Posts Tagged ‘baby gear’

TeetheMe!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I love getting mail. More specifically, I love getting some of the coolest new products for babies and moms delivered to my door in an adorable box.

teetheme box

TeetheMe is a subscription service and community for moms to help us wade through the zillions of baby products flooding the market. Every month, 4 or 5 of the hottest items are shipped right to your door, hand picked by in-the-know moms and tailored to your child’s age (anywhere from newborn to 3 years).  Then you can log in to their online community to rate and give feedback on your items and discuss everything kid and baby related with other Teethers. At $24 a month, it would be a fantastic shower gift!

But I know what you really want to know is – WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

teetheme box

teetheme box may

teetheme box may contents

Here’s the full scoop on what I got (for the record, this box was specifically for Caroline):

Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm – a company I already love and trust and perfect for Caroline’s super sore bottom.

NurturMe organic, gluten-free dried fruits and veggies – Four packets of NurturMe dried organic baby food (2 peas and 2 apples). Since we’re past the pureed food stage I mixed the apples with yogurt and the peas with mac’n’cheese and the kids LOVED it.

Dr. Bloom Chewable Jewels – Rectangle pendent necklace and a bracelet that are 100% safe for teething babies to chew on. Caroline LOVES these sort of a ridiculous amount, especially with her canines coming through.

Dr. Robin for kids – Samples of their all-natural, chemical free lotion, baby shampoo and sunscreen.

Bridgewater Candle Company – a votive sized spring-scented candle from a company that is working to end child hunger.

Greenleaf Scented Envelope Sachet – OH MY GOD, the whole box smelled FANTASTIC thanks to the classic linen sachet. They suggest putting it in the bottom of a trash can, diaper pail or hamper but I tucked mine into a bookcase and shake it every couple of days to refresh the scent.

Since the Chewable Jewels on their own retail for about $20, I’d say this was a great deal. I also loved learning about new products – I never would have known about NurturMe baby food and now I can’t wait to sneak more peas into the kids. And if you get something in your box you really really love, you can visit TeetheMe.com to buy more!

Here’s Caroline checking out some of our haul:

teethe me review nurturme baby food

Uh, maybe we should open that before you try to eat it?

teethe me review chewable jewels

That's much better for biting!

If you’re ready to be a Teether too, sign up on the TeetheMe website! If you buy a six month membership you get 1 month free and if you buy a whole year’s membership you get 2 months free! Like I said, this would be a GREAT shower gift – what new mom doesn’t want to try out all the hottest baby stuff?

Disclaimer: I was provided with a 1 month trial of TeetheMe free of charge for review purposes, but no other compensation was provided.  All opinions and photos are my own.

Diaper Bag Show-and-Tell

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

I’ve seen this meme floating around the interwebs for almost as long as I’ve been reading blogs, but this week I’m going to hop on the bandwagon and join Audrey‘s hop. I’m doing it for several reasons including a) the kids are being really good and no one wants to read a bazillion posts about angelic, adorable, well-behaved children b) I’ve rededicated myself to CLEANING ALL THE THINGS on a regular basis so I have less time to write my usual deep, meaningful posts (bahahaha) and c) I like reading what people ACTUALLY keep in the handbags as opposed to posts with titles like “15 Things A Good Mother Is Never Without In Case Of Bear Attacks” or “The 7 Things In Your Diaper Bag That Might Kill You”. I could totally picture both of those headlines on Babble, amiright? But today, you just get “Junk That Suzanne Hauls Around For No Reason”.

This is the bag I’ve been carrying for a few months now. It’s a Gussy, which I fully admit I bought because I wanted to check that box off in Mommy Blogger Bingo (other boxes: headband/DSLR/Epiphanie camera bag/Lisa Leonard jewelry/rosettes/Toms shoes) but it’s actually a REALLY great bag. It holds a ton of stuff (see below), it stays on my shoulder, I can fit my camera in it, and things rarely fall out – which was a HUGE problem with my last bag. Oh God, I re-read that post and my palms are all sweaty just remembering my panic.

And here’s what’s inside the bag:

I sorted it into categories! In a vague columns left-to-right manner I present to you…

Clothing/accessories:
Caroline’s fox hat
Evan’s dinosaur hat
My glasses
Backup sunglasses (my real ones were on my head when I took this pic)
Two and a half pairs of soft-soled baby shoes
Caroline’s sun hat
Caroline’s socks
Baby Legs
Flower headband
Workout headband for me
Two pairs toddler underpants
Extra pants for Caroline
Evan’s striped sweatshirt he took off during gymnastics

Essentials:
Pen
Wallet
Change
iPhone
Keys

Random:
Sunscreen
Amber teething necklace
Yarn cutter
Gum
Lens cap for my 50mm
Lip gloss/sunscreen
Gussy business cards (for when people ask about the bag)
Reusable coffee cup coozie from Emily

Baby Essentials:
Diaper clutch from Erika
Wipes case

Toys:
Boat
Helicopter from the train table
Truck
Ladybug we stole from someone
Vibrating grape teether (both kids LOVE this when their gums hurt)

Trash:
I’m surprised there wasn’t more.

Food:
Reusable snack bag of Wheat Thins
Snack trap with carrots
Mini-bagel
String cheese
Four granola bars
Emergency bribery Hershey’s kisses
(The kids had just taken their sippy cups out, or those would be in there too)

And THAT is just what I packed for the 12 minutes round-trip drive to a 45 minute gymnastics class. You should see the bag on Stroller Strides days or trips to the Seaport. It’s amazing I’m not permanently lopsided (although there’s still plenty of time for that to happen).

You totally think I’m a crazy person now, don’t you? OK, what’s in YOUR bag?

p.s. I had to put the kit lens on my camera to take that picture of all the stuff AND I stood on the counter and held the camera up as high as I could. If I wasn’t a total moron I would have taken my shoes off, but ALAS.

Handmade Love

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I am a sucker for crafty, homemade, small business, or handmade stuff. There is a reason my Paypal balance never stays positive for more than a few days. Here are some of my most recent purchases (plus a one-of-a-kind gift from a friend that is going to make you squee with cuteness). If you have a baby, are expecting a baby, know someone having a baby or just love heandbands, this will be very very bad for your wallet.

Don't even think about taking my animal crackers

Diaper clutch

How much do you love that fabric? LOVE. I won a store credit from Bird E Studios last year and spent it on a gorgeous baby blanket with this print on it. The quality was outstanding and I liked it so much I asked Erika if she could make me a matching bib and diaper clutch. She did – but the post office lost them somewhere between the West Coast and the East Coast. When I mentioned it to Erika she sent me replacement items and told me if the other ones showed up I should just give them to someone as a gift. Is that great customer service or what?! (Sadly, they never did show up. Stupid post office.)

Bebeh shoes

Have you signed up for Heartsy? I heart Heartsy. It’s like Groupon, but for Etsy shops. If you sign up here, you get a $5 credit after your first purchase (also, I get a $5 credit so go do that, OK?) I bought a gift certificate for $9 to Weepereas and got $24 to spend in the shop, which covered a pair of adorable reversible baby shoes, plus the shipping. These have TINY SHEEP on one side and little blue circles on the other. Perfect soft shoes for Caroline.

There are TWO things I love in this photo. Three if you count Caroline. The super cute crochet turtle was a gift from my friend Ashley (it MIGHT have been for Little Evan, but don’t tell the baby. She loooves it). Ashley has a shop on Etsy or check out her Facebook page for more crocheted dolls and animals.

Second is the headband I bought Caroline for my sister-in-law’s wedding from Audry & Ulric. Can’t beat the extremely reasonable prices and free shipping. I think I’m going to buy the sunflower or the water lily ones next.

Despite The Face, she does love her Giddy Up and Grow headbands. Or maybe I’m projecting because they are seriously amazing – the details are like art. I showed the site to my friend Megan right after I ordered this one…and she bought 2 of her own immediately. They’re impossible to resist!

Allora Handmade headband, obviously. It looks fantastic with her vintage pinnafore. How much do I love dressing her in something called a pinafore? SO MUCH.

And do you see what she’s gnawing on? That right there is the best handmade baby gift EVER:

Flat Chicken. My internet friend Audrey invented the pattern from her own head. It’s seriously genius – Caroline loves the silky ribbon tail and the bumpy comb and the pointy feet for chewing. I brought it with us to a doctor’s checkup and our nurse would NOT STOP gushing over it. She eventually asked if she could take a picture to try and recreate one for her daughter. So Audrey, OBVIOUSLY you need to make these available to people besides me.

And last but not least, my darling Emily from Uff Da Deigns made the beautiful baby dress and those adorable felt flowers, which are actually clippies attached to a stretchy headband. Super useful now when Caroline’s hair is still too fine for barrettes but they’ll be useable for years and years (and can also be borrowed by mamas who love felt flowers too). The trio flower clips are coming to the Etsy shop soon, but because I *might* be her best customer, Emily made me a couple already. Is there ANYTHING she makes that I don’t love? (Answer: NO).

Have you ordered anything yet? Don’t worry, I’ll do this again in the next couple weeks with non-baby related stuff for my non-mom friends. I’m an addict. It’s cool.

Blah de blah hopefully unnecessary disclosure because you KNOW always honest with you: I bought all this crap with my own cash money and/or got them as legit gifts from friends who had no idea I was going to blog their crafty talents. I’m just sharing because I like sharing.

What’s Black and Red and Loved All Over?

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Today I’m going to write a love note to my stroller.

Dear Baby Jogger City Select,

Can I just call you BJ? I feel like we’re definitely close enough for nicknames, since we spend so much time together.  I just wanted you to know I love you and appreciate you. You were a wise choice.

xoxo
Suzanne

Right now my husband is wondering why I don’t ever write HIM such nice love notes. Usually they just say “Make sure you watch when the dog poops. I think he ate a sock.” We’re super romantic.

Back when I was pregnant with Caroline, I decided that this time around I was going to shell out for a good quality stroller even if the price sent me into early labor. Because holy CRAP do you know what a “mid-range” stroller costs? I could practically buy a BABY for that much money (disclaimer: I do not actually support or condone baby buying). But I was never crazy about the stroller(ssssssss) I bought for Little Evan and figured I could put all the money I was saving with hand-me-downs towards something nice. E practically choked to death when he saw what I wanted to spend, but I think he agrees now it was a good purchase.

After much debating and ordering and cancelling and blog posting, I eventually settled on the Baby Jogger City Select with the doubles kit. I loved it the second I took it out of the box, I loved it when I was using it as a single stroller for Little Evan, but I love it even more now that it’s been 6 months and I’m ready to recommend it.

My little monkey in the CS as a single while Caroline was still an inside baby

PROS:
– Can be a single stroller or double stroller (with kit)
– HUGE sun canopy
– Easy to steer
– HUGE basket under seats
– Adjustable handle height for tall or short people
– Folds with (one) seat attached in either position
– Has an adapter for my Chicco car seat
– Folds with seat attached in lower position & car seat adapter in upper position
– Disassembles really easily & quickly to fit in small spaces
– Hand brake on the side is easier to use than a foot brake (especially in flip flops)
– My diaper bag hangs easily from the handle (which it says VERY CLEARLY you shouldn’t do, but I’m a rebel)
– Toddler likes it
– Baby likes it
– Good telephone customer service
– Parts are easy to replace (I replaced a broken brake/rear axle myself in less than 2 minutes)
– Straps are easy to adjust
– I think it looks nice and stylish (totally an important factor)
– Super easy to reconfigure seats
– Seats can be assembled a zillion different ways

I was CONVINCED having all the different seating arrangements was SUPER IMPORTANT in a double stroller, as if forcing my children to just sit facing forward was some sort of parenting travesty. When obviously the parenting travesty is that I’m using a stroller at all instead of wearing them in an organic cotton and hemp wrap I wove myself (I LOVE my babies. Why would I want to PUSH them away from me?). And even though I’m sure everyone would survive perfectly well in a standard side-by-side, we use the different seat configurations ALL the time.

 

Infant seat and forward facing full sized seat
Infant seat and full sized seat facing backwards
Two full sized seats facing forwards (also, cool whale picture, right?)
Caroline in full sized seat at 5 1/2 months
Seats facing each other – of course, THIS happens, but sometimes THIS helps calm down a fussy baby.
Both seats backwards – works great at the end of a busy day when everyone needs quiet time
Two full sized seats facing away from each other – will be useful in the future to separate squabling siblings

CONS:
– In some of the positions, the seats only fit if they’re not reclined/have the footrest down
– Seats don’t recline very far
– Brake sometimes doesn’t fully disengage
– My brake broke after only 4 months of use (covered under warranty)*
– Email customer service wasn’t great*
– Everything costs extra (the bars across each seat, cup holders, rain canopy, etc)
– A little front heavy, which means it takes a little effort to get it up onto a curb (but not INCREDIBLY HARD, which some reviews I read online seemed to imply)
– Sometimes the folding mechanism sticks and I struggle to get it closed
– The seat is a LITTLE on the smaller side, so if you have a very tall toddler they might be kind of crowded (but I think that would be a problem with ANY stroller)

Wow, my list of negative stuff sounds REALLY negative, but I swear I really do love this stroller. I use it 4 times a week at Stroller Strides (including sometimes jogging), walking around my hilly neighborhood, at the crowded aquarium, on the gravel paths at the Seaport, and at the mall. I had no trouble hauling it in and out of the van when I was 9 months pregnant or when I was 4 weeks post partum. I’m planning to buy the ride-on glider attachment soon, so the toddler can stand during the kind of mostly-running-around-but-he-might-get-tired outings we often take during the summer. It also makes it a TRIPLE stroller, so if we have another baby we’re already all set.

I don’t miss the snack tray and cup holder from my old travel system stroller, but I DO recommend buying the belly bars. It keeps Little Evan in the stroller even when I *ahem* don’t buckle the straps and is perfect for attaching toys.

I purchased my stroller (the 2011 version) from PishPoshBaby and was very happy with them – good customer service, very fast free shipping, and no sales tax. I also tracked down a teeny tiny discount code after a few minutes Googling, although it was only applied to the accessories and not the stroller.

So was that EVERYTHING YOU EVER DREAMED OF? Are you jealous? Are you bored to death? Are you going to buy one of your very own right this minute?

*So the story with the brake is one tiny spring somehow got twisted and it locked up my wheels. I called to ask if I could get just that ONE piece replaced and the person I talked to asked me to email a picture. I did, waited, emailed again, waited, emailed again and then gave up and called back. Second customer service rep just said “Give me your serial number right now. A whole new rear axle is on its way.” I had it within 2 days at zero cost. Eventually CS rep #1 emailed me back that she was still checking on sending me just a spring and I told her the problem was fixed. I did NOT say “WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SEND ME THE WHOLE THING SINCE IT WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT THAT HARD??” But I wanted to.

A Tisket A Tasket

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Help my friend Erin put together a baby shower basket!

Like many of the childless who lurk among us, Erin needs a gift for a friend’s baby shower but has no idea what differentiates a nice baby shower gift from an AWESOME baby shower gift. Especially because, like so many first time parents, her friend forgot all her guests were NOT millionaires and filled her registry with things like $400 car seats. Or maybe Erin just forgot the first rule of baby showers, which is “Don’t wait til the last minute to buy something off a registry or you’ll end up being the person who brings the guest-of-honor 10 boxes of breast pads.” (True story. I was the guest-of-honor. 10 boxes of breast pads, all individually wrapped.)

So Erin needs our help. What sort of things did you get at your shower that maybe you didn’t actually register for but ended up being some of your favorites? Here are a few of my suggestions, feel free to add yours in the comments:

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether. And every mom reading this just went “duh”. I was so reluctant to spend $20 on a stupid teething toy it took me MONTHS to break down and get a Sophie. Little Evan STILL loves it so much I’m going to have to buy another one for Caroline or there will be an epic battle.

Belly Button Book (Boynton on Board). So the baby might not be super interested in books for the first couple of months but once they are you need books that don’t drive you freaking crazy. Sandra Boynton books are perfect – short, cute, and pretty indestructible.

Pacifier clip from Hugs & Kisses Designs.  Not every kid is going to take a paci so this can be kind of a crap shoot, but it also works on those toys you’ve shoved into the baby’s stroller in a desperate attempt to keep them entertained while you run through Old Navy tossing random sized clothing into the basket so you’ll finally own something not covered in milk stains. Not that I’ve ever done that. But I can assure you it goes much faster when you’re not stopping every 30 seconds to pick those stupid interlocking rings up off the floor.

Koala Bear 4-Pack Receiving Blankets. I was going to put “four million burp cloths” on this list but decided receiving blankets made for a better presentation. I got a TON of these for my shower and thought “Really, who needs this many blankets?” But they are so USEFUL. They can be blankets, play mats, burp cloths, nursing covers, towels, and sun shades. I picked these because they’re gender neutral and cute but still really inexpensive. Feel free to buy the fancy, expensive kind but don’t be insulted if you catch the new mom using it to wipe baby puke off her jeans.

Ok folks, what would you suggest for Erin’s baby shower gift?

*The first two links are attached to my Amazon Associates account, so if you click through them to purchase I get approximately 4 cents commission. One of these days someone might actually do that, because so far I have made exactly zero cents. I don’t know why I even bother anymore.*