Monday, 20 January 2014

My Stash Monday: Mari's Stash

I have always loved wearing my children, although the reasons and choice of carriers have changed over the last twelve years. My stash is more like a story as it has become very much who I am.

When I was pregnant with my eldest 13 years ago, my husband and I went to Toys R Us to find a carrier. This wonderful Snugli saw us through colicky hours from what we called the "witching" hour from 7 till 10pm for three months. He became so attached to it and we used it for many an outing to Upper Canada Village and RCMP musical ride. I really wasn't aware of ergonomics at the time. Just enjoyed carrying my little boy and loved the closeness that it brought both of us. The Snugli was packed away when Kieran got too big as it became not comfortable to carry him anymore.

In the fall of 2005 we welcomed twins and a green Maya Wrap ring sling. The sling was great as I could carry both tiny babies at once. This worked for three months until they grew too big so out came the Snugli. I would carry one and have the other in my arms. Oh did I pine for a double Snugli! We loved to go hiking as a family so we picked up two frame backpack carriers second hand. When my husband was at work, I would put one baby in the backpack and the other in the stroller and off we would walk with my four year old. Once the babies had out grown the hard frame carriers I sold one and packed away the other and the Snugli.

March of 2008 our daughter was born and out came Snugli again but she did not like it at all. We planned a trip to Great Wolfe Lodge - a water park. Was I crazy? A six year old, two 30 month old babies and a three month old. Yup I was crazy! How was I going to watch two babies and hold another and hope no one drowned? A little research and trip to 'the baby shoppe' here in Kemptville and I found a mesh pouch by Mama Kangaroo that could go in water and leave my two hands free. Perfect and she loved it. Our vacation was awesome (no one came remotely close to drowning) and Miss Marley loved being carried. When we got home it was summer and I continued using the pouch everywhere. It was my go to tool to get dinner ready with two active toddlers or picking my son up from the bus stop; baby in the pouch and toddlers in the double stroller. Sadly Snugli was given to another mama - it was hard to part with as it brought me closeness to my children in ways I didn't understand until now. I also passed on the ring sling to another mama as it did serve a need but I didn't love it like I did the Snugli.

Fast forward four years to March of 2013 and the birth of a beautiful boy. I love babies and thought the transition to having a baby in the house again would be seamless. Nothing was farther from the truth. A serious case of baby blues and intense jealousy issues by some eight year old's combined with no sleeping, yet having still to maintain some sort of schedule for four other children, proved disastrous. It wasn't until my lovely midwife reminded me to wear the little one that a glimmer of hope returned. I loved wearing my babies and read somewhere that smelling the top of a newborns head can cause you to fall in love with your baby. Out came the mesh pouch and before the day was over my husband was picking up a stretch Mama Kangarou from a mama in Ottawa, and so our lives began to change. I fell in love with a little baby boy and my eight year old daughter stopped being so mad at her mama for having this little baby. She too began to wear him and started to love this little boy.

I purchased my first woven - Northern Lights size 4 from another OBG mama. Blyth traveled on my back and front in a variety of carries from the ball diamond to the pool and to and from school. It was also on the top of our packing list for our camping journey to Lake Placid and hiking through the Ausable Chasm. I did shed a tear or two when I sold this as I wanted to try out some other wraps. Without a doubt I believe that this wrap gave me back my family.

Being a practical person, but loving pretty things too, of course I needed another wrap for when this one was in the wash after camping so I purchased a size three Oscha Juniper Phaise - love at first sight for colour but oh so burlap like! It did soften up and became our Sunday Church wrap. It too has gone on to another home. My husband also wanted to wrap little Blyth and my heart melted. I bought a size six waves for him that he did wear but found that he was never going to master this art and preferred the WCMT (oh did I forget to mention this beauty? Fell in love with one at a meetup and bought one off the Canadian swap) so waves has gone to live with a new family and will be carrying a new squish come April.

Seeing as how my original stash has now been depleted except for the WCMT I was in search of some blue wraps. I loved the look of braids and wanted to celebrate Blyth's Irish heritage so bought a Oscha Knots Chasai Gentian. It is a long two/short three. A perfect size rebozo and is our go to for Sunday mass where Blyth nurses happily for an hour. It is as soft as butter and I really don't see me selling it. I think I will pack it away and hopefully carry my grand children one day or a new Squish (but that is another story). I also bought a size four as I was missing my other four very much - Indio Mystic Petrol Hemp. We are still getting to know each other as it has high standards to live up too. I also added a size five Girasol Snow flame. It is soft and lovely for multipasses and may stay for a while too. Besides I love orange! Right now this is our stash. It is filled with love and purpose and literally takes my breath away when I think about where I have come from to now.

I have also added some baby wearing articles of clothing - a lovely wool poncho to wear in cooler weather and an incredible amauti. It has allowed me to continue walking my older children to school (1.25 km) to school a very important part of our day. Blyth and I get to continue to hear the tales of their day despite the cold and even though he sleeps for most of our walk! I think he is listening to their stories too. It keeps the wind off his face and both of us are toasty warm. Not to mention it is beautiful. So yes, I can be seen walking the streets of Kemptville numerous times a day in this gorgeous coat. I do get a lot of questions about the wraps and the coats but that is okay.
These beautiful pieces of fabric have allowed me to gain a bond with a baby I didn't think may happen and provide him all the love and attention he needs while strengthening my bond and love for my other children without them realizing it is even occurring. These things have allowed me to continue raising my busy family and doing it with love. So you see my stash is not just a stash; it is a story.

by Breath In Photography

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