I’m not quite sure when Knox turned into a toddler, but typing that made me kind of sad! Oh well, this a fun age (mostly), and I am enjoying watching him grow up, even though he’s doing it too quickly!
Now, I may not be as cool as Oprah, but I certainly have my own set of favorite things when it comes to raising a toddler. I think we have all seen a lot of “must-have” lists for babies, but there aren’t as many floating around for the one year-old and up sector. So, without further ado, these are my (and Knox’s) favorite things:
Faded Glory Pajamas
Yep. I buy my kid’s jammies from Wally World. And you should, too! Their “Faded Glory” brand of pajamas are actually 100% organic cotton, super soft and only $5! Yes, FIVE DOLLARS. You can’t beat that with a stick, folks. We love these little two-piece sets, and they change with the season (ie in winter they’re long sleeved and in spring they’re short). For smaller babies, the Faded Glory one-piece sleepers are only $3 and also organic cotton. What a deal!
bumgenius! 4.0 Pocket Diapers
You guys know this one, already, but we LOVE our bumgenius diapers! I was so excited to try out the 4.0s when they came out, and they are far superior to the 3.0. Their fit is a little wider (more coverage), and the aplix (velcro) is so much better. The old 3.0 aplix gets pretty fuzzy and beat up. These diapers fit Knox the best and hold in any mess without issue. And…they’re cute.
Stride Rite Shoes
Now that we have a walker on our hands, we make sure that Knox’s little feet are shoed correctly. Stride Rite makes the very best kids’ shoes and they are adorable! They can be pricey, so we never pay full price for these things- hello, sale table! We either purchase his shoes on sale or at the Stride Rite outlet. He is currently sporting some very adorable brown sandals because it’s already 80 degrees in South Carolina.
I would say 80% of Knox’s clothes hail from Kohl’s. Why? Those darn 15% off coupons they send in the mail get me every time. Seriously, their clothes hold up great, they’re adorable, and they’re nearly always priced at 50% off. That makes for a huge bag of clothes for very little money, which in turn, makes me very happy. Here is Knox in one of my favorite springtime outfits from Kohl’s: a sweet striped polo and Stegosaurus hoodie. Love it. Don’t forget to accessorize with your favorite remote control. All the hippest babies have them.
Publix Greenwise Organic Cheese Ducks
These are Knox’s all-time favorite snack! They are basically organic Goldfish, but they’re shaped like ducks. They taste exactly the same as the more expensive “Annie’s Organic Cheese Bunnies,” and they’re only around $2.99 a box. These may be why one of Knox’s only commonly-used words is “duck.”
Earth’s Best Sunny Days Snack Bars
No matter his mood or grumpiness level, Knox will ALWAYS eat these! This is a good thing, since he has refused dinner the past two nights and munched on a fruit bar and applesauce. At least there are some whole grains and fruit getting into his system! These taste like Nutri-Grain bars but better because the fruit inside is actual fruit. Only $3 and very yummy.
Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Shampoo and Body Wash
I will probably make Knox shower with this stuff when he’s 18. When he’s all fresh and clean from the tub, he smells just like a little teeny baby, again. It’s the sweetest smell, and a bottle lasts forever. We also use it to make a quick wipes solution for our cloth wipes (just a few drops and water), and I put a drop of it in his spray bottle for fixing his hair with- it actually creates a very mild hold so you can tame that WILD hair without hair spray.
Canon Rebel XSi and Flip Video Camera
While these aren’t official “baby” items, I wouldn’t be nearly as effective at documenting Knox’s days without our Canon XSi camera and our Flip video camera! The Canon ROCKS, and while it was pretty pricey, it was worth every cent. Plus, we actually “raised” money for it by selling about half of our DVD collection, so we didn’t pay much out of pocket. The Flip camera is awesome because it’s so teeny tiny that you can stick it in your diaper bag and purse and always have it with you to capture those important moments. Ours is not an HD Flip, but I would love to get one of those in the future.
Britax Car Seat (in Cowmooflage print)
Is it bad that I had this car seat picked out before I even got pregnant? No? Okay, good. The safety ratings on this Britax seat are stellar, it seems very comfy, it’s easy to install and, oh yeah, it’s adorable. The AAP finally released their “official” recommendation to leave kids rear-facing until age two, and I feel like this seat accommodates that pretty well. It reclines a little, as well, which helps- Knox is fairly tall and his legs aren’t terribly squished at this point. He has to bend his little knees some, but it works out great for us.
“That’s Not My…” Books by Usborne
These are Knox’s absolute favorite books. There are about a zillion of them, and they are all called “That’s Not My” Something. He loves books, and these have kept his interest for longer than any of his other touch and feel books. They sell them at Books-a-Million and Learning Express. P.S. Learning Express has a ton of awesome touch and feel books, if your kid likes them, too. They have some with three and four textures a page- this is big time stuff in toddler world.
Playskool Ball Popper
Oh, this toy. By far, this is the toy with the most staying power of any of the others that reside in our house. From six months-old to 14 months-old, my child has played with this toy almost every day. Bless it, it’s the only way I get to fix my hair in the morning without Knox climbing up my leg. Although, I will warn you, if you buy this toy for a little kid, you will get a LOT of exercise chasing these balls all over creation. At least Knox can *kind of* put them back in himself, now. Though he can also throw them by himself, so it can go either way.
We no longer have cable in our home, mainly due to the junk that comes on it, so we absolutely love our Netflix subscription! If you have a Wii, PS3 or XBox 360 (which, let’s face it, I think most of our husbands come attached with one of those) you can get streaming netflix for less than $8 a month. Um, yes, please! That means you can get tons of movies and TV shows direct to your TV without having to send back any DVDs in the mail. This is really more of a parent must-have, but they have TONS of kids shows- we love that they have a good 10 VeggieTales episodes and lots of Disney and Nick Jr.-type shows, as well. Oh, and they JUST got Sesame Street last week! We were excited about that, too. We try not to let Knox watch too much TV since he’s such a little guy, but one show a day helps me get dinner on the table without having to chase him around the living room.
I know, I know, I’m a broken record, but seriously, VeggieTales are awesome! I love that these cute little cartoons are not only Christian-based and teach children about the Bible and God’s love, but they are hilarious! The silly songs that they sing will get stuck in your head with the greatest of ease and you’ll be singing about how “pants have six legs less than a squid” and asking things like “Oh where, oh where, oh where… is my hairbrush?” all day long. I am so happy that Knox likes something so much that does NOT drive me crazy! The first ever episode “Where is God When I’m Scared?” still makes me laugh out loud every time I see it because Larry the Cucumber? Is a riot! Knox’s latest favorite is this VeggieTales Easter special called “Twas the Night Before Easter.” It’s really cute and teaches kids about the true meaning of Easter. If you watch American Idol, Melinda Doolittle (an Idol finalist) voices one of the characters in this one.
And I guess I must blog about VeggieTales a lot because they email me and ask me to give you guys their DVDs sometimes. This would be one of those times! If you would like to win a copy of “Twas the Night Before Easter” for your favorite kid, just leave me a comment and tell me so. I have THREE of these to give away (thanks, Big Idea!), so keep those comments coming through next Thursday, March 31.
That’s all of the toddler favorites I can think up to share with you guys, today, but I do want to say that some of our best friends are in the hospital right now having a baby! My buddy, Lindsey, was all set for an induction this morning but actually went into labor on her own at 3 am! How lucky and awesome is that?? She was at 4cm last I heard at about 8:30 and getting her epidural. I am excited to meet baby girl Sam very soon! Send some prayers their way!
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