Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

1. My stomach has had its fill of sweets.
2. Pie is what I ate the most of on Thursday.
3. The yard is a measurement 3 feet long.
4. With McKay is where I'd rather be at any given time.
5. The smell of turkey reminds me of baby poop (honestly, while we were cooking turkey yesterday I kept thinking, "Did Margaret poop again?".
6. To decorate the house, fold some laundry, make a pie, take a shower, and do a few dishes is what I need right now!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to McKay coming home early from work, tomorrow my plans include lazying around- probably knitting and Sunday, I want to play the piano!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

Brightonwoman challenged us to come up with 365 things that we're thankful for (see the blinkie on the sidebar?). It's long and you don't have to read it all to still be my friend. :)

I'm thankful for...

  1. McKay. I've already raved how appreciate his undying support of me- but I'll reiterate- no one I've ever met has been so supportive in all my decisions than he has been.
  2. And I'm thankful for his patience
  3. and kindness
  4. and calmness
  5. and talking nerdy with him. :)
  6. Margaret. I am amazed at her all the time.
  7. and I'm grateful how calm she is
  8. and that she lets us sleep and gets sleep herself
  9. and that she knows what a potty is for
  10. Our good health
  11. Our home. We've lived in this studio apartment for two years (I really hate moving). It's warm, inexpensive, seen the birth of a baby, and just perfect for us.
  12. And that we have a heater/air conditioner unit
  13. and an electric oven (I don't like gas ones)
  14. God
  15. Jesus Christ
  16. Holy Ghost
  17. McKay's job.
  18. and his work ethic
  19. No debt. Despite the economy, we have no debts. No mortgage, no car payments, no school loans, no credit card debt.
  20. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Sometimes you don't know what will be a catalyst for a paradigm shift. This book is where I started to learn that women are stronger than we are led to think.
  21. Breasts. Margaret is a 20 pound baby. She's had a few solids, but 99% of her nutrition is still from me.
  22. Priesthood blessings when I'm stressed
  23. or in labor
  24. or when Margaret is hurt or sick
  25. My Patriarchal blessing
  26. and that it reminds me that I have a mission here
  27. Le Leche League. I've found friends and unlimited support through LLL.
  28. My mother-in-law who has defended me to other family members. Thanks for the support!
  29. Family
  30. Friends
  31. That I am literate
  32. The Internet. I might be the only person who still capitalizes that word.
  33. Thanksgiving break. It was because of Thanksgiving break and having no roommates or anyone else to talk to that I started talking to McKay 3 years ago.
  34. Sheep. They make wool. Wool makes yarn- magic yarn, to be specific.
  35. My legs. I love being able to walk everywhere.
  36. Project: Pigeon Hole. It's nice to discover your life's work at the age of 21.
  37. The callings I've had. I was told once that I would appreciate every calling I'll have.
  38. Charles Schulz for creating Peanuts
  39. Knitting
  40. Hymns
  41. March 25 and 26, 2008. McKay and I relaxed together while waiting for Margaret to come. Those evenings were filled with gentle music, meditation and McKay combing my hair for me. :) I cherish our last days as a couple.
  42. March 27. Nothing as exciting as going into labor!
  43. Our spaghetti pot. It was helpful in boiling water for the labor and for defrosting our turkey this year
  44. ECing- probably averaging 2-3 poopy diapers a week while averaging 2-3 poops in the potty a day.
  45. Ravelry.
  46. Free knitting patterns
  47. Yarn on sale/clearance
  48. Desserts
  49. Warm shoes to wear
  50. The piano
  51. Email
  52. Getting letters in the mail.
  53. Getting packages in the mail.
  54. Waterparks
  55. Double pointed knitting needles (aka dpns)
  56. Hats
  57. Winter
  58. Spring
  59. Summer
  60. Fall
  61. Airplanes
  62. Cloth diapers
  63. Tea tree oil
  64. Lemonade
  65. Mint ice cream
  66. Cookies'n'cream
  67. General Conference
  68. AM radio
  69. Hair cuts
  70. Oue new car
  71. Suffrage
  72. Garage sales
  73. Color guard
  74. Marching band
  75. Towels
  76. The Restoration
  77. Recycling
  78. Working at the elementary school last year
  79. Maternity clothes
  80. Feminists
  81. The Holy Bible
  82. The Book of Mormon
  83. Doctrine and Covenants
  84. The Pearl of Great Price
  85. Prayer
  86. Slings
  87. Wraps
  88. My sewing machine
  89. Cameras
  90. Libraries
  91. Lavender
  92. Journal
  93. Lists
  94. Vacuum cleaners
  95. Vinegar
  96. Peroxide
  97. Baking Soda
  98. Hiking
  99. Pies
  100. Our marriage
  101. Modern day revelation
  102. Personal revelation
  103. that the General Conference talks are available as mp3s. Now dishes will be less of a chore.
  104. Photos
  105. Videos- being able to videotape Margaret
  106. Relief Society
  107. and visiting teaching
  108. Thrift Stores
  109. Support from friends/family
  110. Cajun Seasonings
  111. Agency
  112. Music in general
  113. and also 80's music
  114. and techno
  115. and general dance music
  116. and dancing
  117. Holidays
  118. When McKay doesn't have homework
  119. Living in walking distance of the laundromat
  120. and the grocery store
  121. and the library
  122. and the church building
  123. and to campus
  124. and the park
  125. and the yarn store
  126. the wealth of knowledge you can find on the Internet
  127. Google
  128. my education
  129. General Ed Classes
  130. Math classes
  131. Professors I've had including Dr. Forcade,
  132. Jeff Humpheries,
  133. Tom Plummer,
  134. and Zina Petersen
  135. Pools
  136. and swimming
  137. Instant messaging
  138. Google Chat
  139. Skype
  140. The other bloggers out there
  141. Movies like It's a Wonderful Life
  142. and Galaxy Quest
  143. Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
  144. Knitting KALs
  145. Swaps
  146. The newspaper
  147. New snow
  148. the light green tint of trees with budding leaves
  149. couches
  150. computers
  151. birthdays
  152. cake
  153. and pies :)
  154. buttons
  155. our cell phone
  156. current gas prices
  157. Christmas
  158. Easter
  159. our exercise ball- bouncing on it rocks Margaret to sleep!
  160. the Boppy
  161. audio commentaries of movies (gave me something to o during Margaret's early days of eat and sleep)
  162. nightlights- made it easier to learn how to latch Margaret on at night = more sleep for both of us!
  163. cookbooks
  164. calendars
  165. flowers
  166. wreaths
  167. "how to" sites on the Internet
  168. fast food- when you need a break from cooking
  169. stores that are open at 2 in the morning
  170. Magazines- sometimes you just need a quick read
  171. fabric
  172. yarn in general (I know I mentioned wool somewhere up there- this is different, somehow)
  173. Dreams
  174. High school Yearbooks
  175. Free stuff
  176. Coupons
  177. Sidewalks
  178. Rollerblades
  179. Bicycles
  180. Traffic laws
  181. The sun
  182. clouds
  183. the sky
  184. Stars
  185. the Moon
  186. Patterns
  187. Public Transportation
  188. Trains
  189. President Monson
  190. Temples
  191. Geneology
  192. Painting
  193. Fingerpaints
  194. Sidewalk Chalk
  195. Museums
  196. The Bill of Rights
  197. apples
  198. Stories
  199. Our bathtub and shower
  200. Running water
  201. Indoor plumbing
  202. that we live on the first floor
  203. That noone's going to read this whole thing
  204. Clocks- I think they're pretty
  205. Dishes
  206. Wireless Internet
  207. National mailing service
  208. Flashlights
  209. That our diaper bag has pockets, unlike our previous one
  210. Seatbelts
  211. Carseats
  212. 4 doors on our car
  213. Each door has a working handle
  214. And locks!
  215. The ability to be a SAHM for Margaret
  216. sourdough starter
  217. Wind and solar power
  218. finding pennies on the ground
  219. Crayons
  220. Paper
  221. Pencils
  222. Obama's future presidency
  223. That parking at our apartment is enforced
  224. the cinderblock walls so our neighbors don't hear Margaret when she's upset
  225. glasses
  226. contacts
  227. electricity
  228. that our kitchen cabinets are white- they look cleaner this way
  229. aluminum foil
  230. warm, fresh out of the dryer towels
  231. warm, dry feet
  232. warm bed
  233. alarm clocks
  234. Facebook
  235. the Gospel
  236. Paul the apostle
  237. Enoch and his city
  238. the Spirit of Elijah
  239. Eve
  240. Primary songs
  241. that our laundry bag has a shoulder strap for carrying on my back
  242. circular knitting needles
  243. energy efficient lightbulbs
  244. chalkboards
  245. Breastfeeding-friendly establishments
  246. movie theaters
  247. shade on a hot day
  248. cool breezes on a hot day
  249. inch worms, because they're funny
  250. Rolly Pollies/Pill Bugs
  251. Old Spice
  252. Shoulder Massage
  253. Foot Massages
  254. Oxytocin
  255. Lanolin
  256. A good night's rest
  257. Curly hair
  258. Snow angels
  259. Butterflies
  260. Icicles
  261. Chicago Field Museum
  262. Aquariums
  263. Art museums
  264. Sculpture
  265. Oil paintings
  266. Photo editing software
  267. The Big Dipper
  268. Orion
  269. The Little Dipper
  270. Pleiades
  271. Mythology
  272. Lord of the Rings
  273. The Hobbit
  274. The Silmarillion
  275. Little Women
  276. Flatland
  277. The Scarlet Pimpernel
  278. A ton more books
  279. Word processors
  280. Notebooks
  281. Carry-on luggage
  282. IKEA
  283. Kohl's
  284. Bridges
  285. Shopko
  286. Rivers
  287. Giants
  288. Travelling
  289. Car trips
  290. Watches
  291. Three-piece suits
  292. Pinstripes
  293. Logic
  294. Binary
  295. Decimal
  296. Stormy days
  297. Lightning storms
  298. Ice skating
  299. Sweaters
  300. Tuesdays (it sounds romantic)
  301. Snow days
  302. Snow plows
  303. Parties
  304. North America
  305. To be able to have children
  306. Twist ties
  307. Beads
  308. Adobe Flash
  309. Shaky knees
  310. Mrs. Smith, my piano teacher
  311. Valleys
  312. The ocean
  313. Rocks
  314. Climbing on rocks
  315. Vineyards
  316. My nose
  317. Oboe
  318. Camping
  319. Tents
  320. Fire
  321. Marshmallows
  322. S'mores
  323. Trees
  324. Fall colors
  325. Sleeping bags
  326. Trampolines
  327. Meditation
  328. Math Team
  329. Science club
  330. Gloves
  331. Socks
  332. Scarves
  333. Ceiling fans
  334. Mirrors
  335. Newton's first law of motion
  336. Newton's second law of motion
  337. Newton's third law of motion
  338. Theory of Relativity
  339. Leibniz
  340. Newton
  341. Einstein
  342. Stories about Richard Feynman
  343. Integration
  344. Derivation
  345. Calculus in general
  346. Game shows
  347. Mexican soap operas
  348. The Colbert Report
  349. The Office
  350. A Bug's Life
  351. Closets
  352. Beaches
  353. Tubing
  354. Jack FM
  355. Picnics
  356. Wagons
  357. Cinnamon
  358. Fishies on the bottom of the tub
  359. Rubber duckies
  360. Llamas
  361. Pregnancy
  362. Backlit displays
  363. Wooden spoons
  364. Enthusiasm
  365. Scheduling my blog posts
Woohoo! Done!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friendship

As I've been working on my thankful post to be posted on Thursday, I keep going back to how much I'm thankful for my friends and everyone who has supported me. I really think support is the quality I value most in my dearest friends.

It seemed that in my pregnancy, my friends divided themselves into two groups: those, who when they knew my birthing plans said, "That's great. If you need anything let us know- we can bring meals!" and those who said, "I hope that works out- we'll pray for you."

That last phrase was very disheartening. While I don't mind prayers and I know that the people in that second group were trying to be supportive, it was obvious that they were worried. I really didn't need anymore worry- I had thoroughly examined my options and chose what I felt was best- the worrying was over for me. I wanted to spend the remainder of my pregnancy surrounded by happy vibes. When I look back on those days, especially the three weeks I went past my "due date," the friends that are dearest to me were the ones who didn't question my decision. They trusted me to make my own decisions and supported me no matter the outcome.

The first time that I truly appreciated supportive friends happened a few months into our marriage. I had less than a year to finish up my degree in math, but suddenly one December day, I felt very impressed that math wasn't my mission in life. I decided to finish up my degree and then dedicate my life to Project: Pigeon Hole (which, not surprisingly, is a mathematical principle). I told a few people about PPH. McKay was unflaggingly supportive. He told me that if that's what I wanted to do with my life, then he'll support that. If I needed money to travel or handle other expenses related to PPH, we'd find the money. He knew that PPH would be extensive and probably take the better part of the rest of my life. I really didn't expect that sort of reaction from him. To be honest, I expected the reaction that I received later from other people, "Heather, you come up with these ideas, but you never follow through," and "There's no market for something like that!" But none of those things crossed his mind- or at least he didn't show it. He was 100% on board.

Because of the great support I've received, I try to remember to be just as supportive of others. I really feel that more than anything, support makes a true friend.

Monday, November 24, 2008

USIIS

Last week we got our confirmation letter of de-enrollment from the Utah Statewide Immunization Information System (USIIS).

Ths USIIS is basically a huge database storing all the immunization records for Utah's children. Schools, doctors, and health plans can access it for information. The idea behind it is to prevent children from being over-vaccinated (because that's costly) and so that schools can have easy access to know if a student's vaccinated.

Earlier this year, I emailed the USIIS. I wanted to know if I could access Margaret's records. The response I got back was this:


"At this time the only way for an individual to obtain their immunization record or their children's immunization records from USIIS is to submit a paper form request."

Hmm. It didn't seem right to me that any doctor/school/etc in the state with access to the USIIS can go online, put in a password and see my child's records. I, however, as a parent must "submit a paper form request." Disparities? Yes. It shouldn't be more difficult for a parent to access their child's information than a random doctor who happens to have access.

So we removed her from the system. They were kind enough to let me know that my name is on a list of people who've removed their kids from the system. It's comforting to know that if they decided to get McCarthyist about parents who don't want the government accessing their child's information, I'd be on the list. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lung Capacity linked to breastfeeding

This came out a week ago- thought I'd share it. I've cut and pasted the article here- the original article can be found at Reuters.

Babies' nursing workouts build lung capacity

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The exercise that babies get while suckling at the breast may be an essential component of the respiratory benefits associated with breastfeeding, new research shows.

Dr. Ikechukwu U. Ogbuanu of the University of South Carolina in Columbia and colleagues found that by 10 years old children who were breastfed for 4 months or longer had larger lung capacities than their counterparts who had been nursed for a shorter amount of time or not at all. The breastfed children were also able to expel air from their lungs more quickly.

While the children's speedier exhalations could have been related to the beneficial components of breast milk, "the lung capacity cannot be really explained by the immune factors in the breast milk," Ogbuanu told Reuters Health. Instead, Ogbuanu and his colleagues argue, the harder work required of babies who drink from the breast rather than a bottle is a more likely explanation.

Breastfeeding is known to help protect babies from developing respiratory infections, but studies of whether it may reduce their risk of asthma risk later in life have had mixed results, the researchers write in the journal Thorax. To investigate, they looked at lung function in 1,033 children who were 10 years old, born on the Isle of Wight, and were followed since birth.

The average lung capacity, as measured by the volume of air a child could exhale forcibly, was 54 milliliters greater in those who were breastfed for at least 4 months than in those who were not been breastfed at all. Peak expiratory flow, or the maximum speed at which the air can blown out of the lungs, was 180.8 milliliters per second faster in these children.

The lung function in children who had been breastfed for a shorter amount of time wasn't significantly different from the lung function of children who weren't breastfed at all.

Ogbuanu and his team note that the pressure nursing babies exert on the breast before milk begins to flow is triple that required when drinking from a bottle; nursing sessions also last 8 minutes, on average, compared with 4.4 minutes for bottle feeding. Nursing four to eight times a day "may also help to prepare these children for a lifetime of physical fitness," Ogbuanu said.

The findings suggest that babies who are bottle-fed with pumped breast milk may be missing out, Dr. Wilfried Karmaus, another researcher on the study, told Reuters Health. "We may go just in the wrong direction with the pumping and bottle feeding. That's why it's so important to really clearly consider what's going on there."

Karmaus noted that in Canada and Europe, generous maternity leave policies make it possible for women to directly breastfeed their infants for several months if they choose, while in the U.S. many women must return to work after only a few weeks. Giving U.S. women longer maternity leave might pay for itself in terms of health benefits, such as reductions in obesity, he suggested, calling for an economic analysis to address the issue.



At the end it does quickly mention support for breastfeeding. I've been thinking a lot about support in general- and I've got a breastfeeding support post on my mind. It'll probably show up in the next week. :) Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

I missed last week due to International Babywearing Week. Oh well, here's this week!

1. The last band I saw live was Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband.
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is pie and my Thanksgiving post (I'm only at 18 of 365... must get working).
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is pretty minimal this year- nice and relaxing.
4. Thoughts of finishing the longies I started a couple of days ago fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear a sweater I knit myself- but I don't have time to knit for myself!
6. Bagpipes sometimes sound like many oboes and sometimes like an organ.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to McKay cooking dinner, tomorrow my plans include meeting Chillylint and Sunday, I want to do my visiting teaching!

Holiday Memories

There always was a certain excitement on Easter morning. We would wait upstairs for the "go ahead" to start looking for eggs. Hurrying to get to our baskets, my brother and sister and I paused in the kitchen.

It was a mess. Pieces of torn lettuce were strewn on the floor and table. The reason?

My parents offer this as the reason: "Looks like you didn't leave out carrots and lettuce for the Easter Bunny and he got upset!"

And guess who had to clean it up?

Our Easter Bunny was as vicious and mean-spirited as they come.

When I was in first grade, my parents signed me up for softball in the spring. I was really looking forward to it. I told my parents over and over that I hoped the Easter Bunny would bring me a bat and ball and mitt so I would be ready for the season. They always replied, "I don't think you can request specific things from the Easter Bunny." I, of course, was 7 and didn't care. The night before Easter I wrote the Easter Bunny a note and put it by my basket.

Dear Easter Bunny,
I would like a softball and bat and mitt.
Love,
Heather
I woke up Easter morning all excited. I ran to my basket and found a new note in green crayon.
The Easter Bunny doesn't take requests. I am not Santa!
Ok. Not sure what was up with that since our Easter Bunny obviously felt that he deserved treats like Santa, but didn't take the time to be as personable. My reaction? Well, I was 7, so...

I cried.

A year later I learned the truth about the holiday characters (and Tooth Fairy). I have no clue what my parents were thinking when they made the Easter bunny to be a bitter fiend. Was it some sort of joke for them? Did they enjoy watching us clean the kitchen? I cried! My kids are NOT going to cry over a made up character. And I really don't want that to be the focus of our holidays.

McKay, who enjoyed the fictional characters of his youth, did tell me that our Easter Bunny doesn't have to be vile. This is true. But McKay did go on to mention a cousin who felt deceived and betrayed by his parents when he found out "the truth." I said we really don't know how our kids will react- do we want to risk the chances of having a kid who would feel cheated and lied to?

I think we're skipping out on Santa for our kids. It's just too much.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do it Yourself!

I was originally going to give step by step instructions with pictures, but there are so many other websites that would do it better than me.

The Wrap.
Easiest by far. You can just go get some $1/yard fabric at your favorite big squashing-the-mom-n-pop-stores retailer. I think around 6 yards is good. Like I mentioned yesterday- knitted fabrics stretch more, so they are nice for little babies, but can sag as the baby gets heavier. Woven fabrics are thicker and warmer and don't stretch much. I have both a knit and a woven wrap. The knit one was great in the summer- it was thin and cool. I use the woven one for cooler weather and for back carriers because it doesn't sag. Now you need to decide how wide you want it. If you want to put the baby on your back, I suggest around 30 inches or more in width. My woven one is 30 inches wide and my knitted one is 20, I think- it has stretched and distorted the width. Both of my wraps, knitted and woven, have a serged edge. You could fold over and do a hem, I'm sure, but the serge looks the easiest if you have access to a serger. That's it.

The Sling
Slings take about 2-1/2 to 3 yards. If the fabric has a print on only one side, you might have to double up. There are lots of places for learning to make a sling. The one I used for the one I made for the giveaway is here because I had 45 inch fabric. The instructions were pretty clear and my favorite part of her site is the page that describes lots of different shoulders. I picked one I liked and knew I could sew- and altered it a little to fit my needs. I got the rings from Slingrings.com and used the 3 inch rings.

The Pouch
I'm really curious about MamaToto's pouch sling. You simply use an old T-shirt. If anyone has experience with that, let me know. I think I might make one today for funsies...

Hathor's "Patterns"
click to enlarge
I totally did this first one with some fabric I had sitting around...


Oh and I bet you want to know who won the sling...

Jamie!


I'll contact you and send it on its way!


Happy end of Babywearing Week! Doing a post a day has certainly taken its toll on me. I'm thinking of taking a week break so I can knit and give my knitting blog some much-needed loving. But don't worry- more to come here! And I never can keep these "promises" of taking a break from my blog. I have so many posts on my mind- one in particular with Santa coming in a month- my experience with Holidays and Mythical Creatures. It's definitely making me think twice before playing Santa with my kids.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Types of Carriers

Here are some popular carriers.

The Wrap

The wrap is essentially a long piece of fabric- about 5-7 yards long. You just wrap yourself up and put the baby in. I've found this to be the best carrier with Margaret when she was a newborn. I had used a sling, but she didn't like being scrunched up in the cradle hold- and this can bother some baby's reflux. In the wrap, she was snug up against me upright- exactly how she wanted. The wrap is versatile: baby can be on your front, your back, even your side. I never could figure out how to nurse in the wrap, though. It's nice when Margaret's on my back because I can do the laundry or dishes- no baby in the way! I have both a knit fabric wrap and a woven wrap. Knit ones have more stretch- so they aren't as great for heavier babies because they'll sag. My woven one is thicker- I look forward to using it in the winter. There is a small learning curve in learning how to tie it- but you can go to youtube and search for how to wear a wrap and see many many videos.

Ring Sling


This is about 2-1/2 yards of fabric with 2 rings for adjusting the pouch where the baby sits. I had troubles with this early one because I wasn't sure how to be sure it was secure and fitting right so it wouldn't hurt my back. Once I learned how to put Margaret in facing me like in the wrap, I was able to use it more. I've found slings to be the best for nursing in. You can put the baby in a cradle hold when they're small and bring them sitting up once they have back control. Slings are also great for carrying a toddler on your hip or back- you're going to be carrying them there anyway!

Pouch Sling


The pouch is like a ring sling but without the rings. It's cut to fit the wearer- so it only fits you and other people your size. McKay can't wear the pouch I wear. It was with the pouch that I learned how to turn Margaret facing forward in the sling- and I can now do it with the ring sling because I've practiced with the pouch. All the ring sling positions can work with the pouch. I find it great for going in and out of the car running errands. It's simple to put on, nothing to adjust.


Mei Tai (pic from google images- I don't own one, but I've tried one on)

The Mei Tai (pronounced May Tie) can be used for back, front, and side carries, too. I'd really like to get one of these- I have friends who use these for their toddlers. It's simple and strong. I'm planning on going on etsy to look for one. It's basically a rectangle with straps at each corner that you tie on. Pretty simple.

Tomorrow I'll talk about how to make a carrier to top off Babywearing week!

And one link I didn't put on yesterday's post: Baby "toting" from the 1960's! http://archives.cbc.ca/programs/689-15185/page/5/

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blogs and Sites

Takin' it easy this Sunday. Link post!

Favorite Babywearing Blogs
Hathor the CowGoddess If you want to read the comics that are specifically about babywearing, click on "Constant Contact" under "comics" or "Slinging" under "musings" on the right. Heather Cushman-Dowdee has a new website as of August, but hasn't yet tackled babywearing on it- just the regulars like pregnancy and birth and breastfeeding. :)
Stephanie's Adventures in Babywearing
Brightonwoman let me know that she's done some nice babywearing posts. :) Have some linky love!
Amy is the Crunchy Domestic Goddess- you can search for "babywearing"

Great Sites
MamaToto- Videos for different carries for different ages/sizes of baby, How to Make a Carrier
TheBabyWearer- articles, pictures, reviews
WearstheBaby- I started looking a carriers here and ended up reading about ECing... hmm... How did that happen?

My favorite youtube videos.
Tiny baby and gentle daddy Demonstrates how to put a very tiny baby in a cradle position in a wrap. Plus it's very cute.
When Margaret was little I wanted to put her on my back, but I was nervous about using the wrap because I didn't know if I'd get the support where it was needed. I decided after watching this that I owned a piece of fabric that I could tie- no problem.
Little girl shows us how it's done.

ETA: Motrin response video. Twitter was a wildfire last night!
I just checked Motrin's site, and I couldn't get the offending video to work- maybe they've taken it down.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I need a Tylenol now

So when I planned out my babywearing week, I didn't plan this. So you all get an extra post.

I was Amy who first Twittered it. My friend Emily posted about it. And here are a couple of other posts for kicks and giggles.

To be honest, I don't have much to add to what the amazing people above have already said. I can give you my reaction play by play in purple and italics:

Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion. Fashion? While some carriers are certainly cute, I don't use my baby as an accessory. Babies are people, not bling.

I mean, in theory it’s a great idea. It's a great idea in reality, too.

There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch. Not sure what a schwing is, but you forgot to list Mei Tai ;)

And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free. Who's the "they" here? Because it sounds like you're dissing millions of women all over the world who have been doing this for millennia.

Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience. "Supposedly" is backed by many studies.

They say that babies carried close to the bod tend to cry less than others. You've changed who "they" are. See above studies.

But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t?

I sure do! I'm sure whoever "I" is is being truthful- I can't refute her experience, but in my experience, I've never cried because of babywearing. And implying that babywearing moms cry more- do you have a study for that?

These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back?! There are ways to find carriers and positions that hurt less. Brightonwoman discusses the misunderstanding about bad backs here.

I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid. Ah. Because motherhood is a one-way street. I babywear because of benefits to me also.

Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom. Ah, the fashion thing again. I like how one blogger said it, "if you are shallow enough to think that being a mom is only about the way YOU look doing it, then you missed the whole point of being a mom in the first place."

And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why. Not sure what the point of this was. Aren't you taking Motrin now? Isn't the point of this ad to tell us that with Motrin we will no longer look tired and crazy?


Why don't they mention the pain of lugging a 5 pound bucket seat + 20 pound baby around in their ad? What about carrying your baby in your arms- Margaret definitely feels heavier in my arms than in a carrier where the weight is distributed across my entire back and on my solid child-bearing hips? Or do they expect us to never pick up our babies ever? Probably want us to buy more Motrin.

Sure, motherhood does come with its occasional aches and pains, Motrin, but don't make fun of your target market. Making fun of babywearers isn't going to get you their business. You've certainly lost mine.

Guest Post: My Babywearing Journey

This is by Kim at PraireMama. It's fun when I run into a blogger that I have a lot in common with. With Kim, it's babywearing, homebirthing, knitting and living in Utah. :)

My babywearing journey started a little over 8 years ago.

When my sister-in-law had her 6th baby in 2000, she got this thing. It was some fabric with rings attached and she told me that it was going to be SO great for carrying her baby and getting things done around the house. I was a bit skeptical, but thought it looked kind of cool. I learned that this thing was in fact, a Maya Wrap. She used it a lot, and seemed to like it. So, 2 years later, when I got pregnant with my oldest, and she was done having children (so she thought), she gifted the Maya Wrap to me.

My first baby was born via c-section -- little sucker was footling breech and refused to move-- so I didn't have the mobility that I had hoped to have after her birth. I was amazed at how nice the sling was! I would wear her in it constantly. When she was about 2 months old I finally got wise and stopped taking her carseat into the store with me. For some reason, everytime I got into the store, she would start shrieking. She may have been asleep in the car, and on the way into the store, but we would start walking and BOOM! Wide awake and MAD as all get out. Surely, it is just my child who does that, right? No?? Ok, so then we ALL need slings! I would take her out of her carseat (leave that bucket in the car, imagine that!) and pop her in the sling. She'd sleep through the store and be happy as can be!

As she grew, so did our babywearing. I learned how to nurse her in it, wear her on my side, my back and how to switch positions when she fell asleep or woke up. It was great!

In August of 2003, I found out about the Ergo Baby Carrier. This was a new company that was making a backpack, but that was SOFT and with buckles! I was so excited. My Mom bought it for me as an early (very early) Christmas present. We used it a few times, going to the mailbox or what have you, before our sweet girl died very suddenly.

After her death, I packed away all of my babywearing gear, hoping to be able to use it again someday. Well, one month later, I found out I was pregnant again.

I was ready for this new baby. I had my babywearing gear, and I was happy that I would get to use it again. Well, my sister-in-law -- remember her? She was done?? -- found out she was pregnant a couple months after I did. So...she wanted her Maya Wrap back! AAAHHHH The HUMANITY! I was kind of attached to that wrap, as it was last worn by me with my sweet girl in it, so she let me buy her a new one.

Let me tell you, the two of us were H-O-T HOT wearing our babies! My son was born in June and her daughter in August. When she went into labor in the middle of the night, my baby boy slept peacefully in the sling as I assisted her. She wore her baby around the house for the next 8 days, and then that sweet girl was life flighted to Primary Children's Medical Center and diagnosed with 7 different heart defects. For the next month, that sweet girl was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, her life hanging in the balance. When she was finally able to go home, she was very prone to illness, and any illness could kill her. So, she was always in the sling. If her Mother ventured out, it was with the sweet girl in the sling.

During the last 4 years (and 3 children), I have found many different ways to wear my baby. Whether in a ring sling or pouch sling, a wrap or the Ergo, I love wearing my babies. When my 3rd child was born, my son was 2 years old. It was so nice to have my hands free when he needed me. I have been able to still lift my older child when the baby is in the sling, giving them both the love and cuddles that they need. It keeps my hands free to grab that sweet child that is running for the street. It also frees up my grocery cart for important things, like groceries!

This last May, my Grandmother died. I was 6 months pregnant and had an almost 2 year old little girl. She and I traveled to Nebraska for my Grandma's funeral. My sweet girl didn't know anyone very well, so when it was time for myself and my siblings and 2 cousins to be pall bearers, there was my big girl in the sling helping Mama.

Now that I have 3 children, ages 4, 2, and 2 months, babywearing has taken on a whole new meaning to me. I don't go anywhere without my sling or wrap. My baby girl is always in one of them when we're out of the house. She sleeps and I can take care of whatever needs to be done.

This week, we've all read a lot on blogs about different ways to wear your baby, and different reasons why. I'll tell you what I've learned in the last 8 years of babywearing. Wearing your baby is vital. It lets them know you are there. It helps them to develop a better sense of attachment to Mom and Dad. They feel free to explore the world, knowing that Mom or Dad are ready for them with the comfort of the sling. It is so nice to be able to get things done, even if you have a fussy baby.

The sling saves my life daily; as I cook, clean, take care of my older children, shop, knit and even sew more slings!!!

Go - find your own reasons why you love your sling or wrap or whatever you use. Experience the joy of hands free parenting, with your little one's head close enough to smell and kiss. Kiss that head, smell that baby, and experience the bliss that comes from babywearing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Guest Post: Three Kids in Three Years

This is by Emily Frogley who is in our local AP Playgroup.

I started babywearing when my first was about 10 months old. I was 7 months pregnant at the time, and no main-stream carrier fit me at the time (bjorn, snuggli, etc). I started with a ring sling that allowed me to carry my infant/toddler on my hip around my big belly. When the new baby came, I used the sling to keep her close to me, though I had issues trying to figure out how to hold a newborn in a sling. Later, I made some “buckle tais” (like mei tai’s but with buckles instead of ties) because I needed an easy way for my husband to carry kids when we went to football games & such. These buckle tais worked really well for toddlers worn on our backs, or for older babies worn on the front. Finally, after hearing rave reviews about them, I caved and made a wrap just before baby #3 was born. The wrap is by far the most versatile carrier I’ve ever used and definitely the most comfortable with a newborn. The wrap is especially nice in winter because I can put it on under my coat and leave it on all day, even when the baby is in and out throughout the day.

I love babywearing and I’m not really sure how I’d survive without it. With three children in less than three years, there’s just no other way I could conceivably get any errands done by myself with all three of them without babywearing. I get a lot of adoring looks when I’m wearing my baby, some questioning looks when I’m wearing my toddler, and some crazy looks when I’m wearing two of my children. The best though, is when I have to carry all three at the same time. This usually happens when I have one strapped to the front (usually the baby), and one toddler on my back. Then, for some reason, my other toddler insists on being picked up, and I end up hoisting her onto my hip, with her legs tucked around or under her sisters. It’s especially funny when I’m carrying all three kids and pushing an empty stroller.

Without babywearing, I’d have crying kids most of the time (someone always wants to be held), and I’d either be totally helpless and confined to the house, or I’d be totally stressed out with screaming kids everywhere I go. Instead, my children are quite well-behaved and usually enjoy outings. Also, now they like to choose which carriers to ride in.


Don't forget to enter the giveaway. Just leave a comment!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sling Giveaway!

I meant to post this yesterday, but I couldn't because I didn't have the sling ready until today. Yesterday got busy with a random trip to the aquarium.

Here are a few pictures in different forms of lighting:

Our yellow-lighted bathroom:


Our yellow-lighted bathroom with the flash:


Outside, Margaret reaching for the camera:


Outside, Margaret not reaching for the camera:


I love this fabric- it's like a party. There are sparkly bits on it- and as a warning, they do peel off if picked at and might be a little itchy on a bare bottomed baby or if you're wearing a tank top and the fabric is against your skin.

But if you'd like to win this sling, just leave a comment with some way to contact you: blog or email. The winner will be announced next Tuesday!

Benefits

Ah, the benefits of babywearing!

Does infant carrying promote attachment? Studies point to yes.
Babywearing reduces crying in babies.
Does wearing your premie cause them to get less oxygen? Nope.
Does babywearing indicate a less violent culture? Quite possibly!


Links to more studies.

Besides health advantages, for me babywearing has also brought social advantages. Margaret sleeps much better when she is attached to me- even to the point of sleeping through all three hours of church occasionally! I rarely have to leave to walk her to sleep in the halls at church- and when I do, she'll fall asleep within 5-10 minutes in the sling and so I don't miss much.

Also, airport security is a breeze with her attached to me. They let families with small children skip ahead in the lines because of toddlers and strollers and such. Having Margaret attached to me meant that I could just walk through without any hassles. My friend Alisa has written about bringing toddlers and babies on trips with slings.

We live in a small space: it's a studio apartment. We don't have a lot of room to store baby stuff. Margaret is 7 months old and we still haven't bought a stroller (where on earth would we put it?) Slings and wraps fold up and sit in a drawer very nicely.

Babywearing is great for outings and events where there are lots of people. You can maneuver a baby in a sling much easier than a baby in a stroller- go up and down stairs, through crowds, tight spaces. My friends with toddlers say it's nice for them because they don't have to worry about their child dashing through crowds and chasing them down. Slings are also nice when you're using public transportation like buses and trains.

Warmth. We've taken Margaret camping and stargazing up in the mountains and I didn't have to worry about her being too cold- being up tight against me means that she gets to be warm. I look forward to using this method of keeping her warm all winter.

Communication. One of the most singular characteristics that Margaret possesses is a fascination with people and conversations. Yesterday at the aquarium, I was showing her the fish thinking that she'd love to watch the bright colors and movement. More than once while I was pointing to fish I would notice her turned to watch a person or conversation instead. With the sling she's up at eye level with the rest of us. She loves to watch and follow conversations. She listens to the lessons at church better than I do: she watches the speaker, then when someone has a comment, she wants to turn and watch them and then will go back to watching the speaker. At a very young age, she is learning about taking turns in conversations and about facial expressions. I really feel that she came wired to communicate- it's a very innate part of her personality and wearing her has given her the opportunity to observe and participate with conversations regularly at a very young age.

I've also been able to continue to do things that I did prior to being a mom- I've helped people in the ward pack and move because she's tied to me, I've used a sewing machine with her asleep in a wrap. I do the laundry at the laundromat with her on my back.

Tomorrow there will be a post from a friend of mine who will discuss how babywearing has helped her with caring for her 3 children- all aged 3 and under.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

International Babywearing Week

Happy International Babywearing Week! Today, I'll share my favorite babywearing experiences.

When Margaret was 3 weeks old, I went to McKay's college graduation wearing Margaret in a wrap, a little kid behind me said to his mom, "Mommy! She's got a baby in her tummy!" I was thinking, "Actually, she's finally out!" This was the same day that Sister Beck said she liked my wrap.

At the graduate student opening barbecue social, Margaret was in the sling. A little girl came up to me and informed me that, "My mommy doesn't have a shirt like that."

Once while walking down the street with Margaret in the wrap (her feet and arms were hanging out). I noticed a little girl say something to her mom and then her mom said out loud, "Yeah- it is kind of like a spider."

I was once followed into a restaurant by people wanting to know where I got my sling. "We saw you come into this store from down the street. We need to know where you got the sling." Yeah. Babywearing stalkers!

I've had a few comments saying, "She looks like a frog/monkey!"

The older ladies at church always say (I really do hear this weekly), "She looks so snug and comfortable up against her mom- like being in the womb!"

Once, at the laundromat, I decided to put Margaret on my back in the wrap because it's easier to reach down into the washers when a baby is on your back and not your front. This takes some finagling- getting her on my back, getting the wrap over her, making sure it's snug and secure. I was doing this in the back corner of the laundromat, when I got her on, I turned around and noticed everyone was staring at me. I guess they thought she was going to fall or something! A couple of people did offer to hold her after that, but after my efforts, I wasn't going to take her off! (or ever trust her to a random stranger, for that matter)

Oh good times!



What's the round-up for this week?
Later today: I'll post the giveaway- obviously babywearing swag!
Thursday: Benefits of Babywearing
Friday: Guest post!
Saturday: Guest post!
Sunday: Links to my favorite babywearing blogs and websites
Monday: Types of Carriers and my experiences with them
Tuesday: How to make your own!


I'm adding this post to Steph's Babywearing Link List for International Babywearing Week! You can, too. You might win a really cool sling from Nonny & Boo! In fact, I have a sling from them- very sturdy and beautiful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obscenities


That was my profile pic on Facebook. But then someone marked it as offensive and they took it down.

Let's discuss this for a moment. Facebook let me know that they take down pics marked offensive for nudity, drug use and for being obscene. How does that look like drug use? Seriously, because there's no nudity or obscenity.

Utah State Code 10-8-50

(3) (a) A woman's breast feeding, including breast feeding in any location where she otherwise may rightfully be, does not under any circumstance constitute a lewd or indecent act, irrespective of whether or not the breast is covered during or incidental to feeding.
So there you have it: breastfeeding is neither nudity nor obscene.

But TopHat, Facebook is a private corporation in California, not Utah!

California Civil Code §43.3
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and child are authorized to be present.

But anyone can see/download this, TopHat! (a comment I did receive)

These pictures were taken at Sundance Resort here in Utah. Anybody could have walked by while we were taking them. In fact it was a beautiful fall evening and there were lots of people walking around taking pictures including a family probably doing their Christmas letter pictures. What's unique about my Facebook picture was that it was only accessible to my "friends." Which, strangely enough, means that one of my "friends" decided to infringe on my rights when they marked it as obscene.

And now TopHat, anyone can see this on your blog! ANYONE!

Thanks, I know. Your point? I know there are pervs out there, but I'm not going to change my actions because there "might" be someone creepy. I wear sandals in the summer even though there "might" be someone with an ankle fetish in Provo. I'm not going to don a burka because of breastfeeding- not in public, not on the Internet. Plus, if you're going for the "but guys are more visual and need help keeping their thoughts in line" argument, you are doing a disservice to both men and women- you think very little of a man's ability to restrain himself and also imply that women need to be modest because of men. Do you believe that a woman's a fault for being raped if she wore a mini skirt? Same concept here. Women are NOT responsible for keeping men's thoughts in line.

Admittedly, this picture does show more than I usually do in public, but it's not obscene and not nudity. I wrote to Facebook explaining the laws and requesting that they put the picture back up. They haven't responded. If I don't hear from them by next week, I'm going to put it back up myself. I haven't done anything wrong and I haven't violated the terms of use.

I emailed FirstRight about this, and although this doesn't fall into their mission, they did give me some advice and also informed me about Nipplegate 2006, during which Livejournal amended their user agreement to say that incidence of nipple in breastfeeding pictures does not violate their terms of use. Good for them! There is a Facebook group called, "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!(Official petition to Facebook)." I'm obviously not the first person this has happened to- I had just hoped that my "friends" were cooler than this.


Plus:
Tomorrow starts International Babywearing week! Look forward to a giveaway, 2 guest posts and lots of babywearing links and joy!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

1. My blueprint for success includes confidence
2. Pay Day (we passed these out last Friday) was the last candy I ate.
3. The best facial moisturizer I've ever used is none. Haven't found a good one, but I'm not actively trying.
4. Reading can be good therapy.
5. I'd like to tell you about Project: Pigeon Hole, but it's a secret (hence the top-secret name).
6. Enthusiasm is my strongest characteristic.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to pretty much more of the same, tomorrow my plans include enjoying a commitment-less weekend and Sunday, I want to make a warm soup!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Here goes

I don't believe I've actually up and said it on my blog, so I'm going to now.

I don't believe in spanking children. Ever. For any reason.

I feel it's counterproductive, it gives the wrong message, it breeds frustration and contempt, it demonstrates that we no longer have control of the situation either, and although it might temporarily change behavior, it doesn't do it for the right reasons, nor is it a longterm solution. The emotions that come of spanking include fear, pain, anger. These aren't things I want to foster in my home.

But ultimately, my main reason is that we as Latter-day Saints are supposed to act and live like Christ. And I don't think Christ would ever spank. In fact, you could not possibly come up with an argument that would convince me that He would lay a hand on any child ever.

This is actually why I embrace attachment parenting- it is the closest I've found that exemplifies how Christ would teach and discipline children. When I get tired and impatient and emotional, I try to imagine how Christ would parent if He were the mom in our family.

“I have never accepted the principle of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child.”... I am persuaded that violent fathers produce violent sons... Children don’t need beating. They need love and encouragement. They need fathers to whom they can look with respect rather than fear. Above all, they need example.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley, October 1994 General Conference.

So that's why I don't spank.

Anti-Spanking Resources with links to studies.
PhDinParenting
AlisaTerry
Project: No Spank

Tug of War

So Obama will be our next president!

A year ago when I found out he was running I told McKay, "Well he'll be the next president. No contest." Why? Well, it is very improbable that after 8 years of a Republican presidency that the country would elect another Republican. The same goes for 8 years of a Democratic president- change is needed and it's good.


It reminds me of how women in the church are counseled. You hear many talks of "Get as much education as possible" for a few years and then you are reminded that motherhood is also a wonderful choice. People go up in arms trying to figure out why the message has changed. It hasn't really changed- it's always been "You will be bless from receiving education and you will also be blessed for motherhood." Both have beautiful blessings- but sometimes we will argue that one is better than the other- to the point that the other is bad and distasteful.

Politics are like that. Both parties have good attributes and it's good that there is political diversity- it keeps the country going in a straight line like when you're driving a car: lean a little right, then lean a little left, in the end you go straight.

We've been driving to the right for 8 years (maybe even in circles) now it's time to drive a little left. I'm sure our Democratic president and congress will bring a lot of great things for our country that the Republicans couldn't and I look forward to witness it.

And don't worry- after a few years of going left, the country will pull itself to the right again. It's how it works.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Upcoming Celebrations

For those of you who actually come to my blog instead of using a reader (not accusing you- I live on my reader), you'll have noticed I now have a blinkie to that takes you to International Babywearing Week which starts next Wednesday on the 12th. I'm quite busy over here with all my preparations! This blog will host a week long babywearing fest- and will probably include a giveaway, guest posts (I hope), and just great babywearing goodness. :) I'm excited! I love the holidays!

Meanwhile, vote today if you haven't already. If you want my personal opinions: Vote RaDene Hatfield, Boyd Petersen, and not McCain.

At the polls I did make use of my write-ins- especially when it came to local issues like Board of Education. Instead of voting for someone I didn't recognize, I wrote in a neighbor I knew who had some experience with children in the Provo school district. I know some people just choose to skip those parts of the ballot they aren't familiar with, but I figured, "I might as well vote for someone that I think would fit this whether or not they're actually running!" Have fun voting!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote RaDene Hatfield


Dear People of Utah County:

Please Vote for RaDene Hatfield for State Senate. Sure, she's not Bramble, and that almost seems like reason enough, but I'll give you more reasons. :)

I spent a couple of hours Saturday morning putting literature on doors with my friend, Monique. When we got to RaDene's house, we discovered a very kind woman. She even put her personal cell phone number on the fliers we were handing out- so she could personally talk to her potential constituents. When we asked her if she bought a separate phone for the campaign, she said, "No. This is my actual phone number." Wow. That's someone who is actually going to listen to the people and knows .

Today when I was at a Honk and Wave, she showed up and waved alongside with us. She stayed with us for about 20 minutes before moving onto another Honk and Wave. She played with Margaret and said that she was supportive of homebirths and midwives and breastfeeding. She said she had midwife births in Seattle.

What the Salt Lake Tribune says



I love that she doesn't attack Bramble at all. Even when the above stories that I linked to were mentioned to her in conversation, she never said a bad word about him. That's integrity there.

So, my Provo friends, when you vote tomorrow and you want to vote for a candidate who will listen to the people and is full of integrity, vote for RaDene Hatfield.

Internet Friends

This past week, I've had a lot of fun chatting with chillylint on google chat. She's a really cool person. I've never known someone I've never met in person to be so amicable. I just wanted to publicly vouch for her awesomeness. She's cool.

And because I need more pictures on this blog, here are some pictures!



Sunday, November 02, 2008

Political Diversity

I enjoyed that Alisa posted this: LDS Official calls for more Political Diversity. Her post links to the original "call" and highlights some great points.

And remember, everyone, to vote by the end of Tuesday!