The Mother of All Carseats: The Clek Foonf!

Foonf! 

This is not a sponsored review. This is simply a review because I can’t tell people how much I love this seat! I was really stressing about convertible carseats. I had no idea what to get or where to begin. I have always been a lover of Britax, but through reading countless reviews, I found that they don’t work well for tall babies. When I came across the Clek Foonf, I wanted it immediately, but the price kept me from doing it. Finally though, we decided that Elliot’s safely was going to win over any price tag and we went for it. (plus, it was tax refund time! haha)

When I started looking for the carseat, I knew that there were certain things I wanted to find. 1- I wanted Elliot to be able to rear face as long as possible. The recommended age is 2, but I’d like to keep him rear facing until he’s three or even 4 if possible. 2- I wanted a good fabric that would be was to clean and keep looking nice. 3- I wanted a sturdy seat that I felt comfortable trusting to keep my child safe in a collision. 4- It had to come from a reputable company with a long and good reputation. 5- It had to fit into my Jeep and Jason’s Impala. So, we ordered the Foonf! I was giddy the day it arrived!

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA
S
o in unboxing the Foonf, you have the main seat, the head rest, the rebound bar, the rear facing wedge, the manual, and the registration papers.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

I won’t lie: Assembling the Foonf gave me a headache. It was easy to get everything together EXCEPT the rebound bar. It took me a good 45 minutes to get it properly attached. I was extremely frustrated with it. But, I finally got it after some frustration.  Overall- the seat is a beast. It weighs about 40 pounds by itself. Its not a seat you’re going to want to travel with or move between cars frequently. However, it is quite compact! It is only 17 inches wide, which is skinnier than our infant bucket (A Britax B-Safe), and as you can see below, even in its fully reclined position, the foonf still isn’t as LONG as our infant seat! This is good news for me because my seats in my jeep have to be up pretty far for the infant seat to be installed.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

The Foonf is definitely a beast. I feel really confident that Elliot would be protected in the event of a crash. The only thing that concerns me for future use with the seat is that LATCH capabilities in cars are not equipped to handle carseats that are this heavy. Next year, the AAP will be changing its recommendation from using the LATCH system to using a seat belt install. The reason being is that LATCH system, which was developed in 2000, wasn’t made to handle more than 75 pounds. Now that there are seats coming out that weigh as much as the Foonf, and can hold children up to 75 pounds, the LATCH system can fail when those weights and the force of a crash are combined. Seat Belts are made to hold much more weight. So, with that being said, I will probably always use the seat belt to install the Foonf. For what it’s worth- Every Car Seat Technician that I have every talked to has said there prefer the seat belt to install because you can get a tighter install with it.

Here is a photo of Elliot sitting in the Foonf (in my kitchen). As you can see, at ten months, he still has a TON of room to grow in this seat!

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are the Pros and Cons of this seat.

Pros:

-At 50 pounds and 43″, it is the longest rear-facing seat on the market in the US. (Please Note that the Canadian weight limit is lower than 50 pounds).
-Can forward face up to 75 pounds
-It is designed with small cars in mind. Though it is a large and strong seat, it still fits well in compact cars
-The design overall is very sleek and modern
-The fabric used is similar to what an actual car’s seat fabric. It repels liquid and staining.
-The Foonf features REACT technology, which it claims will reduce forces on a forward-facing child by up to 40%. So when my child does finally outgrow the seat for RF, she will be even safer than in most seats.
-It is very narrow, which makes it possible to fit three across in a backseat.
-It has a very simple install forward facing, thanks to its ridged latch feature, which takes the guess work out of how sturdy your install is.

Cons:

-The price tag. The Foonf retails for $450. I was able to find a great deal and get my seat for only $375. If you watch carefully you’ll be able to get it on Amazon for around the same price.
-The weight. This is not a seat you want to travel with or move between cars. It is a beast!

I would definitely recommend this seat to every I can. I’m in love with it for the simple fact that I know it is SAFE. I’m confident that in a collision, Elliot would be 100% ok.

I will update this post with more photos soon. If you have an questions about the foonf, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Check out the Clek Foonf on their website by clicking here!
To purchase the seat from Amazon, click here!

Advertisements

Yummi Pouch Review and Giveaway! (Closed)

Recently, a group of SAHMs that I am a part of got into a very heated discussion about baby food pouches. I’m really not exaggerating when I say it was heated, we’re still talking about the debate over 2 months later! The main points of discussion in the debate were that pouches were wasteful, expensive, and that one could never really know what was in them.

Well ladies and gentlemen, Today I am proud to share with you, The Yummi Pouch!

IMG_4387

Before the yummi pouch, I can honestly say that I had never given a pouch a try. I make my own baby food most of the time, and something about a squeeze pouch of food kind of grossed me out. But I understand that some parents love the convenience of the pouches. It’s the downsides that the mom’s debated about that make people dislike them. Plus, if you check out the ingredients of most of the store bought pouches, they’re all mostly made of apples rather than the vegetables listed on the front!

The yummi pouch is a product that gives you all of the convenience of the baby food pouches plus all the added benefits of being cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and healthier since you can fill them with your own, home-made purees. Another added bonus, one that I’m sure my readers know I look for in a product, is that this company is small and family owned! So when you use the yummi pouch, you are supporting an American family rather than a big corporation that outsources jobs to other countries.

IMG_4394

Lets talk about the actual product!

It’s such an awesome little invention that I’m amazed it isn’t already being sold in major stores. The design is simple, but really effective.

Here are the key features of the pouch that make it so great:

  • It is completely reusable, recyclable, and green.
  • Freezer and Dishwasher safe
  • BPA, Phthalate and PVC Free
  • It has an extra wide cap which makes it ideal for little hands, but the threads makes it childproof enough that they can’t open them without mommy’s help.
  • It has a specially designed bottom that allows the pouch to stand up while you fill it.
  • Extra wide mouth for filling, and a reinforced zipper to keep it from opening!
  • It has a 6oz fill line which helps for portion control and leaves room for expanding in the freezer
  • It has clearly marked lines on the back where you can write the date and contents (which then wash off when you’re done!)
  • The spout is sturdy and will stand up to those teething, chewing babies!

IMG_4398

These are great for kids of all ages! The Boon spoon attaches to them for the little babies, and they’re the perfect size for toddler and children hands. But lets be honest for a second- I’m looking forward to filling these with some blended drinks, throwing them in the cooler, and hitting the beach with them this summer! *wink*

They’re super easy to drink from. You don’t need a lot of pressure to get the contents out. One of my friends asked if the zipper opening being on the side concerned me, but as soon as I saw my little one holding it, I wasn’t worried. Since the spout is on the side, the little hands naturally hold on the edge that has the zipper opening. So if they squeeze it, they’re squeezing it CLOSED rather than open. Make sense? Just to be safe, I filled one with water, then put it in the floor and stepped on it, and it didn’t open!

IMG_4400
IMG_4403

Now here is the real kicker! The Yummi Pouch retails for $15 for a pack of 6. Which divides out to $2.50 a pouch! That’s awesome if you get as much use out of them as I already have in the month that I’ve had them.

Here is a comparison between the store bought pouches and the yummi pouch. You can see the size difference! I opened the store bought pouch and squeezed it into the yummi pouch, then put a flashlight behind it so you can see how full it is. A $2 pouch only filled the yummi pouch half way!

IMG_4407

IMG_4408

Yummi Pouch makes so great accessories to use with the pouches, from color-coded caps to a special tool that makes filling them a breeze! The only thing I’d like to see from the company now are different sized pouches and possibly some different colors!

Overall I think these are a really great product that will become much more popular in the next year or so. They kick the store bought pouches out of the water by taking away the guess work in the ingredients, minimizing the cost, and having a better environmental foot print. They are affordable, practical, easy, and economical! And now YOU have a chance to win some right here!

This giveaway will run from April 1st through April 12th. You can enter to win your own set of 6 Yummi Pouches! There are three mandatory entries, and then some you can earn every day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also- Be sure to check out Yummi Pouch’s website by clicking HERE. There’s all kinds of great info on the site, as well as some recipes, and those accessories I mentioned. You can buy a 6 pack of yummi pouches HERE.

You can also like them on Facebook by clicking HERE!

Jaime’s Attic Review and Giveaway! (Closed)

Hello readers! Today I’m bringing you review and giveaway that takes a step back from the cloth diapers. I’d like you introduce you to an Etsy seller that I’ve grown to love!

549322_146622608837524_1883025349_n

Jaime’s Attic is an Etsy shop that specializes in nursery design and accessories. She makes nursery decor, pillows, and baby blankets! Recently she sent me a blanket for Elliot and we love it!  One side is a super soft minky fabric, and the other side is an adorable printed flannel. It arrived wrapped up in ribbon and tissue paper. I held it up for Elliot to see and he reached for it. He loves how soft the minky side is, and he snuggles it up to his face.

Jaime's Attic Blanket

My favorite thing about the blanket is that it gets softer and softer each time I wash it! The material is holding up really well, and it is obvious that Jaime uses quality fabrics so that her products will stand the test of time!  Since this blanket isn’t bulky, I can easily toss it in the diaper bag for on the go! But don’t let that worry you, just because this blanket isn’t thick, doesn’t mean it isn’t warm! The combination of fabrics keep baby cozy and comfortable.

Jaime’s Attic can be found on Etsy, or by clicking here! If you take a moment to look through her shop, you’ll see all the great things she has to offer! If I were having a little girl, I would go nuts with all of her adorable fabrics and decor items! She’s almost convinced me that if I have a little girl, her nursery will be purple! haha! Here are my favorites items in her shop!

il_570xN.432403317_pe9z

il_570xN.432381114_n0wd

il_570xN.432588606_4r6y

Don’t be discouraged mom’s of boys! She also has son really adorable boyish prints!

il_570xN.432449129_rail

il_570xN.428494997_iaxv

I would recommend Jaime’s Attic to anyone who’s looking to fill their nursery in items that are made with love by another mommy right here in the US.

58859_141489959350789_1032625847_n

Because you’re reading my blog (and you’re awesome!) you have  a chance to win a blanket of your own! Jaime is super excited about this giveaway and can’t wait to make something beautiful for the winner! Enter by clicking on the rafflecopter below! One lucky person will get to choose any blanket from Jaime’s Attic.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jaime is also offering a special discount for all of my readers! Enter the code “onabreath” (without the quotations) to receive 20% off your order from Jaime’s Attic! Again, you can get to her shop by clicking here!

You can also check out her Facebook page by clicking here!

Disclaimer- I received the above mentioned product in order to facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed. All opinions are my own and your results and opinions may vary.

Reflections on 9 Months

Month 9 was a crazy one for us! Its so strange to say that I have a 9 month old. It feels SO MUCH older than 7 or 8 months for some reason. Elliot continues to grow and change every day. Its amazing to watch how fast he’s learning! This month he really started getting good at switching things between his hands, and he does it all the time now. He’ll pick something up, show it to you, switch it to another hand, and then show it to you from that hand! He’s so proud of himself for it!

This month was Elliot’s first valentines day, which was so fun. He got a cute bear from Jason’s parents that he has attached to. Its super smart and he loves it to death. He gets really excited when you hold it up for him, and then he grabs it and smothers it on his face. He chews on its paws and rubs its ears in his hands.

Another first this month was Elliots first trip to the park! He loved the swing! We haven’t been back yet, but we’re definitely going soon!


The biggest thing that happened this month was definitely Elliot’s surgery. I wrote another blog all about his condition, the surgery, and the recovery and you can read it by clicking here. On a personal level, it was really difficult for us. The emotional stress leading up to the surgery was overwhelming, but it ended up being nothing. I managed not to cry as they carried Elliot into the OR, and Elliot handled the surgery really well. Just a couple of days later you would have never known he went through a surgery!


We still aren’t crawling, though we seem to be getting closer. We still don’t have any teeth, and I have a feeling he’ll never have one.

Just Simply Baby Review and Giveaway! (Closed)

Hello everyone! I’m really excited to tell you about this vendor I’m reviewing! (and stay tuned for an awesome giveaway!) Meet Just Simply Baby! They’re an online store that specializes in natural living. They sell cloth diapers, mamma cloth, breast feeding supplies, launder detergents, healing teas, and all kinds of other awesome products!

485252_570948316250468_308551807_n

I first found Just Simply Baby on Facebook after a friend told me about them. They run a pretty awesome Facebook page! They’re on very frequently, asking questions to start discussions, answering user questions, making friends with their customers, and running some pretty awesome giveaways! Seriously there isn’t a week that goes by that JSB doesn’t run a give card give away on their Facebook page!

After following them for a while on Facebook, I decided to check out their shop. The first thing I noticed when I logged on was how bright and inviting the website is! Its also very well organized. The front page is eye catching, and you can’t miss the  announcement on the front page telling you that they have a 30 day money-back guarantee.

main_graphicIf you see in the photo above- They also run a daily deal where one awesome product is marked down! Thats super smart because I find myself checking back all the time to see if my wish list items are marked down! They almost always have a sale going on to, which is pretty awesome!

As a company, Just Simply Baby is pretty aweomse. They’re a WAHM founded, Christian company. They are run by a group of moms that all wear different hats in order to make things run smoothly. They have a great FAQs section, and a customer care line thats available to help trouble shoot. Along with the 30 day money back guarantee, they also have a 12 month quality guarantee on select products. They also run a great affiliate program that gives other moms a chance to earn a little money simply by referring new customers! (Did I mention they also have a military discount!)

Its so clear to me that JSB loves and cares about their customer!

So when we decided to do this review and giveaway, I put in a small order to the company to get a feel for their shipping and service. I browsed the site and decided to try one of their newest products: Organic Goat’s Milk Soap!

It arrived quickly, just 4 days after I ordered it! It was wrapped up so adorably for soap! I expected it to be in a plastic wrap, but it was tied in a scarf with ribbon and a car explaining what it is made of. I wish I could box this smell and send it to you! This soap smells SO good! I put it out in my bathroom and even my husband loves to use it!

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 12.12.47 AM

Overall, I’m really loving Just Simply Baby. The more I read about them and the better I get to know the company, the happier I am with them!

Here’s your chance to love them to! Just Simply Baby has offered up a $25 give card to give away to one of my loyal readers! The rafflecopter giveaway is linked below! There are three mandatory entries, so be sure to do all of those! Then there are some extra entries you can earn, as well as some daily entries! The giveaway will run from Monday, March 4th, to Friday, March 15th! Check it out!

**CONGRATULATIONS TO FAITH H.! YOU WON!**

You can check out Just Simply Baby’s website by clicking HERE!

Hypospadias- Elliot’s condition, surgery, and recovery

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that Elliot recently underwent surgery. In person I have always been really up front about why Elliot had to have surgery when people have asked me, but for some reason I never put it on Facebook. I guess it was mostly because it can be long to explain, but also because I don’t want to make a habit of talking about my son’s genitals on FB.

When Elliot was born, Jason and I still had not decided whether or not we would circumcise. Jason wanted to, but I did not. However, when Elliot came, the nurses told us that it seemed he was born with a “natural circumcision.”  I had no idea that was even possible. After the pediatrician examined him, he came to speak with us and told us that a “natural circumcision” doesn’t exist, and that what Elliot actually had was a condition called Hypospadias.

Hypospadias is a birth abnormality in which the opening of the urethra is located on the under surface of the penis rather than on the tip. Currently, it occurs in about 4 out of every 100 male births. That is a major increase from just a few decades ago. The following graph, published in 2002, tracks how common hypospadias has become.

Though the cause is mostly unknown, doctors suspect that hormone treatment during pregnancy may be a factor. That makes sense in our case because I have hypothyroidism, and we had trouble keeping my levels balanced throughout my pregnancy.

There are different degrees of severety when it comes to hypospadias. Elliot’s hypospadias was “Distal”. You can check out the diagram below to see the different degrees.

Symptoms in hypospadias are almost nonexistent in newborns. Problems can occur in later in life during puberty and adulthood if it is not corrected. However, hypospadias correction is extremely effective and long-term effects are extremely rare.

So how is it corrected? The most common corrective surgery involves using the foreskin to redirect the urethra and give it a proper opening at the tip of the penis. Complications are more likely to occur in children and adults, so most often Doctors will try to perform the corrective surgery during the child’s first year of life. After the corrective surgery, the child would be a completely normal, yet circumcised, fully functional male.

For Elliot, this meant surgery at 8 and a half months old. It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t completely freaking out in the weeks leading up to the surgery. There’s nothing more terrifying than the thought of your child being hurt. I was mostly afraid of the anesthesia he would be under, and of the pain he would go through during his recovery.

The actual surgery was no big deal. It was an outpatient procedure and we ended up only being at the hospital for 4 hours. The actual surgery took less than 45 minutes. Elliot did really well for the entire thing, charming the nurses and being playful. Even when they took him back to the OR and I choked back tears, Elliot just smiled and held his chart as the nurse carried him through the doors.

IMG_3647

When it was all said and done, we were taken back to a recovery room where Elliot was beginning to wake up from the anesthesia. He looked so tiny in the hospital bed, and he was snuggled up in blankets and pillows. (Side note to this- I was SHOCKED that the nurses laid him in all those pillows and blankets. Ever heard of SIDS!?)

I scooped Elliot up into my arms and rocked him in the rocking chair. He was still pretty out of it, but he drank about half a bottle. After that he started opening his eyes a bit and looking around. He was really calm and collected for how confused he must have been! I snuggled him while the nurse talked us through how to care for him, the medicine he’d be on, and what to look out for. She also told us how to care for his catheter, and she made an appointment for us to come back in 6 days to have it removed.

IMG_3641

When it came to the actual recovery, Elliot has done really well. We had to do what the doctor called “compression” diapers. Basically what that meant is that we needed to keep pressure on his penis until the swelling and bleeding stopped. We did that by folding up a washcloth, spreading a thick layer of Vaseline on it, and then putting that between him and the diaper. After two days, we stopped the compression diapers and went to regular diapers with Vaseline. His stitches dissolve on their own, so there wasn’t much to worry about, other than the catheter.

He had his catheter removed 6 days after surgery and it didn’t seem to faze him. By that point, he was looking much much better. His testicles are quite bruise, but that is to be expected.

He will go back to the doctor at one month to check that everything still looks ok. The most common complication with this surgery is that the stitches will not close the skin completely and there will be multiple urethra openings. If that is the case, the fix is pretty simple, but will require another small surgery and recovery period. Fingers crossed that this isn’t the case!

DISCLAIMER: If you have any questions about hypospadias, the surgery, or the recovery, please feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to answer! However- I am no expert and can only speak from experience. If you think your child may have hypospadias, consult your pediatrician or a pediatric urologist.

The Peaceful Mom- Blog Planning in Review

When I started with Mosaic Reviews Team, one of the first assignments was to review a blog planner. I must admit, I was pretty excited about this because I’m slightly addicted to planners, lists, and trying to keep myself organized. I have recently been turning my blog around, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. I’ve started blogging for a couple of different teams, writing reviews, and doing giveaways. I’m working to find the balance between all of these review and give away posts, and the “real life” posts that I feel are extremely important to the blog. (For what its worth- my next post is going to be all about Elliot’s recent surgery and recovery!)

So reviewing a blog planner was exciting for me, because I knew it would help me make this transition. The planner I selected to use and review is called “The Peaceful Mom.”

The Peaceful Mom planner is very simple. So simple, in fact, that it can really be customized to use however you need it. Its one page, and its meant to be used weekly. So i can just print it, and stick it in with my spiral planner I keep in my purse. When ever I have a thought concerning a blog, or an idea for a new blog topic, I can just whip it out and jot it down. I like that it isn’t a multi page ordeal that I have to keep up with along with everything else to keep up with in my hectic life!


I love that it has a purpose section! If I want to dedicate an entire week to something like the Great Cloth Diaper Change , I can list that as my purpose for that week. Theres a box where I can write all my Topics and Themes for the week, and then it breaks down the week into each day, so I can write down when I want to post each blog, as well as when I want a post to be written by!

The bottom of the planner is probably my favorite though. Its a Goals section where I can keep immediate, short term, and long term goals written for the blog. And even further, it lets me break down my goals into sections like writing, maintenance on the blog, connecting, promoting, and business.

It forces me to stop and think about how my blog fits into the bigger internet world of blogging. How I can make it grow, as well as keep it flowing.

If you find yourself in need of a planner- Check this one out! I can see it working well for home schooling parents, teachers, and even an at home cleaning schedule! In fact- I might just print it and use it for my spring cleaning schedule!

Be sure to check it out by clicking here!

71434_537055499659307_339451745_n