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Goods and gear for kids and parents (2005)

Published on: May 01, 2006

It's spring (although in Puget Sound that's usually defined as "more
rain"), and time to -- dare we say it -- allow ourselves to dream about
warmer days ahead. This month we present a list that offers something
for everyone, regardless of what the weather brings.

For two decades, the Baby Jogger
has been a staple for moms and dads who want to keep running -- or get
back into shape -- after baby arrives. New on the scene is the Q-Series
Stroller, equipped with a patented Quick Folding System that enables
users to fold the stroller in half using just one hand. Available in
single, double and triple versions; suggested retail price for the
single seat with 16-inch pneumatic tires is $349. (You can purchase a
rain and wind canopy for an extra charge.) Visit www.babyjogger.com for a list of local retailers.

Stuck inside on a wet weekend? Pick up Balloon Lagoon,
a four-in-one carnival game from Seattle-based Cranium. Recommended for
ages 5 and up, kids solve puzzles using spelling, counting and matching
skills. Reading is not required, so kids can enjoy the game on their
own. Available wherever Cranium games are sold (nearly everywhere, but
visit www.cranium.com for locations) at a suggested retail price of $19.95.

Message T-shirts

are the fashion rage for all ages, but we particularly like the ones at www.littleshowoffs.com
-- with sayings ranging from "warning . . . i'm 2," and "it's all about
the blankey" for toddlers to "i know everything" for the
puberty-challenged pre-teen in your life. Another Web site for
fabulously hip message T's and baby clothes is www.thecradlerocks.com,
the online version of Seattle kids' clothing store Pop Tots (located at
6505 Roosevelt Way N.E.). Check out the "AB/CD" or "Anarchy in the
Pre-K" toddler shirts and the zebra faux fur baby bib.

Two
books that have come our way recently should be on the "must read" list
for couples determined to maintain a healthy relationship
post-childbirth (and yes, that includes parents of teens as well as
newborns!). The first is Seattle author Heidi Raykeil's Confessions of a Naughty Mommy: How I Found My Lost Libido
(Seal Press, $14.95) -- a humorous, honest, sexy account of how a
couple rediscovers the passion that was lost post-baby, and advice for
others seeking to balance their dual roles as parents and lovers. The
second is VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think About Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework and Commitment (Simon & Schuster, $23). Written by journalist Neil Chethik,
VoiceMale offers men's perspectives (as part of his research Chethik
conducted a scientific survey of nearly 300 American husbands) on
common relationship hot topics. The book offers some surprising
revelations about what men REALLY want from women, challenging many
gender stereotypes along the way.

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