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Free car seat safety coloring book!

First, I am sorry for not being consistent with posting. I have been super busy with work, trying to contain my walker, and finalizing the Buckle Up, Baby! car seat safety clinic. I wanted to share with you guys the coloring book that the company I work for custom created AND is giving out for free with crayons on April 5. This is just one of the many, many free give-aways that will be at the event! I am pretty pumped about it. 

What is even cooler, you guys can see it and print it out for your kiddos too! Feel free to share it and let me know what you think! Check out the Buckle Up, Baby! coloring book by clicking here!

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Turner measures up!

I record every aspect of Turner’s life. I honestly don’t want to miss a single second. I mean, I have monthly mini birthday parties for him just to track his growth! So anything that lets me do that better, I just love. 
 
I have been meaning to get a growth chart for Turner basically since I found out I was pregnant. You, know, those long pieces of paper that go on the wall and keep track of how he is growing. I have seen them in the average baby store, but I never really liked any of the ones I saw. They were boring and well, just lame. Instead of plastering some hideous cartoon chart on the wall, I put off getting one. 
 
Well now Turner can stand up on his own and I decided it was pretty important to get one. I recently came across a site that is in the business of growth charts. Not just any growth charts, but personal ones, which I love. Anything personal, I am basically obsessed with. The site, KidsMeasureUP.com, is a cute little business that can add names, change out colors on their existing designs, and do other customizable work if requested. Even better than that, its a local business located right in Franklin, which I love even more! 
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So I got to surfing the website and found the perfect chart. Turner’s nursery is a combination of Hippos and baseball (a compromise for me and Andrew). While I am sure you would assume that means Turner’s nursery is a cluttered mess, if actually works pretty well together. There is actually a surprising number of hippo playing baseball accessories in the world, including on the Kids Measure Up site! I message the owner, Lee, and asked him if he could personalize the graphic with Turner’s name, and if he could make the hippo the color to match Turner’s nursery. All I had to do was send Lee a photo of the color’s I was looking for, and then bam, he sent me a masterpiece. Oh, and the COOLEST part of Kids Measure Up… they donate $1 from EVERY chart to local Toys for Tots efforts! 
 
Andrew and I own a house in one part of the county, but for convenience and additional space, we are renting a second home. I was worried about having a growth chart because it is just a rental property and I didn’t want to lose anything. That is also the reason why I knew I needed a chart instead of marks on the corner of some wall. The charts at Kids Measure Up are great. They are locally made at a printing shop down the street, another plus, and they have an adhesive back, so they can stick right to the wall. It is made on the same material as those fathead posters, you if I decide I want to move it, I can! Super easy. One of the things I loved about Lee’s site was a helpful tutorial on how to transfer wall marks to a chart, so you don’t have to lose any of the history or memories you have created so far with your kids. 
 
As soon as I got home last night, I set up the chart and plopped Turner right up against it. Right now he is a towering 26.5 inches! I am pumped to be able to track his growth every month, right along with his monthly birthday parties! My niece Maddison’s birthday is at the end of the month and I have already told Lee that I wanted to get Maddison a custom growth chart. Her room is decorated in owls. Kids Measure Up had an adorable chart with an owl on it, and Lee already told me he could switch up some of the colors to make it pink and girly. 
 
I encourage you to check out the Kids Measure up website. They have a Facebook Page too. If you see something you like but want it a little different, I am sure Lee would work with you! 
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Now and Then

I think motherhood today is much different than it was when our mother’s were raising us. Technology has changed immensely, which has its positive and negatives. 

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I think technology makes motherhood easier in several aspects. Instead of having to rock a child when he or she is upset, as our mothers had to do, you can put a baby in a batter operated swing. When a child is upset, you can place them in any number of devices that vibrate, rock, and play music, virtually eliminating a mother having to care for her child at all. I have even seen things that are constructed to hold bottles for babies so a mother does not have to take the time to do it themselves. All of these advancements have made motherhood simpler… but at what cost? 

Is one on one interaction being lost? Are children getting the affection and direct attention from their loved ones that they once did, and if not, what will the long term impacts be? I am torn. I have found myself using modern devices such as a swing to help put Turner to sleep and the electric breast pump has become my best friend as pumping milk is far easier than fighting Turner to nurse, plus, I would have never been able to return to work with it. But on the other hand, I think it makes me lazy. Not just now, with all the things available to me as a new mom, but in the long term when even educational aspects of motherhood now have fallen to the responsibility of tech giants. 

With iPads and such I would not even have to read to Turner if I decided not to because those devices have apps that take care of that for me. Is that better? I just don’t think so. 

I understand that 25 years ago, my mother was not raising children with just the basics like our grandmothers were, but they certainly did not have all the luxuries that are afforded to mothers today. I admit I grew up in the breaking ages of video games becoming after school baby sitters, and I truly believe even that interaction with technology and the lack of attention for adults, hindered my development. 

I don’t want the same things to happen to Turner. I want him to know how to build a fort in the woods with stones and tree limbs, and spend hours after a light rain making mud pies. I want him to use his imagination to climb a small mountain, all while envisioning a trek up Mount Everest. I do not want his favorite toy growing up to be a cell phone and I certainly do not want him to establish indentions in his thumbs from video games. But how do I avoid it? I do not want him to go to school and see his friends with those things and think he is missing out. I want him to have those things and enjoy them… but I do not want him to be reliant on it. I think it ruins a child. 

 Just as a newborn I am hesitant to give him toys that already require batteries and me reading the instructions to understand how Turner is supposed to play with it. It should be easier than that. I didn’t have those things quite yet and I think I am better for it. He needs a wooden rattle, and a toy rocking horse. I know I did not grow up in the dark ages, and toys when I was a child were even more advanced than that, but that is what I want for Turner. I think it teaches a sense of creativity and inventiveness that is lost among youth today. 

Another thing that I think mothers do not consider today is how they are recording their child’s life. Yes, I am documenting mine on a blog, something my mother probably still doesn’t understand today, but I envy my own childhood and the means my parents had to capture it. 

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 With the age of cellphones and advancements in technology, we have lost things such as print photography and videos. We take pictures on our cellphones and upload them to Facebook, but can we count on that to be there in 20 years when our children want to see them? And I know cell phone cameras are better quality than any camera that our parents used, but how are we going to explain to our child why there is a yellow tint on their baby photos… will instagram even still be around? I am guilty, trust me, I love adding effects to Turner’s pictures, but also save the image before I put an effect on it. I do not want the photo to be aged, I want him to be able to see a baby photo of himself just like I was able to. 

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 And videos. Cell phones take a couple minute videos, but nothing compared to the VHS tapes we have from our childhood, and I hate that. Even fancy video cameras that are available to us…for quite a price I might add… require extreme lengths if you want to do more than upload them to a computer. I want Turner to be able to slip a tape into a VCR and watch his first birthday party. I do not want to record something on to an SD card, then go somewhere ( I do not even know where) and get it put on to a CD to be made into a DVD to then be played. I want to record it, then instantly put it into the VCR and watch it.  I want to record every birthday and Christmas, things I think people forget about these days. I want to get out the polaroid camera and snap candid shots, not ones Ruby can edit of herself before uploading them to a computer. And what if I do not want them online. What if I want them for just my family to see, in an album. I still have to upload them to a computer to save them or an online album, or on a CD from the photo center. It is just a hassle. 

I feel like in 100 years when people are studying us in history books, our photos are going to be instagramed and videos will be a minute or two long, if they exist at all. 

I would much rather have the technology my parents did. It was personal. It was timeless. I bet some company could make a fortune making those products again. I know I would buy them. 

That is my rant for the day. I guess my advice to moms is to think about the difference in today and yesterday and consider things that were better off then.