My kid is growing like a weed and it seems to be happening faster than ever before. The crazy thing is that our Ped told us that the closer she came to her second birthday, the more her growth would slow down. Well, with as often as I’m having to pack away clothing and move the bean up to the next size, slowing down seems to be the opposite of what’s going on around here.
As I packed up yet another bag of clothes yesterday and took inventory of Gracie’s room, I realized that it’s been 9 months since my last “Favorite Things” post so this update is way over due! Below are this mama’s MUST have items for my little gal from around months 11 to 17. If there are any “must haves” that you swear by (or things that just make the day-to-day easier as a busy parent), I would love to hear all about them. :)
Here are ours in no particular order:
:: iTunes Learning apps ::
Grace is obsessed with mommy’s ipad. So much so that Georgia has to wait until the bean is asleep to play her own games and only dare take it out during the day if she’s prepared to have a little ipad quality time with Grace, hehe. Below are Gracie’s top 3 favorite ipad learning apps. If you have any you love that aren’t listed, do share!
PBS Kids: this app allows you to watch videos from your favorite educational PBS KIDS shows like Sesame Street, The Cat in the Hat and Dinosaur Train. The app features more than 1,000 videos and it’s free!
Farm School: This app is specially designed for toddlers. By completing different tasks, toddlers learn about animals living on the farm. There are tons of activities and the graphics are awesome. This app costs less than a dollar.
Goodnight Safari: This app is an interactive story that helps children relax instead of hyping them up with load noises and crazy graphics before bed. Toddlers get to help each animal complete a task before the animal falls asleep. This has been a great alternative to the traditional bedtime story for Grace. The illustrations are beautiful and it’s free!
:: Annie’s Homegrown Organics ::
These canned meals are a total time saver and bonus – they’re GOOD! I tend to feel guilty when I notice that I’m feeding Grace the same thing for lunch, week after week. Not only am I sure that she gets sick of eating the same meal… I also get sick of making the same thing! That’s what makes these meals perfect for changing things up a bit. Each meal is certified organic, more than 90% of the packaging is recyclable and there is absolutely no GMO’s in any Annie’s meals! Gracie’s favorite is the Cheesy Ravioli but she also likes the P’sghetti Loops and Bernie O’s!
:: Little Tikes Deluxe Ride & Relax Wagon ::
The bean’s wagon was her Christmas gift from Santa back in December and to be honest, we didn’t really use it until just a few months ago. Now that we’ve started using it, we use it all the time! Here are five reasons I LOVE this wagon: 1) it converts to a bench with seating for 2-3 kiddos 2) it has an umbrella, which keeps my fair skinned gal out of the sun 3) it comes with a cooler that keeps drinks and snacks cold for hours 4) it has two bucket seats with drink holders and seatbelts and 5) it has a storage bin in the middle for Gracie’s toys.
:: Crocs ::
Georgia loves Crocs and has several pairs so when Grace came along I knew she would eventually be rocking Crocs like her mommy. These shoes were great for the bean as she was learning to walk because they were wide and allowed her to spread her little toes for better footing. She has several pair all of which were very inexpensive and have been used as everyday footwear and water shoes!
:: Ziploc Space Bags ::
Originally, I stored the clothing that Grace out grew in large plastic bins. I figured that if I used the long and short bins I would have more room for storage. Well… as the picture below shows, that was not the case. The bins were just high enough to NOT fit under beds as advertised and completely filled Gracie’s closet by the time she was 8 months old.
Per the recommendation of my lady, I’ve since begun transferring all of my bins to Space Bags and so far, what previously filled Gracie's entire closet now takes up less than half the space it did! Space Bags are easily vacuumed sealed, airtight, watertight and reusable. AND you can buy a pack of 3 for like 15 bucks!
On a side note… if we don’t one day have another girl and reuse some of the adorable hand-me-downs we were given, I’ll be very sad.
:: Bright Baby First Learning Books ::
Grace LOVES her Bright Baby Big Board book and so do we! Big Board First 100 Words features 100 everyday words for children to learn and help build their vocabulary. The books are built sturdy enough to withstand everything that Grace can dish out, i.e. throwing, chewing, spit, etc. In reading her First 100 Words book just once a day, she was able to identify nearly every picture by around 15 months. Now we’re working on identifying and saying the name for each. :)
:: LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket ::
This picnic basket is a HUGE favorite in our house! It’s designed to help little learners explore shapes, colors, manners and more. There are over 30 audio responses that encourage pretend play, and the 14-piece set helps kiddos build motor skills as they sort, match, stack, empty and fill. I for one LOVED to play kitchen when I was little, so I get a huge kick out of the pretend food that comes with this learning toy. Grace’s favorite thing is to take the cups out of her basket and serve us drinks. :)
For favorite things I (0-3 months) click here
For favorite things II (4-7 months) click here
For favorite things part III (8-12 months) click here