10.26.2013

5 Kickass YouTubers You're Missing Out On!

I love YouTube. I don't have a TV in my room, so I use YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu+ to make up for it. And let's be real, the only reason I have Hulu is so I can watch Bones. I'm also getting into The Blacklist, but I'm behind at the moment. We'll see how much I like it after a few more episodes. Josh and I each pay for one account and share passwords, also known as the most genius way to do things. Now, lets get back to the real reason we're here. YouTube! I subscribe to thirty-five channels, but I'm going share five of my favorites with you today!


1. dailyBUMPS with Brian, Missy and Oliver. Brian and Missy share their daily lives, the ups and the downs, with their subscribers. Before their son Oliver was born earlier this year, they had one loss and one stillbirth. I'm enjoying keeping up with them and watching Ollie grow, but since he's super cute that isn't a problem. They live in a multigenerational household in Southern California and I love that about them! Missy also has her own channel called Bumps Along The Way.

2. Alex G. This girl is so crazy talented. I don't listen to too much music on YouTube, but she's one I subbed to instantly! Some of my favorite covers include Royals by Lorde, and Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. I don't like the originals of either of those songs, but her covers are absolutely fantastic!

3. Beauty Broadcast with Emily. Emily is a news anchor turned beauty guru. She's absolutely amazing at what she does, and I love that everything she talks about is straight forward. If she doesn't like something, she says so. She's thorough but to-the-point and I absolutely love that. If I'm ever curious about a product, hers is the channel I turn to. Emily also has a 2nd channel called Beauty Broadcast Express, that made up entirely of reviews that are all five minutes or less!

4. JacksGap with Jack and Finn. These guys are awesome. They spend their time and the money they make through YouTube to travel the world and make films. They're using their popularity and presence on social media to change the world, which I think is totally amazing. Although they don't post that often, when they do it's the first thing I'll watch in my subscription box.

5. Plus1please with Colby, Kelsey and Nolen. I stinkin' love this family. Nolen is the cutest toddler ever, so full of mischief and character. Kelsey is super relatable, and real. They just announced that they lost their second baby and I love that Kelsey is so will to be raw with her viewers so other women who've also suffered losses know their not alone.
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10.24.2013

Some Blurbs

Oh man. I'm tired and daily naps have been a requirement, and even so I'm barely making it through class at night. Yes, I said naps. Just remember you get breaks, I don't. You feel me?  Tomorrow is my last day of work for the week

Lately L has been throwing all the tantrums. Yesterday there were too many to count. Today was much better at a total of three, even with a delayed nap. We've definitely hit the phase where he has opinions and knows what he wants, but can't communicate with me. It's frustrating for both of us, but I know it will be over soon. He's already got a few words, his favorite one being "more". Of course. 

L is also getting his seventh tooth, and I'm sure his molars will start pushing soon. I'm bring out all the stops. I'll be placing an amber order soon even though he already wears one necklace, and have been researching teethers out the wazoo. I'd rather be over prepared than under prepared, especially in that situation.

I made the decision to drop my Biology Lecture class. It totally sucks, and I really hoped that I'd be able to take two core classes whilst working full-time successfully, but it wasn't happening. I also think that because I need to pass my math class, biology was taking a back seat. I'm going to retake it next semester so I can focus on it wholly.

Christmas is coming, FAST. I'm trying to decide what to get everyone and I quite honestly have no clue, with the exception of a few people. A few being two. Have you planned ahead, or are you on the struggle bus like me?
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10.19.2013

Take Notice: An RSV Scare

Wednesday was scary. L had been congested for a few days. As I left for work I received a text asking me to meet my bosses at the doctors, because they'd had to call 911 because L was having trouble breathing. The paramedics came to the house and said he would be fine because he was still feisty- y'all, he's ALWAYS feisty- but to go to the doctors as soon at they opened. As an asthmatic, respiratory problems are nothing new to me.

As soon as the doctor came in she ordered oxygen, like immediately. Queue internal freak out. They ended up administering two breathing treatments, a steroid shot, and had him on oxygen the entire hour we were there. She said that over the hour he'd definitely improved but she didn't want to mess around so she was going to have him transported to the hospital. Queue major external freak out from both me and L's mom. I was already upset before that, but that was the holy shit, this is serious moment.

Before we left for the hospital, my boss told me I didn't have to go, but of course I wanted to and I'm really glad I did. I feel like I asked questions that they wouldn't of thought to ask and have my experience in childcare and my own fair share of hospital trips to thank for asking what I wanted to know immediately.

I have to say that the paramedics that came to transport L did a fantastic job at reassuring all three of us (the adults) that everything was going to be okay, and that this was just a precaution. We ended up spending just under an hour at the doctors and the hospital for just over three hours. They did a chest x-ray and it came back clear.

L was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis, which the doctor at the ER also called "baby bronchitis". It's caused by the virus RSV about 70% of the time. In my four years as a nanny and in my many years around children before that, I'd never had experience with RSV. Here's my PSA- keep an eye on your sick babies and if their breathing is labored in any way, especially in the winter (RSV season), make a same-day doctors appointment. L was only on Day 3 of being sick when this happened. We're very lucky that it wasn't worse and he didn't need to be admitted. We were sent home with an inhaler and chamber, and directions on how often to use it.

We had a follow up with his regular doctor yesterday, and he'll be cleared for activities and contact with other children starting on Monday. He's doing so much better already!

I hope that by me sharing this experience with you, it makes you more aware this fall and winter. That you don't ignore first signs of your sick infant or toddler wheezing. 
Pay attention, be aware, take notice. 
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10.15.2013

Babywearing: My Stash & Wishlist

Here it is- the last post in my Babywearing Series! I asked on Twitter if you were interested in seeing what I had in my stash and what was on my wishlist. You said yes! So here it goes...


 My Stash:
1. Kokadi Tosba WCRS, made for me by Emily. This carrier is my go to for doing quick things like walking to the park, running into the grocery store, or going to the library.
2. Kokadi Polarstern, size 5. The carry shown in a Reinforced Ruck. This wrap is in my perma-stash, meaning it will never leave. I love the colors so much, and feel like it fits my personality to a T!
3. Beco Soleil in Luca Black. I received this carrier at MommyCon LA, it's been on my wishlist since it came out and I'm thrilled to finally own one!
4. Earthy Bliss Wrapture in Barberry. Tied with a Lexi Twist. This was my third carrier. I love it a bunch, but haven't been reaching for it lately. It's actually posted on the swap, but I'm debating dating it down.
5. Girasol Mocha Berry, size 4ish. The carry shown is a Rucksack. This was my 2nd carrier, right after an Infantino Mei Tai. I've only heard about one other person having one. This colorway was an exlusive for a single store in 2009. It's here to stay as well. :)
6. Beco Soleil in Metro Black. One of the guys from Beco gave this one to me when I had to do nanny drop-off at their headquarters. I used to have a Boba Air on my list, but this has taken it's place. I plan on having the detachable hood embroidered with the phase "#nannylife". :)


My Wishlist:
1. Kokadi Ahoi v3, size 6. This isn't on my wishlist anymore! It's been pre-ordered, paid for, and woven- it's shipping from Europe next month (so I hear)!
2. Didymos Purple Owls, size 3. I've been in love with this wrap ever since I watched this video. I need to be able to that carry! 
3. Toddler Tula in Set Sail. Okay, so I'd really like to be able to get my hands on a Tula wrap conversion, but they're sold by random draw and are only stocked once a week. They sell out in seconds, literally. They're also unbelievably marked up on the swap & I don't know about you, but I'm not paying more than what I have to for what I want. I shall wait patiently and settle on this canvas one for now. ;)


Do you have a going wishlist? What's on it? Share with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

I had a wonderful time sharing all my babywearing knowledge with you. I hope I taught you something new! If I did, share my posts with your friends so they can babywear too. Happy Babywearing!
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Babywearing Series: Basics & Benefits // Types of Carriers // Where to Buy // My Favorites // Helpful Hints // Go-To Carries

10.12.2013

Babywearing: My Go-To Carries

I wanted to share a few of the carries I find myself using over and over again, even after I've learned new ones. I'd consider myself proficient at these two, and can do them without a real mirror, aka in public while using the side of my car to keep track of what I'm doing.


Front Carry:
Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC): This was the first carry I ever tried, and I still love it. Honestly? I don't even know any other front carries. I'm content with this one for the time being, especially because I rarely wear L on the front in a wrap anymore.


Back Carry:
Double Hammock: I LOVE this carry. It looks so fancy once you're all done, but is easy to do once you get the hang of wrapping in general. It still has enough passes to hold L (13mo, 24lbs) comfortably for a few hours when I need to. She shows some chest pass variations in the video as well, but I always stick with the original. 


Disclaimer: Always practice back carries with a spotter and/or on a low, soft surface (ie- kneeling on a bed) if you're still trying it out and haven't mastered it yet. 
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Babywearing Basics: Basics & Benefits // Types of Carriers // Where to Buy // My Favorites // Helpful Hints // My Stash 

10.08.2013

Babywearing: Helpful Hints

I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me along the way in this journey. I really don't know where I'd be without these things. I probably would've tried and failed. I've made some of my closest friends through sites like Twitter and Instagram, *ahem* Emily.

1. Wraps come in sizes. It's best to purchase your first wrap in what is called your Base Size, this wrap should allow you to do pretty much any carry you want. Your base size depends on how big you and your baby are. As an example: I'm 5'3" and 140ish pounds. My base size is a 5. You can find the wrap sizes and explanation here.

2. Join support groups on Facebook. They're the first place I turn to when I have questions about anything babywearing and there is always someone willing help me. I'm in Babywearing 102 and Babywearing Love and Support.

3. If you buy something and it doesn't work for you, don't freak out. Most carriers have a resale value that rivals their MSRP, especially in terms of woven wraps. Most people easily make their money back as long as it's in excellent used condition. Join the Babywearing Swap on Facebook. Buying and selling a lot of carriers is called churning.

4. ALWAYS practice safe babywearing. If someone has a horror story about a baby being in a carrier, chances are they weren't using it correctly and it was user error.

5. YouTube is an amazing resource, like really amazing. My favorite babywearing channels are BabywearingFaith, PAXmommy Jillian, SquishyMommy1 and WrappingRachel. If you need instructions on how to do a certain carry, type in the name in the YouTube search bar. I've never searched for a carry and not found what I was looking for.

6. Join a local babywearing group. They too, are an incredibly useful resource. It's a great way to get one-on-one help from other, more experienced moms if you need it. Most have groups on Facebook and meet regularly, just type "[your city]" and "babywearing" into the search bar. Babywearing is a huge, secret-like world if you know where to look. :)

7. Don't be discouraged if you don't "get" wrapping on the first try. We all have struggled at one point or another. I'd also recommend mastering one carry at a time. You WILL sweat, and you might cry. Keep trying! After a few tries, your muscles will begin to memorize and your baby will anticipate whats about to happen.

I want to do everything I can to help you succeed if you decide to try out babywearing. Are you keeping up? Are you lost? Have questions? Email me! :)
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Babywearing Series: The Basics // Types of Carriers // Where to Buy // Favorites // My Go-To Carries

10.06.2013

Babywearing: My Favorites

I'm going to share my favorites and carriers I recommend, as well as carriers I wouldn't personally spend my money on. Remember that everyone has different preferences and opinions and I'm just sharing my experience. This post is full of personal opinions. What you choose to buy is 100% up to you.

Brand: Kokadi. They almost always come out of the package buttery soft and only get softer with time. There have been complaints of irregular sizing, but I've never been unhappy with any of my purchases. I'd size up if you're really worried about it, since you can always have it chopped if it's too long, but you can't add more fabric if it's too short. Their designs are freaking gorgeous. 

Carrier: Woven Wraps. They're incredibly versatile and are really a one stop shop if you're not looking to spend a ton of money on different carriers. They range in price pretty widely depending on the size and fabric blend. Now that both L and I know what were doing, I can wrap him on my back and make it into the store faster than another mom can unload the stroller and put her kid in it. It happens all the time. Brand is a personal preference. 

Have I taught you anything new so far? I hope so! :)
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Babywearing Series: The Basics // Types of Carriers // Where to Buy // Helpful Hints // Go-To Carries // Stash & Wishlist

10.04.2013

Babywearing: Where to Buy

If a brand or store is based in the US, I'll buy directly from their website. However, a lot of companies are based in Europe, bringing up the issue with customs and the extra shipping charges. Not exactly a favorable position to be in as a customer. Thankfully there are plenty of US retailers to purchase from instead!

Popular Brands:
Stretchy Wrap- Moby, Boba, Wrapsody Bali Stretch, Baby K'tan
SSCs- Ergo, BobaBeco, Tula
Ring Slings- Maya Wrap, Snuggy Baby, Comfy Joey
Mei Tai- BabyHawk, Infantino, Connecta

Favorite US Retailers: PAXbaby, Risaroo, Granola Babies

I included the links to brand websites because there are times when a company will make a wrap exclusively available on their website, even if they're over seas. This is an often occurrence for brands like Natibaby and Kokadi. These wraps often become "hard to find" and "highly sought after" on the Babywearing Swap and their value skyrockets.

You can find a blog post dedicated to Splurge vs Budget Babywearing here.
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Babywearing Series: The Basics // Types of Carriers // My Favorites // Helpful Hints // Go-To Carries // Stash & Wishlist

10.02.2013

Babywearing: Types of Carriers

Now I'm gonna share the good stuff. There are many different types of wraps and carriers that I have to give them their own post. I'm going to try and keep it clear and concise, but we'll see how that goes. This post is meant to be purely informational, as I tend to be long winded with my opinions. I will share my favorites and unfavorites in a later post. :)


WRAPS
Stretchy Wraps- While similar in style to woven wraps, these are made of stretchy cotton. They are a long piece of fabric approximately 15 feet long that you wrap around yourself. According to the websites, these wraps are suitable for children up to 35 pounds, although it's not something I would do. These wraps are meant to only be worn on the front only, no back carries! 


Woven Wraps- "A Woven Wrap is called a WOVEN  because it is loomed (by hand!) by a skilled weaver..." [via] These puppies come in different sizes, starting at a Size 2 (2.7 meters or 8.86 feet) and going all the way up to a Size 8 (5.6 meters or 18.37 feet). In order to decided what size wrap to buy, take into consideration your size as well as what type of carries you want to do. Most woven wraps are weight tested to max out at 45 pounds, can be used with front or back carries, and there are lots of different ways to wrap. It's all based on personal preference.



CARRIERS
Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)- A soft structured carrier, or buckle carrier, is a beginning babywearer's best friend. Easy to use and quick to put on and take off. Nothing to tie or wrap. These carriers can be worn on the front or back and typically suitable for children up to 45 pounds.


Mei Tai- The Mei Tai carrier is a traditional Chinese style carrier with a rectangle panel of fabric in the front, unpadded waistband and straps, both of which that tie. Can be worn on the front or the back. Mei tai carriers can also be made of woven wraps, called wrap conversions. More on this later. 


Ring Sling- A ring sling is a type of carrier that only has one panel of fabric and two metal rings secured to one end. Weaving the extra fabric through both rings, then back through one of the rings is what keeps the fabric "locked" and from becoming loose. These can also be wrap conversions. There are often two types of shoulders sewn, gathered and pleated. 


OTHERS
Wrap Conversion: A wrap conversion is when a woven wrap is purchased, then made into a ring sling or mei tai by a specialty company such as Sleeping Baby Productions and Shiny Star Designs.

Water Sling: Made to be used in the water (duh), and come in wrap or ring sling and are only to be worn on the front or hip. Find one at: BabyEtte or Sleeping Baby Productions.

For Splurge vs Budget Babywearing options, click here.
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Babywearing Series: Basics & Benefits // Where to Buy // My Favorites // Helpful Hints // Go-To Carries // Stash & Wishlist
Note: There are many more places and brands of wraps/carriers that can be purchased. I am just sharing the brands I know about and are popular. I am not a babywearing expert, by any means. 

10.01.2013

My Blog is TWO!

My blog is totally a toddler now, I went from baby blog to toddler blog. I'm just glad she doesn't have the attitude to match her age. ;) I'm still in charge around here.

Do you ever go back and read your first few posts? I don't, but feel like I should even though I know I'll be so embarrassed. Haha. I'm sure my writing has come a long way over the past two years, and can even tell a difference even when I look at posts from last year. I love that the more I write, the more my writing turns into my voice and my personality can be read instead of sounding like a text book. You feel me?

Now that I've been documenting my life on the interwebs for two years, I thought I should probably start investing and sponsoring some of my favorite blogs. Obviously my budget is limited, but the even harder part is narrowing down the possibilities! This is what I want to know, how do you decide who to sponsor every month? Do you always sponsor the same blogs, or do you switch it up?

Happy Birthday, Three B's! 
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