Archive for the ‘babywearing’ Category

Best babywearing day ever!!

April 3, 2010

I had to come share our morning’s babywearing experience with you all!

We live in a town where the only other babywearing parent we’ve seen has been someone we know. There is a large shopping centre in the centre of town, and we always stop for paninis and things (this time with the babies eating as well – we love baby led weaning!) in an open plan muffin/coffee place in a pretty busy part of the centre.

When we were done eating, TMD got Coconut on her front first – as I wanted ’spotting’ for flinging Snort onto my back as it was the first time I had back wrapped in public and the floors looked hard. *grin*

I was holding him in one arm, trying to sort out the wrap with my left hand, looking for the middle. TMD said people were already staring at that point. I spread the middle of the wrap on the table, put Snort on top of it, and apparently more people started looking. She said when I swung him onto my back, mouths dropped open and one woman exclaimed, ‘That is FASCINATING!’

I am a bit of an exhibitionist (obviously!) so enjoyed performing in public.

Then we were walking around a bookstore, and an interesting family was there as well. They were clearly Orthodox Jews, though there was no mother. The dad was leaning heavily on a cane, and had two gorgeous little daughters. He said, ‘Look! There’s a baby on her back.’ He glanced at me. ‘Do you mind if my daughter has a look? She loves babies.’

We had a nice little chat, and then wandered away. I ended up bumping back into him when my wife was nearby with Coconut, and he said, ‘There are babies everywhere today!’

I smiled and said, ‘These babies are actually twins!’

He said (clearly joking), ‘Oh, how’d you manage that with two women?’ He laughed.

I said, ‘Well, she actually is my wife and these are our kids. I just happened to give birth to them.”

He immediately knelt down by his daughters and said, ‘Did you hear that? These babies are twins, and they have two mummies. Aren’t they lucky? They have two mummies, and you have one daddy. There are all different sorts of families.’

I swear to god my heart nearly melted.

He then said, ‘This is so great. It’s their first time experiencing these things.’ I wasn’t clear if he was referring to twins, babywearing, or two mum familes! *wink*

It’s so nice for me to get out of the house at all, and when it is one nice experience after another, oh, I’m a happy woman.

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Parenting: How we roll.

March 31, 2010

So, some thoughts on how and why we do certain things. You know, our ‘parenting approach.’ I’m going to stay away from wider labels, as I don’t know how helpful they are in the day-to-day of our lives. My choices are not picking on your choices, should they not happen to match. I know there are gazillions of ways to parent, and only on a selective few topics do I really believe that the way we do things is a way other people should try. Most of the stuff is down to each of us as individuals, and I’m not about to shit on your parenting parade.

Circumcision – This is a huge NO for us. We would not consider circumcising Snort; luckily we live in a country where it’s the norm to leave baby boys and their pee-pees alone, but we would have taken this decision regardless. I view circumcision as a violation of another person’s body. He might be a baby, but he does have his own personhood and I’m not about to make irreversible choices that are largely cosmestic.

This seems linked with my idea about babies who are born intersexed – that is, with both male and female genitals. I have known several adults who had their parents make a choice for them when they were days or hours old, and I have never known an adult who was pleased their parents did this.

Sleeping arrangements – Our bed is not big enough for cosleeping, and I don’t know how open we would have been to it in the first place. That being said, when the babies were little that IS what we did – albeit falling asleep while feeding twins in the middle of the night probably isn’t to be encouraged, but we woke up plenty of times with snug little babies in bed. Mainly, though, the babies coslept with each other.

Snort and Coconut shared a crib until they were six months old. This crib was in our room, pulled up next to our bed. The side facing us was lowered, with only about 8 inches of bars above the mattress. By the time they were four and five months old, it took some creative arranging to keep them sharing. By six months, it was a problem. Our room does not have space for two cribs, so they moved into the second bedroom then.

It wasn’t really that bad of a transition, though I think Snort had a couple of wee problems at the beginning. (Coconut sleeps like a brick shithouse.) The past couple of weeks Snort and sleeping have gotten all jacked up, and it is getting to be a ritual to let him in our bed at about 5 am, and occasionally Coconut instead or as well. It’s nice.

Getting babies to sleep – We are not fans of crying it out. I do know many parents do this for valid reasons, but the ones who do it because they want their six week old to go to sleep on their own so they can have a life of their own? Uh, no. I do judge.

Our babies go to sleep between 7-8 every night, sometimes a wee bit later. They fall asleep with us in the lounge – in their bouncy chairs, on our laps, or while being worn in a sling. Once they are asleep, we pop them into their cribs and that is that.Should they wake up in the night – though this is rare – we go to them and cuddle them.

Routine – Apparently I’m a fucked up twin mom, because we do not do routine. I know around 6 weeks I felt desperate and like I should try some routine and began reading lots of scary books. Plus, every book on twin parenting was all about slamming them onto a schedule as quickly as possible.

That’s not how I roll.

As the babies have gotten older, their body rhythms have set a certain natural schedule that doesn’t change  much day to day. Wake up, play, milk feed, nap. Wake up, solid feed, play, usually nap, milk feed. Play, nap, maybe another solid feed. Milk feed, play, then down for the night. Their fourth milk feed happens around 10 or 11, Coconut sleeps through this, Snort wakes up but barely.

Vaccinations – We vaccinate. For us, it makes sense. That being said, we started them a bit late and have had them quite spread out. In our country, you cannot be selective about what jabs you want or not – they are often all mixed in one vial. Our solution to make us feel better is to have two month gaps between each set, which is why they fairly recently finished the course that ‘should’ be finished at four months.

Babywearing – Obviously, we babywear. Not to the point of obsession, but when it is useful. When they were little, ‘useful’ meant the early evening when they went apeshit for no apparent reason. Now, ‘useful’ means out in public rather than a stroller (my body permitting), in the house for naps sometimes, when they are sick and want cuddles, etc.

Feeding (solids) – We do Baby Led Weaning and I have NO hesitations about recommending this as a great option for anyone with a baby six months plus. Though I encourage education – it’s not just about skipping purees, it’s about your babies having choices that are respected. Gill Rapley’s book is excellent.

We chose this as we want our children to know about the real tastes and textures of food from the start. The side benefit is increased development of fine motor skills and problem solving skills. We also want them to develop healthy relationships with food and trust themselves.

We have never given a puree or spoonfed, with the exception of the babies spoonfeeding themselves yogurt or oatmeal. (And indeed, I think me spoonfeeding two babies would be a fucking nightmare.)

TMD and I are vegetarians and have no problem with either/both babies eating meat if they want, but thus far they’ve had a vegetarian (and largely vegan) diet. This is because touching meat would make TMD throw up, and because while I probably could cook it without gagging too much, I would also likely poison the babies as I do not know how to cook meat.

Milk feeds – Our milk is powdered and comes in a can, served up in a bottle. I have written about my struggles to breastfeed in this blog, but probably nothing near the truth of what it was like. I loved breastfeeding; I never had a sore nipple or anything but pleasure. That being said, it did not work. If you want to know more about why, please read this. I was tempted to cross post it here and still may do, but in the meantime click the link.

That being said, we bottlefeed in a way that mimics breastfeeding. I usually only feed one baby at a time. I always hold them. I have never prop fed. I allow them to feed on demand, and in some ways they are living a singleton type life in terms of not being pounded into tandem feeds of proscribed amounts of milk. They drink as much or as little as they choose, when they choose. This is roughly every four hours, but as they eat more, this stretches out.

Rather than dropping milk feeds (which we don’t want them to do at this young age!!) they simply spread them out. Smart. See, you can trust babies to sort themselves out in terms of food…

(though when they were newborn and there were big problems with weight and dehydration due to the aforementioned breastfeeding issues, we were on a strict schedule of needing them to eat every three hours maximum)

Education – I am fascinated by unschooling, but for TMD it is an absolute no. This is fine by me. When it is time, our kids will attend a local school – preferably one with no ties to any religion. Not that we are so attached to Buddhism that our kids can’t experience other sorts, but more than Christian values (please, I do not  mean to offend) can be intolerant, and we don’t want that for our children. You know, and their two mums.

Natural parenting – we do it. I’m not saying I am 100% clear on what that means, but for us it means trying to have a more holistic approach to things. We don’t really give medicine (though would, of course, if it were needed), and would prefer to try other stuff than dosing them up. For example: teething necklaces made from baltic amber. Say what you will, but when our kids wore them every day (there is a cumulative effect, apparently, it’s not a as-and-when type thing) they were happy. Coco’s is now missing and presumably covered in rotting yogurt, and since not using them we have red cheeks, red bottoms, more crying.

I am really a total fucking skeptic, but a total fucking skeptic who wants to believe, you know? And I would rather try to avoid seeing ignoring your baby in an outward facing stroller, spoonfeeding nightmares, and giving them baby aspirin for every little thing as the norm.

Diapers – we use disposables.  There was every plan to use cloth nappies if we were only having one baby, but along came two. We live in a climate where you can’t hang things out to dry, where it is rare to own a dryer anyway, and where we had limited floor space to air dry in the house. When they were newborn, we did three loads of laundry a day to keep up with things – cloth nappies would have been a giant, horrid nightmare. Now that diapering is changing, I am starting to consider making the switch. We’ll see. That being said, I feel little guilt (please don’t stone me) about using disposables because we are actually very very super green in all other aspects of our life.

How I am with them, in general – they make me laugh. I have never gotten angry with either of them. I am quite silly and, uh, unrestrained in my fucking weirdness – but much like people in the real world, it seems to make the babies like me more. I talk to them a lot, I make up inappropriate rap songs, etc etc. I kiss them roughly twenty million times a day, each.

I am also a worrier. I have nightmares of them stopping breathing. I try to be super relaxed about health issues, because really they are super duper healthy, but sometimes reading the blogs of less fortunate babies (and parents) terrifies me to my core.

Twin things – We started a chart in hospital to help with breastfeeding. This is a piece of paper on a clipboard, with a watch on it. We are still keeping track of every poop, every feed, and solid foods – along with notes of reactions they may have. This chart also keeps track of their meds. With two babies, it can be difficult to remember who did what when, and sometimes that is important to know.

People say I am super organized when they come over, even before they see the chart, but really – as a parent of twins, you just have to have these little extra ways to help sort things out. It’s not that I am organized or anal, it is that I have two babies.

Sticky hands – Sticky hands have always made me feel ill. I hate when my hands are el grosso. That being said, 20 minutes ago I thought nothing of sliding my thumbs along the very oozy and goopy passionfruit halves to help loosen the stuff along the bottom for the babies. BLW is making me enjoy and appreciate mess, and that is just about miraculous.

There. Did I hit everything up? How many of you did I alienate?

What it means to be a parent, and how we do it.

March 29, 2010

Been thinking about writing on a certain topic for months – since biscuit-on-a-plate lady, actually. But for now, I’m going to copy a post from my other blog (written last Thursday)  here:

The only other babywearing mama in my town (aside from my wife, of course!) came over today with her lovely baby girl. She brought along some slings for me to try – an Ocah, a Girasol shortie, and a DELICIOUS petrol fishie from Didymos. Unfortunately I was a bit sore so didn’t do too much babywearing at all, though did have Coconut up on my back  while I toted her into the kitchen and then nursery.

Let’s just say I hope said mama gets sick of the fishie because I lust for it. (Yes, Sarah, I am talking to you. Are you reading? Ha.)

I really do like being around other mamas who are into slinging their babies – and everything that may or may not come with it.

We’re talking cosleeping, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby led weaning, natural parenting, attachment parenting, etc etc.  I certainly don’t tick all those boxes, but I tick some of them.

What about you? I’m curious about all the people who find their way to this blog. What’s your opinion on amber teething necklaces? On how to wean your baby? What sort of diapers/nappies do you use?

What boxes do YOU tick?

I ask because people always surprise me. Someone I went to school with responded to my facebook status today, in which I mentioned that we were inadvertently becoming cosleepers (albeit not all in the same bed – we don’t fit) as the babies were going through a weird waking in the night sort of thing. She came out of the cosleeping closet and said she’d been doing it three years!

So many of our choices as parents feel right to us, yet can be frowned upon by other people. I wonder why that is. For me, my priorities aren’t to have my babies walking or talking before anyone else. I’m not really into the whole competition scene that so many people get dragged into – though I won’t lie. I sometimes wonder, ‘Why aren’t they sitting yet? When will they get teeth? Oh my god, is Coconut saying “mama” on purpose?!?!’

I care more about raising my twins to be imaginative, secure, and emotionally intelligent kids. I care more about nurturing their self-esteem than my own – which is why I love them exactly as they are, whether they walk at ten, twelve, or fifteen months. I don’t need to show off their mad rolling skillz, because honestly? Who cares??

Other mothers don’t want to hear me talk about how I am clearly raising two super geniuses, and does it do anyone any good? I want Snort & Coconut to always, always feel loved – at their very cores, not just because of things they accomplish.

So tell me. What are your priorities? What sort of parent are you? What choices are you making for yourself, your children, your family?


Thanks in advance.

March 20, 2010

Life is bitchin’.

Aussie just rang to tell me I am famous! On a certain babywearing group she belongs to, someone posted a question on how to wear twins. One woman linked to my youtube channel (that is slowly but surely filling up with demos). A few posts later, someone linked to my other blog!

FAME! I WANNA LIVE FOREVER! etc etc

I’ve gotten two opportunities to write articles (which I now need to do), been informed by some companies that they ‘love my work’, and am getting a steady influx of babywearing questions from other mamas or mamas-to-be.

I feel really excited, because I am madly passionate about babywearing – and nothing compares to wearing two babies at once! It really is lovely.

Aussie was just saying what a valuable thing I am doing, to help other people learn to develop their own mad skillz. In a fit of empowered goodness, I bought a domain name. Now, of course, I don’t know what to do with it. Free blog that you only write text in a box? I’m so there.

Doing other shit now that the world seems to have progressed from my ‘designing’ days of <color=”red”> ? No fucking clue. Also debating if it is, indeed, a good idea to  switch that blog (wordpress, like this one) to a self-owned site. Pros, cons? Advice?

The babywearing site I currently have is rapidly growing in page views, so I’m thinking I’d want to switch before it gets much bigger? But I also don’t want to pay tons of money to run this thing. I do want to give it the best chance of being seen by twin or singleton parents who want to babywear, though,  as the whole goal is to empower others.

Give it to me, you know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it. Slide your big, fat, helpful experiences with hosting your own blog right between my waiting, pink ears.

The Buddhist challenge.

March 18, 2010

You might know I’m a Buddhist. I’ve been really lax in terms of my practice since the babies were born, though I’ve not wavered in my belief in the basic philosophy. Lately I’ve been thinking I need to step it up a notch. I won’t get you bogged down in what that means, but the most basic – and essential – practice is chanting a phrase. This is ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.’

Nam –  like Vietnam shortened (but not sounding like ‘am’ More like ‘om’) . Actually just  like nom – you know, what babies do to things.

Myo – uh, cats say meow, gangsters say yo, put ’em together into one syllable and you’ve got ‘myo’

Ho – like that girl you went to high school with

Renge – like ‘reggae,’ but with an ‘n’

Kyo – Like Toyko, but again one syllable

Again, I won’t explain what each of these mean, but if you’re interested in Buddhism do get in touch. (Or read The Buddha in Daily Life by Richard Causton – my favourite book on Buddhism, but be warned, it’s theory heavy. But good!! If you like a lighter read, I can recommend other books.)

So ANYWAY. You repeat this phrase out loud over and over.  This sort of Buddhism encourages chanting for ‘actual proof,’ namely, things that you aim to achieve – and then see if the Buddhism helps you. Buddhism is an humanist philosophy/religion, so you are not asking some outside deity to sort your life out. More like you are getting yourself into the best, strongest position to help you take action and improve your life.

We have chanted for things in the past and had astounding results. One being getting our twins on our first cycle!

However, I don’t find ‘things’ as alluring as how generally good Buddhism makes me feel. Every time I chant, particularly when doing it every day, I just feel more positive, proactive, creative, joyful.

Now, the other thing about Buddhism is that you don’t have to sell your soul. Chanting is for anyone to try out, and then if it works, great. If not, they may choose to move on to something else or try later – also fine. I met a man when I was working on a Buddhist magazine a few years ago (oh, there are so many things about me you do not know! I am like Phoebe on Friends!) who said he’d been introduced to Buddhism via the ‘Daz Challenge.’

Daz being a washing powder that claims to make your whites whiter, etc. Essentially, this guy was told to try chanting every day for 100 days straight – say, for five minutes a day. He was told to just give it a go and see what happened. Well, he found himself feeling more grounded and healthy.

Now, I’m already won over by Buddhism. It makes sense for my life. I like the idea of being responsible for effecting change in myself and my community. But I have decided to do a little Daz Challenge myself, to remind myself why I once vigourously practiced, and to get back into the swing of things. Buddhism also encourages you to write down your ‘determinations;’ mine is to be completely healed by 1 May. We’ll see.

All I know is that three days ago I started my Daz Challenge. And you all know how shit I’ve been feeling lately, how hopeless about my pelvis and my subsequent parenting ability. On that day, minutes after chanting, I looked outside and suddenly felt very able. It was sunny out, so I stepped out to check the temperature. Next thing you know, I was hanging out in our garden with my twins for the first time ever.

Yesterday, TMD worked till 9 (and thank you to all who left comments on the babywearing blog. She was SO chuffed and wants to make videos now!). I did some chanting in the evening, and then when the babies were testy, I babywore (is this a word?) both of them. It also just popped into my head to balance my camera on top of some stuff and make videos of how to do babywearing. I felt strong and able. I was filled with joy.

Physically I am feeling pretty good, but emotionally and mentally I feel strong. And when it comes to Buddhism, here is my proof:

Should you choose to give Buddhism a try, let me know! I’ll be curious to see what you think. There is more to it than just chanting, but that is the basic practice. I am tweeting about my 100 days at at the hashtag #dazchallenge, so feel free to follow along over there or join in!

So far as I know, there aren’t massive conflicts between Buddhism and other faiths, so you aren’t, like, pissing in the eye of your god if you try chanting. Wow, that was crass.

Now, I need to return to Day Three!!

Surprise my wife!

March 17, 2010

I want to write the post I wanted to write yesterday (and didn’t cause I thought it would be better with pics, and said pics not online yet)…

but in the meantime?

My wife is my guest star this week on my babywearing blog. She is tandem wearing both babies for the first time ever. She was so excited about doing it – and her first words were essentially, ‘Yes! I can be in your blog now!!’

Please go over and check her out – and then leave her a comment.

She’s having a rough time working all day and then spending every free minute looking after the babies as my pelvis is still wack, and working tonight till 9! I know she’d love to come home to lots of happy comments, so help me surprise her, ok?

I feel I can actively do so little for her, but blogging is something that doesn’t require me to walk! If you don’t know the blog’s address, please let me know.

Thanks…

One of the hardest things.

March 15, 2010

Every time I get out a wrap/sling to bind my pelvis, the babies – particularly Coconut – squeal in happiness, wiggle, grab at the sling. Then I apologize and wrap it around me, no baby attached.

This morning when I pulled it out, Coconut just looked at me with sad little eyes and didn’t reach out for it.

Ugh.

This sucks.

Gratitude.

February 23, 2010

I remember all the years I wanted a baby.

Right now I have two little babies cuddled to me in a wrap. Baby sleep breathing is assailing all my senses from every direction. Milky breath, soft puffs of air against my skin, beautiful little wonders curled in such trust against me.

All those years of waiting were worth this one moment.

Reminder.

February 16, 2010

Erm, if you are a parent or parent-to-be of twins, if you like babywearing (or are curious about it), or if you are simply nosy posy and want to see uncensored pics and videos of our whole family, please ask me for the link to my other blog.

Our first week with Baby Led Weaning

February 15, 2010

What was tried:

In general, Snort’s not that bothered with solids, aside from playing with them. Exceptions are avacado, hummous, and broccoli. He doesn’t seem to ‘get’ that it’s food yet – though this morning he held a rice cake and when he saw me eating mine, he put his to his mouth and smiled at me in a hopeful sort of way.

Coconut will try anything and loves pretty much everything. She had some demon eye rolling and puking for broccoli and hummous, but whatcha gonna do. When we were out yesterday, she grabbed for my entire panini off my plate. We broke off some bread, and she happily chewed on that for ages.

So far we are enjoying baby led weaning a lot. Snort has disturbingly started eating at four hours round the clock – so two night feeds last night. Don’t think it’s a growth spurt as both babies have been sleeping through the night for months, even during growth spurts. I’m wondering if it’s that he needs more calories or something, and as he isn’t really eating solids he’s upped his milk feeds? We’re up to six feeds in 24 hours as opposed to four. Others have suggested it’s a developmental thing, so I’ll have to look into it.

Regardless, Valentine’s Day was lovely. TMD, me, and Aussie went into town – each wearing a baby. I think we looked like some sort of hippy gang. Our babies in their slings, with their amber necklaces. Oh, yes, I think I am granola.