Johnson & Johnson Safety Promise

This post is sponsored as a part of a campaign for Johnson’s Baby with

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is a staple of childhood, and has been for… well, as long as I can remember. I have a distinct memory of my mom washing my hair in the kitchen sink, and making bubbles fly out of the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo bottle.

I bet the scent of it brings back memories for almost every person in the country!

But remember when there was all that controversy over their ingredients? Johnson’s heard the concerns of parents and family members, and removed those ingredients from the products. Check out the video above – it’s a demonstration of the company’s impressive commitment to customer satisfaction, but it also made me think about the promises between parents and children.

I remember my mom promising me that she and my dad would never get divorced. I must have somehow learned what the word meant, and she must have wanted to alleviate any concerns. I remember how safe that promise made me feel, and had they had the opportunity, I’m certain they would have upheld it.

Tonight I asked Kate what kind of promises I’ve made to her. She immediately reminded me of one that I had completely forgotten. She was in third grade and was about to take the big standardized test that determined her entrance into fourth grade. She was beside herself with worry – she was convinced that the test was so important that President Obama himself was going to grade it. Now, a couple years later, she remembered me telling her “I promise you that you’re going to pass this test!” Now, that was an easy promise for me to make and keep, as Kate’s a great student, but it obviously meant something to her to hear me say those words.

What promises have you made your children?

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You must be feeling good

Jonah has recently had a language explosion of sorts (better late than never? YES!) and he’s finally starting to, not exactly converse,  but at least be more conversational. He will also tell you what he wants. All. Day. Long. We’ve been going to the pool a lot lately (must get our money’s worth!) but today after speech I just needed to stay home, because I’ve been a rather “fun mom” for several days in a row, including taking the big kids to do fun stuff in the morning while Jonah is in summer school. And I just needed to be home to get some crap done, ya know?

So  of course, Jonah said, “I wanna go to the pool and go swimming.” and “I gotta go swimming!” and “I gotta go to the pool.” about 679 times this afternoon. He also put his shoes and socks on and said “I wanna go bye bye!” and I said “Where do you want to go?” and he said “I wanna go to the pool!” I promised him we will go tomorrow (unless it rains).

But anyway. Before all this communication about the POOL, we were at speech therapy, and he did a pretty good job cooperating. When we were done, he said to his SLP, “Bye, see you next week!” Then he went to the top of the stairs and said, “I’m going downstairs now, Mom.”

Kristen, his SLP, looked at me and said, “Wow, Jenny. You must be feeling…you must really be feeling good about him!”

And I almost didn’t know what to say back. Because the truth is I have a hard time letting myself feel good and encouraged. I am not sure why, but maybe it’s because I know there is so much work left to do still and I don’t want to allow myself to slack off or let him get off pace. So when she looked at me and said that and I saw on her face such an expression of happiness, I let go a little bit. I let myself feel it. I smiled back and said, “Yes, I am. I am feeling really good.” And I realized it was true.

I am so proud of my boy, proud of what we’ve done together. I can honestly say I wish there was no more work to do, but just seeing him make progress like this lately helps me know that we will get there.

Just now I was letting him watch a Laurie Berkner video on my phone (look, I get desperate around bedtime, ok?) and without prompting or anything, he looked up at me about halfway through and said “I’m watching a video!” Earlier during our “Mommy-Jonah” time that we do at home to work on speech, he volunteered the information, “I’m having fun!” Those are both new things I’ve not heard him say until this week – and it’s awesome!

So yes. I am feeling good about my boy. And I am trying to just really let myself feel it and enjoy it. Progress, we are a-makin’ it! And it. feels. good.

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Swim Team Win

I’ve written before about our adventures with the kids’ swim team – how Kate’s first year we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, then how we’d grown to love it, and eventually how we’d become a total swim team family.

Today I want to tell you about a swim team moment that will stay in my heart forever.

So, as background, last year Sam was not such a fan of swimming.

Here’s how he spent most of the season.


This year? He loves it. He wants to be at the pool all. the. time.

Last Saturday, Kate and Sam swam in a local invitational (Jenny, “invitational” means there were lots of teams competing against each other). It was an optional meet for our team, and our two were among five kids from the Gators. All season, Sam has been swimming in the “assisted swim” events, which means that he has had a coach-in-training in the pool with him. As the season has progressed, he’s needed less and less assistance and had gotten to the point that the helper really wasn’t even touching him as he swam. None of the coaches-in-training had made it to the invitational, but we were all sure that this time, he could do it on his own.

Before his first event – the 25 meter freestyle – he was pumped and ready to go. Does he not exude confidence?

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(Self-appointed) Coach Kate gave him some tips…

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And he was off.

swim Collage

He did great. He put his face in the water, he kicked, he did “big arms.”

For the first 30-ish meters.

Then he needed a breather, so he swam over to the lane line to hang on. At that point, the other kids (who all had helpers propelling them forward) were nearly to the end of the pool, and Sam was just a little more than halfway there. He looked around and saw that he was in the middle of the pool all alone, and he flipped out.

He clung to the lane line, looked at me and Andy and screamed “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!”

We both tried to reassure him, while at the same time motioned frantically to Kate to jump in the pool. It was probably 10 seconds, but felt like forever.

She had been standing by at the ready, and when we gave her the high sign she dove in and was by his side within seconds. When she reached him, I heard her say “Hi buddy, need some help?”

With Kate there, Sam decided to give it a go. As he swam – the only kid in the pool – all the parents, coaches, and other swimmers encouraged him. When he finally reached the end of the pool, the entire place broke into cheers and applause.

I was in tears.

Days later, I still can’t talk about it (or, evidently even write about it) without getting choked up.

I don’t know what it was, exactly, that made it such an emotional experience for me. I guess it was just the combination of things – seeing Sam in distress, watching Kate respond so quickly and assuredly, and witnessing so many people – complete strangers – support and hearten my little boy… it about did me in.

It’s something I will never, ever forget.

And when Sam’s backstroke event came around, Kate wasn’t taking any chances. She was right beside him, just in case.

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That’s really all I want for them. To know the other is there, just in case.

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