I’ve received a few surprise packages the last couple of weeks – which I love! (As I always say, my love of presents really conflicts with my minimalist aspirations — but I love them anyway!) I got this fantastic surprise care package from an old friend and neighbor turned blog reader who now lives overseas. It was so much fun! We always love anything Bear themed, as that is our family mascot <3
Another close friend just had a baby girl born 1 month after Little Girl! Does it get any better?! Now we basically have twin babies. Here they are in their matching onesies.
I mentioned recently that we did some relief care which was very eye opening. First, we had two super cute littles, then a teen. The surprise there? We preferred the teen! Like, a lot. That placement was more fun than it was work. Of course all foster placements involve a good amount of hard work, but it’s really nice when you get a great work to fun ratio. Generally, with young kids the challenge is more physically demanding care and with teens it’s more emotionally based. A lot of people find emotional complexity more demanding than the physical demands of young kids — but I think it might suit us.
Interestingly, Big Son seems to thrive whenever there is a teen around as well.
After some reflection I realized that I really loved 4 out of the 5 experiences we’ve had with teens staying here over the past few years, even when in some cases they struggled with substance abuse or other tricky issues. And the one exception wasn’t a bad experience really, it just happened to be a mismatch of personalities, which natraully happens across all age groups because we are all humans. Anyway, we are considering changing the age-range of kids we normally serve from 6-12 to 10+.
A Robot Baby-Sitter
We went as minimalist as possible with the baby stuff. This moses basket with stand was our only piece of baby “furniture” until last week. We don’t even have a stroller or a crib!
We thought we’d be the last people in the world to buy an automated baby swing. But here we are. A friend suggested that Little Girl would like it based on her love of being tightly buckled into her car seat swung back and forth. We grabbed one off Kijiji and it’s awesome. We put it right in our little kitchen because we spend so much time cooking and cleaning in there we needed a place to put her down (granted, a blanket on the floor worked fine for this as well, but we got a shorter time window out of it). We’re pleasantly surprised by how much she loves it. It’s getting a lot of use during the morning and evening rush with Big Son.
Get On My Back
Just as we were starting to feel frustrated by how cumbersome a front carrier can be when you’re trying to get stuff done, we realized that she/we were ready for a back carry (a few months earlier than we thought we’d be comfortable with). It is incredibly liberating. I know a lot of moms feel really nervous to do this at first. It does take a little getting used to. And if you don’t have another person around during the day you have to learn how to put the baby back there on your own. But it’s so worth it. She is only two months and it makes me feel like I have my life back. I can do anything when she’s back there, and she is so happy there. I’ve been using some Inuit carriers (amautis) for this as I have been super lucky to have some Inuit women make them for me. In this picture I am using a Mei Tai wrap, which is soft structured but provides neck support. I also love this carrier because you can use it from a few months old until 3 years+ (as I did with Big Son!). Woven wraps are also good if you want to try a back carry.
The terrible surprise of the month is that this did not go well. I so desperately wanted to cloth diaper this baby via a diaper service. I am still kind of heart broken about it. The cloth diapering part was incredibly easy. But unfortunately the diaper service itself was not our cup of tea. They are the only service operating in our city currently, and the quality of their (musty moldy) supplies was not up to snuff, and neither was their customer service. It was bad enough that we just couldn’t continue. Of course, the other option to keep plastic off our baby and out of the landfill would be to continue to cloth diaper and just wash them ourselves. But… I had to let Polar Bear be the decider on that one as he is the main launder-er at our house. He unequivocally said no to adding even one more basket of clothes to the weekly routine. So I guess that’s where the dream dies. I’m on to ECing with disposables now. Any tips?
Baby Clothes are Crazy
Talk about trying to go minimalist with the baby stuff, but loving presents… I was hoping to raise Little Girl like some kind of Scandinavian elf baby who owns a woolen undershirt, 3 onesies, a good hat, a horsehair sweater, and a single pair of pants. But somehow, here we are:
I got rid of half, even though some of it had been worn only once. There’s still a lot.