Saturday, March 29, 2014

1st Newsletter

Welcome to the first Kit N Caboodle newsletter. You are receiving this newsletter if you are registered in our system as a consignor or customer and provided us with an email address. If you do not wish to receive the newsletter, simply let us know and we will remove your from the recipient list.

Consignment News

We are currently accepting spring and summer clothes and footwear, up to size 10, and maternity office wear. Please book an appointment for clothing drop-offs.

We accept gear and equipment at any time. Items in particular demand are:
  • high chairs/boosters
  • baby gates
  • playpens
  • bassinets
  • Jolly Jumpers (with or without stand) and Jumperoos
  • baby wraps and soft structured carriers
I have current requests for a tricycle, light weight stroller, and Bumbo (not pink!).

In-store Goodies

We currently have two of the prettiest bouncers I've ever seen.

Combi Pod Bouncer
Retail Price: $125
KNC Price: $35

The Combi Pod Bouncer uses your child's movement along with a built-in sound and vibration unit to provide comfort and enjoyment. A 3-point padded harness, slip resistant feet, 2-position recline,  and MP3 input make for a safe and comfortable environment for your child. The rear mounted electronic control unit that allows easy access while baby is resting and a seat back storage pouch add convenience.
(*toy bar not included)

Svan Wooden Bouncer
Retail Price: $150

KNC Price: $75
The adjustable backrest allows your baby to lay down for naps, sit up to observe their surroundings or lounge anywhere in between. No bells and whistles to over-stimulate your baby. The bentwood backrest provides excellent support for your baby's developing skeletal system. Recommended for babies up to 30 lbs, it also provides a safe and comfortable seat for baby while giving discriminating parents a stylish and natural alternative to mechanical bouncers. Easily folds flat for storage or travel. Simply remove the top from the base and go!
Retail Price: $70+
KNC Price: $35

Step 2 wagon with two seats, an easy access door, and cup holders.
Retail Price: $200
KNC Price: $99.95

Accessories may be available for purchase for an additional fee.
Strolling around has never been easier with two children. The versatile Caboose Stand-On Tandem allows an older child to sit and stand on its patented rear platform/seat while a younger child rides comfortably in front. If the standing child tires, they can turn around and rest on the padded rear seat. And parents make out too because the Caboose is lightweight and folds up compactly. It also has a large basket and storage pockets for everything you’ll need to take along with you. And the rear platform means no more lifting a heavier older child in and out of the stroller when they want to see or get tired. The Caboose Stand-On Tandem double stroller makes strolling two children a breeze!

Pink Crocband Crocs, Size 6/7
Retail Price: $20-35

KNC Price: $8
Also available in navy in size 8/9.

Children's CROCBAND pink EVA comfort clogs. The CROCBAND takes the iconic expression of CROCS shoes, and infuses the youthful and optimistic spirit captured in these retro clogs! 
• Fully-molded Croslite material construction for
maximum lightweight cushioning
• Sporty midsole band inspired
by the classic vulcanized style
• Croslite material heel strap for a secure fit
• Holes for Jibbitz shoe charms for
• Lightweight, non-marking soles
• Odor-resistant, easy to clean and quick to dry

Skip Hop Studio Diaper Tote in Plum Burst
Retail Price: $100-125

KNC Price: $30
Studio takes you from playdate to date night. Studio diaper tote is stylish enough to pair with a little black dress, but practical enough to keep you and baby stocked for a long day at the playground. Two insulated side pockets hold baby's bottles, food and sippy cups, while 12 more pockets keep your phone, wallet, keys and other personal items dry, secure and within quick reach. Studio's adjustable stroller straps attach neatly and conveniently to the handlebars of any stroller.

Want it cheaper? We have this bag listed on eBay.

WOW Toys Dudley Dump Truck
Retail Price: $60

KNC Price: $15
I’m Dudley and I’m as tough as nails! Everyone knows I’m the boss on the construction site, even if Dexter Digger likes to think he’s the boss every now and then! I can tip my load if you turn my power switch and my powerful motorised action makes me shake and shudder like a real truck! You can always count on good old Dudders and my construction worker driver, Marky, to get the work done on the construction site!
1x Motorised dump truck called Dudley
1x Builder driver figure called Marky

There is, of course, TONS more stuff to browse in-store.

Store News

Did you know we have new modified hours to serve you better?

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday - 11am to 5pm
Wednesday and Friday - 1:30pm to 6:30pm
Sundays - Closed

I'm often here early than 11am on those days, too! You can also find us on Facebook at Check there for fresh arrivals, flash sales, and more!

36 - 1925 Bowen Rd.   Nanaimo, BC   V9S 1H1


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Potty Pandemonium

I have three kids. I have successfully helped two of them learn to use the potty. The third one is almost there. He’s just in the stubborn “NO WANNA GO PEEPEE!” stage which has little to do with actually knowing the mechanics of peeing.

I’ve tried my fair share of potty seats.

This was our first. I got it because, though I loathe Dora, I thought Dora would be fun and exciting and encourage sitting on the potty. Not so much. Peeing on Dora was SCARY. Also, it tipped over easily, fell apart, got the parts carried about, etc... all of which resulted in spilled pee. And "I do it myself!!!" when "it" is dumping pee into the toilet never ends well. So Dora got shoved into a closet.

Then we tried this one:

It didn't fall apart as easily but still came apart too easily. It also comes with a penis guard for boys. Except the lid doesn't close when that is on, and the lid was annoying, so we chucked it pretty quickly. It empties by pulling a bucket from the back. That prevented some spills, but you also had to make very sure it was put back in just so or the next pee would not go entirely in the bucket. A toddler cannot do that, so we ended up with a lot of pee on the carpet, and that sucked. It also has lots of parts and edges to wash.

We also had this:

In addition to slipping around too much, resulting in several incidents of falling in the toilet, it pinched thighs and testicles on more than one occasion. We discontinued use.

Eventually we settled on this one:

It's okay, but it does slip around on the toilet, so it's more difficult for kids to climb on without falling in the toilet. Also, way more pee than you'd imagine gets between the white and the blue part, and that's really, really disgusting. Same is true for licensed character versions of this same seat. We also had a cheap dollar store version of this seat:

It had no handles (handles were kinda useless anyway) and worked about the same. However, it was made of flimsier plastic that slid around on the toilet even worse and, when warm, slowly collapsed into the toilet when sat on. Caboodle 3 was not impressed.

We even tried something like this:

So then we found this one:
Bumbo makes a potty seat! This thing is frickin' awesome! It's heavy enough to stay on the toilet seat and not move around, even on our elongated seat. It's sturdy enough that it doesn't collapse into the toilet. It is all one piece. I can easily rinse it off in the bathtub after the kids are done and it's good to go. It has a penis guard. It has a little bit of back support for extra comfort during those long waits for something to come out. 

Caboodle 3 was able to easily climb on and off on his own, and it helped him to develop enough confidence that now he can easily use the toilet without any extra device, without falling in. I think it would also provide some extra support for kids with gross motor delays and low muscle tone issues.

It's fun! And comfy!

A little privacy, please!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cheap hands off fun at Nanaimo Museum

The Caboodle kids are fairly untamed and I don't often take them out in public. I was kind of stuck today, though, because Caboodle 3 and Daddy fell asleep for a nap and I didn't want the other two to wake him up. Luckily, after a lengthy church picnic (free lunch I didn't cook - score!), a friend with similar child entertaining needs invited us to come to the library with her. So I packed up some snacks and away we went downtown.

The library sucked about an hour of time. Caboodle 1 spent most of her time on the computer while Caboodle 2 kept bringing me some pretty cool non-fiction books to look at. We ended up with a tornado book and a race car book before Caboodle 2 started begging for the museum. How can you deny a kid who is literally begging you for a educational, cultural experience? You can't.

An eager teacher.

I love the Nanaimo Museum. It's small enough to not be overwhelming, and for my kids at least there was plenty to keep their attention. It's never been busy when we've been there, so it's not as embarrassing when my kids get obnoxiously loud. We did a scavenger hunt, blew the mine whistle, and listened to some miner stories before winding up in the old fashioned school room.

The museum gives kids adventure backpacks that contain, to an adult, pretty boring stuff. There's a bag of blocks, a puzzle, binoculars, and a magnifying glass. We spent a whole other hour in the museum, if not more. They even have costumes for some pretty rad cosplay. The adults mostly kicked back and watched as the Caboodle kids and their friend played school and displayed some surprisingly good penmanship for ages 6 and 5.

Two diligent students.

It's a cheap date, too. Just $2 for adults, 75 cents for kids 6+, and free for kids under 5. The excursion would have cost us just $2.75, except I found some nifty building kits in the gift shop for $6.25 each.

I managed to skip out on Caboodle 1's alphabet lesson and check out the museum's current exhibit - Art Deco fashions from the 20s and 30s. Yummy Downton Abbey-esque dresses for women with small breasts, no stomach, and no hips. Pretty interesting silhouette considering the times immediately before and after the period where breasts and child-bearing hips were fashionable. Nonetheless, I love period fashion so I was able to suspend disbelief and imagine myself in the dresses. The lack of a mirror definitely helped.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Product Review: SuperUndies

George models a Midnight Blue Bandit size medium Pull-On
Caboodle 3 models a Midnight Blue Bandit
size medium Pull-On (old style)
I have three caboodles. I have been dealing with diapers for 6.5 years straight. Here's the current pottying status in the house:
  • Caboodle 1, age 6.5, female: nocturnal eneuresis (bedwetter, nightly)

  • Caboodle 2, age 5, male: occasional bedwetting (when he refuses to pee before bed)

  • Caboodle 3, almost 3, male: not potty-trained. He will pee when taken to the toilet but will protest half the time. He will not go to the toilet when directed.
We have used all sorts of brands and types of diapers, disposable and cloth. I have used Huggies, Pampers, Parent's Choice, Teddy's Choice, and Kirkland. I've used name brand and generic pull-ups. On the cloth side, we've used Kushies, Fuzzi Bunz, bumGenius, Kawaii, an assortment of WAHM diapers, prefolds/covers, and Monkey Doodlez AIOs. For training pants, I have tried Kushies, Bummis, Imse Vimse, and Blueberry before finally settling on Super Undies.

It starts with a gimmick. Super Undies are worn by potty training super heroes. Your super heroes will defeat those soggy diaper foes and rise dry and triumphant!

Plus you'll save money on pull-ups. Don't get me wrong, Super Undies are crazy expensive. Daytime potty training pants (pull-on and snap-on) retail for $19.95 and up. Bedwetter pants retail for $29.95 and up. Yikes! But! Have you ever looked at the price of pull-ups? A pack of 43 daytime pull-ups is $19.93. How long will that last in your house? Probably about 10 days here. A case of 46 GoodNites (what Caboodle 1 would wear) runs $32.87 at Walmart (as of April 4, 2013). A case of 68 nighttime pull-ups (the smallest size, fewer if you need a bigger size) is also $32.87. Caboodle 3 sometimes wets so heavily he goes through two disposables a night. Caboodle 1 doesn't, but let's do the math.

Caboodle 1 outgrew regular pull-ups and diapers when she was about 4. That's 912 overnight diapers at 46/case, or almost 20 cases, for a total of more than $650. That'll buy you 21 pairs of SuperUndies Bedwetter Pants. We have three. I'll let you do the math on daytime pullups. It is also worth noting that, at least in BC, disposable training pants are now subject to both GST and PST. Cloth is only subject to GST.

comic-po-anatomyHave a look at Super Undies anatomy. Both the Pull-On Trainer and the Bedwetter Pant are built similarly. With the Pull-ons, there is a sewn-in soaker layer and a pass-through pocket through which you can stuff more inserts. I use a variety of microfiber, bamboo, and the occasional cotton prefold. Don't have any? Old face cloths, hand towels, or even t-shirts will do the job -- and that's only if you have a heavy wetter.

Bedwetter Pants are similar, but in addition to the sewn in soaker layer they also have a sewn-on insert that can tuck into the pass-through pocket and get pulled out for a cleaner wash and faster dry. Both models have a mesh liner to help with detergent build-up, which can reduce absorbency.

SuperUndies Bedwetter Pants.
Super hero? The Webslinger!
Bedwetter pants are also trimmed with a broad band of fleece at the waist and leg openings. This provides both extra comfort and helps hold in excess pee at night.

Both of these pictures depict the newest generation of Super Undies. Caboodle 3 has been testing out the new Bedwetter Pants with great success. As I mentioned, this kid will soak through a disposable due to his frequent refusal to pee before bed and his dependence on a nighttime (and sometimes midnight) "doddle" (bottle). I know, I know, but we're talking about diapers, not big boys who still use bottles. The point is, he can last up to 14 hours with no leaks (not even an odour leak) in his Super Undies Bedwetter Pants.

I do actually prefer the previous style of both the pull-on and the bedwetter pants. The old style features a half pocket where you can stuff your boosters without passing your whole arm through the diaper. There's also less pee to touch when you remove them. That said, the old style pull-on is ideal for boys, not so much for girls. The old style bedwetter pant has a half pocket at the back rather than the front. This makes tucking in the sewn-on insert easier, but you can't boost your absorbency at the front where boys need it most. The new style allows you to boost absorbency for boys AND girls. The new style is also more trim, less bulky.

Easy? Yes. Caboodle 1 can stuff her own diapers and then remove the inserts and place them in the appropriate laundry receptacle in the morning? Caboodle 3 can remove and put on his Super Undies himself. The sizing is spectacular. Size smalls will fit your petite early potty trainer. Mediums will fit your average potty trainer. Larges are for kids who take a big more time, or are BIG kids. But then you move into the realm of nocturnal eneuresis and older children with special needs. Super Undies standard sizing comes up to XXL, or a max of 85 pounds/age 13. They've also started to make adult sizes.

Training Pant Comparison Chart

BummisKushiesImse VimseBlueberrySU pull onSU bedwetter
WaterproofYesSort ofPartialPartialyesyes
Lasting Power1 small pee1 small pee1 small pee1 small peeSeveral peesHours of pee
LookBubble buttBubble buttTrim fitTrim fitTrim fitBubble butt
Outer fabricPULNylonCotton knitCotton knitPULPUL
Inner linerCotton flannelCotton flannelOrganic cottonCotton velourPoly-Lycra blendPoly-Lycra blend
TrimPoly ElasticKnit CottonKnit cottonKnit cottonPoly ElasticFleece

I'll leave you with a final comment from Caboodle 3.

bedwetter - night

Convinced? Head on over to our sister site, Mama's Retreat, where we're selling all of the products reviewed today - on sale!

* Super Undies Secret Headquarters International provided one pair of SuperUndies Bedwetter Pants for the purposes of this review. I purchased Caboodle 1's three XL bedwetter pants and Caboodle 3's three M pull-ons for my own use, long before I planned to write a review.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Car Seats for Grandparents

Gratuitous picture of my grandma holding
Caboodle 2. She was 83 in this picture, 88 now.
She never transported my kids in a vehicle
(and no longer drives), but Grampie in the
background has.
I have some great customers. Many of them are grandparents, given my situation right next to the Hospice Society thrift store. There are some awesome and dedicated grandmas (and grandpas) in our community actively caring for grandkids, foster kids, and even surrogate grandkids. I've found most to be very safety conscious - they don't want to be the one responsible for "breaking" the grandkids.

I did a seat check today that really opened my eyes to some of the terrible seat installations that are out there. I didn't take pictures - I was too busy being shocked. Grandma is a sweet, sweet lady and very receptive, thankfully. I went out to check the seat. At first I saw the top tether strap routed around rather than on top of the head rest. No biggie - relatively common mistake. Then I saw it. There was no harness in this seat. The baby (not with Grandma today) is 18 months old. No. No no no no no. Grandma was using the vehicle seat belt to hold the child in the seat, and it wasn't even a seat that was meant to convert to a booster. It gets worse. There was a strange set up of a different seat belt somehow attached to the UAS strap, which was not attached to the seat except for being threaded through the belt path. It was a hot mess.

Grandma, if you see this review - you're awesome for what you do with this little girl and thank you for being so receptive to the advice.

Bless her heart, Grandma immediately sought to rectify the situation when I told her that there was no safe way to use her seat. That baby would be at serious, legitimate risk for death or serious injury in even a minor car accident. I managed to round up a free temporary seat for her (not ideal, but 500% better than what she was using) and installed it this evening.

Again, Grandma - thank you thank you thank you for being so receptive to the advice. 

If your child's grandparents or other older relatives ever transport your children, please PLEASE ensure they are secured safely in the vehicle and Grandma and Grandpa know how to install the seat again should they ever need to. Here are some reasonably priced seats currently available:

  • Cosco/Safety 1st Scenera (currently $72.63 at Walmart), sometimes sells for even less). It only harnesses to 40 lbs, but the price point makes it very accessible for those on a fixed income or those reluctant to shell out the cash for a seat. Rear faces to 40lbs also if you are able to convince the grandparents on extended rear-facing.

  • Evenflo Titan Sport (currently $91.44 at Walmart). Harnesses to 47lbs so will get you further than the Scenera. Only rear faces to 35lbs.

  • Safety 1st Guide 65 (currently $134.67 at Walmart). Harnesses to 40lbs rear facing, 65lbs forward facing with high top harness position.

  • Evenflo Maestro (currently $119.99 at Toys R Us). Harness to 47lbs forward facing, boosters to 100lbs.

There are other cheap seats in the $100-150 range, but they only harness to 40lbs so if you're going for something cheap that will only get you that far, you may as well get the even cheaper Scenera. It's not a safety concern. They are ALL safe and have ALL passed Canadian crash test standards. The safest seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle, fits your budget, and you can use correctly every time.