Posts Tagged ‘Tent’

The Bed Tent Saga Update Part Four

(The one in which I include lots of videos of Paul and Elliot setting up The Safety Sleeper …)

Anyone still with me? I hope it’s okay to split this story up into several updates. A little annoying, yes. But otherwise the post would have been so long … so thanks for bearing with me.

Since you’ve been so patiently waiting, I want to start this post out by showing you the photo of Chloe’s all-finished, all-put-together, ready-to-sleep-in bed:

We are LOVING it!

(Just for the record: Yes, I know Chloe needs a pretty little bedskirt now … just haven’t made that happen yet.)

Chloe was thrilled and excited while she waited for the bed to be assembled:

Continuing from Part Three, Elliot and Paul worked together to put Chloe’s bed together. It took no time at all. No instructions were needed. Just match the poles and slip on the tent, zip the zippers, insert the mattress, and voila! Great new safe bed!

<insert Hallelujah chorus –opera style>

It was fun to watch Elliot and Paul set up the bed. Paul said the job could easily be a one-man job, but that it was certainly nice to have a second person.

Did you notice Elliot’s comments in the video above about the “worth” of The Safety Sleeper?? If not, start watching at 1:20 and listen to him explain exactly how much he thinks this bed is worth! Again, wisdom from my 12 year old! He knows the value of sleep and safety — he’s been watching our struggle for a long time! And just so you know, we are nearing the month he refers to! That makes this bed worth a whole lot!! ūüôā

And I must say that the first night I put Chloe in that bed, zipped it up, and walked out of her room, the peace that flooded over me was so tangible and new that I stopped in the hallway, leaned against the wall, and closed my eyes, relishing in the moment. It seriously took my breath away for a minute. It has been a long time since I felt a peace and a comfort and a confidence that my daughter was going to be safe in her bed. In fact, it had been so long since I had felt that feeling that I honestly did not even remember what it felt like. Actually the last time I experienced that feeling, I probably just so took it for granted that I didn’t even notice the feeling. Or maybe it’s not even a feeling until you’ve experienced the opposite … not sure. But the feeling was crazy awesome!

And I must say happily and excitedly that I have had that feeling every night for the past three and a half weeks. Every night that I’ve put Chloe to bed in The Safety Sleeper, I have left her with an amazing confidence, knowing that she will be safely in her bed until I get her up. It has been truly amazing!

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*Disclaimer: Rose gave me a good deal on The Safety Sleeper, and I’ll be credited a bit with every buyer who mentions me because I promised that I would talk about it on my blog. But as most of you know by now, I’m gonna tell it how it is! So you know I’m not joshing or exaggerating the truth. The truth is that the¬†bed is incredible, and I have a feeling I’ll be singing its praises for a long, long time! If you visit The Safety Sleeper and if you purchase a bed, be sure to let Rose know I sent you there. ūüôā

The Bed Tent Saga — Update Part Two

Continued from yesterday . . . ¬†You know, I was belly-aching about how terribly our attempts to keep Chloe safe at night have failed over the years. ¬†I may not have mentioned the hundreds of dollars we’ve spent on this whole endeavor. . . whine, whine, whine. ¬†But then I left you hangin’ with a big ol’ tease?? ¬†Remember?? ¬†About our exciting discovery and solution for keeping Chloe safe and in her bed?? ¬†Ahhh, yes, so you do remember! ¬†ūüôā

Well, . . . one day not very long ago, I received a comment on my blog.  The comment was from a mom who had the same struggles that I was having.  The comment asked if I had ever heard of a particular bed tent.  And this mom wanted to know if I had heard of this company because she wanted to know about it before they bought it.  And I was shocked when she included a link to a bed that I had never heard of.

Now, let me assure you . . . I have done lots of homework and lots of research on beds for children with disabilities, but I had somehow missed this one.¬† I immediately clicked on the link, and I immediately fell in love with what I saw! ¬†The bed was amazing! I think I said¬†outloud¬†in my empty house, “I am ordering this TODAY!”

But then I saw the price, and my heart sank. ¬†The price was steep — really steep. ¬†I’ve bought enough of these types of bed tents to know that they are not at all worth that high price. ¬†I realize maybe there’s going to be an exception now and then . . . but so far they’ve all been quite disappointing. ¬†I was very disappointed in the high price and just tried to think about something else.

But I couldn’t get the bed out of my mind.¬† It really looked awesome. ¬†And from the photos, it looked like it was a decent quality bed tent. ¬†And I was a desperate mama.¬† And I looked at the link a few more times. ¬†And then I looked at it a few more times. ¬†As soon as Paul got home, I showed him the link.¬† He was equally as excited to see something that looked so great.¬† But he was equally skeptical about the high price. ¬†<sigh>

But we couldn’t get the bedtent out of our minds. ¬†It really looked awesome. ¬†So I decided to contact the company and have a conversation about the quality and see if I could get any vibes.

And that’s just what I did! ¬†I called and emailed (don’t remember what I did first) expressing interest in the bed and wanting to talk to someone about it. ¬†I think it was the same day that I heard back from Rose, the owner of the company. ¬†Impressive and fast!

Rose was darling. ¬†She is the mom of a child with a disability who was faced with the same issues we were facing. ¬†But she had an idea and she had a friend who had some great skill and some quality materials. ¬†And this friend agreed to make a bed for Rose’s son several years ago. ¬†I won’t attempt to tell the company’s story here (since you can read about it on their website later), but what happened is that Rose’s friend made a great bed that kept her son safe at night. ¬†And knowing what a common problem this is for families in the disability community, Rose decided to make more beds and start her own company to do so.

Rose talked about the quality of the bed. . . and it sounded awesome! ¬†I complained about the flimsy mesh of the other products I’ve tried, and she completely understood my concerns. ¬†She explained that the first mesh product they used was the mesh that is used on those big ol bounce houses. ¬†I was impressed picturing that high-quality mesh. ¬†But then she said that now they use a heavier-duty mesh than that — the mesh that they use on a tractor trailer to cover and protect his load. ¬†Wow. ¬†Now that’s heavy-duty mesh! ¬†I was getting more and more excited the more she talked!!

Another amazing thing that Rose told me that day was that her son had one of the very first beds that they made several years ago — several years ago — and it wasn’t even made correctly; it was a prototype that wasn’t really even the right size for a twin mattress. ¬†But that prototype?? ¬†Her son had been sleeping in it for several years. ¬†Years. ¬†Yes, I said years!! ¬†What?? ¬†A safe sleep solution that is going to last years??!! ¬†The cost was looking more and more reasonable all the time.

And Paul and I were beside ourselves excited!  And we had. to. have. one.

To be continued . . .

(If the suspense is too much for you, check out http://thesafetysleeper.com/.  Be forewarned:  you will fall in love! Be sure to let Rose know that I sent you.  And check back here tomorrow for the rest of the story.)

The Bed Tent Saga — Update

This bed tent saga has been going on now for years . . . . ¬†It is the challenge of trying to keep Chloe safely in her bed all night. ¬†It often takes Chloe hours to fall asleep, and sometimes she awakens in the night and stays awake for hours. ¬†She doesn’t have judgement for what are good choices and what are bad choices. ¬†She doesn’t fear danger and doesn’t seem to care much for what’s safe or not safe. ¬†When she is awake and milling about, she is silent so we usually don’t even know she’s on the move. ¬†She has been known to wander out of her room . . . out of the house . . . . ¬†And we have struggled for years on how to keep her safely contained during the night.

Our story has included several tents, several constructed bed-things, lots of duct tape and caribiners, broken zippers, ripped mesh liners . . . I could go on and on trying to catch you up on our saga. ¬†The photo below of all the tents . . . ummm, yeah, I think we’ve tried about that many . . .

Tents at the camping site at the Lowlands fest...

Image via Wikipedia

And this whole bed tent / special needs bed / safe sleep for children with disabilities has remained the number one way that people find my blog.  It is a huge need in the disability community.  And in the past years, our options have been few.

I have not kept you updated on our bedtent saga lately because I was not at all excited about where it was and where it was headed.  Everything we have continued to try has failed miserably.  My precious girl has continued to get out of her bed, have a little party in her room, and get very little sleep.  Very. little. sleep.

Very little sleep doesn’t make for a good day at school.¬† Just sayin’.

I, too, have continued to lose sleep from checking on her numerous times each night and worrying about her every night.  Paul and I and our sitters have continued to try creative ways to keep Chloe safe at night.  But most nights we have failed miserably, and Chloe has gotten out and proceeded to party as mentioned above.

Thankfully, most of her middle-of-the-night parties have stayed in her room lately, which has not always been the case.¬† Safety has not at all been guaranteed.¬† And that really affects a mama’s sleep!

And very little sleep doesn’t make for a good day for a mama either.¬† Just sayin’.

We repaired the Nickel Bed Tent over and over and over.¬† The flimsy mesh of the tent continued to just rip to shreds.¬† I had to sew a piece of fabric over the door after Chloe completely ripped it up.¬† And when she tore that up, I finally had to cover the whole door in duct tape.¬† (I didn’t take photos of any of this because I was NOT having fun and wasn’t in the mood to talk about it.¬† Sorry.)¬† The zippers continued to break . . . .¬† Paul kept fixing them and rigging them.¬† But finally we admitted that it was time to put the Nickel to rest for good.

But now what?

Well, Paul bought a little 2 man camping tent from Walmart, and we put Chloe’s mattress on the floor of the tent.¬† This worked for a while.¬† I was never wild about the arrangement since camping tents are mostly canvas (or whatever that material is) with mesh only on the windows and doors for the most part.¬† I didn’t like the lack of ventilation — I was always worried that she would be hot in the tent.¬† Also, most nights instead of sleeping on her soft mattress, Chloe would sleep on the plasticky canvas by the door of the tent beside her mattress!¬† It drove me bananas.¬† Every night I would remind her to stay up on the soft mattress. . . . Ugh.¬† I did not like using the camping tent at all. ¬†I didn’t feel that it was a very safe option for Chloe. ¬†And the zipper broke before too long, and we found ourselves having to rig the thing up every night, hoping that the tent would contain her and keep her safe.¬† But most nights it did not. ¬†She escaped and escaped and escaped.

It is very difficult to relax and sleep when you are not sure that your daughter is safe.¬† Don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that or not, but trust me on this one.

Knowing that so many of you experience the same. exact. scenario. every. night, I really wished I could come up with a wonderful and safe solution for our children. ¬†But each night that Paul and I were defeated in our struggle, it got more and more frustrating. ¬†And it is simply a terrible feeling ¬†not being able to ensure your child’s safety.

OH, but friends!!

I have some news for you!!  For a week now, we have put Chloe to bed and then turned and walked out of her room, knowing without a doubt that she was going to be right there safe in her bed when we woke up in the morning.  For an entire week, I have not checked on her one time!  Not once!  I seriously cannot ever remember going even a night without checking on her multiple times!  I am excited to share the news with you about what we discovered!

(But if I told you about itnow, this post would be TOO LONG!  So you have to come back here and read about it tomorrow.  And I will try to be patient and not spill the beans before then!)

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