Monday, September 15, 2014

Baby List

I am no parenting expert, and there are a million of these lists out there. Every baby is different, but I just thought I would share the things I really loved/appreciated throughout the last three years.

Newborn to Six Months
1. Aquaphor. This stuff is amazing. I used it on everything - baby acne, scratches, diaper rash, dry skin. A big tub lasted TWO YEARS. It is essential.

2. Pacifiers. Every baby will prefer something different, some babies won't take any pacifiers. I was very grateful that my kids liked pacifiers, especially on long car rides. We preferred the Mam brand for our kids, and the cute designs were a big plus. I would also recommend getting a Wubbanub - because ADORABLE!

3. Sleep sacks/swaddles. Get whatever kind works best for you. Our hospital used Halo and that is what we used for Agatha, but we also got a Miracle Blanket for Oliver and loved it.

4. Footed pants. Baby socks do not stay on baby feet - it's a fact of life. Save yourself the trouble and buy footed pants (or always dress them in sleepers!). These and these are cute.

5. Fisher Price Rock n' Play Sleeper. We got the bunny one (but ours didn't vibrate - that must be new) for Oliver and this thing was a life saver! He slept in it exclusively for the first few weeks, and then at nap time for almost six months. I loved it and have recommended it to everyone I know who is having/has had a baby recently.

Six to Twelve Months
1. Baby Led Weaning. Okay, this isn't a product, but I really recommend doing this. Our kids were such adventurous eaters (and one still is) and I really credit Baby Led Weaning (or BLW) with that. It was so nice to not have to spend extra money on baby food, we were able to just prepare the same food that we were eating and let the baby try it out on his or her own terms. I suggest getting the book and reading up about it.

2. Baby Bjorn bib. Whichever way you decide to start feeding your baby, you'll need a bib. I bought one of these for Agatha and we still use it every day for Oliver. I prefer it to any of the other bibs we have purchased. It catches everything, is easy to clean and strangers are constantly commenting on how much they wish they had one when their kids were younger.

3. B. Zany Zoo or any other activity cube. This is a really great, long-lasting toy. Both kids still play with it but they really loved it when they were learning to sit and pull themselves up. It's color scheme is not as garish as a lot of the other toys out there, too. This has pretty much lived in my living room for the last three years.

4. Books. At this age, my kids were into books they could interact with, so the Usborne Touchy Feely books and Dear Zoo were big hits.

One to Two Years
1. Boon Swig Sippy Cup. I have purchased approximately eight trillion sippy cups. This one is the best, in my opinion. It doesn't leak, it's easy to hold, there's not a million parts, it's kind of like a bottle - WINNER.

2. Play kitchen. It doesn't matter what kind. ours is a plastic stove my mom picked up at a garage sale. Would I like something nicer - sure, this works fine. The important thing is the pots, pans, spoons and pretend food. Every home needs a pretend kitchen.

3. Books. Books. Books. I like to get our books from library sales or the clearance shelf at Half-Price
Books. I have found some amazing books there. I also like to buy books I loved as a child, it's so fun to share them with my kids now. I could do a whole post on amazing kids books.

4. Water table. Again, it doesn't matter what kind. We have this one.  My kids love water and this is a great way to spend time in the sun and let them get as wet and crazy as they want.

Two + Years
1. Play-Doh. Make your own or buy the real stuff. It's a classic for a reason. Agatha is also SUPER into watching You Tube videos of adults playing with Play-Doh. Yes, that's a thing.

2. Endless Alphabet (and Endless Numbers and Endless Reader). This app has entertained Agatha a lot. And I feel no shame in that because it is educational and awesome. And adorable.

3. High Five magazine. Agatha is so excited to get her magazine in the mail each month, and it usually has pretty cute stories in it. She especially like the "That's Silly!" pages and the hidden pictures.

4. Bollie Ladybug Bubbles. This wand was super easy for Agatha (and Oliver!) to hold and she actually managed to blow bubbles from it. It might be appropriate for younger kids, but she didn't get the hang of it until this summer.

Do you have anything to add?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What the H is wrong with me?

The kids are at grandma's, Chris is at a rock show, and I am bored. BORED. I cannot believe it. I actually don't know what to do with myself.

That's not actually true. There are several things I could/should be doing: Grocery shopping, sorting kids' summer/fall clothes, sewing curtains, exercising, cleaning, even WORKING. But I don't want to do those things. I don't know what I want to do.

Hmmm. I guess I'll wander down to the wine shop and get myself a bottle and rent a movie.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Agatha: Three Years Old!

Well, this is almost two months late - so right on time for me! I am still in shock that my little baby, the girl who made me a mommy, is THREE! And has her own opinions, and voices them regularly. She is changing so much every day, I am amazed. I am so lucky to be able to be her mama.

This girl cracks me up almost every day. She is so into imaginary friends and pretend play. For a while every doll, animal, toy, etc was named Billy. Everyone was Billy. Billy was Agatha's best friend. She (yes, Billy was a girl) was "tall, with brown hair and big arms" according to Agatha. She's now moved onto a friend named Fiargo, who apparently lives in a triangle and plays the violin.


She is still insanely into reading and books, THANK YOU. We read at least three books before bed every night and a lot of nights, Agatha is the one "reading" to us. Grandma Tomi got Agatha a subscription to High Five (the younger version of Highlights) and she LOVES it. There may have been times that I have hidden the magazine so I wouldn't have to read the entire thing at bedtime. She is amazing at finding the hidden pictures.

Lately, over the last few weeks, Agatha has been really interested in helping with dinner and baking. This interest coincided with receiving an apron from her older cousin, Alexandra. I will admit I have used helping make cookies or other treats as an incentive for good behavior (mainly staying out of Oliver's crib during the night).

Agatha is learning to tell jokes, but she doesn't really understand why they are funny. I told her the knock-knock joke that goes: "Knock knock!" "Who's there?" "Little old lady." "Little old lady who?" "I didn't know you could yodel!" and she then began inserting the punch line into any knock knock joke ("Who's there?" "Banana." "Banana who?" "I didn't know you could yodel!") which makes me laugh anyway. She also has her own words for things, dancing is "balleting," playing catch is called "ball catch," juice boxes are "juice can boxes."
Potty training was fairly easy and mostly taken care of at day care. I think she was fully trained a few months before her third birthday (maybe April?) but we still have her wear pull ups at night.


Agatha love, love, loves her grandpas. Her face lights up as soon as she sees them and she won't leave their sides when she's around them. At her third birthday party, both grandpas were in attendance and I don't think she knew what to do with herself. Poor Grandmas.

Her birthday party this year was fun - we decided to have it at a local park with a splash pad and the weather was a bit windy, but we still had a good time. She mostly remembers there was a butterfly on her cake and she got presents.

I love you , Goose.

Monday, September 8, 2014


A year ago, my dad fell and fractured his hip. He was taken to the local hospital, moved to a larger hospital due to breathing troubles and ultimately moved down to the ICU at HCMC in Minneapolis. The trauma of fracturing his hip had exacerbated his emphysema and made it almost impossible for him to breathe on his own. Over the course of three long weeks, he was almost constantly attached to an oxygen mask, bi-pap machine or full on respirator. Eventually, his condition worsened and in accordance with his wishes, he was removed from life-saving care. My brothers and sister and I got to say good-bye to him and were with him when he passed.

I miss him a lot. There is honestly not a day that goes by where I don't think about him. And the oddest things will trigger a memory.

Here's a partial list of things that call him to mind immediately, and may he rest in peace.

Washing dishes
Macaroni and cheese
Old Milwaukee
John Wayne
The Weather Channel
Reader's Digest
Ice Cream
The library
Michael Bolton
Action movies
Wood stoves
Country air
Balanced breakfasts
Bird feeders