Friday, October 26, 2012

Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 & Me!

When I started this blog a few years ago, I had no idea how many ways I would use it. Most importantly it's been a great way for me to journal "out loud" and gain the benefit of others' wisdom on different subjects. It has allowed me to connect with people and be reassured that I am not alone in this crazy world of parenting.

And it has opened up some areas of opportunity for me as well.

For one, I was invited to assist in a demonstration at the #GracoSafety event in Monroeville, PA at Babies R Us last weekend. I was able to meet and help Tiffany of Home Grown Families while she demonstrated how the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 works and the benefits of having a rear facing car seat that fits your baby until he turns 2.

That's Tiffany on the right. She's so funny. Cracks me right up. She's one of those "real" moms that I love to meet!
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends now that all little ones remain rear facing until they are at least 2. Tiffany's friend kept her child rear facing until she was 4! (I think my 4 year old daughter would revolt, but it really is safer!)

While Tiffany shared her knowledge and expertise on the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40, I snapped some pics with my trusty iPhone. 

While she demonstrated things like how the seat base adjusts, I looked the car seat and stroller over. The base is awesome in that it adjusts so that when baby is newborn, she can lay back more. There is also an insert to support baby's tiny little neck. As baby gets bigger and her neck muscles get stronger, the base adjusts to make the seat sit more upright. 

There is also a kick plate for their tiny little feet so they do not kick the back of the seat constantly. (I wish I would have had one of these!) And my fave feature (other than the safety factor, of course) is the washable liner. Seriously, whoever invented a car seat cover that has to be unscrewed to remove and wash must have never had children. This car seat cover UN-SNAPS for removal!! FINALLY, someone GOT IT! babies = messy = lots of laundry + a difficult to remove cover = irate parent wrestling with said car seat cover. 

I also love that with baby facing rear until age 2 the likelihood of whiplash is diminished. I worry every single time I strap my kids in the car that we could be in an accident. It's been said flying is safer than driving. And my knees knock getting on a plane. So, I love feeling that I'm keeping my kids that much safer when we drive. 

Not only did I get to meet Tiffany (someone I could easily see myself chatting with over many cups of coffee) I also met Alayna & Chanton.

Alayna is on the left.

If you'd like to learn more about the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40, CLICK HERE.

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Postcards From The Edge

I have wanted to sit down and write a blog post for the longest time.

I miss having witty things to say and funny stories to share. (At least I'd like to think I'm witty at times).

I enjoy sharing my craptastic days in the hopes that you will get a laugh out of my misery and know you're not alone in the stresses of everyday life with kids.

I enjoy finding the humor (after the fact of course) in the things that (at the time) drive me to the brink.

And truth be told...I enjoy hearing kudos on occasion when I feel like I am the biggest failure this side of the Mason-Dixon line.*

*Side note...I don't even really know where the Mason-Dixon line is or what side of it I'm on, but I've always liked that phrase...

But, Dude, I have struggled like crazy the past couple of months.

Immediately after delivering I felt GREAT. I could conquer the world and not even break a sweat.

And then my hormones did that crazy thing they do a few weeks after delivery and they flipped me upside down. It was arse over tea cups. I was a hot, bubbling mess.

We're talking Sybil worthy fits of rage followed by sorrowful crying, followed by anxiety including heart palpitations, followed by another round of anger... I was certifiable.

And when I get that way, I am a nut case. I throw things, I swear, I yell. I'm an embarrassment to myself.

To top it off ****TMI TO FOLLOW*** I was almost 3 months postpartum and STILL had not had a visit from Aunt Flow. I certainly wasn't MISSING Aunt Flow, but I knew that her arrival would signal that my bod was getting back on track and my hormones would be leveling out.

I started feeling nauseous and getting extremely tired.

I've had those "symptoms" I panicked.

I only panicked a smidge though because ***MORE TMI TO FOLLOW*** Joe had a vasectomy while I was still pregnant since we can't even LOOK at each other without conceiving.

My panic notched on up to the RED ZONE however, when Joe's doctor called to tell him we were NOT in the clear as we had anticipated. I mean, we KNEW we were extremely fertile, come on! Who knew his swimmers were that determined to prevail? He has to go back after 3 more months to "re-test" to make sure all those little guys are gone. I was sidling up to 12 weeks postpartum with no Aunt Flow and a new heightened fear that Joe's  surgery didn't "take" I decided to take a pregnancy test. And by "took a pregnancy test" I mean I took 4.

To my relief I saw 3 negatives. To my absolute terror, I saw 1 positive.

That's of them had 2 pretty pink lines.

I felt woozy and light headed...convinced that God had done the miraculous--as only God can do.

I showed Joe the next day and called my doctor. The nurse told me to wait 3 days and take another one.

I took 2.

They were both negative.

When I told Joe, do you know what his response was?

I expected a HUGE sigh of relief coupled with a Superbowl-winning-touchdown worthy end zone dance, but instead he told me he was a little disappointed.


This from the guy who was the biggest proponent to getting the surgery in the first place?

I cried the day before his procedure because I realized we would never again experience this phase of our lives. Almost as long as we have been together we have been expecting a baby or welcoming a new one into the world. We were effectively moving on from this stage into the next, never to look back.

Yes, I am mellow-dramatic.

As hard as it is, there is no measuring the joy that comes with welcoming a new little one into the fold. Seeing that scrunched up little face and looking at their tiny little fingers and toes...

Spending the first few months wondering if it is a boy or girl and coming up with the perfect name...

Wondering who this one will look like... that little thrill that comes in the beginning each time you remember you're pregnant...

The sweet smiles from others when they see your burgeoning belly...

This was it. All that was done.

I worried we were over-stepping God's will by telling Him we were "done".

What if the next baby would have discovered the cure for cancer?

What if he (or she!) was going to be president?

What if...

Yes...I had all these thoughts run through my head in about 2 seconds. I was staring at this positive pregnancy test, feeling terrified of how people would react and also incredibly blessed to be chosen to have another baby against the odds...

I felt this tremendous feeling of purpose and a resignation that I was meant to continue having children, regardless of how my body struggled or how others reacted to our big family. I told myself that God really wanted this baby to be here and that's an enormous responsibility to carry...

I felt the tiniest trill of excitement.

And then a few days later Auntie came to visit.

And I thought I was going to die.

It was BY FAR the WORST visit I have EVER had.

In fact, I'm happy if that "B" never comes again.

For 48 hours STRAIGHT (no embellishment here) I thought I was hemorrhaging to death. There was no let up. No "easing back into  things" after almost a year without it...

Oh no. This was a cataclysmic event that had me running to powder my nose several times a night. And I do mean running....

I put in another call to my doctor, sure he was going to tell me to rush to the ER, when things finally lightened up.

And I am now starting to feel like myself again.

Whoever that is.

And I'm left here realizing that this is probably, most definitely it.

I am trying to savor every single second of having a newborn since my memory will (undoubtedly) get fuzzy and I'll forget the way he smells like a combination of baby powder, puppy, spit up and formula. I'll forget how teeny tiny he is and how a size 1 diaper almost goes up to his chin. I'll forget the nighttime feedings when it's just him and me and the whole house is quiet.

The memory will fade of his newborn cry and the itty bitty footed jammies he wears.

It won't be long until he's done sleeping on my chest while I hold him and feel his sweet breath on me or watch him curl his hand around my finger.

I look back on the time when Joe and I met. We had both come out of marriages where we'd wanted children, but it just wasn't meant to be. We had both resigned ourselves to never having kids. And then we met and we instantly clicked.

We wasted no time in starting our family and, before we knew it, we had 6 kids in 7 years. And I love those babies more than I could ever put into words. My every breath is a prayer for their safety. Every moment I think about them and hope I'm raising them right.

I try to cram as many I love you's as possible into each day. I try to capture all those teachable moments. I try to make sure they never doubt how much we care about them and that they know without a shadow of a doubt that we will go to the ends of the earth to protect them.

And yes, 6 is a lot. You're not telling me anything I don't know. :)




But they are, by far, the greatest accomplishment on my resume. And I would not trade them for the world. much for wanting to make this a funny post. I only managed to make myself get all misty.

It's moments like this when I make myself reflect back on a day not too long ago when Joe called me from work. I was having the crappiest day ever. The boys had given me a hard time about going to school, the house was a mess, I had too many people pulling at me and demanding things of my time, and that's the day H mastered removing her own diaper. She waltzed up to me naked as a jaybird. I was mildly annoyed until she turned to run away from me...and I noticed she had poop stuck to her butt. I then became enormously annoyed. It was as I was crying to Joe about all these things that I stepped in a little package H had left behind and I'd missed cleaning up. I went through the roof. It was the indignity of it all. It was the last straw that day.

I am looking forward and embracing this crazy journey. I'm looking to enjoy all the first times we have ahead of us instead of focusing on all the ones that are now behind us.

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