Sunday, December 5, 2010

Picture Pages: Of Thee I Sing

I picked up Barack Obama's newest book this week, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.  It is an exquisite children's book, filled with gorgeous illustrations (which our President did not do, Loren Long did) and inspiring messages to his daughters interspersed with incredible stories in American history.  This book is a lovely gift or the perfect addition to your own library.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I don't know what I would do without my babywearing gear!   Especially during those first few months when my darling daughter would only take long naps when I was holding her.  My favorite is the Baby K'Tan- it's really comfortable, affordable ($45 and up), washable and easy to throw on (I could even put it on and put my daughter in it without putting her down).  It's like the Moby, but without the complicated twists, ties, and adjustments. 

The Ergo is awesome too- it's what I use now (because I've loaned out my Baby K'Tan!).   I wish we would have saved our $100 on this beautifully embroidered sling by Serena & Lily and bought Mini Boden clothes instead!  We had a hand-me-down Baby Bjorn that my husband wears.  If you're interested in a Baby Bjorn, hit the resale shops. 

Here's a link to the benefits of babywearing.

Baby K'Tan Organic Baby Carrier, Natural, Small

Saturday, October 23, 2010


In the first few weeks following my daughter's birth, I had my share of "snarts."  Sure, sure- it is mostly funny, and only a little bit embarrassing when it is in front of your mother or husband.  However, I was petrified that this would become a public thing and had already begun practicing how I'd laugh this off in front of my friends (or would it just be easier to become a recluse?).  It seemed that the R&R, sitz baths, Tuck's pads, "maxsicles," and kegels were helping, but just not enough.  Then, I read this practically-life-changing blog post from Mama Sweat about incorporating exercises for your glutes.  Voila!  It was like magic!  Snarts-be-gone. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cloth Wipes

bumGenius Natural Flannel Baby Wipes - Pack of 12 
Did you know that the average family spends $800 on baby wipes?  Yikes!  Our family uses cloth wipes and we have found that they are not only less expensive than disposable wipes but they smell so much better too!

Want to try it? My absolute favorite wipes are BumGenius bamboo wipes but cloth wipes are easy to make, from flannel, terrycloth, old t-shirts, etc.  Every other week (or so) I take a 32 ounce plastic bottle and fill it with about a tbsp. of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap (I like lavender), 1 tbsp. of olive oil (or mineral, Johnson & Johnson, etc.), 4-10 drops of essential oil (I like lavender or geranium)- and then fill the remainder of the container with water.  I use an empty baby wipes container and put about 10-15 cloth wipes in before I soak them in the wipe solution.  I've heard that some parents use a wipe warmer too.   Happy wiping!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My New Favorite Thing

Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light, Lady Bug 
We recently received the cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light Ladybug as a gift and LOVE it.  Its calming, projected constellation stars are the perfect distraction when my one year old daughter is fussy and tired.  The stars project for 45 minutes in a glow of red, green or blue.  There is also a cloud b Twilight Turtle that appears to have the same function.

It is so wonderful, my husband has mentioned several times that he would like to buy one for our room too.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Picture Pages: All The World

My little D just celebrated her first birthday.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to start a tradition of buying her a book for each birthday.   I felt a lot of pressure to find the perfect book.  But I did, easily!  I could tell you how much I love the illustrations in All the World (it's a Caldecott Honor Award Winner), or how I love how it is written by Austin author Liz Garton Scanlon, or I could tell you about the beautiful simplicity of the text.  But I really think you should just check it out for yourself.
All the World

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Music For the (Tiny) People

I swear that 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' by Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of AC/DC got me through some tough moments with a newborn.  Oh, the irony to hear that song on a xylophone, while addressing a Number Three!

Some of our other favorite albums for playtime are Bare Naked Ladies-Snacktime, Ziggy Marley-Family Time (we love the song "Walk Tall") and anything by Putumayo Kids.   

We are also into Ernie & Bert's Greatest Hits, Sesame Street Fiesta Songs, Cowgirl Sue- Giddy Up! Whoa!, Disney Greatest Hits Collection, and Laurie Berkner.  Need a soundtrack for toddler tantrums?  It's so much more fun when one can sing Justin Roberts-Meltdown (ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-meltown!). 

Putumayo Kids: Sing Along With Putumayo
Let me know what your favorites are.  We try to keep it fresh (and so clean, clean!) in our household.

Disclaimer: I'm not responsible when you can't get Bananaphone or They Might Be Giants' Hot Dog out of your head.

Pregnancy on the World Wide Web

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I wanted all the information I could find (What was happening to my body? My emotions? Mywaaaaah!).   I signed up for the weekly emails from the American Pregnancy Association and Babycenter.   I devoured information from Dr. Sears.  I chose to take a Hypnobabies course and watched many births on youtube for inspiration.  

Nesting?  I got lost for hours on Project Nursery.  

I was (and still am) a podcast junkie.  I heard lots of great information from Pregtastic podcasts.  I also enjoyed a (free!) prenatal yoga routine from
Unlike most women I know, I never hit information overload during pregnancy.  I hope these links provide you with helpful information when you need it.  This post certainly doesn't cover it all- so tell me, what are your favorite pregnancy resources? 

Picture Pages: Mo Willems

This week I was challenged by 'Fans of SCBWI' (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) on Facebook to "pick a successful writer/illustrator, whether you like their work or not, and write a blog post about what other writers or illustrators can learn from them."

Big Frog Can't Fit In: A pop-up book

When I'm reading to a child, I always enjoy stories that make my (and hopefully their) imagination soar.  When I'm brainstorming ideas for books, I'm always trying to think outside of the box. What's new and different?  What will entertain the little ones?  

One of my favorite authors and illustrators, Mo Willems, most famous for his Caldecott-award winning book Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, has inspired me to do more than think outside the of the box, or book, but instead makes me want to think inside the book.  When I read any of the Pigeon series, I feel like I am a main character in the story, restraining that mischievous pigeon.  I recently read another one of Mo Willems' books, Big Frog Can't Fit In and was mesmerized by the brilliance of this story. This pop-up book features a giant frog that (when unfolded) literally is bigger than the book. Why limit ourselves to the dimensions of a storybook?    I hope to think inside the book more often in order to inspire the imagination of others as these books have done for me.   

Picture Pages: Big Board Books

Have you seen these big board books?  I recently picked up one of my favorites, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in the new "lap-sized" edition. It is so nice to read a regular-sized book, without worrying about little D tearing any pages.  Many, many other titles are available, including Mousepaint, Sheep In A Jeep, and The Napping House
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Lap Edition

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cloth Diapering Favorites

I LOVE cloth diapering.  Really, I do.  I was surprised by how many people tried to talk me out of it when I was pregnant.  Thanks to several yahoo groups, I've found that I'm not the only one who gets excited about talking about everything cloth diapering-related.
My #1 favorite diaper is the BumGenius Flip diaper.  If I had to do it all over again, I would buy 1 box of the organic ,  2-4 additional covers (or you could try 1 box of the stay dry), plus 12 additional gcloth inserts.  (That's under $150 for diapers, for babies 8-35 lbs!)  

I like these because they are:  economical- the covers are reusable (like pre-folds); customizable- you can put anything absorbent in the cover (including disposable inserts- like the gDiaper disposable/flushable/compostable inserts); easy to clean, fast to dry; has snaps (velcro wears out fast); and they are one-size.  I've had 3 leaks in as many months- a record for us, even compared to disposables!  My daughter even wears these at night without leaks! 
One of the cutest options are gdiapers, especially adorable now with their brand new diaper-coordinated outfits.  These diapers are also really versatile (cloth, disposable options) and their website/customer service is impressive.  On the downside, we have had numerous leaks and the velcro wears out quickly.
Before I discovered the Flip diaper, the BumGenius AIO Organic with Snaps was my favorite.  My only beef with this diaper is that it takes a long time to dry (a full day in the sun or 2 dryer cycles).  Other than that, it's a great option. 
FuzziBunz Pocket Diapers and BumGenius 3.0 are good options.  The FB diaper has snaps, the BG has velcro.  I have had a fair amount of leaks with these diapers. 
I bought a 5 pack of Kushies AIOs on a website closeout.  These were great during the time that they fit my daughter, but that seemed like a pretty short window.    
BumGenius Econobum is worthless!  My husband, a king of puns, likes to call them "The Econo-Bum-Me-Out" diaper.  The included absorbnt insert is terrible at doing its job, absorbing- we've had a leak every single time (and yes, I washed these 6+ times before using).  Spend $8 more dollars and buy the Flip diaper!

I'm really satisfied with our Flip Diapers, but I am intrigued about the Gro Baby diapers.  Has anyone tried these?  Or have another favorite?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mad about Muslin

Muslin blankets from Koala Kuddles, Luna Lullaby or Aden & Anais are a must-have!  They make swaddling easier, are perfect for warmer climates or layering, are small enough to keep in the diaper bag, but are big enough to spread out and use when you need it.  If your little one is like mine and escaped out of swaddles because she preferred her arms by her face, here's how to modify.

The muslin washcloths from Aden & Anais are nice to have (I purchased mine as a GaGa deal from BabyEarth).  

We also just started using the muslin sleeping bag from Aden & Anais.  It's one of my new favorites as well. ***Buyer beware:  After publishing this post, our muslin sleeping bag ripped.  Most likely from all of the pulling on the thin material from crawling, sleeping, sitting, etc. my daughter did in her crib. Perhaps this would be better for not-yet-moving-babies. ****

Does anyone know of a muslin blanket for adults?

Pack 'n Play

If I had to pick 'big-ticket' baby item that I loved most, it would have to be our Pack 'n Play.  This model has a cozy 'Newborn Napper,' with the option for nature sounds, music, and vibration.  We also used the dropped down section as a co-sleeper when we were traveling.  It's easy, shmeasy to set-up. 

If only they made Newborn Nappers for adults...