A babywearing picture album

This post is a babywearing picture album with captions for those wondering about the different kinds of baby carriers.

I am not an expert, just a mom with opinions. I do not sell or advertise carriers but I use them a lot. When the twins were born, I started using the double stroller everywhere. It served it’s purpose. But as they grew  the bulk of the stroller became unnecessary. I decided to ditch the double stroller in favour of a single lightweight stroller and more babywearing (the verb used to refer to parents who prefer “wearing” their babies on their bodies for transport and comfort rather than use devices such as swings and strollers).

In one of my Facebook groups, a mom was asking about the difference between different kinds of soft-structured carriers. This is a picture album with captions resuming the main differences.

You will notice that I only use ergonomic soft carriers and woven wraps.Ergonomic carriers  hold baby in a seated position as opposed to the popular Baby Bjorn or Snugli where baby is held dangling by the crotch. People often ask “What is the best carrier?” and the answer is unfailingly “It depends.” The best carrier is the one that fits the best . The best fit is influenced by mom and baby’s body type, age, weight and life experience (yes, life experience. Such as a back injury or abdominal surgery.)

Read on!

Random Bullets

  • My apologies for the light blogging. A perfect storm of moving, listing our house, moving, medical appointments, moving, sick baby, sick baby, moving, sleepless nights, napless days and more moving has severely curtailed my ability to do anything but moving and holding babies.
  • In the last couple of weeks, the twins turned 8 months, got sick and then better. One twin is on a cocktail of 4 different drugs and things — fingers crossed — seem to be settling. And by “settling” I mean that this baby is no longer crying for 2 to 4 hours for no apparent reason in the middle of the night, twice a night, night after night. Dealing with a child with a chronic condition, albeit mild and probably recoverable, has given me a new bone-deep appreciation for parents of severely ill children. It is relentless.
  • Many friends and members of my family have ganged-up to give me a hand moving and looking after the children. This in turn has given me a new, bone-deep appreciation for the value of community. Some have helped me pack boxes, others have helped me prep our house for showings, others — with a medical degree — have decided that enough was enough and we shall get to the bottom of this with the babies. Some people wonder how I do it with a large family. This is how. I don’t do it, we do it. There is nothing miraculous about having a large family when you have as much support as I do. To my most awesome family and friends Cheers! (and a heartfelt thank you.) You can see how well the house shows in the gallery below. I hope to have good selling news soon!
  • When we listed our house, our agent asked that we leave our kitchen table in the kitchen to make it look more kitchen-y. As a result we are eating off these two very ugly 6-ft tables. You’d think I would be looking forward to selling our house so we can get on with the business of paying off our debts, living cash-flow positive and start looking for land on which to build our forever home. But really, I just want to sell so I can get my kitchen table back.

Road trip!!!

Whoa! I haven’t posted since April 28th? I may have had excuses… Like a sick toddler, followed by a sick baby, extreme sleep deprivation and preparing for a short-fused move. Yes, we are moving. Packing-up. Vacating.

We are listing our house. Preparing to put it on the market. It’s a long story and I am thinking of starting another blog to chronicle this new turn in our family’s life. But in a nutshell this is a positive change in our life. We love our current house and especially our large-family-sized kitchen and backyard but life is about more than kitchens and backyards, isn’t it?

On the bright side, we are moving into a rental property which means that we have the luxury to move out before listing our house. If you know anything about real estate, you are probably attacking your keyboard to tell me that empty houses are harder to sell than full ones, to which I reply “Don’t forget how many children I have”.

Trying to pack a house with three very young children underfoot has been an exercise in frustration. I get a box started. Assuming I find the tape-gun, I start filling it up. Then the babies wake-up. 2 hours later, it’s time to pick-up the kids from school. When I return to my box, the children have found their most favorite (book, shoes, top, toy) EVER and the content of the box are strewn across Hell’s half-acre.

When my husband and I started to talk about listing our house I said: “You realize that you will move us essentially on your own.” He said yes. I meant it.

Needing a break from doing something slightly nutty (moving a family of 10 with infant twins), I decided to do something quintessentially normal: take my two daughters to a sports competition 700 km away. I couldn’t leave my husband alone with the twins and the toddler to pack-up the house, so I brought everybody, along with my mother for supplemental handy-womanry. For a woman like me, even “quintessentially normal” ends-up slightly nutty.

Pit Stop on the Four-oh-One. Met another Ottawa mother traveling with twins and her parents. We were both all business and we let the proud grandparents do the chatting.

It’s when I do “normal” that I realize how abnormal I am. I go to the hotel pool and I’m the only parent in the water. I look at the other parents sitting together poolside and I can see those I know telling those I don’t know that I have 8 children and the youngest are twins. I can see it by the look on people’s face, a mix of disbelief and contempt. As we return to our room to dry-up and change, I notice several families leaving together for supper or meeting to order pizza. Back to my room, I told my mother:

I don’t think people even realize that I would like to be included.  I think that although I see myself as a normal person with more children than most, people see me as abnormal, different, and are either intimidated or not interested.

To which my ever-wise mother replied: “Véronique, you are not normal.” Here I was, at a sports competition 6 hours away from home, with “only” 5 children, two of them babies, one of them running a fever, when most people can’t even imagine themselves with 3. Back home, my husband “only” had 3 children and was having a blast packing-up the house. If moving is ranked as one of life’s top 5 stressful experiences, someone should talk to my husband: without the three youngest, moving was positively restful! (Worry not I have since returned with my sick infant, my restless toddler and the other, quieter, baby and any rest that may have been felt has now been annihilated).

“We went to Toronto but all I saw was the canopy on my car seat” — Eve & Lucas

I’m glad we went. I may have mixed feelings about the wisdom of trying to pull “normal” stunts with my abnormal gang but it all went over  my athletes’ heads: they were thrilled to be there with their coach and their teammates. They were even spared the pediatric car ride, being given the opportunity to drive up and back with a friend.

“Present!” (the one in the gym suit is not the one competing. But she has the fire all right!)
Celebrating a strong showing — level 5 daughter placed in all her events — with late lunch. OK, we would have had lunch even without the prizes. But she got to choose where!
And here is our Level 5 star!
Turning heads in friendly Burlington!
Our Level 4 athlete was competing at 6 pm. Of course, we all got a bit tired.
Hairdo malfunction: the braids flew in her face during her beam routine.
The best part of the weekend was shopping the bargain leotard bin with her sisters. Gym suits are great to play street hockey too!