The Lady Gray

A household chronicle

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Kinderspel Slip-on shoe review!

I bought Evie some shoes, which were meant to be a birthday present…but I got impatient and gave them to her early. The good news: she LOVED them. The bad news: they’re still maybe a half size too big. She can fit into a different pair of size 6 shoes she has, but these are a little wider and seem to run a little bigger. They come in two sizes: M and L (size 6 and 7.5) They definitely seem like they’d work for a wider foot as well, but that’s not a concern for Evie. She’s got a narrow little foot!

The best thing about these shoes is probably all the funky patterns they come in!  I love owls and the owls on the shoes are really fun and colorful (perfect for toddlers!) There are lots of other fun prints like penguins, cheetahs, flowers, etc. They seem incredibly well made, and the canvas feels really sturdy. The bottom is rubber and has a print of bird on the bottom. Evie hasn’t noticed that yet, but I think it’s just darling. I was really surprised by the amount of padding in the sole! It’s almost feels like a foam bottom? Memory foam -esque. These shoes are definitely higher priced, but Evie has slow growing feet and wears her shoes for a really long time. I tend to get her nicer quality shoes that I feel will last. I think she’ll probably be in the shoes by the end of the year, and I’d be surprised if she was out of them by May.

Wearing my socks and her shoes. She loves them!

#kinderspel #slipon #toddlershoes #babyshoes



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Innobaby Snackbox Review

     We LOVE this snack container. I got it because you can never have too many snack containers with a toddler (you have to bring food everywhere!) It has a movable divider, or you could take it out all together to have just one snack inside. However, it’s not a divider that seals at the bottom, so you won’t be able to keep a dip or anything on one side. I love having fruit on one side and crackers on the other.
What surprised me about this container was how perfect it would be for ME, an adult! I go to school and my classes are during dinner time. It’s great for my snacks. It keeps them cool for a long time, and it opens and closes basically silently. Also, the seal on the lid is super strong, so nothing is going to leak into my back pack (or diaper bag.) I’m totally neurotic about my foods touching, so I love this little box.
The size works well for us. I’d actually like to expand our collection of this container, because we only have one, and so I’m washing it all the time!
Side note is that it is only 11 ounces. So, it would work as a lunch container if you removed the divider, but for a big burly man, you might need something a little larger. 😉

#innobaby #bento #keepinsmart

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Toddler Comforter Review

Okay! We’ve had our new toddler blanket for about a week now..and it is love! I’m rapidly becoming obsessed with all Milo and Gabby products. I want them all!

Some of the things I love about the comforter:

  • She will actually use it! [BIGGEST THING I LOVE] I’m guessing it has to do with her blanket being a bunny character instead of just being a normal blanket? So there’s an increased chance of her actually keeping the blanket on with this particular comforter. WIN!
  • It’s really lightweight but still warm. E is cutting a tooth right now so there have been many nights where I’ve crawled into bed with her to comfort her, and we share the blanket. I can personally vouch for the warmth of this thing.
  • It’s also really breathable, which is important for a blanket on a small child’s bed.
  • The size. I was unsure of the size when ordering. I felt pretty concerned that it might be really small and not something that would grow with her. Immediately upon opening it, I realized my fears were unfounded! It’s a great size. She’ll be able to use this comforter for many years before becoming too tall for it.
  • The 3d features. This bunny has ears and a tail that are 3d, which I think is REALLY fun. There are also 4 paws, which have paw prints on the bottom.
  • The top of the comforter is a solid color, and the underside is a print. Included on the print are outlines of some of the other Milo and Gabby critters. I love that!
  • There’s a little lovey attached to one of the feet. It’s soft and squishy. 🙂

The quality on this thing definitely checks out. Lola Bunny has been getting a lot of love, and I don’t think she’s going to be showing any signs or wear or tear anytime soon. Absolutely perfect for a rambunctious toddler.

There are two other characters available in the 3d comforter. One is a tiger and one is a dinosaur. I was REALLY torn between the bunny and the dino. Ultimately, Evie is more into bunnies than she is into dinosaurs, which was the deciding factor for me.  I’m thinking next character we add to our home zoo is going to be a dinosaur. 😉

#toddlerblanket #miloandgabby #toddlercomforter

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Toddler Pillow Review


I’ve been wanting to get Evie her own pillow for a while now. She loves ours in the big bed, and she is going to need one for her preschool this Fall. There’s tons of different toddler pillows out there and it was a little overwhelming. I ended up choosing a Milo & Gabby Toddler Pillow [mostly because of the ADORABLE pillow cases they make.]

Things I love about the pillow: It’s very breathable. Evie definitely is a belly sleeper, so the idea of a pillow felt a little bit scary. I stuck my face all up in it and could breathe just fine. It’s got a Tencel pillow case that it comes with, which is very soft and also environmentally friendly. Apparently Tencel is also naturally anti-bacterial which is pretty cool, considering that toddlers are basically tiny germ monsters.  My favorite thing about it is probably the size. It’s the perfect size for little toddler hands and arms, and squishy to boot.

Moving on to purely aesthetic reasons, Milo and Gabby makes the CUTEST pillow cases in the world. They have a little zoo of animals to choose from.  I was really torn between the Koala (Olive Koala), the dinosaur (Dylan Dinosaur) and the squirrel (Lucy Squirrel). I ended up choosing Lucy because I loved the color and her tail is adorable. In the future I’ll probably get a couple of different animal pillow cases to swap out when one is in the wash.

Evie loves Lucy and keeps telling me “new pillow! new pillow. new pillow!” I think having Lucy with her at preschool might make nap time there feel a little less foreign. Of course, there might be a problem with all the other kids wanting Lucy too!


Edit: I forgot to mention that there’s different sizes of pillows that go along with different age ranges. So they have baby, toddler, and kid pillows. Having a fairly petite toddler, the toddler size will work well for her for a long time. The characters for the pillow cases are available in all the different sizes.

#miloandgabby #loveib # kidspillow #toddlerpillow

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Someone is almost 2!

Evie is almost 2. I think we are now at a point where I’ll stop using months in her age. People would ask how old and I’d say 14 months, 17 months, etc. Now she’s almost two. At Christmas time she’ll be a little over 2. No need to bother with months anymore, because it’s less of a difference than before. Up until about a year and a half, a month makes a huge difference developmentally. Even now it still does, but after a year and a half, no one really cares how many months your kids is, because then they have to start doing math.

I went through a very difficult stage with her recently (I don’t say we here, because I’m the primary caretaker and Evie tends to behave better for everyone else in the world than she does for me, and that includes her dada.)  It was such a confusing time for me, because so many people just “LOVE” the 18-24 month age. I’ve been hearing people say “it’s such a fun age!” when all it seemed to be for me was a lot of stress in my chest. Luckily, it was only about 2 months of hard, and now it’s pretty great again. It was basically her testing my boundaries ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Lots of whining. Lots of hitting and biting and being mean to the dog and not wanting to get off of me. There would be moments of intense cuteness (I’m guessing it’s similar to why babies are cute – so you don’t just chuck them out…just kidding, obviously I would never do that). I’m really glad that it’s fun again, because when you are just trying to make it through the day every day, life feels pretty bleak.

Right now it’s a lot of mimicking behaviors and a lot of language growth. A lot of cheering because pee-pee on the potty happened, and also a lot of cleaning up baby pee, because pee-pee on the potty DIDN’T happen. I weaned her for the first time at 17 months, then she picked it back up again a few weeks later. We weaned again and it seemed to stick, except she still hadn’t forgotten. She got ahold of a naked booby a week or two ago (mine) and has obsessively been trying to nurse since. I don’t want to perpetually be giving her mixed signals, but it’s so hard when she just won’t quit. She’s taken to literally trying to pull my breast out of my shirt, or going underneath the shirt to try to get it. I’d like to be done, but she seems very intent on not being done.

We are currently doing the library’s summer reading program, where you get prizes for reading a certain amount. I have to say, I thought it would be easier. I honestly thought we were reading books for about 30 minutes a night…it turns out it’s about 10 minutes a night. So if you want time to slow down, just read to your children. Time goes by like molasses.

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On losing a friend and gaining SO MUCH

A little over a year ago, I had a pretty earth shattering friendship breakup.  Having been with the same man for almost 10 years, I was pretty unaccustomed to breaking up in general…I experienced a lot of the same emotions that I’m pretty sure are felt in a romantic breakup. Looking back a year later, I’m surprised at how much I’ve grown as a person, and also how much I’ve learned from the process.

I learned that it’s absolutely true that even if someone is talking mad shit about you behind your back, the best thing to do is just to ignore it. Eventually the people listening will realize that it’s not accurate. I also learned that I am not the problem. After this friendship fell apart, I had a LOT of self-doubt. I felt isolated and alone and thought “is it me? Am I the root of this?” While I had a role that I played, it really wasn’t about me. Some people are incapable of having long term friendships. I have many friendships that have lasted for 15+ years. (I take a lot of comfort in knowing that even far away, I have friends who would support me if I needed them, and vice versa. Girl power!) Sometimes it’s good for something bad to happen that causes a lot of introspection. I’m not a perfect person by any means.  But I have spent a lot of time trying to become a better version of myself. Thanks, therapy!

There’s still a big downside to the whole situation though. I threw myself in to a friendship with little to no abandon. I got burned. Since then I’ve become a lot more cautious and guarded when it comes to new friendships. I also pulled back from some existing friends that I had, simply from a lot of self doubt. In some ways that’s been good, because I do feel more comfortable on my own than before. I’m still an extrovert and I still crave company, but I can go longer on my own than before.I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I was a year ago. I feel like since the beginning of the year, I’ve taken huge strides in becoming a better version of myself. My therapist basically fired me because she said I don’t need therapy anymore…although I’m welcome to come back for tune-ups if I wish! I’ve started exercising my brain again, which was much needed. I’m back in school and really enjoying it for the first time in maybe 18 years. I started making an effort to be healthier….then I fell off the bandwagon. Time to hop back on!

Sometimes losing someone can feel like the end of the world (especially if you have a flair for the dramatic, and my mother likes to remind me that I do). But you never know, because I feel like a lot of good has come out of the situation for me. I’d still say that my life is like a wave. It goes up and down. I have lows for a while, then it goes back to highs. I’ve been like that forever, so I doubt that will change much.


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Parenting the timid toddler

Evie is afraid of in-ground swimming pools. Add that to the list. Any sort of kid-zone, bounce house, swimming pools, bees, flies, the coffee grinder, the food processor, fireworks, the vacuum, basically anything that makes a loud noise. I’m not trying to shame her at all, or embarrass her, nothing like that. There is just simply an ever growing list of things that makes her sign “all done” and say no? no? no?

As a parent I’m not sure the best way to handle it, really. Do I respect what she’s saying and keep her away from these things? Or do I push her to face her fears and get over it so that she can enjoy many of the things on her list that other kids find to be super fun! So far I’ve taken the approach of kind of doing both. Yesterday at the pool, she was in hysterics about being in the water, me being in the water, etc. First I tried to immerse her in it (not over the head of course, just with her legs and butt in the water) which did NOT go well. Then I tried to let her take her own time and approach. An hour later she waded about 4 inches in. She’s a kid who takes a LONG time to warm up to something. We went to a birthday party at a kids play zone where basically everything can be played with/climbed on/bounced on. It took her probably 40 minutes of the hour we could play to warm up to the point where she kind of started having fun.

I have a really hard time being patient with her while she’s in the warm up phase. It makes me feel like a terrible mother, because in my mind I’m thinking: get over it, kid! Why do you find this so terrifying when every other kid here is enjoying themselves? Writing the words makes me feel even worse because I sound so harsh. It’s just that I want her to be comfortable and confident, not afraid to join in the fun. It’s probably something that she’ll grow out of. I just need to learn to be patient in the meantime.