My Memories Suite

And the winner is #4 – Wife of a Sailor!

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I am scrapbooking failure.

There, I said it.

I have the best of intentions. Really. I do.

But my scrapbook pages always end up looking like a kindergarden art project. I take that back….they look worse than a kindergarden art project.

(Hanging head in craftymom shame)

I figured I would be a perfect test subject to try out digital scrapbooking software. There are a lot of programs out there and I had no idea which one would work for me. (Read: Tech illiterate and impatient) When I was given the opportunity to try out My Memories Suite, I figured I would give it a go.

Downloading to my Mac was very easy with clear step by step instructions and installing it went without a hitch.

I opened up My Memories Suite and did not read any instructions. Yes, you read that right. I dove right in attempting to make a digital scrapbook with reading any how-to’s. Within 10 minutes I was finding my way around within the software without any problems. Several times after I clicked a button, I had to yell to hubs, “Hey! Come check this out! Look what I just did!”

In 15 minutes I had created an entire album.

All milestones are something to celebrate, document and treasure. In special needs families, that is even more true. Milestones are hard won. The birth that didn’t go quite as we expected? The first birthday that we weren’t sure we would be able to celebrate? The first step that was the result of months and months of Physical Therapy? The first taste of a new food after being G-Tube fed only? Starting school? (Sniffle, sniff, I’m starting to tear up. Let’s move on)

MyMemories has generously given me the opportunity to give away a copy of this fun-a-licious software to one of YOU, my lucky readers. ($39.97 value)

Mandatory entry: Cruise on over to MyMemories and take a look at Digital Scrapbook Kits. Come back here and post in the comments below which kit is your favorite.

Extra optional entries: (1 extra entry for each one. Just post in the comments below. One comment per entry)

“Like” MyMemories Suite on Facebook

“Follow” My Memories on Twitter

“Share” this giveaway either by Facebook or Twitter (2 extra entries per day!)

Want to get your hands on this fun and powerful software? You can purchase My Memories Suite  now at MyMemories using a special discount code just for my readers! $10 off code: STMMMS236 (Code is good only for 10 days from today, so hurry!)

Giveaway ends June 27 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be selected via Random.org. I will contact the winner. Winner will then have 48 hours to get back to me or another winner will be chosen. Mommy Rambles was given a copy of this software to try and review.

Thoughts on special toys?

Faith receives (or should I say I receive) 40 hours a month of respite care through the Navy. Hubby is active duty and this is one of the newer programs designed to keep me from going bonkers. Our 40 hours are split over 2 caregivers, each coming into our home once a week. Faith genuinely loves both her caregivers and this is a sanity saver for me. Ok, now you have a bit of background. On to the actual issue.

One of Faith’s caregivers has games and toys that she brings with her on her day. She brings her “special” toys to play with the children she cares for. It is a neat routine and gives Faith something special to look forward to. Faith does understand that these games and toys are only for use during the time that the caregiver is here and that they leave with the caregiver. Mostly. Except….

One game. Oh Faith loves it. She talks about, she cries for it. When the caregiver leaves, Faith melts down because she wants it. I mean really melts down. Hitting, kicking, biting, inconsolable melting down. Sometimes it goes on for almost an hour. During that hour I am physically holding Faith to keep her from hurting herself and me.

In other words, in exchange for my couple hours of respite care, I end up with both of us exhausted and emotional messes.

Not cool.

I know what you are thinking….why not just buy her the gosh darn game?

Our caregiver has asked us to not purchase duplicates of “her” games. I get where she is coming from. This is her bag of tricks that help keep the kids entertained while she is here. It’s special and kids look forward to it, and their time with her because they get to play with the items. If parents buy the same items, they lose the magic. They become part of every day life and are no longer special.

But…

I am going nuts here.

Would you buy the game? Just this one game?

Please weigh in!

Reward if found

There has been a feeling creeping in on me for a few weeks now. It has been coming closer and closer. Until this morning I didn’t have the exact word for the feeling.

I feel lost.

Not in a “Where did my GPS lead me this time” way. (Mine has a sexy Australian voice. I tend to just listen to him talk, not actually pay attention to where he is leading me…but I digress)

In a “where is Allison” kind of way.

I have spent so much time over the last 19 years being what I thought everyone else wanted and needed me to be that I have lost sight of what I want to be. Of who I am.

A mom? Well yes, I am a mom. I enjoy being a mother most of the time. But that is part of who I am, not who I am.

A wife? Well yes, I am a wife. I have a wonderful husband who is my partner in most every sense of the word. But that is part of who I am, not who I am.

A daughter? Well yes, I am a daughter. I have parents, step parents, in-law parents. I am certainly a daughter to many. But that is part of who I am, not who I am.

A sister? Cook? Housekeeper? Friend? Blogger? Tweet-a-holic? Teacher? Unemployed? Tired? Lupus patient? Failed gardener? Reader?

I have lost me. If asked to define who I am, I would only have a blank stare to offer as my answer.

If you find me, please leave a comment. Possible reward.

Stokke Tripp Trapp

It’s hard to be little. The world is geared for grown up, not little ones. Their legs are too short, their arms are too short. It’s just plain frustrating. Times that should be fun, such as meals or coloring at the table, can be hard on them. Too big for a high chair, too small for a normal dining room seat, tired of sitting on phone books to reach.

Enter the Tripp Trapp.

In an amazing invention, that has remained unchanged since 1972, Tripp Trapp changed the mealtime game. This chair grows with your child. And when I say that, I mean it. The Tripp Trapp chair can take your child from birth (with the new optional Newborn Set) through infant (with the optional Infant Set) straight through the college years and beyond. The Stokke Tripp Trapp is built to last as long as it will fit. It is made from solid wood, in a rainbow of colors and wood stains.

No more struggling to reach the table, no wobbling on top of stacked books, no dangling feet. (Did YOU ever have to sit on top of telephone books as a kid? Or was that just my family?)

Both the seat and foot rest of this chair are adjustable for the perfect fit for YOUR child. Long legs and a short torso? Done. Short legs and a long torso? Done. The Stokke Tripp Trapp has the ability to fit any child, at all ages.

What really makes this chair stand out to me, is it’s ability to support all children, even those with special needs. The incredible versatility means that little tired or restless legs have a place to be secure. Children who have a hard time in a regular chair due to low tone issues will find the curve of the back a place to be supported. If more support is needed, the Stokke Tripp Trapp also comes with straps for more security. This chair is perfect for therapy time or ABA. Having one chair that can adjust to various heights needed for different therapies can help provide a sense of security for children as well. It’s always nice to have something familiar when working hard on new tasks.

I would just like to add….wow, that chair is comfy! (Yes, I sit in it also!)

Our Tripp Trapp is blue

http://www.stokke.com/highchair.aspx

Tripp Trapp® chair
A modern classic.

The Tripp Trapp® chair, created in 1972 by the designer Peter Opsvik, has never been bettered. In 1972, revolution was a fact. Back then no one had seen anything like the Tripp Trapp®, and almost 40 years later it is still unique: the only child’s chair that can take you from baby to adult, keeping you secure and comfortable all the way.

The Tripp Trapp® designer’s inspiration came from watching his own young son, Tor, struggle to find a comfortable position to sit in at their family table. Having grown out of his old-fashioned high-chair, but still far too small to sit on an adult’s chair, Tor was left dangling his legs and struggling to reach the table. What do you do when your feet don’t reach the floor and you can’t shift your weight when you feel the need? Well, you can’t move the chair down to the ground, because then your elbows won’t reach the table. So how about moving the floor up to meet your feet? That’s what the Tripp Trapp® does, by providing a stable footrest that supports a child’s feet and allows it to sit at the correct height, its elbows inheight with the table, in comfort and security. Then there’s the problem of your upper body not being supported because the back rest is too far away. The Tripp Trapp® chair’s unique depth adjustability solves that one, meaning that no matter how big or small your baby, his or her feet and back can be perfectly supported. Not only does this chair grow with your child, it can adjust to custom fit your child’s body, enabling comfortable and natural ergonomic sitting.

Tripp Trapp® design: Peter Opsvik

**Mommy Rambles was provided a Stokke Tripp Trapp in conjunction with a fundraiser**

Baby Bjorn Active Carrier

 

 

Baby Bjorn Carrier Active Organic

Really not sure what to say about this carrier besides, it is a must for moms and dads.

When Faith was tiny, I had so many concerns about her development, both physical and social.  She survived a right hemisphere stroke, has hemiplegic cerebral palsy, and although we didn’t know it at that time, she also has autism. She would often suffer apnea episodes (stopping breathing) and seemed very removed from her environment. One of the things that both Jimmy and I felt was imperative, was keeping her involved in the world. The thought of her hanging out in a stroller being pushed ahead of me at knee level was not ok with me. Nor was her spending time hanging out in her car seat, away from touch and stimulation. She needed the extra protection, touch and movement that a pack carrier provided.

For us, the Baby Bjorn carrier was perfect! She was safe, secure and I could feel her breathing. She was kept at just about eye level. As we engaged people around us, so did she. Walking down Rainbow Row, shopping in the mall, running through airports, riding the ferry. We used our carrier almost daily for just about 3 years. It was incredibly comfortable for both Jimmy and I to wear, and it adjusted size in a flash. The fabric held up beautifully to literally years of wear.

When I look back at Faith’s babyhood, I truly feel that this was one of the best purchases we made.

www.babybjorn.com/us

Caring for the next generation

For us, keeping the next generation in mind has always been a top priority. That’s why we’ve launched a line of products made from organically grown cotton. With BabyBjörn’s organic products you keep your child happy and safe while protecting the environment.

The BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Active is one of the BabyBjörn favorites we’ve chosen to produce using fabric made from organically grown cotton. The baby carrier is sturdy and designed for anyone who leads an active everyday life. The baby carrier provides the proper pressure point relief thanks to the enhanced lower back support and wide, padded shoulder straps. At the same time your child is safe and sound in the baby carrier.

The baby carrier is easy to put on and take off without assistance. All adjustments are made from the front. As with all our baby carriers, it was developed in collaboration with medical experts to suit newborns optimally. 

 

 

Looking for ear piercing input

Our youngest daughter, Faith, has been asking to get her ears pierced. For most young ladies this is a rite of passage. Her age, almost 8, is usually a great time to get ears pierced. But we have an additional issue. Faith has multiple physical and mental disabilities. I find myself very torn right now. She has asked for something so common, so normal, so very ordinary. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Do you have any experience with ear piercing and disabilities?