Here are some items that we enjoy that I’d like to recommend (click photos for more info):
Edith & Mr. Bear by Dare Wright:Â I had an Edith book growing up, and still remember the lovely photos vividly. When I noticed this book at the library, I grabbed it for nostalgic reasons. However, the story affects Ruby like no other book we’ve read. In short, Edith breaks a valuable clock and lies about it. It bothers her so much she runs away, before coming back home to confess (at which point all is forgiven and she feels much better). Every time we read this book, Ruby cringes at the clock-breaking scene, and always points out that Edith is happy again once she comes clean. I think the moral is actually sinking in!
Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel: If, like me, you respect The Giving Tree but have read it a few too many times, look for this book. It covers the same basic theme, the relationship you can have with a tree as you grow up. It’s warm and real, and the end makes me choke up a little every time I read it to Ruby.
Radio Flyer All-Terrain Wagon:Â The day Steve went to buy a wagon, the only available one was this model. He hesitated at the cost but got it anyway, and we haven’t regretted it once. This thing will last forever, and the air-filled tires not only give a softer ride, they make the wagon much quieter. We left off the included wooden sidewalls so the wagon would fit in our car. It’s already replaced our stroller in most circumstances. Best use: the zoo, where kids are always hopping in and out.
Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets: Imagine a tater-tot-type nugget, but instead of greasy potato bits, it’s entirely filled with spinach! The battered exterior (and ketchup on the side) is enough to make Ruby think spinach nuggets are a special treat. This brilliant, freezable snack is available at our Safeway, so we don’t even have to go out of our way to get it.
Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat:Â We have never owned a highchair; this compact booster seat has been all we needed. We just strapped it to a chair in the dining room and put an office chair pad underneath to catch the crumbs. During Ruby’s messiest, table-licking phase, we even brought it to restaurants, where it was a much better alternative to the standard restaurant highchair (which has no tray). It’s height-adjustable, dishwasher safe, and relatively easy to carry around. Ruby’s still using it with the tray, and I expect she’ll use it as a booster seat even longer.
The First Years Take & Toss cups: The spill-proof cups are the best sippy cups we found. They’re sturdy, easy to hold, and give the right amount of flow. Later, Ruby graduated to the straw-top cups, which are surprisingly leakproof. They’re BPA-free, inexpensive, and Ruby enjoys choosing her cup and top colors. The suggestion that these cups are “disposable” makes me shudder. They actually last a long time (we’re still using our first set).