Monday, June 29, 2015

how to: make a baby wrap into a sling

Here! Something useful! 

Lots of folks have asked me recently about using woven wraps and on the hip is one of my favorites for 4 month olds up to 2 year olds. Little ones LOVE to be close but also get a good look around and this hold is perfect for that. 

Below: a step by step on wrapping your woven as a sling.

Please forgive the glaring noon-time sun. We were sitting around and the spirit moved us. At noon.

Most woven wraps will place their tag right in the middle to make the middle easier to find. You can see mine here on the right. Locate the middle of your wrap and fold it in half lengthwise.

Bunch up the middle.

Place the fold over one shoulder, creating a loop.

Reach behind and bring one of the tails forward. Leave the other hanging back there.

Loop the tail through the fold at your shoulder.

Spread out the material on the side you'll place the baby - opposite the shoulder you're holding the loop on.

Grab your baby!

Put both feet all the way through the side panel.

Stretch the material out around their body - from bottom to shoulders, sort of tucked in under each knee.

Spread it out real good.

Tighten the sling and secure your baby by pulling the top edge of material through the loop and down toward your feet.

Next, pull that tail back down toward your baby's bottom, tucking it under their knee.

Take the other tail back along the part of the sling that's behind you and tuck it under that knee.

One side will be short and stay here, under baby's bottom, the other will continue to wrap around the front.

Wrap it all the way around. It should be on or near your waist. Lower and you'll really feel the weight in your back.

And back to meet the other, under baby's bottom.

 Cross and tie them under baby's bottom, doing a quick jump and tighten one last time to keep everyone safe and secure.

All set. Don't forget to pull your shirt down!

Everything should feel snug enough to completely let go of your baby and not have them move at all. Proceed with life! Amazing!

If you are practicing this or any other hold and need help, I'm happy to take your questions in the comments. This particular wrap is a storchenwiege but there are many different woven wraps - girasol, didymos, etc. This is not an appropriate hold to use with a stretchy wrap (like any Moby type style) and of course, you should only wrap with a healthy, full term baby who has no physical special needs that would preclude them from sitting in this position.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

clickables 051

this really spoke to me: the nice to nag ratio (and the really helpful link in there "what to do when you fall out of like with your kid")

babies, one day young

FINALLY, an eye roll

can't keep my nose out of this book

finally made this! yum. adding to the (short) list of things that are really worth making yourself

this is great and my spin on it is to have heads of the departments of your life. for example, Molly's the head of health and wellness, Maggee of art direction and design (and cool music and nostalgia), Spartacus does legal matters, etc. outsource what you can outsource.


It's the return of the mile count - trying to keep myself accountable. 14 (walking) miles this week. It was too hot for more and I only started counting on Tuesday but I'm shooting for at least 20 next week.

It is HOT. Anyone know about the water quality at Greenlake? We just got back from swim lessons at the pool - wishing we'd stayed in a little longer but a nap was calling! Spartacus and Olive went to see Inside Out this afternoon and then she's sleeping over at grandma's and you know what that means. No, early bedtime! Get your mind out of the gutter. Tomorrow I'll sneak out early for donuts and then I have my first postpartum shift since Henry was born. Wish S luck!

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

walking. woo hoo!

Once, long ago, I was in a yoga cult. It's true. I worked at the studio in exchange for free classes. I practiced every day - usually the 2 hour long 7am class. Sometimes I practiced twice a day (I had a lot of free time after freaking out and quitting my teaching position mid-year).

I could stand on my head and do any number of straight up human pretzel moves. I had a six pack. I was probably a full inch and a half taller.

I'm glad I did that while I could. I'm sure the constant strengthening, hip opening and focus prepared me expertly for birth. I also have this (unproven) theory that the most in shape you get, you'll always be able to return to if you really try, no matter what.

Sometimes I think about how I felt (and, let's be real, also what I looked like) back in the Yoga Queen days and then I look in the mirror and I'm just like. (insert dead faced emoji here)

Finding time/energy/transportation to make any kind of regular exercise happen with two kids in tow is a logistical nightmare. Truly. I hate the gym but Charlie is too young for childcare there anyway. Organized classes are expensive, especially when you take into account travel time and the added childcare cost. When I have a babysitter for both of them (which is rare), I spend that precious time working. My boobs are still way too sensitive (queen of plugged ducts right here) and huge for running in the neighborhood. I love to bike commute but Charlie's too little for a helmet and we don't have any equipment that accommodates a lanky 4 year old AND an entire infant car seat behind my awesome bike.

It's not impossible, it's just tricky. It doesn't happen on its own.

So you know what I've embraced? good old fashioned walking. Walking is low impact, kid friendly exercise that doubles as a way to get places and if we're going to pay extra to live in this gorgeous, urban neighborhood we might as well use it, especially in the summer.

It feels good! Yesterday, instead of automatically getting in the car to drive the 2 miles to the Zoo for camp, we loaded up the stroller and walked it. We stopped along the way for sushi and had a picnic and a quick nursing session. We picked up some library books we had on hold. I got a giant iced tea for the walk back. This morning I woke up a little sore and high on fresh air. It's not going to be it forever but it sure is helpful for now.

Friday, June 19, 2015

clickables 050

// some last minute Father's Day ideas (from dads)

// becoming a mother changes your brain (duh)

// this amazing pacifier company gives you a store credit when you return old pacifiers to be upcycled 

// currently reading Waiting For Birdy and wishing I'd read it when I was waiting-for-Charlie. validating me and all the feelings. little book review on the way.

// Rachael just really gets me

// this has been the most interesting piece I've read on Caitlyn Jenner and in cosmo of all places! "Almost none of us woke up like this."

// olive's really been digging the instrumental version of Let It Go lately. the better to serenade you with, my dears.

And last but not least, my Father's Day post from two years ago


This weekend is packed! Swim class Saturday morning, Father's Day BBQ with Spartacus' family in the afternoon. Sunday church (them) and donuts (me) and Father's Day with my family in the afternoon. And my littlest will accompany us to everything with a pair of perfect little kidneys, amen! Happy Dad's day to all 4 dads who read Your Fonder Heart. I hope you feel loved and cherished.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

all clear

When I went for my 20 week ultrasound, the nice tech zoomed around with her little wand, making pleasant small talk, nodding reassuringly, pointing out how right the size and shape of every little body part was and grinning right along with us when Charlie waved his teeny tiny hand. "Open fingers are always good to see", she told us. "That rules a lot of stuff out."

But when she was finished and I went to wipe my belly off and hoist up my fat pants she said, a little too casually, "Oh, um, just wait there for a minute. The doctor might want to come in and check some things."

That's definitely what you want to hear.

The next 15 minutes took about 2 hours as we waited for the doctor. I tried to reassure Spartacus who was pacing silently. He didn't respond.

When the doctor came in he gave me a stern look over his glasses and said, "Well, first of all this baby is VERY large." (This wouldn't be the first time a doctor commented on my baby's size.) Ha! Spartacus and I exchanged relieved looks. They had gotten us all worked up for nothing! I make some big ass kids and I squirt 'em out like grapes right in my fucking living room, ok? NEXT.

That wasn't the only thing, though, the other thing was that baby boy had something wrong with his kidneys - something that would probably resolve on its own and that we shouldn't worry about. And we tried. Not to.

We returned for more ultrasounds and before each one they'd tell us it would certainly look normal this time, certainly. And each time they would look around and say that the problem was still there and we would make an appointment to come back to check again.

Charlie's last ultrasound before today was on February 20 (or "day 7 of life" as they call it). I dragged my exhausted, huge postpartum body to Children's Hospital by myself so that they could scan my sweet baby and hope that what they said was true: that he was fine now. And he was not.

So this week we went again for another ultrasound, Charlie's 7th. He didn't even look like the same species lying on the table. He's robust and lively and opinionated now. And every time I visit Children's I notice just how healthy my kids look in comparison to some and feel deeply, spiritually, profoundly grateful. This time was no different.

But this time! They said his kidneys are perfect and that a mass has mysteriously (and thankfully) disappeared. Charlie is fine and we are done with scans until he is 2 when we will check in one last time just to be sure. His kidneys look normal. A weight is lifted and I will drink something celebratory tonight because my kids. They're fine.

Thank God.

(Big ups to our pediatric urologist, Dr. Merguerian at Seattle's Children's Hospital for his time, care and expertise. Meeting with him always made me feel better even when things weren't better. Our super patient and attentive midwife Jenn who always got me the radiology reports before they were officially delivered and wonderful pediatrician Molly were excellent hand-holders and researchers and friends through all this and I am so lucky to have them.)