I don't know about you, but my brain goes a gazillion miles an hour while doing two particular things - showering and driving (by myself); this is of course as opposed to *normal* when it goes only a million miles an hour. ;-) It isn't often that I'm alone outside of working, so in these two situations, the ideas flow FAST - so much so that I'm thinking of picking up some of those bathtub crayons so I can write my ideas down on the shower wall. I already have the car scenario taken care of - a pad of paper that I scribble ideas down on at the 'next red light'.
The other day (in the shower) I was thinking about my youngest Michaela and the fact that she will soon be five (insert cliché phrase about how fast they grow up here). Then I remembered the interview that I did with my elder daughter Antonia when she was about the same age and made a mental note to sit down with Michaela (see, need the crayons!) and do the same.
I was originally inspired by Annie's post over at PhD in Parenting in which she invited us to "interview" our child about their mother and share the responses. Get ready for some "awww's" and some chuckles. Here we go...
What are mothers for?
How are mothers made?
You put them underground and make them grow.
What ingredients are mothers made of?
First you go to the hospital and when you grow up a bit you'll be a kid and then you grow more and more and then you're a mommy (or daddy).
Why am I your mommy instead of another woman being your mommy?
Because I was in your tummy.
What kind of little girl was I?
A little kid.
What did I need to know about Daddy before I married him?
Because you got in love.
Why did I choose Daddy to marry?
Because he had a big fat beard and long hair.
Who's the boss at our house?
Daddy and you.
What's the difference between mommies and daddies?
One has different hair and one speaks different.
What do I do in my spare time?
You make us dinner.
What would it take to make me perfect?
Because you are so pretty and I like you and I love you so much.
If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?
It's nice to think that Michaela thinks I'm perfect the way I am - that makes one of us!
Having now done this exercise with both my girls, what stood out for me most was that Antonia's answers flowed quite easily whereas Michaela said, "I don't know" and "Is that right?" quite a few times - I honestly didn't think we would get through all the questions. This rings true to form for their little personalities - not to "label" them per se - however Antonia tends to be more academic and artistic while Michaela is more physical (generally). It is so interesting to witness their characters developing and watch them morph into little individuals!
I welcome you to join in the fun - ask your son or daughter the same list of questions and link back to this post. You can put the url of your post in the comments.
Last week I received the following email. After reading it, I realized it was written by a customer who had recently purchased a PumpEase from our website and who had also just received our November newsletter that touched on Prematurity Awareness Month. I also realized it was from a fellow Canadian (yay) and that she was a little bit famous (yippee). As always, I felt extremely honoured that one of our products helped a mom reach her personal breastfeeding goals (jumping up and down with glee).
"I don't think I already wrote to you guys, but I just wanted to say a big thank you, in light of Prematurity Awareness Month.
My son was born 10 weeks early when he arrived on April 26th of this year. I was hurled into a scary and foreign experience, which included pumping 10 times a day while he spent some time in hospital growing and getting stronger.
I was so clueless about it all, having not had time to properly research and read about breastfeeding - let alone birth - and so everything was a big hurdle.
Pumping was hard and discouraging at the start, but I was determined, knowing that it was the only thing in my power that I could do to help my son. So with cracked and throbbing nipples, I soldiered on.
One day, one of the other NICU moms was sitting in our pump room at the hospital casually reading a magazine and checking her email while she pumped. She was using a PumpEase - the one with the badass cherries on it. It was like a shaft of light shone down on her from the fluorescent bulbs above.
"What is THAT?!" I demanded, "and where can I get one?!"
I soon ordered my own online and I love it. It didn't change my life but it really made what was a very difficult time just a little bit easier, as in the 3+ hours I was spending pumping every day, I could keep in touch with my family, letting them know about my son's progress, I could read, have a glass of water... and I am so grateful. It was also nice to hear that it was made in Canada. Hooray!
I love functional, yet beautiful design. I really think you should let all the lactation consultants in Canadian hospitals know about them, PumpEase is awesome and certainly makes something difficult and trying a lot less frustrating.
Cool huh? Ya, I thought so too. And yes Whitney, we WILL be sure to let all Canadian LC's know about PumpEase - working on that right now in fact. :-)
Please be sure and follow the link to Whitney's website to take in a few sultry notes of her eclectic voice. OBVIOUSLY this email made my day. What made YOUR day today? Tell me about it down there ↓.
Would you like a chance at winning a $100 VISA Gift Card?
I thought that might grab your attention...
This is pretty simple - we feel it is high time to give back to YOU - our terrific customers - for spreading the PumpEase love! We have been seriously feeling your warm and fuzzies lately on Facebook, Twitter, our blog, via Lactation Consultants, you name it, we're feelin' it! And we're pretty stoked about it! THANK YOU.
I don't know about you, but when I am considering making a consumer purchase and want to know "what the best ________ is", I ask my friends, whether IRL or on social media, and I take what they have to say pretty seriously. I'm also an avid reader of testimonials and product reviews when I shop online (and as a busy mom of two and an owner of two businesses, I do that a lot). As a result, I have been saved from more than one substandard product by listening to those that were kind enough to leave a review for the next shopper.
That's one of the reasons I cherish the pot of gold that is the testimonials page of our website - 169 stories (and counting) about how PumpEase has enhanced the nursing relationships you all have had with your babies. I feel very honoured to be a part of that.
In fact, when I'm having a less than stellar day, I sometimes go read all your wonderful stories about your experiences with PumpEase and with us as a company. It literally makes my heart sing and quite honestly, often chokes me up (depends on the time of the month!) to realize that we have in some cases, made the difference between you persevering with breastfeeding and giving up on it.
So how do you enter for a chance to win the $100 VISA Gift Card? I thought you'd never ask!
Please visit PumpEase on Amazon.com and leave a review of our product*. For clarity, we're asking for a few minutes of your time and that you share your personal experience with our product openly. We are by no means asking for a 5-star rating; we're asking for the goods - straight up.
By the way, you needn't have bought your PumpEase on Amazon - you are reviewing the product, not the portal from which you purchased. In fact, you needn't have even purchased a PumpEase - if you received one as a gift or even as a hand-me-down, please tell us about it!
So here it is step-by-step:
1. Follow the link to PumpEase on Amazon.
2. Click on the customer reviews link under the listing title.
3. Write an HONEST review of PumpEase - we can't make PumpEase better if you don't give us real feedback.
4. Fill out your particulars on this form. We will draw a winner on December 1st at 9 pm Pacific via random.org. The winner will be contacted via email and will also be posted in the comments of this post. If we don't hear from you within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen.
Thank you and good luck!
* You are required to have an Amazon account with (at least one) past transaction to leave a review.
UPDATE: due to lack of response, we have opted to cancel this program. Crazy, I know! I can't even give MONEY away!
I originally thought of blogging about *my* Dad for Father's Day. He has been gone almost four years now (I still miss him everyday) and I never did write about him afer he passed like I had meant to...
Then I heard yet another giggle and squeal from the other room as my husband Mike horsed around with our two little girls and knew I needed to share with you what a wonderful Daddy my two daughters have.
There isn't a day that goes by that Mike doesn't tell me, after checking on the girls before heading to bed, how much he "loves those two little girls". And they certainly know it as he probably tells them at least ten times a day.
He has taught them all about vegetarianism and nutrition (I am the only carnivore in the house). I have to admit it is pretty impressive listening to Antonia, our six year old, reading nutritional information on packages. She really considers what she eats, sometimes even passing on something sweet because she had a peanut butter and jam sandwich for lunch. Not to mention the way she wolfs down her veggies and hums and haws over her french fries "because they are not that good for you".
He has also taught them how important being active is, how they can be anything they want to be when they grow up, the importance of music in our culture and the difference between a Porsche and a BMW. ;-)
My daughters' Daddy is loyal, intelligent, good looking :-), honest and talented...
AAAAAND he drives me crazy most days, but hey, I probably drive him crazy too right?
You want details? Really? OK, twist my rubber arm...
Mike is the king of corny jokes (G-R-O-A-N), hoards food (he had 14 boxes of cereal when I moved in with him). Actually, I take that back - I don't think he is a hoarder, he is just not that organized in the kitchen cupboard department and so couldn't tell that behind the 32 cans of soup that he actually had petrified Christmas cookies - a gift from a friend five years previous, 12 cans of cranberry sauce and 14 boxes of cereal. I am poking fun here, but be warned, there WAS 14 boxes of cereal.
Then there is his other annoying habit of leaving 1/2 teaspoon of product in shampoo bottles, peanut butter jars, coffee creamer and cereal boxes (yes, the cereal boxes rear their ugly head again). So you go about your routine taking notice of the shampoo/peanut butter/coffee creamer in passing (yes, we have some as I see it in the shower/cupboad/fridge) and then all of a sudden the ka-ka hits the fan because you can't wash your hair, eat breakfast or drink coffee (I don't *do* black coffee). How much effort, I ask you, does it take to put that bottle/jar/tetra pak in the recycling so that I can say, "Hey, we're out of _____.", and write it on the grocery list?
OK, so enough of the teasing. Now comes the gushing part...
Mike is always thinking of me and the girls no matter where he is. He is an amazing provider and is extremely generous of his time which sure comes in handy considering the crazy number of hours I work. After Michaela was born, he picked-up even more duties to help keep this house running. He is always willing to help you out and after he does, a simple thank you will do. There is no keeping score.
Mike is also the most sensitive man I have ever met. He cried at both of our daughters' births, the first time he fed them each expressed breast milk out of a bottle and at our wedding. In fact, the marriage commissioner congratulated him for making it through the ceremony. When we flip through pics of the girls when they were babies, he is often blubbering away. <--- I don't have a hope in hell of having dry eyes once he starts I tell ya!
He is also a total worry wart. It warms my heart to listen to him fret about the girls doing this and that. And he worries about me too. Mike is also passionate about making this world a better place for our children.
Other stuff about Mike that you may not know? He plays both guitar and bass, has a beautiful singing voice, went to recording arts school and has worked as a landscaper, painter and in a pottery studio, at Coca Cola, Happy Planet and StupidStore. Here's a good one - he looks 12 years old when he shaves off his goatee (he has done it once since I've known him and is now forbidden to repeat the offense). He also has an uncanny ability to reproduce animal noises - he doesn't even practice, it just comes out of his mouth "perfect". On that note, he can also reproduce the sound of trains, planes and automobiles, with the latter even distinguishing between diesel, four, six and eight cylinders (no, I'm not kidding). Oh and he is a veritable walking encyclopedia when it comes to cars and motorcycles. You ask him - any make, model or year and he usually knows the answer. This trait, he shares with my Dad. Too bad my Dad was already so sick when they met.
Mike is also one of the luckiest people I've ever met. He won a car at the PNE years ago and then a couple of years ago won a dirt bike at the Vancouver Motorcycle Show. When we were at Fort Langley last summer with friends, he panned for gold and got a nugget in the first pan (and yes it was real gold). I know he has won other things too, but can't recall at the minute. We're still waiting for the lottery though dammit!
He is open-minded, well-spoken, out-going and genuine. Mike Bell - you are an original!
I know I'm missing some things I wanted to say. I had hoped to post this last night, however ran out of time as I was prepping for the course I'm taking in Seattle this week. Therefore, I am going to post this now while Father's Day is still Father's Day (at least in our time zone).
Happy Father's Day Mike. You are loved very much by the three ladies in your house. You make us feel special and loved and for that we thank you.
Wendy (and Antonia and Michaela too)
I recently visited a favourite blog of mine - PR in Your Pajamas - and came across a post about writing a media pitch that begged the question "What is the boldest, most outrageous or provocative statement you are willing to make about your product or service? You must truly believe this to be effective."
A few days later, I found myself on the LunaPads website reading blog posts and such, and when I navigated to their home page, I was greeted by this gem:
"Thanks to Lunapads and The DivaCup, upwards of 1 million disposable menstrual products are diverted from landfills monthly."
It made me smile as I remembered Suzanne, Co-Founder of LunaPads, recounting how she and her hubby sat on their couch reverting, if only for a moment, to their inner geeky, "bean counter" persona (her words) to crunch some LunaPads numbers and come up with this riveting statistic.
And then I remembered Elena's post on PR in Your Pajamas...
This gave me pause.
I proceeded to look-up a breastfeeding study that I had found quite thought-provoking. It was recently published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and was entitled The Burden of Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: A Pediatric Cost Analysis. Tanya from Motherwear was one of many who blogged about it and it garnered attention, both positive and negative from ABC, CBS and the Associated Press among others.
The study stated that 900 babies and $13 billion in health care costs could be saved if 90% of moms exclusively breastfed for six months.
$13 BILLION in health care costs.
I was inspired to crunch some numbers of my own and this is what I came up with...
"Thanks to PumpEase, four babies' lives and almost $70,000,000 in US health care costs have been saved. Not to mention those thousands of babies who've received their mamas' milk (while their mamas worked, played, or just relaxed, since they didn't have to hold onto those pump flanges!)."
I calculated the health care figure FIVE times. Surely it can't be THAT much money!?! I read it out loud. And then I read it out loud again. And then an overwhelming sense of pride washed over me. We ARE making a difference to the health of moms and babies. We ARE saving US Health Care millions of dollars. We ARE enhancing mothers' breastfeeding relationships with their children. WOW!
What is YOUR bold and outrageous statement? You don't have to own a business; write one about YOU. I highly recommend this exercise to open your mind and think outside of the box. Please leave a comment below...