For the first time ever, I ventured out of my house on the morning of Black Friday. Unshowered and dressed mostly in what I wore to bed the night before, I loaded up my little brood and headed for Tulsa's mid-priced retail mecca: 71st St. and Memorial Drive.
Our first stop was Toys R Us, where the checkout line wrapped around the inside perimeter of the store. Though we managed to find a few things we liked enough to buy there, we didn't feel especially excited about them. We sure weren't looking forward to buying enough batteries to keep them flashing and sounding off until little man moves on to bigger and better things in, oh, three months.
Holly told me about Lundeby's Eco Baby a few months ago, and I have always wanted to have a look. I am so glad I finally did. My only regret is I didn't go there before I spent $70 on plastic toys at a non-local retail big-box.
I'll tell you what we bought. Just don't spill the beans to our baby and spoil the surprise, okay? We're pretty good at doing that ourselves without your help. We couldn't help but give this to the little guy right away:Little guy loves to chase this thing. I'm sure he'll really love it when, once he begins to walk, he realizes he can pull it behind him. We love it because it's not plastic and because it's a simple, classic toy. It's a pleasure to behold, and it makes this great clacking sound when it's pulled along.
Know how to tell if a toy will be a five-star hit? If your husband can't stop playing with or talking about it. Heck, I can hardly get Aaron to even look away from the darn thing. I can't talk trash, though, since I've taken it for a few spins down the hallway during naptime myself.
We also scored these:We could hardly get our baby to stop playing with these long enough for us to buy them. He loves to beat on things, and with these toys, his efforts are rewarded with "music." Mom and Dad are happy, too, since we don't have to hear the ever-loving ABC song every time he barely touches it, unlike some of the other toys he has. Plus, neither requires batteries.
Lundeby's is situated in a smart, easy-to-access little space at 3638 S. Peoria Ave. Park along the street in front or in the lot behind the store. Lundeby's owner Tiffany will chat you up as you browse organic cotton baby clothes, eco-friendly diapering, breastfeeding support goodies, and her extensive stock of toys. I noticed she called nearly each customer by name, and by the time we headed out the door, she pretty much knew our life story. She's likable, to say the least.
Though I wouldn't dub us as a green family, we do try to limit our consumption of everything from gasoline to food packaging to water. Even from that perspective, it's easy to appreciate a shop like Lundeby's. For me, it's about the thought and consideration behind green products, which generally produces a better design on the other end. Though I'm willing to pay for good design, I can't normally spring for everything I'm nutty about. Lundeby's delivered again: I was surprised I could get out of a Brookside boutique with an arm-full of stuff for less than $60.
If you have a baby on your Christmas list - especially if it's our baby - make sure to stop by Lundeby's. I dare you not to go there and accidentally spend an hour playing and chatting and cleansing your soul of the big-box shopping experience.