French Flea Market

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sons & Daughters

A few months before I delivered Levi, I took up sewing again. I started making onesies and blankets and bibs and burp cloths. I got lots of compliments on my stuff and people started encouraging me to sell them. We had such a hard time finding baby stuff that was our style so instead of searching and paying a fortune... I made exactly what we wanted.

It has been a slow start and it has been a lot of trial and error but now I think its really going somewhere. I got an etsy account a while back and sold a blanket within the first 12 hours. I was pumped and very confident and then... I didnt sell anything else (other than to people I knew).

During our move, I took a little break and have been making new designs. I got asked to join a group of work at home moms on Hyena Cart called The WAHMbulance so this February 1 I will be doing my first stocking and I am very very excited. We stock our items (up to 10) two times a month (the 1st and 15th). While I get this up and running, I am taking a small break from etsy but soon I will be putting my stuff back up.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Favorite Babywearing Pictures

Our first Family walk- Levi was around 3 weeks
Beautiful Alaska-
Our 4 year anniversary of being together and Levi's 1 month birthday

Hanging at the coffee shop after a nice walk
Alaska State Fair
Our Christmas Card photo
Cooking in Claudia Jean

This is what we call "butt poppage"! It is when the fabric starts to slide out from under their butt
Looking at the Ice Sculptures on New Years
Whooohoo! Scooters Beco! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
My brother, Levi and I on Christmas Eve
Making cheesecake on Christmas Eve

Friday, January 15, 2010

Crotch Danglers and Front Facing

Baby Bjorn

Im sure you have heard this term used for the Baby Bjorn. I know that some moms have gotten very defensive about this and insist it if an amazing carrier and it allows baby to face out so they prefer it.
Before you purchase a Bjorn, please do your research. I think it is pretty obvious when you look at it that it cannot be beneficial to a baby but if you don't agree, just do some research.
The Bjorn doesn't distribute the weight of you baby very well. Instead, the baby is held by the crotch.

Here, see for yourself :

Becos (and other SSCs that I have talked about) distribute your babies weight more on your hips than the Bjorn. As you can see, the Bjorn rests more on your shoulders.
Also, as you can see the Beco holds your baby more like you would hold her if you were just holding her. Her legs are more apart and the carrier holds her in more of a sitting position. The Bjorn just holds her by the crotch which cannot be too comfortable.

Here are some great websites with more info:

Front Facing

This is a very poplar debate. I know that sometimes babies want to be be facing out because they want to see more. Levi went through a phase like that too. However, as we have seen in the Bjorn pictures, it just doesn't look very safe or comfortable. Other SSCs do not have the forward facing option (however, Beco is putting out a carrier soon that allows front facing and it has been a bit controversial).
The reason front facing is not recommended is because it can be too much stimuli for your babies little eyes. What I have found is that most babies do go through a faze where they always want to be facing out but that passes and they become content with facing in (or on your back). So if you are one of those moms with a baby who prefers front facing, hang in there. It gets better! Please, do not buy a crotch danger.

So Many Choices

If you have looked at anything about babywearing, you will quickly learn that there are many, many choices. It can be overwhelming at first but the wonderful thing is that you have many options and you can find what works best for you!

Types of Carriers


Woven Wraps:

Woven wraps are very very popular. They are very versatile have many different carries that you can do! They are also great for newborns up to toddlers. They come in many different colors and are so beautiful.
The downside of these wraps is that they can be difficult to learn and look very intimidating. But, I promise you that once you get the hang of it, they are wonderful and so comfortable that you can wear your little one for hours without pain.
There are also different lengths of wraps. Shorter wraps obviously can't do as many carries but they are more convenient with some carries so you dont have a bunch of excess length.

The most common brands are: Girasol, Didymos, Hoppediz, and Neobulle,

This is a Girasol Woven called Claudia Jean 4.6

Stretchy Wraps:

I really like stretchy wraps for newborns. I didn't have a woven when Levi was young so maybe that is why but I really enjoyed my stretchy wrap.
Sleepy Wrap is the most common seller of stretchy wraps, however you can make one your self for a lot cheaper. Do it yourself and pick the fabric you want! You dont even need sewing skills (unless you want to hem the edges).

This is my husband, Levi and I camping when Levi was 2 months old. I kept him in there the whole time and he loved it! It is a wonderful, comfortable, discreet way to nurse.

This is another wrap I made. Please note that this is NOT the correct way to wear a wrap. I slid him in it real quick for the picture so you could still see the wrap.
I sewed a patch of fabric to the center but that is not necessary, it was just for looks.

Mei Tais (MT)

A Mei Tai is a rectangle fabric that has four long straps to wrap and tie around you. You can wear it on your front or back. It is a little more versatile than a Soft Structure Carrier and it doesn't have any buckles.

The most common brand is BabyHawk which is what I have personally and I love.
Other brands are: Bamberoo, Kozy, Freehand, Catbird Baby, and there is a work at home mom who makes wonderful carriers called Wrapstar.
With that being said, please be careful of homemade MTs. Some can be great but be sure to do your research because some are not heavy duty.

This is a back carry in my BabyHawk- Levi was about 4 months so he was a little small for a back carry but he didn't mind it.
This is one of the front carries- Levi was 8 months here

SSC (soft structure carriers)

These carriers are similar to MTs but they have buckles instead of ties. They are great for babies of any size. Most carriers have newborn inserts in them but also can carry toddlers up to 45lbs. They are easy to adjust which makes them nice for all sized of kids and for dads.

Most common brands are: Beco, Ergo, Pikkalo, Oh Snap (babyhawk brand), and Patapum.

My personal favorite is Beco but the only other SSC I have tried is a Patapum (which I also loved). I think SSC is all about preference. I have heard all different moms say different things about what they like and don't like. I have the Beco and it works wonderful for us. I like it because it is comfortable, quick and easy.

This is the scooters Beco. It is absolutely beautiful. I love it.
This is a back carry (sorry its blurry, its from my phone).

Ring Slings

Ring slings are wonderful. I just got my first one a few months ago and I love it. It is very quick and looks cute with any outfit. I haven't tried it with a newborn but I could see how Levi would have loved it when he was smaller.

The most common brands are: Sleeping Baby Productions (known as SPB) and Sakura Bloom (my favorite).
It is possible for you to make your own but if you do, please only use these sling rings and these instructions.

This is my beautiful Sakura Bloom
This is part of the Hana Collection and has silk on the tail

This is my favorite carrier for when I get more dressed up. It looks super cute.


These are probably the most main stream carriers (other than the Bjorn which I will be talking more about later). These carriers are similar to to a ring sling without the ring. I used a pouch when Levi was a newborn and I did like it for a while but Levi didn't like being laid down any more so we moved onto the stretchy wrap.

The most common brands are: Hotsling and Peanut Shell.

This is a Hotsling.
This was when Levi was 1 month old

I hope you have found this a little bit helpful. If you are new to babywearing, please to not be overwhelmed just yet! It may seem like a lot right now but once you do some research, it's pretty simple.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. And stay tuned for more topics such as: where to buy used, how to wear correctly and more info on dangerous carriers.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Benefits of BabyWearing

I am a babywearing addict. There, I admit it.
Some girls like shoes, purses and clothes.
I like baby carriers.

Other than all the benefits that come from babywearing, there is the obvious- it looks awesome. But I'm not that vain. There are so many great things that babywearing brings.

Babies who are worn:

Cry less-
It has been proven that babies who are worn cry less and are more content. Research has shown that babies who are carried cry 43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours.
Learn more-
When you are wearing your baby and doing things they are constantly learning about their surroundings
Get "humanized" earlier-
A baby who is being worn is doing, seeing and hearing what their mother (or whoever is carrying them) is doing and seeing and hearing.
Are more organized-
After spending 9 months in a comfortable womb, a baby comes into a world that is unknown and its a bit chaotic. If you continue carrying them close you are creating the womb experience which is a lot more calm and organized.
Are smarter-
"Environmental experiences stimulate nerves to branch out and connect with other nerves, which held the brain grow and develop." Your baby immediately becomes involved with everything you are doing. How could your baby not be smart?

BabyWearing is good for you too

Is it just me or is my baby the only one who gets fussy and restless around dinner time? This was always a problem in the beginning. I would be determined to make a nice dinner before Steve came home... but it always seemed impossible. And then, I started wearing Levi. Now I love making dinner because I can spend time with Levi and calm him down at the same time. Sometimes he will even nap. So there I am, making dinner and being a good wife AND holding and comforting my son at the same time. Dinner time used to be a dread, but now I enjoy it.
Other than making dinner, I can also clean the house, dance around (which I do quite often) and I have been able to do things I love such as sewing and crafts. I have been so productive since I have started wearing Levi.

Breastfeeding becomes a breeze

Breastfeeding is a big part of taking care of a baby, especially a newborn. I spent so much time nursing Levi and much of that time he was in his carrier. Breastfeeding and sitting for hours and hours and hours can get quite boring. Then I started wearing him and I was able to actually do stuff, while being discreet and keeping him happy.
I remember we went on a short camping trip when Levi was two months old. He was in the stretchy wrap I had made 99% of the time. It was wonderful. I had fun being outside and being near the bonfire while Levi had fun sleeping and nursing right up against me. He was safe and he was happy. Nobody even knew he was nursing. It was wonderful.

Spending time with the other kids

Levi is my first but I do watch my little brother (almost 4) and I babysit a 1 year old. It is wonderful to be able to care for my son and do stuff with the other kids. And I am really looking forward to having more kids because I know I can wear my babies and still spend time with the older kids. Im also excited to have more kids because then my husband and I can both babywear (sometimes we fight about who gets to wear Levi).

What a work out

Not only do I feel accomplished when I can cook and clean with Levi on the back but I also feel like I got a work out. And sometimes Ill turn up the music, cook, clean and do a little dancing in between. Levi loves it.

Its so easy on the go

Have you ever used a stroller? By the time I get it out of the car and set up, Im exhausted. Its so big and bulky and so much work. Don't get me wrong, I have used it from time to time but now that I am so comfortable with babywearing, I don't think Ill ever use it again. Its way too much work. And then when Im shopping, I cant even look at what I want to look at because its too wide and doesn't fit through the little isles. And then, if thats not enough to change my mind, every time I stop moving the stroller Levi yells at me to keep moving. This makes for a very unhappy mom and a stressful trip.

So if this isn't enough to convince you that babywearing is the greatest thing on earth then maybe all the cute pictures Ill be posting soon will be enough to change your mind.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Attachment Parenting

"Attachment parenting is a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents."
-Dr. Sears

I hadn't planned on being an "AP" parent. When I was pregnant with my precious Levi-Bear, I was certain I would put him in his crib from day one, let him cry it out, and I actually remember telling my mom, "I really don't want to breast feed. Im not going to like it. I just don't want to." And here I am, a firm believer in attachment parenting. I believe it in so much that I want to write about it because I don't think enough moms know about the benefits, especially young moms.

I have found great information from Dr. Sears. I love all his books and I'll be using a lot of quotes from him. I hope that you will not take anything I say in the wrong way. I understand that this parenting style is not for everyone. I am in no way judging you and your decisions in parenting. This happens to be what works for us and I am very passionate about it! I definitely do not know everything so I hope I don't sound like a "know-it-all". I just want you to do your research and to parent the way you believe is best. I did my research and this is what I believe in. So, here it goes:


Im going to go through the 7 Baby B's and talk about each one in detail.


"A close attachment after birth and beyond allows the natural, biological attachment-promoting behaviors of the infant and the intuitive, biological, caregiving qualities of the mother to come together."

Obviously, the ideal delivery would be an easy, quick one where you baby comes out and is immediately handed to the mother to bond and hopefully nurse. This is not always the case. For me, I had to have a c-section and although I got to see Levi right away, I was not able to hold or touch him. Steve did press his cheek up against mine for a moment but then he was rushed away and I didn't see him until after I woke up (about 30 minutes). This was traumatic for me. I was so disappointed and felt like a failure because I wasnt able to have the birth bonding experience like some moms do.
If you are like me, please don't feel this way. If you weren't able to hold and nurse your baby immediately, it is OKAY. You are not hopeless and you can still practice attachment parenting.

"Breastfeeding is an exercise in babyreading. Breastfeeding helps you read your baby's cues, her body language, which is the first step in getting to know your baby. Breastfeeding gives baby and mother a smart start in life. Breastmilk contains unique brain-building nutrients that cannot be manufactured or bought. Breastfeeding promotes the right chemistry between mother and baby by stimulating your body to produce prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that give your mothering a boost."

Come on, it is no secret that "breast is best" is definitely true. God designed our bodies this way and even before your milk comes in, the colostrum that comes in is all your baby needs. I find that amazing.
-Before I go any farther- if you were NOT able to breastfeed for a medical reason, I am truly sorry and I hope that you don't find this offensive. I know some mothers who had serious medical problems and weren't able to breast feed, if that is you- it is OKAY. Don't put yourself on a guilt trip, hopefully the cirumstances with your next baby will be different and I pray that you will get to breast feed because I think it is absolutely wonderful.

Okay, back to breastfeeding- I have actually heard people say they didnt make enough milk and that was the problem so they quit. Please listen to me when I say that is not the case! There are so many ways you can make more milk and I will give you some tips because we had many many obstacles in our early breastfeeding stages.
Levi was born at 7lbs 14oz. By day 5, when we went home, he was down to 7lbs 2oz. We couldn't figure out what was wrong. My milk had come in and Levi was a nursing maniac. We struggled with his weight for 4 months. I did everything I knew how to do. I pumped after every feeding. I took Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek (which I highly recommend, it is increase my milk supply) and I nursed Levi every couple hours. MANY people thought I should give up and some people tried to tell me over and over that formula was fine and to just supplement - no big deal.
BUT I was determined. I would not give up. SO after talking to a Lactation Consultant, I decided to give Levi 1 oz of organic formula for a couple days and see how he did. Scared that he would get impatient nursing, I fed him through a syringe so he wouldn't even know what a bottle would be like. I also pumped after every single feeding and fed him the expressed milk (with a syringe) at the end of the day. After 3 days, he gained 5 oz. It was WONDERFUL. So after doing this for a week, I stopped the organic formula. Then after another week, I stopped pumping all together. He was gaining about 1 oz a day fora couple months. It was wonderful.

So, here I am to tell you that if you are having difficulties or you are discouraged, PLEASE talk to me! I would love to talk with you because it IS possible to continue breast feeding. Levi is 9 1/2 months and loves nursing.

I have also heard doctors say "you can supplement with formula here and there, it wont effect your supply." That is NOT true. It will effect your supply. The more you nurse, the more milk you'll make! So don't give up, keep at it! I promise you, it'll be worth it.

I also highly recommend this article by Nancy Cambell called Breast Feeding God's Way! Please check it out!


Baby wearing is definitely one of my passions (and obsessions). Baby wearing is common all over the world and thats one reason I think it is so beautiful. Baby wearing is practical, convenient AND good for you and baby.

I will be talking a lot about baby wearing in my blog because I get lots of questions about it and I just love to talk about it. Please, stay tuned for more info on baby wearing.


This is most commonly known as "co-sleeping" or "bed sharing". It really doesn't matter what you call it because its the same idea, you sleep close to (or with) your baby.

I was completely against this concept before I had Levi. Even when I was pregnant I was sure that we would have Levi in his crib the first night. Ha. It didn't happen that way at all. In the hospital, Levi slept in the bed with me and I nursed on and off throughout the night. When I came home from the hospital, nothing changed. After a rough c-section and recovery, I slept on the couch, propped up and Levi slept in my arms.
Once I was able to lay in bed, it was just easier for Levi to be next to me. The last thing I wanted to do was get up and get him in and out of his crib. So there we lay, comfy and cuddled in bed... with the beautiful 4-in-1 crib in the corner, and a bunch of clothes and junk laying in it.

For a short time we did use the Amby Hammock (they just recalled these and I have mixed feelings about it because I still think they are great-I need to look into it and blog about it later). We loved it and Levi slept in it great. But all of Levi's weight gain issues led me to just keeping him next to me and nursing all night... and thats what we still do. I started co-sleeping for convenience but then I grew to love it and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

We also bought an Arms Reach Co-Sleeper. I highly recommend these. And with our next baby, we will use this from day 1. But the time we got it for Levi, he was already used to our comfy mattress and he didn't really want to lay in the co-sleeper. But the downside of that is that he will ONLY sleep in my bed with me, and I do wish we had more of a variety of ways to put him to sleep.

I will not lie to you. Co-sleeping has its pros and cons. But to me, and my husband- the pros definitely outweigh the cons. And its not like Levi will be in junior high, sleeping with us. When he's ready, he will sleep alone and thats okay with us. We have put our bed on the ground and we have a toddler mattress next to the bed. Some times I will nurse Levi to sleep on that and he will sleep there for a couple hours. And as he gets older I think he will sleep there. I can't even imagine him being in his own room yet, so I don't see that happening in the near future.

Bottom line- co-seeping works for us. We love bed sharing and we can't imagine it any other way.


"A baby's cry is a signal designed for the survival of the baby and the development of the parents. Responding sensitively to your baby's cries builds trust. Babies trust that their caregivers will be responsive to their needs. Parents gradually learn to trust in their ability to appropriately meet their baby's needs. This raises the parent-child communication level up a notch. Tiny babies cry to communicate, not to manipulate."

I am a firm believer in this. Babies cry to communicate and I cannot imagine setting Levi down and letting him cry. Why would he trust me if I don't respond when he needs me. I know this sounds harsh and not everyone agrees but I have heard Levi cry and it kills me. With that being said, there are times that Levi will be overly tired or go through phases where he doesn't want to nurse and he'll just lay in my arms and cry. But the whole time he does that, I am there talking to him and patting his back. And that is the difference between that and crying-it-out.
I know that as babies get older, they do learn to "manipulate" in a way because they know how you will react and they know the ways to get a reaction out of you. But come on, they aren't sitting there thinking "alright, if I cry long enough, Im sure mom will come back. Im just going to cry to see what happens". They cry for a reason and even if that reason is because they are scared or for the simple fact that they want mom or dad, that is a reason and as a mother, I cant imagine not responding.


Attachment parenting teaches you how to be discerning of advice, especially those rigid and extreme parenting styles that teach you to watch a clock or a schedule instead of your baby; you know, the cry-it-out crowd. This "convenience" parenting is a short-term gain, but a long-term loss, and is not a wise investment. These more restrained styles of parenting create a distance between you and your baby and keep you from becoming an expert in your child.

This is a big one. I have gotten a lot of criticism from people for co-sleeping, nursing to sleep and not letting Levi cry-it-out. At first, I started to listen to all the advice I got. I even laid Levi in his crib (that only happened about 3 times) and let him cry because that is what everyone told me to do and I hadn't done research.
Its really hard when everyone tells you the way you should do it and nobody supports your decision. So what I found was helpful was doing the research myself. After I did the research, I became confident in what I was doing because I had reasons and now I am doing exactly what I feel is best. I would never do anything that I think would harm of be unhealthy for Levi and I stand by each decision I make. I am very proud of my parenting style and I think you should do. Do your research and stand by your decision.


In your zeal to give so much to your baby, it's easy to neglect the needs of yourself and your marriage. As you will learn the key to putting balance in your parenting is being appropriately responsive to your baby – knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no," and having the wisdom to say "yes" to yourself when you need help.

This is a working progress. I wish that I could tell you all the ways I have mastered this and that I have perfect balance. But, that would be a lie. I tend to be a bit extreme so when I do something (like becoming a mother) I put everything into it and other things fade into the background. This is not the healthy and I have learned that. Before I became a mother, I was a wife and that is still very important. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who is patient and understanding.
I am not perfect. I am learning as I go and I will always have room for improvement. The important thing is that I try my hardest and I believe in my parenting style. I am confident in what I do and proud of the way I am raising my son!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pictures of the past

Here are some fun pictures starting from when Steve and I started dating in 2005 until December 2009 (when Levi turned 8 months).

More pictures to come- Enjoy!!!

8 months old
7 months old
6 months old
5 months old
4 months old
3 months old
2 months old
1 month old

Our first family picture
Holding and nursing for the first time
Wedding day: July 18, 2008

Graduation: May 2008
3 Year anniversary and the day he purposed: May 1, 2008

Homecoming: February 2008
Summer 2007

Homecoming: March 2007

Summer 2006
Our First Homecoming: February 2006
Our first picture ever: May 2005