Monday, March 24, 2014

first favorites: diaper bag

Now that we're a few months into this parenting thing, I thought it'd be fun to round up a few of our most-used and much-loved items. I did a lot of research before Caleb came along. Our apartment is tiny, and I wanted to make sure every item we included on our registry was something we truly wanted (and wouldn't mind inviting into our space!). I can honestly say we regularly use everything we registered for, plus a few additional items we've found along the way. First up: Our trusty diaper bag.

1| The bag. My mom gave me the Petunia Picklebottom City Carryall for Mother's Day when I was first expecting. I worried that it wasn't gender-neutral enough, but she said that I'd generally be the one carrying it. That I loved it what was mattered. Thanks, Mom :)

2| Blankets. Aden and Anais classic swaddle blankets are one of those "every mom" recommendations (as in, every mom I know recommends them), and I can see why. They're large and lightweight, and we use them all the time, for everything from burp cloths to nursing blankets to carseat covers.

3| Change of clothes. We've found that Baby Gap clothes fit our guy well and hold up nicely in the wash. I'd love to add this sweet striped romper to the mix for summer.

4| Toys for teething. Sophie the Giraffe is another "every mom" recommendation, and I have to say she's managed to live up to the hype. Her skinny legs and neck make her easy to grip, and Caleb loves chomping on the nose and ears. Plus, she squeaks! The Winkel is a winner for similar reasons -- it was actually the first toy Caleb ever grasped all by himself.

5| Diapers. We decided to go the cloth diapering route, and we couldn't be more pleased! Bum Genius pocket diapers are all we use these days.

6| Wipes. Since we're already doing diaper laundry, we generally use flannel wipes and wet them with a spray bottle. But for on-the-go and bigger messes, we like these Burt's Bees Baby Bee wipes.

7| Wet bag. A must for cloth diapering while out and about. We have two medium size Planet Wise wet bags that we rotate, as well a larger one from Kanga Care (not pictured) for longer trips. (Although, I confess, I co-opted that one for my sweaty yoga clothes post-Bikram. It works beautifully!)

8| Rash cream. Caleb hasn't had any major or lasting rashes so far, but for slight redness and irritation, Bordeaux's Butt Paste usually clears it up within hours.

9| Stay-on slippers. A friend gave us these cute Robeez, and the elastic makes them dang near impossible to kick off! And when the shoes stay on, the socks stay on. Plus, I like ensuring our winter baby's tootsies stay extra warm.

10| Lanolin. Not quite the must-have it once was, but this stuff absolutely saved me in the early days of nursing. I came down with double mastitis in my second week postpartum, and this was about the only "comfort" I had!

Next up: The ins and outs of our diapering system. It may seem silly, but deciding whether or not to cloth diaper felt really overwhelming initially (should we go through with it? How will it work? So many options! What do we choose? etc). I liked reading up on what's worked for people personally, so in the next roundup I'll put all my research to use and share the system that's ultimately worked for us :)


PS - My first series on favorite things.

Monday, March 10, 2014

rainbow racing ducks

Our nanny came down with a stomach bug over the weekend, so I stayed home with Caleb today. These little lepreducks hung out with us, too. They were supposed to come with me to school so the kids could have rainbow races, but luckily there is still a full week before St. Patrick's Day and therefore plenty of time to play.

They are pretty cute, no? I may toss 'em in the bath with Caleb tonight before they head out the door to their temporary holiday home. Something tells me he'd love it. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

party prep

Wishbone-stamped glassine bags for St. Patrick's Day surprises,
and a stack of invites ready to make their way into the world.

One of my students wore all green on Friday, complete with bouncy shamrock headband and fluffy shamrock lei. Her dad said he has no idea why she's so excited (their family isn't majorly into holidays, so he's not sure where she gets it from) but excited she is! As someone who loves any and all reason to celebrate, I'm totally with her! (And would be even if she didn't happen to be the student that frequently and loudly announces, "YOU ARE MY FAVORITE TEACHER THAT I HAVE EVER HAD, IN THIS WHOLE SCHOOL!" It's embarrassing and amazing all at once.)

Anyway, I'm prepping early (for me), with these lucky stamped bags. Not sure what I'll put in them yet (I have some rainbow erasers but feel like I need something more...). In the meantime I like how simple, graphic, and modern they are just sitting by themselves. (I based them on the idea here, but I stamped bags I already had on hand instead of printing on vellum and assembling. After I figure out what to fill them with I'll add the free printable "Lucky Day" tags.)

Caleb's baptism will be the Sunday after Easter. If you've ever stumbled to this space before, you may know that I'm a practicing Catholic but not really ardent anything. While Andy and I both believe in the idea of "many paths, one mountain," we'd like our son to be a part of the rich community that a church can be (and it doesn't hurt that our church here is fairly liberal. We are also big Pope Francis fans.). It's a way of introducing him to our path, to the conversations surrounding belief, religion, and everything in between. I think Andy put it best when he said that the baptism is a way "we get to celebrate Caleb's life." Now. We get to celebrate now. There was the excited anticipation of the shower, there will likely be a congregation of cousins at a first birthday party come November, but now, as spring approaches, we get to gather our family together and surround our sweet baby with grace and love. What an incredible gift.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

return stamp

We used a rubber return stamp on our wedding invitations, and I have wanted another one ever since. (The one I ordered for our wedding used my parents' address, since we were moving to Abu Dhabi.) With Caleb's baptism coming up, I finally decided to go ahead and order one. Since I designed my own to be made directly by a manufacturer, it really wasn't that expensive. Our lease is up at the end of August, but I love the look, ease, and efficiency of a stamp enough that it feels worth it. Also, "ease" and "efficiency" are major plusses when you have a new baby around! I only wish I'd done it sooner!