With schools struggling to keep the basics going every year, it takes a strong parental community to pitch in to help make up the rest. But fundraising doesn’t have to be about selling the most chocolate bars. At Oakwood School in North Hollywood, they’re hosting an annual Holiday Boutique on …
Paloma was a year before I reestablished a regular hiking schedule, but I finally feel like I’m in a groove. While hiking takes about two-and-a-half hours door to door – I’m a Runyon Canyon devotee – the benefits far outweigh the additional time I have to take out of our day. First, it’s an excellent workout for legs, arms, butt, and even your core if you engage it. (Moms-of-the-world, I need to apologize: I grossly underestimated how difficult it is to push a stroller and 20-plus pounds up a major incline.) And it’s fine on my knees, which have suffered having run nearly everyday for years. I also like that we can hike on our own schedule versus taking a class; baby and toddler schedules change all the time, and it’s easy to find yourself paying out monthly to a class you keep missing. Happily, P is content going along for the ride – she can people- and doggie-watch, and often takes a nap. That’s what I call win-win!
1) I have the City Mini Baby Jogger stroller ($250), which works well for me. There are jogger strollers that are more serious than this one – and more expensive – but this fits my purposes for hiking, three-mile runs, and lots and lots of daily walking around the city.
2) The Foogo by Thermos insulated straw sippy ($14) is wonderful for keeping milk cold for hours, even on the hottest summer days, and with minimal leaking (as long as the straw is properly placed). There are two downsides: first, it’s rather heavy for a 15 month old, especially if it’s full, so I really have to spot P while she’s drinking; and second, while the top is great for preventing drips and keeping the cold in, it could pinch little fingers. This is made worse by the fact that P loves to open and shut (“open” “shut” “open” “shut”) the lid. But, still, I highly recommend.
3) I’m a big fan of the Brita filtered water bottle ($10) because you can fill it up with ice and water (from the tap!) easily, plus, it’s squeezable and generously sized. There’s also a toddler water bottle that I’d love to try out as well.
4) I think it may be a rule that every baby must have one of these Munchkin Snack Catchers ($4) because they are so ubiquitous. Often I’m hiking right when P is ready for a late-morning snack, and you can throw all types of munchables in it.
5) Ever since we could put sunscreen on P at six months we’ve been using California Baby SPF 30+ with fantastic results – i.e., not even the slightest burn. It’s pricey ($20), but a bottle goes surprisingly a long way.
6) Unlike the snack catcher, I’ve never seen anyone else with Baby Buddy Secure-a-Toy ($5) snap tethers, and they’re awesome! I attach these things to the stroller, high chair, Ergo, and just about anything else I don’t want toys (or snack catchers) to fall. No more worries about dirty toys or whatever else you attach, and baby can just pull it back up to them.
7) If you haven’t invested in proper trail shoes, this is the time to do it. It can get slippery on all that gravel, and you don’t want to have a fall with the stroller. I have a good pair of Adidas that are a couple of years old. Here’s a current option that is actually a bit less bulky than my pair: Adidas AX1 Trail Shoes ($85)
8) I really never thought you’d ever find me wearing a sun hat with a strap, but it doesn’t matter how hot it gets, there’s often a tiny breeze which lifts the brim enough to lose the hat. Not such a big deal if you’re hands-free, but those days are over. I wear a hat I bought on vacation in Maui, but this UPF 40 Columbia sun hat ($21) looks like it would do the job. For P, I prefer a bonnet (protects from all sides in the front) with a snap (else she pulls it right off). Her current bonnet is from Janie & Jack (shown at the very bottom), purchased on sale some time ago, but I absolutely love, love, love this Urban Baby Bonnet ($38, shown below) in the most adorable bicycle print. Quite steep for a baby hat, but splurge-worthy in my book.
9) I felt a little weird buying Sasha’s sun, wind, and insect cover ($60). What’s with covering your kid like that, I imagined people thinking. But P was really bothered by the bug and gnat situation, so I felt I had no choice. I have to say, it was worth every penny because P is so much happier and more comfortable. It has UVA/UVB protection, keeps the bugs out, and she seems to be cooler. I do wish there was a strap at the bottom of it, however, as P will kick her feet and pull off the elasticized edge from time to time.
10) I have not tried the BuggyTug ($17), but I’ve been thinking I need something to connect me to the stroller just in case it ever got away from me. If anyone has, or can suggest another product, please let me know!