Creating a costume that plays off the baby carrier is one we babywearing parents cannot resist! We get to show off our ingenuity and our babywearing skills; we get to reap all the benefits of keeping baby content and comfortable in the extra excitement of Halloween night; and now there is the added incentive of entering your babywearing costume in my contest to win a free woven wrap!
Over the years that I’ve been running this contest, I have amassed what I believe to be the greatest collection of babywearing costumes known to the internet. Read More
Guest Post by Kita Wolfe for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
When asked about our current pregnancy and why we call her our rainbow baby, I can’t help but wish that I could just walk away sometimes. But most of the time, I’m open and welcome to sharing a small part of how this baby came to us. A simple “we lost babies before her, she’s our rainbow after the storm!”, is usually how I leave it until they ask more questions.
Often, I’ll run into another mother who has recently lost a pregnancy and feels comfortable with sharing that information after I share mine. It makes me want to bawl. Read More
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya is both a children’s biography of the Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize and a work of ecological and humanitarian inspiration that shows children that you can make a difference one person, one family, or one tree at a time. Read More
The push to normalize breastfeeding isn’t intended to embarrass or minimize the ways that any parents feed their babies. There are important reasons to normalize breastfeeding: breastfeeding can improve health in babies and mothers, can decrease infant mortality, and can ease poverty.
Another in my series of themed costumes for babywearers. This post highlights costumes with the baby as an inanimate objects. You would be surprised at the possibilities when you start brainstorming, and hopefully the pictures of these creative families will get the wheels turning for you! And be sure to submit a photo of your babywearing costume to my contest to possibly win a wrap!
I loved this photo of Heather so much that I had to make a blog post just for it. I think it embodies how we all have felt when a much anticipated wrap came to our door, or when we tried it out and found out how happy it made ourselves and our babies!
The giant smiles.
The patented flash in the mirror/toilet in the background shot.
David & Cassidy a couple of months before he turned 2.
My baby turns 2 years old tomorrow. This time two years ago I was quietly sitting in bed and smiling because I knew I was having a baby. My husband’s mother came over to stay with our sleeping girls, and David and I sneaked out of the RV, where we lived, and into the living room of our house that was for sale, where he set up a birth pool, my mother and the midwife were called, and baby and I got on with the business of birth. (Would you want to know if babies were born in the house that you are buying? 3 babies were born in this one.)
When the sun came up, and the baby came out, he was a little boy named Cassidy. It took a few months for things to settle down enough to start to get to know him. Is that awful? It was crazy trying to coexist with a newborn and a 1 year old, plus the 6 year old, while David was releasing a CD (I missed the CD release party when Cassidy was 2 days old) and still working his full time day job while we transitioned to living on the road like a pack of wild dogs or dirty gypsies. Thank goodness for family, in which David and I, and our children, have all been particularly blessed.
But I’m getting distracted by reverie. You can read his birth story here (I don’t have to write it again). My point was that Cassidy is two years old, and I don’t expect to have any more children.
We did a photo shoot a couple of months ago to get some wrap shots for our family business and I am so glad we did because the artist at Remarkable Photography (also known as Lee Anne) captured some of the best shots of our family, the only professional photos we have, and I didn’t know it at the time, but only a few weeks later Cassidy would become too grown up for wrapping.
My family, photographed by Remarkable Photography.
He’s so grown up now, his big sister (3 years old) is more likely to let me wrap her up. “Please,” I’ll say. “Please let me wrap you up–we can make a wrap video!” Nope.
big sister Annabelle, 3 years old
He was sick this week though, and that won me permission to wrap him a couple of more times. This morning we were going to go for a walk and he just wasn’t up to walking. “David,” I said, “Cassidy’s asking me to wrap him up–I think we’d better make a video. Quick, before he changes his mind!”
Cassidy not feeling well, wrapped up in the Breeze Ada wrap
But over the past month, I have rarely wrapped at all. I celebrate every moment of his independence (at least, the ones that don’t make me want to cry or tear my hair out), but I do feel a twinge about the fact that wrapping is slipping into my history. And it got me thinking about my wraps. What should I do with them?
Grandbabies. Yes, once your youngest turns two, it is officially time to think about becoming a grandmother. I don’t want to sell or give away my wraps. I want to give them to my children to wear their babies. And I will absolutely be borrowing them when I babysit. I am suddenly in exuberant anticipation of something that is about 20 years in my future. Oh, the future is bright and cuddly!
EllaRoo Mary was my first wrap, and I have wrapped all three of my children in it. That one’s a legacy wrap for sure.
Cassidy and I wrapped up in Mary EllaRoo
Annabelle takes a break from nursing to let me gaze at her 3 years ago.
Ada, age 4, taking a break on daddy's back at Busch Gardens
My Breeze Ada, the fairy wrap that my daughter Ada and I designed together. That one has been used to carry Annabelle and Cassidy, and that one will go to one of my children.
Cassidy on my back in Breeze Ada, in the North Carolina woods
Annabelle and I in our fairy wrap
And…the Inka Storchenwiege that I sold to a friend a few months ago because I didn’t need so many wraps anymore. How could I? What was I thinking?
Nursing Ada at the beach 8 years ago in Inka
It’s not the same Inka that I wore Ada in 7 or 8 years ago. But when I had my second baby, I missed having a gorgeous Inka and I bought another one–one that I wore both Annabelle and Cassidy in countless times. Interestingly enough, the first Inka I had was bought used, and then I sold it back to the original owner who had seller’s remorse for sentimental reasons. Hmm….
I emailed Lynnde, begged her to trade me, and today, just in time for Cassidy’s birthday, Inka came home, complete with the note you see in the picture.
Inka comes home!
One day I will go through all of our digital pictures (and all our actual photo albums when it comes to Ada’s baby pictures from before we had a digital camera or phones that took pictures) and do a tribute post to Inka, because that wrap has been present for so many wonderful family moments.
Annabelle loves Inka, too!
Cassidy and I swinging in an Inka swing Easter 2012
Cassidy snoozing in Inka while the girls play in the Mississippi mud
In the meantime, Happy Birthday darling Cassidy, sweet little gentleman. I love your curls and your laugh, your face when you’re being tricky, and your voice when you tell me you love me. I love the way you talk to your sisters, your agreeable nature and sunny disposition. I love your little round nose and your little round toes, the songs that you sing, and the way you flap your arms when you run through the house. I love to wrap you up, and I love to nurse you down. I love putting your shoes on while you sit on my lap and kick your legs. I love dawdling through the parking lot so you can read the letters and numbers on every license plate. I loved bringing you into this world, and I love every day we spend together.
Do you have an opinion on what sort of mom is best? Live it. Be the change you want to see in the world. Ooze your ideals as you nurture your babies and raise your children. Unashamedly act on your convictions at home and in public. Let your confidence subdue imagined criticisms and allow you to smile compassionately at the real ones. No need to defend yourself or explain yourself, and no need for others to defend or explain themselves. Your quiet confidence, your peaceful demeanor and happy family will speak for themselves. And sometimes strangers will look in and see the madhouse that your family often is, but if you know that happiness and peace underlie the madness, then wave cheerfully at the strangers and stride forward with your family, unafraid or abashed. There is no one else fit to mother your children. No one else knows the intimacies of your family, no else cares as much about the daily happiness or long term success of your family. No one else is qualified. Happy Mothers Day, Mama!
I have a baby, a toddler, and a seven year old. This spectrum of ages gives me some perspective that I didn’t have when my eldest was younger, and it occurs to me that these concepts compliment and build off each other:
When your baby cries, realize he or she is communicating a need. He doesn’t have words, and crying is how he tells you something is wrong.
When your toddler cries, screams, or tantrums, realize that he or she is communicating a need. Her emotions are bigger than her vocabulary and sometimes she doesn’t even know what is wrong, just that something is. Even if you don’t know what’s wrong, you can help her by being patient, calm, and loving so that she knows she is somewhere safe while experiencing scary and overwhelming emotions, and that will allow her to come back into the present moment and calm down when ready.
When your young child “misbehaves” or acts out, realize that he or she is communicating a need. His emotions are bigger than his ability to handle them gracefully, maybe because he’s hungry or tired, or under some other physical stress, because too many things have gone wrong today, or even because something has keyed him into some scary incident in his past that he doesn’t realize is affecting him. The same thing happens to me when I’m not at my prime–I react to unruly kids in ways that I resolved not to, ways that are not graceful or appropriate or helpful. I misbehave, too. You can help me at these times, and you can help your child the same way, by staying patient and calm and loving so that we know we are with someone safe until we feel safe enough to snap out of it and join you in civilized behavior. Sometimes if my husband just silently pulls me in for a long, full hug, that does the trick. You can try the same with your son or daughter. Understand that this is not his usual face, that he is stressed. The better you get at being a good listener and the less advice you offer, the less of that behavior you will see because you will have provided a safe outlet for when things are rough.
Likewise, if your baby bites you, or won’t leave the outlets alone, or pulls your hair, you know that she is learning and experimenting and it is your responsibility to keep yourself safe from her, and her safe from everything else so that she can safely explore. When she continues to do these things despite repeated reminders, you know that it is developmentally appropriate 🙂
If your toddler draws on the wall, pulls the cat’s tail, and keeps getting sticks of butter out of the fridge, unwrapping them, carrying them around in his sweaty little hand, then leaving them around the house (What? No, it’s just a random, common example), you can remind yourself that he is learning how to cause effects in his world, practicing how to do things for himself, experimenting with self-determinism and feeling the waters of interpersonal relations. It is your responsibility to set a good example and part of that good example is how to handle unplanned messes and disappointments gracefully. When he fails to stop drawing on the wall when you come in and say, “No, stop that–STOP THAT!” then you remind yourself that this, too, is developmentally appropriate. It is your job to stop him if it’s unacceptable, and it’s also your job to attempt to do it without bruising his self esteem, pride in his work, trust in you, or peace of mind. Because that’s a parent’s impossible job, and the more often we manage it, the sooner our toddlers will grow into responsible and caring children that can be trusted with markers, cats, and the contents of the refrigerator.
If your young child leaves a mess, breaks her possessions, or disobeys direct instructions, remind yourself of how far she has come, how much she has learned, and how much easier she is to live with…than when she was a toddler. Learn to take deep breaths and think before you act. Think back to this blog post when I told you that the more independence you can grant her, the better you can listen to her, the more ways you can find to accept help from her the way she wants to offer it, the more ways you can find to appreciate her, and the more you can refrain from controlling her, the sooner she will improve on all fronts and blossom into the sweet, thoughtful, responsible and trustworthy person you know she is. Every time you put more attention on what she’s doing right, instead of wrong, that’s when you will see her doing more right. And as always, it is your job to set a good example. She will show you respect when she sees you respecting her needs, objections, crises, contributions, explanations, and bright ideas. She will become responsible for her messes, possessions, and obligations as you model responsibility be behaving consistently toward her and in your dealings with others (they are always watching). Your thoughtful and caring actions towards her, will inspire her to think of how you might feel about her actions. Be honest and frank in your communication and in your love. Listen to her, and you will find her listening to you.
And most of all, remember that mothers who blog about how to mother, are subject to all the pitfalls that you are. Lucky for me, this post was about some ideals to operate from, and not about the facts of my parenting wins and fails. These are my beliefs, and when I am calm and all my children are asleep, I think about these ideas and smile peacefully. In the morning I will do my best to operate from them. I think operating with loving intention is an awfully good start.
I don’t like spreading nasty news. I try to avoid it. But when there such heinous crime going unmentioned in our very midst, and when most of us are supporting these companies and using their products without anyone’s bothering to mention the horror that we are contributing to, it is time to spread the word.
Do not think that your Valentines or Easter, or your child’s enjoyment of a holiday are more important than the fact that someone else’s child has been kidnapped and made a slave. Don’t think of the broader issue. Think of that child and how that child’s mother must feel. Think of your own child–full of fascinating and irreplaceable ideas, thoughts, feelings, and purposes–robbed of freedom, and of family.
But you know, there are plenty of sources of chocolate that are not criminal. Please remember them when you purchase your casual or holiday treats. Think of the difference it makes to someone out there.
This week I am indulging in a rich, decadent, Western luxury and sending delicious chocolate to my customers in celebration of a holiday most of us can recognize as a pretty commercial construct. I don’t think anyone should feel guilty about chocolate. Just don’t buy chocolate you need to feel guilty about. Please.
My first little wrapling is now a tall, strong, talkative girl who is about to have her seventh birthday! For those of you who are still in babyland, you might like to know that she is much easier than she used to be, a great help to me with the little ones, and very sweet company. Worth all the sleepless nights! Happy birthday, Ada!