Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mei Tai- My second favorite carrier style

When J-man got a bit bigger (over the 7kg mark) wearing him in the RS for long periods wasn't as easy as it was when he was a newborn.  For me that was when the Mei Tai style came into its own.  It gave me the comfort and security of being able to hold him close while also giving me support by having his weight distributed through the two shoulder straps and waist strap.

For me a hood is an important feature of a carrier.  It works head support for a sleepy bub, a sun and wind shade during outings.

Mei Tai carriers do take a little bit of practice to master- but they are not as hard as they look.
The Mei Tai style can be used as a front and back carrier.
There are different techniques for tying a Mei Tai's straps, Youtube, or an experienced baby wearer are great for helping to learn different techniques.

Here are some pics of my favorite Mei Tai carrier- Kleinsmekker

with a toddler

Baby wearing while Lawn bowling (hood up and bubba sleeping)

 On a sunny Summer day.

All the carriers pictured here are Kleinsmekker carriers, sadly Lotte is closing her store at the end of November.  There are other makers of Mei Tei style carriers.  Always buy from a reputable retailer or maker. 

The is a variation to a Mei Tai and it is commonly referred to as a Half Buckle.  It either has clip up shoulder straps and a tie waist or a clip waist and wrap straps.  If you are feeling the woven wrapping love, but would like more structure a wrap tie could be what you are looking for.

At the end of the day, no matter what you use to carry you baby, so long as it is a safe carrier, and is comfortable for you and your baby, then your on the right track.

If you would like more info on carriers, or would like to see my stash and have a play please feel free to get in touch, i love sharing the baby wearing love.

Grand plans for the silly season

I love Christmas.
I always have.  It is the one of two days of the year that I don't mind getting out of bed before the sun. (The other is my birthday- presents are a great motivator)

I wont lie, as i have had my own children, Christmas has taken on a different dynamic.  
I have to be more responsible and cant just kick back and enjoy the day.

This year Mr.C and I have decided to do something different to bring back the Xmas joy in our house.

We going to have a TOY FREE CHRISTMAS.

Before you all cry- child cruelty- the children will be getting presents, just not toys.

Instead of clogging up our lounge room with more things that the kids don't need, they will instead be receiving gifts that will hopefully last longer than a 5 second attention span.
I am also going to try and think global and act local when it comes to spending this Christmas.
I am a huge fan of online shopping, how ever I am going to be doing my best to seek out stores locally and buy hand made where appropriate.

Scary that we are talking about Christmas already, but i am really excited to make this a special one for my boys this year, and our families.


Friday, October 7, 2011

talk about neglect.

Well my poor blog baby has been left neglected for a while now, so much so that i missed the start of Blogtoberfest- which means that I'm out before i even tried.

So for the time wealthy people who continue to read my rantings, i would like to share some things i have learned in the last few weeks.

If a child says they have a saw tummy, and its the first thing in the morning, get a bucket.

Of any one asks you to be on a committee (of any kind) smile politely and run for the nearest exit.

any ways now that we have that out of the way, an update on the good things.

I am now part of a book clup- and although it is not the 'The Jane Austin book club' i am very much looking forward to regular intelligent conversation with adults.

I have also been trialing SLS and Paraben free body wash, shampoo, and conditioner in an attempt to rid some of the nasties from with in my home.  I started with Sukin- which are easy to get an Australian made and owned.  To be honest i didn't love them for my skin type- i have found the products i tried exaggerated my dry and sensitive skin symptoms.  Their products have been great for the kids.  I have switched to Moo Goo (Australian made and owned) for my body wash and shampoo and I'm sticking with the Sukin conditioner- so far so good.

If you are looking at switching to SLS, Paraben free, Australian made and owned products I would suggest buying the smallest amounts, or trying to get samples to trial to work out what is right for you before you are left with liters of the stuff.

Next thing to go from our house are toxic wipes once i can find a reliable source of bamboo SLS and paraben free wipes.  I will be going to the PBC expo in to hope to speak and deal directly with the manufacturer.

Next blog will have the info on Mei Tai's.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ring Slings- My Favorite carrier.

I love ring slings.  Out of all the carriers I own, I reach for the ring slings the most.  They are simple, supportive, easy and versatile.  When I had Mr J (the youngest) I found that I needed to streamline the amount of time it took for me to get out and about with the Three boys.  I found that the buckle carriers were swamping him in summer, and that the stretchy wrap was too hot for me, and was taking too long to put on.  I needed something that i would use quickly, adjusted easily.  It was important that i could use for a long time, from both birth to toddler, and from 15 min to 3 hours. It had to comfortable for me and baby and the ring sling was the answer.  
I took a risk and bought a ring sling of a forum trading room (the green Kleinsmekker below).  The risk wasn’t that I bought a carrier on line, but that I was going out of my comfort zone and trying a carrier I had not seen or tried in real like.  Well it paid off big time and i have not looked back.  Mr J spent many hours in that sling, and still does.  I carried him in it when we were delayed 8 hours at the airport, and he was comfortable, I was comfortable, he could feed discreetly and it meant that the older kids could sit in the pram rather than the floor.  

Here are some pics of me enjoying some Ring sling time with by son.

There are a few different ways to carry a baby in a ring sling (and you tube has some great instructional videos such as- Obimama and Sakura ).  For a little bub I prefer the front upright carry where he is supported chest to chest.  Now he is older I wear him on my hip because he gets a great view.  Although there are some vidoes for a back carry from my experience don’t feel that it is comfortable or secure enough for me or him.

There are also lots of different types of materials used to make ring slings, cotton, mesh, woven wrap, silk, raw silk, hemp, linen.  Some have two layers, pockets, feature panels and colored rings, the options are endless.

Some features I look for in a sling are, 

Length- I prefer a long tail on my slings, it gives me versatility and I also like the security.
Width- make sure that the material is wide enough to create a really good pouch for the baby to sit in and that there is enough material to go up their back to their ears.
Shoulder Style- There are a few different ways of sewing the shoulder (the end of the material that is sewn at the rings, and that part that sits at you shoulder) I prefer a pleated shoulder, but it is really up to the wearer to try and see what they like.
Quality- always buy from a reputable and recommended seller or manufacturer.  Make sure that all of the stitching is secure and that there are no faults in the material.
Style- there are lots of different colors and prints used to make ring slings so have a good look around for a look that suites you and your baby, I find makes wearing my children a little bit more fun when I can wear a carrier that reflects my mood or style.

My personal favorites are Kleinsmekker and Obimama, but there are lots of really fabulous ring slings out there, so let your fingers do the walking, or you can start at online stores such as Tinoki, Karri tree lane, Brindabella baby.

Safe and enjoyable baby wearing,

**Please note, ring slings are not to be confused, compared too or associated with bag carriers or pouch slings.  Always practice at home in front of a mirror before attempting to use a new carrier out and about.  Always keep babies face uncovered and their chin off their chest to prevent restricted airflow.  Use carriers safely, they can wear out and deteriorate so check carriers over from time to time, and don’t partake in any activities while baby wearing that you wouldn’t do while holding you baby.  Baby carriers are not a safety device and should not be used in place of a restraint or while riding bikes, animals, or in any vehicle.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Domestic Depression. What life is like when you suck at house work.

House work does not come naturally to me.  I think if during 48 hours you can put an iPhone through the washing machine and causing a bubble waterfall because I over filled the detergent, it is safe to say you deserve a big U/S (unsatisfactory) in domestic duties. 
I didn’t really see house work something that reflected badly on me until I had to start filling out forms stating that my career was “Domestic Duties”.  I have recently been filling out such sections with “Mother Extraordinaire” and "Children’s Services Technician", because lets face it, if I was employed for my domestic ability I would not remain employed here.  
As my children have got older and my free time has become less and less, it seems that the house work can very quickly get out of hand at my place.  Don’t get me wrong, were not wading through a sea of dirty washing with dirty dishes for boats, however with 3 little lads running around, toys seem to multiply from on end of the house to the other, things get spilled and trampled from room to room, dirty clothes overflow the washing basket, and that is all before morning tea.  When I talk to other parents I quickly realize that I am not alone, we all seem to be fighting the same battles domestically.   
The time I find particularly stressful is when I have people coming over to visit, especially if it is their first visit.  I always try to make a good impression, so I consider it important that there are enough clear spaces to sit, the main through fairs are clear from obstacles and of course the toilet is flushed and puddle free. I am my biggest critic and crazily focus on silly details.  Of course visitors are not going to know if my towels are stuffed in the cupboards rather than folded, and that the dishes in the dishwasher haven’t gone through.   
I would love to say I am getting better, but I am not.  I am getting help though, she comes every fortnight and does all of the jobs I seem to struggle to get around too.  To be honest, she needs come every day, only then would I really feel on top of things.  Alas because that is never going to happen, I plug away at it, and try to brave the daily domestic battle alone*. 
This week I was really optimistic that things would go well for a change.  The Boyfriend and I worked hard before Mr J’s 1st birthday to get everything ready and finish off lots of things about the place that had been neglected.  We were pretty happy with how everything had come together and made a pact to try really REALLY try hard to keep on top of everything for as long as possible.   
Things had been going really well, until I got ambitious this week and happily invited people over most days this week.  I love having people ever and I find it really relaxing to be able to chat with my friends knowing that the kids are happily playing, or they can go to bed if needed.  How ever a few things happened that put my ambitions into perspective.  Every time someone was over Mr A decided that it is the perfect time to do the biggest poo known to toddlers,  my plans for having the prefect menu go out the window because I ran out of time to make it/ they couldn’t eat it/I over cooked it, and at any given time I had at least 3 baskets of washing to be sorted and put away.  AND do you know what?  It wasn’t the end of the world! My guests did not storm out in disgust, the kids had a great time and I had civilised adult conversation. 

To be honest I think I am the only person in this house who worries about the mess, the kids and the boyfriend don’t even notice.  Below is a photo of Mr T and Mr A performing to me in the morning while I lay in bed before getting up to breakfast. (Yes i'm putting my laundry out there on the net.)  Instead of complaining about the piles of (clean) washing beside the bed crowding their space, Mr A used it as a seat and Mr T positioned him self to take advantage of the acoustics.  I know that it is the special memories, of my family and my friends that I will cherish, rather than the memory of me fishing my waterlogged phone out of the washing machine.

*The Boyfriend does help and do his fare share, but this is my blog so if he wants to talk about his domestic battle, he can start his own blog.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The ultimate baby accessory.

Well we all know that I love all accessories.  Bags, shoes, hair, jewelery, do i need to go on?
So of course when I had my children a whole other world of accessories opened up to me.  It began with Nappy Bags, quickly moved onto Prams, then onto Modern Cloth Nappies and for now has settled with Baby Carriers.

I did use baby carriers with my first bub, 4.5 years ago.  But since then, with the wonders of the internet, a large variety of styles from all over the world have become easily available and has played a huge part in my baby wearing experiences.

I did start with a Baby Blaugh* (i cant even type its real name bacause it is so wrong), but quickly moved onto a Hug a Bub (stretchy wrap) a trip to Hawaii found me in possession of an Ergo (a soft structured carrier).  I was pretty happy with the two carriers i had then, and felt a bit 'out there" because no-one i knew IFL owned and Ergo, or even wore their babies very often.  When A.bomb was born, he was a pretty big bubba, so I did a bit of babywearing, my favorite for him was the connecta which was perfect for the beach.  Soon I found my self 'with child' and baby wearing became uncomfortable for me, but i knew that i wanted to continue when the J.man was born so i bought a Mei Tai and popped it in the cupboard.  With Mr.J being so young baby wearing became a life essential for me to be able to get by day-to-day and keep all the kids happy and the house work (semi) done.  Since then i have been using a Ring sling (Kleinsmekker & ObiMama), a Mei Tei (Kleinsmekker & Malkaj) and a soft structured carrier (Ergo, Beetlebum, connecta & Bamberoo).  I do have quite a few photos of me wearing the children, how ever there are so many times i simply could not get a photo, because it is hard to take a body shot of my self, and i was often doing it during day to day life- and as much as i love my self, i just didn't take daily photos of my self.

Lots of people ask me for baby wearing advice, or to have a look at the carriers i have, so over the next few weeks i will do a blog feature for each of the different carrier styles i own, complete with pics, links and instructions.

Here are some examples of my baby wearing with my children....


Bush Walking
 Squishy Newborn

till next time

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Disgusting treats... when the gross is made special.

 Define Treat


Noun: An event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.
Define Disgusting


Adjective: Arousing revulsion or strong indignation. 

It not very often that those two words would be used in the same sentence, let alone to describe something.  How ever there is no other way to describe people taking particular enjoyment in consuming something, that to the majority of society, is considered repulsive.

When i was growing up my dad used to get tripe as a treat for him self.  He would marinate it in vinegar and salt it then eat it right from the container.  My siblings and I loved it too, the chewy, salty, vinegar soaked pieces made for the most deliciously disgusting treat.  Of course we did not know what tripe was, but even once we knew we were eating the lining of a cows stomach, we were not deterred from enjoying the bovine snack.

With my own children they seemed to have discovered their own disgusting treats.  When ever we get a cooked chicken Mr.T asks for "lots and lots of fat please!"- meaning lots of chicken skin.  I have told him it is skin, but it does not put him off one bit.  A.Bomb on the other hand looses the plot when he spots the caper jar in the fridge and runs to the cupboard to grab a bowl while giggling with delight.

Everyone has their special little treat, that is a bit out of the ordinary, and definitely does not fit the normal idea of a treat, it will be interesting to see what takes the J.Man's fancy as he grows up.

Please share your disgusting treat in the comments section below, go on, we all have one.