Wear and Tear: Truly Sanctuary Tees

photo by Number 9 Photography

photo by Number 9 Photography

Wear and Tear is my term for products we review. Sure, things look good in a shop or on the web, but how do they really measure up?

I found Truly Sanctuary when I was writing the Groundhog’s Day post. Beth and Ron’s story was something I loved and wanted to share, so they sent me a couple of tees to test out.

If you don’t read the rest of the review, just know this…I will buy more from this shop. Now, read why:

Wear: The tee itself runs small to size. Antonio wears 18mos size clothes in most brands with some extra room. Truly Sanctuary tees have little stretch room, so my advice…size it up.

Tear: Since it was an exact fit, I was afraid to wash and dry it. I washed it in cold and hung it to dry (to be on the safe side). Even after hanging it to dry the darker colors on the dino shirt seemed to fade a bit, but not so much that anyone noticed. I love the designs so much that I wanted to preserve them.

Overall: I love designs Beth and Ron have put forth. This company is a true original, and their colorful tees that look like works of graffiti-art rather than kid dribble. They are happy tees to have. The designs far outweigh the less-than-perfect fit.

While You Were Out Drinking


Just after my son was born, I former coworker sent me this onesie. We used to sell it at the shop we worked at, and when I first opened it, I laughed. Shortly, thereafter, I cringed. How in the world could I let my son wear this without looking like a liar.

To turn this dilemma around, I decided to use it as a motivator. So while everyone was out drinking for St. Patrick’s Day, I started drinking water. I decided that I will stop eating things that I would never put in my baby’s mouth – caffeine, artificial sweeteners, fried foods, sugars, salt, etc. I’m calling it the “Antonio Diet”.

I promised myself that I would lose the rest of the baby weight 15lbs by his first birthday. So I’m on a 6 week journey to get healthy and fit. The other thing I won’t do is let the scale intimidate me, so no weighing in until April 30th. Wish me luck!

How to Upgrade Your Baby’s Library

baby books-1

The first baby books on our shelves were books we received during out shower – Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear, the Hungry Catepillar and most of the Seuss collection. Those were the days…when other parents passed along books that were age appropriate for our little guy.

Now that he’s 10-months, those same picture books don’t ignite the same excitement. It was time for a library upgrade. We upgrade his clothes and toys every few months…and now, his books. So, why did I return from the bookstore empty-handed and feeling like a bad parent? And why did the clerk laugh at me when I said I was looking for baby flash cards?

I made the rookie mistake of going to the bookstore and expecting to find the right books just by going to the children’s section. I wanted to find a section that said 9-12 month books, just like clothes shopping. Instead I found piles of books about colors, shapes, going to the potty, things that George did and so on.

I used to work at a bookstore. I love bookstores, but experiencing a bookstore for a baby is a totally different experience.  Baby book shopping left me so  overwhelmed that I ran home to Google with a million questions.

How much can he understand? Should I get a book of first words? What’s too young for him?

Before this happens to you, i put together a guide to help you navigate through the children’s sections when it’s time for your library upgrade.

Things to considered when book shopping for your baby:

• Age-appropriate subject matter with uncluttered illustrations

• Easy physical manipulation of the book, as well as book durability

• Text, illustration and design aimed at children 18 months and younger

So, here’s some book suggestions to according to age:

0-3 months: lots of contrast, vary the pitch of your voice, at this age you can read anything since baby likes the sound of your voice yet doesn’t understand the words

The Tana Hoban contrast series white on black

3-6 months: choose books that are highly tactile or textured, books that make noise, and books that feature realistic images of every day items

Lorena Siminovich does great tactile books with strong illustrations that also help teach colors (as seen above – I Like Fruit )

i like toys

6-12 months:  choose board or plastic books that will end up in baby’s mouth, books with flaps that lift, books with playful rhythms and phrases, keep it small for baby to hold.

Nina Laden’s Peek-a-Boo bookPeek-a-Who

Rod Campbell’s lift-the-flap book Dear-Zoo-Chinese-L

1yr-2yrs: Still stick to books with few words and great illustrations, everyday images, point while you read and keep these interactive

Sandra Boynton series are silly and sound great out loud


Start introducing art with the interactive art seriestouch the art

mona lisa

Other sites to check out:

www.fredrogers.org – every year they post the best books for babies chosen by a committee of child and literary experts

www.parenting.com – 25 Must-Have Books for babies first library