The Best Thing You’ve Never Heard Of: NoseFrida

nosefrida

Every time someone I know gets pregnant for the first time, they ask me, “What is an absolute must-have that isn’t on all of the lists?”.  My mind could spin through endless wonderful items, but my first answer is always easy and immediate: the NoseFrida.

What the heck is the NoseFrida?  To put it simply, it’s a booger sucker.  I know, I know.  What has life done to me that I can actually be excited about a booger sucker?  Don’t you worry, friends! After having a baby, you’ll be right here with me, rejoicing in the gift that this booger sucker is for all babies…

Because when that teeny, tiny nose of your little human gets stuffed up for the first time, you’ll be desperate to clear it.  And if you reach for that stupid blue bulb aspirator the hospital sent you home with, you will soon find out how ineffective it is.  You’ll also find out just how strong and evasive a tiny baby who does not want you swooping in for another nostril sucking can be.  The potential bacteria-factory ickiness brewing in that bulb you can’t open up and properly clean out is a whole other Oprah!

Never fear though, because the NoseFrida is here to save the day.  Instead of being limited to the far-too-quick and far-too-weak suction of a bulb, the NoseFrida is powered by your lungs.  Thus, the suction can be as strong and as long as your lungs can manage.  (If you’re thinking you can stop right here because you would never get that close to boogers, brace yourself because parenting will put you much closer to a lot of gross things and boogers are near the bottom of the list – so just keep reading)    The NoseFrida also does not enter the tip of the nostril like the bulb and thus isn’t as distressing to the baby – and is also easier to perform sneak attacks with when necessary.  The design of the NoseFrida also allows you to completely take it apart for a proper cleaning (and the filter that stands between your air and the collection chamber is disposable).

I’ve had a NoseFrida since my oldest’s first cold and have never looked back.  I even pack it when traveling just in case someone gets a cold.  It’s efficacy and cleanliness just can’t be beat and it makes my kids feel so much better.  That makes it invaluable in my book!  Go ahead and grab one for your house (get the one with additional filters so you’re never without and add a can of saline nasal mist while you’re at it) and you’ll have everything you need to battle stuffed up little noses.

anatomy-nosefrida1

Continue Reading

Mama Thoughts: The Struggle

Photo credit:  J E Theriot

Motherhood can be isolating.  Each time I’ve had a baby, amidst all all of the intense joy and wonderment I’ve felt at the fact that I created this tiny human, there has also been an equally intense feeling of being overwhelmed and isolated.  After all, no matter how much anyone else wants to help, most of my baby’s care is up to me.  We’re mammals, that’s how we’re designed.

But the fact that the demands of motherhood are natural doesn’t mean they’re comfortable.  This is a lesson we’re re-taught time and time again as our children grow up.  And despite so much attention being given to the younger generations’ stress levels due to the differences between what they see portrayed on social media vs the realities of their own lives, very little attention is paid to how this same, strange modern day dichotomy is playing out in the lives of mothers.

I’m fairly vocal about the struggles I experience as a mother.  Anyone who knows me, knows my true story.  But I am still acutely aware that the perception of my life, my experience as a mother, can be perceived completely differently by outside observers.  Perhaps it’s something as simple as the fact I try not to leave the house without getting properly dressed or that I wear makeup 99% of the time.  People who merely see me out and about probably think I have it all together.  “Look at her!  She still has time to take care of herself!  She must be so together!”.

But how wrong they are!  There is one truth above all others:

We’re all a hot mess, some of us are just better at “hiding” it.

For me, I often have days of small victories.  One of them is putting on an actual outfit.  It’s how I make myself feel like I’m still a member of the outside world, even if I’m hanging on the edge of the cliff by my unmanicured fingernails (seriously, I haven’t had a manicure in over 4 years).  I put on makeup every day (usually at stoplights) because I am too insecure with my skin to go without (who has time for a dermatologist?).  These facts are my actual reality behind what might make others think I am someone who “does it all”.

Because I definitely do not do it all.  There are at least 40 concrete things I could rattle off to you right now that I could be doing better in my life.  For myself and for my children alike.  But I’m making a concerted effort to keep doing what I can and allowing my goals to be fluid.  Because the individual scales of my life (children-spouse-career-self) are never going to be evenly balanced.  Ever.

I’m learning every day to accept that certain areas will have to take up the slack for others in order to survive with as much grace and joy as is possible.

I’m also learning to find the beauty in having a life that often, internally, feels scotch-taped together. It is providing me with the opportunity to grow and mature, to lean on and confide in my girlfriends and my husband, to steer my beautiful children through life despite not always feeling like their confident Captain.  And to find love in unexpected places.

Through the experience of motherhood, I’ve found a new, profound feeling of connection to other women, even when I feel entirely, utterly alone.  As I lock eyes with another mom at the store who’s having “one of those days” – I know her struggle.  I get it.  I hope she’s OK.  Or I witness an older woman watching my children, suddenly being transported to memories of her own.  I see her, I actually physically feel her love and her longing.  It makes my heart simultaneously swell and break for her.  I hope she’s OK, too.  Or when I see a pregnant woman, staring at a baby aisle with so much excitement about the future but also so overwhelmed by the weight of this new journey.  I want to rush up to her and hold her hand as she becomes part of this crazy, messy tribe.  I hope she’s going to be OK.

Not one of us is perfect, not as a person and not as a mother, no matter what we see in various posts or pictures on social media.  We can’t fall into the trap of feeling inadequate or less than what we erroneously perceive as other people’s perfect lives.  The more we lift the veil on this perception of perfection, the more real and raw and connected we are to one another, the more we will flourish.  We’re in this together, girlfriends.  Scotch tape and all.

Continue Reading

The Bugaboo Bee – It’s True Love

bgbbee3-5-met-retouchdefdef

Oh, Bugaboo Bee, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

I have a confession: I have a stroller problem. I don’t want to tell you how many different strollers I’ve owned over the past 6 years, but suffice it to say that I presently have 6 (and that’s after I’ve sold several recently). Yes, I’m a strolleraholic! So without further ado, let me tell you about my absolute favorite for the past 5 years: the Bugaboo Bee.

After owning countless strollers, I realized that my biggest complaint with all of them was their size and weight. No matter how wonderful their other features might be, the heft of most strollers became a big bummer on a daily basis. I didn’t like lugging them in and out of my car (or how much of my trunk they took up). I didn’t like running into doorframes or display racks with the edges of the tires. I really didn’t like not fitting down some store aisles or not being able to easily maneuver around displays. Don’t even get me started on trying to fit in changing rooms at stores!  I needed a narrower, lighter stroller, STAT.

tog-662px-bgb-bee3-totalAfter several failed attempts with other, less expensive brands, I finally closed my eyes and hit buy on the Bee. It arrived in all of its European-designed funky glory, and I wondered how I was going to deal with a stroller that didn’t look entirely traditional. But as soon as I popped it together and had my daughter climb in, all my doubts evaporated. She immediately decreed, “Mommy, I wuv dis -troller!”.  And the push! My goodness, the push! The Bee g-l-i-d-e-s! Everything about the Bee immediately exceeded my expectations and made me a believer in the Bugaboo brand.

In addition to all of this, the Bee is solidly built, parent-faces (a must for me with babies and young toddlers), and is also exceptional for tall kids.  The seat pan is extendable (to continue providing leg and thigh support) and the seat back is also extendable!  Both of my kids have been near the 99th percentile for height as infants and toddlers, so these features were invaluable.  In fact, my oldest is now almost 6 (and has slowed down to the 50th percentile), but she still fits nicely in the Bee with the seat fully extended in both directions.  Amazing.

I’ve owned many iterations of the Bee over the past 5 years now: the “original” Bee Minus (as it’s become to be known), the Bee Plus (or Bee +), the black framed Bee Plus, and the Bee3.  I’ve gotten adventurous and made my own custom canopies, tried out the baby cocoon when I had my 2nd child, added the Bugaboo rider board, imported a Twoo Seat to attach to the board so my oldest could grab a seat if she tired of standing… I.just.love.this.stroller.

If you are in the market for your first stroller, spare yourself the all too common mistake of buying “too much” stroller and just buy the Bee straight away.  If the price scares you off, buy a used one off of Craigslist.  Even an old Bee Minus (identifiable by its solid white wheels, “wings” on the sides of the seat, and the extra large canopy) in good condition will be a far better stroller than most and should run you between $75 and $150 depending on your area.

The Bee Plus (white spoke wheels, a non-extendable canopy, 3-piece harness buckle) on the silver aluminum frame should run from $200-$350 depending on your area (assume $50 extra for the black frame).  You can always update a Bee Plus with the Bee3’s basket (it’s slightly larger), seat (fabric is different and the harness straps are 5 pieces), and extendable breezy canopy (it zippers open to reveal an extra panel) should you feel the need for any of these parts.

bgb-bee3-bassinet-662pxThere is also now a bassinet/carrycot for the Bee available as an additional piece.  Between you and me, I think the cocoon is more than sufficient for use with a newborn (it’s easier to cart around AND easier on your wallet).  But, if your heart is really set on having the full pram look for your newborn, you can certainly splash out for the beautiful bassinet!

If you’ve been going round and round, wondering if those high end strollers are really worth the price, I’m here to tell you YES.  Absolutely.  I’d rather have an old Bee than nearly any other brand new stroller.  It’s just that much better.  Happy strolling!

Continue Reading