Sunday, 30 June 2013

COTW #22 - Poppins Double Hammock

by Aline Kelly
This carry is a hybrid - a Double Hammock with an alternate finish inspired by Poppins Hip Carry. It is a very simple alteration that gives this carry a beautiful new look, and is a sophisticated option for dress-up occasions. 

General instructions:
- These directions assume that you already know how to tie a double hammock. (If not, COTW link here)
- When you get to the stage of the L-pull, bring the tail you were just working with under your arm. 
- Create a Poppins-like twist at the center of your chest - cross the two tails so that they hook together, intersect, and go back in the direction they came.
- Bring both tails back under your arms and tie under bum. 

(to see only the alternate finish, skip to around 4:40)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wordless Wednesday: A Week In The Life Of Tracey

Sunday – Babywearing on the way to Grandma's house. It was raining so we used our big blue DIY woven wrap. She didn't have a drop of rain on her and I was able to tend to my other two children.

Monday – Babywearing in my Sevensling at Walmart. She fell asleep in the car, so didn't want to walk. Hooray for the emergency sling in my purse.

Tuesday – Babywearing with the Ergo in town for a business meeting and errands. So much easier than a stroller.

Wednesday – Ergo again, carrying baby on my back while hanging out the laundry. Lifesaver!

Thursday – Using the Ergo to get the kids off the bus and babywearing in my silk blend wrap to a play date where I learned about turning it into a Mai Tei. Can't wait!

Friday – Babywearing with my blue woven wrap home from the park while my 5 year old took a break in the stroller and then shopping. Love this thing.

Saturday – Babywearing in the Ergo on front. It rained again, but she was dry!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Weaving Weather-Proof Adventure Walks

by Kim Brooks

Children have a natural affinity towards nature.  Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children's attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.  -Robin C. Moore and Herb H Wong

It's raining!  Yes!  That means today's walk will be full of lively smells, water drops rolling down our cheeks, the soft sound of rain sliding off leaves, watching shiny worms climb to higher ground, noticing how gravity pulls the rain down but the breeze pushes it sideways.  Everything is shiny, fresh, damp, and different then when it was sunny!  The rain has brought us a brand new hike on the same trail we walked yesterday!

My daughter and I are sure to get outside everyday.  We hike, explore and walk in our neighbourhood and beyond with her on my back in a woven wrap or our favourite soft structured carrier.  On the tougher teething days or when she's really tired she's on my chest.  As she's gotten older and become more interested in her surroundings, our walks have become a great time to chat about what we are seeing, hearing, smelling and touching.  Sometimes we're just quiet and leave each other to our own experiences. 

Ottawa's beautiful paths, trails and neighbourhoods offer endless opportunities to engage with and breathe in nature.  Our city's warm, hot, cold, rainy, snowy, windy, breezy, beautiful, frigid and sometimes challenging weather only adds to the string of ways we can weave new walking adventures every day.

I wanted to share a few fun ways to create your own adventure walks with the changing seasons and weather as your inspiration!  These activities and ideas can be used for any age group - even a baby will reach out and touch colours you point to for example.  Use these activities to spark conversation with older toddlers and to engage your 3 month old in his/her environment.

Rainbow Chips:  Head to the paint store and collect a pile of paint chip cards, the ones with all the shades of green, blue, yellow, pink, orange etc.  Cut them up into individual pieces and take them with you on your next hike or walk.  See how many colours you can find in nature - it's amazing how many colours there are once you start really looking!  Lichen, tree bark, leaves, flowers, even all the different grasses are different colours!  If you don't have paint chips, use the clothes you are wearing (or even your wraps!) and see if you can find those colours in nature.  Every season has a new colour palate!

Magic Paintbrushes:  Bring a paintbrush with you on your next hike with a bottle of water.  Use the water as "paint" and see how things in nature change when they are wet.  What new colours do you see?  Does the rock change colours when it's "painted" with water?  Do cedar trees smell different when they are wet? You can also use a spray bottle and "spray paint".

What doesn't belong?:  Toddlers can point out things that don't belong in nature like garbage, pop cans, and plastic bags.  Bring along a bag to safely put those things in an put them in the garbage or recycling box when you get home.

Touch Touch:  Reach out and touch tree bark, leaves (avoiding certain ones of course), rocks, soil. My daughter loves grabbing tree branches and exploring them.  Ask your baby what it feels like?  "Is it rough?  Is it cold?"  My daughter doesn't say anything back other than "ba", but she is learning about her environment hands-on.

Mud/Snow/Sand Tracks:  Look closely and see if you can spot any animal (or human) tracks.  Are those bird prints in the snow?  Has a squirrel pulled apart a pinecone on that nearby rock?  Can you see the trail left by the worm in the mud?  How many spider webs do you see?

Tea Cups:  Bring a cup with you on your hike and ask your toddler to make you a cup of tea that smells delicious.  Using the smells he/she finds in nature (soil, cedar, moss etc.) he/she can make you a cup of tea.  Breathe it in and talk about all the scents.  This can work well if your child is on your back so she/he can reach out and smell different items in nature.  Of course, it's always great to get down and explore too!

Home Sweet Home:  Can you see any homes?  Who lives in that nest?  What about that ant hill? What lives in that hole in the log?  Who lives in that pile of leaves?  How many spider webs can you see along the sidewalk?

As we carry them in our wraps, slings and carriers, let's engage our children with nature.  I hope these ideas offer some inspiration for your next walk in the woods, on Bank St. or along the Ottawa River. The joy of nature is that it manages to be everywhere - see how many plants and dandelions you can find growing in the cracks in the asphalt on your neighbourhood streets!  

Grab your umbrella, put on your giant down jacket, slop on the sunscreen, find a tuque, wrap your baby and weave yourselves an adventure no matter what the weather!

Happy Babywearing!

As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen un-selfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.  -Valerie Andrews

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sling Library Silent Auction

by Tami Grosset

A month or so ago I asked our members if they had a talent or skill they would like to share with the group. We were looking for donations of items to include in a silent auction to be placed online in a public forum. We were quickly overwhelmed by the wonderful and diverse items donated by members and their families.

Today the auction went live. It can be found on Facebook where you will see the 30 plus lots of varying price points, something for everyone with all different sized budgets.

Here is a sample of some of the items;

2 Hours of Dog-Walking, with Liz Popovich
2 x 1 hour dog walks in Kanata, Barrhaven, Stittsville, Nepean or west end area with a dog lover and experienced owner. On or off leash at Bruce Pit (or other off-leash parks in the area) also possible. Pick up and drop off in the west side of the city included.

One dozen glorious, yet gluten free, chocolate fudge cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting, by Angela Thain.
Reversible Bucket hat made in any of the following sizes: Extra-small, fits 6-12 M, inside crown measurement, 18", small, 12-24 M, 19"; medium, 3-5, 20"; large, 6-8, 21" In the fabrics shown here. Can add ties but the hat will NOT be reversible! Donated with thanks by Johanna Persohn

 Hand sewn potholder set by Johanna Persohn

 This is a Mama and Baby Bag with a ring attachment for the strap to help put on your bag while wearing your baby! It is 15 inches across and 13.5 tall and 4 inches wide at the sides. It has many many pockets including a large zippered pocket on the back to help organize your things and a magnetic tab closure. It is made out of Linen and cotton for the printed portion. Hand Made by Tiphanie.

Custom patchwork baby quilt with appliqué and hand embroidery, by Erin Cardoso.
Choose a selection from her designer fabric stash for the patchwork, a cute saying or quote, an initial, and a small design. This quilt will be one of a kind made especially for your baby with lots of love and care!
Made with 100% cotton, or a linen cotton blend, generously sized dimensions of 34" by 46"(approx)

 Trailhead Chiropractic offer an initial appointment plus 2 follow up appointments. 
 DONA trained birth doula Julie Wormsley offers a birth doula service that includes;
- 2 prenatal visits
- ongoing support via phone and email
- 24/7 on call as of 38 weeks
- continuous support during labour and until 1-2 hours after birth
- breastfeeding support and resources
- 2 postpartum visits

 50% off a General Aire Humidifier Installation with JustAir Heating & Cooling. The full price of the installation is $600 but with this 50% discount the winner of this lot would only have to pay $300.

 Tree of Life Necklace - Bronze
This bronze disc depicting a mighty tree on delicate gold fill chain makes an elegant reminder to "stay firmly planted, but always reach for the sky".
•Make it your own - layer with personal charms (select from the Stella & Dot charm collection)
•16" in length plus 2" extender.
•Spring ring closure.
•Exclusively designed in NYC
•Artisan crafted and hand finished
•Hypo Allergenic
•Lead & nickel safe
Donated, with thanks, by Alicia Fagan, Stella & Dot Independent Stylist

Reversible Blue Geometric Jumper size: 5T
Couture Kids is happy to donate this gorgeous graphic jumper to the OBG. This A-line jumper is a great investment with completely adjustable straps so you can find the perfect fit. Wear it was a dress and in the future as a tunic.

For more clothing from Couture Kids visit us on Facebook

As you can see OBG-ers are not just talented creative folks but they are super generous too!! With the collective value of over $2000 we hope to raise enough cash to get the library started and cover running costs for some time to come. 

Please hop on over the to auction and find the item that speaks to you! The auction closes on the 21st July and winners will be announced at 7pm that evening.

Good luck and happy bidding!!

My Stash Monday: Aline's Stash

Our first carrier that Quinn would tolerate was a Beco Gemini. As a newborn he had rejected, loudly and passionately, the Ergo, the ring sling, and the stretchy wrap. Something about the Beco made him feel safe and secure, and at three months old this shift completely changed how we could care for him.

He was always an intense, opinionated, and curious baby. He wanted to be held. He wanted to see everything. He wanted everything to feel just right. A quick up could now soothe any sorrow. We started wearing him daily and he got used to the feeling. Once he felt safe being worn, he was ok with us wrapping him in the stretchy. These two carriers were heavily used. We walked the neighbourhood, hiked every single day in the woods near our house, wore him on all our errands, and paced the living room during the wee hours when he couldn't sleep. His Dad would wear him before bed to settle him down, and in the morning while they both woke up. Q learned how to make a quality cappuccino in the Beco, among many other things.

The Gemini and the stretchy come with an expiration date, however - ultimately, they are for smaller babies. Even though Quinn is a small kid, around 10 months it started to be undeniable that he was too big for these carriers and we had to branch out. Near the end of his first year we made two investments - a black Manduca as a wider and taller replacement for the Gemini, and a carrier that would once again change many things for us - our first woven wrap, a Girasol Blue Ikat 6. 

There was a specific purpose for getting a woven - I wanted to learn how to do a high back carry. I disliked back carries in general up until this point. When he was back there, not only could I not reach him or tend to him the way I needed to, but Quinn couldn't see with his face in my back, and he hated that. The high back carry, where he could see over my shoulder, would solve both of those problems. A zillion youtube videos, begging for advice and tips on the OBG, and many occasions of practice later, we had it. I'd wrap him up high and putter around the kitchen. He liked to watch me make meals, wanted to touch all the ingredients, and smell the delicious smells of many exotic dinners cooking. 

I knew summer was coming and we'd be outside every day in the heat, and our Ikat could be on the warm side. We loved wrapping so much that, after weeks of research, we invested in our second wrap, a Didymos Aqua Waves 4, a shorter wrap than my first, and a style that is known for being light and airy for summer. The colour was selected to match a certain set of baby blues. At this point Q didn't even protest anymore when being wrapped, we had our process down and he knew he loved being up in his special second home. 
By this time I was writing a weekly Carry of the Week post for our local babywearing group. Each week we learn a new babywearing-related carry or skill. One week we did a spotlight on shorty wraps (size 2 or 3) and all the things they could do. The impressive array of options inspired me to get wrap #3 - a Girasol Northern Lights 2. The versatility of this wrap has been so wonderful. I can throw him up in a quick ruck, or a quick rebozo, or a quick anything. I'm still working on learning shorty carries so I can have a thorough catalogue in my brain when I need it. This wrap also gets frequently used as a snuggly blanket. 
Carry of the Week was also directly responsible for another carrier purchase. While penning a special week about ring slings, I recognized how convenient it would be to have one. Quinn was getting heavier at this point and holding him in one arm even for five minutes while getting things done was becoming a challenge. I got a Maya Wrap at first, but quickly sold it and upgraded to a wrap conversion, in the form of a Girasol Rainforest size M. This is now our car/travel/quick carrier and is so soft and comfy. 

Even though I had what most non-babywearers would consider a ridiculous stash (ha!), I was using all my carriers constantly. The Manduca became my husband's, and I began using wraps exclusively. Quinn was the decider of this, really. He was used to back carries now, so anytime I wore him on my front he would crane around so he could see. My size 4 (my size for a knotless ruck, our go-to carry) was being used so often that I sought out a second size 4 for the sake of alternating a little bit, and purchased a Girasol Freshness 4 from another local mama. 
I was stashified - something I have said after every carrier purchase! - until in a twist of fate, my dream wrap was miraculously rewoven and reissued in different colours. I'd given up hope of ever owning one, but for this special wrap, I made an exception to my no-more-carriers statement. One more! If I was lucky enough to win, that is - these wraps are so sought after and rare that you have to win a lottery draw just for the opportunity to buy. No one knows the numbers of how many wraps are woven vs how many entries there are, but I'd imagine we were dealing with a less than 1% chance of scoring an invoice. First draw I got nothing. Second draw, for my favourite colour, to boot - I won! I was lucky enough to score an Oscha Okinami Harris 4, and this beautiful work of art has completed my collection. I probably never would have tried silk if not for this wrap, but it is supportive and wonderful. 

Babywearing has been such an essential part of our relationship, and I feel like Quinn is a calmer and happier baby because of it. We do all our errands on foot, so not needing a stroller has been amazing. He loves the mama snuggles, I love the baby snuggles, everyone is happy. 

Rundown of carriers, blends, and where they were purchased:
Girasol Blue Ikat 6 - 100% cotton. Tadpoles & Butterflies 

Didymos Aqua Waves 4. 100% cotton. Birdies Room.

Girasol Freshness 4. 100% cotton. Local Ottawa swap.

Oscha Okinami Harris 4. 60% cotton, 40% tussah silk. Oscha.

Girasol Northern Lights 2. 100% cotton. Woven Wraps.

Girasol Rainforest Ring Sling. 100% cotton. Canadian swap.

Manduca in black. Milkface

Beco Gemini. Espresso. Belly Laughs

Maman Kangourou stretchy wrap. Babies R Us.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

COTW #21 - Front Rebozo Cross

by Aline Kelly

Front Rebozo Cross is a one-shouldered front carry that can be done with a short wrap, generally a size 2, 3, or 4. It is good for quick ups, babies who have fallen asleep in your arms, for nursing, plane rides, or for a front carry when you have a little less wrap length than you thought. Some people describe it as a half-Kangaroo. 

General instructions: 
- Place baby on your front, with the middle marker of your wrap on the middle of their back (this can be adjusted as required - some require more length in the pass that goes over their shoulder). 
- One tail goes over your shoulder, the other tail goes under your arm. 
- Create a deep seat for baby from knee to knee.
- Take the tail that's over your shoulder, bring it across your back to the opposite-side waist, and gather it under baby's bum. Make sure this tail goes underneath the other tail. You can now use this pass as leverage to hold baby while you wrap the other side. 
- Take the tail that's under your arm, bring it behind your back, around your waist, gather it under baby's bum in the front, and tie off.  

- If you have extra fabric you can do full leg passes and tie behind your back. 
- A shoulder flip adds some extra snugness and looks pretty. 
- This carry can easily be converted to a hip carry if you prefer - just start baby on your hip instead. (keepcalmandcarrythem) 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Friday Funny!!

Disclaimer: This video is pretending to be a 'how to' guide. Although it uses real babies it is really showing how wrapping twins isn't always as easy as some mama's make it look (Veronique; heads up!!) When wearing any number of babies in any carrier please make sure they are visible and kissable!

Babywearing @ Salsa-palooza!

Recently many of us at OBG were completely wowed by Wrap Your Baby's babywearing ballet blog. The pictures were so beautiful, the dancers looked so sedate and the wrapped babies so incredibly cute. The babywearers of Ottawa wanted something similar.... but with more spice. Something hotter, saucier and maybe a little dirtier!

No... not babywearing pole dancing!

We did SALSA!

Esther America of Salsa Babies very kindly and with graceful expertise, took us through meringue, salsa and the cha-cha-cha in two back to back classes (Yes! There were that many of us!)

The Glebe Community Centre allowed us the use of the studio for free!

And the amazing Sara McConnell was there to capture us shaking our collective thing!

Group members paid just $10 for the event, which included one picture in digital format taken by Sara. Dancers are invited to purchase any further pictures for just $5 each.

All proceeds from the event have gone towards the OBG Sling Library which should be up and running before the end of the summer.

I think the pictures say it all..... see the smiles on our faces!?

I can't speak for the other mamas, but I've not stopped grinning yet!!


Since this event was such a roaring success we might look at running a similar event in the future. What kind of dancing would you like to do whilst babywearing? Let us know and we will try to make it happen!