Looking Forward to The Baby Ladies BlogHer Baby Shower!

I am getting so excited about BlogHer coming up this weekend, it is getting hard to sleep. I am looking forward to meeting other bloggers, connecting with brands, learning a lot to help improve my blog(s) AND all the fun events! One of the events I am most looking forward to is the BlogHer Baby Shower put on by The Baby Ladies featuring Save Babies Through Screening and Baby’s First Test!

Since I will be attending with my sweet newborn daughter, this first event of my weekend is a meaningful one. Although it will be fun, the focus is on helping to spread information about newborn screening, and although my youngest is now 5 months old, it feels like she was just born yesterday, and our hospital visit is so vivid in my mind.

There are a few different types of screenings that are done right after the baby is born, including hearing and blood tests. I thought it was really cool that they were able to come into our room to do all the screenings. The hearing screening was non-invasive and my baby slept right through it. The pulse-oximetry test was done to measure her oxygen levels, and since she was a small baby they also did a similar test for an hour while she sat in her carseat to make sure she was safe to go home in it.

The hardest test for me to watch was the heel stick, where they take blood from the babies heel, but I knew that it was an important safety precaution. These blood tests screen for a number of serious health conditions, but the specific conditions tested vary by state- click here for a list of all the conditions screened for in the state of California

We were relieved to see that none of our baby’s tests came back with typical results, and also to know that if she had a health condition detected on the screening, we would have found out early enough to improve her prognosis for life. We are thankful that these tests exist and are routinely implemented in the United States on all babies.

Around one if every 500-700 babies has a condition that is able to be detected by these early screenings, which make them a necessary and important tool in caring for our infants. 

The Save Babies Through Screening and Baby’s First Test websites both contain a ton of helpful information about the screening process and more. And follow me on twitter to keep up with what I learn firsthand at the TBL Baby Shower on Thursday!

Save Babies Through Screening Foundation

The mission of the Save Babies Through Screening Foundation is to improve the lives of children and their families, by working to prevent disabilities and death resulting from disorders detectable through newborn screening tests. The Foundation’s goal is to see that every baby born in the United States is screened successfully, effectively, and comprehensively.

Save Babies Through Screening Foundation educates parents, pediatric healthcare providers, and policy makers about available comprehensive newborn screening, the importance of obtaining positive or other test results requiring follow-up actions within 5 days of birth, and the importance of prompt confirmatory testing and treatment/management when needed.

Baby’s First Test

Baby’s First Test houses the nation’s newborn screening clearinghouse. The clearinghouse provides current educational and family support and services information, materials, and resources about newborn screening at the local, state, and national levels and serves as the Clearinghouse for newborn screening information. This resource is dedicated to educating parents, family members, health professionals, industry representatives, and other members of the public about the newborn screening system. This site also provides many ways for people to connect and share their viewpoints and questions about the newborn screening system.

Gorgeous Newborn Photos from Natalie Chiles Photography

As I sit here and stare at my sweet sleeping 5 month old baby, I realize that it is high time to share her precious newborn photos with you, blog world. Whether you just need a heaping dose of adorable in your day, or you are in the market for a top notch newborn photog, scroll down and check out the epic cuteness.

Natalie Chiles is a friend of mine and a very talented photographer in the San Diego area. She focuses on family and newborn portraits and her personality is the perfect balance of warm and professional. For the newborn sessions, you have the option of having Nat come to your house or heading to Nat’s home which features some stunning natural lighting. 

We decided that it made more sense for us to meet at Natalie’s home. We were able to just show up and the set-up was all ready for us. Next to the studio set-up was the perfect area for us to hang out and relax when Natalie was photographing the baby solo. Elodie loved this area because there was a tv with lots of fun movies to watch and an adjacent play area. 

As soon as we arrived we felt comfortable and relaxed. We took our family photos first, and then my husband, Elodie and I each got our photos done with the baby. 

Even though our newborn decided not to be the most cooperative, Natalie was exceedingly patient and really captured all the precious sweetness of our new baby girl. She made sure that I was getting the shots I had hoped for and switched out the background and props several times to get some of my special requests in.

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As you can see, Natalie really outdid herself with these amazing shots. (This is only a small fraction of the photos we got! To see more, check out Natalie’s website.) I loved the whole experience of working with Nat. She puts her heart into taking, editing and delivering her work. When my photos were ready she came to my house and sat and viewed them with me, and I could tell that she feels rewarded watching the expressions on our faces as we take in the beauty she captured of the life we created. It was very emotional. Nat pays such close attention to details, and even the way she gift wrapped our flash drive was perfect. 

Natalie also created a beautiful Facebook cover photo for us, and created special little books and a collage print of my favorite photos to display in our home. I normally don’t buy a lot of prints from photographers directly, I usually buy the CD with printing rights, but Natalie put the time and effort into creating exactly what I had in mind and I will definitely be buying more of these photo extras the next time she photographs our family.

I am so thankful to Natalie for the love she put into our newborn session. I whole heartedly recommend Nat to anyone who hopes to have special memories of a priceless time in your life. You won’t be disappointed!

Club MomMe Spring FamilyFest Recap!

We had such a blast attending the Club MomMe Spring FamilyFest in Huntington Beach.

The day was jam packed with amazing speakers, fun activities, awesome baby items and was great fun for the whole family. I loved the whole event but here were some of the highlights!

Blogger Breakfast

To kick off the day, there was a tasty breakfast spread for bloggers and other VIPs to meet up and mingle. I saw some familiar friendly blogger faces and made some new friends, like Ruby from Westside Mommy

Meeting Dr. Harvey Karp

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Every parent knows Dr. Harvey Karp's lifesaving advice from Happiest Baby on the Block, the 5 Ss: Swaddling, shushing, swaying, stomach or side lying and sucking on a pacifier helps babies to kick start their calm reflex. 

Before the event, Elodie had a grand time playing with her new friend, Harvey, and laughing at his great toddler jokes. He is not only a baby-whisperer but is especially great with children. I appreciated his talk on how to have the Happiest Toddler on the Block, including how to speak Toddler-ese. His books and videos are great, but it was a special treat to hear him speak live. (And now we are even pals on Twitter!)

Vendors

We met so many amazing entrepreneurs and baby and kid related businesses. There were many familiar favorites, (including some that I have worked with before like Daddy & Co. and ErgoBaby.) and also new companies just launching their products, like Otteroo, a cool new water floatie that even infants can use!

It was fun to interact with these family oriented folks and get to try out or take home some of their amazing products.

Kid’s Entertainment

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If you were to ask Elodie, I am sure this would be her favorite part. From music and dancing to face painting and balloon animals, there was a lot of opportunities for kids to play and act like kids!

New Baby Product Demos

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Rachel from Club MomMe did a great job of showing off the latest and greatest in the baby world. There were some fantastic products I had never seen and many that I personally own and use all the time. There were A TON of businesses showcased, and most of those products were even raffled off. I won a cool Petunia Pickle Bottom organizer. Rachel was very knowledgeable about all the features of the products and had really brought together the best in the industry under one roof!

Sweet swag

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It’s always fun to see things in person, but it is even more fun when you get to bring things home and try them out for free. This event had some AMAZING swag bags, no joke. Here is a photo of some of my favorite items, but my swag bag was filled to the brim with awesome goodies to use and love.

When comparing this event to your typically family event, like a street festival, this FamilyFest would just beat it hands down. Let’s be honest, you would probably spend more money at a Street Fest or local farmer’s market than you would on admission to the Club MomMe Spring FamilyFest. And you wouldn’t get to bring home half the cool stuff.

This is a must attend family event for all of southern California and I can’t wait until next year!

Disclaimer: I received admission to the event in exchange for spreading the word about the awesomeness. All opinions are 100% my own.

Club MomMe’s Spring FamilyFest happening THIS weekend!

Looking for something fun to do in So Cal with the whole family this weekend?

I am super excited about the upcoming Spring FamilyFest which is happening this Saturday, June 7th in Huntington Beach! This day long affair is going to feature great speakers (including the world-renowned Dr. Harvey Karp and other famous faces), fun activities and a whole lot of cool baby gear. There are still tickets available (which include a ton of awesome swag) so get yours now before they run out! It’s going to be a blast!

 CLUB MOMME TO HOLD SPRING FEST ON JUNE 7, 2014 

Event will provide new and expecting parents with access to the hottest products, gear and experts designed to save them time and money while making parenthood easier…and more fun 

New and expectant parents from all over Southern California will celebrate parenthood at “Spring Fest” presented by Club MomMe. The event gives families the opportunity to experience the newest and best baby, kids and parenting products. Industry experts and celebrity moms will host panels on hot topics related to pregnancy and parenting, during a continental media breakfast hosted by Shelby Barone (OC Mom Blog), Theresa Hissong Seid (Rock On Mommies) and Anya Sarre (celebrity stylist) and an all-day event with brands including Britax, BOB, Lansinoh, Chicco, Orbit Baby, Ergo Baby and Joovy. Attendees will receive gift bags packed with must-have mommy essentials. 

WHO: Hundreds of new and expecting parents and family member attendees as well as VIP participants and attendees 

EXPECTED GUESTS: Jenni Pulos (Bravo’s “Flipping Out” and “Interior Therapy”), Garcelle Beauvais and many more… 

WHAT: Spring Fest will consist of panels including: 

 “Happiest Baby on the Block” and “Happiest Toddler on the Block” with Dr. Harvey Karp 

 Best of Baby Products and Best of Toddler Products 

 Entrepreneurship for Parents 

 Natural Parenting with Giselle Baturay (Granola Babies), Dr. Tanya (pediatrician and author) 

 “Daddy Panel” with Robert Nickel (Daddy & Co founder), Doyin Richards (author of Daddy Doin’ Work) 

 Understanding Labels presented by Healthy Child Healthy World 

Additional programming includes: 

Pamper area with mini-treatments like massages and manicures; hair styling & blow outs plus a juice bar 

Lansinoh Lactation Lounge filled with Lansinoh products for nursing and pumping moms, Boppy nursing pillows, nursing covers and more 

Daddy & Co Daddy Lounge with a “man cave” atmosphere including comfy chairs, TVs and more. Participate in tricycle races, diaper changing races and receive a Daddy & Co item 

 See the latest, coolest and newest products by BMW of Monrovia, Britax, BOB, Chicco, Orbit Baby, Ergo Baby, Joovy and many others. Many of these products have never before been seen or given away at an event 

Stroller and car seat cleanings provided by Clean Bee Baby 

Activity area with lots of fun for little ones including an interactive activity play area, face painting, balloon artists, Super Soccer Stars soccer area, music by Jenni Pulos & Snooknuk and others 

Style Lounge with clothes, jewelry, diaper bags and more from 

Changing stations throughout the event stocked with Honest diapers and wipes, changing pads and covers by Summer Infant, diaper pails by Ubbi and more 

All attendees will have the opportunity to socialize, enjoy refreshments and connect with participating brands as well as leave with a gift bag. 

Club MomMe has partnered with Baby Buggy and MOMs Orange County for this event, asking attendees to bring a donation for one or both charities in exchange for an additional giveaway ticket. 

WHEN: Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, (714) 698-1234 

MORE INFO and TICKETS: http://clubmommeevents.com/ 

Club Momme is a community of moms, expectant parents and families that hosts social, educational and wellness events, classes and parties in Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and Orange County. 

Club MomMe OC founder Aubrye Foote is available for interviews on parenting must-haves, juvenile industry trends and Hollywood’s hottest baby and kids gear.