Friday, February 21, 2014

Surviving the winter with Cuddl Duds

Cuddl Duds long underwear
This winter has been an exceptionally cold one, in fact it has probably been the coldest in my lifetime and it's been a real challenge keeping my little one warm and protected from the elements.  Although there are plenty of winter clothes out there for toddlers, the trick is to find the right garments that balance warmth, comfort and safety. A lot of kiddie winter outfits are bulky but not really warm so  I decided the best thing would be to dress her in warm layers starting with long underwear (thermals).

When I first started shopping for these, she was still wearing clothing in size 18m and no matter how hard I searched, I simply couldn't find any thermal clothing for her size. Everything I found was either in really tiny infant sizes or really larger toddler sizes. I guess the manufacturers believe that 18 month olds don't need to be warm? Not entirely sure.   Either way I pretty much gave up looking for these until I stumbled across the Cuddle Duds brand in a Kohl's store.  Even though they didnt have anything in her size, they did at least have a 2T/3T size which I decided to try out. They had two different types of long underwear sets; a silky touch 100% polyester fabric and a cotton/poly blend textured thermal fabric. I decided to get one of each to try out. I bought one in parasol pink and one in the fairisle stripe pattern

I was worried these would be way too large for my toddler, but interestingly enough they worked out fine. Yes the bottoms are a bit long, but because they are very fitted towards the cuffs, we figured a way to make them work and she has grown a lot in the last few months. The photo below shows my daughter wearing the 2T/3T size thermals. She was 20 months old at the time.

The silky touch version is by far the best, they are easy to clean and come out of the laundry looking new. They also feature a roll over wrist cuff  to keep her little hands warm. This set is so awesome I ended up looking for the adult version and getting the black set for myself.

On the other hand,  I didn't really love the cotton/poly blend thermal set in the patterned print. Not at all.  It is just not really ideal for a messy toddler. The fabric is difficult to maintain because it stains really easily, and after only a few months it already looks like we have had it for years, especially the white neckline and cuffs.

Overall I'm glad I found the silky touch sets for my daughter and myself. They are so comfortable and most importantly they keep us warm!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Expanding her little library

Last spring I posted about the making of a mini library for my daughter and how we had set up two shelves on the wall to store and display her books. We had about eight books at that time and they fit comfortably on the shelves. Since then we have added several new books to her collection and as you can see from the photos below, we are in dire need of additional shelving. It is now a really tight squeeze to fit all the books on the shelves; a trip to IKEA is long overdue! The next time we go there, we will look out for other book storage options as well to keep up with her ever growing book collection.

I love when people buy books for my daughter, I believe books are the absolute best gift to receive,  because they are timeless and can be read over and over, and over again! Most of the new books we have, were gifts from family, but a few of them were purchased by me. One of my favorite purchases is the book Of Thee I sing by President Barack Obama. He wrote this book as a letter to his daughters and I love everything about it. It is quite large for a child's book but very well made. It has a dust cover and the most adorable illustrations. Best of all it provides an encouraging and inspiring message for little ones and also educates them about iconic historical figures. Most importantly this book teaches about tolerance  and acceptance. I definitely recommend this book to all parents.

In addition to this book we added several others to our collection;

Perfect piggies- This is a fun little board book by the same author of Moo, Baa, La la la, it has a fun cut out on the cover page and cute rhyming lines.

The very hungry caterpillar I believe this is my daughters favorite book right now. This book is appealing to her because several of the pages have holes cut out and she loves sticking her fingers in the holes.

Animal babies- This book is just wonderful, We received this a gift from my sister. It combines all the features I love in a baby book. It has textured pages, rhyming lines and also a count up. The pages are very thick so I know they will endure years of rough handling.

Once upon a potty- This is an awesome 'play a sound' book that combines a short story about potty training with fun sounds. We received this book from my daughter's godmother and it quickly became her official potty training book. Her face lights up every time she sees it, she loves the story and especially loves pushing the buttons and hearing the sounds

Guess how much I love you- This story is so sweet but unfortunately I think its a bit too long winded for a toddler. My daughter always gets bored half way through so I have summarize it and skip several pages. I also think the lack of contrast on the pages makes this book less appealing to her.

Beginner bible study guide- This is a book that we get from church, we are given a new book every 3 months. Each book contains three simple lessons revolving around stories from the bible.  The content is geared towards children from ages 0 to 2 years.

Sesame street collection -We already have two books in the sesame street collection that we received as gifts; My daughter pays close attention when reading these books since she loves the sesame street characters.

Peek-a-Boo, Baby! Animals- This book has bright glossy pages and large flaps with fun pictures hidden behind them. This is geared more towards a younger child but my daughter still loves it!

We also received three christmas books last december, two were from her daycare and one from her grandmother. As a christian, christmas is kind of a tricky subject. I see it as a pagan holiday disguised as a christian event, doubled disguised as a secular holiday. If you care to dig enough, you may find that before Santa and christmas trees, christmas was once about the birth of christ, and long before then it was a pagan celebration. Jesus wasn't even born on christmas day!  Having said that I appreciated all the books we received on the subject, and I did read them to my daughter because they are still good works of fiction.

'Twas the night before christmas -There are many versions of this book, we have the version illustrated by Mike Artell. My mother gave this to us last december. My daughter loves the pictures and the the glow in the dark pages.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Santa's big day - One of her daycare teachers gave us this book as a gift. We weren't expecting anything from her so it was a nice surprise. This is a board book containing a short story of everything Santa does to prepare for his big day.

Holiday babies by Charles Reasoner- This book was also a gift from her daycare. It has a short rhyming story about holiday babies!

It is great to see her library growing so rapidly! I hope to someday have an entire room in our home dedicated to books!