Monday, November 24, 2008

Carried away

First, a recap/update of the past three days.
  • I was not killed in a mall shooting.
  • After applying the fourth coat of white paint to some wooden letters to hang up in Bean's nursery, I was reminded of the importance of reading product labels when I learned of the existence of "semi-opaque" white paint. Twelve coats later, we're almost to opaque. (It's the principle of the matter now.)
  • Yesterday I spent over an hour and a half in the grocery store. Thumbs up to other pre-Thanksgiving shoppers, who did a great job of navigating the carts so aisle traffic was relatively smooth. Thumbs down to the check-out clerk, who had no sense of urgency and an unnecessary focus on perfection when bagging groceries. You are not playing Tetris, we just need to get our food into the car and then into the house. Thanks.
  • We learned that our homeowner's association mandates that each house be decorated for Christmas, unless you have religious objections. Being naturally defiant, we are considering converting to Buddhism.
  • I was right, "the cheese stands alone" is the last verse of The Farmer in the Dell. Best nursery rhyme ever.
  • DH painted the guest room, as his friends are staying with us over Thanksgiving weekend and I wanted (him) to make it nice in there. The walls look AMAZING -- pictures to follow when the room is set up -- and now I feel like the rest of the house is crap in comparison.
  • Evey Louise has rediscovered her puppyhood habit of removing items from the garbage cans, shredding them, and scattering them around various areas the house. While I appreciate her doing her part to redecorate the rest of the rooms, we apparently have differing ideas on which of mommy's used personal items are appropriate for guests to see.
  • This morning I had the pleasure of meeting Jen from Despite the Best Laid Plans... We have been following each other's blogs for over a year and finally got together for coffee. She is super friendly, we immediately starting chatting like we had known each other for years. Jen and baby Jillian both look fantastic, and they are already getting more sleep at 7 weeks than we are at 8 months. Luckily I'm not bitter.

Now, I will address a comment from two posts ago, left by my college BFF and maid-of-honor at our wedding, Kristin. I thought I detected a bit of sarcasm aimed at my modest collection of baby carriers, so I am opening it up for her (and your) review. It's not nearly as fabulous of a stash as others have, but it works for us.

The official carrier count, in the order they were acquired...

1. We registered for a BabyBjorn because it's one of the few carriers at BRU, and there are stylish, attractive European people wearing it in their advertisements. It's not terrible, certainly the dog liked it. And DH wore it several times with the baby, too. But the design is not the most comfortable (nor ergonomically correct) for the wearer or the baby.

2. When Bean was a newborn, I heard people rave about their Moby wraps. Finding myself plus one baby who refuse to be calm unless he was snuggled up with someone, I decided it was worth a shot. Bingo! It was like he never left the womb. Sort of. There are many different ways you can wrap the Moby, but I used it most for the front-carry position when he was tiny. Now that he's bigger, I don't often have the patience to fuss with all that fabric, and it's too stretchy for long-term wearing with a heavy baby. At our recent babywearing meeting, our group leader used a tighter cotton weave wrap with her 1.5 year old, and it was super cool. So I'm keeping my Moby for perhaps a future newborn (please!), but I'd love to get one made of different fabric for now when I'm in the mood to wrap. Because really, wraps are the most comfortable carrier once they are on.

3. I got my first sling when I saw an unpadded Slinglings on for only $15. What an amazing invention. The fitted slings are great because they fold up very small into the diaper bag for traveling, and I can pop him on my hip in about 30 seconds. I use it all the time when I am running errands and want my hands free in the stores, or when we have a long walk from the car to our destination (such as at the doctor's office when we have to park in the parking garage and walk to the office area of the hospital). Doesn't he look happy?

4. Next was my first major purchase, a Calyx from Mama by Design. As Bean grew and still loved being carried, I wanted to wear him in the back carry position for more convenience. This is now my favorite one. It's so nice to be free to fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, and do other chores around the house while satisfying his desire to be close to me. I wore it on Saturday when we hit a bunch of stores along a strip mall, no stroller to navigate and he fell asleep with his sweet little face snuggled into my back. Precious! And it's super comfortable, too.

5. When doing research on ring slings for a new baby gift for my friend Allison, I selected a Maya Lightly Padded Sling based on mommy reviews. Of course I got the bug, too, and had to have one for myself. When DH's employer gave us a $50 gift card to, I knew exactly how to spend it. This carrier is definitely Bean's favorite, as it offers the widest range of vision and provides easy access for him to grab whatever I have in my hands (such as the camera). It takes longer to put on than the fitted slings, but the adjustability and light padding at the shoulder make it more comfortable for longer periods of time.
6. Next I set my eyes on a mei tai. I specifically wanted it for the front carry position, as the Moby is too stretchy now and the Calyx is a bit bulky for that. You may remember this post from about a month ago when I mentioned my field trip to the baby carrier warehouse. I ended up with a Napsack Baby, which is so comfortable I can hardly tell there is almost 20 pounds strapped to my stomach. I used it in the airport, I was actually able to get him in there without waking him so I could have both hands free to lug a ridiculous amount of luggage all by myself. My next task is to try to practice using it as a back carrier, because I have a suspicion I will like that, too.

7. When I was at the Attached to Baby warehouse, the owner Sara offered me one of the padded Slinglings from the returns for a deeply discounted price. Seriously, what was I going to say, NO?! It's got padding at the legs so that it's more comfortable for Bean. Come on, it's his COMFORT we are talking about.

And that's all of them: 7! I *heart* babywearing because it allows me to go about my day even though Bean loves to be held so much. He gets to be close to me and can participate (sort of) in the things that I do around the house. It's also convenient for quick trips, shopping, and other times when I'd like my hands free. In return for the deluxe ride, Bean must endure constant head kisses from his mom. It's pretty much win-win. I grab one carrier over another based on what I'm doing and what I'm wearing.
But don't think that because of this, my house is clean. Or I've cooked dinner. Or I've accomplished anything significant today. Let's be realistic. I had to type this post, didn't I?


Kristina P. said...

Slings sort of freak me out. But I don't have children, so we'll see.

And I can't believe your HOA mandates you have to decorate for Christmas! I have never heard of such a thing!

lisawitt said...

Do your streets each have a theme?? A neighborhood around here does and you have to agree to participate before you move in!

Love all the carriers! Makes me want to try out my Zolo sling again now that Z is older to see what he thinks!!

And of course Bean is ADORABLE as always!!!

C said...

Lisa - Gosh, I don't think our streets have themes. Just seems to be random Christmas stuff so far. But it makes me worried about what else we missed in the HOA list of rules. I was too busy to read them so I just lied to the realtor and told him we were fine with everything...

Coffeegrl said...

Hmmm. All of your slings and carriers make me jealous. Our daughter LOVED her Moby. Several weeks after we had joined our new parents' group some of the parents commented that they were finally seeing our daughter for the first time. She spent so much time in the wrap that it was weeks before anyone met her! I've been longing for something that can withstand a bigger baby - the Moby is great for the little ones, but I agree it's too stretchy for the older tots. At 10 months, we need more heft!

Also --- crazy HOA mandates!

Alisa J. said...

So what sling do they recommend for a 25 pound toddler who is walking and yet not well enough on his own and also does not seem to like to sit in one place for any length of time (i.e. the Target shopping carts) unless there is some form of constant entertainment (which makes the driver the least favorite shopper since she can't seem to push a cart in a straight line as she is tending to aformentioned attention seeker)???

Michelle said...

I never heard of being mandated to decorate for xmas. Wow that is a lot of carriers but they look great. And if it makes life easier for you then get as many as you want. You deserve it. Bean is way too cute!!

Jen said...

It was a lot of fun having coffee yesterday! And despite all of my sleep, I still can't follow simple directions like "in front of Home Depot". *sigh*

Good luck with the decorating. I was thinking that you should find all of the tackiest decorations possible, and then maybe they will ask you NOT to decorate next year!

Soxy Deb said...

I never had any of those. Not one. Are you sure you have enough (what sarcasm?)

As usual, Bean is too cute for words. Squish his little cheeks for me wouldya?

Kristin H. said...

Bean certainly looks comfortable in his many carriers and now I clearly see that you have a totally normal collection of baby carriers :)

Sort of reminds me of a favorite college roommate, who always had the best and most expansive collection of nail polish ;)