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Don’t be afraid of us!

Sesame Street refers to a special group of people as “Community Helpers”. These people include those who chose careers that most people wouldn’t want/be able to do in order to serve their community, and typically don’t get compensated nearly enough for it in monetary terms. These people include firefighters, police officers, nurses, soldiers, teachers, etc.

Teach your child to honor and respect those who have made and continue to make their world safer.

Teach your child to honor and respect those who have made and continue to make their world safer.

I’m a nurse, and happy to be part of that group. I see more in a 12 hour shift than most people see in a life time. It’s pure, it’s raw, and it’s real. I see people at their worst and most vulnerable. I choose to take care of them regardless of who they are or what they’ve done or what secrets they are hiding.

I’ve been spit on, hit, pushed, cursed at, you name it. But you know what the worst thing is? The thing that hurts the most? Adults who use me to scare their children. There’s a child running up and down the halls of our unit and instead of saying, “Come here please, people are sick and we need to be quiet”, I hear, “Get over here or I’m gonna get that nurse to give you a shot”.

Unfortunately a large percentage of my job involves doing things that involve pain. Pain that is unpleasant but oftentimes necessary. Please don’t teach your children that is all we do and they should be afraid of us.

We are all here to serve you and protect you as well as your children. Telling them we will give them shots if they don’t listen or arrest them when they’re misbehaving isn’t fostering the feelings of trust we strive so hard to achieve.

Please, think of your community helpers. We do our jobs because we love you. And we love your kids. Teach your kids to love us too! Allowing them to feel safe around us may help save their lives one day.

Kids naturally want to pretend to be superheroes. Teach your kids that superheroes don't always wear capes and exist on TV. Sometimes they wear helmets or scrubs, and show up in our darkest hour. And they're real. Sorry Spiderman!

Kids naturally want to pretend to be superheroes. Teach your kids that superheroes don’t always wear capes and exist on TV. Sometimes they wear helmets or scrubs, and show up in our darkest hour. And they’re real. Sorry Spiderman!

When You Gotta Go: Tottigo Pack ‘n Potty Review

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 2.52.09 PMI can be a bit of a germaphobe, and there’s almost no place I get more skeeved out than in public restrooms…especially with kids. There aren’t always seat covers available, and little hands inevitably reach down to grab the toilet for balance while their legs kick against the outside of a bowl covered in who-knows-what. It makes me want to shower my children in Purell, or, better yet, just never leave the house.

But staying inside for eternity is impractical and boring, so public restrooms are a necessary evil. That’s why I was thrilled to find a product to make kids’ bathroom trips a little easier and a lot less disgusting: the Tottigo Pack ‘n Potty.

The Pack ‘n Potty is a self-contained portable potty seat that comes in a specially designed waterproof and anti-microbial bag that allows you to put it on and take it off without ever having to make contact with anything that has also touched the toilet! There are also built-in handles for kids to hold onto, and the storage bag turns into a barrier to keep those little legs from knocking against the commode.

As if that weren’t enough, the Pack ‘n Potty also has a pocket (accessible while the potty seat is in use and from the outside of the bag when it’s not) for storing tissues, wipes, lip balm, extra clothes, reading materials, or whatever else you like to take into the bathroom.

IMG_1795The drawstring bag allows you to carry the seat like a backpack, which is really nice when you need your hands free for helping your kid (or going to the bathroom yourself). It could easily fit into most stroller baskets, and while it’s too big to fit in an average purse, I was able to store it in my Ju-Ju-Be BFF diaper bag, although it didn’t leave much room to spare in the main compartment.

When you want to clean it, the seat quickly snaps apart from the bag, which is washer- and dryer-safe.

I first saw a prototype of the Pack ‘n Potty at the ABC Expo in Las Vegas two years ago. I was so intrigued by it that I sought out the company’s booth at the show last year to see if the Pack ‘n Potty was in production yet, and sure enough, it was! I couldn’t wait to give it a try, and the Tottigo folks were nice enough to send us a sample.

My 5-year-old has been using the potty expertly for quite a while, but she’s small and often needs some help balancing on big-person toilets, so I figured the Pack ‘n Potty would be great for her. My 3-year-old is also showing an interest in using the potty, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

We recently took the Pack ‘n Potty with us on a three-week roadtrip across the country. Thankfully most of the restrooms we encountered looked pretty clean, but there were a few sketchy ones, too. At first I worried the Pack ‘n Potty would have a steep learning curve or that I’d fumble it somehow, but it was actually quite easy to use right from the start, and only took a couple seconds to set up. Here’s a video showing how simple it is to use:

Besides public restrooms, it was also nice having a compact potty seat we could use at the houses and hotels where we were staying during our trip. My daughter loved the handles and the cushiness of the seat. I loved that the seat felt secure, and that my daughter could use the bathroom without either of us touching anything gross.

We have another portable seat that we’ve used in the past, but it always felt like a hassle. It folds up, which is nice in terms of compactness, but my daughter was always afraid it would pinch her, and it never felt secure on the toilet. I’d also have to reach into a potentially germ-laden bag to pull it out. Ick.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 2.52.34 PMThe Pack ‘n Potty solved all those problems and more. I never thought I’d be truly excited about a bathroom-related item, but I am. I still don’t love public restrooms, but I dread them a lot less now. If only they made a grown-up version…

The Pack ‘n Potty is available through the company’s website and on Amazon for $39.99.

Thank you to Tottigo for providing a sample for this review.  No compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

 

Star-Crossed Drivers

zodiacScorpios are independent introverts. Pisces are creative daydreamers. Libras are horrible drivers.

Wait, what?

A Canadian insurance company wanted to see if there was any correlation between astrological signs and driving records. Although the study started off as a joke, apparently some trends became clear. Libras, Scorpios, and Capricorns get into more crashes than the other signs. Pisces, Aries, and Aquarians get the most tickets.

On the flip side, the safest signs for drivers are Gemini, Cancer, and Leo (fewest crashes), and Virgo, Sagittarius, and those already-safe Gemini (fewest tickets).

So should Geminis get a break on their auto insurance premiums? Should Libras pay more? Probably not. Again, the study was undertaken for fun, and it looks like the actual difference in statistics was fairly low. (15.8% of crashes attributed to Libras vs. 9% for Leo.)

Still, it can make for a fun discussion. I’m a Sagittarius, which ranked in the middle in terms of collisions and 11th (meaning second-best) in tickets. Is it just coincidence that I’ve only gotten one ticket in more than 20 years of driving? I’ll let you decide…

How do you rank?

Crashes (Worst to Best)

  1. Libra   (most crashes)
  2. Scorpio
  3. Capricorn
  4. Aries
  5. Aquarius
  6. Sagittarius
  7. Pisces
  8. Taurus
  9. Virgo
  10. Gemini
  11. Cancer
  12. Leo   (fewest crashes)

Tickets (Worst to Best)

  1. Pisces   (most tickets)
  2. Aries
  3. Aquarius
  4. Capricorn
  5. Libra
  6. Taurus
  7. Scorpio
  8. Leo
  9. Cancer
  10. Virgo
  11. Sagittarius
  12. Gemini   (fewest tickets)

Carseat Tom-foolery

A couple blasts from the past, back in the old days when we were a bit less serious all the time!  Perhaps these are more suited to Throwback Thursday, but instead I re-visit them for some foolish fun this April 1st.  And for those who may take offense, we do not (usually) condone the use of duct tape for installation of carseats.  Normally, we prefer nails, screws and glue…

Carseat Install on a Moped:

Patented Super Secure Duct Tape Installation:

The contradiction of having a 4 year old.

I feel like having a spirited 4 year old is truly something another person will never understand unless they’ve been down in the trenches with you. Deep, mucky trenches filled with laughter, screaming, elation, anger, mismatched clothing, chocolate milk and questions. Never ending questions.

I need goggles for parenting.

I need goggles for parenting.

Sometimes I feel like having a preschooler is basically living one big contradiction. Wait, sometimes? I mean all the time.

Please don’t ever stop talking because the things that come from your awesome brain and out of your little mouth are hilarious and amazing. But please, for the love of everything, stop talking! The droning of questions from that little voice is infiltrating my every thought and driving me to the brink of a major bedtime chocolate binge.

Please don’t ever stop dancing. I love how you don’t care what you look like, and I marvel how every joint and muscle in your body was knit together inside my own and now serves to bring you joy and life…including launching yourself off the couch into the wall (thank you nature, for flexible childhood cartilage). But please, stop dancing, jumping, and squirming! The constant movement! It exhausts me and gosh I miss your naptimes.

Please don’t ever stop being persistent.  Your determination is a marvel and I can’t wait to see the places it takes you. You could out-argue the best lawyer in the world and your confidence and stubbornness  in getting what you need surpasses my own. But please, stop persisting you have your millionth cracker of the day. Ask me again and I will fill your bed with crackers and make you take my sorely missed naps on it.

Please don’t ever stop being you. Ever. But please, bedtime, hurry up!

With love from the trenches,

Alicia