Archive for the 'Gear' Category
Lo and behold, my request for a soap-dispensing bottle brush may have been answered.
This company called OXO.com is offering a Soap Dispensing Dish Wand that they say “reaches easily into the bottom of tall glassware, baby bottles and containers. Try it for cleaning muffin or cupcake pans too!”
My muffin pans may never be soiled again!
Thanks to the folks at Learning Tees who tracked this down for me.
Matt and I just got a couple samples of onesies from Learning Tees, and let me say that these are really great little items. Each one comes with a multicolor screen print of an image representing a letter of the alphabet.
They’re all super soft organic cotton, and each shirt comes with a little “Fact Tag” giving a little bit of information about the subject of the shirt. Most of the icons involve science or nature, and the factoids are good life lessons for kids, and they are delivered in a cool little box (100% recyclable materials) with the letter printed on the outside in a nice Courier font. Once Hank grows out of his 3-6 month onesies, I can easily see us picking up a couple more of these. Ooh! Maybe the Robot one!
The only minor complaints that I have is that the icon for the letter V is “V is for Valley Girl” which I don’t really think is relevant for my 20 year old little sister, let alone a 21st century toddler. Maybe that graphic is more geared toward the nostalgic parent than the little kid with the credit card, but it seems as though Volcano or Voltage or Vole might be a better learning tool than a Frank Zappa song from 25 years ago.
The only other gripe (pet peeve) that I’ve got is that the “About” page for the company has the following statement:
Our philosophy is to help children learn. And the best teacher is you…MOM. But MOM is really the same thing as CEO; it’s a daily juggle to get things done.
Dad is nowhere to be seen as a parenting force in their information, which (as you may have noticed before) is a big gripe of mine. I’m sure market research shows that Moms do the overwhelming majority of the clothes shopping for kids, but just because the majority of Hooters waitresses are women doesn’t mean that a guy couldn’t do the job just as well.
Political gripes and one questionable creative decision aside, these are great high-quality clothing items with a great message, cute (but not cutesy) images and an honest passion for making a difference in the world.
There isn’t much Zac said that I can disagree with. The designs are striking and fun and the quality is top-notch. I got “A is for Ant” and “F is for Fish,” and while I concur that the Robot one is pretty neat, you can’t beat the soon-to-be-released “G is for Genius.”
Now, with all that in mind, I think Zac overlooked one of the most important aspects of any kid-targeted product, and the thing I most dislike about these admittedly snazzy duds: The price. At $29 (+$4.25 S&H), I simply can’t ever see myself buying one. The fact of the matter is, a onesie has only a slightly longer shelf-life than a Kleenex. We bought Oscar some 3-6mo Gerbers right after his 3-month birthday and he hit a growth-spurt and was too big for them in a week or two. My own child’s freakish physical maturation aside, you’re still looking at best at a 3-month window for the kid to wear it. Granted 18-24mo doubles that window and when he or she gets big enough for 2T and beyond you’ll be able to stretch clothes even longer. But the fact remains, you’d be hard-pressed to find a shirt for which I’d be willing to pay 30 bucks for myself, and I wear clothes for at least a decade or until they physically disintegrate off my body.
Bottom-line: I love these shirts. They might be the nicest kids shirts I’ve ever seen. But unless you build a time-machine, go back to 1977, kidnap me shortly after birth and raise me to not be an unrelenting cheap-ass, I have a hard time recommending them.
Anyone who’s ever visited our forums knows that the Diaper Genie is a polarizing contraption among parents. Nonetheless, I remain a huge fan of the doohickey, and not just because it makes disposing of diapers reminiscent of putting a ghost in the containment unit in Ghostbusters. Recently I got my hands on the snazzy new Diaper Genie II, and I have to say, I think even the naysayingest of naysayers ought to give it a shot.
So, what have they changed? Surprisingly, almost everything. This thing shares little more than a name with the original Genie. Instead of looking like a big weird coffee dispenser, the new Diaper Genie is sleak, and more closely resembles a giant white tube of lipstick. Gone also is the unique twist-to-dispose system that created the signature diaper-sausage. Instead, the Diaper Genie II employs a shockingly simple trapdoor-style mechanism, that makes me wonder why the original was so complicated to begin with.
Does it work? Believe it or not, despite the lack of twist-sealed links of diaper-sausage, the new Genie actually prevents stink better than the original. While I still swore by our old Genie, even I was starting to notice that as Oscar’s diapers got heftier and more foul, opening the Genie hatch left a temporary lingering waft of stench. But no more. I suspect it has to do with the new and improved inserts, but not a hint of odor escape the new one.
If it isn’t already clear, I love the Diaper Genie II. Playtex has really built a better mousetrap with this thing, creating a diaper pail that’s effective as it is user-friendly. At $30 it’s about $5 to $10 more than the still-available Diaper Genie I, but I highly recommend ponying up the extra dough.