The stuff that lasts

I have been meaning to write this post for a while. To share with you the select few baby/toddler items that have been thoroughly tested by my boys and survived, been well worth their money, provided endless entertainment, or warmth or comfort. So here you have it. (and no, I am not being paid by anyone to say this or given any free stuff. But I would like to be paid and given free stuff if anyone knows anyone and reads this.)

Splendid baby clothes – I must admit that these were handed down to me for Ben from a very generous and loving acquaintance. I’m not sure I could have splurged on these originally because the price is quite high, but seeing how much use they have gotten from both my boys, and presumable another one before. And another one coming, I just might in the future. The cotton is the softest in the world. Lasts through literally hundreds of washes, and are my boys favorite “cozy pants.” They are not technically suited for sleepwear because they are not tight fitting, but perfect for an afternoon nap for your not so weeeee little one. My favorites are the long sleeve top and long pants. The boys have worn those so much more than any short sleeve or one piece snap up versions. On a side note, my husband, who is on a life long quest for the perfect cotton, comfortable clothing has been asking for YEARS why they don’t make it in his size. I have just neglected to tell him that they do for fear of how that would impact my part of the clothing budget. I casually, and accidentally pointed out the Splendid outlet store to him this weekend and he was sooooo happy. And the outlet prices were great. And the cotton was soooo soft. I bought a scarf. And I feel like I am tucked into a cozy bed when I am wearing it.

Vans slip ons – I bought a pair early on with Ben, and literally have a pair every other size from toddler size 5-10. They are easy to get on. Durable. Washable. Comfortable (according to my boys). Enough said. And I would say the same thing about Crocs.

REI Toddler Fleece Jacket – I bought this before a winter trip to Colorado for Ben and thought it might have been a waste of money at the time. But he got so much use out of it even here in California. And it’s now been passed down to Lyle. The zipper is sturdy (more than one of the boy’s regular sweatshirts have broken zippers). It’s warm. Hasn’t held stains. And kept its color and shape after 1000 washes.

Fireman costume – This is clearly a personality thing, seeing that Ben LOVES to dress up in costumes. And it all started with this one. I have a size 2-4, that was generously handed down from the same blessed acquaintance mentioned above. It is made out of sturdy canvas. With metal closures. Reflective striping. Solid red suspenders. A hat that hasn’t cracked. And is just all around confortable and fun. Ben wears it like he wears any other pair of jeans or jackets. He looks at me funny when people comment on his “costume” because he’s so use to wearing it, it doesn’t feel like a costume. I splurged and bought him the size 4-6 a couple months ago and it is already well loved. And now Lyle gets the size 2. (on a side note, I did have to have a rather lengthy discussion with Ben about how even though it looks JUST LIKE A REAL FIREMAN suit, it is not fire proof. And he is not allowed to fight any fires in it. He still brings this up for debate from time to time.) Also, there is a jacket that he just doesn’t have on in the picture.

REI backpack – Another random (at the time) REI purchase. But I just LOVE how well made and useful their adult clothing and gear is and same goes for the kids versions. I bought the back pack really just for fun for Ben, and because I thought it was so cute. But MAN have we used it EVERYDAY for the last three years. By the time Ben was 18-20 months old, I didn’t really need a full diaper bag for him when we were out an about. Just a diaper or two, some wipes and a small snack. And this back pack is the perfect size for that. And it actually fit him really well and he loved wearing it and buckling the little clasp in front. So I kind of made it a practice for him to carry his “stuff.” And now that Lyle is big enough, he carries it. I kind of feel like if you are two, and still in diapers, you need to carry them yourself. Sorry boys. I’m hard core like that. Also, it is part of our airplane packing strategy. I pack the same every time and it works. Depending on the length of the flight, I fill the back pack with snacks, wipes and two diapers. The kids roll on suit case carries coloring books, a change of clothes for all of us (b/c I have been peed on or spit up on more than one flight), several extra diapers, and the DVD player. At their ages, the boys can carry these two items themselves through the airport which is sooooo helpful. I just have my purse filled with reading material for the flight….whahahahaha.

*I might have accidentally left this amazing backpack on the roof of Gregs car and driven off a couple months ago. I SEARCHED the internet and eBay for a replacement one and it’s as if we owned the only one in existance. I bought a similar North Face version which is working just fine. But I liked the REI one better.

Toddler suitcase – I bought this one at Target. The boys use it for sleep overs at Aunties, any air travel as mentioned above, and endless hours of entertainment rolling it up and down the hall. You know your husband travels too much when your 4 year old knows how to pack a suit case and buckle his backpack (laptop bag) to the handle of the suit case for ease of travel through the airport.

Toys…I must admit that I am a compulsive toy closet cleaner outer. I’m sure there are 1,000 toys or toy pieces that have come in and gone out of our house. The few that have lasted the test of time are the ukulele (that greg bought at the flea market), Legos of all sizes, painters tape (we use it for all sorts of building projects, art, etc.), tape measures, old cell phones, shape puzzle, shovels, rakes and garden gloves, and a huge Thomas the train set passed down from our nephews.

Funny that most of these pictures are older ones of Ben.

Hope this is helpful. Do you have any favorites for your kids?!?!