Growing up in Maine where the state bird is the mosquito I was no stranger to bug spray. Of course the kids of today no longer need to empty a can of Raid on themselves to fight of flying bugs. The youth of today can use more natural and less harmful bug repellants. Now that the weather has brought us flying biting pests LTD sports the BugBand insect repellent wristband. The band (that comes in many colors) uses Geraniol to create a force field around the wearer. What is Geraniol, you ask? Geraniol is a “powerful ingredient extracted from geranium plant oil through a unique refining process, does indeed provide a natural – and extremely effective – insect repellent.” In addition to avoiding any messy spray or eye rubbing incidents the BugBand works for up to 120 hours. I am pleased that the little guy’s legs will remain bite free as I know he would totally scratch and I don’t want him looking like he has the plague by the end of the summer.
What can I say, the boy likes smoothies. Okay, I can say one more thing, he often likes to take the straw out and whip it around or play with it in other un-productive ways. Do you want to know how many smoothie ingredients stain? The answer is a lot. The Sili Squeeze goes a long way to stop blueberry spots from turning up on the ceiling. As the company says, it’s not a bottle as much as it is a way to eat blended things on the go. The Sili is dishwasher safe and BPA and Phthalate free. After the baby stage one can move up a weight class with the Sili Squeeze with Eeeze, which features an easier nipple spout because toddlers don’t suck as hard as babies. One of the reasons I like the Sili is that for awhile LTD hit an applesauce phase, but has since drop it like a bad habit. I use the Sili as a fun applesauce delivery system. Also, it looks like something people will be drinking out of in the future on Star Trek or something.
The Mommy is always using bags for various activities, but truth be told she uses them mostly for knitting and baby stuff. One of the bags in heavy rotation is her Virescent bag. These eco-friendly American made bags are actually part of something pretty cool, they help you with fundraising. No more door to door candy bars or wrapping paper. You basically pick out the type of campaign you want to run and then open a custom web storefront and then you are good to go. You also have the option of putting your foundation or school logo on the bags. Additionally, Virescent will work with you to design a bag from scratch. The bags are created using recycled and 100% organic cotton and they feel solid. Certainly solid enough for The Mommy to hold what seems like a whole sheep’s worth of yarn (so far it has also resisted getting a hole via knitting needle). Now if only they could invent a bag you don’t forget in the car when shopping.
The future is here today with a container that looks like it was from The Jetson’s prop department. I present the Gyro Bowl. This bad boy is built like a NASA deep space probe and features a inside bowl that rotates 360. Why should that matter you ask? Because when a toddler is jumping on the couch or running around the living room when you scream at him to stop you only have to yell, stop it and not, stop it and pick up all those cheddar bunnies you just dropped. Like most things these days the bowl is BPA free and dishwasher safe (sorry nuke lovers do not put it in the microwave). For me one of the only drawbacks is that LTD plays with the bowl a lot more than he actually uses to take food out from. However, now that the little guy has a really hard time sitting at the table to eat and has expressed a strong desire to do what ever he wants whenever he wants to, the spill proof bowl definitely provides an added layer of security for the living room rug. The bowl is a little hard to clean, but since we only put things like raisins or hop hops (cheddar bunnies) inside it isn’t really that big a deal. Now if only I can get him to stop playing with it I can have a go.
While on a trip to our nation’s capital a buddy of mine saw something awesome and immediately thought of LTD. He was in the airport and spied a realistic Astronaut costume. Aeromax toys make a long line of professional costumes including firefighter and police officer, but the Jr. Astronaut costume is truly out of this world (I couldn’t resist). The suit comes in pretty much all sizes from infant to adult. The realistic outfit comes in orange or white and features patches, buckles, zippers and a cap (which LTD won’t wear). This is one of those things that makes me jealous that the little guy has so much cooler stuff than me. Sadly, since the shuttle program ended all this role playing is pretty much just for fantasy, but maybe it will inspire him to reach for the stars anyway. Not that I want my refrigerator to break but it would be awesome to get a new one and turn the box into a wicked cool rocket ship. Since the little guy is old enough now to really appreciate Halloween the Jr. Astronaut gear came in handy as a back up costume for the numerous spooky activities we attended.
As a rule I don’t love the beach, mainly due to my childhood touching of gross things in the frigid water, sand in the food and kids walking around in nothing but a diaper. However, when October 9th rolls around and it is 80 degrees out, you have to go to the beach. I couldn’t do anything about the gross sea monsters in the freezing water and this time instead of babies wearing nothing but a diaper I couldn’t overt my eyes from the people wearing inappropriate two pieces, but I could do something about the sand. We used the Sand-Off Dry Body Wash mitt to remove the offending particles from our feet and legs before getting in the car. The mitt uses an all-natural powder mix to remove sand without needing any water. The mitt is more effective than a towel because I have never been able to really get the sand out 100% with a towel and the towel is always wicked dirty when it goes back in the car.
I am always wary when a product claims multiple uses, but I am forced to admit that Jahgoo’s 3-in-1: Potty.ToiletSeat.StepStool delivers as promised. The 3-in-1 passed the first test, which was to get through The Mommy, who is the gatekeeper of all things stylish. The second test was that the little guy when presented with the 3-in-1 flipped it over and used it as a stool to climb into the highchair by himself. After The Mommy and I got over the fact that our little baby just put himself in the high chair we decided that it was indeed time for a step stool. Additionally, the little guy now wants to wash his own hands and thus a step stool is also required. However, while we aren’t quite there yet the 3-in1’s raison d’etre is to be a great potty. And when the time comes to go up on the big boy toilet the 3-in-1 splits apart like in a Micheal Bay film. It is in this capacity that the step stool makes a nice place for the little guy to put his feet.
As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know by heart the best products are the ones that not only are easy to use but also do what they promise. In that regard I present perhaps the simplest of all baby products, the tag*a*long. This bpa free plastic handle allows kids to walk next to a stroller with ease. While LTD doesn’t have a sibling that has stolen his stroller, the tag*a*long sees action now that we begin our walks with the little guy in the stroller only to have him scream to get out. The nice thing about the tag*a*long is that it is most definitely not a leash, which demeans both parent and child. One last word about how easy it is to use, you don’t need to do anything to attached to the stroller, it simply slides on to itself.
The Mommy and I try to encourage LTD to drink water liberally throughout the day. The best delivery system we have found so far is from an unusual place. The Playtex Insulator cup with straw has been battle tested and has beaten all rivals. You see the little guy has an annoying habit of dropping his bottle from the highchair when he is done drinking from it. He truly pushes the concept of spill and leak proof to the limits. Because the Insulator can take a licking a keep on ticking we have a ton in the house and for the road. While they come with many design options, we use the ones with cars on them for water and dinosaurs for milk. Like most things these days they are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. In terms of getting the best bang for our buck the Insulator has come through for us as a true bargain. In fact I think the reason we have so many is that they are really inexpensive, sold almost everywhere and really easy to clean.