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!
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.