Category Archives: Baby gear

“Judge not lest ye be judged…”

Had our annual garage sale this past weekend. Not much new to report on that end other than it kicked our asses. Weeks of prep, careful sorting and pricing, the psychological roller-coaster of: “Should we get rid of this precious piece of Greta’s infancy?” (the answer is usually “Yes”, by the way) seriously, everything about garage sales are hard. But, we’re kinda hooked. This is the fourth one we’ve had and, despite proclaiming that this year’s sale would be our last, we still carefully packed up a few boxes for next year’s sale, so, if you’re in the market for an electric can opener, talk to me in October 2013!

Anyway, this go around we didn’t make much money, but, we did get rid of a lot of stuff that has been junking up our garage for years, so, yay! The only thing we didn’t get rid of was some of the primo, name-brand baby gear that we had on sale. I don’t know why, but, people were not buying baby stuff this year. Or maybe they just didn’t wanna pay what we were charging. Either way, we brought a lot of baby gear home, hoping to sell it on Craigslist instead.

And then, this morning, got an e-mail from our garage sale buddies — the one’s who own the lawn we shill our wares on every October — saying that he got an e-mail inquiry about our Combi Shuttle Stroller and car-seat combo from a dude name SkumLove. Apparently, SkumLove missed the big sale and was wondering if the stroller listed in our Craigslist ad was still available.

Mrs. Yeti was, understandably, a bit concerned about inviting someone named SkumLove to our home, so, I e-mailed him back and then agreed to meet him and his wife in the Bob’s Big Boy parking lot by our house. And guess what happened? SkumLove was the coolest dude ever. Sure, he and Mrs. SkumLove were all pierced and tatted up and stuff, but, they were the most normal people we dealt with all day at the garage sale. And they were so excited to buy our beloved Combi stroller that I just wanted to cry. I know I shouldn’t care what happens to our stuff when we sell it, but, I get terribly attached to things and when they find a good home, well, that makes me happy.

And trust me, our stroller car-seat combo could not have a better home than it now has. And on top of all that, I learned a valuable lesson: do not judge a person by their e-mail handle because you never can tell. I mean, hell, I’d be $50 poorer if I had. Oh, and get this, SkumLove e-mailed me back later tonight to tell me that he and his lovely wife might want to buy our video baby monitor as well.

Yee-haw! Bring on the SkumLove!

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“Cinderella Diamond Edition”

If you’re a movie geek like me, then you’ve probably bought you fair share of animated Disney films on different formats over the years. Personally, I’ve bought some Disney movies FOUR times over the past twenty years, once on VHS, again on laserdisc, one more time on DVD and finally, once again on Blu-Ray. Crazy, huh? The thing is, I kept thinking: “One day, my child will cherish these films on INSERT FORMAT HERE.” Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the viewing format would change four times before my kid starting watching movies. Yikes…I guess that’s what we get for waiting so long to have kids.

In any case, Mrs. Yeti and I decided last year that we would not re-purchase any of the classic Disney animated films when they were “released from the Disney vault” onto beautiful Blu-Ray editions. Nope. If we had a DVD of the film — which we do, for most of them, at least — then that would have to do. Yes, I know…it’s sad to think of poor Greta watching the lowly Platinum Edition of a Disney film while a sparkly new Diamond Edition was on store shelves. But, come on, how many times does a man have to buy a damn movie?!

That said, all of our best laid plans went out the window last week with Disney’s Diamond Edition release of the movie classic Cinderella. Yep, we fell for the sales pitch. Even bought the movie within days of it’s release and everything, but, we had good reason. See, this Cinderella comes with a DVD, a Blu-Ray and the all-important digital download. Yeah, I know, those sneaky bastards at Disney found a fifth format to make me buy…urgh!

But, trust me, that digital download is a life-saver, especially if you have a iPhone (or iPad!) savvy kid who likes to watch their movies whenever and wherever they want to. And, digital download aside, this is one hell of a Diamond Edition.

The Blu-Ray image is gorgeous, the new menus are beautifully rendered and the extras are truly spectacular. Sure, there are a bunch of hold-over extras from the Platinum DVD release a few years back, but, there are also loads of new extras that really make the movie shine. My favorite two are a new short film about the woman who inspired the design of the Fairy Godmother entitled:  The Real Fairy Godmother, and a quirky little short about shoe designer Christian Louboutin and his efforts to design a modern-era glass slipper. Sweet, oddly-moving and beautifully-shot, the live-action short isn’t even mentioned on the box but Greta loved it and so did I.

And if all those cool extras aren’t enough for you, the Blu-Ray disc also includes the animated short: Tangled Ever After. Picking up where the 2010 feature film left off, the short follows the goofy hijinks that Maximus and Pascal get into at Razpunzel’s wedding to Flynn Ryder. It’s very cute and surprisingly-clever, but, I still think Rapunzel looks better with blonde hair than that dishwater brown she has at the end of the movie. But, hey, who am I to criticize a Disney Princess?

Oh yeah, and best of all, since we bought our Cinderella Diamond Edition at Best Buy, we also scored a free plush Lucifer (the mean cat!) doll as a gift with purchase. I think Greta would have preferred plush helper mice instead, but, hey, free is free.

So, if you haven’t bought Cinderella a hundred times before and are looking for a cool Christmas gift for the little princess on your Christmas list, this is one Diamond Edition that’s well worth buying. And in case you were wondering, I was not paid for this endorsement, I’m just a big old Cinderella geek. I wrote a Cinderella script of my own a few years back and came to really love that plucky blonde orphan. I mean, say you will about the Disney Princesses, but, Cinderella at least had a job and, you know, a strong work ethic and stuff. And if you ask me, Cinderella is the most-modern of the classic Disney Princesses. I’m hoping that’s why she’s Greta’s favorite too. But, something tells me it’s all about those groovy glass slippers for her.

Either way, check out Cinderella on Blu-Ray today!

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Filed under Baby gear, Movie Stuff, Writing Stuff

Swimming Lessons: Week One

She may not be Missy Franklin (yet!), but, Greta started swimming lessons this week with a bang. Actually, it was more like a pained squint. See, Greta had such a hard time seeing over the glare of the pool on Monday that she spent half the class covering her eyes with her little hands.

So, we hit a couple of stores — it’s not as easy as you’d think to find toddler goggles with UV protection, especially this late in the season! — and we finally found a pair we could all live with. Greta loved the colors (especially the pink lenses) but, we were just glad she could actually see things while taking her class. Hooray!

Anyway, so far, Greta has learned to paddle around with her face in the water, jump into the pool, and kick. On Tuesday, she even “swam” a couple of feet from the center of the pool to the steps when thrown out there by her instructor. But my favorite part of it all are these cute-ass goggles. Seriously, they kill me. I’m gonna have to have them bronzed someday…

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Ch-ch-changes…

Spent the entire day cleaning out our closets and watching the Olympics. We are actually totally up to date on most events and we have been taping non-stop since the games began, so, that’s kinda scary. In fact, we’ve been so obsessed with the games that when she was acting up earlier today, I told Greta (jokingly) to go to her room and that I’d play with her in two weeks when they were over.

She didn’t get my joke and she didn’t leave the living room either. So, we got out the coloring books and colored while Mommy cleaned the hall closet and some Kazakh dude won the gold in the men’s road race. Don’t know if you caught it, but, man, that was some serious bike racing. Exciting stuff!

Of course, the biggest news around here today was that we finally removed the changing pad topper from Greta’s dresser. Yay! Honestly, we haven’t used it in weeks, and the covers are kinda nasty, so, it’s just been this weird old cracked-plastic eyesore for a while now. Yep, the plastic is all cracked too. You couldn’t pay someone to take this thing off our hands.

Anyway, I was totally fine with removing it (in theory) but, once Christine got out the screwdriver, I wigged out. I know it sounds crazy, but, something about taking it off and suddenly transforming the changing table into a big-girl dresser just about killed me. Seriously, I almost started crying. In fact, had Greta not been so excited about the look of her new “desk” (that’s what she calls it) I probably would have found some reason to keep it on there. Urgh, what a sap…

I mean, it looks great as a “desk” with a few of Greta’s favorite things on it — she has been talking about how she was gonna “decorate” it all week — but, I had some great memories with that thing. Changing diapers always sucked, but, I loved leaning close and cuddling up with her after she was all jammied up, watching her touch her toes for the first time, or hell, even just drying her off up there after a bath. I know it’s just a piece of furniture, or, you know, the top of a piece of furniture, but, I loved that little thing to death and now…it’s gone.

Well, actually, it’s in the kitchen. We didn’t finish cleaning all the closets yet, so, we’ll take it to the garage with the rest of the junk in the morning. But, you know what I mean, it’s good as gone. And quicker than you can make a David Bowie face and sing “Ch-ch-changes…”, Greta will be good as gone too. I know we still have a while to go on that front, but, the last three years have flown by, what’s to stop the next three, or ten, or twenty from doing the same thing?

Man, where does the time go? Goodbye changing table topper…you will be missed.

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Filed under Baby gear, Daddy stuff, Good Girl, Mommy Stuff

Going strapless…

Ever get the feeling that things are changing too fast for your taste? Urgh, try raising a toddler. I swear, by the time I’m used to one stage or routine, we’re already well onto another. It’s kind of insane, but, I guess the best thing that can be said about dealing with such rapid-fire change is that it makes me a little more flexible. A little. I mean, I still hate change, but, I’ve come to realize I am helpless in its wake…so, now I just kinda go with it.

So, it was with a very heavy heart that Mrs. Yeti and I removed the snap-tight safety straps from Greta’s Stokke highchair. The truth is, she hasn’t even worn them that often in the past few months, but, to me, those straps were a reminder of the tiny little baby we used to have to be so careful with.

It’s not that we’re not careful with her anymore, it’s just that she’s so fiercely-independent these days that the straps were simply not working for her. She actually threatened to remove them by herself if we didn’t get on it soon. So, last night, Mrs. Yeti and I pulled out the toolbox and removed the seat back and straps from her highchair and then put it back together.

I know it sounds crazy, but, just the act of disassembling that little chair brought back a flood of memories — baby Greta “test driving” the chair at the store before we bought it, the little blanket we used to have to wrap around her waist so she wouldn’t slide out of the seat, eating her first rice cereal, all those cute-ass bibs we used to have and the way she’d sit in her chair and laugh and smile at me while I danced around the kitchen making her food — man, it was intense.

And even today as I watched her push her newly, “big girl-ized” chair to the table and climb up in it to eat, I realized that someday, this too would be a sweet memory of simpler times. I know that “the only constant is change” and all that, but, jeez, does it all need to happen so quickly?

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Filed under Baby gear, Daddy stuff, Good Baby

Mom’s One Line A Day Memory Book

As a loud and proud SAHD, I suppose the title and even the pinkish color of the new “Mom’s One Line A Day – A Five Year Memory Book” should rub me the wrong me. But, the idea behind it is so cool, that, hell, even I — a lowly father without a toddler quote book of my own — have been known to write in Mrs. Yeti’s new book on the fly.

The concept is simple, every time your toddler says something sweet or weird or surprisingly deep, you now have a beautifully-bound datebook to write it down in. Cooler still is the fact that the pages have plenty of room to record not only the context of the quote, but also, a whopping five years worth of quotes. Awesome!

We keep our copy with a pen by the kitchen table and have been filling it up like crazy. A favorite recent entry was what Greta told us after she’d finished watching one of her Barbie movies. Sighing dramatically, she said: “What a sweet story.” and when we asked her what the story was about, she hesitated for a beat and then replied: “There are too many words to fit in my mouth right now…” Ha! Best movie review I ever heard!

Ooo, the other thing I really dig about the book is the little built-in gold bookmark. I like it because it looks all biblical and shit and is guaranteed to give the book a hip, historical vibe in the years to come. I can just see me in my tweedy smoking jacket quoting from the book at Greta’s wedding. “Ah, let me see, I believe it was way back on April 5th, 2012 when you said…”

Anyway, you can order this book all over the place online, but, we got ours at The Library Store, so, since Mrs. Yeti runs the place, you should too. Oh, and even though there is still not a Dad’s edition of the same book, Chronicle Books does offer a lovely blue-bound generic One Line A Day Memory Book for non-parents too. So, now everyone can write down and cherish all the cool, memorable stuff they, or their chatty children say. Hooray!

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Merry Christmas 2011!

Santa just finished up his work in our living room…guess he and Mrs. Claus will pay more attention to the words “Some Assembly Required” next time they go shopping. Ha! Totally kidding. Actually, they got off pretty easy this year, lots of tiny Barbie kitchen gear to set out on the tiny Barbie kitchen table and counter and shit, but, overall, relatively easy stuff to assemble…even in the dead of night on little or no sleep. So, yay for that!

Anyway, as I head back to bed with Mrs. Yeti — did I mention that we were up too? Well, we were. The same time that Santa was here too…weird how that happens, huh? — I wanted to stop for a minute to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I don’t know what you have planned, but, if it’s anything like ours — we usually eat, watch movies, play with presents, nap and repeat — then it’s bound to be fun. Merry Christmas, amigos!

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Filed under Baby gear, Daddy stuff, Holidays