Sunday, April 29, 2007


I am a list maker. An obsessive list maker at that. Yes, thanks to my mom, it is ingrained in me and I don't feel fully accomplished unless I can physically cross it all off "the list." With that said, some of my lists are mundane for groceries, books etc, some are more personal like life goals, some for today's to do's. Others are could get me arrested like, how can I leave my kids in a store mid-tantrum and go for a massage. Then there are the running tab of favorites. These are the lists I referred to in my "about me" and the ones that have been repeatedly requested by friends. And now I will share a few of those favorites with you. Whoever "you" is. Not all at once, that's like finishing the entire milkshake. But rather one at a time so that you can have time to explore them and decide if they would make your list too.
So tonight's is - favorite guilty pleasure (the only kind worth their salt) blogs. Yes, I decided that I too wanted a piece of the action, only after becoming addicted through other peoples warped worlds. So have a look-see and let me know what you like or tell me about others you to are secretly (or not so) following. - it's like crack for those of us who like celebrity gossip and like it even more when it's pint sized! What a great way to not find baby names! - exactly what it sounds like 1/2 the fat and none of the calories. - much like the one above but a bit more fashonista - not sure if it's because I knew her when we were young, or because she is a Long Island JAP transplanted like me, or because I love her book Straight Up and Dirty, whatever the reason she tells it like it is and like few people have the balls to do - the original kind of like vanilla ice cream, very reliable

There are more, but this is a good taste.


It was fully my intention to try to remain positive and only really discuss products or services that I have had a good experience with, but of course that would be impossible. With that said, I loved my Zooper Tango (to view) and (to buy - if you feel so inclined even after reading this) every day until the last one we used it. I did a ridiculous amount of research before buying it. I mean friends and relatives (OK just my mom and husband) were tired of hearing that "there was no one double stroller out there that fit all of my criteria." Criteria being, it had to be cool looking, safe, have a five point harness, have a nap bar across both seats, fold easily, be light enough for me to lift but not so flimsy it might break easily, have a large storage basket, drink holder for parents, be well rated, under $500, fit through all doorways, etc. So, OK, I had more criteria for this than I did when choosing my husband or my car but come on this stroller was holding my kids it had to be perfect. Oh and it also had to be a side by side, because believe me after borrowing a friends' Graco Duoglide (thanks Catherine) for the first three months, I had put in my time pushing what I referred to as "the boat." I really had not wanted to spend over $300 originally but that left me with the Combi's which were awful to steer and felt flimsy and Peg Perego which I read one terrible review after another for. So I decided to raise my price point and see what was out there. Going over $300 allowed me to see the McClaren which had no nap bars and less than average storage, several Inglesia's which looked nice and were well rated but again no nap bars. For those of you wondering the nap bar is key for small kids (my little one is only 8 months) and allow a place to put drinks and snacks, key for both kids.

So there it was - the Zooper Tango. I literally could not find a bad review for this thing and it was a new model and came is such great colors. I was, well, let's just say - swept off of my feet. I was hard to swallow the price $406 with tax, but I felt confident that the Tango and I were going to do great things together. Let me also explain that though my older daughter is 3 1/2 she loves to have the stroller. She likes it as a place to rest when she is tired of walking and frankly she likes it b/c her little sister has it and though we have been relatively lucky so far with the sibling rivalry the idea of her sister getting pushed while she walked was more than this princess was willing to tolerate.

So of course as soon as I chose my new love, I encountered the first problem. It was not sold at any brick and mortar in all of Columbus (BIG surprise). So I found a well rated website (they are just a distributor, Zooper does not sell there own merchandise) and placed the order. Three days later the stroller was on my door step. I followed every direction and proudly showed off a fully assembled stroller to my husband when he got home that night.

And for 3 months or so this stroller was almost everything I dreamed of. Much like most relationships are in the "honeymoon phase" when no one has told the other about the number of partners they have had or about the places on their body that used to be pierced, or that they like to sh*t with the door open. Anyway, with the exception of being a bit hard to open and close, this was the real deal.

Then we decided to take a walk last wee. It was the first nice night in a while and I figured we could all use the fresh air. I still have no clue how is all happened but the next thing I knew the stroller had flipped over onto the sidewalk, the kids were headfirst on the concrete, I was stuck on top of the stroller and the front right wheel was 10 feet away on someones lawn.

I won't bore you with the details but needless to say we would up in the emergency room with the little one to check for a concussion and the big one looked like she'd had a round with Mike Tyson and the bruises I have on my legs better clear up before shorts season really arrives. In the end everyone was fine.

Let's just say I was on the phone with the company first thing the next morning. What made me soooo mad was not that they were blaming me (very indirectly) but that they wanted me to find a box and ship it back to them for testing. Only then would they decide if it could be fixed. Like I wanted it back. Almost as much as you'd want a guy back after you found out he'd given you herpes. COME ON. Well let's just say that at the end of it all, they sent me a box, paid for all of the shipping and refunded me the $406 dollars.

Then I realized the real drama of the situation - what the hell am I going to do for a stroller now. I am the newly single girl who thought she'd be marrying the guy so she forgot what it was that she was looking for in the first place - Grrrrrrrrrr!


Not that I am assuming that anyone is interesting in commenting. However, if you feel so moved it is super easy. Just click on the "comments" at the end of any post and then it will bring up a window that will allow you to write and post. No worries, I have full editing power, so if someone write something nasty, it won't be there long.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Housekeeping note

I signed up for Google's Adsense - allowing them to post ads on the site. I must not be doing something right b/c there is an ad at the top of this page that looks really weird. I am working on it - just an FYI.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I wanted to call this blog productwhore but

I wanted to call this blog productwhore, but it was taken. And of course a blog aimed at moms and future moms might not do well with whore in it. Plus, I guess there could be the whole porn site confusion as well. So productmom it is. But that does not mean I am not a whore. Well not in the traditional having sex with multiple partners definition. However, if we were using "not loyal to one, always looking for a new one" definition, I am a product whore. More specifically a kid and mom products whore. Even more specifically a diaper bag whore. I have owned no less than ten diaper bags since having my first daughter 3 1/3 years ago. The first was a Petunia Pickle Bottom gifted to me by my mother-in-law. Pretty and spacious but kind of bulky and yikes it needs to be dry cleaned so it was quickly moved to the top of the closet. Next was the Skip Hop Duo in Red Liked it a lot but it was a bit snug to get everything in there. Then there were several totes not intended to be diaper bags per se. Issues like - not the right pockets, unable to be wiped clean etc. But they did have so much more room. Then baby #2 came and I decided to go with Skip Hops' newer, bigger one, the Dash in Brown with Pink trim. And I loved it. Or so I thought. I always knew the messenger strap was not my favorite but it was so economical, so utilitarian, so well built. Then it happened - as innocently looking over one of my favorite mommy blogs and THERE IT WAS - Amy Kathryn's Gladiola diaper bag in Eggplant and Lime (it is sold out on her site so try they even throw in a free bib) and I was ga-ga in love. I sent it to my friends as a suggestion for them. They are all due with #2 in the next few months but more on that in another post. Really though in my heart of hearts I prayed that none of them would get it, because I was secretly coveting and trying to figure out how to justify its purchase all at once. And then my friend Emily (my soul sister) emails me casually asking if maybe it would be the perfect gift from my dear friends for my birthday. Did they read my secret covetous thoughts? No they are just the best and guess what - so is the bag. Earth friendly (read - the most supple, buttery pleather ever), gorgeous colors, four outside pockets, multiple inside pockets and a changing pad with a pocket for diapers and wipes. Oh yea and the pleather is totally wipeable. The best part...I look sooo totally hip, which for this girl is the be all and end all!

Because my kids really need more energy

I am pretty good about what I let my kids eat. Granted according to my mother I might as well be feeding them pure sugar and empty calories. As kids my brother and I did not have our first piece of candy until we were old enough to tie our own shoes and sugar cereal (as defined by my parents as anything other than Cheerios or Raisin Bran) is still not allowed in their house. Still, compared to other parents in Columbus (we are the 5th most obese city in the country according to the annual survey by Men's Health Magazine) I look like a saint. My kids have never eaten fast food - unless of course a meal I prepared in the microwave in under 5 minutes is considered fast food.

My kids are by any one's standards really good eaters. If asked what her favorite food is my 3 1/2 year old would likely answer sushi or Greek. She likes Indian, Chinese, Italian, etc. My seven month old did baby food ( made by me) for all of two weeks and now eats only table food. With her two teeth she has managed to eat corned beef, chicken and garlic ravioli, turkey, chicken etc. Yet, like all kids the older one likes snacks that look like kids snacks. So I compromise. My friends recently turned me onto Clif Bars, Clif Kids Organic Z Bars They are advertised as "baked whole grain energy bars for kids." And you know what they are good. Really good. Good enough that mommy eats them when she is in a rush. They are SB 19 compliant (California bill that ensure that kids snacks have no trans fats and low sugar content) and come in three flavors. Also, even though they say "energy" bar they just mean a healthy snack, there are no energy boosters in these. So there I was in Target looking to buy a whole box so that I would not run out at the worst possible moment (i.e. when she wants one and is on the verge of a meltdown). I found them on the shelf right next to another so called "healthy kids snack bar." I had to stop and compare, after all these were a little bigger (43g as opposed to 36g), cheaper, and their nutritional stats were better (1.5g less fat, 75mg less sodium, 3x the amount of protein, 2g less sugar etc), but would they taste as good? Guess what - just as good. So now what..well because kids will be kids she only wants the Clif bars. But that's OK b/c both make me feel like a good mommy - even if my mom would tell me to forget them both and pack a Ziploc full of carrot sticks.

A toy for mom and dad

No...not that type of of those is reserved for Mom's Night Out dinners. OK, so the husband LOVES toys. Man gadgets if you will. His birthday was last weekend and I was all about getting something he would like. Not just "great gift honey," but "wow where did you find this and how did you know about a gadget before me!" He happens to also regularly complain about our caveman video camera. In all fairness it is from the year of the flood (5 or so years old which is ancient these days). More importantly though, is that we have not taken video of our kids since the 3 1/2 year old was 2 or so and the little one (7 1/2 months) has never had a real video taken of her. I am not sure how this is possible but considering that the one we have requires those mini discs and a day to charge it, it collects serious dust.

With all of that said I found the PERFECT gift. Understand that by perfect, I mean it was a man gadget, it was fun, it filled a need we had and it was not going to break the bank. The Pure Digital Point and Shoot Camcorder This camcorder is the size of a deck of cards, holds 60 minutes (they also make a 30 minute version) of video and has a USB port that attaches directly to your computer to download. With all of four buttons and a 2X zoom this thing fits in my purse or the husbands pocket and the best part was the price - $175 (ours was on sale at Red Envelope for $135). No, I am not kidding. Tonight we downloaded the videos and it could not have been easier. All of the software and instructions pop up as soon as you plug in the USB port.

For those who are wondering about the quality of the video - I did a lot of research prior to purchase and many reviews talked about the video quality. I am THRILLED with the quality. I mean come on - for $135 my kids punims are crisp and clear and the sound is nice and it fits in my purse. I mean I am not expecting Spielberg quality here. More importantly though the husbands exact words were "this thing is great and really easy - I love it!" As for me - She shoots...she scores!

And so it begins

As the mother of two small kids I am always trying new products (OK I am slightly addicted). As a New Yorker transplanted to Ohio I needed a venue for my opinionated personality and figured that this was a harmless one. I am the friend who is constantly emailing new finds to all of my friends (most of whom appreciate it). I am the one who keeps a long list of categorized websites I like best for shopping, research and information on my desktop. I have been asked to share that list so often that I should be considered a paid advertiser by each site. I am also a frustrated novelist (OK, so I have only written and re-written the story in my head - it will get written one day - like a day when both of my kids have slept through the night and I am not working). Oh yeah and on top of all of that I am a working mom. I work part time in marketing the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Yes, I realize that is funny but how I wound up here is a story to long to bother...