Monday, January 5, 2009

Our Favorite Things 2008

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Knob Puzzles--My mother-in-law introduced these to us, and I must say, they have been a huge hit with D. Easy to grasp, easy to maneuver. The only downside is that they don't slide into place as easy as other puzzles I've seen. Overall, though, these are the best puzzles I've seen for the 12-18 month crowd.

bumGenius 3.0--After my fabulous visit to Mama Papaya's house, these were a foregone conclusion. The woman makes cloth diapering look easier than, well, disposable diapering. These may not be her diaper of choice, but they have worked wonders for us. We've even moved on to *gasp* cloth wipes, and love those too. When my husband raves to his friends at work about how great cloth diapering is, you know it must be a piece of cake :).
Payless SmartFit Shoes--Okay, putting aside objections to the company itself, these shoes are affordable and functional, and offer some fairly stylish choices (mixed in with some complete duds, of course). We had a doctor, a therapist, and a person who works in therapy all separately endorse these shoes as having better support than the comparable Stride Rite, at a fraction of the cost. D has flat feet, and we've had great luck with these shoes.

GUND Alfie Bear--Check out this video if you haven't already. He's soft, he's cuddly, he's smooshable, he makes your little one's eyes sparkle. What's not to love? Thanks, Auntie Em!

Haba Discovery Blocks--Auntie Em (future accounting extraordinaire--only five more months, Em!--, part-time toy shop employee) gifted these to D on his first birthday, and he loves them. We have two other block sets, and these are by far his blocks of choice. Yes, there are only six, and I wish they were a bit larger, but what they lack in size and number they make up for in sheer intrigue. Fine motor skills, be on your guard. D loves to push the various buttons and beads, and the ringing yellow block is his favorite.

MacBook Pro--Have I mentioned how much I heart my husband? This was my birthday present this year. No, we couldn't afford it, and yes, dad, I know we're in a recession :). But, oh boy, this baby is pure joy, especially when you have a video camera that records in high def (*ahem* purchased before the recession, dad :) ). I have a special video to play on our one year famiversary, courtesy of the MacBook Pro. Be ready for it!

Honorable Mention

Kenmore 8 Gallon Humidifier--The first humidifier we used was a prize we won in a drawing at a well-known baby store. There was a reason they gave it away for free. The Kenmore was our second try, and it deserves an honorable mention for its ease of use, capacity, features, and affordability when compared to other, fancier brands. Things that kept it from being on the official list: The humidistat is located too close to the unit, so it doesn't get an accurate reading, and even with its 8 gallon capacity, I feel like I have to fill it up too frequently. Then again, that could be just how dry the air is in this condo. Overall, this is definitely a functional and affordable humidifier, even if there are things that could be improved.


Mark and Sarah said...

Great list!
We also love BG, however, I'm still not a fan of removing the inserts...yucky. Maybe we just get lazy and don't wash them often enough.

Thanks for the tip on Payless. We'll have to check those out.

Mama Papaya said...

A Macbook. Be still my heart. Good work Papa Peep!

So glad you are digging cloth. I am always fearful to recommend things lest I be publicly ostracized (no one buy a Bilibo!!) Cloth is great (and so is the Bilibo). It is just such a big initial investment. It is hard not to love the Fuzzi/Bum Genius buns. Those companies make cloth diapering so, so easy.

So the shoes. Are D's feet wide, normal, narrow? I would love to find a non $60 shoe for Miss Skinny Feet.

Christina said...

I hear you on the inserts, Sarah. I also think the flap in the back is completely unnecessary. I find it hard to believe the insert would "work its way out" without the flap; I've never had that problem with the three Fuzzi Bunz we have!

Carrie, I think D's feet are the normal width. And ouch on $60 shoes that kidlettes can only wear for a short amount of time! I'd say it's worth the $12 - $17 dollars to try out a SmartFit and see how it goes. Let me know if you do try them!

cathy said...

Ooooh, I like the Smart Fit kudos, as that's all our kids wear!!!

Jill said...

good to chat yesterday! loved this list ~ question about the sneaks, tho ~ B needs the double wide shoes (sounds like a bad joke, i know), that only stride rite carries as far as we've found...does Payless carry the WIDE WIDE versions too? ;) And YES ~ we heart melissa & doug BIG time...we own LOADS of their puzzles!

Marlene said...

Those shoes are pretty cute.!! Well, Payless is really a nice store for affordable shoes.