1. Tell the Wolves I'm Home was my favorite book this month, and maybe even this year. It is a coming-of-age novel that sweetly captures the moment when a child becomes an adult. Taking place in the 1980's when AIDS was first discovered, I found the setting to be a breath of fresh air (if I ever have to read another World War II novel again...). The story is about relationships - between angsty teenagers and their parents, between siblings, between popular kids and the D&D types, between strangers and friends - and it is about love and loss. The author did an amazing job capturing the thoughts and feelings of the typical teenage girl, and she truly spoke to my soul. If you are looking for an action-packed book, this isn't the right read for you. The story is told through art, love, imagination, and relationships, so only read it if you love these things.
2. Angel Dear Blankie. You know how sometimes you receive baby presents and you wonder if you really need them? Well, this snuggie was one of those items. I was just about ready to dismiss it all together when Everett formed a cute little attachment to his elephant Angel Dear Blankie. I am not sure why, but he started falling asleep easier when it was in his crib. The material is incredibly soft, and he kneads the fabric and rubs his eyes with it when he is falling asleep. AAAAND then we lost it. Luckily a little creative Google searching and Amazon.com came to the rescue. We ordered 2 more (one for backup). They come in a variety of colors and prints, so there is a special little character for every baby.
3. I always get excited when there is a pop music writer who truly understands music. The A-A-B-A format of popular music doesn't do it for me, and just because you have a pretty face, doesn't mean you know how to sing. This is why James Blake is a breath of fresh air. He's a talented singer, who also has a gift for electronic composition; each song is original and created by him alone. But what I like most about Blake is how easy the music is on the ears. These days my life is crazy, and having crazy music playing makes me want to jump off a bridge. Blake is JUST the right amount of creative. While he recently released his new album Overgrown, I prefer his last album simply titled James Blake. The new one seems appropriately titled, as many artists become overgrown after their talent makes them famous; their music is more produced, less organic, and creativity is limited in the fame game. That being said, Overgrown still far exceeds my expectations for pop music , and it is the perfect road trip album.
4. Gimme the Kidco Peapod! Destination wedding in Mexico next week! My brother is getting married, and Everett is coming with us. The week is PACKED with wedding activities, and "someone" is a jerk if he doesn't get his naps. "Someone" also likes having a designated nap area, and something like the Peapod is perfect. It packs up small for the suitcase, and assembles in a few short seconds. The size is big enough for a toddler, so Bebe has a fun place to sleep for years. Now that Everett is mobile, we can no longer stick him under desks to nap (power cords), and hauling the Pack N Play to Mexico is not ideal. Hello, solutions!
5. Dogeared.com carries my favorite casual jewelry. If you shop their charms, you are sure to find something appropriate for everyone you know. I bought the sand dollar stud earrings to remember our trip to Cannon Beach. I have incredibly sensitive ears when it comes to earrings. Seriously, once I had such a bad infection from an earring that I thought my earlobe was going to fall off. Strangers would look at me like I was a freak. However, I can leave these puppies in overnight without any allergic episodes.
6. I bought a new diaper bag! The Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Diaper Bag is a dream come true. Ample storage pockets and a convenient outer changing pad make mothering-on-the-go much less chaotic. There is a place for everything. It can be worn across the shoulder, as a handbag, or backpack. I have already received a TON of compliments on it. Fashion + function = Happy Ebble. Check out the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (cardholders start shopping on July 10th) to see if you can score one for a fraction of the price.
7. Traveling to the pool this summer? Don't forget sunscreen for Bebe. Try the natural and organic Episencial Sunny Sunscreen. No harsh chemicals for my baby! And we use the Bummis Swimmi Diaper for the pool.
8. On that note, don't forget water safety. Everett has been taking swim lessons through Infant Swim Resource for the last 2 weeks. Lessons are 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week. After 5 sessions, he was already floating in open water, and his strength outside the water increased by 100% (suddenly he was crawling/worming). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people drown each day. Our goal with swim lessons is for Everett to be able to save himself should he fall into water. So far, it is some of the best money we have spent.