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, October 20, 2008

The great facing out debate

I'll be honest. I'm not a huge fan of babies being carried facing out in carriers. But I also haven't had babies who have seemed to want to be carried like that. They have been content tummy to tummy or on my back. But there are babies out there who pretty much demand to be carried facing out. I've met some and I've met their parents.

There are people who will tell you it's bad for babies: they get overstimulated and it's bad for their hips to be hanging like that. Their knees need to be above their hips, they'll say with rolling eyes. There are parents out there who will tell you that they are willing to take that risk and endure the rolling eyes because that's how their baby is happiest. And what kind of parent wants an unhappy baby?

For me, carrying babies like that seems unnatural. There's no snuggle factor involved with a baby facing away from you. I'm into snuggle factor and I think that is exactly why I love babywearing. It's also directly related to why I designed this carrier. (I had two kids of vastly differing sizes who wanted to be carried and neither one of them fit into my carrier. My carrier didn't work and my snuggle factor was gone.) I have also seen babies being carried in that position quite precariously, particularly in stretchy wraps--to the point that I almost feel like the baby will topple out at any moment. But, that doesn't mean I need to judge parents who are obviously trying to do what they think is best for their baby.

The point I'm making is that while I don't advocate carrying babies facing out and while I don't make a habit of carrying my children like that, a Silly Goose Baby mei tai does in fact work. And not just in a pinch. It all out works for carrying a baby facing out on your front. And it's actually pretty comfortable. She doesn't dangle from two inches of fabric across her crotch, and she doesn't seem to be in danger of toppling out at any moment. Plus, her little legs actually are pretty supported; she seems to sit in the carrier rather than dangle by it.

You need photographic proof you say?? Well, you're in luck. My husband is not a professional photographer and I'm no super model, but the carrier works and the kid is dang cute! She's three months old (already!) and about 12 pounds here.

To further the discussion, I have often wondered if some of the babies who demand to be facing out simply would rather just be going the same direction as their ride is going. Who wants to see the world backwards? Back carries are fabulous for hands free and not feeling like there is a baby in your way. (The one pictured above is content and asleep on my back as I type. I'm getting this done and she's asleep. We're both happy.)

I absolutely recommend that mamas and papas work together and master the back carry. Even if your child isn't demanding to face out. Even if you aren't enduring rolling eyes. It will also extend your years of babywearing. And wouldn't you much rather have a child sleeping on your back in the grocery store instead of running around like a crazy kid because you can't keep her happy in the cart? (I've experienced this. It's why I recommend you get another Goose just to keep in your car.)

So after the above picture was taken, I switched her to my back. She is on my back quite often, but I didn't have any pictures and my resident photographer was still in the house. So, he got this cute picture of her peeking over the top of the carrier.

I was satisfied with it, so we called it a day. But then less then 2 minutes later, a sleeping baby. (Notice I have the straps across her back. It's keeping her from slouching in the carrier and it's more comfortable for both of us.)

And just for funsies, I couldn't resist the over-the-shoulder sleeping baby shot from a few days ago. But it also does a good job of showing how well her little head is supported in the back carry.

Happy Babywearing! I'm having a great time. Can you tell?

Friday, October 17, 2008

More photos of the new DELUX Silly Goose!

One of my testers sent me these photos. She's a big fan of the Classic Silly Goose so I thought she would be a great one to test and compare. Her little one is 14 months and about 20 pounds in the photos.

Here are some of her observations:

. . . very comfortable, and love the way the hood attaches . . . very easy compared to others I've tried

. . . While both are comfortable, I find the Classic is comfier for a front carry, while the new one is more comfy for a back carry.

. . . (strap angle) makes a BIG difference in getting a tighter/snugger carry

. . . I think she liked how her arms could be out easier with this one (she's still such a small thing).

. . . I love having the solid carrier with a pop of fun fabric on the hood. Not sure if this is how you did all of them, but I really dig it.

Thanks Tracey!

(And if you want to see what she does, check out I'm a little partial to her work. Hee hee!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My privilege

I had a friend come over last week. This particular friend does things like open my fridge and comment on how organized it is. (She also raves about Silly Goose mei tais. Her youngest is 10 months and she told me that he has been in a Silly Goose almost every day since he was born. Most days 2-3 times.)

Anyway, we were talking about the housework battle and she gave me a new perspective. A friend of hers who also has children told her that before children, cleaning was a chore. But now that they have children, it's more of a privilege. I think I looked at her cross-eyed.

But then she went on to explain that with all these kids running around accomplishing something like mopping the floor or cleaning the shower or vacuuming the living room becomes something different. It's worth bragging about when your spouse gets home.

Honey! I cleaned the fridge out today! I mopped the floor! The toilets are clean! The laundry is folded! YAY! YAY! YAY!

I feel like a kid jumping up and down excited about the news of going to grandmas.

She's right. My privilege. Cleaning the house. It feels so good when it's done.

Now I just need to figure the magic formula that makes it STAY done.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The mei tai--so easy a 5-year-old can do it


She's so proud! This mama is, too!

If this were a real instructional video, she'd be tying double knots. But she just wanted to show off. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Sometimes one can't help but be reminded of the beauty in life. It's been nuts around her lately. We're all tired, the house is a wreck, and I feel like I'm running in circles. But last week my mother-in-law called me. (I am one of apparently only a handful of people on the planet who can say that she genuinely loves her mother-in-law.) She called me with purpose.

On Mothers' Day this year we gave her a calla lilly. It was just one of the ones you pick up at the one-stop-shopping mart on your way down to dinner on Sunday after church. We obviously hadn't planned ahead enough and there weren't many left. But it was acceptable and she was thrilled. Went and planted it in her garden. (She'll tell you her garden isn't much, but it is quite pretty.)

We got her a calla lilly because all our girls have a flower name. Grace Rosemarie and Calla Joyann at the time. We added little Violet Faith Loraine later. She already has a rose bush, but that's another story.

She was calling to tell me that the darn thing was blooming.

It's October. I thought they only bloomed in spring, I told her.

Well, I thought that, too, she said. But it has these two giant white gorgeous perfect blooms on it.

It made me all fuzzy inside. I think it made her all fuzzy, too. We may have had a moment.

And here's our litte Calla standing next to the two gorgeous blooms in grandma's back yard. The date is Sunday October 5th, 2008.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The flavors of childhood

Recently I've had my childhood come back to me in bits and pieces. In the flavors. It started with this milk someone gave me. Fresh raw whole milk. I poured myself a glass for dinner, and when I took a drink all I could do was look at my husband and smile. I was suddenly that little daughter of a dairy farmer sucking fresh warm milk out of the weigh jar (as fresh as it gets without actually squirting yourself in the face).

And then my mom sent me some honey. Not just any honey--fresh, raw honey. And then I pulled a loaf of bread she had made on her last visit out of the freezer. Suddenly I was that little girl sitting at the table in our old house on the farm eating a piece of bread with butter and yummy honey on it.

Yesterday I was drying plums. Growing up, our neighbors across the road had about three plum trees. Those little yummy Italian plums. We ate them fresh and mom dried them and we ate them all winter. Suddenly I was that little girl digging in the freezer for a handful of those dried plums to take outside as a snack on the way to do her chores.

After having all these thoughts come back to me, my husband came in the kitchen and got some of the dried apples out of the little baggie on the counter. He leaned back on the counter and started telling me about when he was little he'd go to his grandparents' house and they always had dried apples in the big deep freezer. It made me smile and gave me that little extra umph to get those apples in the driers like I want to.

I also had two boxes of peaches land on my front step. (I had told my neighbor I wanted a couple boxes and she got us some as a new baby gift--I could have just hugged her!) I canned all those up and my 2-year-old keeps asking for "peach juice."

When they are mamas, I hope they have pleasant flavors from their childhood that make them smile.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Within the next month or so our family will be moving. And with moving comes chaos. So, for the time being I ask that you be patient with me if it takes longer than usual to answer an email or finish a carrier or ship a carrier or just in general find my brain.

I apologize in advance, but that's the way of the world we are currently living in.