Author: Mir

Put some more money in the therapy fund

If How to Traumatize Your Children had been available when I remarried, I totally would’ve bought it as a wedding present for my husband. I think it would’ve been a fitting welcome to (step)parenthood for him, and I also plan to give it as a shower gift to every less-than-confident parent-to-be from now on. Sure, it’s just a little jokey gift book–it is from the Self-Hurt Series, after all. But it’s so much more; a great reminder that we survived all of our parents’ mistakes and our children will survive ours. Probably. With therapy. The 1950s-style illustrations of various...

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Quilted, collaged, and just plain cool

Chicago artist Kelly Ventura is making beautiful original art with fabric, paper, buttons and adorable stitching that you’ll want to leave on the wall well past the disassembling of the crib. Her Etsy shop, The Urban Thimble, has wearables, as well, but once outgrown they won’t look nearly as nice framed. Individual pieces like the flower field and the octopus (shown) are very clever, and the bright British transportation trio would look amazing as a set on your little boy’s wall. This is the sort of thing that makes me wish I could do something with a thimble other...

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How to talk to your daughter about [her period]

My daughter chuckled nervously as the DVD from the My First Period Kit began with the image of Dr. Chrystal de Freitas facing a group of tweens and their moms. But within minutes we were both riveted. Where else were we going to see a tampon inserted into a balloon? Or hear the questions other young girls have right from their own mouths? The video is funny in parts, but mainly what works is how warm and maternal the doctor is. She’s definitely aware of how uncomfortable the subject can be and handles it with great finesse. It turned...

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Step into my Laborastory! (Cue evil laugh)

My kids are always playing “laboratory,” where they collaborate on a grand experiment–real or imagined–resulting in one or both of them shrieking, “It’s aliiiiiiiive!” Never let it be said that we lack imagination around here. So when our top secret package arrived from Laborastory, they were beyond thrilled. The enclosed kit allowed them to design their own Morphadoodle, a unique creature they could both draw and describe, send it off, then receive a lab report on the creature’s progress. A few weeks later the mad scientists get their very own 15″ hand-sewn critter made to spec from their submission....

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Tattoos that even your conservative MIL can get behind

My kids are old enough now that I no longer have to drill them on our phone number and what to do if they get lost. But oh what I wouldn’t have given back then for the brilliant SafetyTats, especially when my son was both pre-verbal and afflicted with a life-threatening allergy. These temporary tattoos were developed by a mom who once wrote her cell number on her kids’ arms during an outing, only to discover that the ink smudged off, of course. You can choose from myriad of the original styles that apply like ordinary temporary tattoos, or...

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Read A Book, Set A Record

Do you really need an excuse to read a great book to your kid? Probably not, but here’s a fabulous one, anyway: On October 2nd, in association with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record program, the children’s classic favorite Corduroy will be read aloud on The Today Show. At the same time, a bunch of other folk around the world–including you?–will be reading the same book to set a new world’s record. My kids are a bit beyond Corduroy, but I’m going to dust off our copy and participate, anyway — because Jumpstart isn’t just setting a record, they’re working...

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BornFree pacifiers go BPA free. Which is a pretty good trait in a pacifier if you ask us.

BornFree is already the go-to source for plenty of moms looking for products safe enough to go into baby’s mouth. They’ve got glass baby bottles, bottles made of BPA-free plastic, and cups free of harmful chemicals — and yesterday they’ve just unveiled their Day and Night Pacifier Duo. These orthodontic suckers are guaranteed to be 100% free of Bisphenol-A, Phthalates and PVC. They come in pretty colors, too. Just in case, you know, the whole “safest for baby” thing isn’t enough to win you over....

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You’re never too little to be a bibliophile. Only to know how to spell it.

Like tons of practical moms like me, my favorite gift to give or to get is a book. And if you want to get fancy about it, check out Bookworm Baskets, where the great book is just the beginning of a fantastic gift. It starts with a fabulous read like The Giving Tree, Olivia, or baby faves like Ten Little Rubber Ducks and  includes other eco-friendly, educational items all themed around it. Even the packaging is eco-friendly. But what’s really special about the service is that your book comes with an Eco-Libris sticker to show that a tree was...

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Flaunting my lack of greeting card-making talent

The most thoughtful cards are ones you make yourself, I suppose, if you have any sort of artistic ability. If you want a card with a smudged scribble and some glitter on it, I could probably manage that. But when I want to send the very best, I tend to look around for handmade cards made by someone with some actual talent. Hooray for designer Shannon Barnes’ Flaunt, where little pieces of mulberry paper are ripped up and rearranged and adorned to create fabulous animals and shapes on a beautiful range of greeting cards. These are perfect for sending...

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Cleatskins – Clean car, unmarked floors, happy Soccer Mom

While I’d rather you not call me a Soccer Mom, the fact remains that… well… I am, by definition, a Soccer Mom who spends a lot of Saturday mornings on the field. I also spend a lot of time vacuuming dirt and grass out of my car, and hollering, “Halt! Take your cleats off before you take one more step, Mister!” But those days are a thing of the past, thanks to my new favorite invention: Cleatskins. These dad-invented doo-dads are the answer to every soccer mom’s prayers — a flexible rubber overshoe designed to contain those filthy cleats....

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Emergency Bag? Check!

Hey, I’m trying to be more eco-conscious. I bring my own reusable bags to the grocery store which live in the trunk of my car so that I always have them on hand. But then there’s the inevitable stop-for-one-thing errands where I don’t actually stop for just one thing. Before I know it, I’m taking home a plastic bag. Because I didn’t have a bag with me. Well, now that I’ve got an adorable RuMe Mini tucked away in my purse, I’m good to go. Secured with its self-velcro strap it’s about the size of my phone, but unfolded,...

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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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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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