Mighty Life List
Jun 12 2009

Winner! Plus Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Congratulations, Emma #181! Random.org indicates that you are the chosen one. Enjoy your slotRadio and perfect ice cubes.

The rest of you may have some shopping to do, but fortunately your Father’s Day ideas are inspired. Freddy made Moo Cards from photos her dad has taken, so he can share his Flickr address with photo subjects when he travels. Evil Science Chick would love to replace the powder blue Mustang her father sold when she was born so he could buy a family car. Adel says, “My dad loves bouncy balls for some reason, so a big bag of bouncy balls would probably be his ideal father’s day gift.” And when Melissa was six, she picked a all the dandelions from the yard and left them in the mailbox for her father. He was on his way to punish her for shattering yet another pair of glasses when he found the bouquet, and decided against it. Awww.

Congratulations again, Emma! And for everyone else, here are the rest of your Father’s Day ideas:

Handmade and/or Sentimental
Big batches of homemade soup for the freezer
Transferring all his photo slides to digital
Homemade cards
Homemade book on the theme of “I love you more than…”
Repay college tuition
A card I made in college with a picture of us and words cut out of
baking
a macaroni encrusted picture frame of me
Baseball game scrapbook

Personalized

A brick engraved with his name and the details of his service to the USMC. The personalized brick is now among the many on the path at the Marine Corps Memorial here in DC.
Framed Photos
Portraits of the kids in their “My Dad Rocks” t-shirts
stepping stone imprint of our daughter’s feet
Mug with daughter’s handprints
Photo mousepad

Booze and Food
Beer of the month
Hot Sauce of the Month
Single malt Scotch
Tequila
Mr. Beer Homebrew Kit
A carton of cigarettes and a twelve pack of beer
Six-pack of PBR and a can of mixed nuts
Vintage Bourbon
A bag of “goodies” from the Sierra Nut House

Hobbies
Hiking Walking Stick
LA Times Sunday Crossword books
A Small Orchard
Anything from Lee Valley, a mail-order catalogue for woodworkers and gardeners
Painting lessons
Golf bag, shirts, jackets, pants, clubs, shoes, balls
Sunrise fishing trip
Tickets to the US Open golf championship for him and his favorite golf partner, my husband
Golds Gym for Wii
Enertia Electric Motorcycle
New Train Set
Chrome for his Harley
Afternoon of hang gliding
Gardening supplies
Ashtray
Kayaking
Sailing trip
adult tricycle

Family Time
A bag of circus peanuts and a road trip to Gettysburg
A nice meal
Child seat for his bike, helmet for the kiddo
2 copies of a book on a subject we are both interested in- one for each of us- so we can talk about them as we both read them
Extend our satellite TV channels
Day off from parenting
Disney World with his 3 grandkids
Hammock
I flew home one year as a complete surprise
A weekend without a schedule
A trip to Kansas City to cruise around all the places he liked to go as a kid with stops at his favorite BBQ and burger joints.
A day of antiquing together

Gadgets
Wireless headphones
GPS
Flip video recorder

Handyman Enablers
Chainsaw
Ladder
Manure fork
The Nail Jack

Tickets, Gift Cards, Donations

Opera tickets
Circus tickets
Movie tickets
Concert tickets
Sports tickets
eBay gift certificate
Borders card
Best Buy card
Gift certificates for rounds of golf, and a series of Sunday mornings where no one asks him to do anything, so he can play guilt-free
In-N-Out gift card
Heifer International donation

Practical

New bumper for the pickup
Travel toiletry kit
Underwear
Detail his car
A puppy
Tractor attachment

Media

Magazine subscriptions
Best-of This American Life
Stupid American History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions
Louis L’Amour book
I renew my Dad’s subscription to Smithsonian Magazine.
Great Professors lectures on DVD from The Teaching Company

Jun 10 2009

I Got Your Dad a Present

I got a Father’s Day gift for your dad. But why am I buying stuff for your dad? It’s not what you think! We’re just good friends.

Actually, I’ve been meaning to make little surprises for you guys for years, but it’s kind of labor intensive, and expensive, and I suck at errands, and there’s a lot of reality TV between me and my grand ideas. You understand. I finally got my act together because Sandisk slotRadio offered to foot the bill for my theme-gifts project, as long as they got to pick the themes. Of course, they threw in some slotRadios too. Sweet.

They picked Father’s Day, so I made a Lazy Sunday Kit, which contains restful things. Would you like to know what’s in it? Yes:

The Aforementioned slotRadio
It’s like a walkman, but instead of CDs or tapes, you put in a little memory card that comes preloaded with music you didn’t have to download. This one comes with 1,000 Billboard songs, but you can buy other cards if you like. Also, there’s room for you to upload your own mixes if you want to hear something that’s not on the card.

A One-Year Subscription to The Week Magazine
I’ve told you about this epic magazine before on The Morning News. Here’s what I said:

The Week is a news digest for the impatient and globally curious. Say you had a genius friend who read three-dozen of the world’s best newspapers every day. Then say that friend agreed to write a summary for you featuring all the best stuff he found on every subject.

That’s The Week—excerpts from the top columns, news articles, business deals, real estate, gossip, and even TV listings. Best of all, it’s slim enough to fold in half and read during one good, long soak in the tub. You’ll emerge wrinkled, but utterly prepared for the most arduous cocktail party.

Warning! This will be shipped to whatever address the winner provides. So you’ll need to think really hard about how much your dad means to you.

Oxo No-Spill Travel Mug
A travel mug with an agreeable clicky button on the top that opens and closes the cup when you press it. You could practically throw the thing in a bag and it wouldn’t spill. Genius. Now dad can read his magazine anywhere he wants.

The Perfect Cube Silicone Ice Cube Trays

These make excellent, perfectly cubular ice cubes. I’m including these instead of a bottle of bourbon, because I technically have no idea who you are. You could be like sixteen, and Bam! You’re corrupted. Suddenly I’m a corruptor. Anyway, please use these perfect ice cubes in the tasty beverage of your choice — cocktail or otherwise. Kids, stay away from drugs.

Now, isn’t that a nice present? I think so too. I spent a lot of time agonizing at the mall today. Anyway, if you want it, or your dad does, here’s the deal. First you have to live in the continental U.S. or Canada. If you do, please leave a comment below about the ideal Father’s Day gift. Be sure to include your email address in the field provided (so I can reach you if you win) by June 12, 2009 at 12 a.m. EST. Just one comment, please. I have to delete duplicates for fairness. Random.org will decide who wins, and I’ll contact the lucky via email. I’ll also tell you who won here.

So, ready? Best Father’s Day Gift on record? Aaaand go!

Jun 9 2009

Mighty Junior

Jun 9 2009

Mighty Goods

Jun 5 2009

Ask Maggie: Nine Toddler Things I Can’t Live Without

Hi team. I’m having trouble keeping up with email, but I’ve been getting a lot questions from you guys that I feel bad ignoring. I figured I’d start answering some of them on Fridays, so this is the first one.

If you don’t care about toddler gear, here’s a video of a guy doing an entirely a cappella version of Thriller, using only his voice in place of all the instruments. It is rad. (Thanks, Kottke):

Awesome, right? I know! Now, on to the toddler question.

Hi Maggie,

I built my baby registry around your product recommendations on Mighty Girl. I have never regretted purchasing a single thing you recommended, and consider my registry, and the fact that none of my baby products went unused, to be one of my major parenting achievements. Is this weird?

…Please, please post your recommendations for toddler buys, esp. strollers.

Much appreciated,
Ainsley

Hi Ainsley,

Here you go.

1. The BOB Stroller

We have two strollers. A little umbrella one that I kind of hate, and the Bob, which is so good that I’d like to hold it close and whisper naughty things to it in the night.

It’s a little heavy when it’s folded, but the wheels are so big that I just drive it up and down our stairs while Hank walks, so I rarely have occasion to carry it any distance. You can also order an infant car seat adapter bar and make it your primary stroller from the beginning, but it’s kind of big for restaurants. Our Bob is excellent because it:

Moves like hot butter in a frying pan. (I could drive it with one finger.)

Is easy to fold and unfold.

Fits though airport security scanners.

Is crazy durable.

Can be driven easily on dirt and grass.

Is big enough that your kid won’t outgrow it instantly.

Serves as an outdoor bed.

Let me reiterate that last point. The Bob is so comfortable, that we can recline the seat fully and Hank will sleep in it. This means we can put him down for a nap or bedtime while we’re out on a walk and go for lunch dinner at an outdoor cafe (the stroller is kind of big for indoor dining). It doesn’t always work, but it works enough of the time that the stroller has paid for itself in saved babysitter fees. It also comes in a double stroller version if you have two kiddos.

2. Playtex Coolster Tumblers

One thing I wish I’d done from the beginning was buy a bunch of the same sippy cups, so the parts could be interchangeable. I love these BPA-free toddler cups, because they’re like travel coffee mugs, but with a restricted flow valve inside. They’re great for teaching kids how to use a cup. I just ordered a bunch of them in the same color, so I can just use whatever lid I come across. Also, you can order new lids and valves without replacing the whole cup.

3. Water Shoes instead of Sneakers

If you get a cute pair of water shoes, they often look a lot cooler than designer kids sneakers, and they’re way, way cheaper. Easier to pull on, they don’t get all gross when they get wet, and they last a little longer because they’re stretchy. Bonus, they’re comfortable without socks if laundry day comes a little late that week.

4. Phil and Ted’s Me Too Chair and the Handysitt Child Chair

We’ve never owned a high chair. The Phil and Ted’s was small enough to throw in the stroller basket and take out with us to dinner where we could easily attach it to a table ledge. When he outgrew that, we bought a Handysitt, which sits on a dining room chair most of the time. We throw in the car for dinner at a friend’s house, and it also stows easily if you’re having company and it’s not mealtime. Bonus, no tantrums about not getting to sit in a grownup chair.

5. iPhone

Bless you, iPhone video. So ludicrously useful for preempting tantrums, we call it the neglect-a-tron. Download a few of the kid’s favorite videos, and the most exhausted toddler can be dissuaded from throwing himself on the floor at the DMV. These stands are pretty great too.

6. Apple Slicer

It’s gonna come up.

7. Circle Wooden Train Set

If you have a little boy, this set is likely to be a hit.

8. Hanna Andersson Floppy Sun Hat

I don’t own one of these yet, so this is risky, but I’ve been searching high and low for a decent sunhat with a chin strap, and I just placed an order for one of these on the recommendation of mom-of-three Margaret Stewart. She says, “My kids wore these for years. I handed the same hats down through three kids and they were still in good enough shape to give away to another family after 8+ years of use!” Good enough for me.

Margaret also recommends this for the beach. It’s the cutest mullet hat I’ve seen, and yet it remains a mullet hat. I can’t do it.

9. Flashlight with Click Button

If you’d like to finish a novel start to finish? Hand the kid a flashlight for the first time. Enjoy.

That’s it. What can’t you live without? Tell us. Do!

And if you want to ask me a question about whatever, send it to maggie at mighty girl dot com.

May 13 2009

Mighty Goods: Laptop Bag Roundup

By request, a laptop bag roundup on Mighty Goods. Some old favorites, and a few new ones too.

Laptop Bag Roundup

May 5 2009

Mighty Goods: Mother’s Day Gifts!

2009 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mom’s Day is Sunday, y’all. I have a bunch of great picks up on Mighty Goods, but order soon, or no milk and cookies for you after school.