Tag Archives: I ain’t one to hawk products…

Two new additions to the bus bag

All the dry, sunny weather we’ve been having of late has me feeling somewhat complacent, as if the rains will never come. I’ve put off buying a new pair of boots, which (after countless seasons of re-heeling and polishing the same favorite pair) has become a necessity. I also haven’t replaced my lost umbrella, unearthed my favorite pair of gloves, or procured enough cool-weather clothes for the kids. But, I am ready with the rain gear*, people.

Fellow bus chicks, behold.

raincoat unfolded

My new raincoat

raincoat folded

My new raincoat!

Given how efficiently packed my bag is, this little number is (or will be) a significant addition. It takes up more space than almost anything else I have in there. But the fact that there exists in the world a professional, versatile, poncho-like garment that will fit over any outfit** and pack up to the size of a medium book without getting anything else in my bag wet is pretty doggone amazing–definitely worth the extra bulk and ounces.

And speaking of amazing…

My friend Lily told me about this ingenious little bag many years ago, and I finally got around to purchasing one (actually, two) in June.

Shopping bag

My handy new shopping bags: one open, one ready to pack

It handles (almost) all of my plastic bag scenarios (I still carry a couple of those as well) and comes in handy for my frequent “on the way” shopping trips–especially now that Seattle’s bag ban is in full effect. Also, it’s tiny (Bus Nerd carries one in his pocket), washable, and adorable.

Look out, world! This fall, I’m taking bus chick preparedness to a whole ‘nother level.


*For the past few years, I have owned no outerwear appropriate for rain. It’s a long story I won’t take the time to tell here. Y’all know how I tend to digress.
**Too bad I didn’t know about this back when I still wore a baby pack.

And one more…

This was an actual gift to me from my friend Christina:

A magnet for bus chicks
Coolest refrigerator magnet ever
A magnet for bus chicks
As you can see, I kinda dig refrigerator magnets.

I have no idea where she got it (her husband gave it to Bus Nerd to give to me, so I haven’t seen her to ask), but I’ll find out and report back ASAP.

Update, 12/22: Per the comments, you can find these (and other cool, transit-related stuff) at buyolympia.com.

All she wants for [insert appropriate December holiday]…

A couple of times during the life of this blog, I’ve posted holiday shopping tips for bus chicks. (This is somewhat amusing, since I’m really, really bad at shopping, but hey.) It recently occurred to me, however, that I’ve never posted tips for holiday shopping for bus chicks–as in, suggestions for bus-chick-appropriate holiday gift purchases. Of course, there are always the practical options, like a sturdy, compact umbrella (with a strap and cover, of course) or a pair of cute, bus-friendly shoes (at least one young, bus-chick-loving gentleman has managed to get this right), but we’ve already covered those. And plus, they’re pretty predictable.

[I ain’t one to hawk products, but] If you’re looking for something with a little more flavor, here are some transit-related gift possibilities I’ve come across this season:

Bus jammies
Bus pajamas

OK, I confess: Despite their rather extreme price (that much for pajamas–really?), I actually purchased these. I needed some warm and roomy (read: tent-like) PJs to accommodate my enormous (and ever-expanding) belly. Too bad they don’t come in miniature sizes. Chicklet has decided they’re even cooler than her favorite dinosaur pair.

I also purchased these–to facilitate the continued expansion of said belly.

Subway tokens
A variation on the Hanukah “gold coin” theme: chocolate subway tokens

In case you’re short on stocking stuffers:

Commuter anagram puzzles
Puzzles for the ride

Train cards
Cool train-art playing cards

Of course, if the bus chick in your life is not big on “stuff” (as I’ve mentioned, we transit types tend to be into conserving–both money and the earth’s resources), you can’t go wrong with an Orca card–with a pass or full e-purse–or a membership to her friendly neighborhood transit advocacy organization.

Happy [ahem] shopping!

Speaking of strollers…

For a variety of reasons, Bus Nerd and I are not especially big on baby gear. Most of what we do have we either borrowed from friends or purchased used. So it is particularly ironic that the one piece of baby gear we bought brand, spanking new–and paid a small fortune for, I might add–is the one we almost never use: Chicklet’s car seat.

Like all parents, we wanted our kid’s seat to be safe, and we were concerned about buying a used one. (When an environmentalist tells you it’s not a good idea, it gives you pause.) But here’s the thing: In order to use the seat, which weighs 15 pounds and is big enough for me to fit in, I have to get it–and Chicket–to an actual car. Let’s just say that renting a Zipcar (the nearest one’s a quarter of a mile from our house) without the help of Bus Nerd is less than enjoyable.

Ah, but if I’d done my homework, I would have known that there is a better option. Car-free parents, behold:

A car seat with wheels
A car seat/stroller combo

A car seat with wheels?! Who knew?

I learned about this fabulous invention from fellow TAC member–and fellow parent–Tina, who uses it on those occasions when her family takes a cab to the airport, and when they travel to places where they’ll need a car. Tina says the seat’s not especially comfortable, but, given that Chicklet rides in a car an average of once a month, that’s hardly a deal breaker. Did I mention that both of the brands I researched got high marks in the safety department?

Anyone in the market for a (gently) used Britax?

Oh, Santa…

As you know, I ain’t one to hawk products [ahem], but this might just be the answer to my chick/chicklet bag dilemma.

The description even says it can be used as a “hip alternative diaper bag,” whatever that means. (You know you’re desperate to regain your cool when you’re willing to believe there’s such a thing.)

If only it came in other colors. I love buses and all, but school-bus yellow isn’t really my flavor.

Speaking of bus chicks in training…

Riding the bus with Chicklet gets more fun every month. These days, instead of sleeping the rides away, she stares at people, returns smiles, looks out the window, and sometimes even tries to pull the bell. (She’s very advanced for her age, you know. Most BCiT‘s don’t go for the bell until they’re at least a year.)

She still rides in a front-pack carrier (good for keeping us close and my hands free), though we’re not using the same one we used for the first six months of her life. That carrier (a borrowed Baby Bjorn) was recalled by the woman who lent it to me; she’ll be needing it for her own brand-new baby.

The recall was actually a blessing, because, much as I appreciated the loan, the Bjorn was beginning to outlive its usefulness. It suspended Chicklet in an upright position, with her legs dangling straight down. This worked fine when she was brand new, but as she got bigger (and longer) her legs started to get in the way. Her feet rubbed against my thighs when I walked, so much so that on long walks, the color from my pants rubbed off on her outfits. And when we rode the bus, I had to force her legs into unnatural positions, against the shape of the leg holes, just to sit down. Neither of us found these positions very comfortable.

So, upon finding myself baby-carrier-less, I set about searching for one more suitable for bus riding. [I ain’t one to hawk products, but…] The one I chose, an Ergo Baby I found on Craigslist, has so far worked out quite well. Here’s why I like it:

• It holds Chicklet in a seated position, with her legs straddling my waist, elevated slightly higher than her behind. This keeps both of us comfortable and does not interfere with walking or standing.
• It has a sleeping hood, which I also use to block bright sun and rain.
• It has a zippable front pocket, which I use to carry my wallet, bus pass, and cell phone.
• It is easy to put on: a buckle at the waist and one behind the neck.
• It’s safe. (At least, it passed all of my indoor safety tests.)
• It comes in nice, neutral colors. None of those “hip parent” patterns that are supposed to be stylish and (unless all of your clothes go with leopard) require you to buy one to match every outfit.
• It’s durable and washable, which makes it a good product to borrow–from someone who isn’t planning to have a baby anytime soon–or buy used.
• Best of all: It transforms into a hip carrier and a backpack carrier, and can hold a child up to 40 pounds.

Whew! Looks like I’ve licked the baby-transporting problem for the foreseeable future.

Now if only I could figure out an equally elegant solution for transporting baby (and bus chick) stuff. Stay tuned…

Chicklet in Ergo (Photo credit: Espressobuzz
Chicklet in her Ergo Baby, after a 4 ride to the opening of Pryor Studios