Monthly Archives: May 2014

BababaBabywearing!!

I love baby wearing. Even before I knew what is what, before I gave birth to Tajh, a stroller seemed crazy to me. Why push my little person in a giant wheeled contraption when I am perfectly capable of holding them?  I really didn’t like extra “stuff” of any kind… (shhhh I did use a stroller a little… live and learn)

So I bought a ghetto front pack and made it work. Was it perfect? Hell no. It did allow me to have Tajh close and get shit done. Win.

With Tea I gained a wonderful Mommy friend that helped pull me into the endless beautiful options baby wearing has to offer. I mean, I had a pouch, but that wasn’t even scratching the surface. So I became obsessed (shocker, I’m an extremist!). I research and bought 2 of everything, almost. I loved my endless world of possibilities. I even loved kicking it with super militant breastfeeding/babywearing extremists at time! (It was pretty entertaining)

Recently I was talking to my favorite (and possibly only, unimportant, still favorite) French Canadian friend about life and something like it. We spoke about the Copper Canyons (Ultrarunning peeps, Mas Locos, Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco stuff. Born To Run? If you don’t get it, no worries, doesn’t change the story). I told him how in love with traditional carriers I was and how a Rebozo is one of the carriers I have never had, sad face. He told me he had one and would give it to me, YAY! In the wee hours of the morning as he was about to start a 50k (ultra runner talk), he saw me and yelled “i have something for you!”, ran back to El Capitan (his vehicle/home) and pulled out the most beautiful piece of fabric I have ever seen. Seriously, I am one HAPPY Lady. Thank you again Frenchy!

Here I sat tonight wondering what to do with myself, well, carrier photo shoot of course! So here are a few of my favorite (or not so favorite) baby tying devices. (I don’t have that old front pack to share, thank goodness)

The Pouch. A Hotsling pouch circa 2005. Vintage.

The Pouch. A Hotsling pouch circa 2005. Vintage.

Her Baby needed a photo op.

Her Baby needed a photo-op.

 

Hotsling ring sling from back in the day. zipper pocket and is perfect for in the water. It's a winner!

Hotsling ring sling from back in the day. zipper pocket AND it’s perfect for in the water?! It’s a winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer- Photos were taken by people under 5 feet tall… Quality is a little lacking I know…

Didymos wrap. A huge favorite! With a photo bomb.

Didymos wrap. A huge favorite! With a photo bomb.

Great for dancing.

Great for dancing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s where I will tell another little story. So I have a friend from Sierra Leone, of course I asked her about the traditional baby wearing. She was happy to share with me, I just needed to bring a towel to practice. Yup, that simple, a rectangle of fabric. Being as wonderful as she is, she brought me some fabric her husband had brought back from Ghana, much prettier than a towel 🙂

We really like this no hands thing...

We really like this no hands thing…

 

Things got weird….

 

Awkward.... Though I do love me some Mei Tai!

Awkward…. Though I do love me some Mei Tai!

And finally, My beautiful present!

"Back Mommy Back!" of course I can!

“Back Mommy Back!” of course I can!

 

 

So perfect. I still have some work to do on perfecting the knot.

So awesome! I still have some work to do on perfecting the knot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I seriously LOVE babywearing! I may get a little crazy with it at times….

Crying with a sleeping baby in a mei tai on your back at 13,000 feet? Oh yeah, I've done that.

Crying with a sleeping baby in a mei tai on your back at 13,000 feet? Oh yeah, I’ve done that.

Creek hoping with one on the front and one on the back? Done that too.

Creek hoping with one on the front and one on the back? Done that too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, maybe I’ll share some better pictures sometime, maybe not. I think you get the idea.

Big news on the “Babywearing I’m a crazy Lady who likes to do epic shit front, stay tuned!”

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Why Ladies need Mommy friends.

As a mom you spend a lot of time talking to little people who can’t talk back to you. You talk to yourself everywhere you go. Social interaction with other adults becomes awkward almost.  You can go to baby classes, mommy and me class and make friends, but all those “before kids” friends have a hard time understanding why you don’t text back. Why you cancel plans at the last-minute. Why all around it seems like you are distracted and no longer  cool.

I struggled to make mommy friends. As a young mom doing things differently (attachment parenting, babywearing, cloth diapering) I was confusing to other mothers. It’s that “well she must be judging me for my choices” mentality.  I made a really amazing friend (we met on babycenter which neither of us are willing to admit) when Tea and her daughter were 6 months. I met another wonderful mom friend when Tajh was in preschool. I met another beautiful friend when Tajh was in first grade (despite the fact that she refused to tell me what her husband did for a really long time. Apparently she thought I wouldnt be ok with a youth pastors with! I still love her!).  My Lala, my bestie, I met when Tea was in kindergarten with her son.  Otherwise is was hit and miss…

When Tajh was in kindergarten a crazy mom (legit she was crazy) organized a park day. Despite the fact that she was crazy and I can be completely awkward in social situations I went. The park days continued and turned into a core group of ladies (crazy lady left). Our children went lord of the flies (every boy with his shirt off, and one little lady who is pretty awesome ditched her top too). After school each Tuesday our kids ran, played, did whatever they wanted, while us ladies talked. We shared our lives, it was my world. I looked forward to those Tuesday’s at the park when my life was in chaos. From kindergarten through 3rd grade these ladies were my peeps.

When we moved school this stopped. All our little people where getting older and things were slightly fizzling out as it was. But now it ended…  These moms and I had shared years together, not only with our kids, but also on drunken moms night outs. For a year I missed them…..

When the chaos started in my life again (ie nowhere to live) I knew who I needed to call. I knew who I needed to see and talk to to feel like I had a chance of getting my act together. I called a Tuesday park day, and they showed up! We talked, caught up, and sent our children off to play. How beautiful is that? These ladies were there for me! Time didn’t matter, when I needed them they showed up. I can not even begin to explain how wonderful life is when you find a core group of Mommies to hang out with. People without judgment, that share similar experiences, that love you despite time and space.

Hey my park Moms, Tuesday park day soon?

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Sometimes things are harder then they look….

I don’t know how single moms do it. I never truly thought of how hard it would be to be “on my own”. Yes I have five kids, but I can imagine even with one things aren’t easy. My 6 biggest gripes of being a single Momma (these can totally apply to single Dads too!)-

No one to watch kids while you make a quick run to the store-

That moment when you wake up and realize there is nothing for breakfast so you run to the store super quick before the kids get up? Yeah, single moms don’t have that. There is no “oops I’m out of flour!” moment, you have to plan ahead. I don’t have the option to make a quick store run, if I’m out of something we are all hoping in the car. Luckily I do have a 11-year-old that I trust and send into the store for a couple of items at times. But on the whole, I have to be sure I’m super prepared.

No one to give me a break at the end of the day-

Some days are rough. Some days you just want someone to read to the kids while you clean up after dinner. Some days you just want someone to watch the kids while you go out for a run. There is no “break” until the kids are in bed. Yes I have days that are totally “free”, but what that means is when I am with the kids I’m 100% there. No break, no help, all me. Yes, it is exhausting.

No one to bounce ideas off of-

What should we do today? What should the budget look like? What should we eat for dinner? Look, I’m terrible at making decisions. I like to come up with ideas and run them by someone else. When you are single, there isn’t anyone to take on this job. You can outsource to friends, family, but it’s not the same as having someone else in the home. It is nice to have someone to collaborate with.

No on to back me up (especially when a tween sucks)-

Kid is being highly disrespectful and all you need is another adult to help defuse the situation. Clearly I can handle this on my own, but sometimes it’s nice to have some “back up”.

No one to do the “yucky stuff”-

We were hanging out at Zane Grey watching all the runners and it was cold, snowing cold. We played a bit then they all wanted to get in the van to warm up, perfect, they are contained! I starting hearing that all to familiar “Moooooommy” call… Yay. Come to find Tru has vomited in the van, on himself and Tenny. So now I’m cleaning vomit, alone. Sometimes it nice to have those extra hands to help, or someone who can take over. When you’re a single mom it’s all you, yuck.

No one to sit down with at the end of the day and just talk-

At some point you realize you are actually alone. They are all in bed, and it’s just you. No one to listen to “war stories” from the day: Tru threw a fit, Tenny got paint all over the floor, and I cleaned up poop off the wall (True story). No one to tell all the funny, cute, awesome things the kids did during the day to…  The silence when they kids are in bed is almost haunting.

In the end these are all “doable”.  My Littles are pretty amazing and our little life together is starting to come together. The reality is being a single parent is hard. Having a partner to share the good, bad, and ugly with makes life easier in many ways (and harder in others too!).  Even if your partner sucks, sometimes just having another body in the home can be beneficial. I’m slowly figuring this all out and getting use to taking care of the vomitty situations (I don’t do vomit well…). There are plenty of benefits to being a single Mom as well! I mean, not having to shower until your friends decide to call you out for your stinkyness is pretty sweet….

 

 

 

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Kindness

On the drive to school today I opened up a discussion on kindness. That word use to be huge in my home. With foster children coming and going I was constantly repeating myself, “remember sometimes people are mean because they are sad inside”. I bought every book I could find on the subject and read them to the Littles often. My favorite “Have you Filled Your Bucket Today” became a staple in the house. The children knew to not take others anger as a personal attack and instead to try to understand why someone else would behave that way. They were usually kind to each other (usually) and would work situations out among themselves. That kindness is long gone…

They now fight often. They speak rudely to each other as well as to me. They scream, take things away from each other, and overall just aren’t kind.

I remember the promise that was made to them when the divorce was first spoken of  “it’s ok, we’ll still be friends. Things aren’t really going to be that different.”

A lie.

So I asked the Littles, where has the kindness gone. “You all use to be so kind to one another”, “you used to have compassion for others”, “what happened?”

From the far back of the van Tea responds ” I think the sadness has made the kindness go away”

And with that I’m crushed. Duh that’s why they aren’t kind. Obviously, it’s what I always taught them… Being kind when you are sad in your heart is difficult. Give those people space, try to help when you can, never be mean in response. Well, again I fail. I have been punishing them for their unkindness, sadness. I don’t take them to do fun things when they are all being especially unkind. I don’t take them to the park if the day  is going terribly. I send them all to separate areas and have them read quietly. I take away toys and books. I, in response to their lack of kindness/sadness (Tea pointed out), am not kind in return.

I fail.

Now I sit here researching. Trying to remember all my old “go-to” resources so I can help my Littles. So I can help myself to understand and respect what they are going through. Amazon will be getting a lot of business today as I don’t have any of my old books. I need to remember that maybe when they are being terrible and mean, they need that bonding time. They need to do an activity together, play together, adventure together. I use to know all this… but sometimes you get lost in the chaos. Sometimes the screaming it too much. Sometimes your own kindness gets lost in the mess.

Sometimes it takes the genius of a 9-year-old to remind you, others might be struggling, kindness is always the best approach.

 

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