Jody & Angie

I was reading my new friend mommy in the midwest‘s blog about a couple that she knew – Jody and Angie – who are looking to embark on an open adoption journey to complete their family. I visited their website and was moved to share it with my readers in the hopes of getting their story out and help them along in their hopes to become parents. Something about this couple just stuck out to me – their love for each other just radiates through their pictures and words.  I think that any child would be lucky to have these two as parents. Please visit their website, read their story, and pass the message along if it moves you like it did me!

Jody & Angie

Happy Friday everybody!

Blogging Laryngitis

Lately I feel as if I’ve been losing my voice. Not my speaking or singing voice, but my blogging voice. I feel like I’m losing a grip on my blog, on my writing and I’m not sure how to wrap my fingers back around it. It’s intangible; a feeling more of an actual thing. I think it stems from the fact that since I changed names, I’ve lost traffic. Comments are down. I have a handful of people who loyally comment (THANK. YOU.) but I feel like my blogging voice is going unheard.I lost 4 Facebook fans in the past week and it’s got me really down in the dumps. I know, I know, blogging isn’t all about the traffic but it’s nice to know that people are reading what I’m taking the time to write.

Maybe I just don’t have anything to say that anyone wants to hear? Maybe I’m having a blogging identity crisis. What is my blog for? It used to be my outlet to vent my sadness and anger toward my miscarriage, and then a place where I documented our struggles to conceive again and the heartbreak that came with it.

I had so much to say during my pregnancy. Funny things. Irrelevant things. Touching things and now that my precious daughter is here? I feel like I’ve gotten Blogging Laryngitis. My life is pretty typical of most moms with children my daughter’s age.. I work, I drive my husband to work, I shuttle Nellie about to and fro.. Occasionally crazy or funny things happen that I blog about..

But what do I blog for? There’s only so many sappy letters to my daughter that I can write before even I want to puke. I’m no photographer, I am not crafty nor thrifty, and I couldn’t care less about fashion. So what do I blog about? What is my niche? I’m constantly questioning myself: “Do I blog too much? Do I not blog enough? Are my posts too long? Should I include more pictures? What is the perfect time of day to post to get the most comments? Will NaBloMoPo get me more readers? Make me lose some? Will giveaways make people love me?” It’s enough to drive anyone crazy. Part of me wants to drop NaBloPoMo.. But I’ve had several projects on this blog that I’ve done and have let fall to the wayside, that I absolutely have to finish this one. Even if it makes my traffic drop and my readership fall.. I have to finish it.

Am I the only one out there who feels as if they are tapping the microphone and saying, “Is this thing on”? This post isn’t me fishing for compliments, or trying to get people to comment and tell me how much they love my little slice of Internets. I guess it’s just me being honest and confessing that sometimes I wonder if I’m accomplishing anything at all by writing here. I want to say something earth-shattering.. Ground-breaking.. I want to write one post that people share over the internet and say, “Wow. What a voice. What a writer. This must be read!”………I want to be influential. It’s so easy to get lost in this vast, seemingly endless sea of bloggers. Sometimes, I just feel like I’m lost at sea, waiting… For what, I don’t know. Just… waiting.

Shoes, and A Vote (for Nellie)!

Nellie wonders what the hell these strange new devices are on her feet, and plots to conquer & destroy them.

********************

VOTE FOR NELLIE!
Nellie made it to the finals in this week’s cute baby contest on Parents.com. In just a day she went from rank #594 to rank #51! Please take just a second and vote for my cutie pie:
http://photos.parents.com/category/vote/photo/586081

There is a catchpa word verification that you must complete to have your vote count, so please make sure you do that.

Nellie (and I) thank you bunches!

Safety 1st Complete Air Convertible Car Seat – Review & Giveaway

Like a lot of moms, I was overwhelmed when it came to registering for my baby’s first car seat. I had no idea what I was looking for, or what to zap with my handy-dandy little zapper gun. We ended up getting a car seat/stroller combo and it’s worked great for us!

….. Until recently, when we realized that Nellie was rapidly outgrowing her first car seat. Now, I was told that children had to be rear-facing until they had reached both 1 year old, and 20 pounds and at that time they could be turned. I had planned on turning Nellie as soon as possible, because I thought that’s just what you do.

Then I came across this article about why children should be kept rear-facing as long as two years old (and even beyond!) and I was a believer in extended rear-facing. Now my mission was to find a great, safe, convertible car seat that would last us until Nellie was ready to be forward-facing, which we had decided was to be until the age of two at the very least.

And that’s where I got lost. What brand should I buy? What style? Where do I begin? It can get so overwhelming so I turned to a brand whose name I know and trust:

Safety 1st agreed to send me one of their Complete Air Convertible Car Seats with Air Protect to review and I was so excited I threw a little dance party. I looked over the website and I knew that this was the seat we had been looking for!

Features:

  • Air Protect™ Revolutionary Side Impact Technology: Breakthrough system shields head and immediately reduces side impact forces through the precise release of air.
  • QuickFit™ Harness System adjusts harness height from the front in one easy step without uninstalling from the car.
  • Harness accommodates children up to 50 pounds.
  • Accommodates infants rear-facing from 5-40 pounds and 19″-40″ and toddlers forward-facing from 22-50 pounds and 34″-45″.
  • One Click LATCH installation system allows for faster and easier installation when moving between vehicles.
  • 5-position adjustable headrest easily accommodates your growing child.
  • Removable cup holder.

When we took it out of the box and I was reading the instructions on how to install the seat, I was lost. But after my husband gave it a look we both realized that it was simple! You use either a latch system (metal hooks that are located in most newer cars) OR the belt system (where you pull the lap belt and secure the seat that way). We chose the latch system and it was incredibly simple to install. Josh’s favorite part was the clamps that you use to hook the seat to the latches came with an easy to depress button; no pulling and grunting and sweating required! A simple push against the latch in the car was all it took.

The seat stays in the car which has taken some getting used to as we’re used to taking the car seat in and out of a base that stays installed in the car. I have to say, getting Nellie into this seat is 1,000 times easier than getting her into her old seat. There’s more room, it’s softer and comfier and she seems to like it better than her old one. She used to fuss and whine when we hooked her into the old one but she doesn’t with this one! I love how easily all of the buckles latch, and I feel great knowing that she’s protected on either side as well with the Air Protect Side Impact feature:

On a slightly “ick” mom note, I have also noticed that the straps are easier to clean off and things like spit-up don’t soak in as quickly as they do with other straps. This is speaking from experience, of course, as Nellie has already christened the car seat with spit-up.

The Safety 1st Complete Air Convertible Car Seat retails for about $179.99 HOWEVER, Safety 1st decided to be completely awesome and offer one super lucky Mommy Boots reader the chance  win one of their own! Here are the details on how!

Mandatory means that if you do not complete both steps to this entry, your extra entries will not count. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address/Twitter name/other contact info in case you win.

  • Follow Mommy Boots on Google Friend Connect AND visit the Safety 1st website and tell me what other product you would love to have!

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

  • Subscribe to Mommy Boots’ RSS Feed and leave a comment saying you subscribe.
  • Subscribe to Mommy Boots by e-mail (the box is on the right-hand side of the blog) and leave a comment saying you subscribe.
  • Follow Mommy Boots on Twitter AND Tweet: “Win a Safety 1st Complete Air Convertible Car Seat from @Safety_1st and @mommyboots! http://mommyboots.com/?p=1151 #giveaway” and post the permalink to your Tweet (to get the permalink, click on the timestamp on your Tweet, then copy the URL and paste it into your entry comment. You can Tweet once per day.)
  • Follow Safety 1st on Twitter.
  • (2 entries) Blog about this giveaway and link back to it (be sure to leave 2 separate comments for your 2 extra entries)
  • (2 entries) Comment on any other post on Mommy Boots and leave a comment with the link to the post that you commented on.
  • Grab my button and put it on your blog. Leave a comment saying where I can find your button.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end 11/29/2010 at 10 P.M. E.S.T. The winner will be determined using random.org and will be notified by me. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before I draw another winner.

I was given a Safety 1st Complete Air Convertible Car Seat at no cost to me to review. The opinions in this review are 100% honest and 100% mine.

Complete Air™ Convertible Car Seat

The Safety 1st® Complete Air™ Convertible Car Seat with Air Protect™ Side Impact Technology is perfect for infants rear-facing from 5-40 pounds and 19″-40″ and toddlers forward-facing from 22-50 pounds and 34″-45″.

Little Scholastic Review & Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations to Kim and Mandi who both have won copies of the Numbers and Zoo books from Little Scholastic! Thank you to everyone who entered!

Lessons from Parenthood

When I was pregnant, I knew everything about being a parent.

Sound familiar? I am sure I’m not alone in saying that parenthood is the most humbling thing that has ever happened to me and of all the things being a mom has taught me there is one lesson that sticks out the most: You don’t know anything. About ANYTHING.

When I was pregnant I used to say things like, “Once my baby comes, I’m never drinking again. I’m done with alcohol. There’s no reason for it anymore.”
Now? I realize that MOMMIES NEED WINE SOMETIMES. Mommies need wine probably more than any other people on the face of this planet need wine. I was so certain that I’d never even look at a bottle of beer again, let alone drink one. Me? Get tipsy? No! I’m a mother now! That’s just terrible!
Pfff. What the hell ever. It’s rare that I drink enough to catch a buzz now, but it’s happened (never when I’m alone with Nellie, of course).

During my pregnancy I judged women who formula-fed. I can remember having discussions where I would say things like, “I mean I understand if you can’t do it for medical reasons or whatever, but if you just don’t try hard enough or don’t try at all, I think that’s terrible.”
Now? I’d like to go back and slap myself in the face. I became one of those moms who chose formula. I tried, I did, but in the end formula was what was easiest, and best for me and Nellie. I wasn’t in a good enough place mentally to endure the pressures and demands of breastfeeding, so we switched to the bottle and it made me a better mom. And if a mom chooses not to try breastfeeding and go straight to formula? I don’t fucking care. Do what works for you, sister, being a mom is hard enough without you having other moms tell you what to do with your ta-tas.

I vowed never to make TV my babysitter. Now I realize that sometimes it is necessary for Nellie to watch Martha Speaks or The Cat In the Hat (which I hate) in order for me to shower, eat, pee, wash bottles, or fold laundry without her screaming at me.

I thought that there would never be a single second where being a mother would feel like work. I thought my maternity leave was going to be filled with sunshine and little bluebirds flitting around mine and my new baby daughter’s head. The reality of maternity leave was different. I enjoyed the time with my daughter, of course, but it was also a very lonely and isolating time. Sleep deprivation, getting into a routine with baby, and postpartum hormones running rampant put a bit of a damper on my fairytale fantasy. I was floored at how much work being a mother felt like sometimes.

The ignorance doesn’t stop once you become a parent, though. When Nellie was 4 months old, I decided she was old enough for some controlled cry-it-out. I lasted three minutes before I ran back in there to pick her up. I realize now that 4 months old is way too neurologically immature for a baby to know how to self-soothe. We didn’t even attempt our modified CIO again until she was almost 8 months old (she puts herself to sleep now without problems).

When Nellie would wet her diaper I would make a mad dash to change it. Now? A little pee in the diaper isn’t going to hurt her. Obviously I don’t let her go hours upon hours in a wet diaper but I also don’t break my neck to change it if it’s just wet and not dirty.

I’ve learned a lot from being a parent. I know what songs make her laugh (Hey Ya by Outkast, The True Blood theme by Jace Everett, Sinister Kid by the Black Keys), and that tickling her feet make her squeal. I’ve learned that athlete’s foot cream with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste on top of it wipe out diaper rash faster than you can say “diaper rash”. I have learned that Baby Einsten is brilliant, and that the toy that Nellie likes best is her can of Puffs. But the biggest lesson I think I have gleaned from the experience so far is: don’t get used to anything. Your baby is going to change faster than you can imagine. And remember.. You don’t know anything. About anything.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about being a parent?

Sunday Music

I don’t have much to say today, so for my daily post I’m going to share with you all some of the songs that I’m really into right now. Some of them are a bit questionable, and if I went back in time and told my Classic-Rock-Or-GTFO 16 year old self that in 10 years I’d be listening to some of these songs, my 16 year old self would punch me in the tit.

Glitter in the Air – Pink
16 year old me would probably approve of this one. Also, I’m dying to sing this at karaoke.

Letting Go (Dutty Love) – Sean Kingston ft. Nicki Minaj
This might be one that 16 year old me would be OK with, but never admit to anyone that I liked it.

Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
Everytime I play this song I dance to it. It’s physically impossible for me not to dance. I think 16 year old me would have dug this song. They used it in Weeds during a flash mob (which I’m obsessed with seeing in my lifetime, by the way. OBSESSED.)

Check it Out – will.i.am ft. Nicki Minaj
I’m actually pretty ashamed to admit that I like this song. But I can’t help it. I blast the radio when this comes on. 16 year old me would probably bitchslap me for liking this one. And WTF is up with Nicki Minaj being EVERYWHERE right now?! She’s in like, 4 songs on the radio right now! She came out of nowhere, I swear.

So anyway. Those are the songs I’m really into right now.

How about you? What songs do you love right now?

I’ve Been Tagged – 4 Things

So, my hottie pants friend Crunchy VT Mommy tagged me to do this survey-ma-bobber. I don’t normally do these things, but since it’s Saturday and I’m going to be cleaning my kid’s butt and finding new and exciting ways to entertain her all day, I figured why not take on something that requires minimal thought? Enjoy.

4 things in my handbag:

  • Sinus medicine to help get rid of my sinusitis.
  • A Verizon bill.
  • A pad. (You know, a sanitary napkin?)
  • A portable hard drive (for all the top secret super spy work I do)

4 things in/on my desk:

  • Picture of Nellie
  • Box of Kleenex (to help with my sinusitis)
  • Coffee mug with members of my quartet & me dressed up like elves, courtesy of ElfYourself.
  • A small figurine of Cinderella & Prince Charming.. With Cinderella missing her head.
4 Favorite things in my bedroom:

  • Clothes. All over the floor. Everywhere.
  • Probably, a cat.
  • An acoustic guitar that I never play.
  • Baby cradle that was my husband’s, that Nellie slept in for the first 2 months of her life. My cat Hannibal has now deemed it HIS bed.

4 Things I have always wanted to do (but haven’t tried yet):

  • Gotten a tattoo.
  • Fit into a size 6. I think if I tried it right now the pants would actually laugh at me, then spontaneously combust.
  • Learn to swing dance.
  • Conquer a small country.

4 Things I enjoy very much at the moment:

  • Pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.
  • Sleeping.
  • Napping.
  • Dance parties.

4 Songs I cannot get out of my head:

  • Like a G6 – IDK who the hell sings this song.
  • Check It Out – will.i.am & Nicki Minaj
  • There’s A Party In My Tummy – Yo Gabba Gabba
  • Backin’ Up

4 Things you did not know about me:

  • I have a scar on my left cheek that came from being impaled on a tree branch. Yes, impaled. As in, from the inside out.
  • When I eat potato chips I lick each side to see which one is the saltiest.
  • I’m terrified of tsunamis.
  • I’m actually a marsupial.
Now it is my turn to tag four bloggers:

Rock the Vote (For Me!)

If you haven’t noticed the cute, pink button on the right hand side of my blog yet, I’m bringing it to your attention now.

Mommy Boots has made it to the finals of The Bump’s Mom Blog Awards in the Miscellaneous category! I’m very excited, and this post is me getting on my knees and begging for your votes.

I wanted to enter this contest last year when I was still Hope Springs Eternal.. But I was nowhere near big enough. I’m still not “big”, but I’m bigGER and I have more readers now than I did back then. I found several blogs for the first time through the contest, actually – Heir to Blair, Baby Dickey.. I feel like there’s more but those two stick out most in my mind.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I’m asking for your vote. You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to jump through hoops.. You simply click the button that I’m going to post at the bottom of this, and then vote for my blog. I really don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning because I’m competing against some really great bloggers. But everyone loves to vote and root for the underdog… So please, take  a few seconds and vote for me?

Thank you guys.

Things That Got My Goat This Week

If you don’t read Crunchy VT Mommy, you are missing out because every week she rants about things that pissed her off and it’s usually amazing and hysterical. She calls it “Things That Got My Goat This Week”, and she has now opened up a linky for all to participate and rant together!

CrunchyVTMommyClick the cute little goat button to be whisked away to her blog. BOY, that’s a cute button….

  1. My car door.
    My car door ate my leg today. I was getting into the back seat while waiting to pick up my husband, and the car door snuck shut and chomped on my leg, the sneaky motherfucker. I mean, could that be any more infuriating? Argh.
  2. My sinuses/throat/body
    After feeling kind of shitty for about a week, and having a sore throat so badly the past two days I can barely eat, my coworkers made me go to the Minute Clinic today. Diagnosis? Sinusitis. MY FAVORITE. At least now I have a reason that it feels like I’m swallowing razors that are on fire. 10 days of antibiotics should knock the sucker out.
  3. AMAZON.
    Do I really need to explain? If you missed my Amazon post, click here and behold the majesty.
  4. Heaters.
    I blame you fuckers for drying my sinuses out in the first place, which turned into sinusitis. IT’S YOUR FAULT.
  5. The weather.
    Hey, jackass. IT’S NOVEMBER. Not time for 70 degrees. Time for 50 degrees or lower. IT’S THE HOLIDAYS. GET THE MEMO.

And that’s what got my goat this week. Mmm. This was fun and cathartic. I think I’ll do it again next week.
Hope on over to Crunchy VT Mommy’s blog and link up what got YOUR goat!

P.S. I made it to the finals in The Bump’s Mom Blog Awards in the Misc. Category. Will you please vote for me? It’s unlimited voting, and there is ZERO sign-up required. Simply click the button and it will take you to a page where you vote for yours truly! Please with sprinkles?