Month: August 2008

Being Dad – Way better than trying to convince him to sit through Lamaze class

There’s no shortage of books and videos and instructional websites out there for moms–to-be. But when something is available specifically for dads, it’s generally absurdly goofy or some very serious cue-the-after-school-special-music sort of Hey, Dad, you’re a part of this too tripe that no guy I know would actually sit through to save his life. (You know what I mean, you lurking dads. We know you’re out there – you enter all our CD giveaways.) Well, the fact remains that most men I know would rather chat about lawnmowers than their feelings during their sigOth’s pregnancy, but even the...

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Make lunch unforgettable

Yeah, I love fancy lunchboxes, too, but my daughter’s getting to that age where she’s leaving splashy behind for a more subtle sense of style. She’s also leaving behind her homework, her jacket, and occasionally her lunch, depending on the day. Would it be mean to get her MissNatalie’s Don’t Forget Me Lunch Bag? C’mon, it’s adorable with that nice little subliminal message, there, in the red bow around the finger. Plus the canvas is machine washable. Besides, I couldn’t find a lunchbox that says “I know it’s incredibly difficult to remember your lunch when it has been set...

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You Write the Thank You Cards. Not the Baby.

I realize that unless someone actually sent me a gift after my babies arrived, then technically speaking, the thank-you should come from the baby – hence all the cutesy thank you cards.But I figure that since I’m the one writing out the darn cards, I’m buying ones that are a bit more from me – like the “Why, Thank You!” cards from Invita Paper Studio. These classy modern cards will definitely express your thanks for the cute baby gifts, but chances are you’ll use them after the baby gift well has run dry.And if you sign the cards from your baby, at least everyone will...

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The Alterna-pack

With my daughter starting school for the first time this month (we do things early in the south), she’s super excited about every little thing — plain old #2 pencils, generic brand crayons, and her regular backpack. I can only imagine what’s to come in a few years when she decides that all the run of the mill supplies are completely uncool. If you’ve already got one of those mold-breakers, I’m betting he’ll love the Allerhand Mini Ergo Backpack that we found at Oompa Toys. It includes a fancy cellphone case, drawstring art sack, and thermal pockets to keep...

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Ni hao, Kai-lan. Ni hao, nice long shower for mommy.

Kai-lan just told my daughter to stand up and do the dragon dance and she happily obeys, particularly since the cute tiger (“My favorite one!”) is doing it too. Oh to be three again. If your own preschooler hasn’t discovered the happy, accessible bicultural world of Kai-lan on Noggin, the popular new show has just made it to video with Ni Hao Kai-Lan: Super Special Days. The characters are adorable enough that I would sport a tee with them on it (and actually do), but I particularly like what they teach my daughter; she’s picking up a little Mandarin,...

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You can put a price on style. 52,50 Euros for a tee, to be exact.

Not all parents are fortunate enough to have style-obsessed children like I do. Already they shun those mainstream clothing outlets in favor of browsing boutiques with me, while pooh-poohing classmates we encounter in lesser, less expensive preschool duds. You know I’m kidding, right? Mostly we stick with the affordable stuff, but it’s always nice to add a few high-fashion la-di-da pieces I really love. For that very thing, take a look at the UK’s Little Fashion Gallery and their high-end selection for infants and kids. You’ll find brands like Little Marc Jacobs, Wowo and Bonpoint with designer prices to...

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Don’t Let Hannah Montana’s Singing Hurt Your Kids. More.

I used to worry that my daughter was damaging her fragile ear drums with a volume set to “too loud.” Thankfully, we now have LoudEnough Volume-Limiting Earphones so when I yell DO YOU HEAR ME? I know that if I don’t get an answer it’s only because she’s ignoring me. These kid-size earphones use some fancy high-tech function to keep the volume on mp3 players and portable gaming devices at a safer level. I don’t know how they do it, but given that these people have worked on the sound equipment for The Jonas Brothers and Mariah Carey, I...

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Aluminum bottles for kids are getting cuter precisely every 4.7 seconds

Ridding my home of all of our plastic water bottles of questionable safety felt good, but then I realize- duh-I needed some water bottles. Enter I Love Obento‘s adorably decorated aluminum bottles. How adorable? My favorite for the kids has a tiny elephant happily flying an airplane through the clouds with the Jiji & Peren bunnies a close second. For a few extra dollars, go for the insulated bottles that have a stainless steel interior to keep the cold drink inside cold. Tuck a filled bottle in their lunch boxes before school, and their drink of choice will still...

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We get to give away a $5000 tech makeover. Whoo!

Are you reading this post right now on the other side of a Comodore 64? Reluctant to give up that original Walkman? Wondering why you just can’t find any good Betamax tapes these days? Well have we got news for you. One of the cooler promotions we’re excited to be a part of comes courtesy of FM and Intel who are giving away like some whopping crazy $5,000 tech makeover to a lucky person. And guess who gets to be one of the judges? We do! And you know how much we love giving things away. If you’re interested,...

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NieNie Day: Bidding on Cool Stuff to Help a Cool Mom

If you click over to Design Mom today, you’ll see the most outstanding collection of items ever put together for a blogger silent auction, all to help the family of blogger, mom of four, and indie artisan supporter Stephanie Nielson of NieNie who was seriously injured with her husband in a private plane crash recently The 165 prizes are absolutely incredible. Some standouts: A handmade bluebird collection of baby gifts from CMP fave The Baby Gardner, custom letterpress stationery from Simple Song, an $800 Marc Jacobs bag from Knot Sew Crafty, Blue Poppy earrings recently featured here via English...

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Babywearing twins. Yes indeedy.

My hat’s off to all moms of twins–double the gear, double the diapers, double the feedings. And not being able to wear both babies at once? That seems the most daunting prospect of all to me, since babywearing has saved my sanity with all three kids. So when I saw that the Baby K’Tan baby carrier could be used to wear twins, I was amazed. These two loops of cloth feel as soft as a well-worn tee shirt, and they can be arranged in all sorts of  configurations including a cradle hold for two babies up to ten pounds...

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I love you, you’re perfect, now finish your carrots

Some of my fondest memories of lunchtime as a kid involved reaching into my brown paper lunch bag and feeling around between the sandwich and the granny smith apple for a surprise note from my mom, replete with her trademark curly-haired happy face sign-off. That’s just what the heart-shaped cards from Paper Source called up and suddenly I needed a whole ton of them for my daughter’s upcoming school days. Those and some glitter glue. Never mind that I could probably make them myself out of construction paper. Never mind that my daughter isn’t actually in school long enough...

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Baby videos actually entertaining for mamas too.

Now that I’ve got three children, I’ve given up trying to protect the youngest from his older sisters’ tastes in TV shows. Is it cliché to mention that I saw Road Runner get clobbered at least a thousand times as a kid, and I’m still an upstanding member of society? Even so, it’s nice to pop in a DVD that’s actually geared toward my baby that doesn’t simultaneously make me want to take forks to my own eyeballs, which is why the new titles from Sparkabilities are my kind of baby videos. The content is based on the PlayWisely...

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Yo Homes, to Bel Air!

Now if I told you that Sir Hayes, the kids’ label emblematic of urban Brooklyn chic, was making a onesie inspired by “Carlton,” what would you think that means? Because when I got wind of it, right away a single image popped into my head: Alphonso Ribeiro in his preppy polo shirts dancing the White Man’s Overbite to Tie a Yellow Ribbon. Indeed The Fresh Prince’s not-so-fresh cousin has inspired the awesome new Carlton Onesie. In baby blue or classic navy, it’s a beautifully made little piece of goodness worthy of any hipster-prepster in training. And sorry to stick...

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You Know Build-A-Bear? Well This is Build-A-Bar.

I spend a lot of time complaining about breakfast, but that’s what happens when you take an anti-morning person and add kids. One of my tricks for dealing with mornings when I’m feeling less than perky is to hand over a breakfast bar. So when my old friend sent me the link to YouBars, I was psyched. Not only are these nutritious and easy, they are customizable. Really! My daughter and I had a lot of fun creating our own combinations of grain, fruits, nuts, and flavors online and then giving them silly names. What kid wouldn’t want to...

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A is for Atticus, aka How to Sound Smarter Than You Actually Are

If you’re shopping baby names (or just browsing), you have to check out Lorilee Craker’s A is for Atticus: Baby Names from Great Books which give you far more erudite options than naming your child for the latest celeb du jour. Or worse, the latest celeb du jour’s kid. Do future teachers really need to have Zuma Nesta R and Zuma Nesta D in their classrooms? I love the concise descriptions of major works of literature interspersed with cheeky commentary from Craker on names from Atticus (Finch) to Zelda (Fitzgerald). You won’t find every name in between, but you...

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Dave’s Presidential Hot Sauces – Promoting your democratic right to spice up your bloody mary with your candidate of choice

There are plenty of ways to pledge your allegiance to your presidential candidate – bumper stickers, t-shirts, anonymous troll comments on Daily Kos. But Dave’s Gourmet has perhaps the most appetizing idea with a line of presidential hot sauces that are perfect if you’re planning on hosting a convention-watching party. With buffalo wings. Barack Obama and John McCain – along with earlier contenders on both sides of the aisle – each have their smiling mugs featured on a bottle of Cool Cayenne hot sauce, not the company’s trademark Insanity Sauce. Although in a way, the latter might be more...

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One banana, two banana, three banana, four…

It’s not that there aren’t great television and music options for the kids that are new, it’s that the resurgence of our old favorites brings a nostalgic tear to our eyes. I can clearly remember dancing around to the groovy tunes of The Banana Splits back in my youth, when Hanna-Barbera first brought their furry faces to Saturday morning television. Viva la comeback, baby! Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky are just as kid-friendly as ever, and I’m sure your kids will be toe-tapping and na-na-na-ing along with you in no time. If you’re in a hurry to get your...

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Tiesies – ‘Cause every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man

I’m all for outfitting my baby boy in some fine threads on special occasions.  But dressing a wee one in the same style sported by a forty-something man (sweater vests, anyone?) isn’t special–at least not the way you’d intended. Try a tiesie on for size instead.  These organic cotton onesies and tees by Pumpkin Girl are hilarious adorned with vintage men’s ties, carefully sewn into place, so they don’t fall into the wee one’s soup bowl, of course. They’re perfect for those events where other less fashion-forward babies squirm around uncomfortably in rumpled pint-sized trousers and vests....

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The Belle Baby Carrier – You Can’t Go Wrong With Denim

My husband is totally willing to wear the baby, so long as it doesn’t require a mei tai (too many straps) or a sling (too uncomfy on his bad shoulder). That basically leaves him with our Belle Baby Carrier, which is both easy to use and light on the back, thanks to the smart waist strap and backpack-inspired ergonomic design. Plus it lets your baby face in or out when he gets a bit older. When I heard that they added organic denim (yes denim!) to their line, I knew I had come up with one more reason that my husband could take...

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