Sunday, August 19, 2007

From Backpack Hell to Backpack Heaven; My First Giveaway!

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As a blogger I get a lot of attention from PR types who want me to know (and write) about their latest books, products or specials. Much of this mail gets ignored. I have no interest in baby items Hello? Have you read my blog? We don’t do babies here. And we don’t do fashion, though many argue that we Moldofskys need all the fashion help we can get.

But every once in a while something good comes along. Something that fits, at least figuratively- like an offer for a Lands’ End backpack.

Here’s my deal with backpacks. Last year I started my first-grader Pikachu (then know as Splinter) with one of those cheap character packs that he picked out a Target. It broke. The Very. First. Day. Of. School.

Who wants to revisit the hell of back-to-school shopping after school has already started? Not me. But I didn’t want Pikachu to show up toting his papers in a plastic grocery store bag. These bags are bad for the environment, they are suffocation hazards, but perhaps such a display would have made us attractive candidates for huge sums of financial aid at the private school
my boys attend
.

Long story short, I picked up a different, though equally crappy, backpack at Target, which broke after about a week. More trips to Target + misplaced receipts = $40 or so spent on backpacks (plus my time and gas for the car).

Lesson learned: no more cheap backpacks. It’s worth spending money to get a sturdy name-brand pack that will last through the school year and maybe even survive summer camp, too. Hello Lands’ End!

Thanks to Lands’ End, Smartypants (age 9) is headed to school with a stylin’ red Ergo backpack. It's a pack designed to relieve the pain of a heavy homework load in the most literal sense. It’s got specially designed straps as well as back padding that adjusts to minimize back strain- something my 55-pound 4th grader can use when he carries home 12 pounds of books. Heck, I may just borrow it for my trip to the All-Candy Expo next month, during which I will attempt to gather my weight in chocolate and snack food.

The Ergo pack has a built-in pencil case and water bottle holders; I could go on about its features, but Lands’ End provided me with an Ergo Jr. pack to pass along to one lucky reader, like you.

Here’s your chance to check out the sturdy design, reflective safety features and little extras yourself. And you can rest easy because you won’t have to run willy-nilly wasting your time and spending your hard-earned cash on a lousy backpack.

I’ve got a cool, navy, Ergo Jr. pack just like this for one reader who comments below. It's brand-spanking new and just waiting for your 4-7 year old to fill it with delightful drawings, scrawled letter practice sheets and reminders that your day to bring class snacks is…oops, last Tuesday.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment about what you will do while your little one is away at school and include your e-mail or contact info. Please note: I am shipping this myself, so U.S. residents only, please.

The contest runs through August 28, so comment now. Good luck!

8/23 Edited to add:
A great deal gets even better! What good is an empty backpack? I'm going to fill it with a just-released copy of the Spatulatta Cookbook (for kids), a new copy of Take Ten: Meditations for the Hurried Parent, a few sweet creamy caramels from our trip to the chocolate factory and other surprises for you and your little one!

37 comments:

SmocknMama said...

You are too cool. We love Lands' End back packs! My oldest four have them and I have yet to break in the wallet for my preschooler's needs this year (medical bills have been too high to go this route for my preschooler). He has not been relishing carrying the not-so-baby diaper bag. So winning this would be perfect.

What do I plan to do while my little one is in school? Hmm? Well, I homeschool two of my children, I send two of my children to school down the street. While the two homeschoolers are doing their science classes at the co-op, the preschooler will be attending the co-op preschool and the baby will go with me to Starbucks for a few moments of quiet mama time. Oh, to sit and read a book or just have some one on one with my sweet little one.

But I fear I will end up spending the time doing the grocery shopping or Waldemort run while I only have one (of 6) in tow.

Thansk for the opportunity to win this great backpack.

SmocknMama said...

You can contact me through my blog's contact page - I would rather not publish it all here.
the Smocklady

Melissa Markham said...

I totally agree with you that it is best to spend the money on a well made backpack that is designed to be easy on the child and to last! We have done both and have always regretted buying the cheap, cutsie packs... Heck, you can always decorate a well made plain back pack to suit your style (and you can change it as your likes change). Thanks for this great giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Love the Lands End backpack! We've done the cheap Old Navy and Target packs too, but ours lasted until Christmas.
What will I do when the kids are in school? I'd love to say I'd clean like a madwoman, scrubbing and organizing everything in sight but.... I'll most likely be catching up on my ER reruns on TNT!

jenmorse14@yahoo.com

curlyfogel said...

I think last year my (now) 7-year old went through 3 Target backpacks - not sure why I kept going back to get others! Anyway, as a former employee of Lands' End, I am all over their stuff and love their quality and return policy.

What will I do when the kids are gone? Same thing as I do when they're here - go to work! Wish I could be more exciting than that.

Hope everyone had a great summer!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Would love to win! My oldest will be in First Grade and my middle son will be starting Kindergarten this week... I plan to:

1. Enjoy some quiet (when my youngest is napping.)
2. Knit, knit, knit
3. Blog
4. Maybe clean house, but probably not

And that's just my list so far.. can't wait for them to start school! Woo hoo!

Steph
jsprecourt@yahoo.com

P.S. I'll also get this linked up on my contest page!

jami said...

Hormone Momma-

So glad to see a little motherhood has not mellowed your fiesty spirit. Maybe you don't promote baby items but it does sound as if you need to be giving away a 2 headed monster mommy tee of mine available at www.spaelf.com . I am printing them now and you can put one on your site-granted you don't like fashion but I know you love sarcasm. From your writing your readers must too!

:)
Gotcha-

Jami

Kimberly said...

I haven't bought any school supplies yet, which makes me feel tremendously guilty, but not guilty enough to shop. Clover has been using her old backpack for two years and she really needs a new one, especially because the zipper broke. Oops!

Kimberly said...

I forgot my contact. Duh! http://tippytoesandtantrums.typepad.com/

Allison said...

Well I personally do not have kids so I'm not sure I'm eligible, but wanted to show my support to the author. =)

However, there are tons of adorable kids in my neighborhood that are in desperate need of a backpack (among other necessities). I pass them on their way to school in the mornings and many have safety pins, duct tape or other home remedies holding their bags together. They always say hi between giggles or stop to play with my puppy.

That said, I'm sure I could find a worthy (and appreciative) new owner for the Ergo bag.

pamela said...

I love Lands End. I have no idea what I will do when all 4 are in school. My youngest starts kinder, and this will be the first time in 12 years that I am kid free. I am scared that I will not know what to do. I plan t exercise, organize, and volunteer. The truth is that that I have no idea what I will do. I should work, but have no career, so....

jessica said...

I will read!
mom2maria at yahoo

Mamma said...

Unfortunately, life won't change much for me when Mr. 5 heads to Kindergarten this year. I'll still head to the office.

But wait! It will change. I'll have two in school instead of two in day care. And little guy will now be a "big kid." And while that might not change what I do, it will change how I feel. I'm having to admit that my baby is growing up. And that will change me.

Oh sigh!!!

Now if I can just manage to hold back the tears as I watch him go into his classroom. Otherwise, he'll need the backpack not for papers but for the embarrassment he'll no doubt carry with him for having the crying mom.

kelli said...

I won't be doing anything different since my little guy who will be wearing it won't be in school. But I love love love little backpack. They can carry their own stuff.

kds72@hotmail.com

kelli said...

I don't have kids in school, so the same ole, same ole.

kds72@hotmail.com

kelli said...

me again, sorry i didn't think the first post went through, so I wrote another, then I saw that it might take a bit. sorry

Jean said...

My mother bought a cheapy charcter backpack this year and Im not expecting it to last. So I would love to get a backup back pack.
I will be doing what I always do when their back in school, WORK! Joy!

lace said...

Never tried a Land's End Back pack. My niece is always saying she wants a backpack and to go to school. She is 3. Wait till she has to go to school and then she will want to be 3 again.

While the kids are at school, I plan to read blogs, read blogs, read blogs and eat.

email info on profile page

Bongga Mom said...

Ahh, yes! It's time for backpack-shopping at the bonggamom household, too. I've been aching for an excuse to get rid of my daughter's cheap Target backpack that never stands up properly. Today I accidentally left the backpack in a public toilet -- I swear, it was an accident! So now I think we need a Lands End backpack.

As to what I will do when my kids are at school... I will finally have 6 hrs a week to myself when my twins enter preschool this fall!! I may spend the first month or two on the sofa eating bonbons, then I'll have to spend the rest of the schoolyear at the gym trying to undo the damage :)

Naomi said...

I always have high expectations of what I will accomplish while my daughter is at preschool, but it seems that three hours minus about twenty minutes transit time each way equals enough time for mommy to use the bathroom and check her email. Possibly put some laundry in and nurse the baby...

Kim Moldofsky said...

I'm entering a comment on behalf of my new friend Bonnie from Colorado who tried in vain to get her comment up her Monday morning.

Jordan said...

Oooh, very nice giveaway! When my little one starts nursery school this fall, I will return to the gym on a regular basis for the first time in a year and get back in shape!!!

xiaolin momma said...

A real back pack - wow, maybe we can retire the spriderman one we have with the hole, where the zipper used to be.

What will I do with the time:
blog, attend yoga a class or take a nap, some paid work and then maybe indulge in preparing dinner ahead of time...

Aimee said...

What a great giveaway!! My oldest is starting kindergarten this year, and I have two little ones under her, so I won't have much spare time on my hands. I'll probably just go grocery shopping with one less kid! :)

WkSocMom said...

Ooh, pick me :) I would love a back pack for my new kindergartener. While they are at school, well, I'll go to work. But I actually find myself working less so I can have lunch with him a few days a week at least until he gets used to his new school.

Jason and Caryn said...

When my baby boy starts going to school, I am going to go back to nursing. I am a NICU nurse and I miss it but I can't imagine leaving my little boy anytime soon.

jasonncaryn [at] yahoo [dot] com

Doreen said...

I don't have kids in School but I would love to win this awesome Backpack for future use!! :)

Jen said...

What will I do when school starts? What WON'T I do! LOL! For starters, I'm blogging again. My house will be (and stay) cleanish, I'll get to use two hands at once, read, think, and generally reacquaint myself with myself. :)

Mama Erika said...

what a cool give away!! when the big kids go back to school we are going to start a pre-k homeschooling program with our 4 year old and spend lots of time snuggling our brand new addition to the family! :)

Qtpies7 said...

We got an amazing backpack from Wallyworld 3 years ago for my dd, and it is still going strong, but that is the ONLY one out of the zillion I have bough for my 7 kids over the years. I am so tired of cheap backpacks!
I would definatly love to have a nice Land's End one for my youngin' so it would make it through preschool and into her early elementary school years.

ellinghouse said...

what I would like to do....probably get a pedicure or take a nap....

what I will probably do, since i work from home, clean up my office to proper working order....

thanks for a great contest!!!

Christi said...

Now that my little guy is starting first grade, I will continue to commute to my full-time day job There, I will spend every spare minute to sneak onto the internet to research supplemental curriculum for him because he is not challenged in school, and also reseach homeschooling because I know that someday we will no longer be able to squeeze by with public school.

After work and my 80 minute commute home, I will take him to piano, gymnastics, help him with his EPGY classes, answer endless questions about math and science concepts, help guide him as he programs his first computer game (because somehow I'm supposed to know how to do that), and take him to the library so his reading appetite doesn't cause us to go broke. Once in a while, I'll throw a load of laundry into the washing machine and pretend not to see the mess in the house that never seems to get cleaned up.

I'm not really sure who needs the backpack more -- me or him -- since I have to cart a small bookshelf back and forth from home each day on the above topics, and on the rare occasion that I have time for a personal interest, art technique and poetry books.

BTW, I really enjoy your blog! :-)

Donna said...

Well...I homeschool my kids, so while they are in school I am going to be telling them to stop bugging each other, keeping the baby from eating their pencils, running up and downstairs to switch laundry or put the baby down for a nap, telling my daughter to concentrate on her grammar and then maybe snuggling on the couch to read them all a book. Can I still win the backpack? We love Lands End and could use one on our Thursdays out at co-op.

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings said...

I homeschool so my children are constantly with me pretty much. I do have a 19 year old that babysits for me some so I can run errands and grocery shop without having to load up all 7 children into the van.

jenna said...

Love this giveaway. I'll be taking care of my other kiddos, cleaning house, doing Bible study, teaching group exercise... the list goes on and on.

Amy said...

Wow, great giveaway! I still have the Land's End backpack that I carried back in college, which was more than a few years ago. It's not in the best shape, but the fact that it's still useable at all is pretty impressive in my book.

My daughter started preschool this year, so for a few hours a week, it's just me and the baby at home. I'll probably use this time to run errands, but in my ideal world, the baby would nap and I would read a good book without anyone bothering me. :)

windycindy said...

Hello, Wow, I love this giveaway contest! I have osteo-arthritis in my knees and the only exercise I am supposed to do is swimming. The
"Women's Regular 3_piece Lily Fleur
Swimsuit" is perfect. I like the
Cobalt Bleu/Black color. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com