesseca Bellemare, mom/designer extraordinaire behind Quilt Baby. Her lightweight quilt and blanket sets feature modern cotton fabrics that reverse to contrasting prints or even just neutral solids. So when a wet spot of unknown origin appears on one side, just flip it over. Eh, who will know. As the mom of two boys, Jessica...

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A New Take on the Good Old A to Z

I had the great fortune of receiving a lovely personalized Ida Pearle print from my gorgeous and brilliant CMP co-editor upon the birth of my son. [Co-editor’s Note: I’m funny, too.] So when I learned that Ida had recently released a set of alphabet cards, I couldn’t wait to check them out. These 6.5" square cards are more like mini art prints on heavy card stock, featuring Ida’s signature illustrations. Each letter brings to life the joyous events of childhood, wordlessly – F is for friends, J is for jumping. Hang the cards decoratively using the twine and mini...

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Handwashing Should Make You Feel Better Not Worse

I suppose it takes becoming a parent, or in my case, working in a hospital, for you to realize that your own parents knew what they were talking about when it came to the whole handwashing thing. Unfortunately most anti-bacterial soaps contain triclosan, the stuff that gets rid of the bacteria but has a questionable track record when it comes to our health and wellness. Enter CleanWell’s anti-bacterial foaming handwash, my new favorite bathroom fixture. It makes use of Igenium, some sort of fancy patented combo of plant oils that kills 99.9% of germs naturally. And I love that the...

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Because Not All Great Gifts Come From Santa

My son has a birthday that falls right after the biggest gift giving holiday of the year, making it a bit hard to figure out what to get him that feels "special." Considering how well he cleaned up at Christmas, it’s not easy giving the old guy in the red suit a run for his money. This simply gorgeous toy block wagon from fourth generation US toymaker John Michael Linck is a strong, strong contender. Handmade of woods like black cherry, walnut, and hickory using good old-fashioned workmanship including dovetail joinery and dowels (no nails or Krazy glue), the...

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Definitely Beats a Big Sibling T-Shirt

As surprised as I was by my third pregnancy, my older daughter was downright shocked. She may have actually gotten used to the idea more quickly than I did, thanks in part to Making Me: The Pregnancy Activity Book for My Big Brother or Sister. Written by mom Julie Carr, this engaging book actively involves older siblings in learning about how the wee critter is developing. Each page includes an update on the baby’s growth, along with an activity like coloring, journaling or answering questions about themselves. (Bonus points for the page that calls for the older sibling to...

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Nipples to Spare

Ever thought to yourself, nursing’s great and all but you know what I could really use? Some spare nipples. Oh admit it, of course you have.  And clearly you’re not alone. Which is why the always clever folks at Wry Baby has created just that – a set of extra nipples. Actually they’re buttons, and the best gag gift for a shower honoree with a great sense of humor. Or drag queens. You know, either way.  –Liz [via...

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