Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Nipplephobia" and Nursing Covers - Part 2

   Okay, okay.... so I just rambled on and on about how we nursing mamas need to stop using nursing covers in the company of other women and bravely bring breastfeeding back into the norm in this country (read it here). BUT... sewing your own nursing cover is such a simple, easy sewing project that I just can't stop myself from sharing the online tutorial with ya'll! Why spend nearly $40 when you can make one for well under $15 (depending on the cost of your fabric, it could cost as little as $4!) Now, the downside to these things is that eventually your sweet little nursling will become curious about the colorful toy you keep draping over his or her head, and he will start yanking it around and making being discreet more difficult.
    If you aren't motivated to sew OR you just want to try out a different design that is really fabulous, check out my friend Juliane's beautiful nursing ponchos on Etsy at Wind in the Trees.
     Here is a simple online tutorial for you to follow. So EASY! :)

"Nipplephobia" and Nursing Covers - Part 1

So, I have found my self in quite a little dilemma lately. I have been sewing nursing covers (ala Hooter Hiders) for my baby shower gifts since my interest in sewing started about a year ago. It is such a simple and easy project that takes only about 15 minutes. It was one of the first projects I taught myself to make. The problem is..... I sort of wish we didn't need them!
    Now, let me first say that I think these creations (basically an apron of fabric that drapes over mother and baby while nursing in lieu of a blanket that may slip off or be too heavy) are fabulously useful.... at the right place and at the right time. Many mothers are simply not comfortable nursing in public, or maybe choose to wear a nursing cover when male guests are around. Mine sure comes in handy when my father-in-law or husband's friends are visiting! I am a fan of anything the will encourage a mother to confidently nurse and care for her baby regardless of her whereabouts. When I see a mother sitting in public using her nursing cover, I am reminded that she is one less woman sitting in a dirty bathroom stall trying to feed her baby.

    What BOTHERS me is when I see women wearing a nursing cover in the sole company of other women. I have witnessed moms donning their nursing covers at playgroups, baby showers and even in the private nursing room at my church. Has nursing really become that taboo? Are we so unaccustomed to the sight of a child at her mother's breast that even in circles of women, mothers feel a need to cover up? I understand and respect modesty, but I think this takes it too far. if we are going to see breastfeeding become the norm and standard for how we care for our children, breastfeeding needs to be SEEN. We see more breast exposure in a Victoria Secret advertisement than we ever do from a nursing mother. Breasts have been so sexualized that we've forgotten the precious purpose God created them for.
    Famed Midwife Ina May Gaskin recently published THE BEST book on breastfeeding I have read (and I've read them all), Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding. Not only is it a great resource for new moms learning the art of nursing, it also includes an entire chapter on "Nipplephobia" - her term for our culture's distaste for public nursing - and her thoughts on how we can turn the tide. She believes that bring breastfeeding back into the norm starts with women seeing other women nursing!
     I feel fortunate to have been the oldest child in my family and to have witnessed my own mother's nurturing way or nursing my younger siblings. All of the women in my extended family breastfed their children. My mother's friends nursed their babies on playdates at my house. I nursed my baby dolls. Breastfeeding was the norm. Perhaps that's part of the reason why I have nursed my children with such confidence and conviction (in spite of a lot of difficult roadblocks which I will be sure to share with you some day). When Ruby was a baby, we even participated in a "Nurse-in" to demonstrate a woman's right to nurse her baby anytime, anywhere. Now Ruby nurses her baby dolls while she watches me nurse her brother. She is growing up with breastfeeding being the norm. And even though I am making nursing covers for my friends and even though I may occasionally find a situation that requires me to use my own, I will continue to nurse uncovered (still discreetly) when I am amongst women. Who knows? - I may be the first exposure a young woman may have to nursing, and maybe one day, when she is ready to have her own babies... she'll remember.   :)

Apparently, this kind of exposure is "OK"... but a nursing breast isn't?

A Beautiful mama and baby pair... nursing naturally and discreetly without a cover.

Not much to see here - except for a sweet gaze shared between mama and baby!
An intimate moment.

Nursing on the go! Anytime, Anywhere.

In good company.

Maria Lactans  - JESUS WAS BREASTFED. And I don't think Mary wore a Hooter Hider.


A Wake Up Story

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace GIVEAWAY

There's nothing quite like holding your baby through the first rough night of teething! Though you'll hear a lot of unsolicited advice on ways to tame the teething tears, there's not a whole lot that you can do - or so I thought. I'm not the type of mom to whip out the infant tylenol or orajel at the first whimper- I prefer safe and natural and less invasive home remedies. The more I hear about Amber Teething Necklaces, the more I am convinced that they are a worthwhile investment for your little ones! I know so many parents who swear by these necklaces for soothing the aches and pains of teething. And the parents who are unsure of the benefits are at least thrilled with how cute their little ones look wearing one! Inspired by Finn is a company that makes these sweet necklaces by hand. Each stone is knotted onto a silk thread to prevent choking hazards. And let me be clear - these necklaces aren't for baby to actually teeth or chew on - it is a special property in the amber that when worn against the skin, helps soothe and comfort during teething. Inspired by Finn explains the benefits of Baltic Amber here:

Among other things, amber is a natural analgesic (pain reliever) and anti-inflammatory.  When amber is worn on the skin, the warmth of the skin releases trace amounts of healing oils on the skin.  Commonly known as "teething jewelry," baltic amber has been a natural and traditional European remedy for teething discomfort for hundreds of years.   To read more about the many benefits of baltic amber, click here

I am thrilled that my friends from Inspired by Finn have an incredible offer for my readers!! One lucky reader will win a free teething necklace under 16 inches of their choice and ALL of my readers are eligible for a 20% discount when you enter the code "Blog68" at checkout.

There are several ways to enter this giveaway. First, go to Inspired By Finn and look around. Come back here and simply leave a comment here and tell me who the wee one is that you'd like to win this for, and what color you'd choose. That is your first and mandatory entry. Be sure to leave me your email address!

For additional entries, leave me a comment here for any of these actions:

1.Follow/subscribe to my blog via Google
2. Follow me on Twitter here
3. Tweet this giveaway and leave me the url in a comment. (2 entry points!!)
4. Leave me a comment telling me what other kinds of giveaways you'd like to see here.

I will read all comments, promise!! The giveaway will close by Wednesday, February 24th and a winner will be announced the following day. Hooray for my very first giveaway at Sage Femme Mama!

There's Still Snowy Weather Ahead... Make a Babywearing Coat!!

 This post may be unforgiveably late in the winter season, but since I live in the northeast where there is still plenty of cold weather left (ughhh!!!) I thought it would still be worth posting! I made this very simple, very useful coat last winter and used it for Ruby for all of our neighborhood walks outdoors. Once my babies get over 6 months I find it much easier to wear them on my back because the weight is so much easier to bear. As an avid babywearer, I'm not about to let cold weather stop me! Putting Clay on my back inside this cozy coat is so much better, warmer, easier, etc. than dragging the stroller around in snow!
   I am a beginning seamstress without a lot of sewing chops, and I can guarantee that ANYBODY could do this simple project. I was nervous about hacking up a good winter coat so i found this one (ugly as it is) for only $4 at Salvation Army. I used scraps of fleece from an old blanket instead of buying new fabric, amking the cost of this babywearing coat about $5!! (You can find them in specialty online stores retailing for $50 or more!) Frugal and useful!! :) I followed this tutorial and made it up as I went along when necessary. SO EASY!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Feeding Picky Toddlers - Great Advice from Dr. Sears

Alright, so this post is not much more than copy and paste, but I love this advice so much I thought it was worth passing on! To those of you who might not be as familiar with Dr. Sears, he is the head of the Attatchment Parenting movement. He is a pediatrician and his wife is a La Leche League Leader and nurse and their two grown sons are pediatricians with celeb-status. Regardless of where you stand on their attatchment parenting style, this advice is excellent for feeding a picky toddler! I just re-read it and was re-inspired to make sure Ruby is eating well always!! Enjoy!

When our first few children were toddlers, we dreaded dinnertime. We would prepare all kinds of sensible meals composed of what we thought were healthy, appealing foods. Most of these offerings would end up splattering the high-chair tray and carpeting the floor. To make matters worse, we took our kids' rejection of our cuisine personally, sure that this was a sign of parental lapse on our part. What was wrong? Why were these kids such picky eaters?
Why toddlers are picky. Being a picky eater is part of what it means to be a toddler. We have since learned that there are developmental reasons why kids between one and three years of age peck and poke at their food. After a year of rapid growth (the average one-year-old has tripled her birth weight), toddlers gain weight more slowly. So, of course, they need less food. The fact that these little ones are always on the go also affects their eating patterns. They don't sit still for anything, even food. Snacking their way through the day is more compatible with these busy explorers' lifestyle than sitting down to a full-fledged feast.
Learning this helped us relax. We now realize that our job is simply to buy the right food, prepare it nutritiously (steamed rather than boiled, baked rather than fried), and serve it creatively. We leave the rest up to the kids. How much they eat, when they eat, and if they eat is mostly their responsibility; we've learned to take neither the credit nor the blame.
Toddlers like to binge on one food at a time. They may eat only fruits one day, and vegetables the next. Since erratic eating habits are as normal as toddler mood swings, expect your child to eat well one day and eat practically nothing the next. Toddlers from one to three years need between 1,000 and 1,300 calories a day, yet they may not eat this amount every day. Aim for a nutritionally-balanced week, not a balanced day.
All this is not to say that parents shouldn't encourage their toddlers to eat well and develop healthy food habits. Based on our hands-on experience with eight children, we've developed 17 tactics to tempt little taste buds and minimize mealtime hassles.
1. Offer a nibble tray. Toddlers like to graze their way through a variety of foods, so why not offer them a customized smorgasbord? The first tip from the Sears' kitchen is to offer toddlers a nibble tray. Use an ice-cube tray, a muffin tin, or a compartmentalized dish, and put bite-size portions of colorful and nutritious foods in each section. Call these finger foods playful names that a two-year-old can appreciate, such as:
  • apple moons (thinly sliced)
  • avocado boats (a quarter of an avocado)
  • banana wheels
  • broccoli trees (steamed broccoli florets)
  • carrot swords (cooked and thinly sliced)
  • cheese building blocks
  • egg canoes (hard- boiled egg wedges)
  • little O's (o-shaped cereal)
Place the food on an easy-to-reach table. As your toddler makes his rounds through the house, he can stop, sit down, nibble a bit, and, when he's done, continue on his way. These foods have a table-life of an hour or two.

NUTRITIP: Good Grazing – Good Behavior
A child's demeanor often parallels her eating patterns. Parents often notice that a toddler's behavior deteriorates toward the end of the morning or mid-afternoon. Notice the connection? Behavior is at its worst the longer they go without food. Grazing minimizes blood-sugar swings and lessens the resulting undesirable behavior.
2. Dip it. Young children think that immersing foods in a tasty dip is pure fun (and delightfully messy). Some possibilities to dip into:
  • cottage cheese or tofu dip
  • cream cheese
  • fruit juice-sweetened preserves
  • guacamole
  • peanut butter, thinly spread
  • pureed fruits or vegetables
  • yogurt, plain or sweetened with juice concentrate
Those dips serve equally well as spreads on apple or pear slices, bell-pepper strips, rice cakes, bagels, toast, or other nutritious platforms.
3. Spread it. Toddlers like spreading, or more accurately, smearing. Show them how to use a table knife to spread cheese, peanut butter, and fruit concentrate onto crackers, toast, or rice cakes.
4. Top it. Toddlers are into toppings. Putting nutritious, familiar favorites on top of new and less-desirable foods is a way to broaden the finicky toddler's menu. Favorite toppings are yogurt, cream cheese, melted cheese, guacamole, tomato sauce, applesauce, and peanut butter.
5. Drink it. If your youngster would rather drink than eat, don't despair. Make a smoothie – together. Milk and fruit – along with supplements such as juice, egg powder, wheat germ, yogurt, honey, and peanut butter – can be the basis of very healthy meals. So what if they are consumed through a straw? One note of caution: Avoid any drinks with raw eggs or you'll risk salmonella poisoning.
6. Cut it up. How much a child will eat often depends on how you cut it. Cut sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, and pizza into various shapes using cookie cutters.
7. Package it. Appearance is important. For something new and different, why not use your child's own toy plates for dishing out a snack? Our kids enjoy the unexpected and fanciful when it comes to serving dishes – anything from plastic measuring cups to ice-cream cones.
You can also try the scaled-down approach. Either serve pint-size portions or, when they're available, buy munchkin-size foodstuffs, such as mini bagels, mini quiches, chicken drummettes (the meat part of the wing), and tiny muffins.
8. Become a veggie vendor. I must have heard, "Doctor, he won't eat his vegetables" a thousand times. Yet, the child keeps right on growing. Vegetables require some creative marketing, as they seem to be the most contested food in households with young children. How much vegetables do toddlers need? Although kids should be offered three to five servings of veggies a day, for children under five, each serving need be only a tablespoon for each year of age. In other words, a two- year-old should ideally consume two tablespoons of vegetables three to five times a day. So if you aren't the proud parent of a veggie lover, try the following tricks:
  • Plant a garden with your child. Let her help care for the plants, harvest the ripe vegetables, and wash and prepare them. She will probably be much more interested in eating what she has helped to grow.
  • Slip grated or diced vegetables into favorite foods. Try adding them to rice, cottage cheese, cream cheese, guacamole, or even macaroni and cheese. Zucchini pancakes are a big hit at our house, as are carrot muffins.
  • Camouflage vegetables with a favorite sauce.
  • Use vegetables as finger foods and dip them in a favorite sauce or dip.
  • Using a small cookie cutter, cut the vegetables into interesting shapes.
  • Steam your greens. They are much more flavorful and usually sweeter than when raw.
  • Make veggie art . Create colorful faces with olive- slice eyes, tomato ears, mushroom noses, bell-pepper mustaches, and any other playful features you can think of. Our eighth child, Lauren, loved to put olives on the tip of each finger. "Olive fingers" would then nibble this nutritious and nutrient-dense food off her fingertips. Zucchini pancakes make a terrific face to which you can add pea eyes, a carrot nose, and cheese hair.
  • Concoct creative camouflages. There are all kinds of possible variations on the old standby "cheese in the trees" (cheese melted on steamed broccoli florets). Or, you can all enjoy the pleasure of veggies topped with peanut- butter sauce, a specialty of Asian cuisines.
9. Share it. If your child is going through a picky-eater stage, invite over a friend who is the same age or slightly older whom you know "likes to eat." Your child will catch on. Group feeding lets the other kids set the example.
10. Respect tiny tummies. Keep food servings small. Wondering how much to offer? Here's a rule of thumb – or, rather, of hand. A young child's stomach is approximately the size of his fist. So dole out small portions at first and refill the plate when your child asks for more. This less-is-more meal plan is not only more successful with picky eaters, it also has the added benefit of stabilizing blood-sugar levels, which in turn minimizes mood swings. As most parents know, a hungry kid is generally not a happy kid.
Use what we call "the bite rule" to encourage the reluctant eater: "Take one bite, two bites…" (how ever far you think you can push it without force-feeding). The bite rule at least gets your child to taste a new food, while giving her some control over the feeding. As much as you possibly can, let your child – and his appetite – set the pace for meals. But if you want your child to eat dinner at the same time you do, try to time his snack-meals so that they are at least two hours before dinner.
11. Make it accessible. Give your toddler shelf space. Reserve a low shelf in the refrigerator for a variety of your toddler's favorite (nutritious) foods and drinks. Whenever she wants a snack, open the door for her and let her choose one. This tactic also enables children to eat when they are hungry, an important step in acquiring a healthy attitude about food.
12. Use sit-still strategies. One reason why toddlers don't like to sit still at the family table is that their feet dangle. Try sitting on a stool while eating. You naturally begin to squirm and want to get up and move around. Children are likely to sit and eat longer at a child-size table and chair where their feet touch the ground.
13. Turn meals upside down. The distinctions between breakfast, lunch, and dinner have little meaning to a child. If your youngster insists on eating pizza in the morning or fruit and cereal in the evening, go with it – better than her not eating at all. This is not to say that you should become a short-order cook, filling lots of special requests, but why not let your toddler set the menu sometimes? Other family members will probably enjoy the novelty of waffles and hash browns for dinner.
14. Let them cook. Children are more likely to eat their own creations, so, when appropriate, let your child help prepare the food. Use cookie cutters to create edible designs out of foods like cheese, bread, thin meat slices, or cooked lasagna noodles. Give your assistant such jobs as tearing and washing lettuce, scrubbing potatoes, or stirring batter. Put pancake batter in a squeeze bottle and let your child supervise as you squeeze the batter onto the hot griddle in fun shapes, such as hearts, numbers, letters, or even spell the child's name.
15. Make every calorie count. Offer your child foods that pack lots of nutrition into small doses. This is particularly important for toddlers who are often as active as rabbits, but who seem to eat like mice.
Nutrient-dense foods that most children are willing to eat include:
  • Avocados
  • Pasta
  • Broccoli
  • Peanut butter
  • Brown rice and other grains
  • Potatoes
  • Cheese
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Squash
  • Fish
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kidney beans
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt
16. Count on inconsistency. For young children, what and how much they are willing to eat may vary daily. This capriciousness is due in large part to their ambivalence about independence, and eating is an area where they can act out this confusion. So don't be surprised if your child eats a heaping plateful of food one day and practically nothing the next, adores broccoli on Tuesday and refuses it on Thursday, wants to feed herself at one meal and be totally catered to at another. As a parent in our practice said, "The only thing consistent about toddler feeding is inconsistency." Try to simply roll with these mood swings, and don't take them personally.
17. Relax. Sometime between her second and third birthday, you can expect your child to become set in her ideas on just about everything – including the way food is prepared. Expect food fixations . If the peanut butter must be on top of the jelly and you put the jelly on top of the peanut butter, be prepared for a protest. It's not easy to reason with an opinionated two-year-old. Better to learn to make the sandwich the child's way. Don't interpret this as being stubborn. Toddlers have a mindset about the order of things in their world. Any alternative is unacceptable. This is a passing stage.
(For more information see: ABC's of Teaching Nutrition to Kids)

FREE Subscription for parents to Education Revolution Magazine

When I was pregnant with Ruby, my husband and I began having long discussions about the life we wanted to provide her with and the education we would seek out for her in her early years. Would she go to public school (as we did)? Private school? An alternative school.... or maybe even homeschool? if we homeschooled, would we follow a traditional method or would we be radical unschoolers? There is a lot to think about! Our doula's husband, Chris Mercogliano, is a mover and shaker in the alternative education movement, and we were inspired by his books as well as a conference we attended that featured author John Taylor Gatto. We still have a few years left to decide the course of our children's education (or rather, let them lead the way...) but we are leaning towards homeschooling at least for a few years. Whatever your decision, you will find Education Revolution to be an eye opening resource! Right now, parents are eligible for a free subscription and membership. Check it out!

Go to Education Revolution for your FREE Subscription!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Nursing Our Future

 "Nursing our Future" from the Holistic Moms Network

Inspired by a recent article in the Herald Sun (Australia) reporting that young women are reluctant to breastfeed their babies due to fear of public embarrassment, the Holistic Moms Network has launched a new project to highlight the beauty and confidence of breastfeeding women.  HMN members from across North America submitted photos of themselves proudly breastfeeding their children – everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to the Brooklyn Bridge – for the Nursing Our Future video featured on the organization’s website.
Breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts a mother can give to her child,” says Executive Director Nancy Massotto, Ph.D.  Nursing offers babies enormous health benefits – physically, psychologically, emotionally, and sustainably for the planet.  We want young women to embrace a culture of breastfeeding and to become informed about the benefits for moms, for children, and for the planet.”
The Herald Sun report indicated that more than half of the Generation-Y men and women polled did not want their children breastfed in public for fear of embarrassment.  Despite the World Health Organization’s recommendation to breastfeed until at least six months of age, 75 percent of the study’s young women stated they were unlikely to do so.
“It’s such a shame!” says Dr. Linda Folden Palmer, author of The Baby Bond and new Holistic Moms Network Advisory Board Member. “I actually never saw a baby breastfeed in my 37 years before I nursed my own.  I suppose my Chiropractic training helped me to feel comfortable displaying myself breastfeeding, though I almost never saw another nursing mother. One day a nervous mom sat beside me and my 10 month old nursling and started breastfeeding her own child. After several minutes, she turned to me and said she was so excited, she felt so free, that she had never done this before and I gave her the courage to breastfeed publicly! From that point on, I was on a mission to let others see and learn about nursing, everywhere I went.   HMN’s new effort is aligned with that passion.”
Empowering mothers is a cornerstone of the Holistic Moms Network’s mission and through the non-profit organization’s Chapters, parents gather to offer one another support and advice while also learning about holistic living options from local practitioners and guest speakers. “Being involved in this organization has made me feel accepted in so many ways, and has helped me grow as a person and a parent,” says Laurie Cunningham, a member and Co-Leader of the Northern Virginia Chapter.
Breastfeeding is one of the many interests shared by the organization’s members, although not all members nurse their babies. “We are a very diverse population and we each make a variety of health and parenting choices,” states Dr. Massotto.  “We encourage holistic and natural choices, such as breastfeeding, but understand that not all options are available to all parents.”  The health benefits of breastfeeding are clear and widely supported in the scientific literature.  Organizations, health care professionals, and government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are “committed to increasing breastfeeding rates across the United States.”
“One of the barriers for many young mothers is a lack of awareness about breastfeeding as well as a culture that is not particularly breastfeeding friendly,” argues Dr. Massotto. The Holistic Moms Network hopes to raise awareness by showing young women images of breastfeeding and to help them find the support and encouragement they need to continue.

See the video here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spread the Love Benefit Raffle Tickets

There's a little bit of a gambler in all of us, isn't there? I do love a good raffle! Check out the amazing vendors (over 30 of them!) offering $100 gift certificates through Sakura Bloom Slings's Spread The Love Benefit. Tickets are only $10! Babywearing groups around the country are competing to see which group will have the most tickets bought in their name - the winner will receive an entire line of Sakura Bloom slings for their lending libraries. If you choose to buy a ticket and could be so kind, simply write "Saratoga Sling Babies" in the comment section, to give my girls back in the Capital Region a boost!

Mama's Lattes!

On a bleak winter day, there's nothing quite like a wrapping your hands around your favorite mug filled with a delicious hot drink. I am partial to herbal teas when I am home, but I also have developed quite a coffee addiction now that baby #2 is here (and no, not anywhere near sleeping through the night yet at 6 months). Even though I occasionally (ahem, every chance I get) indulge in a Starbucks latte, I also like trying to create my own at home. I especially like trying to come up with homemade recipes that use "real food" ingredients that are nourishing and have added benefits. I try to use unrefined sweeteners like maple syrup, raw honey, agave or rapadura. I've also experimented with herbal/natural coffee replacements not only because they are caffeine free, but also because they have milk-production boosting ingredients like barley and chicory (good for nursing mamas)! Here are some of this winter's winning "experiments"...

*For each recipe, you can use your choice of home brewed espresso, fresh french-pressed coffee, strong brewed Teechino coffee replacement or another coffee alternative like Caffix or Dandy Blend.

Gingerbread "Latte"

1 cup of whole milk, heated on stovetop
1 tbs. of Blackstrap Molasses (this is a nutritional goldmine! 20% of your daily calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin A!)
Dash of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice... your choice!
tsp of real vanilla extract

1 heaping teaspoon of Caffix herbal coffee substitute

Pumpkin Pie Latte

1 cup of whole milk, heated on stovetop
1-2 tablspoons of pumpkin puree
dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
Either a shot of espresso or 1 tsp of Caffix
Agave nectar or maple syrup to sweeten, to taste


1 cup of strongly brewed coffee, Caffix or Teechino
Cream, to taste
Make a simple "chocolate syrup" by mixing agave nectar with cocoa powder, add to taste

*Cut down the amount of sugar and processed ingredients in your daily coffee by skipping the flavored "creamers" - instead make your own delicious blends with no sugar added - add a splash of almond extract, Vanilla, cinnamon powder or other spices to your half and half or cream... a little bit of flavor goes a long way!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Laboring Under an Illusion

Somebody stole my idea! I used to bring play birth scene clips from hollywood movies paired up with footage of actual women laboring in my childbirth classes for teen moms. So many of my young moms-to-be in the classes had no idea what a real birth might be like, beyond what they had seen in comedic portrayals or "reality" medical dramas. I always thought this idea would make a great documentary. So glad that someone who has the talent has produced such a stunning film! I already put my order in with a friend, expect a review soon!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lazy Days Skirts - Easiest Pattern!!!

Crafty Mamas, If you have a little girl, you simply have to download this super simple skirt pattern from Oliver + S - The Lazy Days Skirt Pattern. It is so, so easy! I am a beginning sewer and I barely know how to follow directions on a pattern, but now that I've figured this out, I've been sewing up a storm! Ruby actually brought me this fabric the other day and said "I want a skirt of this, mama!" So we sewed it together with her sitting on my lap! 10 minutes, tops! You could get very creative with fabric combos, fancy trim or ribbon or keep it simple. I love it! Sorry that our pictures aren't stellar - she was a little distracted by her new toy harmonica,  but too cute to resist snapping a few photos...

How to Make Your Own Ring Sling

I've been asked several times lately for a pattern for sewing a simple ring sling. Though the are very popular for being versatile and adjustable, I have to admit I never even owned or used a ring sling when Ruby was a baby! A friend gave me a set of rings so that I could try sewing my own sling and since I had some fabulous fabric on hand, I made one recently that I have been using with Clay. I have now "upcycled" an old college tapestry (the gauzy hippir style you see hanging on walls) twice for babywearing purposes and I am so thrilled with both outcomes! You can see me wearing Ruby as a baby in a front carry woven wrap that I made by simply cutting the tapestry down the middle and sewing the ends together to make the required 6 yards of fabric. Underneath that, you can see it transformed into a ring sling!! It is such an easy project, even for a beginning sewer. You can use a variety of fabrics in different styles and prints - you can even try recycling a pretty bed sheet!


To make your own simple ring sling, you will need a set of aluminum rings, sold at Please don't use plastic rings or something you rig up from items around your house - these rings hold your precious babe's weight and need to be strong! You will need between 2 - 2.5 yards of sturdy fabric (not quilting cotton or other thin material). There are several simple patterns available online. I followed Maya Wrap's Pattern. 

Check these sites for more info on fabric selection and patterns!