Webkinz. A year and a half ago I had never heard of these little things. Now they have taken over a good part of our lives. My youngest daughter takes these with her every where we go.

Not only do these little stuffed creatures take up space on my couch and kitchen table; they've taken over the computer, too. There is an entire virtual world revolving around these things. You see, you don't just buy these things, you 'adopt' them. And once you've officially adopted them, you open up a virtual world where you have to care for them, feed them and buy them all kinds of things. Things like bedroom sets that would make Brittney Spears dizzy. Treadmills to keep there girlish figures. Clothes...yes, clothes for stuffed dogs.

So my daughter not only carries these little furry creatures with her, she fights for computer time each day so she can build her little virtual empire. Because a well accessorized virtual pet, is a happy pet.