Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mamas DO Deserve a Gold Star

First, I must apologize for the lack of June postings. Since the weather had finally decided to be nice after about 9 months of winter, I had to step away from the felt and computer. I would like to thank the Natural Parents Network for hosting my giveaway and guest post this month. Now, on to my latest project, Birthing Star magnets!

After a recent conversation with a friend about her home birth, she jokingly insisted that she wanted her proverbial "gold star" for having a natural birth. I (half) jokingly told her I would make her one out of felt. After I made the Home Birth Super Star magnet, I expanded to several other designs: 

The VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) Super Star

I made the Breech Birth All-Star magnet, complete with baby bum, with Cherylyn from Mamas and Babies in mind.  

HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean)

Cesarean Section Moms Rock! They also got the biggest heart of all the designs. 

Twin Birth All-Star was made for Lauren. You can read about her awesome natural hospital twin birth here.

There are a couple moms I was thinking of when I made the UC (unassisted childbirth) Waterbirth Super Star magnet. Kasie (check out her adorable handmade hair bows at Miss P's Bowtique) had her youngest son at home unassisted in water, as did Guggie of The Guggie Daily.

I just added the Surprise UC Waterbirth Star for Lauren of Hobo Mama. Her son Alrik was born a few minutes before the midwives arrived. You can read a bit about his birth here.

Sometimes babies come before the birth tub can be filled, before the midwives arrive. This Surprise UC Home Birth magnet was made for Dionna of Code Name: Mama. Her Daughter Ailia was born in a speedy 2.5 hours with just Daddy and Big Brother. How intimate! I still need to make a planned UC Home Birth magnet, too.

I ended up making 11 designs in all, including Natural Birth All-Star and Water Birth All-Star. Is your baby's birth represented? I'm sure I'm still missing a few others. This was such a fun way to celebrate all the ways babies come into this world, and the mamas who work so hard to get them there. 


Monday, June 6, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway at The Natural Parents Network

I'm super excited to share my first guest post, written for the Natural Parents Network. Though the local news stations have dubbed this "June-uary" in my area, I wanted to do a tutorial for a warm weather food and nothing says "summer" more than a juicy slice of watermelon. 

Read how to make this felt food favorite HERE. You can also see the review Amanda from Let's Take the Metro wrote about my felt fruits and veggies basket and the corresponding giveaway for a $25 gift certificate for Mama's Felt Cafe on Etsy. So go enter for your chance to win some felt goodies!

Be sure to keep an eye our for my next felt food tutorial: Red, White and Blueberry Brownie! Can you believe Fourth of July is less than a month away?!

Happy Felt Fooding!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Adventures in Babywearing

Much like my foray into Elimination Communication, baby wearing wasn't something I knew I was absolutely going to do before I became a parent. My mom had worn my younger brothers in slings so the concept was not foreign. But until you meet your baby and grow to know their personality, it's difficult to know what will and won't work.  After Asher was born, it became clear that he liked to be held and my arms ached from carrying my chunky boy. Babywearing was the answer. Here is a little about our journey to find a carrier that worked for us (and please excuse that most of the photos are bathroom self-portraits). 

One week old sleeping in a sling

My mom is an expert baby slinger and tried to show me while she was here after Asher's birth how to use one. Although I tried, I never really felt comfortable with the sling. The positioning never seemed right or the baby would sit too low. 

Two months old in a Bjorn

I picked up a conventional Baby Bjorn at a consignment shop. As Asher grew bigger, he wanted to see the world and enjoyed facing outward in a the carrier. The Bjorn doesn't provide a lot of support to baby's hips and made my back and shoulders ache as Asher approached the 15 pound weight limit. We searched for another option. 

6 months old in a stretchy wrap 

A few months later, my friend Kristin was kind enough to make Asher and I a vibrant red stretchy wrap. You can find instructions for a super easy no-sew wrap here. It took a little bit of practice to learn how to tie the wrap, but once we had it figured out, I really loved carrying Asher this way. The bright color of the wrap and the unusual carrying method garnered Asher and I a bit of attention when we went out and people stopped to ask about the wrap frequently. 

7 months old in a stretchy wrap

 We were in a store one time and an older woman stopped to talk to us about babywearing. She loved the wrap and insisted on taking a picture of Asher and I with my cell phone camera. "You'll want these pictures some day!" the lady insisted. They came out a little blurry, but she was right. 

10 months old at the zoo in the ErgoBaby

Alas, my baby grew and grew and soon was too heavy for the wrap. It was time for something new again and I opted for  soft structured ErgoBaby carrier. I kept an eye out for them to pop up on BabySteals.com and lucked out when they were the "Steal of the Day" a couple weeks later. 

Napping under the sleep hood on the ErgoBaby

The Ergo is far and away my favorite carrier (and they didn't even pay me to say that!). Though it does not have forward facing out as a carrying option, Asher loved being in the Ergo and often fell asleep riding around. It was the most comfortable carrier for me and could easily be adjusted to fit my husband. I even learned how to nurse while wearing Asher in the front. As Asher grew bigger, I carried him on my back. We even when through a phase where bouncing on an exercise ball with Asher in the Ergo was the most effective way of getting him to sleep at night. I became a pro at getting a sleeping baby off my back and laying in bed without waking him up.   

22 months on my back in the Ergo

Even now, at nearly two years old, I still wear my toddler to run errands. Keeping him close keeps him happy and we can quickly be in and out while I still have my hands free. If I were to do it again, I would probably use the stretchy wrap with a newborn and transition to the Ergo. Babywearing is definitely not one-size-fits-all and the kind of carrier that works best may evolve as your child grows. Life sure would be easier for a mama if she had a pouch like a kangaroo, but since we don't, babywearing has been the next best thing!



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