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jkpenney

Babywearing Educator, Parent, Advocate

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March 2016

Walk in Red 2016

E doesn’t need to be cured, she needs acceptance.

 Friday kicks off Autism Acceptance Month, generally referred to as Autism Awareness Month. April 2nd is designated as Autism Acceptance day. Acceptance not Awareness because the community needs acceptance from the neurotypical and not awareness as if being on the spectrum is a disease to be cured. In celebration of this day, consider participating in Walk in Red (now referred to as #redinstead) as an ally. 

Walk in Red is the #actuallyautistic driven alternative to Light it up Blue. #LIUB is a highly publicized even created by Autism Speaks, an organization controlled by neurotypical people who refuse any input from autistic persons. They are widely considered a hate group within the autistic community. Because of this, the #LIUB event is viewed negatively. If you want to show support this Saturday, and all through April, #walkinred or #lightitupred instead. (Edit: now use #redinstead)

For more information:

Walk in Red
Why not to Light it up Blue
What’s wrong with Autism Speaks?
More on why Autism Speaks is bad from ASAN

#boycottautismspeaks

Toddlers and Buckle Carriers

Anyone who’s involved in the Facebook babywearing community has seen the question, “which toddler carrier should I get?” So I decided to get come comparison shots with E. She was about 3yo and 32 lbs when these were taken. I tend to forget to measure her height, but she’s average for her age. 

First and foremost, buckle carriers fit everyone differently. Like jeans, you may be the same number size as your friend but that doesn’t mean the same pair will fit each of you just right. Any buckle carrier could work well enough. But the best fit isn’t standard across the board for all size 12 pants wearers. I always promote trying different brands on if you can before purchasing. Okay, disclaimer is out of the way. Now onto the carriers. 

  
Each of these carriers are modeled on myself (sz 10) with my 3yo (4T). I personally prefer the fit of the preschool kinder pack best. But all are great options at a variety of price points and ease of availability. The shortest panel was the lillebaby carry on. It also wasn’t a fantastic fit on my 5’2″ frame as the straps didn’t cinch down enough. The lenny lamb was the most varied in structure and proved quite comfortable, although smaller on my near preschooler.  The Tula and lillebaby were the widest panels without height. The toddler beco is a good alternative to a more difficult to buy (currently) kinder pack. 

Hope this helps!

Ring Sling Tip

E and A love to push the limits of any carrier I put them in. Seat popping, leaning, hopping, climbing, you name it and they do it. It can be quite challenging to keep them in place when they don’t want to be. This forces me to be more creative in which carries or carriers I use. I love ring slings for quick trips into the post offices or to pick up E from school. Sadly, ring slings aren’t known for their ability to lock a squirmy baby in place. One of my favorite ring sling tricks is to pass the tail of the ring sling between myself and the kids. This helps restrict them from kicking their way out of the ring sling.

Check it out!

Cradle Carry in a Ring Sling

One of my favorite things to do as a babywearing educator is to make tutorial videos for my local chapter. Here is my most recent one, a cradle carry in a ring sling. It also includes tips for nursing while in a cradle carry and repositioning baby after. Enjoy!

 

Finding the right photographer is a journey. Luckily I found Michelle early on so that she could capture much of our lives these past three years.

Michelle’s Business Page

Michelle’s Facebook Page

 

Body Conscious 

I went through five outfits today before settling on one of the first choices unhappily. I’m bloated, my skin is a disaster, and I just feel unpretty. Each outfit made me feel self conscious in some way, mostly an ever protruding muffin top that appeared after the birth of the second child. The skin of a pubescent teenager didn’t help my mood. I felt uncomfortable in my skin, and I still do. At least my sweats and tee shirt let me feel adequately hidden. 

After I had E I felt like a rockstar. I created and birthed an amazing little human. The gained weight fell off with breastfeeding. I felt confidant and happy with my appearance. No one told me how different the second round would be. I lost weight after A but my body was different. Clothes no longer fit as they should, jeans cut into me, looking lumpy. Then perinatal depression lead to weight gain. The medication helps mentally, but it doesn’t change my appearance. Now not only do the clothes sit funny, they also no longer fit. 
I love myself and am generally confidant. I get that diet and exercise could help. That’s not the point. I shouldn’t have to loose weight or match some ideal to be happy with my appearance. Society has taught me for so long that body lumps are unattractive that it is hard to get past now that I am on the other side of the approved norm. I feel unpretty and self conscious. It’s a damn shame. 

  

Kokoskaa Secese Sirius

Cotton/tencel blend 
291.3gsm

This wrap is close in wrapping qualities to it’s all cotton sister, but it shines in new ways. The first thing that comes to mind is bounce for days. It is of medium thickness yet light feeling in hand. Memory foam like on the shoulders, it molds easily into chest passes. Soft and floppy, tencel Secese would be great with a squish and effortlessly supports a larger child. The comfort continued throughout lengthy outings with the younger child and hoppy, bouncing neighborhood walks with the older one. Kokoskaa’s tencel blend is a must try. Combined with the Secese weave, it’s a classic, any occasion and any age wrap. 

I wear a 35lb 3.5 YO and a 23 lb 1.5 YO. We tried a variety of carries with each including a fwcc, DH, ruck, ruck TT, and ellevill JBC. 

  
    
 

Kokoskaa Royal Quill Jade

Wrap Review: Kokoskaa Royal Quill Jade
Size 6

Blend: Cotton/Tencel
My wrappees are E (3.5, 35lbs) and A (1.5, 22lb-ish). The wrap came new in loomstate. It was used in various carries and for different lengths of time. Carries include but are not limited to front wrap cross carry, double hammock, ruck (various finishes), and ellevill’s Jordan’s back carry. This is the second cotton/tencel Royal quill weave by Kokoskaa, differing in warp and weft coloring. After a wash, the texture comes alive and the threads shimmer. The black warp and teal/ice blue/light green/almost grey chameleon weft are a lovely contrasting combination. 
Tencel Royal quill is one of the thinner wraps released by Kokoskaa. The texture of the RQ weave combined with the sleekness of tencel results in a mildly grippy wrap that doesn’t take too much effort to get into multilayered carries. I thoroughly enjoyed the support in a double hammock and an ellevill Jordan’s back carry with both children. I do find its best to pleat or fold any ruck straps as bunching led to discomfort during longer wearing periods. I prefer RQ Jade in multilayered carries, however, single layered carries with spread shoulder passes were also a good choice. I am a lazy ruck strap shaper so this is not my first choice in ruck wraps. 
With summer coming, a wrap that is thin yet textured for lock in place multilayered carries is exactly what I’ll need. My thicker wrap choices for rucking will probably overwhelm my heat box children. Tencel RQ is definitely a great option for the heat. 

  
Photo by Michelle Lynn Birth Photography

  

Gender Stereotypes

 A and E love to dress up, play with stuffed animals, and do all sorts of “girly” things. But they aren’t limited to specific toy aisles or tv shows. 

One of E’s favorite movies is The Little Mermaid, and another is any of the Starwars films. She loves riding horses, chasing chickens, and petting goats. Watching blood draws or shots facinate her. She’s likely to grow up to be a surgeon if her interest in Grey’s Anatomy is any indication. 

A is well on her way to being a fantastically opinionated and strong female. One day she will probably rule the world. She and her sister are natural problem solvers and do it yourselfers. They are also remarkable climbers. I’m pretty sure they’re part monkey–they get that from my husband. 

They may dress in princess gowns and dance around singing “Let it Go”, but they are so much more than what society says they’re allowed to be. The mermaid princess-Jedi and the supreme overlord of Green Bean confirm that every day. 
  
 

 

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