Monday, October 22, 2012

Our first Graduation!

One of my favorite things about giving birth to B in the hospital which we did is their "family centered" approach. When we toured the hospital I was impressed by the warmth of the rooms, they didn't have that "hospital" feel, and I loved that the baby was with you the entire time after birth (barring any medical necessity to be in the NICU). It made me feel comforted to know that we would be the ones caring for little B, but there was a staff on hand to answer any questions and help with any problems that may arise. One of the most important people on that staff team (in my opinion) was the first International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) that I had ever met. Her name is Tracey and she is one of the sweetest women I know. I believe she is a HUGE part of why B and I have been successful breastfeeding. Not only was there assistance and support offered in the hospital, but a "support" group was also available, free of charge, for the first year. Being a new mom I took complete advantage of the excuse to not only get out of the house but to meet some new mommy friends as well. 

So, fast forward a year later and B is officially graduating from the affectionately nicknamed "Boob Group".
I am so thankful for Tracey's leadership, wisdom and inspiration. I'm thankful for the women that I have met that I now consider close friends. They have helped me to not only become the mother that I am to B, but learn to laugh at the mistakes that I've made, and will continue to make! I love that these women are like-minded without being my clones. I love that we can have candid conversations about parenting, marriage, families, and even poop without fear of judgement. I also love that this first year is just the beginning, we will continue to keep in touch with Tracey and the other women from this group and look forward to the adventures that the next years will undoubtedly bring!

Congratulations to my little man on your first graduation, and congratulations to all of his classmates and families as well! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Travelin' with Baby Giveaway Hop-GoGo Kidz Travelmate

Welcome to the Travelin’ With Baby Giveaway Hop Event, hosted by So Easy Being Green and According to Jenny! This Event will run from October 10th - 24th with a Twitter Party Grand Finale on October 25th from 9-10 PM EST!

In this Hop, each blogger has a great prize, worth at least $25, to make traveling with your baby easy and fun! Don’t miss out on the fabulous Grand Prize worth over $500 featuring the best, must-have Baby Travel Products!
So I'm taking a break from cloth diapers and eco-friendly products to get practical. Not that that the aforementioned items aren't practical, but let's be honest, not everyone uses cloth diapers (Gasp! I know :)) and eco-friendly options are still unknown to some. So what on earth could I be talking about now?? It's the GoGo Kidz Travelmate. Hey, that's awesome Kristin...what is it? It is a wheeled cart that allows your convertible carseat to attach to it for easy hauling through the airport. It will become your new best friend when traveling this holiday season, and anytime for that matter. 

As a first time mom, I knew traveling with children could turn out to be a cumbersome task. It wasn't until I made the trek alone with B that I realized how much stuff he actually requires just to maintain some sort of normalcy on the road. (1st promise: I won't digress into traveling with cloth diapers as that's a story for another day). Airlines do not require you to purchase a seat for your child until they are 2 years old, being the ever-frugal mama that I am, I plan to get as close to that 2 year mark as possible! But, I was informed that if the flight you are on is not full, certain airlines will allow you to place your child's carseat in the empty seat for free. So what does that mean? That means I will not check B's carseat. Ever. (2nd promise: I won't digress into the multitude of damage that can and has been caused to carseats that have been "checked" with luggage on airlines) Now that B is out of his infant seat, he's in a "big-boy" convertible carseat. The Britax Boulevard 70 to be exact. If you've ever seen one of these puppies, they are not the least bit compact. They are heavy and awkward. Hauling that, and my purse, and my carry-on, and my child did not sound like an ideal way to begin a vacation. Trying to find a "rental" carseat in our destination city didn't sound appealing either, I had a friend recommend the GoGo Kidz Travelmate as an option to take our own carseat with us, so I thought I'd check it out. Go-Go Babyz, the company behind the GoGo Kidz Travelmate offered to send me a Travelmate to review and is giving away a GoGo Kidz Travelmate to one of my lucky readers!!

I'm not kidding you when I said this amazing invention is a lifesaver. The more I learned about the products offered by Go-Go Babyz, the more I wanted to learn about the company. I'll shorten it up, but basically Go-Go Babyz was founded by a mother and entrepreneur, Ms. Kerry Williams. Kerry wanted her company to be family-oriented and dedicated to developing innovative, high quality products to make life easier when you and your baby are “on the go". What I loved most about this philopshy is that every product is personally tested by mom, dad, and grandparents. ABSOLUTELY necessary in my opinion! This was just 8 short years ago that it all began and Go-Go Babyz is still family owned and operated. If there's a type of business I love to support, aside from local business, it's family owned. I love knowing where my money is going, and it's great to know it's going to a company that prides themselves on family values. 

Ok, back to the business. :)  Once I received the GoGo Kidz Travelmate, I realized there was some assembly required. The good news is, the assembly (including taking everything out of the box and searching for a screwdriver) took about 4 minutes. It was so small and compact, there was no way it was going to hold that gigantic lug of a carseat. Turns out it does! There are detailed instructions about how to attach your carseat, but if you were a child of the 80's/90's or ever wore a pair of roller blades you'll get the concept quickly. You rest the back of the carseat against the base of the Travelmate slide the ratcheting, quick-release strap through yoru carseat and ratchet it tight. That's it. No screws, ties, velcro, nothing but a quick ratchet and you're done. It has an extending handle to function like a rolling suitcase which makes wheeling around the airport a breeze! When going through security, I was wearing B in the Ergo and the security agent just wheeled the carseat around still attached to the Travelmate and swabbed it down. Although the wheels do pop-off rather easily for this exact reason, I found I didn't even need to worry about it in either airport I traveled through. Once through security, I checked in at my gate to see if the flight was full. It was; so the gate attended printed a gate check ticket. I was able to keep the carseat attached to the Travelmate the whole time. When it was gate checked, it was handled nicely and brought back up at the end of the flight. I didn't have to worry about the carseat getting knocked around on the baggage carousel, someone potentially taking it etc. It was all right there and so easy to haul! 

I really can't say enough great things about this company and this product. I will NEVER travel without my GoGo Kidz Travelmate, and I encourage all mama's to be to put this on their registry! You may not use it right away, but you definitely will soon, and you'll be glad you have it!

So, now for the fun stuff! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win your very own, brand new, GoGo Kidz Travelmate! And when you're done, be sure to hop to all of the other blogs (Especially this one to enter to win the Grand Prize!) to win even more goodies to ease your travels!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Thank you to GoGo Babyz for providing the items for review and giveaway. The opinions mentioned above are my own and may differ from yours. According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, and the Travelin’ With Baby participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.**

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday, on Monday...with words!

I thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures from B's 1 year photos. A special thank you to Joe of Joseph Blech Photography. You did a great job capturing our little man!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

1,000 Fan Celebration!

I still can't believe I'm writing this post. When I started blogging just 7 months ago, I never thought I would actually have people beyond my family and friends interested in reading what I have to say. What I'm most thankful for is the sense of community that blogging has provided me. A sounding board for opinions and advice, a network of like-minded (and sometimes not) people to discuss tips and tricks, learn from, and ultimately grow together.

I wanted to say thank you, not just in words, but in prizes. Because, let's be honest, many of you may have stumbled upon this blog after finding a giveaway or two! I figured it was only fitting to return the favor with a fun THANK YOU celebration! I took some time to put this together because I wanted to really thank you from my heart, so I chose products from a brand and store that I really love and trust and wanted to make sure you guys were getting the best of the best!

Remember one of my first posts about a local cloth diaper/natural parenting store Zoolikins? Well, they teamed up with Bumkins and are sponsoring this AMAZING giveaway! Zoolikins was always my favorite store locally because of caring people that work there. They really know what they're talking about and they stand behind all of the products they sell. This is a HUGE comfort to a newbie parent. We've all been that wide-eyed "now-what-do-we-do" parent a time or two and having people that you can trust to give you the truth and not just sell you a product is a blessing! Zoolikins carries multiple brands across all product lines but one of their biggest sellers (and a personal favorite of mine) is Bumkins brand. They are fantastic because they appeal to all parents, whether you cloth diaper or not. (I know! Some people still don't cloth diaper! Weird! :) )

Anyway...Bumkins were one of the first cloth diapers I purchased and I'll be honest, they weren't my #1 favorite go-to diaper, but here's why I respect the brand and gave them another try. Like the people who work at Zoolikins, the brains behind the Bumkins products care. They listen to feedback, are open to suggestions and are constantly working to serve the best product, for the best price to their loyal customers. Bumkins has made some amazing modifications to their cloth diapers. The new prints are beautiful and the fit can't be beat. They are by far one of the most trim diapers I own! I also love their snaps. B has recently started to pull at his diaper and prefers to go au natural. My floors do not prefer this, thankfully the Bumkins snaps are tough and he has yet to be able to rip them off! And, because I'm quirky, they have cross-over snaps on the right side of the wing tabs. This may not seem like a big deal to others, but if you have a "system" like I do, you always snap the right side first, but then you realize that your baby is having a "skinny day" and have to overlap, well, there's no overlapping snaps on the right wing, just the left, so you have to unsnap the right, then snap the left first, then re-snap the right again, all while trying to keep a wiggling, squirming, flipping one year old to sit still for a diaper change. THANK YOU BUMKINS FOR OVERLAPPING SNAPS ON THE RIGHT SIDE!!  And my final favorite features: the fact that their one-size all-in-ones (AIO's) are made with both fleece AND cotton/bamboo combines the best of both worlds for baby. Their one-size stuff-its (pockets) come with a microfiber insert and have the same great fit as the AIO's.

So, Kristin, I don't cloth diaper (gasp!), I don't feel like this giveaway is really thanking ME. Well, my dear reader friend, this giveaway IS thanking you too! Bumkins does not just create cloth diapers. They have adorable pajama sets, waterproof wipeable bibs and toddler smocks, reusable snack bags, diaper bags, organic burp cloths and hooded towels, and the list goes on. Bumkins is also a official licensee of Dr. Seuss products as well. So not only can you get a great Green Eggs and Ham (another personal favorite) cloth diaper, but you can get the coordinating PJ set, a bib, a lunch box, or other clothes so your child can match their favorite book! What a great way to encourage literacy at such a young age!

Have I psyched you up enough? Are you feeling the love coming from me to you? Please accept my giant THANK YOU and enter to win a Dr. Seuss by Bumkins Prize Pack on the Rafflecopter form below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.