Posts Tagged With: Babywearing

To All The Haters…

I got a lot of crap before Tag was born for my “crazy ways” and “silly ideas”. Let’s remember, I have 5 other kids (and way more that came in and out during my fostering days) yet some people just knew I was making huge mistakes. No swings? No crib? No bouncer? Clearly I am insane! You cloth diaper? Well I’m bringing you disposable anyway, “just in case”.

Hi.

Hello.

I’ve done this before.

It’s rude. It’s not “being helpful” or thoughtful. If I say no and you don’t choose to hear my words, it’s disrespectful.

So to all those that did not believe I knew what I was doing, Tag has survived to nearly 7 months old…

Without a bouncer, swing, walker, jumper, bassinet, stroller, or even a disposable diaper!

I have held him, worn him, or set him down on a nice soft spot when needed. I’ve washed his diapers, by hand even, and never needed to use any throw away ones.  He has survived!

He is a happy healthy little man, even a little advanced if I do say so myself. (and I do, because I’m his mother)

You raise your baby your way, I’ll raise mine my way.

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Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Things I Don’t do with Babies

Yesterday I was watching a Vlogger I sometimes enjoy. A family with a 2-year-old and a newborn. I don’t always agree with what they do, but sometimes it inspires me to make a new video that day which is cool. As I watched the Mom’s “Things I love and don’t love for this baby” I became more and more annoyed. I may have only watched 5 minutes before I turned it off and huffed away to clean something with grumpiness. Look, EVERYONE doesn’t have to do things “my way” but I feel like if your life is out there for all to see you do have some social responsibility.

So why was I so mad?

EVERYTHING within the first 5 minutes were products meant for you to not touch/pay attention to your baby. WHAT?!?! This mom does baby wear but doesn’t do everything the way I do, which is fine. It just seemed insane to me that she was promoting so many products on how to lay your baby here so it will sleep on it’s on, watch it on this monitor while it sleeps alone, strap in in here so it sleeps alone. I just can’t agree or listen to it.

So here friends, a list of what I do NOT do with babies-

  • I do not put them down.

While this may sound crazy, I really don’t. I baby wear all day. Maybe they are set down for a minute here and there, but always put back on. To me this feels right. They grow so fast and don’t want to be worn as soon as they can get around on their own, so why not soak up every minute I can being as close as possible?

  • I do not strap my babies into anything

Except to me or a carseat. No swings, no bouncy chairs, no Bumbo, just no. I refuse. At no point have I seen a need or will I.

  • I do not have them sleep alone

I co-sleep and can not be convinced there is anything wrong with it. Yeah don’t be stupid, if you have a sleep disorder, have been drinking, or smoke, DO NOT co-sleep. But if you are healthy babies can absolutely be safe and comfortable in bed with Momma. Again, they grow up so fast and I will happily have them close to me as long as possible.

  • I do not use disposable diapers.

I cloth diaper. Not only is it actually easy (another load of laundry isn’t really a big deal) they are so darn cute! The only time I use disposable is on a trip, because when you are living outside washing diapers does not found fun. But otherwise, there is no reason to NOT use cloth (and it’s actually a ton cheaper in the long run).

Now I’m sure there is a lot more I “do not” do, but those are the big ones I couldn’t stop reeling over after listening to unnamed Vlogger. In no way am I saying everything I do fits everyone, but keep in mind between my own children, fostering, and nannying I have probably cared for over 15 babies/toddlers. At one point I cared for 8 children 8 & under, and it really wasn’t as crazy as it sounds! Foster children did not co-sleep for the most part and that was rough on me. Getting up in the middle of the night, making bottles and putting a baby back in their bed is so much more difficult then rolling over and pulling out a boob… and falling back asleep before putting it away…

So do what you please, but if you Vlog about it know I will not watch it all, but I guess I’m still giving you views…

 

 

 

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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!”

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Holding on to trust

I have always been a firm believer that My Littles should have an adult in their life they can tell anything to and know they will not be judged. Someone that will keep their secrets if that is what they need. Someone to guide them on the right path, someone I too can trust. I never thought my children would choose me for this job…

On a hike the other day I wore Tru while the others marched along, Tea holding Tenny’s hand on the steep downhills. We chatted as usual and the kids began sharing some worries they had. I took a deep breath and thought very hard before I responded, even for me this was a bit much. It was eye-opening to me how much they talk to each other. They shared with me that they had talked about this very thing at the park a couple of days prior. I had wondered what they were doing, not playing just walking in a little gang together around the perimeter. Apparently they were sharing all the little spy work they had done with and discussing their feelings. As a Mother wanting my children to have a super tight bond, I was proud. Now that they were allowing me in on their little secret, I was honored.

Sister Love

Sister Love

He always gets excited when we are going on a hike and falls asleep within minutes… apparently we aren't very exciting!

He always gets excited when we are going on a hike and falls asleep within minutes… apparently we aren’t very exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So they told me what they knew, their feelings, their worries, and asked me to keep their secret. It is not something harmful to anyone else, something that could easily be avoided if people in their lives made an effort, but I still felt uneasy as I made the promise. I will not tell on you. I still feel uneasy, but I can not lose their trust. If I tell, they will know, and then I will not get the chance to be a part of their little gang any longer. Their counseling sessions with each other will become a secret from me, and I can not have that. Maybe that’s wrong of me? Maybe I’m suppose to “be a parent” and not a friend? Maybe I’m making the biggest mistake every and I’m going to pay for it later…

But I honestly don’t care…

I have a secret that I’m not telling! My Littles have a pretty awesome club and I am excited to be a part of it!

My Gang

My Gang

The hike went on, we wandered with no real direction or plan, and it was perfect. I’m really digging not coming up with a plan even for my own runs. Choosing left or right, up or down, going with the flow and allowing the day to create itself. I find myself dreading the days we have things to do and longing for the ones we can get lost in. The no agenda days of the summer have been missing far too long…

 

 

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yup… That’s poop on my floor

And yes, its human.

How we roll... literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2....

How we roll… literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2….

As I’ve said before, my parenting has always been very natural. Even in my babysitting days the idea of changing an older toddlers diaper just bothered me. Why does a 2-year-old want to sit in their own excrement? So when Tajh approached 2 I knew I had to handle this before it became a disaster. By his second birthday Tajh was out of diapers, Mommy win.

Teagan was for sure my first super hippie baby. everything I had done with Tajh was now done to an even higher hippie degree. I wore her, all the time. I nursed her, everywhere. Disposable diapers were for the people who clearly didn’t care about the environment, I cloth diapered. I started looking into all the “extra” hippie mom stuff and came across Elimination Communication (EC).  Basically the idea that if you connected with you child (in all the hippy ways I was) you could start having your baby use the potty as early as 6 weeks. Now I thought this sounded crazy, so I waited until 6 months. I simply put Tea on the potty when I thought she needed to go, and by 9 months she was using the potty regularly. By a year we were completely out of diapers. Time consuming you ask? Not really. She sat and we read books, played games, had a snack, we made it work. The only real problem being, they don’t make underwear small enough for a 1-year-old. She did however go back down in clothing sizes due to the lack of diaper which meant less clothes to buy. Mommy win.

Hippy I still was, but this Little Orangie threw me for a loop. Around 18 months we were out of diapers again (yeah EC took a little longer with this one) but then he got sick. I don’t really know what it was, but he had terrible “sick poop” and it just wasn’t working. Also around that time he had a fun “habit” of peeing in random bowls, cups, boxes, anything he could find. Always up for keeping life interesting…. Still at 2 for little Orangie Tay, there were no diapers. Mommy, still winning.

Now it was on to Tenny. This Little Lady had the joy of being our first little one as we lived outside more. Being naked was the norm for her (and still is) so obviously going to the bathroom outside was normal too. She also was around a lot of ultra runners during those formidable years, and for those that don’t know, ultra runners tend to use the outdoors as restrooms. So my Little Tenny made the world her potty, sigh… honestly I didn’t mind except when it was in the front yard, in front of the neighbors (which FYI, she did last week). No diapers after 2 again, just a pooper scooper…. Mommy win?

On to our adorable Mr. Tru. When I realized Tru would turn 2 during our crazy homeless summer, I decided he would spend time naked as much as possible, but I still wanted diapers on in the van. Why you ask? Laziness. I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to stop 30 times during a 9 hour van ride. Having Miss Tenny already who required frequent stops, I just couldn’t handle another. The plan was after we were settles into a kid house diapers were gone. Somehow I hadn’t counted on a broken femur and the amazingly large awkward cast that would come with it (SPICA cast). I felt guilt and decided diapers would leave when the cast was off. So here we are… my 2 1/2-year-old has decided he doesn’t mind diapers and would much rather have them on. Sitting on the potty? Well screw that I’m busy! Ugh… As you can see, this Mommy always wins, so yes, he is diaper free. And yes, that is poop on my floor. Currently the potty is his least favorite thing and he will avoid it at all costs. He loves his train underwear, so why does he soil them so often? Sigh… And I thought the Orangie was bad!

Right now we have a work in progress. Little Miss Tenny still needs to “sit” for a couple minutes sometimes until she can stand and make her way to the bathroom (to be honest I did that when I was little too, too much fun stuff going on to miss), and Mr. Tru still poops ad pees where he pleases. While you sit back and judge think about this, people stick their hand in a bag and pick up dog poop all the time. At least the fecal matter on my floor is all fruits and veggies, totally natural and not weird at all… Not a Mommy win… YET!

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To the kind young man at the park…

I met Seth at the big kids school today, said bye to the big ones, and started on a big adventure with my little 3. I put Tru in a Mei Tai on my stomach, had my large backpack that I am currently living out of on my back, and a whole foods bag with the kids stuff over my shoulder. I was weighed down and had 2 little peoples hands, we were ready!

We walked a little to the bus stop and hopped on. Apparently I really don’t know what I’m doing and that one only took us about a mile before we needed to get off. We hopped on another and were on our way again! Tru loved watching the world go by and Tay was happy trying to figure out how everything works. Ten loved sitting alone and trying to hold on so she wouldn’t fall! We got off the bus at the perfect spot to walk through the park on our way to Lala’s house. Easy, right?

Tenny apparently felt a tantrum when we were walking next to the lake was really the best approach. Ugh.. thanks Ten. Wearing a toddler in a ridiculous cast isn’t very fun either. (Have I not explained my little Tru is now in a SPICA cast which covers almost his entire lower body? Oh I will soon enough!) My hip bones were being crushed and his cast was rubbing on my leg raw, not to mention the sweat I was accumulating between us.  With Tru’s weight, my backpack, and their bag of stuff my shoulders were also on fire… but Tay and I were happily talking about everything he saw, the pain was worth it.

Eventually we passed a youngish man, maybe his late teens early 20’s. He had earbuds in and looked like he was just out for a walk, maybe a walk/run. As soon as he passed I turned to look at Tenny who was sitting on the ground in a “no I’m not going to listen to you mommy” way. The guy was also in that direction so I saw him walking away from me for a minute before he turned and started walking straight toward me. Im usually very uncomfortable with strangers and his eyes were locked on me. I tried to move out of his was but he kept coming toward me which made me start holding my breath. We he got to me he held out a stack of money with a “here, for you”. I immediately got even more uncomfortable and repeated “Oh no no thank you but no I don’t need that” and whatever else I rattled off as I tried to take some steps back.  He clearly wasn’t hearing it and slipped the money in my bag with a ” I appreciate what you are doing” and walked off. I was stunned. Honestly when you have a lot of kids people offer you money a lot, but never a young man like that.

We made it to Lala’s safely and now I sit here wondering what to do with the money. How do I “pay it forward” like this kind young man did? I don’t know if it looked like i needed it, if he was on a mission to give something, or what his reason was. To the kind young man that made some crazy lady with too man kids day, thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for reminding me there are good people in the world. Thank you for for appreciating what this Mom does for her kids even when you didn’t have to.

To the kind young man at the park, Thank you.

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Yup… That’s how it goes…

Some days start out normally then turn to hot mess in a flash… You know, just to keep in interesting.

Yesterday morning was awesome. Let’s remember at this point Seth is still in Phoenix taking care of dog stuff so its just me and five crazy hoodlums. The kids played at the creek and left me pretty much alone to do a little relaxing, sweet! Except really you should always assume shit will hit the fan if you have it too good.

Yup I do it all.

Yup I do it all.

After lunch, we headed on a little walk to the grocery store to get food for dinner and a little snack before the kids did a couple loops on the Silverton 6,12,24-hour course. I mean I had “found” $20 in my pocket, didn’t feel like hitting up the thrift store, so opted for snacks and dinner.

Walk to the grocery store turned into ride mommy to the store. Tru needed a ride since he is well, a baby, and Tenny’s tummy hurt (thanks Lala and myself for teaching her this).

Always bring to Mei Tai's, ALWAYS!

Always bring to Mei Tai’s, ALWAYS!

Nectarine for a snack and something for dinner in the bag and we headed to the ski lodge so I could steal internet and the big kids could run, perfect. I scared my mom when talking to her on the phone about bears being in the area and that I hadn’t seen the Big kids for a while, So she told me that I needed to look… ugh.. damn kids. Apparently Tajh’s knee hurt so he wouldn’t let Tea run, slow lap, fine be done for the day just play. The kids playing feeding squirrels, me scared of rabies, but still getting work done…

Baby Kisses

Baby Kisses

The I hear Tenny screaming across the parking lot and Tajh is running her over to me repeating “Don’t look at the blood look at mommy! Don’t look at the blood look at mommy!”

I calmly stand, move to the steps and sit while I wait for Tajh to bring her the rest of the way.

I say: “Hey guys whats happening?”

There is blood, lots of blood. She may have lost the front of both big toes.

I stay calm and remove my Original Buff from my head.

“Tay grab my phone” (Yup I keep it calm and remember how important instagram is)

Letting go of fashion to help out my Little Lady. Gotta Love how Original Buff's are great for everything!

Letting go of fashion to help out my Little Lady. Gotta Love how Original Buff’s are great for everything!

Cover bleeding toes

try not to cry myself

I hate blood

Me: “Hey Tenny want to call someone while Mommy cleans your toes?”

Assholes dont answer!

Music? Yes Mackelmore Thrift Shop (yes I made that reference earlier, foreshadowing?)

Cleaned toes, post blog,  need to get back to camp… waited for a while for someone to show up so we could hitch a ride to camp (1/4 mile) but no one did.

Little Lady=Big Helper! But not all the way to camp unfortunately.

Little Lady=Big Helper! But not all the way to camp unfortunately.

Damn gotta walk… Wear Tru, carry Tenny. Tay is whining and limping because his feet are a hot mess too… awesome..

Back to camp, start dinner, bandaids on Tenny, vaseline and put socks on Tay, life is good again.

Feed kids, clean dishes, damn Tru has chili in his hair.

Undress Tru, Tea watch him by the creek while I take dishes back to camp.

Shit Tru is screaming “Tea what happened?” “I don’t know” ugh…

Wash Tru, bring him back to camp, oh shit Tay just fell out of a camping chair

and Tenny peed in one..

My life…

Is it bedtime yet?

+1 shows up, rewrap Tenny’s feet, get kids clean and in pajamas, send into tent.

Loud crazy sounds from tent and then very loud ABC’s- My kids rock

I think I lost my mind. Or i'm in an abusive relationship... really either one.

I think I lost my mind. Or i’m in an abusive relationship… really either one.

Then Seth shows up, at 9;30 at night… Yup I think I deserve mother of the year.

Categories: Our Homeless Summer, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Humphreys

And so our big adventure begins. For our first stop, we decided to take advantage of some local adventure that Arizona has to offer. We stopped in Flagstaff to make a little jaunt up Humphreys Peak, which tops out at 12,633’ above the Coconino National Forest. This also allowed us to try everything out (Gear, Food, Clothing, Etc.), before we are in Colorado and wrecking every 14’er we can get our happy little feet on.

IMG_2238 

As we begin any epic adventure, it is super-critical to keep in mind that planning is important, but being flexible is mandatory for success and happiness. We packed up our nutrition (See list below), water, Kids Camelbaks, The North Face wind/rain Shells, Ruffwear pack for our furry pack mule, our mei tai’s for wearing the littles, and of course everyones’ Buff’s for the day. We headed up from the Humphreys Trailhead in lot 9 of the Snow Bowl Parking lot West of Flagstaff.

First step is always to strap the hoodlum on your back!

First step is always to strap the hoodlum on your back!

Things always look amazing at the start of a hike with kids. No summit to be seen, no idea what the terrain will hold, everyone is optimistic. When you have 5, that optimism can’t be expected to last long. While asking “how much futher is it?”, or “when are we going to get there?” and other terrible kid questions that we don’t allow, someone is bound to bonk. About an hour in Tay (6) was clearly falling into the “not enough nutrition or water” category. Using incentives (not bribes, incentives are very different!) sparingly is always important. We gave a time, “hey would you like a chocolae brownie Clif Z-bar in another half an hour? We can take a nice break them”, and that helped hold him off for a while longer. Although that “half an hour” may have only been 15 minutes but luckily none of them wear watches. There were some tears during this long, dreary, sad walk to the speacial treat (they never get these unless they are doing something senious), lucky his Buff came in handy to wipe them (and his messy face) away.

 

Sad Tay. Just a little Bonk, nothing a little special snack can't handle!

Sad Tay. Just a little Bonk, nothing a little special snack can’t handle!

 

 

The summit brought winds that scared many of the littles (maybe an adult too). At one point Tea and Sabrina lay face down attempting to avoid the high winds which seemed like they could push both of them off the mountain. Tajh on the other hand loved jumping from rock to rock and hiding from the winds. Frolicking around the summit screaming “I’m on the top of Arizona!” This kid is a hiker, through and through. Funny to note in almost any race he and Tea race he is the first to break down while Tea has a head down, no complaints approach. Yet, it was Tea who was complaining and unhappy at points during this hike, while Tajh was overly positive forcing us all to make threats on the safety of his nose.

Boys at the summit!

Boys at the summit!

 

 

 

Ladies at the summit!

Ladies at the summit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tajh in his element.

Tajh in his element.

Heading down is always welcome. Although some of the children’s feet were wrecked, there was a much more positive vibe in the group. They were proud of themselves, happy to have accomplished this, and happy to be heading back to the van. The little two were worn on our backs for almost 8 1/2hours, and they were happy to be on the ground again! This is just the begining of our adventures, but by far this is the hardest mountain we have conquered, to date. I see our failures (not feeding them early enough in the hike) and our wins (staying positive despite this). We are ready. Ready for the next amazing adventure we find ourselves in, or really just the next time we get to spend 8 ½ hours with nothing to pay attention to except putting one foot in front of the other and talking to our little people, that’s epic.

Finally the poor Little Littles got a break from being on our backs!

Finally the poor Little Littles got a break from being on our backs!

 

Totally worth the view!

Totally worth the view!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition:

Three packages Black Cherry Shot Bloks,

Strawberry Stinger Waffle,

Two Strawberry Banana Gu Gels,

Cherry Lime Gu Gel,

Chocolate Raspberry Gu Gel,

Chocolate Cherry Clif Shot Gel,

Two Peanut Butter Cookie Lara Bars,

Three Chocolate Brownie cliff z bars,

Oatmeal Cookie cliff z bar,

Four peanut butter date sandwiches

 

$46 worth of Chipotle… yup we were those assholes holding up the line for 6 burritos, a kids meal, and chips. Sorry…

 

IMG_2315

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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