She’s an American Girl

So, tomorrow is Faith’s birthday.

She will be 9.

Yowza.

Like most little girls, Faith has been excitedly counting down to this magical day.

Unlike most little girls, Faith has special needs.

Birthday parties are a dicey thing for us. Heck, outings are a dicey thing for us.

Last week, the neighbor girls went to the holy grail of girly-girliness: The American Girl Store.

I had no idea there was an American Girl Store right here in Seattle. Did you know that? Did you know that the American Girl Store does birthday parties? I didn’t.

Now, regular followers of my blog may be a bit confused right now. Wondering WHY this matters. Faith is about as far from a girly-girl as a girl can get.

Captain America? Superman? Mario? Firetrucks? Transformers? Yes.

Tea parties? Tiaras? Princesses? No.

But….there is no one peg that fits here. Faith has spent years flipping through the American Girl catalogs. Pointing to each doll and asking about it. Noting which ones are similar to her and which ones are similar to someone she knows. The “Almost American Girl” dolls in other stores have not interested her in the least. It has just been the American Girl dolls.

So…. once I realized there was an actual American Girl Store nearby, a tiny inkling of an idea started to form.

Have you ever been to an American Girl Store? It is a sea of pink and red filled to the brim with squealing girls.

What if…somehow…by some miracle….I could figure out a way to take Faith to the American Girl Store for her birthday?

Crazy? Probably. But I figured the least I could do was talk to someone and see what kind of accommodations could be made. The following is my emails with Anna. Anna is amazing and needs a raise. And a bonus. And a vacation. :)

“Hi Anna,

I am hoping to arrange a visit to the Seattle American Girl Store for my daughter, Faith’s 9th birthday. Faith is developmentally and physically disabled. For three years she has flipped through American Girl catalogs, asking about the different dolls. This year I think we are possibly able to make the trip to the store. This will be her (and my) first experience and I am wondering if there are any accommodations that can be made to help her have an enjoyable experience.

A bit about Faith…. She survived a stroke as a baby. She has a hard time physically walking. She can walk but tires easily. She can manage most of the day without her wheelchair, but if the store will involve quite a bit of walking, we may need it. She also has autism. She becomes very easily overwhelmed by too much stimuli. I am wondering if it is possible to have a small selection dolls in a small area for her to “shop” from rather than have the possibly overwhelming experience of the entire store? What time of the day is the store the quietest? 

We would also like to celebrate her “party” at the Bistro, with the goodies (cake, ice cream, tiara) but it would just be her and us (Mom and Dad). Is it possible to have a birthday party without the “party” part? 

I am a special needs blogger and I would also love to chronicle how this goes in a blog post to share with other parents. Knowing what accommodations can be made at a particular store/event is a huge help for those of us who need a bit extra help with our children.”

Anna wrote back almost instantly.

“Hi Allison,

I would love to meet with you and Faith, and I’d be more than happy to customize her visit so she can have an amazing experience!

Our store is usually the quietest during the week in the morning and early afternoon. We will begin to be busier as summer break approaches, but weekdays are often much quieter than weekends. Our store is all one level, and very accessible, so Faith would be able to enjoy everything, including the bistro and doll hair salon, while visiting in a wheelchair so she could be the most comfortable.

I’d be happy to select some dolls and outfits for Faith beforehand, and then meet with her to help her go through choices. If you can tell me which doll(s) she’s excited about, or if she’d like to find a doll that looks like her, I’d be happy to bring a selection of dolls to her to help make choosing easier.

I can also help with creating a selection of outfits and accessories too. If you can tell me a little bit about Faith, her interests, hobbies, favorite colors, what style clothes she likes, I can create a customized shopping experience with outfits and accessories she’ll love! 

You can absolutely have a birthday party for three! The Bistro Birthday Celebration includes a drink, appetizer, main course and special cake and ice cream for dessert, with a goody bag for girls. The cost is $28 per girl and $18 per adult. If you have a date in mind for visiting, I’d be happy to check on reservations in our bistro!

And you’re more than welcome to take photos to remember the experience, or ask any questions that we can help answer! I’m looking forward to meeting with you and Faith!”

This was starting to feel like something we could actually do! The American Girl Store was very willing to help come up with accommodations to help Faith enjoy her American Girl experience to the fullest even with the additional challenges. Anna called me so we could speak in more detail about what we could do to help Faith. Anna was patient and full of ideas. She also went well out of her way to not only check the Bistro’s menu for Faith’s allergens, but she also ensured that they would have Faith’s favored ice cream on hand.

Wow.

Here are the photo’s from an amazingly magical day.

Faith and I on the ferry. This was before she understood where we were going.

As we wheeled into the American Girl Store, Faith exclaimed “Mommy, there is DOLLIES here!”
Anna helped Faith get settled on a bench away from the main flow of store traffic.
Anna then brought out 4 dolls for Faith to choose from. She showed her each doll in a slow, calm manner. She opened each box and took them out so Faith could really look at them.
Oh this one. I love her. She is my very own dolly!
Next up, Anna slowly showed Faith accessories for her Dolly. Each item was unboxed and Faith was allowed to touch.
Including a chocolate lab!
Anna helped get Faith's dolly dressed up. :)
Next, Anna helped us with an appointment at the American Girl Salon. Faith supervised intently. LOL
After dolly's hair was finished, Anna escorted us to the Bistro. Dolly was settled into her own seat. Faith thought that was amazing! On the table was a birthday card for Faith from the American Girl Staff and a tiara.
Prior to being served, the staff double checked with us about Faith's allergies. Faith chose Mac and Cheese. She deemed it yummy!

Surprise! Faith was quite perplexed as to why all these people were singing to her! She blew out all the candles in one try.
"It's my Berf-day!" The cake was simply divine. Fit for a princess, or a superhero. Or even a superhero princess transformer.
The day was a success. Not only a success, but an "I had such an amazing time that I fell asleep in the car which I never do sitting beside my new bestest friend in the whole wide world" success. And I'm pretty sure that is the best kind.

If you have ever considered a trip to the American Girl Store, but have hesitated due to special needs, please email them. I can not stress enough how accommodating the entire staff was. Every person we came in contact with was so helpful, patient and understanding.

Thank you American Girl Store for helping to make a little girls wish come true.

It feels awkward so….

…I am only going to mention this a couple of times.

We have created a ChipIn account to help with the travel expenses we will incur while training with Faith’s service dog.

We will be traveling, probably by plane, to Ohio. We will then need to stay in a hotel for two weeks while we  train with Faith’s new canine partner and learn to work together as a team.

I will have a little widget thingy on the side bar of Mommy Rambles….scroll down a bit to see it.

You can also access the page directly through this link:

4 Paws 4 Faith Chip In Page

Thank you.

My first bloggity thing – part 2. I did it! #ACTIgames4girls

Part 2:

If  you have been following my adventures so far….

Thanks for reading! You are awesome!

BIG GROUP HUG! Mwah!

So, we made it to the Hyatt, handed the (please don’t run out of gas) van over to the valet and after taking a deep breath…walked inside.

We found the elevator and made it to the right floor. Then we proceeded to try and join the veterinarian conference also taking place on that floor.

Uhhh…wrong group.

A very sweet waiter pointed us to the right conference room.

Walking through those giant, fancy-schmancy doors was one of the scariest things I’ve done.

OMG. OMG. OMG. I can’t do this. I can’t not do this. I can’t do this.

Then I’m pretty sure Alane pushed me inside.

 I must have been sporting the “deer in the headlights” look because as soon as Jenny spotted me, she  came right over and gave me a hug.

You have NO idea how much I needed that.

Ok, I’m through the doors, still breathing, I have a few familiar faces….

You know the scene when the new kid goes to the empty cafeteria table? Yeah. That was me.

But it’s all good….because I was there!

Now on to the important stuff, why the heck was I there anyway?

The Activision Games For Girls Summit is exactly what it sounds like. A summit of people, mostly moms, getting together to talk about video games for girls. This particular summit focused on 6 games in particular: LalaloopsyZooblesWappy Dog, ZhuZhu BabiesMoshi Monsters: Moshling ZooSquinkies 2: Adventure Mall Surprize! . I will review the details about each game one by one in upcoming posts. During the summit we learned quite a bit about the positive side of gaming for girls. Some of the facts that stood out the most to me…

  •  Games provide us with the 4 ingredients that make for a happy meaningful life
    • Satisfying work
    • Real hope for success
    • Strong social connections
    • A chance to become a part of something bigger than ourselves
  • Games create a positive mindset and making them more resilient in the face of failure
    • Gamers spend 80% of their time failing
    • We like and trust someone after we’ve played a game with them
    • More likely to help someone in real life after we’ve helped them in an online game
    • 40% of time on Facebook is spent playing social games

(40%????? Really? Wow, that’s a lot of Mafia Wars and Farmville!)

Video games aren’t just hard, they’re adaptively hard

  • Keep people at the edge of their abilities and push them further
  • Adaptive challenge is stunningly powerful for learning, according to John Gabrieli, a neuroscientist at MIT.
  •  Faster reaction times
  • Increased hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity
  • Increased spatial skills
  • Ability to divide and switch attention, pay attention to more than one object/person

Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life study (Feb 2011): girls who play video games with a parent enjoyed a number of advantages.

  • Behave better
  • Feel more connected to their families
  • Have stronger mental health
Did you know all that? I had no idea. I just knew that Faith had a lot of fun playing. :)
Watch for some FUN giveaways in the coming weeks!
Want one?
{Mommy Rambles received a bag of goodies at the Activision Games for Girls event. I was not asked to write about my experience, nor was I compensated for this campaign.} 

My first bloggity thing- Part 1 – What an adventure! #ActivisionGames4Girls

Part 1:

When I began this adventure about a year ago, I didn’t know where it would lead.

Faith was in need of a new car seat, but due to her size, she had outgrown all conventionally produced seats. That narrowed my choices from 4000 seats, to about 4 special needs seats.

To be honest, not a one was cute, or looked confortable. But how would I know…..I could not find any real reviews.

“Real-life, this is my kid, in my car and this is what I think of the seat and this is what my kid thinks of the seat.”

If I am spending upwards of $2000 to keep my  special needs child safe, at least give me more information than a boring line-by-line fact sheet. I want to know what other real moms, of real special needs kids, think of it.

I was never able to find real reviews on any of the seats, and we had to make a choice based on pictures.

That got the wheels turning….

I had been blogging since 2005 but I felt it was time to add more elements in. If I was searching, and failing, to find information on how products work for special needs families, it was also happening to other special needs families.

I did an informal poll on my personal blog, and of my Twitter and Facebook peeps. Would a review blog focusing on how products work for special needs families interest you? The response was overwhelming and immediate.

YES!

Armed with that knowledge, and on coffee wishes and valuim dreams, Mommy Rambles began.

I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, I just try and do right by you, the loyal readers who I hope I am helping. I try to show you parts of our life, good and bad, and try to get to know you, my readers.

What this recap is leading into is….. Today I was invited to, and actually attended my first Bloggity Thingy.

I have severe social anxiety. Awful!

I am scared to drive. Terrified.

When the invite to Activision Games for Girls Summit arrived, my first response was ….no. I can’t. I can’t drive there. I can’t walk into a room with people I don’t know. I just can’t.

But a tiny, probably heavily drugged, part of me said….”You have to.”

If I want to keep Mommy Rambles on the right track, moving into bigger and better things, to be able to help you, my readers, find out the information you need, then I need to take the next step. I needed to step out of my comfort zone and actually start meeting people.

This was the perfect place to start. I knew the wonderful lady I was invited by, Jenny. I knew that one of my close friends Alane was going. I could do this…..I could……

Oh goodness…..what did I get myself into?

The day before the Activision Games for Girls Summit, I received the dreaded call from the school. Faith was sick, throwing up, and I needed to come pick her up. Right Now. And she needed to be out for at least 24 hours.

I managed to get our respite care worker scheduled to cover from 9 to 3. Which is all fine and good, but I needed to leave at 8:45 to catch the ferry…. Hubby looked at his schedule and was sure he could sneak home from 8:30-9

The morning of the summit arrived and my tummy was in knots. I was ready to back out. I felt a major panic attack just moments away. 8:30 – no hubby. 8:45 – no hubby. If I didn’t leave at 8:45 I ran a risk of missing the ferry! Full panic starts now. 8:50 hubby calls…stuck at work. (Deep calming breathes….I can do this. No I can’t.) 9am the respite worker arrives. I literally run out the garage door as she walks in.

Crap, crap, crap….I am late. So late. And WHAT THE HECK? My van is on Empty. My GPS says we have 15 miles to go. I’m not proud of it, but I have driven 20 miles with my gas light on before so I think I can make it to the Hyatt 8, then get gas afterwards. Right? Right?

I stopped by to pick up Alane. Knowing how late we were, and how close I was to a nervous breakdown, she did her best to keep the conversation flowing. She also spent the ride to the ferry terminal talking in the “soft, soothing, everything is fine, ooooommmmmm” kind of voice usually reserved for dangerous people holding weapons.

With 2 minutes before sail time, we got through the ticket booth, flew up to the holding line, and watched the gates close.

We missed the ferry!

We did some rerouting, Google mapping and plain ol’ cursing and came to the realization that the fastest route to get us to Seattle would be to just stay right here and wait for the next ferry.

Okie-dokie. Put in a movie for kiddo, got our electronics charging for the trip, got the car warm and waited. While we were waiting, Alane briefly mentioned something about her battery having died in the ferry line. Whatever…my Scarlett had never failed me before. The conversation was good, the tweets were good, the movie was good, the next ferry arrived and unloaded right on schedule. My anxiety level was waaaaay down. I COULD do this.

Then the movie stopped, then my GPS stopped. Oh nooooooooo! 

My battery was dead. In the ferry line. Seconds from loading.

I jumped out of the van and ran to the car next to us. It happened to contain the sweetest older guy. He was so sweet that I want to adopt him and keep him as my grandpa.

He helped us jump the van in literally minutes. Less than 5 minutes later we rolled onto the ferry and were on our way. Thank you Grilled Cheesus, thank you!

I spent most of the ferry ride calming my racing heart and reassuring myself that I COULD do this. Every cell in my body wanted to turn around and just go home, but dang it….I needed to do this to help my blog grow. And make the connections I needed to make in order to keep reviewing the products that my readers are looking for.

As we approached the Seattle ferry dock, the adrenaline started. Would the van start? Would we have enough gas to get to the Hyatt 8? When I reached my van down on the car deck, who should be there? Sweet guy I want to adopt as my grandpa. He wanted to make sure the van started. (Can I please hunt him down and keep him? Does that sound too stalkerish and strange?)

I said a quick Hail Mary and…..Scarlett started right up!

Perfect! This day was turning around! We made it to Seattle, the GPS was locked on to the Hyatt 8, we were only going to be 10 minutes late!

Docked….cars rolling off into the wilds of Seattle….but…our lane wasn’t moving. Dang it people, I have things to do, fears to get over, challenges to overcome…..why are we NOT unloading?

Because the car in front of us broke down.

Of Course.

A multitude of muscular Ferry workers appeared out of nowhere and finally pushed the car far enough out of the way that those of us stuck behind could drive around and off.

Then I was doing it. I was driving in Seattle. Alane did resume her calm speech and helpful directions and…..we made it! We pulled into valet parking, handed over my keys, said another prayer to Grilled Cheesus that my van would not run out of gas while the valet was parking it, took a calming breath and headed to my very first Bloggy Thingy!

My John Hancock

You and “i” or MiEV (plus a little giveaway)

Recently Jimmy and I have been talking about the next step in our lives. We are less than a year away from retiring after 20 years in the Navy. It is an overwhelming time for us with so much to think about. One thing we are discussing is cars.

(If you are reading this, cover your eyes Andrea)

We have an older Toyota Corolla that Jimmy has been using as his commuter car. We are thinking about giving it to Andrea so she will have a car at college. Then we will get a new little commuter for Jimmy.

When I was contacted by Mitsubishi, it seemed to be a perfect time for us to check out the brand new Mitsubishi i.

What the heck is the Mitsubishi i???

 

The  first thing I would like to say about the “i” is….this car is CUTE. It’s all about the rounded edges and…well….cuteness. But, don’t think this is a chick car. Jimmy instantly liked the lines of it as well. It appealed to both of us equally. Opening the door, I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious the car was. Looking from the outside, you might think it would be cramped. It’s not. Four adults can comfortably fit. Starting this car is not what I expected. Turning the key results in a “click” like flipping a light switch! I actually asked our “i” specialist, who was along for the ride with us, if it was actually on! I’m serious when I say there was no sound at all. Pure silence. Part of me expected that when I moved the shift to “D” that it wouldn’t go anywhere….since it couldn’t possibly be running….but it did! And away we went!

The “i” has quite a bit of pep! It sprints forward smoothly, turns in tiny spaces and even has a back up camera! To be honest with you, if you are looking for horsepower or to be the first off the starting line, this is not going to be your car. The “i” gets up to speed at a decent clip, and has a top speed of just over 80 miles an hour. During my drive, which encompassed both twisty country roads and fast paced city driving, I found the “i” to be more than acceptable! I’m not a slow-poke driver, but I’m not a speed demon either.

Jimmy enjoyed his turn at the wheel also. And from the back seat, the “i” sounds exactly like the car from the Jetsons! I’m serious! Even if you are not in the market for an electric car, or any car, go take a test drive with someone just so you can sit in the back seat and listen.  Just like the Jetsons!!! This car was a blast to drive and is now sitting squarely at the top of our list of possible cars to purchase once we move.

Hey Jimmy! You grab that end, I'll grab this one and let's see if we can sneak it off the lot! They probably won't even notice!

More about the Mitsubishi i

The breakthrough Mitsubishi i is the most affordable 100% electric-powered mass-market production vehicle available in North America. Its starting MSRP IS $29,125 and the net MSRP* after federal tax credit is a very affordable $21,625 for the standard ES model and only $23,625 for the upgrade SE version, making the starting price for the all-new Mitsubishi i several thousand less than other mass produced electric vehicles available in the market.

 Powered by Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology, the rear-wheel drive vehicle’s drive system includes a 49 kW (66 bhp) AC synchronous electric motor; an 88 cell, 330V lithium-ion battery pack for a peak storage of 16 kWh; and a single fixed-reduction gear transmission. This electric motor is capable of producing its peak torque of 145 lb.-ft. almost instantaneously when accelerating from a standstill; the vehicle has a top speed of approximately 80 mph.

 The driving range of the Mitsubishi i is a very robust EPA certified “real world” rating of 62 miles/charge. The Mitsubishi i can be recharged using three advantageous methods: A 240V/15A Level 2 home EVSE Eaton charging system (estimated charge time from completely empty battery to fully charged – 7 hours; charging method recommended by Mitsubishi), a CHAdeMO Level 3 public quick charging station (estimated charge time from very low battery to 80% full – 30 minutes; requires optional DC charging port available as an option), and through the conventional 120V/8A Level 1 portable charging cable that plugs into a standard wall outlet (estimated charge time from very low battery to full charge – 22.5 hours; included on all Mitsubishi i models).

 The Mitsubishi i may be compact in its overall dimensions, but this EV’s clever packaging and design make for very roomy and comfortable accommodations for four adult-size passengers. With its relatively tall roofline, rear-mounted electric motor and battery pack placed safely and securely in a watertight, stainless-steel safety cell underneath the floor of the passenger compartment, even the rear passengers will experience an exceptionally satisfying degree of legroom. There’s even a small cargo area at the back of the vehicle that is more than capable of carrying numerous bags of groceries or purchases from the local mall. And with the 50/50 rear seats folded flat, the cargo capacity expands greatly, allowing the Mitsubishi i to become the preferred vehicle for weekend trips for bulkier items at a discount warehouse or home improvement retailer.

 Mitsubishi anticipates an initial rollout of their game-changing EV into its dealership network in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii by November 2011, followed by the northeastern U.S. market by March 2012 with nationwide availability expected by December 2012.

 For more on the Mitsubishi i, visit http://i.mitsubishicars.com and www.facebook.com/imitsubishi.

And just because it’s Friday, and I’m in an eco-friendly state of mind, let’s do a giveaway. FOUR winners will each receive a package of Seed Bombs and a Northwest Produce calendar.

The seed bombs are cool little clusters of wildflower seeds that you just throw outside and they grow. (I’m anxious to try these…) and the calendar shows what produce in season each month and the proper time to plant. It’s a neat reference.

Just leave me a comment below. Tell me anything…. How is your day going? Plans for the weekend? Whatcha making for dinner?

One comment per person only, please.

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 26th, 2011. I will use Random.org to chose four winners from all comments. Winners will be posted on October 27th. Winners will then have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn. (Update – Oh to heck with it….you all won!)

Mommy Rambles was provided a gift basket in exchange for test drive this car. However all thoughts and opinons are my own and were not influenced in any way. It’s a cute car, seriously!

My John Hancock

Clek Oobr Review and Giveaway

Have we met? Hello, I’m Allison and I’m a car seat freak.

I am a firm believer in keeping children harnessed safely in 5-point car seats as long as possible. Ok, to be totally honest, I would still have my 19 year old in a 5-point harness if I could. I love researching new car seats.

I told you I was a freak.

Me + Car Seats = Happy

But….there comes a time when a kiddo outgrows all available 5-point harness seats. (Except special needs seats – which I hope to review later this year) The thought of moving Faith into a booster seat strikes fear into my heart. She is not the most….ummmm….easy-going kid. If she doesn’t like something, she does not like it. It may be something simple (color) or complex (it feels wrong). Autism kiddos are very set in what they like and don’t like and may not always be able to tell you what is wrong. Faith is also very prone to meltdowns. If something in her world is “off”, the meltdowns begin rapidly. If a booster seat is itchy or hard or ????, she would not sit in it.

Here is where Mommy Rambles and Clek teamed up to take a Special Needs look at the Oobr.

Meet the Clek Oobr!

I’ve looked at booster seats. Lots of booster seat. Let me tell you, this? This is a Booster Seat!

Let me step back a moment. Faith is very, very resistant to change. Any change. If we turn the wrong way going to the store, she freaks. If Kraft changes the image on the box of it’s Mac & Cheese, she freaks. (Thanks for that one Kraft.) Changing her car seat, especially with the amount of time we spend in the car, is huge. I approached it very slowly. For a couple days, I had the Clek Oobr website pulled up when she walked by.  http://www.clekinc.com/oobr/  This is also where you can find all the tech blah-dee-blah about this seat. I’m not going to go over them here because this is a feel review. Plus I’m not a tech person, but y’all knew that. I care about if something works or not. And the coffee. I’m all about the coffee. 😉

I casually clicked on the available colors.

We talked about the colors. Wasn’t the green pretty, like grass. The blue reminded us of Daddy’s jeans. Oh look at the monkey, she was wearing sunglasses just like Faith does! The pink Paul Frank seemed to hold her attention the longest, so that’s the one we chose. While waiting for her seat to arrive, I made sure to talk about the “pink sunglasses monkey” seat and we looked at the picture several more times. My hope was to slowly make this car seat familiar to her so it was not new when it arrived. It worked. When the big day arrived and her seat was delivered, she was very ho-hum about it. And ho-hum is GOOD!

My very first impression of the Oobr was “Oh how cute!”. Since that is what really matters, right? Just kidding. Kinda. :)

This seat feels very substantial yet light. How’d you do that Clek? The fabric is not plush, it has a soft canvas feel. The padding is firm with just the right amount of give. This is a very supportive seat. The back reclines slightly and the headrest raises. The armrest are soft touch plastic. There is even a cup holder!

Instillation was a snap. Literally. The Clek Oobr has rigid latch. What the crud is that you ask? Imagine little arms sticking out from the back of this seat that grab the LATCH anchors in your car. Then you slide the seat in. Done. The Oobr is now in position. No tipping, no sliding around on the seat, no flying booster if it’s empty. Nice.

On Faith’s first ride, she climbed into the seat with very little difficulty. The head rest was very easy to adjust and did not make any “yucky” noises when raised or lowered. The arm rests, while soft, were not “icky, sitcky” feeling. The seat belt guides were very clearly marked and easy for us to insert the belt and buckle up without Faith feeling like we were smooshing her.

All of Faith’s previous seats had velvety covers. When she was settled in this seat she began scooting her tush around. She informed us that the Oobr was “slippery”. She spent quite a bit of that first ride adjusting herself over and over within the seat. The velvety fabric of the previous seats had some grab to it and I think may have helped hold her in position. The ability to adjust herself was a new feeling. At first I thought this might be a liability, but later, when she switched back to a velvety seat, she complained that she couldn’t “schootch” to get comfy.

The only drawbacks I can find to using this seat are not a drawback with the seat at all, but issues with Faith. Faith has a bit of a belly. The seatbelt slides over her belly and then tends to ride a bit high on her shoulder/neck area. This in not a seat problem and is an issue we have run into with every single belt-positioning booster we have tried. She also has some hearing loss. Since the headrest does such an awesome job of wrapping around the head, I think it blocked some of her hearing. She cranes her neck forward to hear music, her DS or iPod. This puts her out of position for maximum safety. (Are you listening Clek? Perhaps some small speakers in the wings, that could plug into an external device could help encourage proper head placement? Maybe an option?)

The Clek Oobr is, without a doubt, the best booster seat I have tried. The comfort , according to Faith, is outstanding. She LOVES the Oobr.

So now I have you wanting a Clek Oobr, right? Why wouldn’t you. This is an AMAZING booster seat. Guess what? One of my lucky readers will get one! Are you ready? Retail value of $274.99 – $324.99!

Mandatory Entry

Hop on over to Clek and then come back here and tell me what color  you would chose in a comment below. (One entry per person) (Excluding Saddle, which is a limited edition only available from select retailers)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook then leave me a separate comment below telling me you did so. (one extra entry per person)

“Like” Clek on Facebook then leave me a separate comment below telling me you did so. (one extra entry per person)

“Share” this giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter up to twice a day using the buttons below. Then leave me a comment below telling me that you did. (2 entries per person possible per day)

Approximate retail value is up to $324.99.  Open to US residences only. Mommy Rambles was given a Clek Oobr to test and review by the amazingly wonderful people at Clek. Thank you!

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 7th, 2011. I will use Random.org to chose a winner from all comments. Winner will be posted on October 8th. Winner will then have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

My John Hancock

Things I have learned this week

We took a short road trip this past week. It was about a 5 hour trip each way. Not too bad right?

We passed amazing sights.

 

Mt. Hood

We did amazing things

 

Look! I'm on a boat!

We spent time with amazing people.

 

The most beautiful woman in the world. My Grandma Kitty.

Sounds like an all around amazing trip right? Nope. I learned two very important things this week when it comes to road trips and autism. 1) Never leave home without the full prescription of valium. Even if you are SURE you will only need two pills. Change is not good when it comes to autism. I can not stress this enough, bring the whole dang bottle. 2) I will not attempt a road trip, or any trip for that matter, ever again until we own an iPad. With a really, really good case. Maybe even one that can bounce.

What have you learned on a road trip?

My John Hancock