This week's Toddle along Tuesday is about favourite baby items. I'm sure this list is missing a few things, but off the top of my head - here are the things I loved most and have been most guilty of raving about.
In no particular order...
1. Robeez Shoes. I had heard it said that baby shoes never stay on, and I found this to be completely true. I bought my daughter a beautiful pair of Mary Janes at PayLess once, and she had them on for maybe half an hour before losing one somewhere in the mall. We never found the lost shoe - and I was pretty upset. Robeez, however, seemed infallible. They never fell off, and my daughter has yet to pull them off her feet. Definitely worth it.
2. The Lillebaby Baby Carrier. I was interested in the Ergo Baby Carrier, but I currently had an old Snuggli carrier that carried forward-facing, and my daughter really enjoyed being able to see where she was going. I also wanted the option to have her facing inwards, or on my back or hip if I so desired, so I did some research to see if I could find something that had 'it all'. The Lillebaby is what I came up with... and it works beautifully. The bottom adjusts so it can either wrap around baby's bottom to be forward facing, or it can be folded inwards so baby can also face forward. I should note that I've had a few other Lillebaby products, and although they are difficult to find in Canada - their customer service is excellent.
3. Sophie the Giraffe. Everyone knows this one. I didn't understand it's popularity until my daughter started teething and still didn't have the dexterity to hold a typical teething toy to her mouth. She could, however, hold on to a person's finger to gnaw on it's end. I remember the moment when I thought how I wished there was some kind of teething toy for babies that was long and narrow, and a light bulb went on over my head saying 'Ahhh... THAT's why Sophie is so popular!'.
4. 'My Breast Friend' Nursing Pillow. Love this thing - hands-free nursing!
5. Charlie Banana Diapers. We had a lot of trouble with leg-holes not being tight enough, and these were adjustable!
6. And of course - the Bumbo. I was thrilled to discover I wasn't the only one with this seat on my list - my daughter loved being able to be upright and see the world.
That's all for now - I'm sure I'll discover a whole list of items with Baby #2 that I either didn't have or even didn't like for Clara. These were my favourites for Clara. What are/were your favourite baby items? What are you most likely to rave about, or to gift at a baby shower?
Toddling Along this Tuesday with Growing up Geeky for a post on 'Finding Balance'.
I find this post a little scary – I have no idea how to find balance, I'm not even close! Maybe someone can help me? However, I do have a few tricks that do help me at least for the short-term with keeping my life in a little bit of order – or at least a state of slightly less chaos.
Considering that I'm pregnant – which makes everything seem harder, seriously – and am chasing a toddler, which is an entirely new experience for me, and one that I've discovered I am not the most talented at – even the simplest schedule could be overwhelming for me. Add to that the typical household duties – meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc. - another set of things that do not come naturally to me. I am also working nearly full-time over the summer (only 3 weeks to go – yay!) and teach piano during the year, which requires quite a bit of preparation at this time of year. I am also the volunteer secretary for our small church community which can be quite a bit of work (especially since the fire in our building this morning – but I'll post about that later).
Here are a few ways I try to deal with the chaos that goes on in my brain when I am feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.
1. Sit back and breathe. My mantra lately has been 'First World Problems, First World Problems...' since all of my 'big' issues are really not that serious. I live in a safe place where I don't have to fear for the safety or future of my children – my family is (mostly) healthy. There are so many horrific things that happen in our world and sometimes I need to remind myself that I really should be grateful for every peaceful day I have because it is more than many get. Sorry if that sounds too preachy – I preach to myself when I start getting whiny.
2. Make lists. This drives my husband crazy. Something about list making calms me. Yesterday I wrote a list of all of the 'big' areas of my life that I have to keep balanced – it included the following areas: Spiritual, Home/House, Relationships, Work and Personal Development.
Then I cut each of these areas into sub-areas and just simply analyzed them. I ranked the 'big' areas in order of importance, then I picked my top 3 sub-areas. I also noted which area affected which other area – I don't know if any of this was useful, but I found it calming to graph out and flow-chart my life like this. Thinking on paper is a good way for me to externalize the problem so I can see it a bit more clearly, I think.
I have a tendency to make schedules, and prioritize and all of it lasts for short periods of time before the chaos builds and I have to reboot at some point, but for the short-term, list-making can do wonders for me.
3. Clean something. More than likely, when my life has become chaotic, my house has become a complete disaster zone. Inevitably, when the house is a complete mess, I feel more depressed - like I'm physically buried in my chaos. Just tidying up the living room can make my whole world seem a little more hopeful.
That's pretty much it... I'm in a list-making stage right now. I just tidied my Living Room, but I need to work on a budget, a meal plan and a cleaning schedule so that I can start feeling a little less chaotic.
How do you organize your life? What does your week look like in order to keep all of these things in check? Do you have a great method of keeping on top of life's chaos?
Celia is my first daughter - my first child - so all of her 'firsts' are incredible and precious. (I apologize in advance to all of my subsequent children, because this pregnancy has already been much less interesting that her's was, and I presume I'll take some of your growth for granted also - I'm sorry).
I think the milestone that excited me the most was the day she began walking. And then, the day I realized she was walking more than she was crawling. This was when I realized that she was really no longer a 'baby', but was now a toddler, and becoming a child. My BABY was growing up!
Today I have the privilege of co-hosting, with Growing Up Geeky, this week's 'Toddle Along Tuesday' theme. As usual, I left this to the last minute, and my husband was at work so I had to take these pictures myself - I apologize, they're not that great!
Anyway, we are not very consistent people, but in general - this is what Celia's bedtime typically looks like.
7pm. Bathtime - usually every other night, and tonight wasn't one of those nights, so no pictures!
7:20pm. Milk! And yes, the odd colour is because she was spoiled tonight and had a bit of chocolate milk mixed in (this usually NEVER happens).
7:25 - Teeth brushing time! I didn't get a picture of this, because juggling a toddler, a toothbrush, and toothpaste while not getting toothpaste all over myself and the bathroom is difficult enough!
7:27 - Storytime! I'm pretty sure this is Celia's favourite time of day, although she was a little bit confused about why I was taking so many pictures.
Anywhere from 7:35 to 7:50 depending on how tired Celia gets... and then, it's 'Soother and Bo' time.
This is her give-away 'it's time to go to sleep now' pose. She willingly takes a soother, and the paw of THAT bear (no other stuffy works for this) goes on her nose. I love it, it's adorable.
Thanks for joining us this week for Toddle Along Tuesday! I look forward to seeing all of your posts!
This week's Toddle Along Tuesday topic is Bedtime Routines! What do you do with your little one before bed? There are no rules here, except that you link up a relevant post (old or new) rather than your whole blog.
First, I'll talk about my diaper bag...
It's looking a little bit worn by now, but I love this diaper bag - except for one thing - it's a bit too small for cloth-diapering families. It's great for us now that we don't bring along as many blankets and extra clothes anymore, and it has a ton of different pockets, so it's still super-useful.
It's by 'Lillebaby' who I discovered when I was researching the 'best' baby carrier (it's just like the ERgo, except it has forward facing as well as rear and hip carry). While I was browsing their website, I came across this bag also, and since I was frustrated with the lack of any pockets in the bag we were using - it was big enough, but I was always hunting for things at the bottom of it - I ordered it as well. I won't go into all of it's many features now, but one of the greatest ones is that it straps to your stroller so that it doesn't swing and hit you while you're walking and you don't have to take up space in any baskets for it.
Ok, so on to the bag's contents...
This is not actually complete, because while I was taking these pictures, Celia was napping with a few necessary items in her room.
Here, we have (clockwise from top left) 2 Charlie Banana diapers, my camera, a spare outfit for Celia including a soother strap and a strap for 'Bo' - her famous pink bear (who is currently being snuggled in her crib and was not available for a photo shoot). Bottom right, we have a few tiny books because Celia loves flipping through any kind of book she can get her hands on, a pack of wipes and a few different kinds of snacks.
Also missing from the picture is a wetbag for dirty diapers, and depending on where we are going and how long we'll be away, we sometimes include plastic cutlery and a bib and facecloths, as well as a set of small, quiet, toys that Celia has acquired for bringing along. Her Nana made her a knit 'church purse' and gave it to her with a few tiny stuffies inside. We also bought her a 4 inch tall baby doll with it's own spoon and fork that fits inside her 'purse' also.
Oh, and a sippy cup with water.
And lately sunscreen and a hat because the weather is FINALLY warm!!!
This week, Growing up Geeky and Love, Lattes and Lullabies are hosting Toddle Along Tuesday with 'A Day in the Life'. I find this theme to be quite daunting - and I'm nervous to admit what I do (or don't do) on a given day.
A typical day for us starts at about 8am (my husband has flexible work hours, so he lets his alarm go off until he feels like getting out of bed...), which is about the time Celia wakes up and starts talking to us through her bedroom door. Brian grabs a bottle of milk for her, and brings both Celia and bottle to lie next to me in bed while she drinks. I love this almost-cuddle time, but it often ends up being more of a wrestling time, since Celia seems unable to stay still while doing anything.
Celia then rolls herself off the bed (with a little help) and I reluctantly follow. Then I typically forget to change her diaper and settle her in to her booster-chair to have some breakfast - usually oatmeal, cream of wheat, waffles, or pancakes.
Then it's playtime with her toys.
I'm hoping to change her schedule a bit, but recently, Celia has taken her long nap from about 10 or 11am for about two to three hours. For this reason, I rarely tackle leaving the house in the morning, so I have to admit that we don't get out much. During her nap, I spend some time online, do some house cleaning and since being pregnant I often have a nap myself.
After Celia wakes up, it's lunchtime, and then playtime while I clean-up.
Then, we don't have much time until one of Celia's babysitters comes to watch her while I teach piano. I have three different pre-teenage girls (two of whom trade me babysitting for piano lessons) who watch Celia in her bedroom or downstairs while I am teaching.
Then when Daddy gets home, it's supper time (which I've hopefully prepared before I began teaching), and then playtime with Daddy while I continue teaching.
Every two or three days, Celia has a bath before bed (she's started really disliking them, so we don't push it). Then at about 7:30 or 8, it's time for another bottle of milk, followed by tooth brushing. Then storytime, prayer and bedtime.
If I have energy after that, I do a bit more house cleaning and read a book or watch TV with Brian. Then I have a bath, and go to bed!
I'd like to say we go out more, but I don't have a vehicle while Brian's at work, and the weather here has been a bit too cold to go outside even still. I can't wait until it warms up!
I'm late for another Toddle Along Tuesday with Growing Up Geeky, but I thought this was another fun one and wanted to do it anyway...
So after much thought about this particularly photo hunt - what exactly is a 'photo blooper' anyway? - I came up with these photos, not because the photos themselves were bloopers - I took them very deliberately - but because it seemed like a 'life blooper' I was catching on 'film'.
Do you see why I found this funny? Look a bit closer if you don't...
I just want to note that I did not put her soother on her face. I found her this way during an afternoon nap - I have no idea how the soother ended up there, but I thought it was hilarious anyway...
Grab My Button
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.pinkbears.ca" title="On Pink Bears and Pacifiers"><img src="http://www.pinkbears.ca/images/grab-my-button.png" alt="On Pink Bears and Pacifiers" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
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