This is a Sponsored Post.
A few years ago we had a lovely couple who were visiting our church, around for a meal. I remember it because they were parenting gurus, and I was super stressed that our kids would do terrible things and a Super Nanny kind of intervention might occur. Thankfully though, the kids were very well-behaved and the biggest dilemma of the night was that Boatman cooked too much food, and I burnt the rolls.
Anyway, in the course of the evening, they started talking about a lady they knew who had a whole bunch of special needs foster kids. I only had two (not special needs, but definitely special) kids at the time, and they were hard enough work, so I thought she was pretty amazing, this woman, whoever she was.
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve got a couple more kids as well as a blog, and nice little link up, and one day I get a tweet, asking me if I knew a ‘Mrs Grosser.’ Turned out the super mum who I was pretty sure must be the most amazing person in the world, was also a fellow blogger and sometime IBOT linker.
You might know her from The Bumpiest Path.
She’s a pretty amazing woman, that Jules. I had the good forune of meeting her in person at the Digital Parents Conference last year, and she didn’t fail to disappoint. You know how some people you just feel a kinship with straight away? That’s what it was like with Jules. I admire her and what she does, but more importantly I adore her and who she is. A beautiful, straight down to earth, won’t put up with crap, but has the biggest heart, kind of purpose. (Check out her plan to help provide foster kids with more dignity.)
Now this isn’t a product review on Jules, because unfortunately she is not for sale. Or lease. Which is a pity, because I could quite happily hire her for a coffee at leaf once a week. But she did ask me if I would write a little something about her online store Bumpy Land. In the interest of full disclosure, she did send us some gifties from the store, but I would have happily done it anyway.
As a parent, I’ve been reasonably lucky in what I’ve been dealt. Apart from a bit of milk intolerance, and some ear problems, all my kids have been reasonably healthy. None of them have any learning difficulties, and the biggest issues we face are extreme shyness which can border on rudeness. I’ve never had any direct experience with sensory issues, or excessive chewing or anything like that. (I do have a couple of thumb suckers though that at this rate, I fear may still be doing it in high school.) Jules has however, which is why she began BumpyLand in the first place.
Having a range of kids with different issues she has seen a lot, and she has drawn on that experience to provide a store that meets many of those needs.
That experience, is vital. I remember when I had Taylah, I thought I knew everything about every child ever. I never considered it, but if I had, I’m sure I would have had the confidence to stock a store with every toy a parent would ever need. In my opinion that is. 🙂
The more kids I’ve had, the more I realise I don’t actually know very much about anything, but I do know my kids well. I know what make’s Newman’s tick, and I know what I’ve found helpful. I could probably stock a store based on that, but I would miss a lot of gaps because I’m only coming at it with my experience.
Jules is coming with hers, and that includes a whole bunch of foster kids from different backgrounds, different gene pools, and different predispositions. That means she has tried a lot, and therefore has a lot to give. BumpyLand is a store that’s been born out of experience, love, and (I’m guessing) a bit of blood, sweat and tears.
It’s not all special needs stuff; there’s a lot of fun teethers, toys, food containers, and puzzles. It’s definitely worth a look at for the next time you need something for you, or a friend. It’s pretty much a one stop shop where you know everything has been considered useful by a parent, and not some corporate company wanting to make a buck. And if you need proof of that, just check out Jules’s Ikea like testing methods. 🙂
More than just a store however, BumpyLand is Jules’s heart online. It’s her way of giving back (although she does that in spades), and helping those who need to know someone has walked a bumpy path and gotten through to the other side. And who can put a price on that?