Growing Like a Weed

Does anyone remember the Infinite Sadness of LittleBrother this past May when he couldn’t ride the roller coasters at Cedar Point because he was less than a quarter inch shorter than the 48-inch requirement? It was a sad day in Happy Town, let me tell you. While BigBrother and my husband were off riding the coasters, I walked LittleBrother to Camp Snoopy, bought him extra snacks, and tried my hardest to make a little boy feel better about not being tall enough.

That’s hard work, yo.

I mean, it was understandable when he wasn’t tall enough last year. He was five, for Pete’s sake. But he was sosososo close in May, and he was sosososo sad. My heart broke, and I cursed myself for not bringing his baseball cleats to give him an edge on the height problem my inferior height genes.

Then summer happened. I knew the kid grew some, because when it came time for school, none of his size six pants fit properly. He looked as though a flood might come rushing by at any given moment. When we received an invitation to attend Halloweekends at Cedar Point earlier this month, we measured LittleBrother… and it seemed like he reached 48 inches. But did he?

As soon as we made it through the front gate of the amusement park, we walked LittleBrother over to the two women at the measuring stand. LittleBrother took a step up on the metal platform, and the nice lady swung the arm around to see if it cleared his head or if he was finally tall enough.

It smacked him in the head. HOORAY! (Right?)

48 Inches of AWESOME

And so our family of four beat feet to the roller coaster LittleBrother had been desperately waiting to ride for the past two years: Millennium Force. Of note: Both of my sons pronounce it Millellium, even with regard to Star Wars, and if anyone ever corrects this adorable bit of speech, I will cut that person. So hard. Anyway, we waited in a lengthy line, something both boys now get to understand about amusement parks; big kid/adult rides require longer line waits than those off in kiddie-lands. We waited and waited and saw friends and waited some more.

Waiting Is Fun

People around us commented on how LittleBrother didn’t look tall enough, about how small both boys were, and blahblahblah. I wanted to tell these people that maybe they should keep their comments about other people’s bodies to themselves or, at the very least, leave the parenting decisions to us, but we just stood and waited and listened to the Roller Coaster Afficianado behind us discuss All Things Millennium Force.

Eventually we made it to the front of the line. I asked LittleBrother if he still felt sure about riding it, and he replied with an excited, “YESSSSS!”

SO EXCITED!
Awesome picture courtesy Momo. Awesome expression on BigBrother’s face courtesy genetics.

We stepped into our seats, buckled up, and off we went up the hill.

I then experienced a moment of motherly fear. What if he was too small? What if he fell out of his seat despite the attendant making sure he was strapped in as tightly as possible? What if the ride malfunctioned? What if what if what if? And that’s what it’s like to live with anxiety, folks. I told myself all was well, and then shut my eyes as we crested the top of the hill.

This is where I admit that it was also my first ride on the Millennium Force. I have happily walked LittleBrother around while BigBrother and my husband rode all the big coasters. I don’t dislike them, but someone had to stay with the younger, smaller kid, right? So as we crested that first hill and started our way down, I closed my eyes so my contacts didn’t fly out. Then I opened them quickly to check on LittleBrother who wore the biggest smile ever seen on any roller coaster ever. When we finished the ride and looked at our photos in the booth, LittleBrother’s face is lit up with a smile and my eyes are clenched tightly shut.

We asked him how he liked it, and he replied, “That was AWESOME.”

Happy Roller Coaster Buddies

The whole day was awesome. We rode all of our favorite rides, including the bumper cars.

Epic

And the Giant Wheel.

It Was Breezy Up There!

And many others.

Cedar Point added some stuff for the younger kid set for their Halloweekends, including a corn maze, a hay bale maze, a trick-or-treat area, and other fun things. I felt relieved that they included the little ones in their Halloweekends festivities this year. If LittleBrother hadn’t quite made that 48-inch mark, we would have had enough things to do while the other two rode coasters. As it was, we still hit the mazes and a few other of the special things for little kids. Halloweekends run through November 2nd, so check it out whether you’ve got little ones or not!

Fun Things for Kiddos!

We experienced a lovely day at our favorite amusement park, and I can’t wait to go back next spring and ride more coasters with my boys. (Though, now LittleBrother is determined to hit 52 inches by spring. If he does, I may need to take out a small loan to afford new pants.)

Thanks, Cedar Point!

 

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Disclosure: Our tickets to Cedar Point were free. Our opinions are our own.

Where’s the Family Planning with EngenderHealth (+Giveaway)

I’m passionate about a number of things. Good coffee, bed times, running, mental health, and women having the information and care they need when it comes to their own bodies. The latter of those comes from my first pregnancy, an unplanned pregnancy that ended up endangering both my life and the life of my unborn child. It was a scary time, one during which I had a lot of questions and felt like no medical professionals were forthcoming with the necessary answers. I felt alone.

But here’s the thing: I live in the United States of America. While my doctors didn’t possess the best bedside manner, my medical facilities were clean. My doctors cared about keeping me alive, about my child’s health. Other women around the world don’t have the same luxuries.

In working with EngenderHealth over the past few weeks, I’ve learned some scary statistics about what family planning looks like around the world. Here in the United States, we’re not only privy to birth control, condoms, and other things that help us plan our families, but we have a wealth of information at our fingertips. When I actively wanted to conceive my second child with my husband, I went about learning how to chart my temperatures and other signs and symptoms of ovulating. Women in other countries don’t always know how pregnancy occurs. That boggles my mind and breaks my heart at the same time.

Kisses

EngenderHealth’s Where’s the Family Planning?! (WTFP?!) campaign is working to train health care professionals in more than 20 countries to ensure that reproductive health and family planning services are available to all women. Women like Rashida Begum of Bangladesh who experienced nearly fatal postpartum hemorrhage after the birth of her first five children. Upon becoming pregnant for the sixth time—with twins—she was seen by Uma-Shree Pal, a government health official trained by EngenderHealth. Uma-Shree worked with Rashida to teach her the best ways to avoid postpartum hemorrhage, two tablets of misoprotosol immediately after birth. Rashida’s husband was also taught this information. After the birth of the twins, she began to bleed, but took the misoprotosol, and the bleeding subsided. She never hemorrhaged and kept her strength to care for her new twin babies.

Other women like Mariam benefited from EngenderHealth’s trained professionals as well. Agness Minja taught Mariam about intrauterine devices, thus allowing her and her husband to spend time building their rice business. Now that they are stable, Mariam feels excited to have hers removed so she and her husband can try to have a third child. And then there are women like Mouima who have the unfortunate fate of obstetric fistula, a tear between the vagina and urethra or rectum during a prolonged, obstructed labor without emergency intervention. The fistula results in an uncontrollable leakage of urine or feces. They are often shunned by their husbands and families due to the smell surrounding them; they are deemed less than. Mouima’s second child was stillborn after a prolonged obstructed birth and she suffered an obstetric fistula. Mouima chose to eat and drink as little as possible because of the leakage. Most women don’t live decades as Mouima has because of the dehydration, hunger, and illness that often befall these women. When Mouima learned that EngenderHealth has launched a fistula repair clinic in Guinea, her son paid for her treatment. Four other women in her village have received treatment since hers; no one in the village knew that treatment existed.

These stories don’t happen here. But they happen around the world. And that’s simply not okay. Please visit WherestheFP.org to see how you can get involved, how you can help educate women about their bodies, their lives, their futures. This fall, EngenderHealth wants American women to get involved in spreading the word about their work, wants us to get involved in talking about these topics. I know this is one of my new passions, and I’ll be sharing more information as EngenderHealth shares it with me.

How will you get involved? Leave a comment below for a chance to win a Social Good Goodies bag. Learn more about EngenderHealth by visiting their website, Facebook, Twitter,  LinkedIn and YouTube.

Sweepstakes Rules:

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  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
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  5. Sign up for EngenderHealth newsletter at the following link, and leave a comment on the post saying you did so.

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This sweepstakes runs from 9/22/14 -11/4/14

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