donderdag 26 juli 2012

Stuff I love to have with kids

Four years ago, Big Man and I became parents to Little Man, our oldest. What a world opened up to us. The possibilities, but also the choices, were endless.
When my ovaries started ticking, I did not have a clue what it would be like to have kids. We were the second ones to get pregnant in our friend group, and it was inventing one thing after the other. We had to make so much choices! Most of the choices were made for us. Imagine, we were both just working for a year or two, just got married (we were living together for a couple of years before our wedding), and just bought a house. Our life was in a rush. And then we got pregnant. Money was tight for us before getting kids, but it got even more tighter after having kids. Most choices we made were due to finances, but I have to admit, I am so glad I made some choices because of the lack of money as I see now around me how much money is spent on things that are either way overrated in my opinion or are not necessary at all.
As you know, I mentioned a couple of times I like the concept "reuse, reduce, recycle" and that is what we had in mind getting stuff ready for Little Man. This concept stays with us even now, with Little Lady running around.
These things are the thing I really LOVE as a parent. They are not in a particular order. No countdown, they are all important in the lives of the four people living in this house.

Babysigning! We got involved with this when our babysitter got a kid from Rumania who also had to learn Dutch. Little Man loved the "game with hands" as he was two years old when we started. But, now that we are using it really much with Little Lady, we see that it helps a lot with communicating. We started out with Lotte en Max but also got the "original" by Lyssa Zeviar. One moment which made me realize it really helps was when Little Man and I were in the garden and he saw something and pointed to it. I started guessing what it was but it was all wrong. I could see him getting frustrated (you know, the two year old frustration kind) and suddenly he signed "butterfly". He could not say it, but he could sign it. And now with Little Lady we really see how it helps communicating with her.

Breastpumps! Every breastfeeding, working mom needs one. My Medela Swing still makes noise, but I used it till it almost died. The motor faintly works. With Little Lady I "spoiled" myself and got a double sided breastpump (Ameda Lactaline). Never regretted it. Little Man stopped breastfeeding at 2 years old, and Little Lady and I are still going strong after 1.5 years.

Cloth diapers! Aren't they the cutest? This is a prefold. The cheapest kind. You use this with a cover and they are done. Just throw them in the washing machine. Never have to worry about going to the store. Little Man was full time in cloth, Little Lady parttime, since she pees like a madman during the night.

Cloth wipes! Who needs to buy all these wipes for faces? We do not. After dinner, make one wipe wet, and all cheeks and faces are clean. And they get washed with the bibs.

Co-sleeper. I love you. You made my nights soooooo much easier. I am really happy that you spend a full year next to my side of the bed keeping Little Lady company.

The different kinds of cups we bought. Bowls for fruits, bowls for raisins, cups to drink, and cups to go to school. From left to right: Ikea cups, Nuby bowls, Little One Green Bottle, Hema bowls and Tupperware cups.

Ikea chest with drawers. We did not get a changing table or chest. We got these! We started out with one and since these are a bit higher that normal changing chests we got lots of compliments how comfortable it was to change on these chests. And they are cheaper. To the right you can see our rocking chair. We both used it since day 1. Absolutely love this chair. We got it as a wedding present. So many hours we spend in this chair, rocking to shush, to feed, to talk and to cuddle.

Little Man's walking bicycle. He got this for his second birthday. He loved it from day one and it helped him with his stability, his experience with how to cross the street and go as fast as he could. And now, at four years old, he is cycling on a real bike without aid of side wheels.

Teva sandals! Absolutely adore them for kids. Mud, rain, sand, grass whatever, they can cope with everything. And they are easy to clean.

Wooden toys. We are not a Waldorf family, but we really like wooden toys. They are are a bit more expensive, but more durable.

Wraps! From top to bottom: Kozy Carrier, Neobio ringsling, Hoppediz Das Leichte, Didymos standard, Girasol standard, Ellevil Zara. These wraps were used on a daily basis when Little Lady was born. Still use them, but not as much as in the baby period. They kept my hands free for other things such as running after Little Man.

Lots of things we got secondhand, such as a crib/bed, clothes and a pushing chair. Really, I think we should all think about how much we spent. It doesn't have to be expensive, but people tend to push and nag eachother and brag about the stuff they buy. Fortunately this doesn't happen in our friend circle, but I have heard stories about it. Thousands of euros are spend, but really, I think in all, for two kids, we spend about 500-700 euro for the basic things for two kids. The most expensive things were the diapers!

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