June 29, 2009

For Lynda

Did I ever tell you that she was the first person to show me how to use a sling?

I stopped her at a natural parenting meeting the night I went into labor with Gray. I took my very first sling with me and asked her how to use it. I had already planned another hospital birth, but I knew if I had another baby, it would be a homebirth and Lynda would be my midwife.

The moment I found out I was pregnant with Ivy, I called her immediately. She was the first person I told. Later on I'd change my mind and decide to go with my OB and have the baby in the hospital. But then (as she secretly predicted) I changed my mind back and wanted to have my homebirth. To this day I still think it's one of the best decisions we ever made.

I was so nervous, calling her and asking if she'd take me back. And she said I knew you'd be calling me again. Then I had to break up with my OB.

I listened to everything she told me.
During one of my last visits with her, before Ivy was born, she shared her story. Her Story. About how she lived in Texas as a young girl and in highschool had a friend who became pregnant and was sent away. She went to visit her and met the "granny midwives" that would soon teach her everything... and there she attended her first births and caught her first baby.

Ivy was number 1,631.

She was an old-school hippie midwife, which is exactly what I wanted. I felt like no matter what happened, she'd know what to do.
She would show the boys all her tools and let them listen through her stethoscope. She showed me how Ivy kept her hand by her face in the womb. And I would hear her laughing about it in my head "she's already a drama queen!" after Ivy was born and she'd sleep with one hand posing on her face.

I am having a hard time understanding how just 9 and a half months ago she was right here in my home, here in my bedroom, guiding me through Ivy's amazing birth. She was alive. She was fine. She appeared to be fine. And just like that, she's gone.

Lynda passed away Monday night.

I see her every time I look at Ivy. It's so hard to truly describe how I felt about Lynda. It's like when you go through a dramatic event in your life and you will always remember who you were with at that moment. You will forever be bonded from sharing that experience. Or something like that.

She was so special, and more than the average special person. She gave so much. She asked for so little in return.

I am so honored and thankful that I had the opportunity to know Lynda. I hope that if you didn't have that chance, that you can feel her touch and hear her laughter and know her now through my words, and through my Ivy or one of the other many lives she put her heart into.

I regret not hearing more of her stories. I only have a small video clip from Ivy's birth, but it's just enough to hear Lynda's voice and see Ivy in her hands...

Everything is just covered in sad. It is such a tremendous loss. She can never be forgotten.

[There was already a fund set up for her, and I know her family could use every little bit, even one dollar. And I understand if you can't because I don't have anything extra to give as things are tighter than tight, but if you feel so moved, you can donate via PayPal, payable to info@indianabirthchoices.com .]

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Quite The Caboose, And My Puppet Voice

Ivy is coasting with one hand these days. I see it in her eyes- that determination to take those first steps but she just isn't ready to let go. I know the feeling.

Here's a taste if you can avoid being distracted by her giant bottom and my awful puppet voice. (Earlier she was cracking up when I made the turtle sneeze and then I tried again on camera and it was just not happening.)

Ivy Coasting from Stephanie Precourt on Vimeo.

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June 28, 2009

And just like that I locked my baby in the car.


That's the sound the door made as it closed and locked Ivy in the car, sleeping soundly in her carseat. My purse and keys and iPhone right next to her.

It's also the sound of my heart dropping through my legs and out my toes and although this happened a couple days ago, I am still a little shaky. I can't believe I am sharing it here. I am embarrassed and ashamed and still feel the worst kind of awful that I let it happen at all.

I was in the grocery store parking lot and things were going well- I even remembered my list! And, like always, I put on the Ergo before getting Ivy out of her seat. But while I do that I put my purse down and have a habit of locking the car just before I put Ivy in the sling. This day, the car next to me was trying to leave and so I tried to move the door to keep it out of their way, but then it just closed completely.

I immediately knew what had happened and tried the handle. Locked.

I turned and tapped frantically on the windows of the car next to me. I need to use your cell phone! I've locked my baby in the car. Thank GOD every person in this country has a cell phone.

The couple in the car were SO NICE and helped me call Jeff and arrange for him to unlock the car (we live only about 5 minutes away.) In the meantime, they insisted on waiting until he arrived and the guy also ran inside the store to see if they had wire coat hangers just in case.

I stood by her door, praising God for our tinted windows and that it wasn't as hot as it had been earlier in the week. Still, it was in the 70's with the sun shining bright. She slept there in her seat, unaware. And I could not get to her.

I was sick with regret and shame and tried to keep myself together. How could I let this happen?

Jeff was there quickly- she was inside about 15 minutes total but when I opened the door her face was flushed and her head was quite sweaty. If I knew it would have taken even one minute more, I would have called 911.

I urge you to do the same. Because like I said, it was a nice day, not too hot, but that car heated up so fast.

I still am replaying it through my head and can't figure out why it made me feel like all the blood had been drained from my body. I am so thankful that everything is ok and to some I am probably freaking out way too much. I could have broken a window if I needed to, I could have gotten to her sooner by damaging the car (which I would have done) but it was still traumatic.

I felt like a bad parent, to tell you the truth.

I felt like I would be setting myself up for judgment by whoever finds out about this.

You who read my words here every day know how much I love my children. I'm careful and cautious and loving and aware. But these things still could happen no matter how much you love them. Accidents happen. Close calls happen.

I felt judged while I stood there next to my car, helpless, waiting for the key. I just did what I could do, I did my best for that moment, even though I was in my worst.

She slept through it all, and will not remember this.

I wish I could say the same for myself. Heart, beat normal again soon, please?


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June 27, 2009

The Boys & Ivy

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What To Do If Your Child Swallows A Penny

Oh dear.

I am actually surprised we've made it this far with four kids and the oldest being eight- and none of them has swallowed something not meant to be swallowed. Until Monday.

The boys had just been put to bed and I heard a little coughing from Gray. Soon he was out of his bed asking for some water because his throat hurt a little because a penny went down into my tummy, Mommy.

I got all shaky and gave him a cup of water, quizzing him- are you sure? Was it only a penny? How many? Just one. Okay. Only one? Only one. Okay.

I almost twittered about it but wasn't sure I was up for the judgment or being scared into rushing to the ER. So like most good parents (nervous laugh heheheh), I went straight to Google. (There's actually a pretty good chance that someone reading this right now found me by googling the same thing. Hi!)

It was a relief to find that this is quite common (I even think I swallowed a coin when I was little. My Uncle Randy swallowed a HAT PIN when he was little and my Mom ate glass, or drank gasoline, or both.)

I even came upon an old blogging acquaintance's post about this very thing. And it made me feel much better. Further googling and scouring of doctor's suggestions on the matter left me eager for a little bit of a treasure hunt in Gray's pull-up for days to come. (Oh, and yes he's still in pull-ups but that's for another post.)

Of course I watched his every movement and facial expression and skin color closely and made sure he didn't show any signs of acting stranger than he already does. The next couple days he was fine and went fine with no signs of the penny. I thought that if within four or five days it hadn't come out that I would take him to the doctor, just in case.

On Thursday I was getting anxious about it and remembered a hilarious story some friends told me about Fiber One bars and what they have been known do to the digestive system... so for one last try I bought a box.

We got home and I gave him the yummy treat- he didn't need much convincing because it was chocolate- and he ate it up.

Later that day I smelled its success and was excited to see the results. I'll spare you the unpleasant details but let's just say that we hit the jackpot. There was the penny. Right next to ANOTHER PENNY.

Those Fiber One Bars really paid off.

We're in the trenches of getting a very strong-willed child to go on the potty consistently and the past few days he's now even more excited to go on the potty because every time he thinks he'll find more pennies!

Those Fiber One Bars are really paying off...

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June 26, 2009

Near, Far

I chickened out and couldn't leave her in the nursery at church this week. Again.

I just can't do it.

She belongs with me.

For now.

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June 25, 2009

it's so hawt

It's so hot here that my camera keeps fogging up when I try to take pictures at the park!

So we're staying cool on the merry go round.

You know my first sling maker Kim of KimzKreations? Well, she makes beautiful solarveil slings perfect for summer and water. The solarveil offers up some protection from the sun and is also very lightweight on a hot summer day.

She sent me a new one in pink for Ivy just because and it's already on loan for a friend to try out at the beach, so I didn't get a photo in it yet (but you can see me wearing my black one she gave me, also out on loan, here with Gray.)

Kim's such a giver (like me, apparently!) and she wants to make one for you using a pair of very special rings she has, and you can choose from several fabric colors if you win.

Just leave a comment here if you'd like to win! I'll choose one winner at random sometime after 11:59 pm Monday June 29.

Contest has ended. Congrats to The Thatcher Family!

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June 24, 2009

Mind Reader

Gray asked, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Mommy?" and I said I don't know. What are you thinking?

And he said, "What you're thinking."

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June 23, 2009

All Around Her Things Bloom Nonstop

In the great green room there was a telephone, and a red balloon...

I laid on my bed reading Goodnight Moon to Gray over and over while he jumped on my back, paused to help me say "hush" and then jumped on my back again.

In between pages Carter ran through the room in his underwear, then did a little dance out the door. Noah entertained the baby on the floor and I blinked snapshots with my eyes. Carter's Vaudeville act blink. Gray's love for this story blink.

Remember this.

I'm guilty of thinking fondly of who I used to be and who I will someday be but who I am now? She is forgotten, un-lovely, and in need of quite a bit of maintenance.

But she is special and she is useful and she is something to remember.

She is a Gatherer: Moonlight, Found Wishes, Moments of Gratitude.*

This is my life right now, where I am. Today, not tomorrow, not yesterday.

Who I am blink.

*Title and words from a
journal Beth gave to me.

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June 22, 2009

Oh, Sandy

Just the day leading up to me finally editing and posting these photos is a post in itself.

Maybe tomorrow.

For now, the beach.

[Carter in his too small swim shorts.]

[Many hands...

[Grayson behaving quite perfectly in the sand makes me want to bring the entire beach home with us. ]

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June 21, 2009

Babywearing At The Beach

It was Ivy's first trip to the beach.

Oh, what a great day we had. I have so many more photos to post but I'll have to get to them tomorrow.

I did choose my favorite caption(s) and there's still time to enter the Tiny Prints contest here as well.

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June 20, 2009

Bring It On!

[This just makes me grin from ear to ear. Thought it was very fitting to republish today]:

Yesterday hubby emailed me:

I already love Ivy enough to do this...

Originally posted October 2, 2008.

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June 19, 2009

When there's nothing to see, you can see everything.

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June 18, 2009

Whaddya Call The Name Of This Outfit?

He said he wishes he could marry her, and oh how his heart just wants to burst because she is so beautiful.

He's helpful and polite and every time I look into his eyes I see a miracle.

I said "good smiles at the camera!" and this is what I got.

There we go. Sorta.

Oh, and this one... help me caption it!

June 17, 2009

This isn't what I sat down to write.

I found a photo of Ivy that I had never posted from a photo shoot in the spring and it's just the cutest thing and I can't get my scanner to work. The error screen keeps flashing at me. It's so annoying.

Our days have been full. Waking much too early and heads hitting the pillow very late. We go to the park almost every day. Yesterday we were the only ones there. I spread out a blanket and we looked for four leaf clovers and ate graham crackers. Ivy went down all the slides (with Noah at the bottom to catch) and I even went down one with her. Carter got his football stuck in a tree. I later dug a piece of that football out of Ivy's mouth.

Today I promised to take them to a park we pass on the way to our regular playground and they always beg to go to but it's super crowded and has a lot of blind spots.

I realized yesterday that I am that Mom that tells the kids not to yell at the park. And no running! (at the park.) And be careful this and watch out that.

I'm working on it, because, for real, kids should be able to be loud and run and act like wild animals outside.

And so we're going to the park today where I might not be able to see them everysinglesecond and they might run and shout and who wants a Mother who's a constant error message? She's so annoying.

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June 15, 2009

Project Dresses For Ivy

A few weeks ago I did a big closet purging of all the clothes I don't wear anymore and will never wear again. I freecycled a ton.

I am a sentimental person, especially when it comes to clothes. The kids each have their own bin filled with things I could never part with. I have a few of my own, too.

So I had this idea to re-purpose some of my old t-shirts that I loved...

[The t-shirt I got when we went to Disneyland, as part of Noah's Make-A-Wish trip. The Ralph Lauren pink pony tee that everyone had and I just had to have one, too- a birthday present from like six years ago? An Old Navy tank top that I just liked the cool design. And the colorful Paul Frank tank I bought in Estes Park, Colorado. ]

My blog friend Kim (Prairie Mama) had sent Ivy one of her darling pillowcase dresses that she makes and sells on etsy. I told her my idea but my lack of sewing skills- to fashion my old tees into dresses for Ivy. She was in.

I mailed them off and today they came...

[my Gram's jar of buttons]

[Come on in]

[P.S. Today Ivy LaRue turned nine months old.]

Photos by me but edited by Beth.

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Like China In My Bull Shop

There's been a slight delay in the delivery of my new fridge (the Gallery that I get to test drive and keep from Frigidaire.)

I can't say I mind the late arrival, as I've been dreading the removal of our current refrigerator that has been here since we built this house ten years ago. I don't want to imagine what might lie beneath, or behind it. And then comes the task of cleaning off the top and finding a new home for all the random important stuff junk up there.

I'm also nervous about what my other appliances might feel about this new fancy schmancy thing coming to live in our very small and modest kitchen. Will it stick out like a sore thumb? Will they all get along? Will it weep its best-in-class ice & water filtration all over the floor for being sentenced to live in such an unworthy peasant house?

And I have been wondering, since we are keeping our old fridge and putting it in the garage to use as overflow (family of six eats like that family of 19 and counting or whatever their name is this month) : Have you ever gotten a new fridge when your old one still works? How do you transfer over all the food? Do you just do it when it is delivered and the people who install it just wait for you? How long does it take the new fridge to get cold enough?

Tell me, what am I going to find underneath my fridge? And did you ever get a nicer appliance than your others? Did they revolt?

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June 13, 2009


I just nursed Ivy that kind of nurse where her eyes go drowsy like it's the best thing she's ever tasted in her whole entire life.

I love that she will be nine months old tomorrow and still tosses glimpses of a two-week old newborn my way, an appetite insatiable only for me -and the occasional crumb on the floor, limp with security in my arms, pudgy fingers in my long hair.

This is one of my very favorite parts in early motherhood. She takes bites but I will not wean until she is ready. She gets distracted and will crawl away to play and discover.

But she will come back to nourish, to soothe, to comfort.

Us both.

Photo by Beth.

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It Was A Banner Day

I have no pictures from today, but it deserves to be written down.

We awoke with no plans, other than possibly not getting out of bed at all. Somehow I gained
two extra children in the night (not counting Ivy.)

Some had morning baths while I put away laundry. We all ate something different for breakfast and I headed out to the farmer's market with the baby. We picked colored tomatoes and peppers for salsa, and a little box of kiwis. We bought fresh pita bread and hummus. And said hello to a friend. Or two.

Daddy had done all the dishes and was cutting up a watermelon just as we got home. We were invited to an impromptu pizza party with cousins. So we packed the melon and piled in the car.
Afterward we called up my grandparents and stopped by for a visit. The boys caught an inch worm in the backyard. (He has now inched out of his jar and is possibly somewhere in my kitchen.)

On the way home we played our own made-up game of Hoop! - we'd try to be the first to spot a basketball hoop. There are a lot of basketball hoops in Northwest Indiana.

At dinner (leftovers from the grill last night) and brownies baking in the oven, Noah smiled and wished out loud
I don't want this day to ever end. I don't want this day to ever end.

I have no pictures from today, but I'll see it in their eyes forever.

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June 12, 2009

This Is The Park Where We Like To Play

This is the park where we like to play.

Mostly because we're the only ones ever there.
And I can keep an eye on everyone while sitting in one place.
And sip my iced tea.

(For those of you that like to see all of my beautiful, well-behaved children.)

Ivy in white shorts on very wet grass...

means no more white shorts.

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The Babywearing Stash

To some, this will look like a whole lot of baby carriers. I will be the first to tell you that you don't need this many slings. Just like you don't need that many shoes.

This isn't even all of them- I've got a few more out on loan (another wrap, some structured carriers, ring slings) & I love being able to spread the babywearing love. (Check in with woowoo mama about a wrap loan plan she has in the works- I might have to do something similar with some of my stock of carriers...)

I'll start off with the ones that I use most often on any given day:

Top: Gypsy Mama BaliBaby stretch. This one was sent to me for review from MamaKanga a couple years ago. I just got it out again because I have been bit by the wrap bug and I also think it's great for summer. I will probably mostly wear Ivy on my front in it but want to learn a wrap back carry, too.

Underneath that is my old-school Freehand Baby mei tai that I bought for like $25 from a Mom barter group online a few years ago when we were going to San Diego. It is definitely tied for my very favorite sling of all- for use and sentimental reasons. It's also my hubby's favorite. I wear it almost every day mostly in a back carry while I do dishes or things around the house.

Below that is another FreeHand Baby mei tai, but the new style now owned by TogetherBe. I won this one from An Ordinary Life. I wear it often as a back carry when I don't wear the other mei tai.

And on the bottom is the beautiful organic embroidered Ergo that I received as a review item- it pretty much lives in my car and is used every where I go (mostly in the front carry).

To the right are some carriers that I don't really use but they are nice to have on hand.

Top: brown UpMama ring sling- I do wear this one when it matches my clothes and I like that it has a zipper pouch in the tail- handy. I think I reviewed this one at Mama Speaks.

Below that is a violet hemp silk ring sling from Kimz Kreations. Sent to me as a gift from Kim. I wear this one for more dressier occasions. It's so soft and beautiful.

Next is a green floral ModMum pouch that was in the swag bag at last year's Silicon Valley Moms BlogHer party.

Bottom: organic cotton poppy trim New Native pouch- sent to me as a gift from New Native after I posted about the whole Motrin babywearing thing.

Pictured above is another stack of sometimes used carriers...

Top: black silk Bronwen Handcrafted mei tai that I bought before going to BlissDom. I wear this one when I'm more nicely dressed like for church or going out. I love this one.

Nest Sling in "Ivy" print... named after Ivy. Gift from Ashlee (Nest) at my baby shower. This was what I wore most when Ivy was a newborn.

Serena & Lily Market Sling. So very pretty. I just put Ivy in it again today and she cried when I took her out. She thinks it's pretty, too. This one was a review item from Mama Speaks and I use the sweet box it came in to house all of Ivy's BabyLegs.

Bottom: Black Sleepy Wrap. This one was sent for review a while back when Gray was a baby. I didn't wear it as often as I thought I would have with Ivy.

Oh, and in the first group photo, on the very top, is my first sling ever- a black ring sling from KimzKreations that I bought for $15 when her store was just on eBay almost 4 years ago.

I realized that it didn't make it in the other photos because Ivy was crawling around with it. I had a slight fit of panic last night when I couldn't find it. But it was hanging dry in the laundry room- I do wash my carriers often so they have a fresh smell. (Ring sling tip: put a sock over the rings to protect your washer/dryer).

And so, if I HAD to pare down to just one or two? I'd of course never part with my black ring sling and a mei tai although long outings and shopping trips are so much better in the Ergo. And there's just a really nice feel to a wrap...

Share your stash and link up here! Since the Mister Linky can be fickle, please be sure to leave your link in the comments as well.

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June 10, 2009

bLink bLink

We spent most of our morning and early afternoon at the park. Ivy had her first swing ride and I also did some more experimenting with the woven wrap (woowoomama's didymos). This is my make-shift version of the front wrap cross carry... I tied it on too loose and the shoulders are probably wrong but I just kept wrapping and tucking until she felt all secure and in the right spot. And she was very fast asleep.

(Jaymi met us at the park and was kind to snap the pictures!)

I am getting really excited about a little project I put my blog friend Kim (Prairie Mama) to work on. I was simplifying my closet recently and had a few t-shirts that I know I'll never be able to wear again but I just couldn't part with. So I had the idea to make them into outfits for Ivy... I can't wait to see what Kim comes up with! (She's already sent me teaser emails!) I took a before pic and will for sure share the final pieces, with Ivy modeling, of course.

By the way, Kim just had to delete her Twitter account and start a whole new one, so please be sure you are following her now: @prairiemama .

I'm still enjoying the great response to Monday's post about my family size. Another blog friend, Kalee at Un Vie Chic just
posted about wanting to start with child #1 and is looking for your tips on how to even begin to plan for that first baby. Could you stop by and encourage her with your tips?

Oh! And very important- I'll plan to do a link up this Friday so that we all can share our babywearing stash- this time around I think I'll just be featuring the carriers that I use right now, but who knows. They're all so pretty I might just photograph them all! Please play along and come back here Friday to link up. (Even if you only have one you really love, we want to see it!)

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This Side Of Things

Many years ago, back in 2003 before I found the blog community, I was very involved with web support groups for Noah's epilepsy. One such group that had a huge impact on the direction we chose to take with Noah's treatment, and eventual healing, was a group of other Doose Syndrome parents.

I remained a part of the group well after he was seizure-free
, but after a while the emails weighed down my inbox (and to be truthful, my heart) and so I stopped participating regularly. Yesterday I clicked on over and wrote this message, words that I always longed to write. And for those not familiar with our story, it will be a real quick long-story-short version. (And I also include some personal facts about Noah that I haven't shared here before and so I will probably delete in a couple days.)

I am just checking in today, too, and oh how I miss this group. My Noah is 8
now, but when he was 2 yrs 9 months he had a tonic-clonic seizure- went to the ER, told it probably wouldn't happen again, it's normal, etc.

About a week later
he began an odd behavior that looked like he was going to have another seizure. Here's where it all seemed to begin (and I know his story is in the files somewhere) and it gets kinda blurry, but we went on meds then and the hundreds of seizures a day started... we searched for answers, found this group, got a helmet, found a new doctor (Dr. Linda Laux at Children's Memorial Hospital Epilepsy Center in Chicago), and got on the ketogenic diet fairly quick. He was seizure-free by day 4 on the diet and had only one seizure since then (a t/c believed to be a fluke, possible ear infection)...

it's now been almost 5 years
seizure-free? Could that be right? I used to count the hours, then the days. And now years have passed.

I want to give you all a hug and an extra breath of hope today. Our 1st doctor said Noah could end up in an institution. At this very moment he is outside playing basketball with the neighbor kids.

He is going into third grade right on time with the other kids, but did recently get an IEP at school and start special education classes for part of the day. It has so far showed very positive benefits.

I only dreamed of being on this side of things. I wish you here, too.

Much much love,

Stephanie Precourt

Mom to Noah, Carter, Gray, & Ivy

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June 9, 2009

What Are You Wearing?

A while back I confessed that I didn't wear Ivy a lot, definitely not as much as I wore Gray and not nearly enough to feel justified in having a blog called Adventures In Babywearing.

But oh how that's changed... that girl likes to be kept close. All the time. It's either me or hubby- and she now gets so excited when she see us pick up a sling to put it on.

I'm always big on not wearing babies only for the convenience- you don't always have to be doing something or have your hands free. Maybe just keeping them close is the only something you should be doing at the time. But, I also now realize that often if I don't have her in the sling, I have no other chance to get things done. Like the dishes, laundry, playing with the boys, grocery shopping, etc. Many times, to accommodate the other children, I need her to nap in the sling and I am thankful that is a viable option.

Ivy is almost 9 months old and about 20 lbs now (maybe more) and my favorite carry is on my front in the Ergo or in the mei tai on my back. But let's be honest, sometimes it's all about whatever matches my outfit at the time (am I right?).

This is a photo of me at a party this weekend with Ivy in the Freehand mei tai.

Just this week I had the opportunity to use a woven wrap for the first time- all out of the generosity of my blog & Twitter friend Robin from Woowoo Mama. She mailed me her most favorite Didymos (for the babywearing techies: violet and white pfau dyed black cherry 6) so that I could try it out.

I am having fun perfecting the different carries with the wrap- and the front wrap cross carry is a new one that I am getting the hang of. I haven't taken a picture of her in it yet but I will try to do that tomorrow. When I send it back to Robin I might get back into wearing my Gypsy Mama wrap again. That is one I liked wearing in the summer with Gray when he was Ivy's age. And if anything else, it's probably my prettiest carrier.

I was thinking of taking another babywearing stash photo again, soon, and encourage others to do the same. I might just photograph only the ones I use right now and have a link up. What do you think? Would you play along?

And out of curiosity- what is your absolute favorite carrier and position, and what age is your baby at the time?

Also, if you haven't already joined, let me know if you'd like to be a part of the Babywearing Bloggers blogroll here.

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June 8, 2009

Are We Done Yet?

So, am I going to have any more kids?

I am asked about it almost daily. And if it's not actually said, come on, I'm a Mom: I read minds. I see you people thinking it.

Now that you've got your girl...

How many is too many anyway? It's been unofficially determined among friends that apparently any more than two children is "thought" to be too many, by most.

Quick answer? This is probably it.

But, hubby isn't going to be sitting on a bag of frozen peas anytime soon.

It's not like we just happened to have this many kids on accident. We enjoy having a big(ger) family.

When Noah was so sick and we were consumed with his diet and all that went with it, I couldn't imagine us having another baby. But at about the very same moment a little while later, we changed our minds together. And I don't want to know what life would be like without my Gray and Ivy.

There are days, many many days, when I am so tired from all that goes on in this house and I don't know which end is up. I'm a shoe-tier, a ball in the street retriever, a butt-wiper, and a chew toy. I can't imagine adding a fifth child to this already mixed up mix.

But, who knows what life will look and taste like in a year or two or seven? We don't know what God might have planned for our hearts regarding the inhabitants of our home.

If you have more than two kids or would like a better understanding of those of us that do, I have found the book A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising A Large Family by Mary Ostyn to be quite helpful and encouraging. You might know Mary from her wonderful blog Owlhaven (and if you aren't familiar with her, get familiar. Oh, and she has ten kids.)

Her book is not why I am writing about this today. She is actually a friend of mine and sent me a copy a while ago, and I thought this topic was a good time to mention her book. When I first started reading it, it was like taking a big deep breath. I could relate. And she had realistic answers to my questions about our "large" family and how to maintain our sanity whether we get larger or not. And I felt hopeful.

She writes just like her gentle voice sounds, and it brings peace to this worn and threadbare mother's heart. [Sidenote: I also appreciate it when I read parenting books with a Christian foundation that don't frown upon co-sleeping with the little ones.]

While I do think we are "done", both hubby and I don't want to close the door completely. We have had a change of heart before... what if we do again someday?

This very moment, with my three boys and one girl, I do feel complete as a family of six. I cherished every millisecond of my last pregnancy and got to have my home birth like I wished. I definitely feel like if we are done, I have no regrets.

But, I occasionally have the daydream of having a bit more money, moving to a bigger house, or getting creative with the playroom and basement, or wondering how precious it would be to see Ivy as a big sister.

Like most things in life, I guess this question is best answered: We'll
seeeee. Or, stay tuned. (But we're probably done.) To be continued...

(But we're probably done.)

Mary has offered to give away a copy of her book to one of you. If you'd like to enter to win, please leave a comment below letting me know. I'll choose one winner at random from the comments sometime after 11:59 pm this Thursday June 10.

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June 7, 2009

I Think I Made It Too Easy

I was originally going to post this photo and say THIS IS NOT A DIRTY PICTURE. Can you guess what it is?

But I figured it would be way too easy and so I thought I'd be a little trickier with Ivy's discovery of a blackberry!

Soooo many of you got it right. True to my word, though, I'm linking to you all!

(By the way, the photo above is Ivy's thigh. How awesome and squishy is that?)

And the winner of the Aden+Anais sleeping bag is Amy Focosi!!

See who guessed correctly below:

Sunk Costs, messyfunmommylife, Slice of Heaven, A Hen And Three Chicks, Bobbi Janay, One Day At A Time, Live. Love. Food., Jennifer Fetterman, Little Green Pastures, Ragtag Mama, Jaime Lynne, Mom Balance, Jacobs Family Happenings, Annwen, Problem Solvin' Mom, The Eaton Family, Dirkey, Amber Strocel, Celeste, Asher (And Mike And Andrea Too), Love, Life, Family, And Then Some, House Of Boys, Four-Part Harmony, Mommie Blogs, The Path Less Traveled, Lean And Green, Five Flower Mom, Casual Friday Everyday, Marvelous Kiddo, Seagulls In The Parking Lot, Will Blog For Shoes, Melissa P, Amy Focosi, New Mommy Chronicles, T With Honey, Please Pinch Me, Moments With Love, Baby Carriers Down Under, Beautiful Calling, Sugarplum Creations, The Extraordinary Ordinary, Look At Us Now, Sunny Side Of The Street, More Than We Can Imagine, Melissa Joff, Phyllis Sommer, Stephanie, Mom Of Two Girls, Allison Kelley Designs, Frog E Luv, Maria, The Queen I Am Not, Kelly, What's On Mommy's Mind, Janelle, Oijoy Photo, You Just Never Know, This Military Mama, Suebeelee, Xenia, Courtney, Lisa, Tina, Christina, Muddy Boots.

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June 6, 2009


Last night I chose to go see Up for date night. Hubby agreed but I could tell he wasn't extremely enthused. We even ran into an acquaintance in the lobby and she thought it was a bit odd we were going to see a kids movie? Without the kids?

I had a feeling, though, that it was one of those movies that he would find unexpectedly good, and it did NOT disappoint.

I thought about when we were dating (albeit short- we were engaged within 3 months) he would have acted excited to see anything I wanted to, and I would have been the same. But after almost 10 years of marriage, we're a little bit more obvious with our real intentions and opinions on most matters.

There were several moments where we laughed out loud and, since we were seeing it in 3D, we'd look at each other in the big funky glasses and laugh some more.

Today he took the baby and wore her in the mei tai outside while I worked in the house on some things. And right now he's wearing her downstairs while she naps.

He does it because he knows I like when she's held close, and she likes it, too. And most of all, he loves wearing her.

I love that we share this passion.

Things aren't always perfect. Often, far from perfect. But still so many things are good. So many things add up, and speak louder than words and actions and...

I'm not really sure how to end this post. I wasn't even going to write it, but for me, it needed to be written.

No matter where you are at, whatever you're in, imagine and hope that it might end up being unexpectedly good.

I hope it doesn't disappoint.

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June 5, 2009

I Can't Stop It

Ivy's first sentence might be something like Mom, why are you always looking at me like that?

I can't keep from remembering the first time I pulled her squishy, chubby, baby body into my arms. I can't stop thinking about how she is the cutest thing there ever was. I can't stop kissing her and hugging her and I can't stop. I just can't stop.

Noah trudged up the stairs in a huff because I wouldn't let him wear flip flops on the last day of school. He gets his own breakfast in the mornings and has his own sense of style. He has secret sayings with friends.

And when the school bus rounded the corner he hurried back down those stairs and sweetly put his face right next to mine. Gave me a kiss goodbye. And was out the door.

It's a blur, and I can't make it stop.

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