Thursday March 18, 2010

March 18th was the due date for my first baby, Covenant Hope. Two years ago. Two whole years ago. Anyway, this is the third time I have come upon her due date, and the first one where I didn’t wake up in tears about it. I don’t know if I like that or not, it’s just simply a fact.

But at this moment, I am celebrating life. There is a little boy in the other room, not anxious to get out of his crib in the morning. He loves to spend forever playing with his fuzzy white bear, little moo-cow, and music box blue elephant — in his crib. No matter if he needs a diaper change or not. He loves to play and jibber-jabber in there and move aside the blinds to look out the window near his crib so he can watch trucks going by. (He doesn’t know it’s trash day, but he will be loving that in about two hours!!)

This is life. This is a miracle-boy whose life goes against the odds. This is my son whose very existence is God-breathed, continuously. This is the baby who only exists because his big sister left the earth far too early.

So yes, I miss Covenant. I miss having a March baby. I miss the things I would’ve, could’ve done with her.

But I never take for granted the fact that Gabriel is here, really, because she isn’t.
And because, obviously, our God is good.

So in honor of Covenant, and celebrating her little brother’s life today, I am sharing a few of our favorite things in the world of parenthood. Enjoy.

These are a Few of Our Favorite Things

People have not infrequently asked me what some of my favorite things have been that I’ve used with my baby over the last two years. So I compiled a list (complete with links) for your perusal. These are things that I highly recommend. They’ve got the redhead stamp of approval, lol. : ) These make great things for baby shower requests/registries, and Christmas/birthday lists as well—for you or your baby.

Blankies!!—Made by Grandmama, about ¼ the size of most fuzzy blankets you’d have a kid sleep with, trimmed with satin edging. We’ve got four of them: one in the car, one in the diaper bag, one in the crib, one in Gabriel’s hand (however, occasionally, one or more is in the hamper!).

Pediped shoes—We’ve had lots of these as Gabriel has grown, and they have proven to be not only super adorable but super durable. Now his cousin wears the hand-me-downs, and maybe someday a little brother will wear them. Because, yes, they are that durable.

Stonz boots—Just so clever, so convenient, so mommy-friendly. Especially if you need to quickly run from muddy outside to the potty, they come off super fast thanks to the handy toggles. We have loved these in snow, rain, mud, even just dust.

Prorap diaper covers—These are a blessing. No leaks, no blow-outs, easy to use, easy to wash, they work like brand-new even after months of usage. Excellent diapers, especially since they are excellent on the budget!

Calmoseptine—The best diaper rash cure I’ve found. And trust me, my kid teeths practically nonstop, and whenever he’s teething, we need diaper rash help.

PlanToys toys—Moms love durability and safety, kids love fun! These guys have got everyone pleased.

Sandra Boynton board books—Our little library has quite a few of these, and they always seem to be the biggest hit. We’re now starting to share the Boynton-love with our niece & nephews!

Bumbo seat—Gabriel started using this when he was 3 or 4 months old, and it became a lifesaver for both dvd time and food time (when he was 9 months). It really helped him develop his neck and tummy muscles when he was young. It works as a great booster seat at home and as a take-with-you highchair substitute. Our almost-two-year-old is average size for his age, and I don’t see him outgrowing this thing yet!

Babyhawk mei tai—Quite possibly my all-time favorite baby carrier. It just seems the most beautiful (lovely fabrics to choose from), versatile (front, back, or hip carry), and user-friendly (two simple knots and you’re done). Ours is reversible, with stripes on one side (hubby loves that) and flowers on the other. It can be used from newborn (I didn’t get it until my baby was about three months old but I’ve got friends who’ve used them from day one) all the way up through toddler. I still use it on my 27 pound little boy, and he loves riding around on my back.

Ellaroo wrap—I started out with a stretchy jersey knit wrap, and although I liked it for about a month, I didn’t like it once my baby started to gain weight. So I found a substitute, this wonderful handwoven linen wrap that won’t stretch out during a day of babywearing. This is the carrier that best aided sleeping for my baby (which was helpful because he wanted to be held 24/7 as a small baby, and this allowed me to hold him while cooking, cleaning, exercising, etc). He loved to nap in this wrap! He felt secure and safe, and the linen kept him cool enough he didn’t sweat a lot, even when we were traipsing around Barcelona. Plus, it’s beautiful, and can make a lovely accessory, especially if you’re running errands and taking baby in & out a lot.

Britax carseat—Safety is important, especially when strapping your kid into the car. Side impact protection is a huge factor, and Britax has found a solution. These seats are big and sturdy, and will last a kid for years. It’s a great investment. They are cute, comfortable, easy to use, and it fits great even in our small sedan as a rear-facing seat.

Beaba Babycook baby food maker—There’s nothing like homemade food. We all know it. So why would you give your baby canned food when it’s not what you’d want to eat for dinner? Well, usually the reason is because it takes too much time or is too complicated to make your own baby food. Hah! Not anymore. When Gabriel was first eating solids, I made him delicious fresh purees. Some I made fresh every day (fruits), and others I made in batches (veggies and meat) every week or two, and froze them in ice cube trays. Nothing could possibly be more healthy & handy. And this baby food maker makes it a cinch. Now I still use it to steam veggies and make occasional purees! I even use it to make smoothies for myself. : )

Gymboree’s clearance rack at the mall—Style and fashion. There you have it. : ) But the clearance rack is what helps out the pocketbook. Looking ahead toward the long-term, shopping for clothes at WalMart does not pay off in my book. I like to buy well made clothing that will last through my kids as well as my brother’s kids (since we share stuff). The Gymboree clothing (which is probably 75% of Gabriel’s wardrobe) that I am getting back from my sister-in-law as my nephew outgrows it, looks practically as good after two boys’ usage as it did when I took off the tags. What a blessing! Because, let’s be honest: who has time to mend baby clothes, and who wants to be wasting money to buy a new wardrobe for every baby?!

3 Replies to “Thursday March 18, 2010”

  1. I’ve never heard of Stonz Boots! Now I’m curious and will go check them out. Especially since you said they’re so convenient for Mommy 🙂 

    Praying for you on this very difficult day 

  2. *Hugs* 🙂 just because…

    I love reading your special thoughts on Gabriel. Makes me smile and rejoice for you.

    I have heard some great things about the Bumbo seat and the Mei Tai baby carriers especially. It was fun reading your little mini reviews on everything 😉

  3. Now that I have a few more minutes, I enjoyed this read and thought I’d comment more 🙂 

    oh, I have to say your comment about Gymboree comment made me smile b/c its one of my all time favorite stops for the kids! 

    I have had several moms make passing comments to me about how they’d NEVER shop there with the amount they’d have to drop, but I think I’m here to say, you can shop there on a very tight budget! I joined their rewards club (for free) and now I get rewards and extra special coupons in the mail, for even on sale items! I just love the quality you get in the clothing and how many children can share them. Kara is wearing outfits that my 7 year old niece once wore, then my 4 year old niece wore them, then Rachel wore them and now Kara is wearing them… and people that see her think we just bought them! I like that 
    So far, I’ve not been a fan of the Bumbo, but only because my kids haven’t been. I do like the idea. Rachel hated it and Kara learned how to flip and climb out of it before she learned how to sit on her own. So I ended up giving mine away to a friend before we moved. I am determined to get and learn how to properly use the Mei Tai carrier with our (Lord willing) future children. Those look positively comfortable for Mama and baby. I have an Ellaroo and loved it! 
    We had a Britex for Ethan and as much as I thought it looked super nice… I haven’t been able to tell a difference between it and, say, Grecos. They’re really pricey too and I was told by a police officer that you’re not supposed to buy used car seats, so that sort of took care of that in our house. We went back to the cheaper brands. Though the Britex DO look very nice. 
    I’m a huge fan of homemade blankets!! Each of our children have had one or two made for them and they are the most special blankets. I can never get rid of them and I love stuff that is so sentimental I have to keep it. Mrs. Gannaway made one for Ethan, 2 family members made blankets for Rachel and then a friends at church made one for Kara and Laura G. either made one for Kara or gave us one that a lady made for Kara… can’t remember how it worked out. Anyway, they’re all so very special to us and my kids are STILL using them on their beds every night 
    This was a super fun post – thanks! 

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