anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wraps VS Slings



Let me start this off by saying that I love both wraps and slings. I feel like they both have their pros and cons (and honestly the cons are a pretty short list).

I think that babywearing is fantastic for a lot of reasons. Some of the ones I've heard are that it promotes bonding, that it helps with your baby's digestion because it massages their stomach as you wear them, you're able to get things done because you're not holding the baby, and you can even breastfeed in both a wrap or a sling.

I hadn't really heard much about babywearing before I had Everly, the only one that I had seen was a wrap. I put one on my baby registry and actually ended up buying the same one anyways because it was taking weeks and weeks to get to me, but it was one of the best baby purchases that I have ever made.

Here are the pros of babywearing in either the wrap or the sling:

  • Highly portable (I almost always have one in my diaper bag or in our car)
  • Quickly Soothe a baby 
  • About as close as you can get to actually being pregnant again 
  • Much more comfortable than just holding your baby (cannot tell you how many times they've saved my back when Everly was being fussy and wouldn't let me put her down)
  • You can breastfeed in either Wrap or sling
  • Promotes correct hip development
I have absolutely loved babywearing. I honestly think that you should be given a wrap or a sling when you take your baby home from the hospital. Not only is it easy to carry your baby, but it's WAY easier than managing a stroller. If you've read my birth story you know that I couldn't really walk well for about a month after I had my baby. At the time we lived on the third floor of an apartment building. If it was between getting the baby and a stroller down three flights of stairs or staying home, my only choice was mainly staying home. Once I got my wrap I was able to go for walks to the park and around the neighborhood because I could easily put her in it and get down the stairs. 
I also love that you or your partner (or even grandparents) can use a wrap or sling. Seeing my husband carrying Everly in our wrap was enough to about explode my heart and make me want a million babies.

Wrap VS. Sling

I like both, but I like them for different reasons.

Wrap
-Simple to get into 
-More comfortable for ME as the wearer over long periods of time
-You can easily wear a diaper bag while wearing a wrap

Sling
-Simple to get into (quicker than the wrap for me)
-More comfortable for my baby
-Stylish

I feel like I should explain a little. Everly seems to like the sling better, which was totally unexpected for me. I've had a wrap for most of her life and only recently got a sling. Sometimes when I put her in the wrap she squirms and wants out, even when everything is well adjusted and supported in the correct way. That's not to say she doesn't like the wrap, but the first time I put her in the sling she immediately relaxed against me and hunkered down. It seemed like she didn't want to get out of the sling, ever. For me, it's easier for me to get into a sling quickly if she's upset and wants to be held. Every time I put her in the sling she seems happy and relaxed.

I feel like the sling is a little bit more trendy and it's a little less comfortable for me. Although I will say that both wrap and sling have a bit of a learning curve! Now that I've practiced a little more with the sling it has gotten more comfortable. I feel like there are little nuances with getting the fit right on a sling, where a wrap is pretty straight forward and easy to get a good fit. I would recommend that if you choose a sling that you switch off which shoulder you sling on so that you don't strain one side of your body. 

I've really been trying lately to be conscious of where my purchases come from. If possible I try to support local businesses or places where things are ethically made or that the company donates to someone else. In the spirit of that, I'd like to recommend a few local (to Utah) or small ethically made companies for slings and wraps. They are definitely pricier than something you could buy at Target or off of Amazon, but for me, the higher price is worth it! Even if that means that I have to wait until I can afford something :) Shop the sales my friends, shop the sales.

Slings

Wildbird
Poppet Slings
Love Sakura Bloom

Wraps

Solly Baby

Have you used a wrap or a sling? Which do you like better? Why?
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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Poems of Motherhood | May




5/13/18
As a mother I’ve learned the weight of you in my arms
The way to tuck you against my breast in our bed as the room starts to lighten so that my arm becomes your pillow
I’ve found that the list of what I will give for you is never ending 


5/14/18

I'm learning the weight of motherhood
how it pushes down on the fragile edges
breaking me down to the core of who I am
pouring all the deep emotions deeper than they've ever gone


5/15/18

These are the good days
using endless amounts of tissues
wrapping you tight against my chest to sleep
watching the pale pink lilies unfold
that your daddy got me for Mother's day

Normally I hate lilies
but these have changed my mind

Your daddy fed me sweet pineapple on the lovesac
while I held you in my lap
use my hidden kiss to get you to take your binky
(whom we affectionately call Sophie)
one kiss on the forehead
while your lightning fast fingers
tangle in my hair
like a security blanket

your cries crackle in your chest
you nearly grab the gray and white scrunchie off my wrist
grabbing little things to keep me with you


5/15/18

I'm embracing the mess and
tangle of life
the hair that does what it wants
the dishes in the sink
the scattered sand over the moments
of watching you slow blink your way to sleep
with moments of aching backs and sad cries


5/16/18

We woke up together
usually this is accompanied by cries
but today
you opened your eyes
smiled at me
those beautiful eyes
I could wake up
like that
every day


5/21/18

You won't always think my arm is your favorite pillow
or, open your eyes to my face
so for now
I'll cuddle your body close to mine
for now
I'll enjoy the little print your ear makes on my arm each morning

5/22/18
The edge of me used to come right to my skin
Until the day that you were born
Then the edge of me somehow stretched and wrapped itself around you

5/23
I love the way you nurse
Curled close around me
Draping into my lap
With hands alternately plucking my clothes like strings
Or settling your hand so gently on my breast

5/25/18

This morning I walked with you. tight against my chest and for the first time you seemed bigger to me. the length of your back under my hands spanning further than I remember, making it seem that you're leaping forward, more than outgrowing clothes and swaddles.
we stopped by the river, on a little bank with white flowers growing on leafy bushes. stepping off the sidewalk we startled some squirrels. so I told you about your great-grandfather, my mother's dad, and how he was friends with a squirrel named Sammy and how they'd thought that Sammy was a boy until she had babies.
we walked a little farther and I saw a little set of white painted outdoor furniture. The kind that your great grandmother, my mother's mom, had on the porch of her tiny east side house.
you feel asleep as we walked and I talked to you about trees and baby birds and how those mama ducks were worried that we were going to touch their babies.
I looked at these tiny houses that I'd once despised, maybe because they made me think of old people and the dark of my grandmother's house, everything old and vaulable, untouchable, with walls layered in tar from her cigarettes we weren't supposed to know that she smoked.
Now I want a little house. Fill it up with babies and memoried and the joy of being a family. with home cooked meals and messes made by those i love.
while we walked and you slept we settled into silence and I thought wat a beautiful life this is.
now you're sleeping in a pile of swaddle, the sound of ocean waves shushing you to sleep.
a beautiful life indeed.



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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Our Breastfeeding Journey | 6 Months In



I will never ever doubt people when they tell me that time flies. It really does. We are halfway through my goal to breastfeed for one year. I honestly can't believe that we've gotten this far! I thought for sure that I would have dried up by now, but so far, things seem to be working out just fine! 

Since I last wrote, a few things have changed, and some of them have stayed the same. (If you missed my first post, you can read it here). Back then I was worried about making enough milk, and I still am. I'm not sure that concern will ever go away for me. Maybe when we've made it a whole year, but probably not ha ha. 

I've become a pretty big breastfeeding advocate. I've surprised myself with my passion for wanting to make sure that all women feel like they can breastfeed whenever, and however, they want. Whether that be with a cover or without. Whether that be in public or a mothers room or at home. I've breastfed openly in public and I've breastfed with a cover and it's so much easier without a cover. Life is hard as a mom, let's not make it any harder by making mothers worry about when or how they're acceptably allowed to feed their babies. 

That magical feeling has finally set in... sort of. Sometimes I'm feeding her and I look down at her with her big eyes watching me and her hand resting on me and I feel all swollen with love. Times like that I'm not sure how anybody ever gives this up. I'm not sure how women transition to letting their babies feed themselves all the time.
Then there are other times when I'm feeding her and I am watching the clock, wondering how much longer she'll nurse or I'm playing on my phone completely disinterested in what's happening. Those times I don't dislike nursing or even really see it as an inconvenience, but those are just the run of the mill times. Honestly, they probably happen a lot more often than the magical times. 

I'm happy to say that I haven't had mastitis in months! I had it twice (maybe three times) before and it is no joke guys. My mom came to help out with Everly the second time because it hit me so hard. I don't know how women with other children do it!

I've also just about quit pumping. I pump once a day and I'm running through my freezer stash pretty fast. I owe this mostly to the fact that we give her a bottle once a day before bed (so that Brian can feed her and bond with her that way, and also so we can give her Vitamin D drops that our pediatrician recommended). Most of what I froze in the early days was as much as the bag could hold. Turns out that Everly cannot eat 6 oz. at a time, in fact, she rarely goes over 3 oz. So a lot of my stash has gone to waste because I run out of time to feed it to her before it goes bad after its been thawed. Seriously considering saving up for a Willow pump for the next baby so that I can have a good stash and pump more than once a day. 

We've made it 6 months! Unless I quit or dry up, my next breastfeeding post will probably be at the year mark! :)

How long did you breastfeed for? What was your experience like? Why did you decide to stop when you did?
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My 28th Year



Today is my 28th birthday. It's really kind of weird for me to say that, and not because 28 is big number or anything, but because I kind of swore off birthdays last year. 

Now, let me explain, birthdays have largely been a disappointment for me for most of my life. I always expect people to make a bigger deal out of them than they end up doing. So last year, when I was pregnant with Everly, everyone told me to make the most of it because it was going to be my last birthday without a baby. Over and over people pounded into my head that I wasn't really going to get a birthday after that one. So I did make the most of it. I made my own cake (a tradition I started for myself when I got married), I took a bath with a sparkly bath bomb, I went out to lunch with my family, and I mentally let the concept of birthdays go. No longer was there a special day of the year that was all about me, I'd been holding onto that idea for too long anyway. So this year I basically forgot that my birthday was coming. People kept asking me about my birthday and I kept thinking, "Birthday? What's a birthday?" I'm actually a little impressed with how far I mentally let go of birthdays. 

For me, now, birthdays are the day I get to start saying the next year. They're a time to reevaluate who I am and my goals, but they're no longer a day about presents or special treatment. 

So here are some 28th-year birthday thoughts for you. And I'll keep it short ;)


1. This year I learned that I'm way more environmentally conscious/concerned than I ever thought I would be. I blame part of it on my husband. I'm in serious danger of swinging way too far to one side. I keep wondering where my products come from and are they from local businesses, and how will they impact the environment?? My new buying mantra is less about what is cheapest, and more about what is best for the environment and the people around me.

2. This was the year that I dived deep into minimalism. Earlier in the year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, combined with the fact that we moved and I am right on track to get rid of almost everything I own and stick to what I really need/love, and a lot of books. I'll probably always have a lot of books and I'm really ok with that. 
Up until this last year, I wanted a big house with lots of rooms. Now I think that I'll be quite content with a house that's small and clean and cozy. My dream home went from being a towering thing on a beach cliff somewhere to a cottage of some sort (also probably on a beach cliff somewhere...). 

3. This is the year that I committed to my writing. I've committed and re-committed to writing so many times that it's a little ridiculous, but this is the year that I read Big Magic. I decided that I was going to start writing almost every day. That I was going to make it a priority. That I was going to write for me, but also that I was going to give publishing a shot. So, after writing 10 first draft novels, I am finally revising one. I have no idea whether it will actually get published, but we'll see what happens. I redefined my idea of writing success for myself and while I'll be thrilled if I get published someday (and plan on working on that for the rest of my life), I'm ok if I don't. Success for me will be to be a lifelong writer. I can control that. I can't control if anyone else will like it or buy my books. 

4. This year I fell in love with my body. I've always wanted to be someone that took care of their body because they loved it, not because they hated it. I've been at war with my body most of my life. I wanted to be the skinniest. Now, after having watched it grow and change and shrink mostly back to its normal size I am just so amazed by what it has done and what it is capable of doing. I find myself working out because I enjoy it, not because I'm worried about my weight, in fact, I rarely weigh myself. I try to eat intuitively. If I'm hungry for a salad, I have a salad, if I want a burger, I eat a burger. I don't tell myself that anything is off limits and I don't criticize myself for eating things that are "bad" or "unhealthy".  That all said, there are still things that I don't love about my body, but I'm the happiest that I have ever been with it and I'm going to continue to work on loving it and taking good care of it instead of warring against it.

5. This year I became the most intentional that I have ever been with my time. I've always wanted to keep myself from falling into the trap of wanting to be constantly entertained. I've learned to let myself be bored and not reach for my phone all the time. I try to use it as a tool rather than a device for entertainment. I use the Moment app to help me know how I'm spending my time on my phone. Because I've been so conscious of it I've allowed myself time for things that I really enjoy and are more worthwhile for me. I've spent more time reading and writing and spending time focused solely on my family. I don't think I'll ever be one that completely quits social media, because it is a good tool and it brings me joy, but I've learned to not make it the center of my thoughts at all hours of the day.

This year has been one of immense growth for me. I feel so different from the person that I was before. So much has changed. We grew our family and we've moved. I fell in love with motherhood (I still vacillate in my mind between wanting a million babies and just loving Everly so much that I think I could be content with just her for the rest of our years). It has been a beautiful splendid year. It has not been easy, but most of those hard things have led to the growth that I'm so grateful for. I'm truly excited to see what the next year of life brings!

How do you celebrate your birthdays? How do you feel like you've changed in the last year?
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