Read on for Jessica's story.
Those of you who have been following for a while may have already seen the story of my battle with Postpartum Anxiety and Depression (if you haven't, or would like to read it again, you can see it here). This year, because I know that every experience is different, I wanted to share stories from other moms. Hopefully, you can read these and know, whatever your experience has been, you are not alone.
Read on for Jessica's story.
I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for SwimWays. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
I don't know how it is in the summer where you live, but here in Texas, we have two key ingredients to summer survival: water and air conditioning. When you have kids, the water part, while fun, can also be incredibly stressful. I've found that quality water safety products can make a mom's (or dad's!) life so much easier when pool/beach/lake season hits. Good support products also make for smooth transitions to water activities for younger children, setting the stage for a lifelong love of swimming and promoting confidence and independence.
The Swimways brand has been helping children learn to swim for over 40 years, and they've even created the Swim Steps program, making it easy for parents to navigate entry into the world of swimming and for children to become confident swimmers. If you've followed my blog much, you already know that I don't pay empty lip service to products, and I only choose to work with companies in whom I truly believe, no matter the compensation. So when I say that Swimways is a best bet for peace of mind, you can rest assured that I really mean it.
Read on for my review of what is, in my opinion, the single best baby float on the market today: the Swimways Baby Spring Float. (Along with some photos of our non-traditional swim party/photo shoot....)
About 6 months after Thing 2 was born, I sat in my OB/GYN's office and listened to him tell me that I was no longer really "postpartum" and would need to find another doctor to prescribe my antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds.
Now, before I go further, I must say that I absolutely love my OB/GYN. He delivered both my children and helped me through the decision process before my hysterectomy. Even with this experience, I wouldn't trade the amazing medical services he provided. In fact, when my gallbladder failed me during my pregnancy with Thing 2 and all tests came back normal, he was the only doctor who said, "Hey, sometimes a doctor just has to listen to the patient and look at symptoms, not just test results."
This is a large part of the reason I was so floored when he told me I needed to look elsewhere for treatment and support of my depression and anxiety as I was "no longer postpartum". At a time when I was feeling extraordinarily vulnerable and helpless, I felt as if one of the few shaky legs I had to stand on for support had been kicked out from under me. I was still in that "you've given birth fairly recently" timeframe, so regular doctors sent me to my OB/GYN, but here was my OB/GYN telling me to find a regular doctor. I think this is indicative of a huge problem with the way our society, as "enlightened" as it is, handles Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)--or really just mood disorders in general.
I'm fairly certain that the first tricycle/bicycle makes the Top 10 list for childhood rites of passage--right up there with First Day of Preschool and First Time to Pee On the Side of the Road (wait...maybe that's just the list for MY kids...). For a child with special needs, that list can look a whole lot different (First Time to Breathe Without Assistance, First Holiday Out of the Hospital...), but why should special needs children not get to enjoy some of those same firsts? Why shouldn't they get to experience the exhilaration of the first bike ride, too?
This month, t-shirt company Live.Breathe.Grow is launching its LBG Gives campaign. Each month, 33% of the sales from a specific shirt design will go toward giving happiness to someone in need, and this month the goal is to help a special little girl ride HAPPY and FREE. Read on for Afton's story.
What do you think when you hear “Verizon”? For me, it used to be, of course, “cell phones”. Then, last week, I went to the Verizon Spring Forward: What’s Hot event, and oh my. They are seriously more than cell phones! Wanna hear about the other awesomesauce devices and accessories they carry? That’s a rhetorical question: of course you do!
By now, I'm sure many of you have heard about the amazing collaboration between LILLEbaby and tokidoki. You can get your very own limited edition prints of the Complete All Seasons (standard size) and Carry On (toddler size) at lillebaby.com. If they sell out there or, since the mad rush seems to be breaking the internet, you can also find them at the participating retailers listed below. You may want to put on your speedy typing fingers--they're going to go fast!
A Much Better Way
Baby Sweet Pea’s
Basic Baby Shop
Castle Rock a My Baby
Cloud 9 Baby
Go Baby Go Shop
Itsy Bitsy Bums
Kissed By The Moon
Nature Baby Outfitter
Planet Bambini SOLD OUT
Sweet Cheeks Baby
Today's post concludes the Week of #LILLElove with a review of the newest LÍLLÉbaby carrier, the Carry On.
The Carry On is made of the same ultra-breathable, moisture-wicking mesh as the Airflow which, if you read my review earlier this week, you already know is seriously cool. (See what I did there?) Since Thing 2 still fits fairly well in the standard sized LÍLLÉbaby, I use the Carry On primarily for Thing 1, and he loves it.
To give you some size reference here, Thing 1 is 4.5 years old, 38 lbs, and about 38". Mr. TFT (wearing him here) is 6'2". As you can see, Thing 1 fits quite nicely in the Carry On, with good knee to knee coverage and back support up to his shoulders. You can even pull the hood over his head, were he to fall asleep.
I will say that I frequently carried Thing 1 in our Complete Organic with no issues, but putting him in the Carry On made a world of difference. The body of the carrier has a wider footprint with padding on the legs, and the shoulder straps and waist belt are also wider, all of which help distribute the weight better. It truly makes for a more comfortable experience for both mom and little one.
A few other convenient features are:
Of course, the Carry On works wonderfully for Thing 2 as well and, since I have it, I use it when I am out and about with only her. Toothless the Night Fury says it is just a tad too roomy for a newborn...(Yes, the dragon wearing was heavily influenced by Thing 1.)
One of my favorite things I can do now that I have both an Airflow and a Carry On (dare I say that I am doubly cool?), I can also comfortably tandem wear, which comes in handy on those days when nobody is listening, Daddy is working late, Mama is losing her mind, and each kid comes walking up with a carrier asking to be worn.
So. Many of you know that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a fashion maven--a fact I was reminded of this morning when I took Thing 2 to school in her dress for Easter Bunny pics, only to see just about every other little girl wearing leggings and tunics (that's another story)--but we are a fairly high tech family (and by that, I mean Mr. TFT is high tech and the rest of us stand next to him hoping we look cool too), so I'm really excited about tomorrow.
You see, I was invited to attend the Verizon Spring Forward: What's Hot? event tomorrow. We'll be learning about this season's fun, hot tech, accessories and apps. Some of the devices we'll be learning about are: UE Mini Boom Wireless Speaker, Flip 2 Portable Wireless Speaker, Belkin Netcam (HD) Camera with Night Vision, FitBit, and WeMo Switch.
I'm personally very excited to learn about the UE Mini Boom and the Flip 2. In fact, I was just telling Mr. TFT that we need a good way to play our music upstairs in the kids' rooms (dragon tea parties are way cooler when there’s music) and outside while we're working and playing in the yard. Dance parties everywhere!
My fitness coach (ok, I don’t really have one of those, but it sounds nice, right?) would love for me to get a FitBit to increase motivation and negate the lies I tell myself about calories burned. I’m really thinking that I’ll leave tomorrow’s event at least 5 lbs skinnier just from learning about the FitBit!
How much easier would it be to spy on your kids with the Belkin Netcam? I mean, seriously. HD and Night Vision? No more parties up in THAT crib! Get back in bed! Your kids don't want me to learn about this one and share my knowledge. But I will. Oh yes, I will.
The WeMo Switch is actually a fairly intriguing concept. Imagine how much simpler your life would be if you could turn off the lights in your house using your smartphone once you finally wrangle all the children into the minivan and realize that you left every light in the house on after searching for junior's favorite green sock. Or, turn the lights on when you get home after dark so you don't trip, break your leg, AND wake the sleeping child on your way to the light switch. For those of you with older kids: Imagine the fun you could have at sleepovers, all from the comfort of your own bed. Wait until the scary stories start, then get out your smartphone and play with the lights. This one is going to be fun!
Joking aside, If you guys have questions about any of these devices (or related topics), post them here, and I'll try to get answers for you!
A couple of weeks ago, as I was wandering the produce department of Whole Foods with Thing 1 and Thing 2, the kids spotted a sample table. Begging ensued, and I figured "Why not?" since it was, after all, the produce department. (Free samples totally count toward the daily fruit and veggie allotment, you guys--I read it on the internet.)
What we found at the table was Pure Spoon, an organic "from seed to spoon" baby food, made locally in Austin, TX. Thing 1 mostly eyed the selection dubiously (because he's 4, and there was nothing chicken nugget shaped...), but Thing 2 tried EVERY SINGLE FLAVOR. I'm not joking. She even tried to climb out of the cart to get to the table for more. The proprietor of Pure Spoon, Alyson Eberle, gave us a couple of containers to take home and try out.
Aside from the fact that Thing 2 really seemed to enjoy the taste, I was really impressed with what I found in researching the company a bit more. Here are some highlights:
Now those are some values and practices I can get behind. If you live in Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana, check out your Whole Foods now for some of this yumminess. It's marketed as a baby food puree, but it totally gets 4 thumbs up (an an exuberant toddler clap) from me and Thing 2!