one of Carter’s most favorite things

One of the aspects of being a mother that I have really enjoyed is learning from other, more experienced moms.

Not just any mom will do for advice, though. If you aren’t careful, you get stuck over lunch listening to how everything you are doing as a mother is wrong and your child is surely going to grow into a monster because, gasp!, you stay at home and, double gasp!, you stick to a sleeping schedule and now, your inflexibility and constant presence in your kids life makes you crazy and your kid on a fast track to being “that baby” who should know better, but doesn’t.

She’s the “I know everything, what  I do is BEST” mom. I know moms like that, and you walk away from all interactions with her angry for not thinking of all the awesome comebacks that are now running through your head and wondering how, in one short hour, you went from almost feeling like you have your feet underneath you to, if you really admit it deep down, questioning the decisions you used to feel so good about.

Do I need to really feed him organics?

Should he be getting more social interaction?

The answer to those questions, respectively, is yes and no. For this mom at least. And my blood boils every time I think about those moms who think because you have a different way of doing things that what you are doing is wrong.

The moms I like getting advice from are the ones that offer you recommendations in a laid back, “this is what has worked for me, fingers crossed it helps you out!” kind of way.

I text my sister-in-law and best friend for mom advice all the time. Silly things from, do you let her eat peanut butter already?, to more serious things like, how did you start the weaning process?

I ask for gift advice, parenting advice, mom-sanity saving advice.

I have girlfriends that I get together with that have kids Carter’s age that I ask about sleep schedules, eating with utensils (C managed three entire bites of yogurt this morning with a spoon!), and what age they started please and thank you’s.

Having other moms to lean on is so important. Whether they are across the street, across town or in another state, moms need to stick together!

That being said, I feel that, after almost a year of ownership, I simply must pass along this amazeballs toy that Carter has loved since we bought it for him as a 3.5-month old baby.

It was, of course, recommended to me by my amazeballs sister-in-law, and I have since passed along the recco to other friends and bought it three times as gifts for new babies, holidays and birthdays.

He’s grown to engage with it more now that he’s older, but the lullabies have been soothing him to sleep since he was a wee little thing.

My Pal Scout is a Leapfrog toy that is customizable in that it says your child’s name, sings songs that you choose, talks about favorite colors, foods and animals, also that you select, and teaches the child about animal sounds, emotions, etc.

You can see that the different paws do different things – one plays lullabies, one sings songs, and one plays games. When you turn him on, he says, “Hi Carter! Wanna play?!”

It will, eventually, teach him to spell his name, and as his tastes change we can update the settings to talk about his new favorite food, Cherrios (it used to be milk, as that was all he “ate”), or a new favorite color.

Carter with Scout at 4 months old

Carter with Scout at 13 months old

C loves Scout now, in a “I want to take him everywhere” kind of way. He presses the paws and tries to repeat animal sounds and looks to the animal if it says his name from across the room.

He’ll continue to grow with the toy, as it teaches him to spell and about feeling happy and sad, about morning and evening activities (getting ready for bed, having breakfast, etc), and, at some point, we can let him tell us what his favorite food and colors are.

We love it.

There’s a female version for it, too. My Pal Violet.

We got ours on Amazon for $19.99, with free shipping because I am a proud Amazon Mom!

So there it is..my number one toy recommendation for babies through younger toddlers.

I hope your baby enjoys Scout as much as mine has!

 

sanity savers

Surprise! My sanity savers list includes things other than wine.

But before we get carried away by the practical, I was the fortunate recipient of adult “juice” boxes this holiday season. You read that right. The geniuses over there at Target have figured out another way to take my money and outclassed themselves yet again by offering their boxed wine varieties in 4-pack individual servings. Adult juice boxes. Perfect for a picnic, concert tailgate or to sneak into movie theaters. Or, you know, to stash in your desk at work for those days you come dangerously close to throwing your computer out the window.

And while I could obviously write an entire post on the merits of boxed wine, below are 9 things that as a new mom I absolutely, positively could not live without. I was (unfortunately…) not paid a dime to promote any of these products (although I’d accept payment in the form of adult juice boxes). They are legit sanity savers for me. Every. Single. Day.

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wishes do come true

I think I recall my husband bringing this to my attention in one of my half-asleep hazes on the couch one night while he perused The Consumerist, and by half-asleep haze I mean it was probably 8:30, I had done nothing but sit at a desk all day and maybe take a walk and I had been complaining since I walked in the door that I was exhausted, so it’s amazing he was still even attempting to communicate with me…but today Shauna Glenn reminded me yet again of how much she rocks by posting on Aiming Low about these beauties:

**Single serve wine glasses…**

…in other words, “juice boxes for winos.

The possibilities are really endless, especially if they expand the selection. Can’t wait for these bad boys to hop across the pond and show up on the shelves of my local Target!