money well spent

i don’t typically endorse any products, but thought i would jot down a few of the goodies that have made our time in 2007 with twins easier. i can’t tell you how many times we’ve found ourselves buying things that we think will be the best, only to find them utterly useless and relegated to craigslist after a few failed attempts (or months in the closet). my best advice to new parents is to keep ALL THE BOXES, especially for big items like swings, bouncy seats, car seats, jumpers, etc. because you just never know what will work and what will be a total bomb. i can’t tell you how many things we overzealously unpacked, put together and threw out the box, only to find that we wanted to return it two months later. but the following are our top five products that have passed the test with flying colors and get eight thumbs up in the silverman household:

1. the irobot roomba vacuum

we just discovered this wonderful little beauty that makes it easy to keep your floors acceptably clean, especially with babies crawling all around. with a shedding dog and cat, i was starting to think of an invention where i could easily attach a swiffer pad to the front of my kids onesies, as well as their hands and knees. not anymore, thanks to the roomba! it’s pure joy to sit back and watch a machine vacuum the hair away (double that joy with a cocktail in hand). i only wish we bought the iroomba, like, 14 months ago.

2. kiddopatumus reusable placemats

these are the best! suction them to the table and you have a great sanitary surface for your kiddos to eat from – and best of all, there is a food “catcher” that hangs from the edge of the table. it’s amazing how much food actually ends up there, and not on the restaurant’s floor. i love these so much they are no longer relegated to the diaper bag. i use them at home for every meal (the boys’ meals, that is…although maybe i should get a pair for me and jordan, too!). makes cleanup a breeze – no more huge highchair trays to clean and dry. added bonus that you’re not filling up landfills with disposable plastic placemats!

3. the stability ball

for those of you familiar with my blog, you’ll know that we got through the first 6 months of the boys’ lives because of this simple invention. it does the magic of a swing/bouncy seat/rocking chair, but 100 times more effectively. granted, you can’t just plop your baby in it and take a shower, but for really fussy times, or to make even the widest-tooth-pick-propped-open-eyes drowsy, nothing beat the ball for us. and it now has taken on the role of toy/object of fascination for the boys, and device to help me get my butt back in shape. we love multi-functionality around here!

4. skip hop duo double diaper bag

thank god for carrie recommending this gem! it truly is the mother of all diaper bags. so many pockets, so much space, such a great un-diaperbag-looking design. snap it to any double stroller and it makes outings and traveling a breeze. if you have twins or more than one child of any age, go get yourself this bag right now.

5. ugly dolls

these are, bar none, the best stuffed animals on the market. in our opinion, it makes the bear obsolete. super soft but not furry, and so deformed they are cute, these uglies were an instant hit with the boys. abel fell in love with ugly dog and ozzy immediately glommed on to wedge head. they give them kisses and hugs and stare into their cyclops eye every day!

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