Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Kill: Dorel Juvenile Group

I've never been a big fan of Dorel Juvenile Group (they make Safety 1st, Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Maxi Cosi & Quinny) Why? because they suck... their products suck, their Customer Service is attrocious, they have to be sued to issue recalls on KNOWN issues... they just suck. Their car seats are the worst... they make claims that aren't true, are hard to use, break easily, and are confusing.

I've owned a few of their seats and they have all sucked harder than a black hole! A couple broke LONG before they should have under normal or less than normal use (as I hate driving), they were all really hard to install, one I installed with LATCH and the latch belt bunched up inside the adjuster and I couldn't get it undone... I don't even know how it did it but we had to cut it out of the car (thankfully it was headed for the trash anyway) another seat broke after 1 month. ONE MONTH?!?!? Car seats are made to last 6 yrs... I expected just a bit more use than 1 month. When I called their Customer (dis)Service number I was very unsatisfied with them. First Call... Something broke on my car seat and I called they told me it wasn't needed (and no it wasn't a cupholder it was part of the harness- something I think is needed on a car seat) but if I was "going to have a hissy fit about it" they'd send a repair kit. Another time the buckle broke on another seat and they took 6 WEEKS to ship the replacement buckle. When I asked what I was supposed to do in the mean time I was told to borrow a seat from a neighbor... now I can't speak for others but I buy car seats to USE not to keep around in case a neighbor needs one. Maybe I'm just a crappy neighbor...

Another time I called and asked about the slot height on a certain seat of their's (something they SHOULD know) and the lady snottily informed me "They had NO way of knowing such a thing" -- I guess they just drill those holes willy nilly then, my bad!
So with all their issues: multiple recalls, crappy customer service, shoddy products and all that... The reason I'm killing on them today is...they also don't think that extended rear-facing (or even RFing to a year) is necessary. Why?

Quote from them in response to recent studies that say children should RF as long as possible:

"In addition, although rearward facing is arguably the safest travelling position, most of us prefer not to travel that way. It reduces the growing child's ability to interact with those in the front seats, to look around and see where they are going."

See article here:

They basically say in that article to keep your kid in the bucket seat as long as possible but once they outgrow that go to a Forward Facing Convertible... ALL of Dorel's infant seats go UP TO 22# which in the real world means they're outgrown anywhere from 4-9 months of they're saying that it's okay to FF a 4 month old?! REALLY?!?! And why? So that poor baby can "interact" with their parents and see what's going on!?! Where's the V8 Slap when you need it?
I don't know about y'all but you can't interact with a vegetable or a corpse. Hmmm ...tough call here... Alive Rear Facing baby who may or may not be able to see outside (my kids could just fine) or a dead kid who isn't seeing anything... ya know I'm just going to have to go with Rear Facing.

Since Dorel doesn't seem to give a flying leap about safety I will not ever buy or recommend anything their company makes anymore. I'll give my money to businesses that care about Safety over profit.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Trans Fat Tuesday: Cool Whip

Whipped cream makes everything better, whether it's ice cream, pie, or even a simple cup of coffee. The last thing I want in my whipped cream are oils or corn syrup. You can easily make whipped cream at home with heavy whipping cream, a little powdered sugar (you get to decide how sweet it is that way!) and a mixer, but sometimes I just want to put a dollop, or give a little squirt on top, and not have it be a Martha Stewart day!

Cool Whip has both hydrogenated (not even partially hydrogenated, so it's super bad for you!) oils AND high fructose corn syrup, so it's doubly on our kill list (I don't understand why it needs to have 2 kinds of corn syrup and oil as the third ingredient!) There's not even any cream in it!

Reddi Wip, on the other hand, has cream, no hydrogenated oils, and no high fructose corn syrup. It comes in regular and chocolate flavorings, so my coffee in the morning has endless possibilities!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kill: JJ Cole Bundle Me

I have a mild hatred for most car seat accessories since they generally cause you to use the car seat wrong and are so obviously dangerous I just don't get how anyone uses them and thinks "yep that's safe!"

The JJ Cole Bundle Me (which I've dubbed the JJ Satan) is one of them.


It's this poofy thing that goes under your kid (and between the harness) and causes a huge gap in the harness. You THINK it's tight but if you get into an accident the bundle me will compress and your kid could be ejected from the seat. Which means at Least serious injuries at worst death. It also could cause the slots on the seat to not line up properly on the seat (which is bad).

What's more important your kid having a pointless piece of crap on their seat or them being ALIVE? I pick alive. Using the Bundle me on the car seat turns your kid into a crash test dummy. that cover was NOT tested with your car seat it is not safe to use. If you live in a cold place use a Showercap style cover (one that goes OVER the car seat not under your kid) or use a blanket, blankets and the shower cap style cover are a hell of a lot cheaper anyway. :-P

If it didn't come in the box keep it off your car seat. It's just that simple. Some infant buckets come with a cold weather boot THOSE are safe. The JJ Satan is okay on the stroller but who in their right mind spends $40 on a stroller cover when a blanket works just as well... oh look at that the same logic applies to the car seat! *giggle*


Friday, May 29, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup Friday - Chocolate milk (single serving size)

My oldest loves chocolate milk (as I'm sure every child does), and I was recently looking at single serving chocolate milks for her to have as a treat. I looked at the ingredients on Nesquik and saw high fructose corn syrup, so I went off in search of a suitable alternative.

Inexpensive: Great Value is cheaper than Nesquik and has no HFCS.

Organic Cow Milk: Organic Valley and Horizon Organic both have organic vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry milks that contain no HFCS.

Soy: Silk and Kirkland brands have single serving flavored soy milks that contain no HFCS. Zen Soy is another brand that has single serving flavored soy milks, but this brand has a screw top (no more squirting soy milk all over the place when they're walking around!)

Fancy: If you can find it, flavored (and unflavored) almond and rice milks (I've yet to find single serving sizes, although my 4 year old swears the big cartons ARE single serving sizes) are very delicious and contain no HFCS. I hear that Whole Foods sells single serving sizes of rice milk, not sure about almond milk though.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Thrills: Ergo Carrier

I'm in love with a great many carriers, but if I had to pick just one out of my stash, this would be the one. I have a bad back from some car accidents when I was younger, and once my kids got to be a little weighty I required 2 shoulder carriers for longer trips (quick trip into the store for milk was ok with just a sling, but anything much longer needed 2 shoulders). I got the Ergo when I was pregnant with my youngest, pulled a muscle in my belly carrying my then 2 1/2 year old oldest, and my husband needed something to carry the oldest in (the mei tai I was using didn't fit him.) We bought the Ergo and it works great, I've stolen it for myself :)

One thing that's great about it is it's ergonomical, so those with bad backs can rock out in the carrier for a long time. We used this at Disney World with my 28 lbs 19 month old for a week and while my knees hurt from all the walking, my back was great (and the little one didn't want to be in the stroller AT ALL, so it's not like I got much of a break during that time.)

It's fairly easy to nurse in, check this pic out:

If you're not in a nursing top (or have a cardigan) you get a little side boob showing, but that's it.

You can pop the kid on your back or hip if you want, very easily. Only 2 buckles to worry about!

Here's their website for more info:

Thursday Thrills! Take Along Swings

It's Thursday so it's time to Thrill on something (we can't only be negative that's not helpful).

Since I killed a swing I've decided to thrill on one... I was going to thrill on a car seat accessory until I remembered that I hate most of them and the one I do like wouldn't make sense following my swing kill...stay tuned I'll do it next week. ;-)

This week will be the Fisher Price Take Along Swing (other companies make them too) the one pictured below retails for $59.99 at Amazon.
I had a take along swing for my oldest and whoever invented that thing deserves an award of some sort. They are fantastic and of course much better and often cheaper than that moronic Car seat swing (ugh).

It's light weight and folds compactly. You can store it practically anywhere (under the crib, between the couch and the wall, in the closet, etc) and since it's light and folds up if you're going to a friend's house for a few hours you can take it with you and use that instead of leaving your kiddo in the car seat the whole time (which really irritates me).

Cons if you can call them that to the swing are it doesn't have the same features as a full size swing will have and it's low to the ground so you'll have to crouch down to put baby in it, the weight limit is also a little bit lower than it would be for a full size swing. None of those things were an issue for me, by the time my kiddo got to the weight limit she was over the allure of the swing, being low to the ground wasn't a problem I'm young and free of joint issues and the features... well... your infant does give a rip if there's a creepy penguin oggling at them anyway. I don't think my kid cared about the vibrating, music or lights that our take along swing offered so I really feel that MORE stuff on the swing would have been over kill anyway. Also keep in mind that a take along swing is about half the price of the full size fully loaded swings so if you want to pay $100+ for stuff your kid won't care about go ahead, I feel the take along is more than enough and has the added convenience of being able to go with you without taking up the entire cargo area of your car. ;-)


Monday, May 25, 2009

Kill - Carseat carriers

"Hi, I don't care if my back is breaking, I can shop AND drink my water AND lug my baby in it's carseat at the same time! I'm multi-tasking! I'm awesome! I'm super mom!"

This thing is one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. If you want to haul your baby around hands free, get a sling! Not only are you lugging your baby around, but you're lugging the carseat too! My back twitches at the mere sight of this thing! My youngest was nearly 10 lbs at birth, I couldn't imagine lugging 20 lbs of baby and carseat on one shoulder like that only to have it get heavier with time (I can't imagine that woman's chiropractic bill!)

My head really is going to explode at this pic. Get off your cell phone, sit down on a bench, and hold your baby while she eats! Is it that hard? Is the conversation and your shopping trip (along that lovely background) really that important that you can't stop and feed your baby? I'm not saying every bottle or nursing session needs to be a big love fest, but that's just wrong!

Sassy pose says what?

I went to Flying Falcon's home page and it seems like they've gone out of business because all they have there is a nice little animation of a flying falcon.