As Beatrice Kate is growing and changing, so too does my ever-evolving list of favorite things (Uh, Hello Oprah?) that make our everyday life a little easier. It should be noted too that this list is in no way in order of favoritism; instead, the items are just listed as they flash into my Mommy Brain:
Oh, and also, I'm not being compensated or paid in anyway to say how awesome I think these things are. But, if you're a toddler product manufacturer; well, Mama likes Freebies.
1: Funk Rock: I'm not sure when it happened; but at some point over the last few months, my daughter's oh-so-sweet baby room smell was replaced by a stench that can make your eyes water. Gone are the days of saying things like, "Oh, it's just baby poop."; instead you're more likely to hear, "Good God. What did you eat?!?" Enter: Funk Rock; made by my favorite Cloth Diaper Detergent folks, Rockin Green. It's a kind-of "pre-detergent" that I wash my cloth diapers in before I wash my cloth diapers. Seems redundant; but it's oh-so-worth the extra effort. Funk Rock gets out the ammonia smell that comes along with a toddler's diapers and keeps you from holding your breath when you add the detergent.
2: BooginHead SippiGrip: Silly name, seriously useful product. I could strangle whoever taught Bea how to say the words, Uh, Oh. I hear it probably 50 times an hour as she watches me watch her drop something from a height. This solves that issue, for at least the length of a Stroller Strides Class. The SippiGrip allows me to strap her sippy cup or snack trap to her stroller, and when she "Uh, Oh's" something off the side... she can retrieve it instead of me.
RazBaby RaZ-berry Teether: Love, love, love this thing. Well, I should say that Beatrice Kate loves it; therefore, Mommy loves it. With molars soon to make their appearance, this little gem gives her something soft, but textured to scrape across those sore gums.
4. NUK Learner Cup: We literally tried every. single. sippy cup ever made. Honestly. I sold the 15 that didn't make the cut at a recent yard sale and bought an extra one of these in their place. Bea loves it because the handles are at the bottom, allowing her baby T-Rex arms to bring it to her mouth. It's also great for kids who aren't sure about tipping up their cups yet. I love it because it has the ounces marked on the side and I love it even more because it doesn't spill!
5. Priddy Books/Bright Baby Books: It's no secret: We're a family of geeks. You know, "that family" that only has one t.v. and we rarely watch it. That's us. Instead, we read. A lot. And thankfully, it's rubbing off on Beatrice Kate. She has a million books; but almost always goes to her Bright Baby books first. The pictures are big, and each page only has one word on it (usually); so they're a great way to teach vocabulary.
6: Stroller Strides: I know, I know. I talk about my love for this class all the time. But can I just tell you... I really love it now that Beatrice Kate is more interactive. She's starting to do the motions to our workout songs (Itsy Bitsy Spider, anyone?) and clap her hands when we're all through. I love the Luna Mom's Group and I really love the amazing friendships Bea and I have both formed from going. She looks forward to seeing her friends every day and I can tell she misses them when we don't make it to class.We plan our days now around our SS classes and I love that it gives us a fun, healthy way to spend the mornings. I'm not the only preemie-mom to rave about SS, either. It's a great minimal-interaction-if-necessary social group for those who are germ-conscious like NICU Moms tend to be!
7: Stick-on Disposable Table Toppers: Now, granted, Beatrice Kate isn't the model for healthy eating; but on the rare occasion that we venture out in public for a meal; I always make sure I have one of these suckers packed. Have you ever tried keeping a plate within the reach of your toddler? I'm guessing it didn't end so well. These take away that hassle because they stick onto the table (and unless your kid is crafty like mine, they usually stay stuck on) and you can put their food directly onto that. Then, when they're done
8: Happy Baby Pouches: I hate mealtimes with a toddler. It's like putting my head into a meat grinder, intentionally, every. single. day. Beatrice Kate fusses and whines about eating anything but Cheddar Bunnies or blackberries and REFUSES to allow me to feed her anything. So, instead of
9. Raleigh City Pools: Yes, most public pools are giant vessels for E.Coli or Listeria. But here in Raleigh (at least the ones I've been too) this isn't the case. The public pools here are sparkling clean and so refreshing. I never thought in a million years that I would enjoy taking a