Carseat Shopping with Preschoolers- Britax Endeavours

As you know, I’ve been confined, a prisoner, if you will, on bed rest for the last month. For someone who LOVES baby things and happens to be pregnant…and in need of baby things…this was torture. So, one of my first stops on my first day of freedom was Buy Buy Baby to check out all that has changed since Bug was cooking in my belly. And, woah! It’s a LOT! One of my favorite things we checked out was the new Britax Endeavours infant carseat. This seat goes from 4-35lbs, which for a mama with a high risk of birthing a premie, this is great news!

 

Obviously, Bug exceeds the max weight limit! But he approves the comfort level!

With the steel anti-rebound bar, there is 30% less rebound in a front or rear crash.

Even Chuck could maneuver its user-friendly design.

“Baby” the cabbage patch doll appreciates the safety measures present both with or without a base. With latch or auto seatbelts, Baby is riding with exceedingly high safety standards.

Chuck really enjoyed learning about how she can help take care of her new baby sibling in this #1 safety-rated seat. Bug, on the other hand, enjoyed torturing his sister. What can I say, they were stoked to get out of the house, too! I dare you to watch to the end without laughing!

Carseat Shopping With Preschoolers- Video

 

*I was compensated to check out this rad seat. All children and their wackado behaviors are my own.

30 Days

Thirty days of confinement, rest, restrictions and caution. Thirty days of figuring out a new normal and a new sense of purpose. Thirty days to dwell in my thoughts and fears and hopes for this baby and our family.

I haven’t done them well. I don’t know how one does. Two young children who need every piece of me that I can’t physically give and one deep-rooted character of pride sitting in my heart; these have been my companions. I didn’t realize how dependent I am on being INdependent until this last month. Ladies from bible study asked 10 times before they finally TOLD me they were coming to clean my kitchen. A meal train that ended up being a literal lifeline for my family was set up without me signing off…and I am so, so glad. Several friends grocery shopped, played mom-taxi and entertained my minions…all just by DOING. Because, you see, if there is one thing us moms are great at, it’s LOOKING as if we have it all under control….even if that’s not logistically possible. So, I dedicate the last thirty days to those who just DO. Thank you.

Now, the next thirty days? Who knows?! I was tentatively released from strict bed rest! It turns out the complete placenta previa that was aggravated by a pretty large subchorionic hematoma just…moved. I mean, last week it was bad. Really, really “you’re gonna have a c-section if you don’t go into preterm labor before,” bad. And this week, God said, “move!” and it did! Even my high risk doctor was surprised at the level of progress. The hematoma is still there and relatively large, but without the concern of the previa, it’s not as big of an issue right now. I am still on “light duty,” but I am able to leave the house. I can take Chuck to our Classical Conversations community day without reprimand and I can resume our normal dance/Awana/mops routine. Most exciting to me….TARGET! I know, so basic, right? But really, Chip and Joanna have been waiting for me. I must go!

I am 18.5 weeks at this point and while spending so much time with my own thoughts, I began to count down to different milestones. The most pivotal of these to me is 24 weeks. Twenty four weeks…the point of viability. The placemarker in gestation where I will never hear the words “there’s nothing we can (will) do. Just go home and manage your expectations.” Those words still burn in my ears after our traumatic night in the ER in Vegas. So, 24 weeks comes, get this, on Dec. 24! My little minnow will be statistically “viable,” a saveable miracle on Christmas Eve. How’s that for divine?!

This Sunday, Bug turns three and I can’t help but remember these milestones with him. His pregnancy was easy, for the most part, until the end. When I was 18 weeks with him, we were camping out in the mountains near Kern river, roasting marshmallows, blissfully unaware of just how much could go wrong. And here we are with this one, thanking God for each day closer to viability. It’s that way with life in general, right? We go along whistling until someone bumps us…and then someone bigger, then maybe a car or truck and then the whole dad-gum train runs us flat over and we are like, “good grief! I get it now! Life isn’t promised. Each day is a complete and utter gift. I get it.”

So, on Sunday, we will celebrate another gift of a day with our baby (middle) boy and we will once again get on our knees to thank our Heavenly Father for all the days we’ve had, and hope to have, to bring glory to Him, raising our tribe, sewing seeds of grace and mercy and working so very hard on clipping those ties to pride. Grateful for days and the ways, He shows us gently (or sometimes not SO gently) the reflection of the parts of ourselves we need to give to Him. I do get it now.

 

The Bed Rest Project

We’ve been given a diagnosis.

We drove four hours from Vegas, on pins and needles, because I had started to bleed again Monday morning. It is agonizing, that visualization that your baby is dying inside you and there’s nothing you can do about it. But, we slid into a parking space just in time for my OB to fit me in at the end of his day. We fidgeted in our seats and tried to entertain two car-weary kids in the waiting room in anticipation of what that ultrasound screen would show.

And then, there it was…the blip, blip, blip. We still had a heartbeat! And a subchorionic hemorage. After a visit with the high risk perinatalogist, the SCH was confirmed, as well as partial placenta previa. So, I’ve been prescribed complete bed rest for the foreseeable future. There is always the hope that the placenta moves and the hemorage heals itself, but until then, I will do whatever I’m told to keep this little one growing!

I’m almost 16 weeks and that’s the farthest we’ve made it since Bug. I’m counting everyday I get to feel flutters and hear that heartbeat as a giant blessing. I find myself still in disbelief that we might actually get to meet this one. We might actually get to smell that new baby smell and cradle a tiny little head again. It’s a strange space in which to live, straddling grief and joy. Guardedness and celebration.

The kids are excited. Chuck is sure I am growing a “Crystal Snowflake.” I haven’t the heart to tell her that, I am absolutely not going to be presenting her with either an exotic dancer or a recreational drug. Bug is sure it’s a boy and since the only sweet baby boy he knows is his auntie’s, he calls our baby by the same name. At least they will both be equally disappointed with our name choices!

They’ve been troopers with the bed rest thing. I keep reading blogs from women about how to stay sane on bed rest. They encourage things like, “finishing a good book,” or “catching up on episodes of Game of Thrones.” My favorite, though is “learn a new hobby like crocheting!” These people obviously have no preschoolers to entertain. I’m going to start a series on realistic activities to do from bed when you have kids. It will include things like, “learn to take the fewest steps possible to the bathroom to see what the two year old flushed. Again.” And, “try not to stress as you hear the entire contents of the top pantry shelf crash to the ground.” And my personal pick, “learn a new skill: interpret whether the silence is a blessing or worth investigating.” In the mean time, I’ve decided to document our daily bed rest diaries on Instagram under the hashtag #theBedrestProject. Check it out. Seriously riveting stuff, y’all!

Thank you for the prayers. I know I’ve asked for the reserves over the last year and a half. I’m reminded by those around me that this season (or decade) of life won’t last forever and soon enough, my prayers will be lavishly bestowed on others as theirs have been to us. I’m still waiting for the lesson in all this. Maybe there isn’t one, or at least one that we will know until that Glory day. But, I am thankful for today. So, so thankful for this life growing inside me.

Happy birthday to me

Today I turn 35. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that it’s been a great joy of my life to claim the whole month of October as my birthday month. However, over the last couple of years, this month has become bittersweet. Oct 14, 2014 was the day our sweet baby Mora, also known as “Blue”, was due. Ironically, October 15, my birthday, has been recognized as the international day of pregnancy and infant loss awareness. In July 2016 we lost our second angel, Dillon. Over the last year and a half we have gone on to lose 4 more babies; Anais, Cleo, Deene and Asha. Six. Six babies waiting to meet me in heaven someday. All had tiny beating hearts. All have names. All are loved and missed every day.

I struggled with how I should write this. I signed off facebook last year with no intention to return. We have grappled with devastating hurdles as a family over the last 18 month, in addition to losing our babies. Between deaths and health issues, a destroyed home and legal issues, I have been brought to a low I never even knew existed. I couldn’t bare my own burdens and the burdens of our broken world, together, daily. I’ve become very private. I don’t seek entertainment or affirmation, consolation or companionship like I used to. Brent and I have learned to cling to God far deeper than before. We’ve become entangled. I literally find myself wrestling with the God I love, because I know Him and I know He sees me, all of me. The ugly, snotty, hateful me. The ripped open, dying inside, barely hanging on me. And, on the good days, the grateful, still faithful, if only by a mustard seed me.

But, I’m here today, asking for a favor. We received the news this summer that we were, once again, expecting. We have been holding our breath since the first of August because, well, by now, we know how this goes. We wait. We enjoy the days, no matter how few we get to have with our baby. But, this time was different. This baby made it through each milestone and the tiny flicker was still there on the ultrasound. So, we settled into the idea that maybe, just maybe, this was our “complete.”

Friday night, the 13, we arrived in Las Vegas with plans to celebrate my 35th birthday for the weekend. That night, as I was getting ready for bed, I started to bleed. Panicked at the familiar visual, we called our sweet friends who came with us to watch the kids so we could race to the hospital. For 8.5 hours we sat in hard chairs in loud rooms, terrified, as I bled heavily. It was the most excruciating 8.5 hours of my life. Then, the light. One sympathetic soul of a doctor took my case and ordered an ultrasound. Thank you Jesus for this man. Because of him, we saw the flicker. Our baby still has a heartbeat! We can cling to that. We don’t know why I’m bleeding. But we know we have a live, bouncing baby in there.

So, today, on my birthday, as I lie in a hotel room on bed rest before tackling the four hour drive home tomorrow, I ask you for prayers. Prayers to heal whatever is causing the bleeding. Prayers for this baby to be able to meet us, face to face, here on earth, when the time is right. Prayers for our six other babies whom we miss everyday. Prayers for my husband’s gentle heart that has grieved more than anyone should have to. Prayers for our friends and my aunt and uncle who have taken our kiddos under their wings while I rest. Prayers for our kids who, wise beyond their years, are handling our painful season of life with grace. And most of all, prayers of thanks for that strong little heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. I don’t know what comes next, or how long I will get to feel gentle kicks from our ninth child, but I do know that the time is only better with more prayer. So, thank you for being here, even if I wasn’t for awhile. And thank you for the birthday wishes and prayers.

Lessons from Sacrifice

The life we are promised…

The only thing we are promised is that we will leave this earth, just as we entered it, someday. Weathered, wiser (hopefully) and having impacted those around us long enough to be remembered for a generation or two, maybe.

And, of course, salvation, if you choose it. Sweet, sweet saving grace from a Father who knows our heart of hearts and still chooses to live with us for eternity. Does that move you? Shake you to the core?

I never fully grasped God’s desire for us until I had Chuck. After all, a parent’s love is difficult to simplify into words. But, I get it now. I get why God would want us with Him forever, despite the marker on the wall or the sleepless nights or the “I hate you-s” slung His way. I get how his perfectly infinite heart could burst at the thought of his child aching and writhing in pain. I can fathom how He would want to wrap my fragile self up in a cozy blanket of grace and set me up on the couch with a Good Book and sweet Word from Him to comfort my grieving soul, all while He works in the background to make all things work together for GOOD.

I get that parenting role because He made me for it. He gave me a mother’s soul. He gave me two precious, beautiful, living children to witness (and practice) His grace through everyday. I am so, so grateful for their role in sanctifying me.

However, He’s also given me six babies I carried, but never knew. Six devastations. Six opportunities to imagine futures and fingers and family portraits…that will never happen.  Six souls to mourn and miss minute by minute. Six disappointments and six losses that have left me ever more  confused about why God does, or doesn’t, do the things He does. Why does He promise in His Word that if we ask for the desires of our hearts, and ask according to His plan, that He will grant them? Why give us desires we cannot have fulfilled? Why does He say that He is always near, if, as of late, I don’t feel Him so close? And the always prevalent, why do bad things happen to good people?

I’ve had lots of months, days, minutes to contemplate my sadness, turned anger, turned bitterness, and finally, turned acceptance. I won’t have my babies in my arms until I get to heaven, but, finally I realized, God gets THAT. How much did He long for Jesus as He did His work on earth? How much did He suffer knowing He couldn’t save him from what was to come? Did He clench and pray and try to will that loss away like I did as I was losing my babies each time? Jesus didn’t desire to die on the cross. He even asked God to take that from Him if it was His will. HIS will. There’s the piece I was missing. Not mine. And desire is a matter of perspective. Jesus desired to save His people, though He didn’t desire to die an excruciating death. I desired to be a mother, but not lose my babies. My desire HAS been granted, if not in the way I wanted. And though I’ve denied Him in anger or wrestled with His will, He was always close. He was only a prayer away. A Word away. This is where the village comes in. Those who stand in the gap when you just. Can’t. Pray. Again. It’s rough. And lonely. But, they are there and He is there, listening, gently rocking and healing. When my daughter is so sad because I won’t let her keep the lizard she caught in the yard, she doesn’t want to talk to me. But, I’ll hug her anyway and console her sweet heart from a distance until she’s ready to talk again. But, I’ve never left her. God gets that.

Jesus was perfect, blameless, sinless…the best of people…yet the WORST thing happened to him. So, I guess, who am I to wonder why bad thing s happen to “good” people? Sin and Satan. That’s why. This world is broken. We are broken. Bad things will always happen, until God takes us home, because we don’t exist in the perfect vacuum of Heaven…yet. I get THAT now. And, I suppose, as I learn lessons of grace and parental love from my earthly babies, perhaps I have also learned THIS lesson of God’s sacrifice and parental pain from my heaven babies.

I can’t wait for the reunion in that perfect place some day. But, until then, I am rejoicing that my babies won’t know the pain of this world. Thank you, Lord, for granting them that sweet grace.

 

Secondary Infertility and losses

Last summer, I decided to take a break from facebook. We had just experienced the heartbreak of our second miscarriage. The ridiculousness of political rants and petty complaints became a very unwelcomed distraction from processing our pain. Leaving was good for me. I learned to cling tighter to my Savior, instead of drowning my mind in constantly refreshing my feed. Brent and I worked through our raw hurt together, again, this second time, and came out on the other side stronger than ever.

Then, it happened again. And again. And again. And again. During this year hiatus, we have grasped to a tiny life, five different times, only to be shattered as it slipped away. That’s six in total. Six babies in heaven. I’m still jaw-dropped at those words. Our most recent beloved went to be with Jesus this month, almost a year to the day of his sibling.

I’ve been reminded over and over again that God put us on this earth to live in community, to glorify Him. His love is only reflected by ours. So, this village, the people who’ve brought coffee or embraced snot-drenched sobs on their shoulders…these are the Hands and Feet. These are the ones who, without always the right words, show with action, the cross. Thank you.

There’ve been other tragedies and joys and endless hours of news, both personal and public, through the last year. It’s documented in my heart, instead of my page. Our actions, and inactions, haven’t always been understood or appreciated by those around us, and that’s ok. Healing and grieving and growing are processes, undertaken in intimacy with Jesus. Everyone does it differently. But, all you who’ve suffered, too, know, I know. And I love, too.

My babies all have names. They’ve all been loved for every second of their existence. Every bit of their being was felt and cherished. They will be remembered at due dates and loss dates…even if I have to reference my “list,” because there are so many. What mother doesn’t remember her baby’s birthday? I’m trying.

So, I suppose the point of this is…well, I’m not really sure. Maybe to try to express courage? Or insight for those who’ve wondered? Or just to document some late night, wine-induced rambling from an aching mama-heart.

Chuck and Bug are our world. They perfectly stretch our parent wings and if they complete our family, we are joy- filled. But, we stand in utter confusion at God’s plans for our family. It’s a sense of paralysis. So, I humbly ask, for those who’ve walked through the fire of secondary infertility or recurrent losses, please reach out. I need some anecdotal hope, one way or the other.

And to my husband, thank you for being mine. Thank you for holding my hand so tightly when I’m crashing to the ground. Thank you for carrying the weight this year. You have. All of it. This life hurts, but it’s also full of sweet, sweet joys and I’m so glad you’re the one by my side for them.

 

Four times the Love

When we decided to become parents, we thought it would be easy. Not the parenting part. We knew that would be a journey of trials and errors and celebrations and triumphs. But, the getting there part. We thought that would be easy. It took seven months to conceive Chuck. I know now that’s a blink compared to some struggling to become parents. My pregnancy with her was hard. I think most pregnancies are, but the hardest part was the day the dr couldn’t find her heartbeat. I was 20 weeks along and I braced myself to become my worst nightmare. After an agonizing two days and an appointment with a specialist, our girl was declared completely fine and normal. We rejoiced at the news and went merrily along under the assumption that we had experienced our parenting hurdle. Because we only get one, right? Little did we know….

When Chuck was two, we decided she needed a sibling. Both my husband and I come from large families and we wanted our girl to know the joy of a brother or sister. This time, it was easy. But easy things don’t always last. Mora, or “Blue,” was our first baby born in heaven. Bug came along directly after- our “rainbow” baby, as babies born after loss are called. The night he was born, I held him in my arms and clearer than any human voice I heard God say to me, “he’s not your last.” This was actually really shocking to me. Here was my son, no more than 8 hours fresh, my perfect daughter was at home with Papa and we were done. The girl, the boy, the “dream,” right? But, I embraced it and went on for almost two years with the peace that God had one more baby planned for our family. I just knew it.

Before we decided to get out of God’s way in the path to baby number three, we steadied ourselves with the reminder that it had taken more than half a year the first time and a loss the second time, so surely this time would have its bumps. We had no idea what that really meant. After 6 months, I finally got the coveted two pink lines. I protected that secret for three days so I could reveal to my sweet husband the glorious news in the grand way it deserved. The day after I announced to him, I started to bleed. It was happening again. I was so heartbroken. Had I not heard God correctly? So we tried again and got pregnant the very next month. And I lost that one, too. I was so, so angry. Why? Why? A million times why? We shelved the idea of adding to our family to deal with our tattered selves and to just love on our little family more. Five months passed with no more pregnancies, but also, no more losses. For that we praised. We dragged ourselves from the gutter of bitterness and came out on the other side at peace. God does great things with broken people. Thankfully, He is there even when the healing hearts fail again because this week, we’ve needed his mercies once more. Our fourth baby was born into the arms of our Lord shortly after Valentine’s Day. What a sweet love day gift to our baby, to be born into that peace. I’m not angry this time. The bitterness has dissolved. I am so sad and I long to smell that sweet new life smell again, but I don’t know what God has in store for us. I’m being still. I’m listening. I’m staying home and hugging my earth babies because if we are meant to be a family of 8…with only four of us in this house….I will accept that. But, I love my heaven babies. All four of them. I yearn for the first time I get to see their faces and hold them close. Until then, today, we rest.

We lost another

DSC_1624

I struggled with whether I should write this. It’s been eight months since my last personal blog post and perhaps such a depressing topic is not the best note on which to launch myself again. Yet, here I am. This is part of me now. It’s a strange reality to have a child you’ve carried, but never met. We have four children, two living.

We were traveling to see family when I had my first clue I might be pregnant. I have always been super in tune with my body, even to the point of knowing the day, time and from which side I ovulate. So, when the headaches started and the weird motion sickness sprung up, I knew it could be a possibility.

DSC_1427DSC_1430DSC_1439

Still, a couple of weeks passed before I felt I should test. But, there it was, plain as day…two thin, pink lines. We’ve done this enough times now that I know what I’m looking for! There’s no doubt. But, because I’m a born skeptic…eight tests later….we’re pregnant! It’s not news we were trying for, but it was completely welcomed and celebrated and absolutely embraced. I decided, since it would be our last, this time I wanted to document breaking the news to Brent. The reveal went so perfectly and I will forever be grateful to Tiffany Nicole Photography for keeping that very HARD secret with me for two days in preparation for our family portraits. It was the sweetest. Our BABY was coming! Our baby. Our third addition was so, so loved. Charlotte patted my belly and asked if the baby would get bigger, because right now, in my tummy, it was far too little to share her room. Such joy.

DSC_1468

And then it started. I clinched and sat so still and willed it not to. I prayed and slept and prayed some more. I drank gallons of water and begged God not to take this child; to let me be one of those rare women who just bleed throughout their otherwise completely normal, uneventful pregnancies. For several days, in pain and sorrow, I felt her slip further from me. I couldn’t save her. Lord knows I tried. Please, God…. not again. WHY, again? We were content with our two precious blessings. Why give us another child, only to take it away? Again? Wasn’t this pain enough sacrifice the first time? I can’t do this again. I WON’T. Please, please don’t make me watch my husband crumble at my feet. Please don’t make me so, so angry with you. I love you. I LOVE you.

It happened anyway. Our baby is gone. All that is left of my daughter is that thin pink line on the stick. So many tears, so much grief. To lose a child is the deepest of wounds. I know our baby is resting the arms of the Holy One, but I can’t help struggling with the question of ‘why?’ I may never know, I suppose, but I do know I am supposed to rejoice in my Lord through ALL circumstances. 1 Thess. 5:18 says, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I would be lying if I said that was easy. In fact, I would be lying if I said I had yet THANKED God for any of this. I WANT my baby. But, I am thankful I have two beautiful, healthy, living babies. I am thankful I am blessed with a Godly example of a man as my partner in life. And, I suppose I am thankful that my two heaven-bound babes never have to suffer the pains and evil of this world. Maybe THAT is the blessing in all this. Maybe I can see it all more clearly when I’m not so mad. And sad.

I’ve also experienced once again the saints that walk among our circle. A meal, when I hadn’t the emotional strength to choose chicken or fish, was medicine to my soul. A beautiful bouquet sits wilting in my window right now because I don’t have the heart to remove the LOVE it represents. Words of encouragement, even when not easy to hear, and a good cup of coffee served with a dose of dark humor…these are the tiny glimpses of God’s kingdom that lift up my heart to the reality of His glory. I know He loves me…even if it all makes no sense sometimes. Thank you, each of you.

I love you, baby girl. You and your sister. I miss you both everyday. You will be loved and celebrated and acknowledged here until the day I get to meet you face to face. Take care of each other for me, will ya? I love you.

 

 

He’s one!

 

image

Aww! So sweet and demure! (Yeah, right! You know how hard I worked to get this shot?!)

It’s happened. Of course it would. But, somewhere in the pained corners of my heart I hoped he’d stay a wrinkly little squish forever. Alas, my handsome boy is one today. He’s funny and engaged, adventurous and determined. He climbs anything and everything with gusto and melts me with his tiny, “thank you.” He is one thing, though, that I was not prepared for. He’s a boy.

 

That sounds odd, right? Well, I keep getting it. “He’s all boy.” “He’s just a boy and boys are so different from girls.” “Get ready! Boys give you a run for your money!”

And it’s all so true. When I was a nanny, other childcare workers on the playground would talk about how so and so’s mom didn’t allow him/her to wear blue/pink for fear it would impose false gender identity on them. Tommy’s mom only let him play with dolls because toy trucks are so stereotypical for boys. Sally’s dad thought she should be allowed to pee standing up if she desired so as not to squelch her budding gender exploration. I even had one family for whom I personally worked tell me to only refer to their child by name and never with “him/her” since those are “pronouns that project societal ideals on a child.” HE was 18 months old.

image

Notice the giant flap of flesh missing from his forehead…he tried to jump to his own demise ON his first birthday! So much for a photoshoot!

I call bologna. Since when is being a boy, BAD? Why are we feminizing the acceptable role of men and boys in our society? It’s just not real life. I had a lady tell me once that children don’t form “gender” specific attributes until society teaches them to. I would like to submit exhibit A. My very physically motivated son has been challenging himself to conquer literal mountains since the first day he could army crawl…at 4 1/2 months old. He throws himself from the top of toys just to see how it feels. He takes risks for the thrill of the wind in his two wispy hairs. Things that excite him are trucks and mud and growling. He prefers meat to just about anything else and he farts. Constantly. Stereotypical…for sure! Truth…absolutely. After all, aren’t most stereotypes born in some truth?

image

 

SO, perhaps because of the feedback I got from reading too many opinion pieces on Huff Post, I was not prepared for what would actually lie in my future if I had a boy. I grew up with three brothers, but surely their “machismo,” if you will, was thrust upon them by our folks, right? My child would be whatever, WHOever he wanted because I would be a totally free-range parent. Surely that would make for a sweet, soft-spoken, well-mannered, totally-in-tune-with-his-feelings little dude, RIGHT? Well, I AM a pretty free-range-y mom and this is what I get. A kid determined to kill himself before adolescence!

image

I’m not discounting the exceptions. Chuck likes bugs and dirt and running naked and free in the backyard….all traits commonly attributed to the masculine. And Buddy has a sister so he is absolutely familiar with dolls and headbands and tea parties. But, overall, she tends to be more sweet and sassy than stout and steady. And I posit…that’s good!

 

 

Why are we so eager to blend in to one gender, while at the same time screaming out for recognition of our individuality? Shouldn’t the sexes be celebrated for their obvious specific strengths?

image

 

It’s quite the honor to be the mama to my boy. I cherish the role I have to help mold his sense of chivalry and moral fortitude. I don’t want to live in a world where men don’t open doors for their date or feel the responsibility to take care of their families. Where will it get us? It definitely won’t guide the state of the family unit into a harmonious lot. And, I mean really, are little boys not just the cutest, scariest, most exhausting form of love joy there is? And I don’t want to squash THAT!

Club MomMe Springfest

image

 

Spring fest red carpet

Bug and me, rocking the red carpet.

image

The Diono Ranier, in the color “Storm,” is the car seat we chose for Bug. Although, this “houndstooth” is pretty dapper!

Its’s that time of year. It seems like every weekend in April and May is filled with baby showers, sprinkles and births! Well, one weekend last month I got an extra special treat when I was invited to attend Club MomMe’s Springfest and learn all about the new and improved baby gear those mamas-to-be will be coveting!

image image image image

We got to test out some pretty awesome car seats, from the Britax Click tight which installs in 30 seconds to the Diono Ranier with its 45lb rear-facing limit! Jujube did a show-and-tell for their BFF diaper bag and boy, is that thing versatile! I could totally see carrying it post baby, laptop and all! Not to mention the prints are cute. Look at the anchors! Bug checked out the Halo “bassinest” with interest. I definitely see this becoming the new must-have cosleeper for new parents as it provides more maneuverability in those middle of the night feeding sessions. And, of course we had to say hi to Lansinoh, the maker of the world’s most leak-proof (and Bug approved) breastmilk storage bags!

 

Baby products weren’t the only things to be educated about. Several panels took place throughout the day with topics ranging from moms in media to childhood milestones. The one I found most informational was this one on vaccinations…a charged topic, indeed!

 

image image

Then came the really fun part…for this tired mommy, anyway! The Club MomMe folks provided a pamper lounge complete with massages and manicures! I got a relaxing bacbackrub while baby boy slept peacefully in the Bob. Then, it was my turn for a manicure and the G man worked his magic on the ladies of Ella Mila! They loved his bald head and dimpled grin.

image image image

 

 

To complete a really perfect, educational day, we went home with a trunk-load of goodies! We won a travel crib from Bjorn and a walker/toddler table combo from Combi! I have won things only a handful of times in my life, so needless to say I made a fool of myself jumping up and down when my ticket number was called!

 

Thank you Club MomMe for a great event and for providing access to these timeless baby brands. I really learned so much.

 

You can get involved with Club MomMe and their full roster of events by visiting the website at ClubMomMe.com .

 

I will be running with Chuck and Bug in their next event, the Stroll ‘n Run 5k. Will you join me? Use code “run” for a discount on registration check out at strollnrun.com!