Saturday, January 8, 2011

Favorite Things.... Updated!

I've written a "favorite things" post before. I'm pretty sure it was part of my Transition to Mommyhood series. I could be wrong, but who has the time to look these things up? I figured with an update on my baby girl, it might be time to do another favorite things installment for any moms out there who might be interested in the tools and gadgets I'm employing these days.

Here we go!
#1 Video monitor
We were gifted this for Christmas by my husband's sister. She lives with us and knows just how horrible our old audio-only monitor was. It had been gifted to us as well, last Christmas before we had registered, so we hadn't gotten to research and choose one ourselves. It had so much static and interference that it was buzzing with all of its "sound indicator" LEDs lit at all times. You could still hear if the baby cried, but I'm a paranoid mom. I need to hear if she gags or gurgles and that monitor was just not clear enough. The video monitor is not only silent but it gives me peace of mind to see what's going on in her room so I know she's not suffocating or gagging or anything else dangerous. Maybe now I'll be able to put her to bed in her own room... maybe.

#2 Flip Camera
While not technically a baby tool, this little thing is super fun and convenient. Since our sweet tiny girl is our first, I obviously want to photograph and video every second of her life because every thing she does is the cutest thing I've ever seen and she may never ever do the same exact thing in the same outfit or the same lighting again. Yea, I'm that mom. We do have a really nice video camera but it's a little more involved to upload the videos and post them somewhere like my blog or Facebook. The Flip (gifted for Christmas by my in-laws) is small, durable and comes with a built in USB so you shoot your video, plug the whole thing into your computer and it loads. Then you can use a simple button in the FlipShare program to send it to Facebook (or Twitter or YouTube). Look for some videos of my little cutie in the future!

#3 High chair
Now that baby girl eats baby foods, we're using our high chair on a regular basis! It's the Fisher Price Space-Saver high chair and I love it. We live in a townhouse, so we're limited on space. My kitchen is nice and big for a townhouse, but we also have a full sized table with 6 chairs in there. It was nice not to have to add another piece of furniture to make it feel cramped. I love that it tilts from a slightly reclined position to sitting up right. The tray also tilts and has a one-hand button so you can take it off the high chair with one hand while holding your baby in the other arm. Genius!

#4 Take & Toss
I'm using these all the time. We visit our parents a lot because they live close, so the Take n Toss dishes are perfect. They stack, they all have lids, they're easy to wash, and if you leave them somewhere or something happens, they're cheap! They come in a lot of shapes and sizes and colors too.

#5 Pandora Radio
Also not specifically a baby item, my sister in law recently introduced me to Pandora Radio. I had heard of it, but figured my iTunes was just as good. False! There is a lot of music I don't own and now I don't have to buy it to try it! I can look for kid music to listen to while my baby is awake and we're playing, and then switch to my stuff while she naps and I'm trying to be productive, relax, cook, etc. I also hate the regular radio so that limits my exposure to new music and makes it hard to branch out. Pandora plays music that is similar to what you ask it for, so you hear artists and songs you may not know of in addition to stuff you already like. I've already found 2 new artists I really like and will probably download their stuff from iTunes.

#6 Cart cover
After reading a lot of reviews I almost bought a version almost twice as expensive, but in a pinch went with this cheap one instead. Don't let any review convince you that these things need to be fancy. Mine fits every shopping cart and restaurant high chair I've tried it on, it has loops to hook some toys onto and holes for the seat belts to come through. Honestly, what else do people want these things to do? It doesn't have a stylish carrying case, so yes I have to carry it into the restaurant folded up (GASP, right?). But I'm not proud -- actually I am. Proud that I have a baby everyone in that restaurant is staring at so I'll happily carry her little folded up high chair cover. Trust me, no one even sees it because they're staring at her. Anyway, she's big enough now that she really doesn't want to stay in her car seat carrier while we're in the store so this has been a staple. She loves sitting in the shopping cart, or at the table in a restaurant. That, in return, has made my life easier.

#7 Wipe Warmer
It's an item some may consider frivolous, but let me tell you, right now even I am grateful for the wipe warmer. It's January and my house (while the thermostat is set on 72) can get chilly. My hands are cold year-round, and I actually get mad when I'm cold. Those wipes are ice cold on my already cold hands, so I can only imagine how much it sucks for my baby when I unwrap her from her warm clothes and not only am I touching her legs and tummy with my cold hands, but then I go applying an ice cold wipe to her bottom. Yipes! She doesn't really complain but my own sensitivity makes me feel bad for her. Wipe warmers were another item I read a lot of reviews about and people had various strange complaints. We ended up with the Prince Lionheart version and it works just fine. I think my baby appreciates it too :)

#8 Diaper Genie II Elite
I can't talk about other versions of this product, but I really like the one we have. Now that our baby girl is eating foods, the diapers have gotten a little nastier. We used to just toss them in the kitchen trash can (we have a changing table on our main level), but that's not really an option any more. Plus, starting this week I'm going to be watching my nephew, so there will be even more diapers. This one is really easy to use and it keeps the room from smelling anything like diapers.

Those are my current favorites. What are yours?

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