Tuesday, October 21, 2014

That's a Wrap!

“That” unfortunately, is my time living in Northern VA. We moved here just shy of three years ago, when I was pregnant with my now two year old. A few months before moving up here, we were briefly at Ft. Lee in Richmond, which is where we head back now to live. That was when I first met Ann Marie, who was president of BWI at the time, and doing my VBE test as I helped start a BWI chapter in Richmond before moving up here to join to DC.
Kit and Ann Marie met in Richmond
When we got up here, I had my 16m old daughter and a new one growing in my belly, and at my first meeting, I was SO overwhelmed by all the people. The group was huge! I remember walking in a few minutes late, after having gotten lost on the way to my first meeting (Burke) and Ann Marie stopping her talk to be like “This is Kit, she’s new. Say hi to Kit!” I wanted to run and hide. But I kept coming back, because even at that first meeting, I knew that this was the community I belonged in. I knew if I didn’t throw myself in to the meetings, we’d never leave the house, and in return my daughter got friends, and so did I.
After meeting lunches

   I had signed up to help with conference planning, and got support through my very hard pregnancy, including people showing up while I was on bedrest to keep my company and keep my little girl entertained. A few months later, they helped me through tandem wearing my two that were 2 and under while my husband went to training and then deployed. When my furnace went out in the dead of winter, it was the spouse of a babywearer who sent someone to fix it the same day so my kids and I didn’t freeze to death. When we realized that my youngest daughter had even more allergies than my first, it was experienced moms who were part of the babywearing group that walked me through the intricacies of navigating safe food, and even made me some! When I was driven to start a charity, it was a group member who said “Let’s do this!” and has been my better business half, and the group as a whole who have given us everything they can to support us, and even the husband of a group member who got his law firm to take on our nonprofit application! 

Mom's Night Out

    Whenever a military family moves, one of the first thing many do is look for social groups they think they have something in common with, just as a way to meet people. This was how I found my first babywearing group, and my second, and then my third up here. I expected to get outings; I did not expect to get life-long friends. People my children are in tears over leaving (and quite frankly, so am I, and I am NOT a crier).
BFFs forever
People that I knew would parent my children like I would, and love them like their own. I encourage everyone I know who’s moving with young kids to search for a community, because we all need one. This babywearing group became mine, and it was often my lifeline when things went awry. Help navigating diaper rash and croup and throwing up all night, but also girls nights and craft nights and “I’m bored. Let’s do something” and immediately having friends to see. There are many babywearing groups, but this one is mine, and while I love where I’m going, we will never ever forget where we’ve been, and who was with us. DC, you will be a tough act to follow.
Stupid adult-wearing tricks

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sharing the Adventure: Babywearing On a Cruise

It's International Babywearing Week!  This week we celebrate all of the awesome things babywearing does for us in our lives.  This year the theme is 'Share the Adventure.'  Join us for our activities this week and share the adventure with all of us!  Today, Raagen tells us about her adventure babywearing on a cruise!

When I thought about the cruise that my family was about to go on, I was a little overwhelmed at how to handle it with my three kids, ages 1, 3, and 5.  My youngest, M, wasn't walking yet, and my three-year-old, C, didn't have the strongest legs for long distances.  After talking to a few friends who had cruised without a stroller, my husband and I decided to ditch the stroller and wear our two youngest children.  My sister-in-law decided to do the same thing with her three-year-old.  

The hardest part in all of this was what to do with the backpack/diaper bag if my husband and I were both wearing kids.  It ended up not being too bad.  I actually wore it in front for a while without a problem.  (I have chronic pain that limits my ability to wear my kids on the front or hip  once they are over about 20 pounds so I rarely wear them in front unless I have to tandem wear or nurse my youngest.)

The trip was pretty hard on my three-year-old.  We had to get up at 3am to make our flight the first day, and it was hard to get naps in while on our trip without missing activities. C was able to nap on my back when she needed to.  I took a Kozy mei tai for her.  It's great because it could be folded into the backpack when she was ready to walk.


Overall, the trip ended up being fantastic.  We didn't have to wait for the elevators in order to debark, and we didn't have to worry about where to store the stroller when we weren't using it.  We were able to board tour buses easily without worrying about what to do with the stroller.  Babywearing allowed me to share this adventure of cruising with all three kids!