On September 11, 2001 I was driving to work when I heard about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. By the time I got to work and upstairs to my desk the second plane had hit. I remember being stunned, and numb, and incredibly sad that day. We all sat around our office that day talking about what was happening to this country, what it all meant and listening to the news on our computers. The one thing I remember most about that day was how eerily quiet the phones were. I was an insurance claims adjuster and my phone was never quiet. From the moment I sat down at my desk to the moment I walked away at the end of the day my phone was constantly ringing. But, on that day I got maybe 2 phone calls. The events of the day made an insurance claim seem unimportant. I will never forget that quiet. I never heard it again.
Yesterday, we did our part to honor and remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day. We visited Art Hill in Forest Park, which was adorned with 2996 American flags, one for each of the individuals that lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Each flag pole carried the name, age, and where they lost their lives, some had pictures of the person as well, of a person who died in the events of that day. It was a sad and wonderful sight.
It truly was breathtaking to see all those flags blowing in the wind and to think what it would have looked like if each one was a person. It was a beautiful way to honor and remember those who didn’t make it home to their families. As Maya ran among the flags I thought about those families and hoped they had found some healing.
Just as I will never forget the eerie silence of my phone on September 11, 2001, I will never forget the sight of 2996 flags blowing in the breeze on Art Hill on September 11, 2011.
Before Maya was born I didn’t know much about babywearing or the various means by which one could carry a baby, I just knew I wanted to do it. The idea of having my baby close at hand, snuggled in close to me, sounded like exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately, I didn’t do enough research about the various means of babywearing before Maya was born and instead of purchasing a sling carrier I went with a Baby Bjorn. Though I loved my Baby Bjorn and used it a ton I really wish I had done more research and had gone with a sling style carrier from the very beginning. I will know better next time 😉
Maya has spent the better part of her first 3 years on this earth in some sort of carrier, be it the Baby Bjorn, a backpack or the sling style carrier I finally purchased when she turned a year old. Wearing her has been one of the best decisions I made as a mom. Wearing her as a baby meant that I was able to tend to her needs more easily and more quickily, and it also meant I could get a few things done around the house when all she wanted was to be carried. Lorne and I love hiking and being babywearers made that activity so much easier. We could just put her in the backpack carrier or the sling and off we went. We took a trip to Colorado when Maya was about 10 months old and without the Baby Bjorn we were using at the time that trip would have been rather difficult. She got to see the sites right along with us, attached to our fronts.
The memories I have from wearing Maya are some of my fondest. I miss wearing her now that she is a big girl and would rather walk on her own. I enjoyed the bonding, the quietness, the reassurance and the naturalness of babywearing. I recommend it to all my friends when they have babies.
The BCIA (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance) has made a call to action. We need to make our voices heard, we need to advocate for babywearers everywhere. Babywearing is safe and any parent can do it, it doesn’t require special skill, just a good baby carrier, a baby and a parent who wants to wear their baby.
Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing has declared October to be National Babywearing Month. So in honor of National Babywearing Month I have shared my story, what is your babywearing story?
This is sponsored content from BlogHer and by the makers of ob tampons, CAREFREE Pantiliners and STAYFREE pads.
When I was first presented with the opportunity* to attend Lilith Fair I knew I couldn’t turn it down, I knew I had to make it work. Not only am I an incredibly huge Sarah McLachlan fan but I was also in desperate need of a little momma’s night out. So, I graciously accepted the offer to attend, invited my dear friend Heather and looked forward to what I hoped would be a wonderful evening.
The idea of Lilith Fair, a whole festival put on by women, for women, is very inspiring. Women have come a long way in the ranks over the years and I think this festival highlights those achievements. It gives women, from all walks of life, an opportunity to see some amazing female musicians together on one stage. It gives women a chance to celebrate being women, celebrate where we’ve come from, and where we’re going, all to a soundtrack of really good music.
Friday night, dressed in something other than my typical mom attire, I picked up my friend Heather and headed to the concert. We weren’t able to make it to the show to see the earlier acts because of other responsibilities and childcare issues, but got there in time to see some incredible performances from the likes of Court Yard Hounds, Emmylou Harris, Mary J Blige and, of course, the amazing Sarah McLachlan. Not a single performance disappointed.
After listening to the incredible musical talent of Court Yard Hounds (who I am now a new huge fan of) and the awe-inspiring Emmylou Harris we decided to check out what the sponsor that had brought us to the event, the makers of STAYFREE® pads, CAREFREE® liners and o.b.® tampons, had to offer.
Our first stop was the Lilipad Bathroom. We all know how hard it can be to find a nice, clean women’s bathroom at concert venues. The Lilipad Bathroom was touted as a relaxing, cool women’s bathroom that was complete with an attendant and lots of free samples. The Lilipad Bathroom was huge, nice and clean and had really pretty decor, including pink lighting! Unfortunately, I don’t think the venue was equipped for a particularly cool bathroom. The area where the stalls were was almost as hot as it was outside, but there was a giant fan in the area where the sinks were so that was nice and refreshing. And, true to their word there were a ton of free samples. I don’t think I saw a single woman leaving the bathroom without something in her hands. Everyone seemed really impressed with the free samples. When we were standing in line for drinks later in the evening two girls behind us started raving about the free tampon carry case they got at the Lilipad Bathroom. Our next stop was the Lilipad Lounge equipped to be a bit of a cooling station, lots of free samples and swag, and a opportunity to get your picture taken to look like you’re on stage. I’m pretty sure the best swag they had at the Lilipad Lounge was the cooling cloths, little wet and chilled wash cloths. Everywhere I turned I saw women and men with the cloths wrapped around their necks, tucked in the backs of their t-shirts, or just rubbing down their faces with it. The cooling cloth was definitely a huge hit. By the time we hit the tent, at about 8pm they were out of swag and closing up shop so I wasn’t able to get a cooling cloth of my own. The Lilipad Lounge and Bathroom seemed like great additions to Lilith Fair and seemed to be huge hits with the crowd.
We wrapped the night up by being completely wowed by the music of Mary J Blige and Sarah McLachlan. When Mary J Blige took to the stage everyone was on their feet. We danced and danced (who knew I was going to get a bit of a workout in on my night out!). By the time Sarah took to the stage the crowd was in high spirits and ready to end the night on a high note. It was an amazing show. I never get tired of seeing Sarah perform.
One of the things I loved was listening to all the inspirational things each performer had to say about women. These ladies have all come a long way in their field and have seen things that female musicians a few decades ago could only dream about. Each of them was aware of that and happy to be part of something as special and inspiring as Lilith Fair. They each spoke to the beauty and strength of women and that every woman, no matter what she does or where she comes from has something to offer.
My favorite thing about music festivals, like Lilith Fair, is the opportunity they bring to see musicians from so many different genres. The ladies of Court Yard Hounds said it best when they commented on the fact that only at Lilith Fair could you find Mary J Blige following Emmylou Harris. Not only does the festival bring women together and break down the barriers that sometimes separate us but they bring together genres of music, and fans of those many different genres for an evening of us all rock out together, an evening where you are introduced to artists you may not have even heard of before but end up loving.
I had a fabulous time on my Momma’s night out at Lilith Fair and would like to thank the makers of STAYFREE®, CAREFREE® and o.b.® for this wonderful opportunity and for sponsoring an event that celebrates and empowers women.
And now for the best part, I’m happy to be able to offer each of you a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card thanks to the lovely people at BlogHer and Lilipad. There are three easy ways to enter (official rules) for your chance to win. The first is to leave a comment here telling me what your ideal Momma’s night out would be. Or, you can simply tweet about this post or blog about this post. If you do tweet or blog about this post please come back and leave me a comment with a link to the tweet or post so I can be sure you get credit for your entry. Each person can have up to two entries. The contest is open until 5pm EST on August 4th. The winner will be drawn using random.org. Good luck everyone!.
*I was commissioned to write this post by the makers of o.b.® tampons, CAREFREE® pantiliners and STAYFREE® pads and I received monetary compensation, as well as concert tickets and transportation to and from the concert.
So, what is the Million Baby Crawl you might ask. Well…
The Million Baby Crawl is being organized by Seventh Generation, creators of household products that are environmentally friendly and free of dangerous toxins, to support the Toxic Chemical Reform Act, a bill before Congress. This bill will take quick action on eliminating the most dangerous chemicals from household products, require full disclosure of the health and environmental impact of all chemicals and support science to ensure products are safe for those most vulnerable, our babies.
By becoming part of the Million Baby Crawl you can help tell congress that you support this bill and want to see major changes in the household products market to ensure that the products we use everyday, those that our children are exposed to are safe.
Join the crawl today, make your voice heard.
I read about Alex Lange the other day in an article in the Denver Post , his story has since seen coverage on almost all the major news outlets.
The Lange’s story is like so many others who struggle to find health insurance in the private, non-group market, they hit the brick wall of underwriting. The Langes had been searching for new health insurance for their family because their current insurer had raised their rates by 40%. They worked with an health insurance broker to find the right company and policy to meet their families needs. They submitted their application and awaited the result of the underwriting process with Rocky Mountain Health Plans. I’m sure they never expected the response they received. Their delightful, happy, healthy little 4 month old, Alex, was being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, obesity. That’s right, I said obesity. You see, Alex, is a big baby, weighing in at 17lbs. He is in the 99th percentile for both his weight and his height. His pediatrician had never mentioned this as a problem to the Langes. The Langes were stunned and angered by the outcome of their search for health insurance. Alex’s father, Bernie stated in his interview with the Denver Post “I could understand if we could control what he’s eating. But he’s 4 months old. He’s breast-feeding. We can’t put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill.”
After several days of media coverage regarding this story Rocky Mountain Health Plans has announced a change in how it handles “fat” babies. It will no longer consider “obesity” in infants as a pre-existing condition. Big surprise there. It is amazing what a little bad press can make a company do. The problem is that insurance companies had this approach in the first place.
I was outraged when I first read this story, completely furious. I’m happy that the outcome has changed and that Alex is no longer being denied health insurance simply because he is a heavy baby. But it is sad that the denial happened in the first place, that his family had to go to the media to get the results they deserved in the first place. This is just another piece of evidence that the health care/insurance system in the United States is in desperate need of reform.