On Dads, Healing, and Heroes

Sometime last week I got an invitation in my email asking me to attend a special event with Drew Brees and Vicks VapoRub. I realize that people read this site from all over the world, so maybe you don’t know who Drew Brees is. A factual description would tell you that he’s the Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. That’s a really simplified answer, though. Down here, a lot of people see him as a god. And I am so not kidding about that. I mean, there are Breesus t-shirts.

So it goes without saying that I was going to this event. Sacrilegious t-shirts aside, the Brees family has done a lot for New Orleans and I have nothing but respect for a family that moved here and embraced the city at a time when her future was so uncertain. A lot of natives weren’t capable of that.  The man is a hero in this town, and I don’t get too many opportunities to dine with heroes.

So, I accepted the invite, but man oh man was I nervous. On a list of things I do well, no one will ever write “talks to strangers.” In fact, they’re a lot more likely to write, “babbles incessantly until something uncomfortable slips out and then babble more in an attempt to hide that.” I was pretty sure this was going to be one of those times where I nervous-sweat through my clothes and have to wash my arm pits with hand soap in the bathroom. I mean, not that I’ve ever done that before.

I figured I could go and hover in the background, and try not to make a fool out of myself.

They didn’t tell us in advance what the big announcement was going to be, and at the risk of never being invited to another Internet event again, I prepared myself to be underwhelmed. So often companies have absolutely no clue what’s important to the people who buy their products. In this case I was completely wrong–and I am so glad that I was.

Drew Brees, wife Brittany, and son

When I got to the event I knew that things were officially too swanky for the likes of me. They wouldn’t open the doors for us until we named the event sponsors. There was a buffet of yummy food with lots of carbohydrates and cheese, but also chicken and shrimp and stuff for the carnivores. I got to work classing up the place by shoveling spinach dip in my mouth at an alarming rate. I can’t be the only mom who eats like she’s at boot camp, right? I mean, at any second you could be permanently separated from whatever yumminess you are currently enjoying.

After we chowed down, a spokesperson for Vick’s came out, and then Brittany Brees introduced her husband Drew who was holding their oldest son, Baylen.

The big announcement? Drew Brees is the first man to represent the children’s product, VapoRub, and they are declaring him the first-ever VapoDad. And why? Because Vicks has noticed that it’s not just moms taking care of the kids these days.

Can I get an Amen?

As a mom to a child with special needs, I know that I couldn’t do this alone. And really, I don’t think that I should. I know that some women have to–that’s just the way it goes sometimes–but if women can work full-time, and run corporations, and fly fighter jets, then I think it’s OK for Dads to help with the kids. At my house, my husband is master of the medicines. While we are both capable of giving our children medication, I am incredibly forgetful when it comes to daily routines, and early-on it was decided that my husband would ensure that Charlie receives his anti-seizure medication each morning. Now he also administers a daily dose of vitamins. At my house, parenting is a shared responsibility.

After airing the new Vicks VapoRub commercial–one of those precious things that makes your ovaries ache– Drew walked through the crowd, shaking hands and taking pictures with people. This is the part at most events where I would have gladly sat in a corner and chatted with my date for the evening–my brother. Yes, for the record, I am THAT cool. I was supposed to take Charlie, but he didn’t get enough sleep and had a meltdown when I tried to brush his hair, so that was definitely not going to work. At the last minute I asked my brother if he wanted to go, and he agreed, which is good because going by myself was terrifying.

Me and Drew Brees smiling for the camera

Me and Drew!

So, my not-cool self would have gladly hung in the corner, but I went and chatted with some other bloggers, and I was told that I could ask a question that would be of interest to my readers.

OH MAH GAWD, Y’ALL. This was nothing, but the perfect opportunity to make a fool out of myself. Or sweat straight through my dress–either one.

So then the lovely Megan Jordan of Velveteen Mind fame takes me and Ashley, who writes NOLA Parent, and introduces us to Drew Frickin Brees as “local parenting bloggers.”

Mind. Blown.

Ashley asked him some NOLA-related questions and I asked him about The Brees Dream Foundation–a charity formed by him and his wife. They have a big announcement coming up and I tried  to pry a few hints from him, but it was a no-go. Note: I have no future as an investigative journalist. His manager told us that it would be soon, though. Then there was a little more chatter. I managed to work Twitter into the conversation because I am nothing if not an Internet nerd. Luckily, Drew’s manager jumped right on the bandwagon and no one seemed to notice my foray into Geek Town.

group of mom bloggers smiling at the camera

Mom bloggers

And that was it! We took pictures, I didn’t weirdly babble any more, or dramatically put my foot in my mouth. All in all, a complete success.

I hurried home and gave Charlie an official Drew Brees doll that was included in our event gift bags. Shockingly enough, he actually took a few moments to hug on it. This child does not do dolls. In fact, he’s disgusted by them. I guess it was just a little of that Brees magic rubbing off on things.

boy and a drew brees doll

Later that night as I was wrestling to get both a double stroller and a collapsed wheelchair into the trunk of my Taurus with three car seats, I realized that my life might not be glamorous, but it can be fun.

If you would like to see the commercial, I found it on Youtube.

And because I would never mention a product on this blog that I don’t believe in–even if it is endorsed by Drew Brees– I checked with the boy’s pediatrician and she gave Vicks VapoRub her stamp of approval as well (once old enough).

New Addition

No. The babies are still happily baking inside of me. I’m talking about this blog. If you look up at the top of the page, you’ll see the word “equipment” has been added. If you click on that link it will take you to a little explanation of the new content and links to three new pages all about wheelchairs. I’ve got a review featuring my favorite chairs in each category and even PDF charts you can download that compare several different models at the same time.

There are still some kinks to work out–I want to add comments to each review post, so you guys can throw in your two cents, tell me about a chair I missed, a recent change I haven’t reflected, or just to share your own opinion on a particular item.

I hope you guys like this new section. I got the idea over the summer and have been working on it in bits and pieces ever since. For the record–these companies do not make it easy. I have hunted up and down and sideways in many cases to get the information I was looking for. Now, it’s all in one place for you guys.

I’d like to add more sections for equipment, books, or educational stuff, so let me know what other types of things you’re interested in.

Bissdom 2011 Recap

Howdy! I’ve returned from Blissdom and every member of my household has a head cold. Luckily, we know how to treat a head cold, so we’re trudging through with plenty of Eucalyptus oil, Tylenol, and tissue. I’m tapping this out on Charlie’s iPad while. I lie on the sofa and blow my nose every five minutes.

I’ll recap in bullets because nobody needs to read an essay on what I did, wore, and saw over the course of two and a half days.

-Ellen of Love That Max spoke and made everyone cry. Sadly I missed it, but that’s because I was next door tying to figure out how to put the finishing touches on a project that I hope you guys will LOVE.

-Lovely ladies I met last year were there again–Allie from No Time for Flashcards and Kim from Mom Tried It. Both had their daughters with them and I got to practice holding a baby again, which I’ve pretty much forgotten how to do.

-I loved getting to stay up late chatting and laughing with my roommates: Elaine from Miss Elaine-ous Life and Erin from ErinMargolin.com.

-I left my laptop cord in the hotel, which is making me supremely twitchy, but they’re shipping it to me on Monday. Hopefully I can wait that long.

-At the airports I refused to go through the metal detector or the back scatter machines. I did this because I’m pregnant, and I consider these unknowns. I have done this many times with Charlie with no problems. This time, however, you would not believe how upset people got with me. As if I’m the only person to ever refuse. They would tell me it couldn’t be done, argue that it was perfectly safe, and then tell me threateningly that I would have to have a “full pat.” For the curious, the full pat really didn’t bother me. We all have different comfort levels, but for me, it was fine.

That’s it for now. I must take my stuffy head to bed and get some sleep.

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