Monday, August 6, 2012

Favorite things: Mom edition, Volume 4

As we quickly approach Jamie's Birthday I thought it was about time to share a few things that help us survive life with an {almost} 2 year old.

Snack Traps.  I got these as a baby shower gift and thought they were a little odd.  Kind of a like a Kong....but for kids instead of dogs?  Ok.  Without a second thought I tossed them into the back of the closet.  Oh silly pregnant, clueless Mrs. EyeCanSee.  Little did you know you'd eventually have a toddler on your hands.  AKA the messiest creatures on the planet.  So several months ago when I stumbled upon them I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Best invention ever.  He still manages to lose a goldfish or two, but nothing compared to what it could be.

Valve Basket.  I used to think washing bottles was a pain.  Then we transitioned to sippy cups.  Those valves are a giant pain in my butt!!  Throwing them in the dishwasher is really the only way I can guarantee they're clean, but the basket we had from the bottle days was HUGE and took up practically the entire top rack of what must be the worlds smallest dishwasher.  I may have screamed a little when I found this gem on Amazon.  A SMALL basket just for valves and straws??  Yes Please!  It clips on the upper rack anywhere you want and takes up about the same space as one cup.

Speaking of Sippy Cups, these are our favorites.  Nuk Gerber Graduates Stage 3 or Tommee Tippee.  No leaks and relatively easy to clean, especially with the fabulous dishwasher basket.  Now that he's older I really like the ones that are most like drinking from cups as opposed to ones with soft bottle like nipples or the hard spout which worked better for very early on.  Gerber Graduates Twistie Straw Cups.  Haven't had any trouble with the straw ones either, plus I love how you twist the top and the straw goes down.  Makes it easy for travelling.

Around the 1 year mark we started having some serious ammonia sink issues with our cloth diapers.  Especially overnight.  Between our ridiculously hard water and mass amounts of toddler pee we had a recipe for disaster.  I tried pretty much everything under the sun.  Then I discovered Tiny Bubbles detergent.  I can't guarantee it will solve everyone's problems, but it worked miracles for us!  Since it's not one I hear about much in the cloth diapering world I wanted to clue you all in!  My other go to detergent that keeps the stink at bay is EcoSprout.  It was actually designed by a stay at home dad who also had hard water and ammonia issues, so I figured it was worth a shot.  Amazing stuff.  Plus the Warm Vanilla Sugar scent is to die for.

Aveeno Lotion for Eczema.  I talked about this many editions ago, but it's so good I wanted to mention it again.  This past winter when Jamie's dry skin flared up for some dumb reason I tried several other products, none of which worked at all.  Should have just stuck to my own advice and picked this one up again.  The good news is they have a non-baby version now which is exactly the same but comes in a tube about twice the size!  You can find it in the regular adult lotion aisle.  Once I started using it, his skin was soft as could be again!

Pottery Barn Kids Duffel Bag.  We travel quite a bit to visit family and had been using a hodge podge of bags to transport all of Jamie's stuff.  For his 1st Birthday I got a PBK gift card and thought it was time to get lil man his own bag.  I love this thing.  I know what you're thinking.  It's just a duffel bag, an overpriced one at that, but it's HUGE and the quality is top notch.  I can get all of his clothes, shoes, cloth diapers and misc toddler crap into this thing with room to spare.  Let me tell you, that's no small feat.  Plus it has his name on it and what mom isn't a sucker for personalized stuff??

GoGo squeeZ Applesauce.  We buy these in bulk.    Seriously.  They are great!  I keep one in my bag at all times since they don't need to be refrigerated and you don't need a spoon.  They're one stop shopping and help keep the toddler munchies at bay.  I also love how many different flavors they come in, we've tried them all, however cinnamon is definitely top dog in our house!

Press Here.  In a world of toys filled with bells and whistles, cartoons and iPads, nothing beats a good book.  I bought this one on a whim for Christmas because of the rave reviews it got on Amazon.  It did NOT disappoint.  Six months later it is still one of his favorites.  I love how simple it is yet still interactive.  I was worried he wouldn't quite understand it when we first got it, but he picked up on it right away and now presses, shakes, blows and claps away.  This book is a must have!

Plan Toy Punch and Drop.  A great classic wood toy.  No bells.  No whistles.  I've honestly found that toys like this keep his attention longer than the new "fancy" ones which seem to bore him after a few minutes.  We got this for Christmas when he was 15 months old and I think it's perfect for that 12-18 month range, but at almost 2 Jamie still loves to play with it from time to time.  What 2 year old boy doesn't love something that involves hitting and a hammer??

So there you have it.  Just a few tricks I have up my mama sleeve!  And for the one paid me to write this.  But PBK, if you're reading, feel free to send me another bag, mama could really use a new one for herself!!

Happy Monday!


dave and jenn said...

I love those suggestions! We have the snack traps too, and I used them for the first time this weekend. Genius! I will definitely be checking out those PBK duffel bags, the Plan Toy, and the book you mentioned come Christmas time!

Melissa said...

I freakin love those snack containers! They're so awesome and Landon loves being able to feed himself snack whenever he wants.

I NEED that valve basket!

Katie said...

Great suggestions! Thanks! We just started using the snack track and am so grateful for it, though the dog has figured out how to knock it around and clean it out ;) I am totally gonna buy some Tiny Bubbles....I'd been hearing about it and we'd been having some stink issues. Thanks for the rec!

the workaholic momma said...

LOVE many awesome suggestions and I always love to hear about diaper detergents that work well!!! We'll def also have to try out that book...thanks for sharing!!

Lindsey said...

Yes to the snack trap.. and we used to use the Aveeno lotion until we went to the derm in February. I don't like the price tag, but if the Aveeno ever stops working for you, Cetaphil Restoraderm is AMAZING!

Lindsey said...

Great suggestions, I need to save this for when I'm at this stage someday!:)

Amy said...

Oh my God - thank you!! I NEED that valve basket like yesterday....I was just saying to my husband what a pain all the valves and straws are to clean! Thank you thank you thank you!!

Lucky in Love said...

I also adored that snack trap...until this week when Natalie figured out how to open it. Now that's all she wants to do. Oh. And dump out her snacks on the ground. That too :)

Olivia Carter said...

All great picks! I also love the PRESS HERE book- it's a favorite at our house!

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