Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sleepy Wrap Review & Tutorial

Thanks to the nice folks at I've been given the opportunity to review the sleepy wrap. Since our little one isn't due until July I am sharing it with my sister in the meantime. Little Rosie was still hooked up to too many monitors to easily position her in the wrap, but she's headed home, hopefully early next week and can really give the wrap a workout. More on that in a minute....

I am an experienced sling user, but this was my first time with a wrap style baby carrier. It was intimidating at first to pull out that loooooong piece of fabric from the box. (Which by the way was shipped and on my doorstep within 72 hours of ordering. Thanks CSN Stores!!!!) Thankfully there's a wonderful instruction booklet (with photos!) that walks you through the steps. I was surprised by how many different ways you can hold your baby in the wrap as they grow! Bonus!

Once I arrived at the hospital I had Katie give it a try. There's a learning curve when it comes to how tight to pull the fabric, but the wrapping itself is easy peasy! Here's Katie in action.

1) line the logo up with your waist

2) bring the rest of the fabric around to your back and up over your shoulders (crossing them in the back)

3) pull the fabric tight UNDER the part with the logo

4) wrap around your back and bring around to tie a knot in the front.

Next it's time to put the baby in...

5) grab the edge of the crossed fabric that is closest to your body and pull it out. That's where you slip your baby in - bottom & back first from my sling experience....

6) pull the opposite piece of fabric around their back for added support

7) pull up the outside piece as the finishing touch.

Pros of the sleepy wrap: What makes this wrap so great is the stretchiness of the material. It has just the right amount of give so you can tuck your baby in and they feel like they are back in the womb.

Another bonus for people who have back trouble is the baby's weight is distributed evenly across both of your shoulders.

It comes with this handy little pouch for easy storage. I'll be able to keep it in my diaper bag and pull it out whenever I need it. It will stay clean and won't make a mess out of my diaper bag. **Tip** When first putting the wrap on it is LONG and will drag on the (germy) floor. To avoid this I pool the material on top of my diaper bag so nothing that touches my babe will be in contact with the floor. I've heard other moms who use wrap style carriers talk about tying the wrap on at home to avoid having to mess with it on the go. Another great option!

For a preemie like Rosie it is going to be very important that she is protected from curious people who can't help but reach out and touch newborns. (you know what I'm talking about right?) This is where the sleepy wrap will come in very handy for Katie. See how safe and cuddled in the 'baby' is in the super soft sleepy wrap? Nobody is going to mess with this new mamabear!

(Click here to see a couple of older infants in action.)

There's also the general babywearing pros of being hands free, calming baby, and bonding with your baby...and the bonus? The price for all these babywearing benefits is only $39.95! This is on the low end of babywearing items from my research.

The cons:

...the learning curve for how tight to make the wrap - thankfully this is something that won't be an issue after the first few times

...having a July baby I'm worried about the amount of fabric that is wrapped around me and the babe. BUT since we're often in the air conditioning, I have a feeling we'll be OK for the most part. We don't do long walks in the summer heat anyway.

....defect in the carrying bag. Mine arrived with a tiny hole in it. Bummer. If it had been in the wrap I would have used the CSN Store's easy return policy to get a new one, but since it was only in the bag I just put a few stitches in with needle and thread and it's as good as new.

Over all the Sleepy Wrap gets two thumbs up from me! Do YOU have any experience with this particular wrap? I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to share any tips you've picked up along the way! If it weren't for blogging about babywearing and learning from other blogging moms, I would have missed out on some of the sweetest babywearing snuggles! If you have any questions or something is unclear don't hesitate to ask - I'm happy to help!

Disclosure: I was given a $40 gift code to purchase this product from CSN Stores for the purposes of writing a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. No other compensation was made.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Simply Tuesday

Outside my window... mountains of snow on top of layers of ice.

I am thinking... that I really need to be better about doing yoga so my back doesn't hurt all the time.

I am thankful for... a doc who would call in a prescription for pink eye without having to see Julia first and that she's on the mend from Influenza A after five days of being lethargic. I'm also thankful to be 21 weeks and already have seen the good news that BabyBear's cyst is gone. You can read more about how we found out the gender here.

From the kitchen... oranges and grapefruit. Can't get enough fruit these days. Oh and fresh baked bread...or what's left of it. I'll be popping another loaf in the oven for lunch tomorrow. Yum!

I am wearing... black yoga pants, black thermal shirt, and my park* socks

*When we worked for the National Park Service we were given a clothing allowance to purchase uniform pieces. I always ordered extra socks because they are super comfy and last a long time. I've had this pair ten years!

I am creating... a 320 page blog book for a client in Colorado.

I am going... to the chiropractor tomorrow if I can get in. I only go every two weeks even though I could easily go once a week.

I am reading... The Power of Praying Parent and whatever book in the Bible I happen to open up each day.

I am hoping... that nobody else comes down with the flu.

I am hearing... Sam making gun/shooting noises from his room. It's his normal bedtime sound effect ritual. Boys!

Around the house... it's actually not all that messy! I cleaned a bunch on Saturday and it hasn't had time to clutter back up quite yet. The cat is yowling from the basement. Apparently she's in heat. I have Google to thank for the answer to her strange behavior lately.

One of my favorite things... the video I took of Julia singing the Whinnie the Pooh theme song tonight. I wish I could find it on You Tube where supposedly my phone uploaded it to so I could share it with you, but I didn't have any luck. She still sounds like she has a cold, but she's in tune and so sweet!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Chiropractor, work, grocery shopping, and renting skis over the weekend thanks to all this fresh new snow from the weekend storm. (grumble grumble)

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... This winter has been awful
as far as getting outside to play in the snow. This photo was taken two weekends ago on the ONLY day I could take the kids skiing. Sam went with Daddy early in the season once, but it's been too cold otherwise.

Julia was on real skis for the first time and did great!

For more Simple Woman's Daybook posts, click here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How we found out what we're having

I'm 20 weeks today, but all I have for belly photos to share is this one from 15 weeks, 6 days.

OK, so now that I've got that out of the way it's time to share how we found out. I knew I wanted it to be special...something unique to our family....something I hadn't heard of before.....

Here's how we did it:

All four of us went to 19 week ultrasound appointment at 4pm on Friday afternoon, February 11th (incidentally, the same day in 2004 I told PapaBear we were pregnant with Sam) We arrived armed with a Christmas present that hadn't been played with yet and a couple of candy canes. I wanted to focus on the screen and what the tech said and not have the kids be bouncing off the walls.

Sam surprised us all by chatting with, Angie, our technician, through the whole thing. He could identify hands that waved and asked questions about what he was seeing. Julia was content to eat her candy cane and play with her new toy. When it was time to look everyone looked away, except Sam. He had an important job to do. He went to the desk with Angie who wrote out It's a ______. Sam brought the card over to the rest of us and read what it said. I couldn't have been prouder of my boy! He just learned to read in January and I thought this would be a fun way to include him and celebrate his big accomplishment. He did great!

Fast forward to Monday (Valentine's Day) when we invited family over for dinner. Due to schedule conflicts only PapaBear's parents were able to attend so we made some phone calls later that night. Nobody knew we decided to find out and had no clue that they were about to know the gender too so it was pretty fun for the kids to hand out their valentines that read:

Our baby girl was so active that other than getting a glimpse of her four chambered heart, we didn't get to do all the measurements they want so I'm going back in on Friday for another look. I will ask them to look for one other thing while I'm there....I mentioned a prayer request on twitter this morning and it relates to something they saw in her brain. She has a choroid plexus cyst that I'm praying fervently is GONE by the time I go back in on Friday. This could be nothing more than a blocked duct, but it's also an indicator of Trisomy 18. I wish the doctor hadn't even mentioned that part since a cyst seen at this stage of brain development (18-20weeks) is typically gone soon after the 20 week mark and there were no other indicators for it, but it still worries me. I'm measuring a little under 20 weeks so by the time my ultrasound on Friday morning it could still be there and still be considered normal. Obviously our heart's desire is for it to be GONE and for her heart to be normal as well. Would you pray for that with us? We would be most grateful.

Heart Strings

As I slowly but surely have more days with less medication (learned the hard way yesterday that I can't go cold turkey. The result? Repeated vomiting all morning long) I am able to be in the moment with my kids more often. When the fog lifts there are some really really sweet moments to be had - especially related to this new life growing inside me. A couple recent examples:

Julia: Good night Mommy! Good night baby! Hope you sleep well. {kisses my belly}
Sam: {Julia is already asleep in her bed when Sam comes in} Good night Julia. Jesus loves you!
Julia: {in the bathtub saying a prayer} Thank you for my bath and the baby!
Sam: {Julia asleep in her bed, Sam touches her on the shoulder} God bless you!

Those are some good tugs on this mama's heart strings!

Friday, February 11, 2011


My niece, Rosie, was born on January 11th, nine weeks early. Today she is one month old, yet is still one month from her due date! Crazy! My sister was on hospital bedrest for 5 weeks and was such a trooper through it all. I am so proud of her and know she's going to be a great mom!

I finally got pictures of Rosie off my camera and loved this one the best. She was a tiny little thing at 3 pounds, 9 ounces, but so strong. She was off the vent the same day she was born! This photo was taken when she was less than 24 hours old.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for my Rosie!

A little update on her progress: She moved out of the NICU within days of birth and is growing and learning how to nurse in the special care nursery. I hope to get up to visit them next week and take more photos of this special little blessing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The end is in sight

The mountains of snow in our park have been available for winter fun since mid November, but it's been so darn cold we're lucky if the kids get out once a week. Thankfully February is flying by and before we know it we'll be tapping Maple trees and pulling out puddle boots. I know we're suppose to make the most of every day, but this has been the worst.winter.ever and I am so glad the end is in sight!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I say it every day. Why? Because she wows me with her artistic ability on a daily basis, that's why. This winter will go down in Bear Family history as the one where Julia's artistic abilities emerged full force.

First it was crayons and coloring books.
Then it was coloring books and markers.
Then it was white paper with a combo of markers and crayons.
From there she's moved to cutting out her creations, like this one:

I consider myself a creative person, but this kid has more creative juices in her pinky than I do in my entire being. Love that. I even love Sponge Bob. Never thought I'd say that in this lifetime!


I say it every day. Why? Because she wows me with her artistic ability on a daily basis, that's why. This winter will go down in Bear Family history as the one where Julia's artistic abilities emerged full force.

First it was crayons and coloring books.
Then it was coloring books and markers.
Then it was white paper with a combo of markers and crayons.
From there she's moved to cutting out her creations, like this one:

I consider myself a creative person, but this kid has more creative juices in her pinky than I do in my entire being. Love that. I even love Sponge Bob. Never thought I'd say that in this lifetime!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


there were so many titles I could have chosen for this post but just thinking about it made the knots in my stomach come racing back. I'd much rather forget the events of yesterday but I feel like the right thing to do is to get my thoughts written down so maybe I'll stop replaying those awful five minutes over and over again in my mind.

It probably wasn't even a five minute ordeal, but at the time it felt like five thousand minutes. Whatever the length of time....all I know is that Sam was gone and I couldn't find him. He's six I kept saying over and over again. HE KNOW NOT TO JUST WALK OFF. In the crowded Mall of America my son had vanished. My friend started looking for him while I raced to the nearest vendor to ask them to call security. Her phone didn't work. I raced to the next place and went straight to the front of the line to explain what had happened. The guy finished helping the person who was waiting for his change. It felt like a year passed when someone else stepped up to call security. I told them where i'd be and continued to search the area. All I wanted to do was to grab people by the arm and scream "my son is six. He's missing. He's wearing a navy and red striped shirt". HELP!!

I have never been so scared I thought the worst since he's old enough to know to stay where I can see him. I begged God to bring him back. I thought i'd never see him again. He was NOWHERE to be found in the immediate area. There are so many crazy people in the world and in my mind half of them were at the mall. (If you are local and familiar with the amusement park, picture 45 minute waits for the bounce house pinnapple kind of busy) It was BUSY! And my baby was gone. I wanted them to drop the (non existant) gates so nobody could get away with my Sam.

And then I saw him with my friend who, bless her heart, would not let him let go of her hand even though he wanted to. I would have done the same thing J! I ran up to him sobbing, not caring that I was making a scene. He was back. Thank you Jesus he was back in my arms and wondering what all the fuss was about. "You are the wierest person ever" were his words I think....I let the insult slide and went back to find security who was finally made an appreance. I thanked them for coming and explained that he had walked off when he saw his friends come out of the bounce house. Turns out he was with another friend of mine the whole time.

He said he forgot to tell me where he was going. I pray that he never ever does that again! This mama might not survive another panic attach like that!


Besides the obvious, don't walk off without telling a grown up where you are going rule, what safety measures do you take when in crowded public places?????

One thing that I have done at the state fair is to tell the kids to find someone in a uniform or another mom and show them the card I put in their pockets with all my contact information on it. We're working on memorizing phone numbers but when put on the spot, I want them to have it written down just in case.

Beginner Knit Hat Pattern

I've been asked so many times if there is a pattern for the hats I make,  but I was too busy filling Christmas orders...