Monday, March 31, 2014

Cochlear Implant versus ASL

I'm having one of those moments of serendipity, and I feel compelled to share it.  Thank you for allowing me to indulge.  So, you all know how mini SP 2.0 was all set for his Advanced Bionics cochlear implant surgery on a week's notice, and when the doctor went in to implant it, he found his inner ear was full of gunk which he was thankfully able to clean out, but prevented him from implanting the hearing device?  And how I was pretty upset by it, but realized that there must be a reason why this would happen this way (I know there are some who don't like to hear that whole "Everything happens for a reason" line, but there comes a point in a preemie mom's life when you just have to grasp onto something, and that works).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mini Spray Pal 2.0's Review of the Beco Baby Carrier

I really was going to try to blog about all of the amazing sponsors in the #miniSPbdaybash giveaway, because there are just so many awesome products out there I'd love to share with you.  But with Ryan's cochlear implant surgery suddenly scheduled with only a week's notice, it looks like I'm only going to be able to hit on the main ones that we've tried and love.  But please do check out the other prizes if I don't get a chance to write about them.  There are some seriously amazing moms out there creating some seriously amazing things.

One of our favorite products to use together is the Beco Baby Carrier.  We own a few baby carriers, but the Beco Soleil is hands down the one I reach for first.  I actually wanted to try it so badly, I ended up buying myself a VIP ticket to MommyCon LA because it included a free soleil even though I was already attending with our Spray Pal booth, lol.  It was totally worth it for the Beco.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240"] Including this picture mostly to show off 1.0's sassy face. Love that girl.[/caption]

Since then, we've been wearing it everywhere.  Due to the fact that he's fed via g-tube, he does have to spend some time in his stroller. But anytime we're out and about between feeds, you'll almost always see him in the Beco.  Most Saturdays, you'll find us at the SoCo Collection Farmer's Market, and Mr. Spray Pal grabbed a few pictures to demonstrate how we adapt our babywearing to fit our little guy's special needs.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240"] SoCo Collection Farmer's Market[/caption]

If you look closely in the pictures above and below, you'll notice it looks like I'm wearing a little backpack.  That's actually the outer bag from a camelback water back pack that we've been using for over a year to carry his portable oxygen tanks.  We just removed the inner pouch that usually holds the water and replaced it with an oxygen tank.  This has been a lifesaver for us because it allows us to bring his oxygen along hands free, which is one of the major benefits to babywearing, right?  I can still pick out produce and hold my daughter's hand all while cuddling with my son and carrying his oxygen along with us.  Ah-ma-zing.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240"] This is her favorite part of the market. 2.0 is enjoying the shade from his attached hood on the Beco![/caption]

We love the way babywearing has helped our family bond with and carry both our kids (without breaking our backs) since they were little.  My 3 year old still asks to be carried in the Beco or the "Ewgo".  It's especially helpful with 2.0 since he just turned 2 years old and still isn't walking yet.  This allows us to get him around so easily and I love knowing he's close to my heart and comfy in there.  If you haven't tried a soft structured baby carrier, you should see if your local baby store carries some that you can test for yourselves.  They can be a little pricey, but they are WELL worth the investment in my opinion.

Do you babywear?  I'd love to hear which carriers you've tried and love!  Leave me a comment below :)

You can enter to WIN a Beco Soleil along with tons of other great prizes in the #miniSPbdaybash, just CLICK HERE!

Friday, March 21, 2014

#miniSPbdaybash Prize Package #1: Just for Baby!

I'm sure you've been waiting anxiously to hear the details of the prize packages valued at over $1000 each, so wait no more!  Here are all the amazing products our sponsors have so graciously provided for the "Just for Baby" prize package to help celebrate our son's second birthday.  Don't worry, even though these products are made just for baby, the winning mom or dad will LOVE getting all these amazing packages in the mail!

Prize Package #1 - Just for Baby

This package includes loads of goodies perfect for your littlest babe.

1. Joovy Nook high chair - The Joovy Nook is amazing. First of all, it looks fantastic! It has clean lines and is unobtrusive in the kitchen.  It wipes down easily and you can take the entire seat cover off and put it in the washer!  The Nook folds completely flat with one hand. The swing open tray is a feature parents love.  The tray has a removable insert  that can be easily popped off and rinsed after a messy meal (it's dishwasher safe too). In the daily grind of parenthood, it's the little things that help so much. It is so nice when a product performs and helps to simplify your life. (Value $150)

2. Baby Mushroom Snug Square Play Mat - The world's most comfortable play mat! A safe, clean, soft play space for babies and children, that's large enough for the parent to join! (Value $100)

3.  Freshly Picked Moccasins - Winner's choice of color and size. (Value $60)

4.  sustainablebabyish|sloomb - 1 Happy Little Cloud and 1 Knit Underwoolies. Our Happy Little Clouds are soft, trim, and super absorbent - the fluffiest must-have diaper for your little hipsters! Make sure to pair it with our underwoolies for a super trim cover that is as fashionable as it is functional!   (Value $58)

5.  Le Bibble - A 3-pack of Le bibble organic + designer baby bottle bibs + 5-pack of Le swipe organic cloth wipes. (Value $45)

6.  Calico Sunshine - Fitted cloth diaper made from our exclusive sunshiny print. Made with the highest quality organic bamboo fleece and cotton velour with a fold down rise for smaller babies and 3 lay in inserts for maximum puddle power!! Sunshiny happy fluff for your baby's rump! (Value $44)

7. Oops! Sheet - Oops! Sheet Waterproof Cotton Mattress Protector, Crib Size.  Make night time potty training and occasional oopsies a breeze with Oops! Sheet's cozy cotton waterproof mattress protectors. (Value $40)

8. Little Ace Wonders - We offer three different varieties of cloth diapers as well as clothing to keep your Little Wonder dressed to impress and keep our earth clean and green. (Value $38)

9. ZIPaboo - ZIPaboos make Changing Diapers A ZIP!  Pick any size in the Saylor or Noah style! (Value $36)

10. Funky Fluff - Officially launched in early 2012 Funky Fluff award winning 3 in 1 cloth diaper design is available in bamboo or stay dry fabrics in unique colors combinations and prints - retail value $21-23.  Funky Fluff Double Pocket wet bag offers two separate, and both waterproof compartments that make trips out a breeze - retail value $15 (Value $36)

11. Rock-a-bums - Winner gets to choose 1 Rock-a-Bums 2.0 cover (color/print/closure) of their choice, as well as a wet bag.  We will also include 2 reusable inserts and a pack of 20 hybrid inserts! (Value $33)

12. Couture Fluff - A one size cloth diaper with fold over rise in a gender neutral print. (Value $32)

13. Project Pomona - Choice of Pomonas (Jeans or Shorts) of Winner's Choice. Practicality and Cuteness Collide to Create the Perfect Modern Baby Jeans and Shorts. The Easiest to Use Ever On All Diapered Bums, Cloth Included! (Value $31)

14. Strawberry Sunshine - $30 gift card to spend in the Strawberry Sunshine etsy shop on handmade cloth diapers and accessories. (Value $30)

15. Kinderconcepts Inc - The winner will receive 2 pairs of tights of their choice of cotton or terry cotton. (Value $30-36)

16. Maximama - A two layered one size fleece cover and two additional osocozy better fit prefolds. MAXIMAMA OS fleecies are perfect for babies with sensitive skin and trim enough for the diaper bag. (Value $30)

17. Moraki - Winner's choice of any Moraki cloth diaper. (Value $28)

18. Baby Jack Blankets - Baby Jack Security and Sensory Lovey with Ribbon Tabs. Babies develop cognitively, socially and emotionally through sensory play. Our new kind of tag blanket offers a secure design with sewn shut ribbon tabs for safe play. 14x18 with satin and minky dot fabric. (Value $28)

19. Lovey's Body Products - Lovey's Tushi Wash spray is an alternative to chemically laden baby wipes.  Made with natural ingredients, the Tushi Wash is used with a moistened reusable or biodegradable, disposable cloth.  Perfect for even the most sensitive skin!    Lovey's Tushi Stick is an all-natural diaper ointment in a stick that prevents parents from messy hands!  Lab tested, it has enough natural preservative to kill the nasty bacteria on the skin and on the stick.  And Lovey's Tushi Stick is cloth diaper friendly too!   (Value $28)

20. Hippi Longstockings - Hippi's Baby Pack: (1) 100% Cotton "Giving Tree" Muslin Swaddle Blanket and (1) 100% Organic Hippi Stick All-Purpose Balm. (Value $26)

21. Spray Pal - Winner will receive one Spray Pal cloth diaper sprayer splatter shield to make spraying out cloth diapers EASY! (Value $25)

22. Lalabye Baby - Winner will receive a $25 gift card to spend on Lalabye Baby cloth diapers. (Value $25)

23. Sticky Bellies - $25 gift card to choose from thirteen different designs of adorable milestone stickers for expectant mamas, babies and toddlers with your gift card to our website. (Value $25)

24. Shiny Little Fireflies - Winner will receive a $25 gift card to spend at my store. They can choose pre-made items or choose to design a custom item. (Value $25)

25. Lovely Pocket Diapers - $25 gift voucher good for all products! (Value $25)

26. Baby Dipper - Two(2) sets of Baby Dipper bowl, spoon, and fork. The Baby Dipper bowl means true one-handed feeding for parents of infants and for toddlers learning to feed themselves. The unique combination of features includes a non-slip base, a triangular shape, and a slanted interior that leads to a spoon-shaped food collection corner. The winner may choose from blue or pink for the two prizes. (Value $25)

27. NumNum Inc Two pack - NumNum is a dipper designed for use with baby's first pureed foods. What makes our product unique is that the head is completely flat, making it easier to maneuver than a spoon because there's no right or wrong way to hold it. NumNum also helps babies prepare for the spoon. NumNums are self-feeding with less mess and, ultimately, a cleaner transition to the spoon, literally. (Value $10)

If you haven't entered the #miniSPbdaybash giveaway yet, what are you waiting for?!  Come celebrate with us and get your entries in HERE.  Good luck!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's here! #miniSPbdaybash and Giveaway!

March 20th is the first day of Spring.  Two years ago on this date, our lives unexpectedly changed forever when our baby boy was born at only 25 weeks.  Every baby is life changing, there's no doubt about that. But when you have a micropreemie born weighing only 1lb 13oz, you learn the true definition of the term.  After 7 months in the NICU and countless (and still seemingly endless) hours of doctors' visits, specialists, therapies, etc. we take our milestones very seriously.  And reaching the 2 year mark is one of those major milestones.  Our little guy is getting so big!

We decided an event was in order to celebrate, and when we put the word out that we wanted to do a big giveaway in honor of his special day, the response was OVERWHELMING.  Seriously, over the top amazing.  I cannot thank these sponsors and bloggers enough for their willingness to jump right in and support our family as we celebrate our son's birthday.  And here's the best part...the presents are all for YOU!  We love spreading the word about products and companies we love, so what better way to celebrate than a huge giveaway of some of our favorite things?!

I know at first (and second) glance, the rafflecopter form may seem huge.  But, it will be SO worth it, I promise.  Every single one of these companies is run by a mom or dad that I've personally interacted with, and they deserve all the love and thanks we can show them for sponsoring this celebration.  Plus, by showing them some social media love, we're letting them know how much we appreciate them sponsoring prizes like this, and then they'll be more willing to do it again in the future!  There will be a few entries that you can do daily, so maybe you could break your entries up over a few days.  Like this:  Do the daily sharing entries and like half the Facebook pages one day.  Then come back the next day and do those daily entries again and like the other half of the Facebook pages.  Then the next day, daily entries and follow on Twitter.  You get the idea!  It doesn't have to be a daunting task, you an even do it one-handed on your phone while nursing! ;)

There will be two Grand Prize winners.  One will win a huge bundle of prizes for baby and the other will win the Mommy and Me prize package.  Each prize will have a total retail value of $700+!! Stay tuned on the blog and on Facebook as we reveal the complete list of products that will be in each prize package.  Good luck, and thank you so much for spreading the Spray Pal love and helping us celebrate our little guy's 2nd birthday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mini Spray Pal 2.0's Joovy Nook Review

So, being a product creator, reviews of other products typically aren't my gig.  But, being a preemie mom to a little guy who still has lots of special needs, I love to rave about a product that really works for him.  So, I'm calling this HIS review, not mine. ;)

Up until now, 2.0 has been using 1.0's hand me down high chair.  We're frugal like that and a boy using a brown and pink high chair just didn't bother us.  It was great for the first year or so after he came home from the NICU, but now that he's getting bigger, he has figured out this technique of rocking forward and SLAMMING his head on the back of the chair, which causes him fits of laughter and tons of enjoyment, but takes years off of our lives as his parents because a) it looks like it hurts, and b) this is one of those space saver high chairs that sits straps on to the regular kitchen chair, and every time he does it he gets 1 millimeter closer to toppling the whole thing over.  So, yeah.  This had to stop.

I went online to look for a high chair with great reviews that had a 5 point harness so that I could prevent him from rocking it back and forth when he got into one of those moods. (I know, I'm so mean). I also asked a couple of friends, and the Joovy Nook came highly recommended, so I agreed to give it a shot.  I could tell from the website that this just might be the perfect high chair for what we needed, and it even had some bonus features that I hadn't even thought about.  I loved that it had an adjustable 5 point harness, the black leather was a nice style that fit in with our home decor and didn't scream BABY ITEM, which is especially nice since he's turning 2 and not really a baby anymore (just don't tell his mom, I'm still in denial).  With 99.9% of his feeds still coming via g-tube, he's going to need a good quality high chair for some time still as we work on getting him to eat more orally.  The other nice thing is how compactly it folds up! Imagine that, you can actually take your real high chair with you places when you're on the go.  This is HUGE for us!   Now we can easily bring it along on visits with friends and family, holiday meals, even restaurants if we want. I won't even show you the bouncy seat we used to have to bring over to other people's houses when he would need a feed while we were there because it was the only thing that would fit in our car.  No more! We also love that the tray has an easy release button that allows it to swing out to one side, making it SUPER easy to get him in and out even one-handed while holding him.  I'm not kidding, this is one of those things you don't realize how awesome it is until you try it.  Then you're like, "How did I ever live without this?" (Hmmmm, much like the Spray Pal! <-----Yeah, I said it. Shameless plug.) ;)

Now that you've heard why WE love the Joovy Nook as parents, I'll let Ryan give his review:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="426"] Don't be fooled, he's not touching that food. ;) But he's loving the Joovy Nook and we're loving that he's not banging his head with those shoulder straps![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="426"] This smile speaks for itself. I'd say he loves the Joovy Nook. Yes, he threw his food on the floor, but that's typical and not a reflection of this high chair. ;)[/caption]

One last thing I wanted to add, a few of you saw my post on Facebook about this chair and asked some specific questions.  The first was whether or not the tray was too far away from him.  The first photo above shows that there is a bit of space between 2.0 and the tray when he's seated, but it's not too far in my opinion.  Our guy is off the charts small, so it's nice he has space and room to grow.  For a bigger baby, I'd think this would be just right.  And you can see he's still able to reach the food, he just chooses not to touch it. ;)  The next question was whether or not the tray was hard to clean.  After just taking his cake smash pictures in this high chair, I can assure you that it is not difficult to clean.  The top, opaque part of the tray clips on and off, so you can easily remove it to wash it.  The rest is easily wiped down, including the leather-ish fabric on the seat.  This is another plus in our house!

We're truly grateful to Joovy for providing us with this high chair for review.  We were not paid to write this, and the opinions are our own after trying the high chair for ourselves.  We love the quality and style of the Nook, and we especially love how this chair is great for our son's special needs since he has to be in his chair for his g-tube feeds for numerous periods of time throughout each day.  You can learn more or purchase your own Joovy Nook here: or stay tuned for the #miniSPbdaybash giveaway starting on March 20th where you could WIN one of your own!  Huge thanks to the amazing people at Joovy for sponsoring!