• Children

    5 of Our Favorite Bedtime Books

    Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. For more information, click here.

    Every night at bedtime, Gavin picks a book (or three) and settles in my lap while we read books together. We’ve read a lot of books, but we do have a few favorites that we read over and over… and over! Gavin has a nice collection of books to choose from, and we’re always adding more books. The books listed below are ones we own and have read numerous times. We do check books out at the library a lot, and we usually read those at night too. I’m not including any of those on this list, but I definitely recommend using your local library to find new books to read together.

    5 of Our Favorite Bedtime Books:

    1. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

    2. The Goodnight Train

    3. Steam Train, Dream Train

    4. The Going-To-Bed Book

    5. Goodnight Moon

  • Children

    10 of Our Favorite Board Books

    Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. For more information, click here.

    Gavin reading his books | rainerlife.com

    Books! Gavin and I love looking at books! During the day, sometimes we look at books together and sometimes he likes to look at books by himself. In his room, he has a shelf of board books, plus a few of his favorite paperback books. I keep all the other children’s books in the living room and office/play room. We usually read one or two books together during the day, and another one or two books in the evening. He has been known to pull all the books off a shelf and sit and look at book after book. It’s so fun to watch him! He’ll even grab one of his favorite paperbacks and take it to “read” on the sofa… he definitely takes after his mama. We have several favorites, and below are ten board books that we’ve read many times. We are starting to read more paperbacks than board books, but we still have our favorite board books that we go back to again and again. I usually let Gavin pick out which books to read, so the ones listed below are the board books he most often chooses to read together.


    1. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle – We also have Little Blue Truck Leads the Way. Gavin picks them to read about the same amount of time. There are others also, but we only own two Little Blue Truck books. Definitely favorites for my little boy.

    2. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle – We love Eric Carle books! This one is a favorite because we do all the motions together, and Gavin thinks it’s hilarious!

    3. Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw – There are other “Sheep” books, but this is the only one we own. Can’t speak for the other books, but this one is fun to read.

    4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – There’s a reason this book has been so popular for over 45 years! It’s a classic, and a good one for your child’s library.

    5. Robots, Robots Everywhere by Sue Fliess – Gavin loves robots, so this is a favorite because he likes to talk about all the different robots.

    6. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen – Another classic I recommend for a child’s library. Gavin was on a kick a while back where he picked this book out every time I asked him what he wanted to read.

    7. Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Stan Berenstain – We got this one for free at a library event, and Gavin loves it! This is our only Berenstain Bears books, and it’s a short fun read.

    8. Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi – This is part of a series on behavior – other books include biting, kicking, and yelling. I got this book when Gavin was starting to hit us or others when he was playing, and I didn’t want him to think it was okay to keep hitting. It’s a great book, and one he ends up picking to read a lot. Which surprised me, but I guess that means it works.

    9. Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton – We have this one, plus six other Sandra Boynton books. Gavin goes through phases where different ones are favorite, but lately he’s been picking this one. Two others that he reads a lot are Moo Baa La La La and Blue Hat, Green Hat.

    10. Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Jayne Church – This is another interactive book, and it’s so fun to read together!

  • Children

    Gavin’s First Birthday Party

    Gavin’s birthday was August 4, which was a Tuesday, so we celebrated his first birthday with family and friends on the following Saturday (August 8).

    We didn’t exactly have a themed party – he doesn’t know about any of the popular children’s characters yet. At a local party supply store, I picked up a Happy 1st Birthday banner, paper napkins, and invitations that had planes, trains, and cars on them. Other than that, I got blue and white paper plates and disposable cups at Target.

    Happy 1st Birthday banner | rainerlife.com

    We had the party at noon, so we provided food for everyone to munch on while visiting with the birthday boy. We had deli sandwiches, chips, veggie tray, fruit tray, and cheese and crackers. I ordered a variety of sandwiches from a local grocery store that does catering. I hadn’t ordered from them before, but I thought the sandwiches were really good, so I’ll have to remember that in the future. My Mama (Gavin’s Honey) made the fruit tray. I put together a basic cheese and cracker plate, bought an already made veggie tray, and bought a variety pack of chips. We had iced tea and a cooler of iced down drinks (water, juice, and soda). We had some leftover food, but we seemed to have figured the right amount for the number of people we had.

    Birthday Cake | rainerlife.com

    Gavin's Smash Cake | rainerlife.com

    Gavin eating his smash cake | rainerlife.com

    We ordered cakes from the bakery at the grocery store where we got the sandwiches. The cakes were decorated the same – white icing with blue writing and border. Gavin’s smash cake was a white cake and the guest’s cake was half white cake and half chocolate cake. The cakes were good, and Gavin seemed to really enjoy his smash cake.

    Gavin opening birthday presents | rainerlife.com

    Gavin opening birthday presents | rainerlife.com

    I think it was a great first birthday party. Gavin had fun – he got some new toys to play with, had a yummy cake, and got lots of loving.

  • Children

    Gavin is 1 Year Old!

    Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. For more information, click here.

    Gavin is 1 year old! | rainerlife.com

    Wow! Gavin is one year old! This year has flown by! It’s such a pleasure watching him grow and learn new things.

    For his birthday, we went to the zoo. It was Gavin’s first time at the zoo, and he seemed to have fun. It was a hot day, so a lot of the animals were hiding in the shade. Because of that, it was hard for Gavin to see some of the animals. He did get to see plenty of animals though, including giraffes, elephants, lions, bears, zebras, bison, rhinoceroses, penguins, and more!

    Darinda & Gavin at Caldwell Zoo | rainerlife.com

    Gavin at Caldwell Zoo | rainerlife.com

    To continue celebrating his birthday, we stopped and got cupcakes. When we got home, Gavin couldn’t wait to eat his cupcake!

    Gavin eating his birthday cupcake | rainerlife.com

    We did get him a few gifts, and they appear to be a hit. We got him a recliner last week. He’s a little young for the recliner, but he’ll be big enough for it soon. For his other gifts, he got some Mega Blocks and a touch and teach book. He spent the afternoon playing with his new toys.

    Gavin playing with his birthday gifts | rainerlife.com

    Other than his new toys, he still likes to play with his alphabet tiles, balls, bounce and ride elephant, and truck. Lately though, his favorite thing to play with is the plasticware in the kitchen. I put locks on all the cabinets except for two, and I put a bunch of plasticware and some wooden spoons in there for him to find and play with. He was so happy to discover he could get into those cabinets, and he’s been playing in there ever since.

    Gavin playing with plasticware in the kitchen | rainerlife.com

    We went on a family trip to Colorado last month. I was worried about Gavin and the long car rides, but he did great. While in Colorado, we did some sightseeing, but we tried not to do too much in a day. It was a good vacation, and we got to see and do what we wanted without overdoing for Gavin.

    Michael & Gavin at Garden of the Gods | rainerlife.com

    Gavin’s always exploring his surroundings. He’s so curious, and it’s great watching him explore. He cruises along the furniture and walls, but he’s not walking yet. He’s always got a hand on something, but I don’t think it’ll be too much longer and he’ll start to let go. We’ve Gavin-proofed a lot of the house, but there are still some off-limits areas that he makes a beeline for as soon as he gets a chance. He’s pretty quick and he seems to know what areas he’s not supposed to go to, and of course, that’s where we wants to go.

    The last year has been a blast! Gavin is such a happy little man and he brings so much joy to our lives.

  • Children

    Gavin is 11 Months Old!

    Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. For more information, click here.


    Gavin is so much fun!

    This June, we celebrated Father’s Day for the first time with our little man. It was a nice relaxing day. We went to brunch and enjoyed our day together as a family.

    Father's Day 2015 | rainerlife.com

    Gavin loves exploring his surroundings. He’s so curious, and he’s always watching what we’re doing. He doesn’t army crawl any more, he regular crawls everywhere. He can pull himself up to standing really well and has started cruising along the furniture. We’ve been enjoying our home and spending a little time outside on pretty days. He seems to enjoy being outside.

    Gavin | rainerlife.com

    Gavin has six teeth, and he chews on everything. Last week, I put some crib rail protectors on his bed because he was starting to chew on his crib. I try to keep a toy handy that he can chew on when we’re out, and he has lots of toys at the house. Lately, he plays with his books, stacking toy, balls, truck, and his newest toy. He got a blow up pool recently, and he likes playing in it. He also really enjoys bath time, and lately he likes playing with his bath animals and bath book.

    Gavin in his pool | rainerlife.com

    He’s a good eater, and he’s eating more solid foods now. He’s sleeping well at night (about 12 hours) and he naps twice a day (morning and afternoon). His morning nap is usually a little shorter than his afternoon nap. His allergies have been bothering him lately, so we’re trying to keep that under control. Even when his allergies are bothering him, he’s still such a happy little man.

  • Children

    Gavin is 10 Months Old!

    Gavin is 10 months old! | rainerlife.com

    Gavin is growing up so fast!

    This May, I got to celebrate Mother’s Day for the first time with my little guy. It was a nice relaxing day. We went to Mass that morning, had a nice lunch at the house, and Michael got the firepit going and we enjoyed being outside.

    Mother's Day (2015) | rainerlife.com

    Gavin enjoys playing with his toys, but lately he’s more interested in exploring his surroundings. He army crawls everywhere, and he can pull himself up to standing (see video below). He’s also figured out how to get up the stairs (see video below).

    Gavin standing up | rainerlife.com

    We went on our first family vacation last month. We drove down to Galveston and spent a few days relaxing. We took Gavin to Moody Gardens, the beach, and swimming in the hotel pool. Gavin did great, and I’m already thinking about future vacations for us!

    Moody Gardens | rainerlife.com

    Gavin at the beach {Galveston, TX} | rainerlife.com

    In May, Gavin was baptized. My Mama made his baptismal gown from my wedding dress, and it’s beautiful. Such a wonderful future heirloom for our family.

    Gavin's baptism | rainerlife.com

    Gavin now has five teeth, and a sixth about to come in. He likes to chew on things, so I try to keep some teething toys in the fridge for him.

    He’s still a good eater, and he’s eating more solid foods now. He’s also still sleeping well at night (about 11-12 hours). He naps twice a day (morning and afternoon). He naps in his crib now, instead of his swing. His morning nap usually lasts 30-45 minutes, but his afternoon nap is longer.

  • Children

    Baby Registry {A Complete Checklist}

    Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. For more information, click here.

    It’s hard deciding what to buy when expecting a baby. You want to be prepared for baby’s arrival because the last thing you’ll want to do after giving birth is run to the store, especially when you’re exhausted. Then again, you don’t want too much stuff because that can become overwhelming. Some of the things we got before Gavin was born were used all the time, while other items were rarely, if ever, used. Plus, some things I bought after his arrival when I realized I needed them. Based on our experience with Gavin, I came up with this complete list of baby items. Obviously, everyone’s registry list will vary based on their lifestyle.


    Diapers – Before Gavin’s arrival, I bought cloth and disposable diapers. I used cloth diapers on days when were at the house, and disposable diapers for when we were out. I bought these cloth diapers, diaper fasteners, and diaper covers. For disposable diapers, I recommend Pampers Swaddlers . I’ve tried a couple of other brands of disposable diapers, but the Pampers Swaddlers have worked best.

    Wipes – I like Babyganics for disposable wet wipes. The GroVia cloth wipes I bought work great too, but they have been discontinued by the manufacturer.

    Diaper rash cream – Fortunately, Gavin hasn’t had many diaper rashes. I mainly use diaper rash cream as a preventative measure. I’ve found Boudreaux’s works great. Also, it’s nice to have some Lotrimin on hand if the diaper rash is caused by yeast.

    Diaper trash can – I use a regular trash can and trash bags.

    Changing pad – We don’t have a changing table, we use this changing pad with this changing top on his dresser.

    Changing pad covers – I recommend having two changing pad covers. We use this one and this one, both in gray. They both work well, but I prefer the second one. I lay a cloth diaper on top of the cover to help keep the cover clean longer. They sell changing pad liners, but a cloth diaper works just as well.

    Diapering {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} | rainerlife.com


    Breast pump – Check with your insurance, it should be covered. For our insurance, I used a supplier that only mailed the breast pump after delivery of the baby. I ordered as soon as I got home from the hospital. It took about a week for the pump to be delivered. The company I used offered a couple of different brands. I chose the Medela Pump in Style Advanced, and it has worked great.

    Breast milk storage containers – I’ve used several brands of bags, but the generic store brand works well, and it is a little cheaper than the brand name bags. There are a lot of storage container options, so find what works best for you and stock up on them.

    Formula – I received some free samples of formula before Gavin was born, and kept them around in case the breastfeeding didn’t work out as planned. Breastfeeding worked well for us, so we didn’t need to buy any formula.

    Bottles – Since I breastfeed, I didn’t need many bottles. The only time I needed bottles was when we went somewhere or if Gavin was spending the day with his grandparents. Basically, if I wasn’t around or if it would be inconvenient to nurse, I needed to have bottles on hand. I bought this set of bottles and some extra nipples. It was all we needed.

    Bottle brushes – Your going to want to be able to clean the bottles and breast pump pieces well. I have this set of small brushes and this bottle brush.

    Pacifiers – We haven’t used the pacifiers much, but they are nice to have on hand just in case. We were given some as gifts, and I’ve picked up a few at the store.

    Pacifier clips – If you’re using pacifiers, it’s a good idea to have a couple of clips.

    Bibs – We were given lots of bibs, so I haven’t needed to buy any. We go through 2-3 bibs a day. This is one of those things it’s great to have extras of because some days may require more than others.

    Highchair – We use a highchair similar to this one. It works great and matches our furniture.

    Spoons – I bought these spoons, but in a four pack, and that’s all we’ve needed.

    Sippy cups – We’ve tried a variety of sippy cups. Since we’re still fairly new with the sippy cups, we haven’t picked a favorite yet.

    Bowls – I bought a couple of plastic bowls that have suctions on the bottom. So far, that’s all the bowls we’ve needed.

    Feeding {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} | rainerlife.com


    Baby wash – I’ve tried a variety of baby washes, and have found Aveeno creamy wash is best for Gavin’s skin.

    Baby lotion – Gavin has eczema, so I’ve tried a lot of lotions to find what is best for his skin. Aveeno makes an eczema lotion that works great on him.

    Baby oil – I like to rub baby oil on Gavin’s head to help with cradle cap and to keep his skin from getting too dry.

    Vaseline – I sometimes rub vaseline on Gavin’s skin when it starts to feel rough. I keep a small, travel size jar handy.

    Washcloths – We registered for some cute baby washcloths that are great, but I also purchased these to have extras.

    Hooded towel – I recommend getting two hooded towels. We registered for one, and got it, plus two more. Every time Gavin gets a bath, he gets wrapped up in a hooded towel afterwards.

    Baby bath tub – You can always bathe your baby in a sink, but we did get a baby bath tub. It was easy to move around, so I could bathe him in whichever room was most convenient.

    Bath toys – Gavin is now at an age where we use bath toys during bath time. We’ve been given some, and I purchased a couple of others. Lately, his favorites are these.

    Bathing {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} | rainerlife.com


    Crib – Your baby is going to need to sleep somewhere. When we first brought Gavin home, we used my old cradle (my Mama had kept it). When he outgrew it, but we weren’t ready to move him to his own room, we used a pack n’ play in our room. When we were ready, we moved him to his room and now he sleeps at night and naps in his crib. We use this crib and it looks great.

    Crib mattress – A good mattress is needed for the crib. We use this one.

    Waterproof mattress cover – A good mattress cover is a must too. I got this one.

    Crib sheets – I recommend having three or four crib sheets. I say this because I’ve had to use three sheets on the same day – remove the one on it, put a fresh one on in the morning and had Gavin promptly spit up all over it, and put another one on after that. My Mama made two sheets for Gavin in the color green that I wanted to use in his room. We also have a couple of extra sheets we received as gifts.

    Rocker or Glider – It’s nice to have somewhere to sit and rock your sweet baby. We use a glider and ottoman. At first, we had it in our room because that was most convenient, but now it’s in Gavin’s room.

    Dresser – Your going to need somewhere to keep all the diapers, baby clothes, and other baby items. We use this dresser to match the crib.

    Bookcase – We keep Gavin’s books and toys on the bookcase. Basically, you need somewhere to keep the books and toys, so a chest or even a dresser would work. I like that the bookcase is open shelves, so as he’s getting older, he’s able to reach and get the items he wants. We got the matching bookcase for the crib and dresser.

    Blankets and quilts – I used blankets to swaddle Gavin, but you can buy swaddlers too. Swaddling is a must though! I also lay blankets and quilts on the floor to provide cushioning. Plus, you’ll want blankets and quilts to snuggle up with your little one.

    Nursery {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} | rainerlife.com

    Baby Gear

    Car seat – I recommend a travel system where the car seat snaps into the stroller. One similar to this lasted us the first 9 months, and is super convenient when out and about with baby. We now use this convertible car seat, which is one that will hopefully last a long time.

    Baby mirror – I like to be able to see Gavin in his car seat. We got this mirror for the car.

    Stroller – We have the stroller with the travel system mentioned above, but we also got an umbrella stroller for convenience. We got this one – because we thought the shark was funny.

    Baby carrier – I used the BabyBjörn. Mainly I used it around the house, but I have occasionally used it when we went somewhere that wasn’t stroller friendly.

    Play yard – We have a Pack ‘n Play similar to this one. We used the napper for when he was really little, then he slept on the top level, now it’s lowered to the bottom and he takes naps in it and we use it when traveling.

    Play yard sheets – I recommend 2-3 sheets. We have two cotton jersey sheets (gray and green) and this quilted sheet.

    Swing or Bouncer – We have a swing, but never used a bouncer. The swing has been great! Gavin used to only take naps in his swing, so it was a necessity.

    Diaper bag – We have this diaper bag for when we want to carry a bag with us. This one is big enough to hold everything I need when we’re gone all day, plus it’s manly enough Michael doesn’t mind carrying it.

    Bottle bag – It’s nice to have something to carry bottles in to keep them cold when gone for the day or traveling. Our bottle bag is small, and I sometimes use it as a diaper bag when I need something smaller to carry.

    Travel changing pad – I keep this changing pad in the diaper bag or in the car when we’re out and about. It has space to keep some diapers and wipes in it, and it has worked well for us. Sometimes when we’re out running a few errands, I’ll stash the travel changing pad in the car and not worry with carrying a diaper bag.

    Highchair cover – The first time Gavin sat in a restaurant highchair, he spent his time trying to suck on the different parts of the chair. Gross. So, we got a cover, and now no worries because he can’t get to the highchair parts to suck on them. I keep it in the diaper bag, so I always have it with us when we’re out.

    Shopping cart cover – Similar to the highchair cover, a shopping cart cover is a good idea. We use one that has a zippered pocket in the front, so I can stick my wallet in and off we go. I usually keep it in the car, so it’s with us when I stop in somewhere to shop.

    Baby Gear {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} | rainerlife.com


    Amount of clothing depends on how often you do laundry. Personally, I do laundry 3 days a week, so I make sure to have enough to work with my laundry schedule. Babies spit up and have “blow outs,” so it’s good to have extra clothes, and not spend too much on the clothing they do have. Clothing is a much gifted item, so I haven’t had to buy much. He’s now in 12 month size, and I have spent more on him now than ever before, but we still get clothes as gifts. Also, the type of clothing depends on your climate. Gavin was born at the end of summer (August), so I base my number of clothing items on what he used… adjust accordingly to your climate.

    Onesies – We have had lots of onesies for Gavin, and I still use onesies. Mostly, the onesies we have are Carter’s brand. I recommend 6-8 onesies for baby. I like the Carter’s brand because they’re cute, they come in sets, and they’re fairly inexpensive. When we go somewhere, I often dress Gavin in a onesie, and carry an extra one with us.

    T-shirts – Gavin was born in August, and I swaddled him at night and nap time, so a lot of time I would just have him in a t-shirt and a diaper. I used these side-snap shirts and some Burt’s Bees t-shirts. I recommend 7-8 t-shirts.

    Footed onesies – When the weather was cooler, I kept Gavin in footed outfits so he didn’t get too cold. His transition to footed outfits was about the time I stopped swaddling him. It just so happened that we stopped swaddling when the weather was getting colder, so the footed outfits were a must. I recommend 6-8 footed outfits.

    Shorts/Pants – I don’t always keep shorts or pants on Gavin when we are at the house, but I like to put them on him when we go out, either with a cute shirt or over a onesie. It’s currently summer here, so Gavin has mainly shorts, but whatever the climate, 4-6 shorts/pants should be enough.

    Sleep sack – We had two sleep sacks for Gavin. He used them during the winter months. I used this terry sleepbag (I got it for the sleepbag and never used the shirt) and a fleece sleepbag.

    Mittens – I recommend two pair of mittens. I used these mittens on Gavin for the first several months. I used them at night because I was afraid he would scratch himself.

    Socks – On colder days, I kept socks on Gavin. He likes to pull them off, so I don’t use socks that often, since they don’t stay on long when I do use them. Still, I recommend 3-4 pair of socks. I always carry an extra pair, but we rarely use them.

    Caps – When it was colder and we were out, I would put a cap on Gavin. I recommend two caps. Like socks, Gavin would sometimes pull off the cap. Once again, I would carry an extra with us to have on hand, but we didn’t always use it.

    Burp cloths – This is more for Mom, Dad, or whoever is holding baby. Babies spit up, so it’s good to have something to put over your shoulder when you pick baby up. Never failed, Gavin did some epic spit ups… and usually when no burp cloth or other cover was around. It’s like they know. I use burp cloths, but I also use blankets and cloth diapers for spit ups. Basically, have 10-12 items to use. When Gavin was born up until about six months or so, we would go through 5-6 cloths a day. He’s now almost 10 months and it’s 1-2 cloths a day.

    Clothing {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} | rainerlife.com

    Health & Safety

    Baby video monitor – I like to keep a close eye on our little guy, so I love this video monitor. We also have a security camera installed in his room that I can use with an app on my phone. The video monitor is great because it can be easily moved around the house or taken with us when we go on vacation.

    Humidifier – We used a humidifier during the winter months. Gavin has dry skin, and it helped with that.

    Fan – Gavin’s room has a ceiling fan, but if it didn’t I would want some type of fan in there. Need to keep the little one comfortable!

    Thermometer – The hospital gave us one, but I did buy an ear thermometer too.

    Nasal aspirator – The hospital gave us one, and it is something you want to have on hand. Gavin had one cold, so that was about the only time we used it.

    Baby nail clippers & nail file – Baby nails grow fast. You’ll want to keep the nails trimmed so baby doesn’t scratch himself.

    Hand sanitizer – We used a lot of hand sanitizer in the early months. We also had a dog then, so I kept sanitizer in different rooms around the house to use after petting the dog. Now, I mainly keep a bottle by the changing pad and a bottle in the living room. I also keep small containers attached to the diaper and bottle bags for when we’re out.

    Safety gates – We have three safety gates. These were great to use when we had a dog to keep the dog and baby in separate areas. Now that Gavin is more mobile, we use them to keep him out of certain areas.

    Outlet covers – We put these in the outlets around the house. When Gavin sees an outlet, he immediately heads toward it, so it is a good safety item for us.

    Cabinet & door latches – I bought some of these to use on the kitchen cabinets.

    Toilet seat locks – I haven’t bought any of these yet, but will probably get one for the toilet in the bathroom next to Gavin’s room.

    First aid kit – I got a basic first aid kit to keep in the bathroom by Gavin’s room.

    Laundry detergent – A fragrance free detergent is good to use to wash baby clothes and linens.

    Health & Safety {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} | rainerlife.com


    Books – I’ve got a variety of books for Gavin… some hold his interest more than others. Some of his favorites have been Sheep in a Jeep, Little Blue Truck, Dear Zoo, Moo Baa La La La, and Elmer’s Colors

    Teethers – Teethers that can be chilled are great. Gavin likes this one and these.

    Toys for stroller & car seat – We have a few of these attached to the stroller and car seat. A couple that we have used are a giraffe and elephant, and I have picked up several others while we were out and realized we needed a new one. Carter’s makes an octopus one that is currently his favorite.

    Activity jumper – The activity jumper has been great. It has lasted a while, and Gavin enjoys it. We bought this one.

    Other Toys (blocks, balls, etc.) – We have a variety of toys for Gavin when we’re at home. Some of his favorites have been a toy snail, football, blocks, rattles, balls, and alphabet tiles.

    Entertainment {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} | rainerlife.com

    Click here to download or print the Checklist for Baby Registry!
    Baby Registry Checklist | rainerlife.com

  • Children

    Gavin is 9 Months Old!

    Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. For more information, click here.

    Gavin is 9 months old! | rainerlife.com
    Gavin is 9 months old!

    Gavins’s got such a cute personality!

    He enjoys playing with his toys, and whatever toys are available are fun for him. In the living room, he mainly plays with his alphabet foam tiles, toy snail, football, and in his activity jumper. I don’t bother to connect the foam tiles together to form a mat. I just place them as a stack in the center of the floor and Gavin knocks it down and works on taking the letters apart. In his bedroom, we read books and he plays with his blocks, rainstick rattle, and a firetruck toy.

    Gavin playing with is alphabet tiles| rainerlife.com
    Gavin playing with is alphabet tiles

    He plays well with his toys, but he also likes to explore his surroundings. He rolls around a lot, and does his army crawl. He’s sitting up on his own now, so he’ll sometimes sit himself up and play for a little while. He’s a very active little guy, so I leave him on the floor a lot to let him explore.

    Since the weather has been nice lately, we’ve been spending more time outside. Gavin seems to have inherited my “mosquito magnet” gene, so sometimes we have to go back inside if they’re getting him. We’ve been enjoying being outside though. We’ve been gardening, firing up the grill, enjoying the firepit, and we even hung a hammock to relax in.

    He is doing well with his teething. He really likes the teething toys that I keep ready in the fridge for him. He’s got three teeth, and a fourth one starting to come in.

    He’s a great little eater. He’s on Stage 3 foods now, and likes most everything we give him. He just tried meat (turkey) for the first time last week, and he wasn’t wild about it. I think it may have been the seasoning more than the turkey though. He’s getting a little better with his sippy cup. I try to keep a sippy cup of water nearby while he plays, and he’s starting to use it more.

    Gavin is sleeping well at night (about 11-12 hours). He naps twice a day (morning and afternoon), usually in his swing. His morning nap usually lasts about 45 minutes, but his afternoon nap is longer (1 – 1 1/2 hours). His first night away from home without his Mama and Daddy was on the day he turned 8 months old. He stayed with his grandparents, and he did great… so says the grandparents. The next day we went to pick him up, and he was having a blast and being spoiled rotten.

    Gavin's 1st Easter | rainerlife.com
    Gavin’s 1st Easter

    Gavin's 1st Easter | rainerlife.com
    Gavin’s 1st Easter

    Gavin is 9 months old! | rainerlife.com
    Gavin is 9 months old!

  • Children

    Gavin is 8 months old!

    Note: This post contains affiliate links.

    Gavin at 8 months old | rainerlife.com
    8 months old!

    Gavin’s a funny little guy. He’s making all sorts of sounds and laughs a lot. It’s so much fun to watch him talk and laugh – he thinks he’s hilarious… and he is. A couple of weeks ago he got on a kick blowing raspberries (see video below). It was funny… but we did more wardrobe changes on those days. He does pelvic thrusts quite a bit (see video below), and it just cracks me up.

    He likes to play with toys, and whatever toys are available are fun for him. During the day, he plays in his activity jumper or on his alphabet foam tiles. He pretty much tries to get off the foam tiles as soon as I put him on them, so not sure how much longer they’ll get used. I like them though because we have hard floors, so it provides some cushioning if he bangs his head on the floor.

    Darinda & Gavin Selfie | rainerlife.com

    Gavin has moved to his own room and is sleeping in there at night. We made the move a week or so ago, and he’s doing well with the change. He sleeps through the night (10-11 hours). When we first moved him to his room he would wake up once during the night and cry for a minute or two and then go back to sleep. He hasn’t done that the last couple of nights though, so maybe he’s better adjusted to being on his own. He naps twice a day (morning and afternoon), usually in his swing. He doesn’t like to nap in his crib or pack-n-play.

    Darinda & Gavin on St. Patrick's Day | rainerlife.com
    Cuddled up in green on St. Patrick’s Day

    He is teething, so we’ve had a couple of days and nights where he just wanted to be held and comforted. He’s rolling over and moving himself around really well. I have to keep a closer eye on him now that he moves around more. The only rooms I put him on the floor to explore are the living room and his room. He scooches around the room or rolls over and over to get where he wants to go (see video below). He just started crawling a couple of days ago (see video below). When he’s in his activity jumper, he stands up well. So, we’ve been working with him on standing up. Basically, he’s a very active little guy, so I need to hurry up and finish childproofing our home!

    Gavin Standing in His Activity Jumper | rainerlife.com
    Standing up

    He’s a great little eater. He’s on Stage 2 foods, and likes most everything we give him (see video below). He’s not a big fan of mangoes – he makes a face when he eats something with mangoes in it, but he does it eat. Recently, he started using a sippy cup. He mainly waves it around, but sometimes he will drink a little from it.

    Gavin and His Sippy Cup | rainerlife.com
    Using a sippy cup

  • Children

    Gavin is 7 months old!

    Note: This post contains affiliate links.

    Gavin is 7 months old! | rainerlife.com

    Gavin is so much fun!

    He still sleeps through the night (10-11 hours) and naps two or three times a day. During the day, he plays in his activity jumper or on his alphabet foam tiles. I usually only put him in his swing for nap time… he doesn’t like to nap in his crib or pack-n-play.

    Gavin on his foam tiles | rainerlife.com

    He has plenty of toys, but his favorite ones are whatever he can get in his mouth. See video below… spoiler, the phone ends up in his mouth.

    The big news this week is that Gavin got his first tooth. It’s a bottom front tooth.

    He’s rolling over and moving himself around really well, so I have to keep a closer eye on him now that he moves around more. See the video below of him moving around on his foam tiles to get to his activity jumper.

    He’s been doing well with solid foods, and he’s been introduced to some new foods over the last month – oatmeal, sweet potatoes, green beans, prunes, and pears.

    Gavin eating | rainerlife.com

    For Valentine’s Day, we took Gavin with us to one of our favorite restaurants. We went mid-afternoon to try and avoid the crowds, but it was still busy. Gavin was a trooper though, and we had a nice Valentine’s outing as a family.

    Gavin on his first Valentine's Day | rainerlife.com

    Last week we had snow in Texas. We don’t get much snow where we live, but we had a couple of days of snowy weather. It was Gavin’s first time to see snow, and no telling when it will happen again.

    Gavin's first time seeing snow | rainerlife.com

    Gavin's first time seeing snow | rainerlife.com