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.


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.


MommyCrunch is due with baby #2! Essentials Giveaway!

October is a month full of ups and downs in the Crunchy house. We are touched by mourning as baby Blue’s due date comes and passes on the 14th without the warmth of her squishy little body to hold. But, at the same time we are filled with anticipation as we enter the final stretch before Bug makes his or her first appearance. October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, as well as my birthday month. Because all these things culminate in such a small stretch this 31 days, I decided to celebrate Blue’s short life and rejoice at Bug’s impending arrival with a giveaway. How better to make yourself happy than to make someone else’s day?! So, here it is…three products that I have grown to see as essentials with Chuck and now, I pass this knowledge to you. The list is obviously not exhaustive, but it is definitely a start!

Due With #2 Giveaway


Viva La Cloth diapers

viva4 viva5 viva1






The “Buster” by Viva La Cloth is the perfect cloth solution for any newborn.

 Fitting 5-15+lbs, the Buster is our answer to the issue of babies outgrowing the absorbency of a mini one-size diaper before the diaper size itself.

• Super soft and durable double layer PUL – trim fitting style won’t overbulk your little one

• Modified All-In-One style diaper in five color choices – with a double opening full length pocket – speeds drying time and lets you customize the diaper’s absorbency level

• The entire diaper is lined in bamboo terry for extra absorbency 

• Sewn-in soaker starts you with alternating thirsty sandwiched layers of Bamboo Terry, Microfiber and Heavy Bamboo Fleece

• Stuff the full length pocket with a doubler or an insert for more absorbency as your older baby wets more – or for heavier wetting newborns too

• Crossover waist snap closure has snaps edge to edge to combat wing droop and 3 rise settings to fit even the tiniest of babies

• Machine wash warm or hot / tumble dry low or line dry

Winner will choose their color option.


abbecoté is a lifestyle Brand that inspires women to dress simply and comfortably while radiating Confidence, Dignity and Grace; even under pressure. We’ve created a Smart, Stylish, and Sophisticated apparel and accessories that allow women to establish their own signature look.  

 ac6 ac5 ac4 ac3 ac2
The abbewrap. Each piece can be Effortlessly worn in multiple ways; on its own, mixed and matched with other abbecoté styles, or with your existing wardrobe. This single item is easy to wear and flexible, adapting to your many activities, moods, and changes throughout your evolving life. Our abbewrap doesnt require much from you, but it gives a whole lot back! Wherever you go, whatever your mood; the abbewrap have got you covered!
MommyCrunch loves the abbewrap as a stylish wardrobe option for cover during nursing as well as an unexpected addition to keep mom and baby warm!
Winner will choose their color option.



With Motherlove, you can depend on consistent quality products crafted only with the purest ingredients and certified organic herbs. Each of our formulas are time proven and backed with integrity and an intimate knowledge of herbal remedies.

The nipple cream is a life saver for moms with new little nurslings!

Prize package contents to be determined by Motherlove.


Win it! One lucky fan will win one of each of these. Use the Rafflecopter form below and GOOD LUCK!

ARV of entire raffle prize estimated at $110.

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Viva La Cloth, Abbecote and Motherlove. MommyCrunch & participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. This giveaway will end October 26th. Giveaway is open to anyone in the US, 18+ & older. Winners will be posted via Rafflecopter. No purchase is necessary & void where prohibited by law! Have questions? Email

a Rafflecopter giveaway

EarthBaby- a Boutique Resource

As a new mom, I remember being so overwhelmed by the endless amounts of information that immediately started streaming my way the day I found out I was pregnant. From controversial topics like circumcision and vaccinations to seemingly benign topics like toy and clothes choices, it was all SO much to take in. At that point, I knew very few in my friend circle who had gone before me into “motherdom” and I would have given anything to have a physical place to just go and learn. I never found such a place before C was born, but there is one in town now!

A couple weeks ago, I was invited to a “blogger’s night in” at EarthBaby Boutique in Sherman Oaks. I took “blogger’s night in” to mean…take a night away from your kidlet and come eat good food while hearing from some info-full speakers. And I did!

First, I have to start off with a little community announcement. If you want to go anywhere in the valley, go early. Parking is generally lame. BUT, this night, I snagged the parking space RIGHT in front of the store! I think that fact is noteworthy all on it’s own!

Once I walked inside, I was so pleasantly greeted by owner Renee and manager Jennifer of this cute, eco-friendly baby boutique. I signed in for the event and took a bit of time to stroll around the store, noting which of my favorite squishy brands they stocked. Best Bottom and Buttons diapers!! Sloomb and Green Toys! I was actually surprised by such a wonderful variety of toys, clothes, diapers, accessories and toiletries for ages birth through early childhood! I truly believe you could shop here for every single baby need you could have and do it Eco-consciously.

Look at that diaper wall!
After touring the store, I ventured into the classroom where we would be hearing from some renowned professionals in their fields. Not only that, but dinner was served followed by my favorite, dessert! 
These ladies know the way to a preggo’s heart!
First up, we learned about the Ollie Swaddle. This swaddle was created to enable babies hips to lie in the ergonomically ideal position while still providing the secure feeling that helps them sleep so well. It also has an open end making it possible to use for babies who are being monitored in the NICU with all those wires! Pretty thoughtful, if you ask me!

Naturology LA came to represent their all natural soap and bath line. Everything is safe, non-toxic and even edible (although, I doubt they taste as good as the smell!)

My absolute favorite product presentation of the evening was the Mama Strut. Oh my WOW! This baby is made to hold in all your lady parts directly after delivery. There are pouches for hot and cold packs, an adjustable waist to help that fundus shrink and it is completely machine washable. I can not wait to try this out after Bug is born. I remember those first few days after Chuck’s delivery…I felt like I needed to be bandaged up…EVERYWHERE. Well, here it is, the answer!
Dr. Elliot Berlin from Berlin Wellness came to talk about natural birthing, prenatal and postnatal care. His associates spoke on the benefits of infant craniosacral therapy. I had never heard of this until that evening, but it makes sense. If a mama goes through quite the trauma during labor, imagine it from the babe’s perspective!
After the speakers, it was raffle time! You put a bunch of mama’s and mama’s-to-be in a room and tell them you are going to give away loads of free stuff….the energy level instantly goes up! I even won a few things! I cannot wait to try out this Ollie Swaddle on my own little squish! Also, this butt balm is by Little Doodles, a small work-at-home shop, which I am happy to support. And I am sure baby Bug will love these organic cotton veggie toys by Under The Nile, because Chuck has already tried them out and she loves them!
I actually kind of dig this photo taken by Aleness Photo. They do newbies and maternity shoots, too!

This was a pretty great event to introduce the local mommy blogger community to this cute shop on Ventura Blvd. Not only do they carry these awesome products, but they do a myriad of talks and get-togethers on topics ranging from cloth diapers and baby wearing to infertility and essential oils. They have monthly playdate gatherings for the littles, and music maker play times. On August 7 they are even a host for the Great Big MomMe Latch On event to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week! You can find out more about that here. So, really, this is a store, but it is more than that to a new mom. It’s a resource. I highly recommend you check out their class schedule and pop in for one when you can. And at the very least, check out the cute fluff on their walls!

Can’t wait to put this Buttons dipe on Bug’s booty!

Thank you Renee and Jennifer for a wonderful evening and a fun event!

For the month of August, EarthBaby Boutique is offering a referral program. So, when you go, please tell them that Cara from The Mommy Crunch sent you! Then, send your friends and increase your own chances to win a store credit!

Please visit EarthBaby Boutique at
13454 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 917-6193

I was asked to attend this media event where I was fed and provided with some pretty fun complimentary stuff in return for an honest evaluation. As always, opinions are entirely my own.

A Date With Chuck At Stonefire

I was asked to attend a media event where food and beverages were given to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review. As always, opinions are strictly my own.

As a blogger, sometimes opportunities come your way that excite you even more than they probably should. Usually for me, those opportunities involve food. Because I love food…free food is even tastier!

When I had Chuckles, our church family rallied around us with support and dinners. For two weeks after we brought our little bundle home, we had dinner magically delivered to our door by our brothers and sisters in Christ who wanted to help a new mom and dad to just relax and enjoy bonding with the new baby. It. Was. GLORIOUS! One of those memory-making dinners was from Stonefire Grill. I had never eaten at this place before, but whether it was post-delivery hormones talking or not, I was hooked on that scrumptious barbecue and garlic bread to write home about!

Lucky for me, I was presented with the chance last week to be a part of a media tasting event at Stonefire Grill introducing their new summer menu options. I, of course, jumped at the chance! I rsvp’d for me plus one, thinking this would be a wonderful date night for Hfoe and myself. After all, it’s not so hard to shell out $10 an hour for a sitter if dinner is comped! But, alas, hubby had to work on the night of the event. So, with a very deep breath and a few meditative  moments of preparation for the unpredictable toddler emotions, I took Chuck as my “plus one.” My good friend Melissa over at has a daughter that is Chuckles’s age and they are buddies. She was in the same boat, so we made it a double mama-daughter date.

On the drive over, the girls sang Disney songs and held hands across carseats….this was looking promising for good dinner behavior! And they didn’t disappoint. From the moment we walked into the restaurant patio, both girls were so well behaved. I am sure they were just as impressed as I was at the reception we received from the Stonefire crew. We were greeted by the owner’s son and summer menu co-creator, Justin, and presented with our choices of seasonal brews, wines or in my case, passion fruit tea. Sensing the toddlers’ short attention spans, Justin intuitively asked if he could pull together a couple children’s menu items for the girls to get them started. Sure! And the mac ‘n cheese was the hit of the evening for one blondie with discerning  taste!

Leave me alone, mother. This mac ‘n cheese is divine!

Now, for the mama food. Yum! That is pretty much the summary of my experience. My first bite was from the new Keen Green salad, with it’s kale, quinoa and avocado. It’s not something I would probably generally order at this place I love for barbecue, but I was pleasantly surprised at the fresh, delicious flavors that were perfect for summer! Next came the roasted cauliflower pita and the Capresse sandwich. Which one is my favorite? I can’t choose. I never prepare cauliflower at home after I had an unfortunate experience once with a mushy restaurant side dish, so when I saw the pita, I was hesitant. But, so as to be able to give an accurate review, I tried it anyway. I am so glad I did! Chuckles even liked it! My highlight of the sandwiches I tried, though, was the turkey salad. Oh my goodness…and I mean GOODNESS! I would NEVER have thought to order this light of an option and receive this explosion of flavor! Over all, the dishes presented to us this evening were a smorgasbord of tasty choices fit for warmer weather, but still filling enough for lunch or dinner.

Golden State Kale Salad

Roasted Cauliflower Pita and Keen Green Salad
Capresse Sandwich and Traditional Turkey Sandwich

The cherry on top of our evening was dessert. With a powder sugar-covered brownie and a slice of cheesecake, my plans of taking the girls to get yogurt after dinner for their good behavior quickly went out the window…gladly! Chuck couldn’t even wait for me to snap the picture before she dove right into the brownie!

Someone was a little impatient!
Baby bug approved, too!

To say the food was delicious would be redundant and an understatement, but my overall experience for this fun evening at Stonefire Grill was exceptional. I was happy to see how kid friendly the staff and menu were and how mama friendly the new summer menu additions are. It’s good to know on those nights Hfoe has to work late and I just don’t have one more creative dinner in me, I can take the kidlet down to Stonefire for a thoughtful, healthy meal.

My girl and me…excited about the full bellies!

We visited the location at 6405 FALLBROOK AVENUE
WEST HILLS, CA  91307, but please visit to find a location near you and run there for dinner tonight!

Thank you so much to the folks at Stonefire Grill who made our evening so enjoyable and yummy!

I was asked to attend a media event where food and beverages were given to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review. As always, opinions are strictly my own.

Pregnancy Awareness Month Event and Giveaway!

Yesterday I had the honor of being invited to the blogger brunch hosted by MomsLA to kick off the Pregnancy Awareness Month event in Santa Monica. And boy, was I glad to be there!! We got pampered with makeup and eyebrow shaping by Evolue Beauty Beverly Hills, hair styling by Jin Bang Hair, facials by Josie Maran Cosmetics and lunch by Paleta! Even Chuck got in on the action asking for more “lips” from my makeup artist!

Chuck and me with Chris from What I run Into

After the blogger brunch, the event was opened for the public to explore over 50 different baby and pregnancy related vendors in attendance, complete with samples, info and raffles. Everyone from Happy Family to the Honest Company were represented. Of course, as I have gushed a hundred and fifty times before, my all time favorite baby company, Ergo Baby, was also there! I so enjoyed speaking with Ms. Cynthia Neiman, their Chief Marketing Officer and I think she enjoyed meeting Chuckles, who, if I may say so myself, was rather charming with her hot, sweaty hair-in-her-face style after playing outside in the too-awesome toddler zone! Oh, and we were not surprisingly sporting our preferred carrier, the new 360…so that may have been an attention-getter as well.

Cythia Neiman from Ergo, Dr. Tanya Altman and Dr. Harvey Karp

Another highlight to my afternoon was listening to the many knowledgeable speaker panels presented on topics titled, “Ask the Pediatrician,” “A Clean Start: What You Don’t Want To Overlook for Healthy Homes and Happy Children,” Childbirth Options,” and “Mom and Baby- Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Start.” The stand-out in my mind was hearing Dr. Harvey Karp of Happiest Baby on the Block fame speak on the difference between the ideal of “nuclear family” and the reality of what families have looked like throughout history. Let’s just say this…parenting is tough these days, y’all! Also, I have to add that for one of the panels Dr. Karp sat behind me to listen in the audience and he totally played peek-a-boo with C! I have officially traded my groupie status for bands like Matchbox 20 for geeked out mom status over the baby shusher. No joke. But this guy SAVED MY BRAIN when Chuck wouldn’t sleep, so I guess the adoration is due.

Hfoe also enjoyed a panel specifically for the dudes called, “What About Daddy?” It has prompted him to want to speak out about being a dad so be on the lookout for some special edition posts soon, folks!

In total, we spent about 5 hours at Bergamont Station in Santa Monica for this event that brought together new and expectant moms from all over Southern California and proved to be a platform for education and support. It was a day completely well spent! Thank you MomsLA for pampering me and thank you Pregnancy Awareness for what you do!

Because I had such a great time and because we had such generous vendors, I decided to host a giveaway for a goody bag filled with many of the same swag items I received! With items from Josie Maran Cosmetics, Ergo, Honest Co, Daddy & Co., Bona, Pump Station and the book The Ultimate pH Solution: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Prevent Disease and Lose Weight, this is a pretty great prize and I wish you luck! Spread the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Frozen for CHEAP

If you are a Disney freak like me, you have “Let it Go” running on repeat in your brain ALL. DAY. LONG. I mean seriously Idina, you have infiltrated my day dreams…and, well, who am I kidding? My night dreams, too! But, alas! You need not wait much longer! Disney’s Frozen releases on DVD and Blu Ray on March 18! Eeek! That’s a week from tomorrow!

For a limited time you can pre-order at the crazy price of $19.99 for the Frozen (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)combo pack. That is like, half off the usual Amazon price. Also, the FrozenDVD alone is $14.99, also a killer deal! Plus, if amazon drops the price again before the release, you will receive it at that price because of their guarantee! So run, run, run and order now so it will be waiting on your doorstep before you know it!