Nap hikes: The gift of silence

When Baby wouldn't sleep, I set off into the woods—and she fell asleep! Nap hikes are a blessing for both of us. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

We recently went camping for the first time as a family of four. It was Kiwi’s first time sleeping in a tent. And as I feared, my notoriously terrible sleeper slept pretty much not at all.

We stayed at Stub Stewart State Park just one night—a compromise to our usually longer trips since we figured sleep would be such a nightmare—and it’s a good thing, since I sat upright in our Forester with Kiwi alternately breastfeeding and dozing on me the entire night. I didn’t even attempt to get her to nap in the tent because I was tired, not insane.

So for each of her naps, I buckled her into my baby carrier and set off on a hike.

But even in my bleary, exhausted state, I treasured those nap hikes. Read more

International Babywearing Week

It’s International Babywearing Week—and coincidentally, I switched from carrying Peeper on my front to my back, too.

At 15 months, she’s not exactly newborn-weight anymore, and schlepping her around on my front was doing a serious number on my back. I’m still not super confident about getting her on my back, but I *hope* it’ll get easier with practice.

International Babywearing Week - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

As you may be able to tell, she doesn’t like the backseat as much as riding shotgun, but she still points to things (ivy! gutters! cars!) from her place on my back.

Being able to wear Peeper has been key to my ability to care for her and Finn. Our walks rarely stick to the sidewalks, so most times a stroller is out of the question. And having to carry her in my arms—along with a leash, poop bag and umbrella—would be an exercise in insanity. I’m so grateful for my carrier (a lillebaby, which I’ve been very happy with).

Besides walks around the neighborhood, I have also worn Peeper at the store, when hiking Portland’s incredible trails and when interviewing sources for stories I write. Babywearing allows me to be flexible—and to use my hands when I need them and need to keep my little close.

How do you get your little from A to B? Any advice for me as a newbie back carrier?

NW’s Biggest Baby Shower Recap

I’d never seen so many preggers bumps in one place.

On Saturday Peeper and I joined what seemed to be every pregnant woman and new mother in Portland at the NW’s Biggest Baby Shower. Hundreds of families piled into the Left Bank Annex (where, mercifully, they turned on the air conditioning after a little while—I was unbearably hot with my drooly space heater strapped to my front). We bustled around, checking out companies, organizations and services tailored for expecting and new parents.

Three floors of baby gear—plus the blessed air conditioner
Three floors of baby gear—plus the blessed air conditioner

Despite it not being so up my alley—I don’t usually love packed crowds of people—I had a good time. I was glad I went early, before it became difficult to sidle up to a booth. (I took the above photo around 12:30, by which time it was hard to maneuver my babywearing self between other babywearing selves.)

I learned a lot—not just about products but techniques, too (e.g. essential oils for napping and a tip about using acupuncture for lactation problems), but you have to strike up a conversation with the people at the booths to learn about this. Overall, then, it’s not for everyone, but if you want to know more about baby gear and get your hands on products to try before buying, or you want to talk to the people who know a ton about baby stuff, I do recommend going.

If you’re bummed you missed the event, or you live outside of Portland, you can hit up the baby shower in Seattle on September 27.

Here are a few of the highlights from the shower.  Read more