Yes. Or at least a nicer, less controlling, worry-less one. Introducing my Shark Hand-held Vacuum or "Shark" as he's affectionately known in my home. Dorky me asked for him for my birthday, knowing that he would change my life. And he did. I no longer cringe when food gets thrown on the floor, when cheerios are mashed into the carpet, when dirty shoes walk on my nicely swept floor or when food goes flying in the carseat. Nope. I sit back and let it happen and then I "shark it". Shark It has become a new slang in our house. It's synonomous with "don't worry about it! I'll get it. Pet hair on the couch? No bother. Window sills a little dusty? I'll get them too. Tight corners, carpeted stairs, nothings too much for me now". You can get your own at Fred Myer.
You know those things that begin with "I'll never..." before you have kids? Well, a snack trap was one of those things for me. Until I saw the light. Little Boy got one for Christmas and suddenly carseat snacks, snacks in the stroller, and outside snacks were never the same! I thought "how hard can it be to train a little boy to hold a cup of snacks?" Well? HARD. So glad the Snack Trap was invented by some genious mom somewhere. Thank you, genious mom.
* You can get them from Along Comes a Baby out on Bakerview or online at One Step Ahead.
We received a gift certificate for Easy Entrees when Little Boy was born and we finally got around to using it AND...I'm in love! E.E. is locally owned by Evelyn (a sweet grandmother who told me she tests all her recipes on her grandkids!) and she offers a ton of different options.
* We had a gift certificate for 7 meals and then we bought two more while we were there. We brought just a cooler, and she provided the rest. We were able to divide our meals into smaller servings (2, sometimes 3) and we walked away with 22 frozen meals that we picked out and taylored to our tastes. It took about 1 1/2 hours and it's not easily done with babies, so get a babysitter and have an evening to yourselves.
* Baby Showers. Evelyn says "Baby showers are a great way to honor a second or third time mom who probably has all the receiving blankets and bibs she needs. Set a date. Invite her friends who can donate what they would normally spend on a gift. Have the new mom select the entrées she’d like. Arrive at The Easy Entrée with some snacks and beverages. The Easy Entrée puts on the music and sets out the stemware, plates and napkins. The expectant mom visits with her friends while they create her entrées. Everyone has a great time, she has a freezer full of food to help her through those first few months, and no one has to clean their house (before or afterwards) to host the party." (I'm soooo begging for this next time).
* Evelyn also offers kids sessions for ages 3 and up. The next session starts June 14th.
The details: Choose from 16 different entrées each month, including vegetarian and gluten-free options (the menu is listed on the site). The meals are $3 per serving. Or, for an additional charge, we’ll make them for you, ready to pick up. To learn more go to www.TheEasyEntree.com, email ContactUs@TheEasyEntree.com, or call 360-734-5502. Locally owned and independently operated since 2004. Located at 4163 Hannegan Road near Bakerview.
The choice of a good photographer was a difficult one for us. I wanted it all - beautiful photos, someone who came to me, a myriad of different types (none of them posed) and especially ones that truly captured out kiddo. All that on a CD so I could make my own copies without paying that high, high price. Well, I found it. Her name is Sandi Heinrich. She came to our house, took some time getting to know our little one (so her photos could really capture his personality) and after about 1 1/2 hours, I got about 120 pictures on a CD a few weeks later. I'm in love. http://www.sandiheinrich.com/
I am a big fan of buying and supporting local stores. I can't say I have been to every baby-type store far and wide in Whatcom county, but of the ones I've perused, here are my faves...
Bellingham Baby Company It seems I love all things unique. And if you are looking for unique, handmade items, BBC is the place to shop. I love that the owners are local parents and that most of their items are handmade, by moms!
Along Comes a Baby I love the catalog One Step Ahead. While I like to laugh at a few things in that catalog, some of them are invaluable to me (say, Snack Trap?). So when Along Comes a Baby opened it's doors and I found out that many of my all time favorites can be found there, and more (say, Snack Trap lids?) I was hooked! http://alongcomesababy.com/
Plus, you can register for your baby showers (supporting local stores) and they offer great services like car seat safety night. Love it.
Little Bugs Who doesn't like consigning? I love to shop it and I love to drop off stuff there. I like Little Bugs because I feel they take high quality items, so the rumaging and trying to keep my little one's hands off of every rack is something I don't have to worry about at Little Bugs. They have a great (and big) toy corner where Little Boy can entertain himself while I shop or drop stuff off. http://littlebugsbellingham.com/
Happiness is...my birdhouses. I think Little Boy's first word was birdie (bubie) and he and I have been hooked ever since. I got an Audubon Bird Book and I have been dutifully marking our birds (only rule: it has to be ON the birdfeeder) and we've seen 29 varieties to date. Among them, cute chickadees, Washington State bird; the goldfinch, and some awesome woodpeckers. Even the Woody the Woodpecker type one day! Oh glory.
I love one stop shopping, so when I found the site www.momadvice.com, I jumped for joy. This site has wonderful advice on the little things all the way up to the big stuff - living green, easy printables, and some of the best mom-articles I've read.
And within momadvice, Amy Clark writes the most inspiring blog (The Motherload) about her daily life of living green, frugally, and lovingly with children. The best part? She gives us actual nuggets of advice and things to think about that we can apply to our daily lives. http://www.momadvice.com/blog/
Another site I visit almost daily? www.babycheapskate.com It's a well run, well informed site for all us..ummm...budget conscious moms out there. Who doesn't love a good deal?