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Here’s something you won’t see on the chi chi baby gear blogs…

We recently had to get out of dodge quickly after our dishwasher caught fire and filled the house with smoke.  It was my first time flying with both toddlers, and I tried to pack light, but was not going to get caught with my pants down!  I am a professional.  Which meant, while hastily salvaging a half dozen belongings from our basement that didn’t smell like burnt plastic and electrical soot, I grabbed my giant carabiner and said a prayer.

I wish someone had taken our picture at the airport.  I had Z’s car seat over one shoulder, Z himself in the Bugaboo Bee, diaper bag stuffed in the stroller basket, Sister H walking, and another backpack with the crucial DVD player and snacks hanging off the back with the carabiner.  Without Z in the seat, the whole thing tipped backward.  But with everyone in place, it was a thing of beauty.

We somehow made it through security, after which Z decided he’d stay shoeless.  So shoes (thanks to their little ankle loops) were added to the carabiner.  Ten minutes later, a hoodie came off.  Looped onto our friend with the shoes.  Down the gangway, time to gate check the stroller and board the plane – quick and easy, since the carabiner kept stray items in check.  And no little shoes lost on the plane – added Sister’s to the mix and kept ’em all together, no worries.   Changing planes, same deal – don’t want to carry it?  Just clip it on.

Fancy strollers and diaper bags sell “valet clips” – but really, don’t you just need a giant carabiner – or two?  I think I got mine at the Fred Meyer checkout as an impulse buy in place of mints.  Dare I suggest this as an offbeat baby shower gift?  They should cost about $8 a piece, and you want at least 7″ x 3″ to fit around most stroller tubing.

Someday perhaps you’ll take up rock climbing.  But in the meantime, you’ll just rock.

Boba Baby Carrier Tweet

Photo Credit: bobababycarrier.com

We blogged earlier comparing the Boba Carrier to the Ergo.  Boba’s G2 carrier features all-organic fabrics, higher baby back support than Ergo, handy foot stirrups, and a more streamlined and attractive design, all at a similar price point (<$125) – what’s not to like?

Well, Boba just flew even farther ahead in our estimation with their gorgeous new Tweet pattern just released for the G2.  How adorable is this?  Of course, it’s currently backordered on the Boba site, but you may be able to find it locally (i.e. at Bella Stella Baby in Portland, OR).

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Photo credit: ergobabycarrier.com

RUMOR ALERT – Ergo may in fact have been paying attention through Boba’s various innovations on their original theme, and looking for a little payback.  Their site currently features a tantalizing red curtain graphic hinting at what – the Ergo “performance edition?”  It doesn’t link to any content (tsk tsk), so we can only speculate.  But we will check back July 15, to let you know!

Here’s an update – dare we say, product review – for Phil N’Teds Wriggle Wrapper: “The perfect solution for sitting, feeding & sleeping on the go!”

A while back, we posted about the beautiful unfulfilled promise of the Wriggle Wrapper, which had sat gathering moss while our little babies rolled gleefully along, stopping only to nosh in the infinitely superior Phil N’Teds MeToo.  After several noble attempts at proper use, we felt wasteful and downright ashamed at having gotten suckered into another $50 of gear we didn’t need.

Then – the baby turned 1, the toddler hit 2.5, and we all took off to co-op preschool together, working parent shift (with tag-a-long) one day a week.

The first few times, I just struggled & juggled with the baby – swapping deftly between the Ergo, a Pack N’Play (not popular), and furtive sideway glances to keep Mr. Increasingly Mobile in my sights.  This wasn’t working, so I deployed the MeToo – but with much more at stake (glue sticks – how delicious!) the little guy grew even more determined, finding a way out of MeToo’s safety straps and onto the table.

As it turns out, toddlers are pretty good at sounding the alarm – not out of concern of precious baby’s health or welfare, but because glue is “mine” and they’re not sharing.  Yet another rescue pop into the Ergo.

Phil & Teds Wriggle WrapperLater, physically exhausted and emotionally bereft, it hit me like a ton of mossy rocks: Wriggle Wrapper.  The perfect solution for sitting…on the go. (Their words.)  It would bind baby’s wiggly little bottom to a tiny preschool chair.  As though the chair were wearing the Ergo.  Sort of.  Well, at this point, anyone or anything else wearing the baby is welcome, and my back thanks you.

I brought Wriggle Wrapper to Co-op my very next shift and it worked like a dream.  The WW’s extra-wide velcro-buckle waistbelt/short is genius for sitting securely, since it immobilizes the hips – baby has no leverage to wiggle his legs into standing position.  Best of all, baby seems to love it.  I think the secure hold might actually feel comforting – like he feels wrapped, not bound.

The other parents were impressed – what’s that?  That’s brilliant! For the first time, I finished shift with energy to spare.  I’m a fan of baby-wearing, and still wore my 23-pounder for a good two hours out of five, but the Wriggle Wrapper gave me *my* mobility at key moments in the Co-op day.  I felt like Supermom.  No…I felt…normal!

So I’m updating the review, and giving WW high marks – at least for sitting and feeding!  Sleeping…remains to be seen.  But I’ve got to find a way to test it.  Because the $49.99 just got paid off (good luck hiring a nanny for that for five hours) – and now I’m curious.

For your pee wee’s big adventures: It’s a bike!  It’s a stroller!  It’s a bike!  (Okay, technically a trike…)

Taga Homepage Pic

Photo Credit:www.taga.nl

The Dutch have a way with unlikely combinations.  Pancakes made out of babies…  Paint made out of boys…  And now, Taga: the world’s first safety-standard-approved bicycle that converts to a stroller – in just 20 seconds!

Taga isn’t just another take on the baby bike carrier – – it’s “a new transportation modality.”  It’s “emotion in motion” – – “transforming a typical daily journey into an exciting adventure.”  Taga’s award-winning design (by a Dutch/Israeli team) successfully avoids the robotic look of most Transformers – it’s kind of a plush modern rickshaw that actually looks fun to ride, with stroller lines to rival Bugaboo.

Photo Credit: gadgetreview.com

Just take a look at these picturesI want to be her.

Still skeptical?  Here’s some purely functional rationale in Taga’s favor.

With a traditional back- or side-mounted bike carrier, the transportation experience is perhaps on par – maybe even safer with a top producer like Chariot or Burley.  But consider what happens next.  If you live in a bike town, locking up close to your destination may not be an issue.  Once off the bike, however, you’re stuck with transport mode #2 – perhaps an Ergo-like carrier, baby backpack, or *gasp* toddler on the loose.  20 seconds later, Taga keeps you rolling (see movie here).  Yes, you can convert your Chariot or Burley with the right add-ons, but you’ll have to leave your bike behind.

With a base price around $1,500 and only coming soon (April 2010) in the U.S., Taga could qualify as a splurge, although it does pencil out as a one-fits-all vs. a single high end stroller and bike carrier.  For serious bicycling families considering Bakefiets or similar kid cargo contraptions in the same price range, it’s certainly worth a test ride.

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Update 8/6/2010:  Giggle.com is now carrying Taga!  It’s a little odd that you have to first buy the chassis, and then add the seat material, but we’ll forgive them.  Basic package retails for $1495.00 + $99 shipping (to Oregon, anyway).

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Update 8/8/2011:  Rumor has it, Taga has suspended operations and is awaiting new investment/buyout…read more here.

Today is World Cancer Day.  This is a topic near to my heart.  A year ago, my mother checked in to the hospital due to difficulty breathing, which she had been living with for weeks thinking it was some kind of a cold.  After draining 2.5 liters of fluid from in and around her lungs, doctors reported that she’d almost died of a pulmonary embolism, caused by something yet more sinister – late-stage ovarian cancer.

Needless to say, this was an earth-shattering blow.  Like many women in their sixties, my mother had been experiencing increasing back pain, bloating, constipation, unusual fatigue…the kinds of things ALL women experience at one time or another, usually due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, or the like.  Six months earlier, she was given a vague diagnosis of IBS with a recommendation to consider getting imaging done to be sure it wasn’t anything else.  Anything else.  Someone said it – it was out there – but it didn’t really register, and the doctor didn’t insist.  So life went on, and it wasn’t until my mother’s lingering cold-like symptoms became a concern that she consulted again with her primary care physician, and was swiftly hospitalized, saving her life.

It’s been a difficult year.  Chemotherapy and major surgery, followed by more chemotherapy, a break, and chemo once again.  During this time, the one bright moment was the birth of our son, the second grandchild, and it’s been through the kids that we’ve been able to find our smiles and gather positive energy for battling this devastating disease.  The prognosis remains grim, but I am continually inspired by my mother’s physical and spiritual strength, and am committed to raising awareness for ovarian cancer – “the silent killer.”

So this Valentine’s Day, I urge you all to consider Health as a a gift – to yourselves, your families, and friends.  Take significant time this month to review your family medical history.  Share health-related stories with your children and those close to you.  Assess your habits – good, and bad.  Quit smoking!  Schedule your annual exam.  Many modern diseases are highly treatable with the help of prevention and early detection.

Excellent basic information on ovarian cancer and other gynecologic cancers can be found online but should not substitute for a conversation with a specialist.  Women approaching menopause should be particularly alert to the symptoms, and discuss individual risk, since these cancers are in a category being scrutinized for genetic links.  Conflicting information abounds regarding possible connections between hormone replacement therapy and gynecologic cancers.  While evidence is still somewhat inconclusive, it’s an important question to raise with your doctor, especially if alternative therapies can be substituted with similar results.

Links for Ovarian Cancer info online:

–  Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

–  Ovarian Cancer Overview from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas

–  Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

And some great grassroots support resources that could use cross-links or donations:

–  Blog for a Cure

–  Mothers With Cancer

Again, a disclaimer: Mama Gaga is not a doctor!  Please consult appropriate specialists as you take charge of your health.

Baby Jogger City Select Single Stroller

Photo Credit: joggingstroller.com

Around this time last year, I was entering my third trimester with our second child.  Anticipating the logistical juggling act of 2 under 2 with great trepidation, I was in the market for a double stroller roomy enough to accommodate our tall toddler and the new babe, yet small and flexible enough to service our highly mobile urban lifestyle.

After much research, I narrowed the field to a BOB Revolution Duallie, the Bumbleride Indie Twin, and the Maclaren Twin Techno.  I had considered Phil N’Ted’s various in-line buggies with double kits, but didn’t like the low second seat – seemed like one kid got to ride first class and the other got stuck in coach.  I ended up with the Maclaren mostly due to size and portability.  (In retrospect I would have preferred the smooth handling of the BOB or Bumbleride, but that ship has sailed…)  Maclaren actually recalled the Twin Techno strollers this year due to people getting fingers pinched (or clipped off!!!) in the folding hinges, but we seem to have bought ours after they realized what was happening since it came with the hinge guards Maclaren is issuing via the web site to anyone who needs them.

Long story short, Baby Jogger stepped up to the plate this year, bringing modern moms a single/double convertible stroller that promises a premium ride along with ultimate flexibility.  The City Select is a single stroller with a patented second seat attachment method.  Patented, you say?  Method? Yes, friends – rather than a one-way add-on, Baby Jogger opted for a high degree of customization, allowing *at least* 16 different combinations of toddler seat, infant car seat, and bassinet on a compact four-wheeled chassis.

Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller Options

Photo Credit: joggingstroller.com

This stroller will be a smart buy for people just starting out on a multi-child family, but it rates expensive if you’ve already invested in a single stroller of comparable quality.  To use the City Select for double-strolling, you’ll need the base stroller + second seat kit, and probably would want the car seat kit as well – so your inital cost is around $600 ($499 for the single).

Check out the Baby Jogger City Select at www.joggingstroller.com.

**FEB 2011 UPDATE: Baby Jogger has the City Select on sale for 30% off – so $349 for the single and $129.99 for the second seat attachment (car seat attachment kit still $59.99) bringing the doubles “kit” down to $540…

Roh Crib from Spot on Square - Acrylic panel

Photo Credit: spotonsquare.com

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a nursery with a view?  Innovative design team Spot on Square suggests an answer with a beautiful modern crib that looks more like a bed than a baby cage.

Thanks to smart use of clear acrylic for the front panel, the Roh Crib gives you and your babe an unprecedented view for playing, bonding, or just making sure baby’s still breathing.

It also looks as though the slats might be spaced just far enough apart to rub noses, but not so much that tiny exploring arms and legs would get stuck as in other cribs.

We’re curious to see this one in person, but until we can find it locally, Oompa Toys is offering Roh Crib and all other Spot on Square products for double points this month + free shipping.  Of course, there’s a premium placed on this clarity of vision – Roh Crib retails for $1589.99.



  • JHeff: I have read a good number of comments about most users of the boba not really ever using the foot rests. Looking at the videos I've seen, the back on
  • Mama GaGa: Oh, boo! Thanks for the manufacturing update - I will make note in the post. Cheers - MG
  • Cathy: I know this is a couple years old but I ran across this post and was so excited when you said the Boba was made in America - a big selling point for m

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