After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

All dressed up and nowhere to go!

Isn't she just gorgeous? Here she is modeling the formal I'm selling on Craigslist. She was so excited to look so good (said she hadn't felt that pretty in a long time) that I just let her wear it for a while. It's still on her and she's just as happy as can be.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Older babies and toddlers love Silly Goose, too!

In the last couple months I've had several mamas contact me to say specifically that not only do they find the Silly Goose Baby carrier comfortable to wear, their older child (2-3 years) who normally wants down after a few minutes in a carrier is LOVING the Silly Goose! These mamas report even asking their child if s/he wants down, and the answer is a resounding no. The conclusion they report is that the child is actually comfortable in a Silly Goose and that makes the ride more enjoyable. And there is nothing like extending those moments of close contact--or just having the kid tied up . . . I mean tied on . . . at the grocery store! ;-)
Here is a picture of two 3 1/2 year-olds in a Silly Goose Baby--standard height. Notice how it goes right up to each knee and both girls are sitting in the carrier? I do honestly believe that is why these kids are so comfortable. Their legs are supported and their bottom is down in a deep, supportive pocket.

Happy Babywearing (and Toddler-wearing, too!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New summer strap colors coming soon!

Yup. With the warm weather comes more options. In addition to the current offerings (black, chocolate, natural, navy blue, and denim) I have also ordered a tan (looks khaki) and sage. Sage is a beautiful soft, pale green. I'm excited to see what else I find to go with it. So far, I'm thrilled with how pretty it is.
These have not been shipped to me yet, but I anticipate them sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I think I need a tow truck

Just last week I was thinking that I felt like a semi truck conquering a long hill when I was going up my stairs. If I had flashers, I'm sure they would be flashing. But now I need a tow truck.

Yesterday I pulled something in my lower back and it's pretty much put me out of comission. I only have one order out there that I feel is just hanging there, but wanted to let anyone else know. So if I'm not answering your email in the timely fashion that I like to, it's not because I don't want to. It's because I'm trying to get better sooner rather than later.

Off to ice and heat!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How *not* to wear a mei tai

Granted she's only two and she did get it on all by herself, it still just doesn't seem safe. I'll let you judge what that tells you about me as a mother who runs for her camera rather than making the situation more *safe*.
Happy (and safe) babywearing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Baby on the way!

Silly Goose Baby will only be offering in-stock carriers after May 5th. Any custom work will have to be ordered and paid for before that date, including custom applique.

Look for more custom work sometime after the baby is born. (Baby is expected to come sometime in July--hopefully the first half!) I'd be more specific, but sometimes babies aren't very specific-friendly.

Thank you for your understanding! I hope to keep you posted!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mei tais and Spina bifida, club feet and a sub-flexed hip

Meet 4-month-old Emma. She is a doll. I met her when her mom was first looking for a baby carrier. Emma was born with Spina Bifida (L4,L5), club feet, and a sub-flexed (dislocated) right hip. Emma's Spina Bifida is considered quite mild; the major long-term effects they expect are a shunt to drain the fluid from around her brain, and the bottom of her feet may be paralyzed.

Her mom needed a carrier that worked for a baby with casts from the thigh down on both legs, and eventually a cast that went from her belly button down to her ankles and a bar between her legs at the knees.

The mei tai worked with both cast situations. When Emma had two separate casts on her legs, her mom would simply sit Emma in the carrier so both feet were out one side. She didn’t get any pictures of it, but said it worked well. The other carrier she had tried was a front-pack style, but felt that the mei tai worked better and was more comfortable.

When Emma was in the cast with the bar, the carrier also worked beautifully. Her mom used it both for facing in and facing out. For facing in, she simply placed the carrier on a flat surface, placed Emma on her back on the carrier, threaded the bottom straps through the opening above the bar, leaned down and tied the waist straps around her waist, brought Emma up and tied the shoulder straps.

Forward facing was similar, except she didn’t need a flat surface. She would tie the waist straps and tie the carrier on just like you would with a baby without a cast. Both methods worked beautifully.

It is true that this information is very situation

specific and presented simply. But I feel it is still

important even in this simple form.

Happy Babywearing!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Meet Freida

Some of you may already know her. She’s my star employee—ready to do her job at any time during the day or night. (Though I must admit, I don’t pay Worker's Comp on her. Somehow that is okay.) I’m very thankful for her. She makes my life so much easier with me not having to find a cooperative kid for each picture, take pictures of myself or drape carriers over a chair. Really, it's so much easier since she's been around.

We met several months ago. She was looking for work on Craigslist and I immediately knew with some tidying up, she’d be a great match for Silly Goose Baby.

She has an interesting past. At one point she even tried out for Toy Story. But they told her she was too ‘full figured’ and needed to get legs if she wanted the part. And dang that girl, she would not bow to the pressure of Hollywood! (The girl who did get the part actually suffered quite a bit of ridicule after the movie because due to some freak accident, the rod and reel was actually permanently attached to her. She finally found her calling though, working a bit of construction and joined a local volunteer search and rescue team. She’s since been hired full time doing search and rescue and is getting some national notice. They are in the process of getting her on a specialized nation-wide team. She did join the circus for a while before she found her niche in search and rescue. Freida went and saw her on their way through a couple summers ago. They had a nice visit.)

We’ve happily taken her into our home and our lives. She is a household name. My oldest daughter will smile big when she sees one of Freida’s friends on the job and say, “Look mom! They got a Freida, too!” And I have to explain to her that there is only one Freida. That that model in the window may be doing the same job, but she certainly is not as special as the girl we have at home.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A little silly history

It's quite a phenomonon. You know--you find something you love and swear by it . . . until it doesn't work for you anymore. It's happened to me. Babies grow. Babies change. Carriers you once swore by no longer work the way they did.

It's why there is such a dizzying array of carriers to choose from out there. Mei tais, pouches, ring slings, wraps, soft structured carriers, and everything in between--not to mention those little front packs that make you want to rip it off and throw in the garbage can outside the store because it hurts your back and/or shoulders so badly. And it's why Silly Goose mei tais are designed the way they are.

As I've said before in a million places (or so it seems) the first carrier I really loved was a mei tai. But my baby grew and soon it was not meeting the needs she had--to have her legs out, comfortably.

So, I started sewing. The narrow based carriers I made were only a temporary solution and I knew I could do better. I'm sure the other adjustable base carriers out there are fabulous. I looked at them. But something kept me from buying them. I think it was the fact that my nearly-three-year-old would have had the same problem with them that she had with the original carrier. She would have hung in it.

I gathered some materials and my kids and went to visit my parents in a different state. What else do you do when you have a serious problem? My mom has a sewing business and I can sew and let my kids run wild with grandpa. We're all happy.

After presenting my problem and raiding her shop for additional supplies, I set to work. I measured both kids and drew up a pattern. A few hours later I had something. And it was quite the something. I don't think it's very often that I've hit on something so right on the first try--sometimes dinner even takes a couple tries, and I do that every night!

I made a few more and made a few small changes and showed it to a couple of my mama friends. One of them looked at me with a look I that I will never forget and said in a tone I will never forget, "Heidi, there is nothing like this out there!" Another friend took one to try and told me that she'd go into business with me if I'd let her.

So we did. And after several months of talking and planning and making them for local friends and friends of friends to use and test, we formed an LLC. Silly Goose Baby, LLC. Janurary 22, 2007. It was official.

I have since lost her as a business partner, but not as a friend. The carrier design has still changed very little. I've added a tall version, lengthened the standard shoulder strap length, settled on standard strap fabrics, and have improved the way the carrier is reinforced. But that's about it. I did try buckles, but I felt the comfort and versitility was lost in the design.

And business is good. It's just enough for me to make it worth my time, and not so much that I can't get it all done. It is, after all, just me. I sometimes still catch myself using 'we.' Sometimes it's a throwback from my days as a business partner. Sometimes it's me and my two kids (three in July). Sometimes 'we' just sounds better, less "Hey! I think pretty highly of myself!" Sometimes it's me and that silly goose Wisteria. But it's just me, with my kids on tow, doing the day to day stuff it takes to run this business the way I think it should be run between what it takes to keep up a marriage and a household the way I think those ought to be kept up, as well as raising a few kids. All a balancing act. But today we went outside and found an abundance of spring puddles to splash through.

What does the future hold? I know that just as well as you. In the mean time, happy babywearing!