Hello happy teeth!

Hello happy teeth!

Back to school means back to morning hallway rush-hour where screaming will be heard, arguments will be had and shoes will be lost. All in hopes of making it out the door on time and presenting ourselves to the outside world as clean, well groomed, matching, productive members of elementary school society. (Hopefully.)

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For us, one of the things that seems to be the most difficult (either before bed of before school) was the daunting chore of brushing the teeth. Is it the toothpaste? The back and forth action? Or is it the spitting? I’m not sure but whatever it is, my five-year-old is not a fan.

So when I opened this months Savvy Sassy Scout box for back to school season, I was so so happy to see three tubes of Hello Products toothpaste for kids. With all the fanfare in their debut it was hard to miss when this awesome line came to stores but I hadn’t had a chance yet to try them out. I can see now what everyone was raving about since they taste good (which kids love) coming in delicious flavors like bubblegum, blueberry, green apple and mango mint and yet are free from artificial sweeteners, flavors or dyes.  On top of all that they have now been awarded the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, which means it’s clinically proven to fight cavities and strengthen enamel.

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All of this means happy kids and happy moms.

I am happy to report that it now only takes me yelling “Go brush your teeth!” once to get the job done. Progress! We’ve even made a game out of it, Audrey will go brush her teeth and when she comes back I have to smell her breath and guess which toothpaste she used. It’s win-win all over the place.

What fun tricks do you use to get your kids to do what you want?

 

 

 

 

Easy and healthy back to school lunch box favorites

Easy and healthy back to school lunch box favorites

It’s BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!!! ::insert happy dance:: But along with new clothes, new shoes and new teachers are some of the same old pains in the butt. Namely making a lunch every day that’s worthy of being traded for Oreo’s.

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I don’t know why making Audrey’s snack to take to school is such a thorn in my parenting side. Like seriously, it’s my job to keep her alive and feeding her is an intergril part of that, so what gives? Maybe it’s because when I go all out chopping and slicing her lunch box comes home looking untouched, but when I throw in a Fruit Roll-Up and cookies it’s been licked clean like I hadn’t fed her in a week. And now she says that she hates peanut butter! I don’t even know if that’s legal!

Thankfully this month’s Savvy Sassy Scout box is all about Back To School and it came full of great stuff to make lunch boxing easy and healthy, all in single-serving pouches that don’t make me look like that ONE mom in the pick-up line. (Don’t act like you don’t know who I’m talking about. There’s always one.)

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First up is Jammy Sammy’s by Plum Organic. These tasty little treats are 100% whole grain, organic, have zero HFCS, and come in apple, blueberry, strawberry and grape. Did I also mention they are tasty? Even the worlds pickiest five-year-old had nothing but rave reviews and that’s saying something. She voted these a thumbs up and must buy again.

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Next up are Mash Ups also by Plum Organic. Now these were a bit harder to put by my taste tester because somehow she got it in her little head that purees in pouches are for babies and she’s FIVE and therefore too big for such childish antics. I made her try it anyway and she loved it and now they are a lunch box staple. Not to say I told you so, but I SO told you so. Mash Ups are a great source of fiber, have zero added sugar, are full of vitamin C and come in too many flavors to list (some even sneak in vegetables, but I won’t tell if you won’t).

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Rounding out our list are an old favorite here in the house: Annie’s Homegrown Organic Cheddar Bunnies. Oh the cuteness and the yummy. Non-GMO, certified organic, and free of anything else gross and unpronounceable, we are rarely out of bunnies in our house. If cheddar is not your bag try out the graham cracker or the sour cream & onion. ::drool::

Would you want to win a Savvy Sassy Scout Box filled with all this and more of your very own? Of course you do! Well hurry up and head on over to Savvy Sassy Moms and enter to win! And while you’re there check out all the other stuff going on, like my post on the best baby gear to beat the heat or meet my new favorite appliance!

 

Side note: Audrey has started kindergarten this year and since it’s half day she only goes from 12-4, meaning she’s had actual lunch before she’s even left the house. What I pack in her lunch box is a snack they give the kids later in the day. 

 

 

 

 

Remembering Laurel

Remembering Laurel

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My very very good friend left this world yesterday.

She passed away.

She died.

And I cannot seem to put together a string of words well enough to convey to you the level of her radness. Because that’s what I want to do. I want to shout out to everyone who didn’t know her some perfectly articulate sentence so that they will fully grasp who she was and then miss her and mourn her too. I want people to know what a loss we all should be feeling right now and be heartbroken with me.

She was the type to sparkle. She was brilliant, witty, and hilarious. She believed in fairies and magic and little people that sit in tents and chant at festivals in the desert. She believed in God and angels and hope. She believed in love and art and really really bad reality television.

She also believed in me.

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My friend, Laurel, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back that then went into her bones, her liver, her lungs and finally, her brain. It was a long battle (she would hate me if she saw I called it that, she hated that term) but I feel privileged to have been a small part of. Take the time to read her blog. It’s smart, funny and real – like her.

Two or three times a week, depending on her treatment, we would scour the internet for memes to entertain her while she was hooked up to machines. We had the same odd sense of humor that neither her husband, nor mine, thought was funny. “Brett doesn’t like that all I talk about is stuff I see on the internet but all my friends are in there.” Yup.

We played a lot of Words With Friends (which she wasn’t very good at). We never got to finish our last game.

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She was hopelessly cool without trying, part sophisticate, part dirty hippie. She had expensive tastes, decorated her Christmas tree with random animal bones and wild bird feathers, and felt life was (literally) too short to eat shitty food.

She loved my babies. Audrey made her plastic jewelry and thought she was the coolest because she had a bird named Pixel. (When Audrey found out that she had died she told me not to be sad and recommended I draw a picture of Laurel and her bird so that I would never forget her.)

Laurel wanted nothing more than to be a mother and after years of trying it was finally happening….

Their daughter is due on July 27th via surrogate.

Twenty-two days after Laurel’s spirit left the earth her baby girl will enter it.

Brett: Our hearts are breaking with yours but we will be here for you, however you need it. We will shower Fire Baby with love, and time, and a million memories of her mother. Thank you for making her so happy, you were the love of her life.

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I WANNA ROCK!!

I WANNA ROCK!!

I rock Abbey to sleep for every nap and at bed time every single day. I know it’s a bad habit, trust me i know.

Maybe it’s because she was born a tiny peanut four weeks too early and all we did was hold her. Me especially. She was in my arms almost 24/7, breaking every rule I had previously made in my mind, including “I will never co-sleep”. But I wasn’t about to put her down as somewhere deep down in the midst of the hormones and lack of sleep I was slightly convinced that if I did something would happen. Of course it never did.

Maybe it’s because Audrey is five now and has better things to do than let her mom rock her like a baby. Duh mom.

Maybe it’s because I know this is my last baby and this moment, right now, is the youngest she will ever be and every day she is just getting bigger and bigger.

There are only 940 Saturday’s from when your baby is born until they turn 18. That’s 17 down and 923 to go.

So until further notice, I will snuggle, I will sing (terribly) our favorite lullaby, I will study every little eyelash and feature, I will let the dishes wait…

and I will rock.

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Preschool: Why didn’t you people warn me?

Preschool: Why didn’t you people warn me?

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I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life. Hard crap. Death, divorce, taxes. All of the things that could break a lesser woman, however, I had no idea what hard could be until Audrey started pre-K. See, I know my daughter. I know her sweet little heart, but I also know that one of the main reasons she is still alive is because she’s cute and she’s probably only cute to me because she’s mine. I know these things, I’m not trying to kid myself. So sending her off to someone who might not find her as cute as I do worries me, except for the fact that I know that legally they can’t kill her so that’s good, right?

I knew we would have some issues. I thought to call her teacher and give her a friendly warning but surprises are just so much fun. Audrey is “strong willed”(bossy) to put it nicely. She’s a leader, not a follower (again, bossy). She is vocal with a wide vocabulary and smart (bossy and a smart ass). Too smart sometimes while not being afraid to call you out. In fact, the other day I told my husband that I SWORE she gives me the “get it together, mom” look. Seriously, she does. In her defense, I often do need to get it together.

On the first day we had a long talk on the way to school about behavior and making good choices. I thought we were clear. That day upon pickup, a very sweet looking (and young, very very young) Miss Johnson pulled me aside and said “We had a tough day today.” Seems Audrey decided sharing was for amateurs, so was listening, cleaning, and pretty much anything else. Also, sand in the shoes. CRISIS! Crying melt down. Hysterics. And… Scene.

Day two: Wash rinse repeat.

Day three we had a breakthrough. I decided to have a long talk with Miss Johnson about ways we could mutually team up to defeat the thumb-sucking dictator and reign supreme. I shared with her some ways that we work through issues and crying at home and implemented a sticker system to be done at home. You call it bribery, I call it winning. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

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The deal was that if Miss Johnson said Audrey had a good day at school she would get a sticker for her chart at home. After 8 stickers she could pick a prize. Not surprisingly she choose a stuffed Parasaurolophus. I know right? Who wouldn’t?

Several great days followed. She was like a new kid! Then we had a bad day. Audrey again decided cleaning up the toys was for the staff and refused by staging a sit-in under her desk and crying. Later that day she didn’t get picked to do some job (oh NOW you want to help?) and this time chose to crawl under Miss Johnson’s desk. When they politely tried to pry her from her den she hit the teacher’s aide in the arm.

A few more good days….

And then…the day from hell.

Oh this particular day I walked in for pickup to see a haggard looking Miss Johnson who clearly looked in need of a stiff cocktail. She started off by saying, “Now I want to just say that everyone’s child has had a day today. All of them. ALL. OF. THEM. However…”

And this is where it gets interesting. So apparently Audrey got a little tired during Circle Time and decided a nap on the classroom kiddie sofa was in order. At this point, judging from the new grey hairs on Miss Johnson’s very young head (she’s got to be 25, tops), I could only imagine that she could have cared less about the impromptu nap time. Except, of course, Audrey took it a step further when every time she spoke (you know since she was TEACHING and all), Audrey would loudly yell, and yes, this is a direct honest-to-God quote, “WOULD YOU PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN, I’M TRYING TO SLEEP HERE!” 

I definitely didn’t plan this whole pregnancy thing out so well, timing wise, with the whole preschool thing because I don’t think I’ve ever needed a cocktail so bad in my life.

Cheers to you, Miss Johnson. Somebody get this girl a shot of vodka and a cookie…after hours, of course.

PS, can we talk, just briefly, about drop off. What the hell is the deal with school drop off? The first day of school I drove the wrong way down the drop off lines. Yes, I was that mom with my husband following behind me, completely mortified and cursing in way I’m sure would make a sailor blush. You would have thought I was clubbing a baby seal or letting Audrey mainline crack in her car seat! I’m new here people! Pre-k mom coming through! Drop off is like a well choreographed minivan ballet where nobody invited me to practice.  Drop off scares me. Whatever Minivan Mafia, I’ll park and walk. I like the exercise, it’s only 106 out.

 

It’s a…

It’s a…

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Yesterday afternoon I was off to yet another doctors appointment because that’s what you do when you’re old and you’re pregnant. Old pregnant ladies go to lots of doctors appointments. In fact, I’ve had 3 ultrasounds and I’m only 12 weeks (as of today). This is the most photographed fetus in town. The Kim Kardashian of fetuses, if you will.

However this was a special ultrasound in that it was my NT (Nuchal Translucency) which is the test for Downs. People have asked why I agreed to take the test when my doctor recommended it to me. Well, first off, we would never terminate. Ever. But my doctor had a great point when she said she doesn’t offer the test so that you have an out, but so that you are prepared in delivery. So that if there are any other issues you will already have doctors lined up to be in delivery, therapists, supportive friends and family. And I 100% agree with all of that. See, I am a planner. A scheduler. I don’t buy a vacuum without 3 weeks of intense research, I’m not about to bring another person into this world without having done everything I could to make sure they have the best possible care from minute one.

Well, one of the happy side effects of this test is that if the baby is cooperative and you have a very nice ultrasound tech there is a good chance you will get the gender of your baby which is the one thing most people can’t wait to get. And I  knew all this because, duh, Google. I was prepared. I took with me the sweetest little card and before I even sat down on the table I explained to the lady that I knew what was up and asked that if possible and if she didn’t mind would she write it down on the card so I could open it with my husband.

She explained to me that often they aren’t able to accurately get gender but she would try….and off we went.

Now in my heart I knew it was a boy. When pregnant with Audrey all I wanted was donuts, Lucky Charms and peanut better and jelly. With this kid I am all Mexican food and baked potatoes. I popped out right away, had hardly any morning sickness and pretty much no heartburn (yet). It HAS got to be a boy! I HAVE BEDDING PICKED OUT!

I know it. I feel it. MOTHER’S INTUITION!

At the end of our appointment she says “Got it.” Yay!

The husband and I race home to open it together….

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Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Yup. It’s a girl.

Upon hearing the news I froze in stunned silence. Audrey, who has decided she doesn’t want a brother because she doesn’t like the boys at school, said “YES!” with a very dramatic fist pump. And my husband leaned up against a wall just long enough to build up enough energy to start pacing the kitchen.

It took us a minute to digest and that’s normal right? You convince yourself things are one way and then they are another. It’s shocking. Am I slightly disappointed? Yes, I will say that I have been a little bummed, I mean everything I had picked out was for a boy. I had my heart set on teeny tiny ties.

Last night I spent the majority of the night online making a Pinterest board full all new bedding and room ideas. Back to square one. Slowly I started to see my attitude change. I felt myself getting excited about ruffles and bows and hardly missing the adorable navy blue whales.

However, one thing will stay the same…

NO FLIPPIN’ PINK.

 

 

Yup, that just happened.

I was just looking over my sad, lonely little blog and noticing that the last time I posted was back in April. Hello? Is anyone still there? Diehards? My mom? There is a reason though. A reason why I haven’t shared all the wonderful moments from Audrey’s birthday in March where we took her to Disneyland for the first time and basically used her college fund to pay for Character Breakfast. And why there are no photos of her looking for Easter eggs with her cousins, and why you have yet to see, and hear, about her first day of pre-school.

I was in a funk.

Yes, again.

BUT, it get’s better.

Back in September of last year we were referred to a fertility clinic here in Arizona by my sweet doctor who had done all she can. This was our next step. I was nervous and I put it off as long as I could as I always said I wasn’t going to strap my family with a financial burden for something technically unnecessary and un-guaranteed. But here we were, creeping up on 37 and a half and not getting any younger. It was time to take the plunge.

In mid April I went in for an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) and I was scared to death. I, of course like any rational person with an internet connection, went online and searched for How painful is an HSG? Answer: very. Essentially what happens is you lie down on a very hard, very cold table, naked as the day you were born from the waist down, and try not to move…or breathe. This is very hard to do when someone is man-handling your sensitive bits with some sort of cold solution. You ever see people sand blasting a sidewalk? Now scale that down to very tiny and inside your vagina. It’s like THAT.

What they are looking for is a reason why you are not getting pregnant, they are looking for blockages of tissue. However, this treatment is not only diagnostic in terms of finding whats wrong but it’s also therapeutic in that if there is a blockage the act of looking for said blockage usually tends to knock it out. Like a BOGO sale. Buy one, get one.

If you are planning on doing this my advice to you is: one whole Xanax and 4 Advil. But that’s just me and I’m not a doctor. In fact, don’t listen to me at all.

Now I have heard story after story of people successfully getting pregnant after this procedure, as soon as days after. Becasue of this it was back on the clomid. The first month was unsuccessful and I know it was just the first month but I was back to being discouraged. Throughout all this I was also wondering how much more my marriage could take. Maybe this is something that most people don’t talk about when discussing infertility but its so painfully hard on your marriage. You’re not happy, you’re obsessed, you’re stressed, your partner feels this. I think in some ways my husband felt at fault and just as guilty as I did. Then there’s the on demand sex. Oh yes, you’re tired, you’re grumpy, you’re bloated from the clomid, let’s get naked. 

Uh, no. Let’s not.

Then you argue. Then you feel undesirable. Then you feel demanding and rigid and unreasonable.

Infertility is as awful place to be for everyone. This is supposed to be fun right? You start to feel…unwomanly. For lack of a better term, defective.

Month 2, post HSG, back on the clomid, calendar is marked with doctor appointments and little hearts where we should be doing it but this time they added shots. I went in for a sonogram to make sure the clomid was working and there was a big fat egg just waiting. The shots were to release the egg and then we wait…again.

On Father’s Day I took a pregnancy test…

Well, now that the cats out of the bag I can regale you with stories about morning sickness and panic attacks. All fun stuff so stay tuned…

It’s Take Your Kid To Work Day! A #TBT Story

It’s Take Your Kid To Work Day! A #TBT Story

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Photo credit: Huffington Post

When I was about 4 or 5 (the age my daughter is now) my dad took me to work with him for one day during my Christmas break from school. It’s something I will never forget because it forever changed how I perceived my dad, as a person.

At that age I remember thinking that my dad was the tallest, strongest and smartest person on the planet. Literally. Like literally there was nobody who surpassed his height, nobody who could lift as much as he could and nobody who could possibly know as much stuff as he knew. Superman.

I was also the little jerk on the playground who would share this information with the other kids in a “my Dad is better than your dad” kind of way. That same year I got in trouble for telling everyone there was no Santa Clause making a room full of five-year-olds cry. Telling people the hard truth seemed to be my thing from an early age.

Then, on that one day in December, I distinctly remember leaving my dad’s office. He put me in the car only he had forgotten something and had to run back inside leaving me to wait. (Back then it was okay to leave your small child in the car alone. Seat belts were also only a suggestion. I’m not sure how we all survived.) A few minutes later my dad returned, a smile on his face as he happily chatted away with a very nice co-worker of his who happened to be about fifteen (exaggerated) feet tall.

*Boom*

What the what? How can that BE?

The whole thing was all very movie-esque as you would expect. The ground was wet from the rain and the whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion. Seems I was a dramatic child from a very young age.

If that guy is taller than my dad then maybe he is NOT the tallest man ever. And if he’s not the tallest than he may not be the strongest…and what about the smartest?!?!

My 4-ish years on the planet were a lie.

I laugh about it now and it’s a funny story to tell but I remember being so upset about it at the time.

Now although my dad is tall, strong and smart he is none of these to the extent that I would take on a kindergardener to prove my point but he’s those things enough and then some.

So on this Take Your Son or Daughter To Work Day I hope you get an opportunity to show your child what it is you do all day to make their life as great as it is while, hopefully, not irreparably scarring them for the rest of their lives. Otherwise known as Thursday in my house.

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Photo credit: Someecards.com

 

PS, I’m in totally catch-up mode with the blog right now. But trust me, you don’t want to miss what’s coming up about our first trip to Disneyland, Audrey’s birthday and that one time my husband found Audrey petting a dead mouse. Stay tuned…

 

 

Trying to make people: The OVACUE how-to!

Trying to make people: The OVACUE how-to!

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Almost two years ago we started on the journey towards having another child, and like most people, we thought it would be a snap. All we would need to do was to actively stop trying to not have a baby and we would be set. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, here you go. But yet, two years later we are still baby free.

It seems, despite what every Trojan commercial and MTV says, it it quite difficult to get pregnant…well for me and my 37 year old ovaries it is. Seriously, I got nothing. My uterus is like a seashell but instead of hearing the ocean you put your ear up to my belly and hear crickets. But apparently there is a science to all this and it’s all about timing. Before I had no idea when I was supposed to ovulate, just that I did. Now, like every other woman in my situation, I could teach a class on the female reproductive system and cycle. Let me put it to you this way, if there were a Jeopardy catagory about cervical mucus, I would own that shit.

As you know (or if you haven’t been keeping up- are about to find out) we had a miscarriage back in August of 2012. After that terrible ordeal we enlisted the help of some awesome OB-GYNs to see if there was an issue and to pretty much do everything short of enlisting the aid of a proper fertility doctor (though not completely off the table yet). This past fall I had to stop. No more blood draws, no more clomid, no more almost weekly doctors appointments. It was time to try a more natural approach by way of learning my cycle and charting my days…and then I was introduced to OvaCue.

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 This, my friends, is my OvaCue Fertility Monitor (snazzy pink polka-dotted carrying case not included). This little thing will change how you go through the process of trying to conceive. In short, OvaCue, through daily monitoring of the electrolyte levels in your saliva, will tell you the exact date of expected ovulation with a 98.3%  accuracy. AND if you are using the vaginal wand in addition to the oral monitor  you will get confirmation that you did ovulate. This is my favorite part, for some reason, it’s the same satisfaction that checking an item off your to-do list has…if you’re a wierdo awesome Type A like me.

So what does my typical day with OvaCue look like? Easy peasy. The only thing that ever is an issue is that I am in no way, not even a little bit, a morning person and you have to do the oral test before you brush your teeth or take your first sip of coffee. I have been known to forget to do it every now and then although I find that setting it next to my toothbrush helps to make sure I see it in the morning. And on setup day…well the brain isn’t always there. Setup day is what I call the day that I start using my monitor for the month, ideally this would be day 2 of your cycle but Ovacue says just by day 4 at the latest.

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This is my monitor when I set it up for the month just the other day. As you can see I am on a 30 day cycle and I started monitoring on day 3.

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And this sexy beast is me (sorry to disappoint all the eligible bachelors out there reading my parenting blog, but I’m taken). All you do to test it hit the “O” for oral (duh) and follow directions. It sits in your mouth for all of about 3-5 seconds and you’re done.

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So here is my read out for day 3 of my cycle on February 10th…not fertile. And off I am to go about the rest of my day. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I do this every morning until I get ovulation confirmation. If you plan on doing vaginal monitoring (which I HIGHLY recommend) you start that on day 8 of your cycle. I do this when I go into my room, after coffee, while I’m changing into my clothes for the day or jumping in the shower. Just like the oral testing, you hit “V” for vaginal, follow directions and insert the wand for all of about 3-5 seconds and you’re done. Please forgive me if I don’t post photos of that…it’s not that kind of blog but you can see a photo of my wand in the first photo in this post.

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To give you an idea what an entire month looks like here is October in my monitor. It’s a little tough to see the difference in color but there is a slight difference between September 30th and October 1st, this tells me my chances of getting pregnant if I have intercourse on that day is slightly higher. Then come October 5th, you can clearly see it’s a darker blue which means it’s go time baby. The darkest blue on October 8th is my highest day and then October 9th turns pink which tells me that I did ovulate. After my pink day I stop testing till the next cycle.

There you have it! Like I said, easy peasy.

And if I can take a moment to talk to all the ladies out there who are where I am right now, and if you’re finally at the bottom of this long ass post I’m assuming you are. This isn’t the miracle that’s going to guarantee you a baby, it’s not how it works. What it is is another option in a world where there seems to not be enough options. I did the pee sticks, and while it was nice to get my ovulation narrowed down to a week, this blows that out of the water. Who wants to pee on a stick everyday? And I’m sorry, but lets be honest here, I am a busy, often exhausted woman so telling me around when I should be “doing it” with my husband is not good enough. I want to know exactly when I should be having sex, the. exact. day. I don’t have time or energy for anything else.

If you are interested in getting more information please check out OvaCue’s website for any information you may need and to see the range of other things that come in handy when you’re #TTC including basal thermometers and pee sticks along with a wide array of vitamin supplements and prenatals for both men and women to help with your getting knocked-up needs. (I was sent the prenatals and vitamins but I am super sensitive to any sort of medication so I can’t talk about those with any sort of intelligence. Sorry.) AND!! If you enter the coupon code BETTERHALFMOMMY you will get 10% off your order!

Disclosure and message: I was sent the monitor and supplements for the purpose of doing this review back in the fall. (Yes, I realize it’s now February and I’m barely getting to the actual review but I am nothing if not prompt.)  In the past 3 years I have worked with plenty of companies both in and out of the blogging world and I have to say that Fairhaven Health is, and has been, the best company I have ever been connected to. This type of thing is not like a vacuum or baby walker that you can say “this works” or “this doesn’t”, there are emotions and heart attached to the overall purpose of this product. So, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Fairhaven Health, especially Sarah (my contact person) for being so understanding, supportive and patient. In a world full of corporations where the customer is just a number or a nuisance, who doesn’t want to support a company with excellent customer service and care?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three years ago I hit publish for the first time…

Three years ago today on December 12th 2010 I hit “publish” for the very first time. It’s weird to think that, much less say it out loud.

Three years ago I just wanted to have a conversation with someone who’s butt I didn’t have to wipe in the next hour. It never occurred to me that some of those familiar names on my screen would become great personal friends and professional advocates IRL.

Three years ago I was excited to have a place to share my own hard discovered parental lifehacks. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this personal internet space of mine would lead me to wonderful places like SheKnows.com, the front page of AOL and now a pretty cushy spot at WhatToExpect.com.

I used this blog as a way to sort through my pain after my miscarriage and it continues to be a place of refuge for me as we deal with continued failed attempts at getting pregnant.

Three years ago today I discovered I had a voice I never knew was there. And while I tease that the only people that actually read my posts are my mother-in-law, my mom and I, I know this is far from the truth (my mom never actually reads my blog).

So thank you to everyone out there who have so graciously given me a minute or two or your busy day. To all who have taken the time to comment a bit of encouragement or commiseration. To all who have been so kind as to never point out the fact that I have no idea what the difference between “:” and “;” is.

To all of you I say Thank You.

Cheers.