It’s September 22 and I/ Tatorthoughts has exceeded both my goal donation amount, 10k daily step goal and my whole month step goal of 300,000 steps with time to spare! Participation in this year’s Steptember challenge has been trying, but extremely beneficial to me! Thankful I was blessed with the opportunity to step with a purpose for such a meaningful cause. The month of September isn’t over yet and there is still plenty of time to make strides and raise more funding for cerebral palsy research. Thank you to all who have supported me in this endeavor and sent kind messages & donations. Please know you’ve participated in so much change. Together we have moved cerebral palsy research forward.
For more information about steprember, to follow my journey or to donate to the cause visit the link below!
People thought I was crazy for taking pictures of everything in the Nicu. The doors, the monitors, the wires. Our view from his room. The truth is that you never forget seeing your child like that. The sound of his ventilator echoes in my brain. The beeps of the monitors, the scars that adorn my sons feet from the blood draws that kept him with me his first 11 days of life. I’ll never forget the prayers I prayed within those halls. The irritated skin on my hands from scrubbing in so many times. The irritation on his tiny cheeks when the tubes were finally removed and there was no longer a need for tape on his face, the smell of clean and pure fear with only my faith to get me through some days.
Not being able to touch him or speak too loudly when he was on zero stimulus protocol.
And the knowledge that some families simply don’t leave with their baby. The baby they also prayed for.
You never forget as a Nicu parent because you never want to forget how far they’ve come, your now thriving healthy, beautiful child who In my case is my son. Because you will never forget how close you came to losing them. How close you came to living an entirely different life. Or how much your fragile, fierce & fearless baby taught you within the walls of that Nicu that holds their first memories. The very same Nicu that saved them. The nurses, the doctors that will always be part of your child’s story because they made sure they did everything that could be done.
Believe it or not your family left a mark on them too.
How do I know? Because I’m a Nicu mom.
Because I am Raiden’s mom.
Because I’ve lived it.
Because we are the statistic.
Because of all babies.. It was mine.
It wasn’t what I would have chosen for my son, or for my family. But it is our story. One I will always tell and celebrate.
To admire my child and the ones who survived.
To honor & remember those who did not.
To thank those who’s lives are dedicated to Nicu families and to their own.
Buckle up y’all, this review is going to be a long one. as most of you know my partnership with handcraft has been long-running. we’re talking nearly since the creation of Tatorthoughts long!
And just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better they prove me wrong!
When you think handcraft by now you probably think potty training genius, children’s underwear and convenient on the go change kits. And if that’s what you think about you would be absolutely right! But they are so much more than that, of course potty training with confidence is a big priority but evidently so is generosity. This review is proof of that.
My good friends at handcraft have completely out done themselves, in honor of back to school they have generously sent me thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. (see detailed list below) but let’s discuss why. You’re probably thinking “what’s the big deal?, it’s just underwear.”
But it’s so much more than that many children have nervousness and anxiety over starting back to school, or starting school, or changing schools, or even just change in general. A change like this is huge!
And even the best potty trained of us will experience an accident at some point regardless of age. So handcraft and I have partnered together to end the stigma around accidents of all kinds & For kids of any age regardless of the circumstance!
You might be thinking to yourself “my child is “too big” for that” you would be wrong.
involuntary urination, especially by children at night.” See also nocturnal Enuresis.
Nocturnal Enuresis commonly referred to as bedwetting is most recognized in smaller children however it can affect people of any age, regardless of gender. However the inability to control your bladder especially in tense upsetting situations isn’t as commonly recognized and it’s nowhere near talked about enough!
This can affect people of any age regardless of how long they have been or even how well they were potty trained.
27% of parents whose children presented a problem sought medical attention for it, it is seen in nearly 29% of all children. It is more common in males and you are more likely to have it if you have a prevailant family history of it, But with so few willing to talk about it how would we know?
I am a mother before I am anything but I take being an educator very seriously. It is my duty to not only advocate for my own children, but all children.
I’m open enough to discuss that this is something that directly affects my family. I’ve also seen it heavily affect the children that I’ve taught. There is no shame. There is no stigma, not with me, within my family or in my teaching environment because THERE SHOULDN’T BE!
If it’s up to me to advocate and educate then I will, but clearly I won’t be doing it alone. The amazing folks at handcraft stand with me!
And we haven’t even scratched the surface this is only talking about diagnosed Enuresis, but what about the fear of a new place, being too afraid to ask for permission to go to the bathroom or even for directions to a bathroom, anxiety or any other chronic medical condition that could cause any type of incontinence whether it’s urinary or otherwise.
If it’s not us who shows these children grace regardless of their age, my question to you is who will? No bodily function warrants scolding and it might be an unpopular opinion but I stand by it. Sheets and clothes can be changed, messes can be cleaned, but you cannot undo emotional damage from scolding a child for something that they have no control over. Parents and teachers please be mindful of this as your children are sent back into the world of education no matter what that looks like for your family.
Advocacy is clearly very important to me as well as this amazing company. they were so kind to send me so many wonderful things and I can’t wait to share them all with you!
I’m sure everyone is familiar with Champion brand authentic athletic wear but did you know that champion is handcraft?! Until our partnership I had no idea I knew I loved their products on the shelves but I had no idea whatsoever just how many things handcraft as a company has a hand in!
They were so kind as to send me not one not two.. but FORTY-ONE PAIRS of authentic champion athletic socks!!
Needless to say there will be no cold or Barefeet around me anytime soon!!
This in and of itself blew me away, but they didn’t stop there and the box that arrived at my door May as well have been the Mary Poppins bag of all shipping boxes!
They sent me 73 pairs of underwear! Ranging in size from 18 months to medium 10/12!
They also sent me 6 Handcraft change kit plus packs as well as 7 original handcraft change kits.
Guys they sent me the equivalent of an entire washing machine load! Needless to say when any accidents do occur on my watch and believe me they will. there will be no shortage of preparedness, we will not only be ready we will be proud! Accidents signify being human although they might be slightly embarrassing I can tell you one thing that definitely eases that sting.. The incredible print options they sent me! (Honestly I wish I could wear some of these.)
But.. THERE’S MORE!
We all know we’ve been living in The COVID-19 pandemic, for quite some time.
Handcraft sent me 3 packs of kids facemasks! While my children may be too young for masks themselves, I know more than enough children who aren’t that actually need masks!They’re washable!, super cute and all kid friendly!
And just when you think we’re done.. we’re not!
Not only did they send me everything above they continued to show they care about their partners and the community by sending me several promotional products!
Handcraft sets the bar extremely high especially in the generosity department!
Potty training and crappy days in general can be quite stressful they sent me 14 custom branded poop emoji stress balls And 2 incredibly squishy handcraft underwear logo shaped stress balls.
My friends at handcraft had no way of knowing about my Neurodivergence or the Neurodivergence in my family but they hit the nail on the head with this one! Not only are these incredible for sensory purposes they make great additions to any classroom treasure box.
They sent me three individual prize packets containing a very well-written congratulatory letter, A three pack of primary colored crayons, two potty training genius custom coloring pages, A company product informational slip, and a very unique punch out magnet photo frame for when your child becomes a potty trained genius! I look forward to giving these to three special families!
Along with those they so kindly sent 30 additional potty training genius magnets and something that made my 90s kid heart flutter with complete unadulterated joy!..
They sent me a handcraft branded pin art board in the shape of their underwear logo!
Needless to say everything is appreciated but I will proudly display the pin art board on any desk I have until the end of time!
To recap here’s an entire list of this seemingly endless cornucopia that I am extremely grateful for, it seems like Thanksgiving and Christmas came early this year!
1 pack 3ct washable children’s facemask in DC Batman print
Now that we’ve gotten into the specifics of their overwhelming generosity, everything this review includes & why this review is as necessary as any other back-to-school feature you’ll see this season, let’s discuss quality. handcraft sets the bar sky high and not only do I think that’s a great example for our children I think we as parents and caregivers can take pride in knowing that our families use, support and value their products with ease and peace of mind. even from the tiniest of tush that’s ready to potty train they’ve got you covered! Their thick absorbent , Soft and nearly plush potty training underwear are exactly what any child needs to have the independence of big kid status with the protection that they may need as they learn.
their potty training change kits give grab-and-go simplicity to preparedness, giving parents peace of mind and one less thing to worry about so that no matter where your adventure takes you your family is always ready.
The all-inclusive potty training Genius kit gives a child all the tools they need to succeed, in a fun interactive and easy to understand way. Just add praise and support from loved ones and watch them flourish!
Their underwear of all types accommodate all shapes and sizes. Giving kids regardless of age or gender comfort that comes adorned with their favorite characters!
Their socks regardless of style give comfort and confidence and parents can take heart knowing that their children are covered from head to toe in the Best. these high-quality socks are the right fit for all with varying thickness options and cuts you’re sure to find what works best for you.
The partnership with my friends at handcraft has been one of the most enriching and enjoyable experiences I can say that I’ve ever had. they’ve been so kind and shown so much support for not only me but for my dreams over the last two years and I could never repay that of course I will always be a proud supporter of any product they create because I know without a doubt it will be great. They have been nothing short of an absolute joy to work with and a blessing in my life. I find myself short of the words to accurately describe the feeling so simply put it’s pride. Not only am I overflowing with gratitude I’m proud of the work that we’ve done together and the work that we could continue to do and my only hope is that they as a company are equally as proud of what we’ve managed to do together. The change we’ve been able to create,the awareness we’ve been able to give and the incredible products I’ve been able to display in front of all of you thanks to their generosity and Faith in my abilities.
Thank you to both Julia and JoAnn from the bottom of my heart, from all of us at Tatorthoughts and every family who has benefited from your company’s existence.
so I challenge you next time you visit your local preferred store look around I promise you’ll see handcraft products that you and your children love.
If you take away anything from this review please let it be that being prepared is simple, being kind is easy, and no matter your story, background ,or need handcraft has you covered. I hope all families regardless of the path that this year takes for them have an incredible school year, whether you’re starting school this year or you’re graduating for the final time here’s to the class of 2022!
Please visit their website embedded below for more information!
Disclaimer: What I’m about to say WILL BRING SOME HEAT. I say these things to raise awareness.
At 16 I was told I’d never have kids, devastating news at any age but at that young of an age, it was a blow to my identity.
We know now that this wasn’t the case because hindsight is 20/20 BUT it sticks with me nonetheless.
I have PCOS & Endometriosis. Two things that each carry a lot of weight and present their own challenges but together can feel like you’re living in a personal hell. Why aren’t they talked about more?!
Mostly because when people do speak they fall on deaf ears. When people reach out for help they’re dismissed, their desire to advocate for themselves and others crushed in the process.
I’ve had several surgeries just to ease the pain and lessen the damage done by my own PCOS and endometriosis.
To paint a picture imagine an invasive vine-like plant growing where it shouldn’t somewhere in the wild. It completely takes over, wrapping itself around anything in its path. Robbing other plants of the nutrients and space they need to thrive.
That is endometriosis.
Now picture a child with a multi bubble ball.
The innermost ball being an ovary, that ball doing what is supposed to do creates a bubble or natural cyst when told to, in this case by the child squeezing. BUT. what happens when it defies the natural order and instead of one there are two, or 4, or 8?
what then happens when one or more of those multiple Bursts? It causes the child pain. Their ball no longer works properly.
This is PCOS.
this is just speaking on things that apply to ME.. let that sink in.
there are thousands of things that can cause or add to infertility.
Infertility is a blanket term for a storm of things that no one should have to face.
My husband and I had it easy compared to some and we say all the time how blessed we are but for us, our journey was anything but easy.
My problem was more in sustaining a pregnancy than conceiving, believe it or not, this is infertility.
All the medications, procedures, surgeries, ultrasounds, tears, sleepless nights, and physical pain only scratch the surface. Just one of the reasons no one should ever ask anyone when they are having kids.
Not if they’re single,
Not if they’re married,
Not if they have one child,
Not if they have three.
YOU. DO. NOT. ASK.
Yes, you can suffer from infertility even if you already have children.
It doesn’t lessen it.
1 in 8 face infertility of some kind.
1 in 4 have lost a child.
With statistics like that odds are that you know someone affected by one or both and may not even know.