mini kitchen makeover – new dishes and curtains

Last night I *finally* got the curtains done for our kitchen and I’m in LOVE!  So, so cute!   The fabric I chose looks ever better than I expected and the addition of the curtains gives this space some needed color and coziness.

tutti frutti apple kitchen curtains 2

The fabric I used is called Tutti Frutti Apples.  After two years of living here and never finding the perfect curtain fabric (not that I had looked that hard, mind you) I stumbled upon this last fall at a fabric shop in my hometown.  The fabric was $7 a yard and that was more than I wanted to pay so I left it even though I really loved the fabric.  Luckily, a few months later I was at my favorite local fabric store and discovered that they had this fabric in their $2.50 clearance bin!  Hooray!

I bought all that they had and it ended up being exactly what I needed.   I think I had maybe a half a yard leftover.

tutti frutti apple kitchen curtains 3I thought about doing a picture tutorial but honestly there are a million curtain tutorials on Pinterest and mine is nothing special.  But for what it’s worth, here is the quick Caitlin version:

For a nice, full, ruffly curtain I used 3 times the width of my window.  I didn’t even measure in feet or inches, just held the fabric up to the window three times to determine how much I needed.

I cut split the yardage in half by finding the middle, cutting in about an inch, and ripping.  It thrills me every time how fabric rips in a straight line.  It’s quite satisfying and makes me feel like I’m on Project Runway.  Each half became one valance.

Then I just hemmed around each rectangle, leaving room at the top to slide the curtain rod through.  Fold over twice, press it down, sew a straight line.  Easy peasy.  Really the ironing is the most tedious part.  I don’t even pin and then the sewing goes very quickly (as long as my junky machine doesn’t jam up a million times.  grr).

The sides I folded over 1/2 inch and then 1/2 inch again.  The bottom I think I did 1/2 inch and then 1 inch.  For the top I folded over 1/2 inch and then about 2.5 inches to allow for the curtain rod.

tutti frutti apple kitchen curtains and plate wall

I like to follow The Nester‘s motto of “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”.  My edges are probably not perfectly straight and I know I didn’t sew in a straight line but I also know that if I don’t just get it done then I’ll never finish anything.  I used white thread to sew the short sides and then switched to a green that matched better for the top and bottom.  That’s one great thing about the fullness of these curtains (in addition to the fact that I prefer that look) because it hides the imperfections.  I’m just happy to have it done, mistakes and all!

corelle south beach

By coincidence (or probably because my subconscious is drawn to these colors) my new dishes match the curtains perfectly.  When we got married we registered for some dishes from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and I hate them!  They are so heavy and all of them have gotten chipped over the years.  I grew up using Corelle dishes and I love how durable and light they are.  I fell in love with this new (at least, I think it’s new because I don’t remember seeing it when I’ve looked in the past) Corelle print called South Beach and knew I these were perfect to replace our old dishes.  I put them on my Christmas list this year and got enough to replace our old dishes – yay!  It was a fun bonus that they matched the curtains!

tutti frutti apple kitchen curtains

And lest you start to get jealous of my perfectly tidy kitchen with matching place settings displayed, let me assure you that is NOT real life.  This is what the kitchen table looked like about five minutes before I took those pictures.  All that mess on the table got relegated to the kitchen counters for a few minutes while I staged and took the pictures and then back to the table it went.

Just keeping it real for you.

What project, small or large, have you gotten done recently that make you feel accomplished?



a sopping wet New Year

The Date: New Year’s Day 2015

The Time: 9:15 pm

The Setting: Our house

The Background: After a whole day spent taking down Christmas decorations, giving the house a good clean, Hudson refusing to nap and being a general fuss bucket, I was wiped.  Usually Michael and I stay up ’til midnight or later but I was so exhausted that I took a shower and was already in bed reading, planning to go to sleep early.  Hudson was asleep in his bed next to ours.

The Story:   I’m laying there reading and I hear a “drip, drip, drip“.  I think to myself “Hmmm, I must have not turned the shower off completely.  I’ll ask Michael to turn it off when he comes into the room”.  Because I’m tired.  And I’m pooped.  And I don’t want to haul myself out of bed to check on the shower.

Michael is in our half bathroom in the living room and he also hears a “drip, drip, drip“.  He thinks to himself “What is Caitlin doing out there to make that sound?”.

And then.  Chaos.

Michael shouts “hey!!”…pause…”HEY!!!”

This is big cause for alarm, my friends.  Michael is not a shouter.  Like, ever.  I’m the loud one, not him.  Plus, Hudson was asleep.  Once he’s asleep we whisper.  Michael would never, EVER shout and risk waking Hudson up.

So obviously something terrible has happened and I just know an intruder is in our house or some similarly awful event.

I bolt out of the bed and run out the room, slamming my thigh into the corner of the bed as I run, and yell “What?!? What?!?”.  Thankfully Hudson stays asleep.

Michael is already running up the stairs and yells down at me to grab some towels.

No need to ask why because now I can clearly see the water pouring steadily out of the light fixture in our living room.

Oh no.

Michael gets upstairs and sees that the washing machine is full to the top but water is still spraying into the barrel.  Water has come out of the washing machine, flooded the laundry room and hallway (and part of the attic, we later found), and leaked through the ceiling, and come out through one of the light fixtures.

I grab towels and wipe up the puddle in the living room then put a large mixing bowl under the light to catch the water.  We start mopping up the water upstairs.  We used every.last.towel in our house.

Michael calls his dad to bring the shopvac over.  They pull up the carpet, run the shopvac, and set up fans everywhere.

Photo Jan 01, 10 42 16 PM

Around midnight we’ve done all we can do so we finally head to bed.

So much for an early night, huh?

(Hudson slept through all the commotion too.  Amazing since he’s a terrible sleeper even on a good day!)

Turns out, one little hose from our fancy-dancy, less than two year old washing machine had come loose and was spraying water everywhere.

The good news:  

– Nothing was seriously damaged.  There is only one tiny water spot on the living room ceiling and a larger (but not awful) one in the garage.  The pad under the carpet had to be replaced but the floors and the carpet were fine.

– Usually I have a tub of my Young Living stuff that I take to classes and vendor events that sits right directly under that light fixture.  It would have all been completely soaked but we had moved it when we mopped the floors during our huge cleaning spree and had not put it back yet

– For some reason, instead of putting all the Christmas stuff back in the attic that day like I normally would do I had just stacked it all in the guest room and planned to put it in the attic later.  Good thing because water leaked into the attic in the exact spot where the Christmas decorations would have been.  As it were, only a few empty cardboard boxes in the attic got wet.

– We have incredibly kind neighbors who let us use their washing machine the next day to wash all those towels and the clothes that had been in the washer when it broke.

– This happened while we were home and awake; I can’t tell you how many times we’ve started the washer right before we go to sleep or leave the house.  It would have been horrible if we hadn’t caught it as early as we did!

The bad news:

– We had to buy a new washing machine.  But it’s easier to use than our old one.  And it plays a pretty song when it’s done washing.  And we got our old one fixed so we should be able to sell it and get some of our money back.  So I guess it’s not all bad.

Photo Jan 20, 6 36 16 PM

What a way to start the New Year.  Let’s hope the rest of 2015 is much less eventful!

an oily year

A year ago today was a pretty important day.  No, not Hudson’s birthday, that is next week (although it is definitely super important and will receive many blog posts of it’s own in the coming days).  Today is my one year anniversary using essential oils.

If you’ve read my oily story then you know that I really didn’t know what I was getting in to – where to purchase, how to use them, or even what they were good for.  It started with me just wanting some essential oils to use to make nontoxic household cleaners but as I researched I learned they could be used for way more things so I dove in and ordered.

A year ago today that lovely Young Living package arrived on my steps, I tore into my oils, and the rest, as they say, is history.

You can read more here about how I was a convert within 24 hours as I used oils to ease the pregnancy back pain that had plagued me for months.  That was the start of my journey toward using oils for our health.

I also posted this picture on Facebook with the caption “Yay for long weekends!  Starting it off by playing with my new Young Living essential oils :).”  <—– that, unbeknownst to me, was the start of my journey toward an oily business.

Young Living essential oils starter kit

Multiple people commented on that status; some asking for more information about oils, others saying they also used and loved essential oils as well.   People were intrigued!

Less than a week after those oils appeared on my doorstep Mr. Hudson made his entrance into the world and life turned upside down.  In the hours and hours of sitting and rocking and nursing and holding I started reading about oils and researching more and listening to webinars and learning and learning.  And I messaged and text (texted?  what is the plural of text?) and emailed friends who had oily questions.  And then one person wanted to try oils so she signed up.  And then another.  And then my Oily Gurus group held an online class; I posted about it on Facebook and had 40-something people who wanted me to add them to that class!  Wow!  Several more signed up.

And then, all of the sudden, I had a bit of an oily business.

I didn’t set out to build a business.  I had always said I would never sell anything because I didn’t see myself as a salesperson.  But this evolved so naturally and I found that I wasn’t so much “selling” oils as I was sharing my experiences and what I had learned.  I was teaching…not about math or the library, and not in a school setting, but teaching nonetheless and it was fun!

A year later I can’t imagine life differently.  Essential oils have given us alternative options for our health, a “hobby” that I can participate in so I’m not “just” mom all day every day, an extra source of income, a way for me to make new friends and connect with old friends.  And I love it.

If you are interested in finding some natural, alternative options for your health, your home, your family, your pets, you name it, I encourage you to look into essential oils.  I would be thrilled to help you through that journey, I’m part of a fabulous group with tons of support – Facebook groups, webinars, business training, or more.  Or if you already have a friend who is using oils and sharing about them then talk to them.

If you’re interested in the business part, maybe earning some extra money to pay off debts or saving for a vacation or being able to quit your job and stay home (yes seriously, we have quite a few people in my oils group who have been able to do this thanks to their Young Living business) then I’d love to help you with that too.  We have lots of resources and help and can get you started building a business.

To be clear, you don’t have to “sell” oils, many people just order them and use them for their family and that’s totally fine.  Or you might be like me (and many, many others) who never planned on it but it happened so naturally that they found themselves with a little side business.  Or if you know you want to do this right out of the gate then go for it!

In honor of my Young Living anniversary I’m doing a little giveaway.  The first person to sign up with me before the end of the day tomorrow (Sunday, January 18) will receive an Essential Oils Pocket Reference (an invaluable 300+ page reference book that gives detailed information about each oil Young Living offers plus information on how to use them for various issues) PLUS a 5ml bottle of Valor.

eopr and valor

That’s BIG y’all.  I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to offer Valor as a giveaway.   Valor has a special place in my heart because it’s the oil that wowed me when I first got my kit…it not only helped me with my pregnancy back pain but also quieted my insane pregnancy snoring.  It’s actually no longer offered in the starter kit (you can still buy it, it just doesn’t come in the starter kit anymore).  So some lucky person is going to get an amazing starter kit (it’s SUCH a great value…over $300 worth of stuff), a reference book so you’ll know how to use your oils, an additional bottle of pure happiness Valor, plus access to all of the goodies my team has to offer (private groups, business classes if you want, online classes, and more).

This is what all comes in the kit and ordering instructions are here

Young Living member #1612080

What are you waiting for??

Hudson’s 11 month update

Eleven months.  Sniff.  Sniff.  That means the next time I do one of these posts he will be a year old!  It’s gone so fast.


According to our very unofficial measuring Hudson is 23 pounds and 29.5 inches.

His 12 month pants (like jeans and khakis) are way too small now and stretchier 12 month clothes are getting tight too.  He’s right on the verge of 18 month clothes; he has a few 18 month items that I’ve been going ahead and putting on him – they are a bit too long still but at least they aren’t like spandex!  In disposable diapers he wears a size 5.


He LOVES to eat and he eats a variety of food.  The holidays have really given him some new yummy things to try.  Some favorites have been turkey and dressing, macaroni and cheese, broccoli casserole, vegetable soup, spaghetti, ham, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, oranges, beans, and so much more.

IMG_7279vegetable soup


IMG_7325first time eating spaghetti…and loving it!

He still nurses four times a day and once or twice during the night.  We don’t hold a strict schedule around here but it usually works out to be about 8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm (so basically: before breakfast, before lunch, in the afternoon, and then right before bed) then he’ll wake up once or twice between 8pm and 8pm (let me be clear…many nights he wakes up multiple times between the time we lay him down for bed and the next morning, but I usually only breastfeed him once or twice during those wakes ups).

Something new that he’s doing is burping after he nurses.  Once he was able to sit up on his own I quit patting his back to burp him but recently I’ve noticed that after he nurses and I sit him back up he does this funny little hum sound and kind of pushes some burps out.  I don’t even know how on earth to describe it but it’s pretty funny!


Well, it’s a little better.  He takes two naps – one around 10am and one around 2pm.  I hold him the whole time while he naps or otherwise he won’t sleep.  His New Year’s resolution is to start sleeping on his own ;).  We’re going to work on that this coming month.

He starts out the night in the cosleeper next to us then ends up in our bed at some point.  Usually he wakes up several times during the course of the night but not because he’s hungry so we just rock him and put him back down.  Thanksgiving night we stayed with my grandparents and he slept an uninterrupted stretch from midnight to 6:30!  That hasn’t happened in over five months!  I don’t know if he was just totally pooped from all the activity or what.

On a good night he will go to sleep easily, wake once to eat before we go to bed, stay asleep until 6am or so before he wakes up to eat again, and then sleep a little longer until finally getting up for the day around 8am.  That is rare.  Most nights there are significantly more wake-ups than that.  But hopefully he’ll keep improving and this will become more of the norm.

We can only hope.

IMG_7291 Even though I get frustrated having to hold him to sleep so much, I wouldn’t trade this view for the world.  I’m trying to enjoy the snuggles while I can.


Super fast crawling, lots of cruising (holding on to furniture and walking around it), but not standing independently or walking yet.

IMG_7281We keep having to move stuff further and further back as he is able to reach more

IMG_7163I was nervous about putting the Christmas decorations out and for good reason!  As soon as I hung this garland up he tried so hard to reach it.  He wasn’t quite tall enough but he sure tried hard.  He left it alone after the first night.  The Christmas tree was another matter…I had to move him away from it many times a day because he wanted to pull the ornaments off and yank on the strands of lights.  That was exhausting.

other firsts

Hudson said his first word!  He’s been babbling forever and making sounds like “dadada”, “bababa”, “mamama”, etc. but right around Thanksgiving he started mimicking us saying “bye bye” and he’s been saying it ever since!  Any time he hears us say bye or tell him “Hudson, say bye bye” he’ll say it.

Since he has teeth now we got his first toothbrush.  I’m not as consistent about using it as I should be (as all my dentist and hygienist friends cringe and fuss at me) but we try to brush his teeth before bed (when we remember).

He discovered the stairs this month but he doesn’t really try to climb them yet, just stands there and will reach for things that I’ve set on the steps.



We went to see Santa at our local library and he did much better than I expected!  I thought he would freak out and cry but he just looked at him very solemn for a while.  We couldn’t get him to smile for the picture but at least he didn’t scream.

IMG_9766IMG_9770IMG_9775IMG_9779showing off those pretty teeth!

We went to the mall one day to do some Christmas shopping and the area of the mall that has Santa also periodically “snows”.  It started snowing while we were walking past so I drove Hudson through it.  He was not a fan and started crying.  I wasn’t a fan either once I realized it was soap or some other weird substance that I had to clean off of everything!


Michael had to go out of town for work for a week; Hudson and I stayed home for this trip and my mom came and stayed with us for a few days.  One evening during that week I had a booth at a Christmas bazaar and I left Hudson at home with my mom instead of bringing him like I usually do.  I was gone for about four hours and that was definitely the longest I’d ever left him.  He did great, it was just a pretty big step for us!

IMG_7121playing with Uncle Brendan at Thanksgiving

We travelled quite a bit this month for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Hudson did much better with all the people around at the holidays than I expected!  His cousins and aunts and uncles just loved seeing him.  He travelled better than I thought he would, too.  We borrowed a dvd player from a friend and found that it kept his attention pretty well so we downloaded some Daniel Tiger episodes and rigged up my old iphone for him to have something to watch in the car.


He does better (not great, but better) in the car when he’s watching his shows, although long trips I still have to sit in the back with him, hand him toys, talk to him, hold his paci in, pat him, etc.  It’s exhausting and a workout but the screaming has decreased dramatically so it’s worth it.

other stuff

His hair just gets curlier and curlier, crazier and crazier.  I’ve given up brushing it after a bath because that actually makes it look worse, so I just let the curls do their thing.  We get asked all the time where he gets his curls from…the answer is Michael!  His hair was curly when he was little and would be wavy now if he let it grow out.

IMG_7117 IMG_7119IMG_7228IMG_7230So cute – I was stretching during my workout and he started copying me

IMG_7319I put several of his books on that bottom shelf (because he was always trying to pull our books off the shelf) – he’ll go get them and sit and flip through them for a good long time

IMG_7333reading a new book he got for Christmas

For some strange reason he started hating baths this month.  He used to love baths and would splash and play but right now he screams his head off in the tub and will fight you to try to keep you from setting him in the water.  I *think* it’s because we recently started sitting him up to wash him (instead of laying him on his back on his foam pad thing) and a couple of times I got water in his face when I rinsed his hair.  My best guess is that kind of traumatized him and now he doesn’t want to take a bath at all.  We’re working on trying to get him comfortable in the bath again but it’s not very fun right now!

IMG_7481oh you know, just hanging out in the bathroom flipping through a magazine…

IMG_7176 chewing on Daddy’s camelbak

IMG_7197passed out in a back wrap nap

I know this is a bad picture because it was so dark but I have to show how he uses his paci sometimes – he sticks the whole entire thing in his mouth!  He’s nearly gagging on it when he does that, but he keeps doing it over and over so I guess it doesn’t bother him too much.

IMG_7286And that wraps up Hudson’s 11th month!  I’ll see you back here in a month to do his ONE YEAR update.  Wahhhhhh!

11 month comparison

Hudson’s nine month pictures

Here are a few (ok, a lot) of the pictures from Hudson’s 9 month photo shoot.  Unlike at his six month pictures when he gave us tons of smiles and really cheesed it up, this time he didn’t want to smile at all!  We worked so hard to get him to smile but he just wanted to be really solemn!  He usually such a ham but he wasn’t feeling it that day.  He was drooling buckets and you can see the bags under his eyes (a good indicator that he isn’t feeling well) so I’m sure that had something to do with it.  But we still got some amazing pictures.  Big thanks as always to our amazing photographer, Shelley, at Sweet Dreams Photography.

2 3 He did not like the hat.  It was a little too big plus he kept taking it off as soon as I put it on4 1015 17 19 22 I kept baiting him with my phone to try to get him to smile or crawl toward us.  He was so happy when he finally grabbed it from me!  I love that Shelley included this picture!23 Sooooo not a fan of the hat!26 29 3339 40 41 42 45 47 48 49The fence was the last pose of the day and we finally, FINALLY got him to really smile!
50 55 57 58 There’s the big cheesy grin!  59 61Such a handsome fella!

High Five for Friday

It’s sure been a while since I did one of these, huh?  Well here’s what I’m loving today:

1.  Homemade peppermint mocha with homemade whipped cream.  Best. Drink. Ever.

homemade mocha whipped

2.  I’ve been meaning to make us stockings for a few years now.  I’ve had the pattern picked out and purchased but just never got around to finding fabric and sewing it up.  I finally picked some fabric and am ready to get started on the stockings (and a matching tree skirt).  Fingers crossed I get it done by Christmas!

This is the pattern I’m using.

stocking pattern

I wanted something that wasn’t necessarily Christmas fabric but would have that same color scheme, that wasn’t too trendy but not old either.  Something that would look relatively timeless.

One of the first things I saw when I walked into the fabric store was this quilt.  I could not stop looking at it!  So gorgeous.  The colors and patterns were perfect and lucky me they had all the matching bolts of fabric right there with the quilt so I was able to get what I needed.

Love love love.
Christmas quilt

stocking fabric

3.  I also super lucked out while I was there with some curtain fabric.  If you follow my Facebook page you know I found some fabric that I loved a while back at a fabric store in my hometown.  Lo and behold the store I went to today had it…and it was on clearance for $2.50 a yard!!  I think it was $7something at the other store so I was thrilled!

curtain fabric

4.  Our Christmas decorations are almost all done.  We put most of them up Tuesday and then Michael went and got us a tree last night so tonight we plan to get that decorated and then we’ll be all set (well, besides the stockings and tree skirt that I need to sew….minor details ha!)

Christmas tree
We definitely had to modify some decorations and get creative with our placement thanks to Mr. Curious here who has to get into EVERYTHING.  That garland usually hangs to the ground – I looped it up to make it shorter but he still had to try to get it.

Decorating the tree should be interesting….reaching for the decorations

5.  I got a new headband.  And I like it.  That’s all.


Now for the LOW five part of the week….

gray screen of deathAngryflashinggrayfolderwithquestionmark of death.  Yep, that happened last night.  So we’ll be going to buy me a new laptop tomorrow.

The positive of that is Yay new laptop! but the negative is Well there goes my Chrismabirthaversary gifts for the rest of forever.

Computers are expensive, yo.

And that about sums it up!  Happy weekend to you all.

This post brought to you by one fussy baby who is finally asleep.

wrap nap

Hudson’s 10 month update

Ten months old – double digits!  Unbelievable.


Our little guy is just growing and growing!  He weighs 23 lbs 2 oz and is 28 inches long.

Last month at this check up his blood work indicated that he was anemic.  Our pediatrician wanted us to give him a baby vitamin and come back to be rechecked.  We tried the vitamin but it made him throw up so we just focused on feeding him iron-rich foods (beans, eggs, meat).  We also purchased some iron fortified baby cereal to see if that would help.  After two weeks we went back for a check and he was still anemic so our doctor prescribed some iron drops.  They smell very metallic but must taste a lot better than the baby vitamins because Hudson takes them with no complaint.  We give them to him three times a day and his iron has now gone back up to normal.


This month Hudson finally started really eating food.  Up until now he mostly just played with whatever food we gave him but toward the end of 9 months and the beginning of 10 months he all of the sudden started loving to eat and devouring what we gave him.  He ate so many new things this month that I’m not sure I can list them all but some of his favorites include fried rice, Mexican rice, chili, baked ziti, potato soup, and wild rice soup.  Other things he eats a lot are bananas, yogurt, beans, sweet potatoes, steamed veggies, fajitas, apples, and applesauce.

He mostly feeds himself unless we’re out at a restaurant or it’s something very messy (yogurt, applesauce, soup) and then I feed him.  If we put a lot of food on his tray he would cram it all in his mouth and then gag and spit it all back out.  He has gotten better about just eating a little at a time, but I also don’t put as many bites on his tray at once and instead just give him a little at a time.

If he really loves something and you aren’t giving it to him fast enough he will shout at you!  We ate out at a Mexican restaurant one night and I was feeding him some of my rice and he kept screaming because he wanted to eat it faster than I could put it in his mouth.  I could barely get a bite in myself before he was hollering for more.

IMG_6834(fried rice and kale chips)

IMG_6903(scrambled eggs and strawberries)

Since we did baby led weaning we had totally skipped the baby cereal and baby food but because he was anemic we thought we’d try giving him some baby cereal since it’s iron fortified and see if that helped any.  I made the mistake of letting him feed himself the cereal though and learned quickly that was a huge mess!



He finally mastered the sippy cup.  He has a straw sippy and he alternates between sucking the water out and blowing into the straw, but he can get the water out (now whether he swallows it or just lets if run out of his mouth is another story…baby steps).

He still nurses at least four times during the day and several times during the night.


I wish I could say better but….it’s not.  He still wakes up multiple times during the night.  We had one stretch of at least a week where he had to be held to sleep so instead of being able to lay him down at his bedtime and then us get some things done one of us had to hold him.  We watched a lot of tv while we sat and held him those evenings!  There were a few particularly bad nights right around the time his top teeth came through and he was up for a lot of the night.  Miserable for everyone.

He still sleeps in our room.  We start out the night in his cosleeper next to our bed and then put him in the bed with us when he wakes up to eat.  Some nights if he’s really restless he sleeps the whole night in our bed.

This month I put us on a nap time boot camp.  Hudson had been such a terrible napper, literally napping for less than an hour all day and it was seriously wearing on me.  So for a week or two we turned down outside activities, stayed camped out at home, and worked on napping.  When I say we worked on napping I mean I set a certain nap time for each day and then after I laid him down I sat right next to him while he slept and as soon as he woke up (if it hadn’t been very long) I rocked him back to sleep, laid him down, rinse, and repeat.

We had some success!  We (finally) have a schedule, which is a huge relief for me.  It was very stressful trying to make plans and not really knowing when Hudson was going to nap and how that would coincide with our plans.  It’s not a super strict schedule and we adjust based on how late/early he gets up or if we have something we need to do during that time.  We’re flexible.  But for the most part he takes a morning nap around 10:00 and an afternoon nap around 2:00 or 3:00.

The sleeping on his own part still isn’t going so great.  He naps much better while I’m holding him.  Now that we have a schedule I’m going to work more on him sleeping on his own but for now I’m just wanting him to get good naps in so I hold him.  It was very frustrating for me at first – I had to watch him constantly when he was awake and then hold him when he slept and I felt like I never got anything done.   I still am unable to get lots of things done because of that, but I’ve tried to start using his nap times to blog or do essential oil stuff or other things that I do on the computer because I can hold him and work at the same time.  That way I don’t feel like I’m sitting for hours and wasting time.  Now if I could just figure out when to clean my house…

He started sleeping with him bottom in the air this month instead of laying flat on his belly with his legs out behind him.

IMG_6905This one day he took a huge long nap but was very restless and moving all over the bed.  Good thing I was sitting right there with him (he doesn’t sleep in our bed unattended, just in case you worried) and had a hold on his ankle because he tried to fall right off!IMG_6897I love this sweet, crazy bed head!



Hudson is everywhere.  He’s a crawling machine and is surprisingly fast.  He pulls up on everything and can reach more and more stuff.  We’ve had to take everything off the ottoman and end table in the living room because he can reach anything on there, even if it’s in the middle.  We can’t leave anything on the edge of the kitchen table either because he can reach up and grab some of that too.

We cleared out the dining room to make his play room so that he could crawl around and play with his toys and (hopefully) stay out from under my feet in the kitchen.  It works maybe 50% of the time and then the rest of the time he’s right there with me.  The first day I put him in the playroom I thought he’d be so excited and distracted.  Nope.  He crawled right out of the playroom and to this bag of sweet potatoes we had in the kitchen.  All those toys and that’s what he goes for.  Sigh.


We borrowed some costumes from my brother for Halloween and I had them sitting in this pink tub.  Hudson loved pulling up on the tub and playing with the costumes.  He got a hold of the Harry Potter wand one day and had a good time waving it around…wizard in training.IMG_6955IMG_7063

We’ve moved most things out of his reach but we have a box of empty honey bottles and some hooks that we left out.  Hudson loves to play with them and since it’s not something that he can ruin and it won’t hurt him I just let him.  Funny how he’s much more interested in the non-toy stuff than he is his own toys!IMG_6911

He pulled my workout journal off the counter and ripped it up.


He can also walk sideways while holding on to the furniture.  He has let go a few times but does it on accident and falls down immediately.

other firsts

Hudson’s top two teeth came in this month.  He had more difficulty with these than he did with his bottom two.  He was fussy for a few days (and nights!) and you could see the teeth bulging under his gums trying to come out.


We also had our first semi-serious injury.  He loves to pull up on the oven and look at himself in the glass but apparently the drawer under the oven, where he always puts his hands to help him pull up, had some sharp edges.  I was fixing dinner one evening and he was playing in the floor; he started crying and when I looked down his hand was covered in blood.  He had sliced two of his fingers opened on the metal and it was a big bloody mess.  Fortunately it wasn’t bad enough for stitches or anything and it looked up worse than it really was but it was still scary for this mommy!

Also, bandaging a wiggly baby who doesn’t want to uncurl his fingers is no small task!


new skills

Not a skill, but a new personality quirk that he has developed is that he is afraid of everything.  He went through maybe a two week spell where everything terrified him and he’d cry hysterically.  If we went to someone’s house and there were loud kids or a barking dog he would lose it.  If kids came over to our house for a play date he would cry and cling to me instead of playing with them and his toys.  We have this bear that talks and plays peek-a-boo and the first time we played it for Hudson he absolutely freaked out.  Fortunately that seems to have passed because he has been much better around other people, he likes his peek-a-boo bear now, and he even got close to my friend’s dog without crying!


He gives tons of kisses (big, open mouthed, wet ones!), claps, waves, and does “yay arms” (throws his arms up in the air when we say “Yay!”).

(I was trying to take his monthly picture and he kept doing Yay arms and then crawling toward the camera.  It was very hard to get a good picture!  I thought these were hilarious so I had to share.)



Michael went with our church to a men’s retreat overnight one weekend so Hudson and I went and spent the night with my mom.  He had fun playing and getting lots of attention and I enjoyed getting to sleep!  Hudson slept in his pack ‘n play in my mom’s room and I slept in a separate room.  He woke up a few times but went right back to sleep for her so I was able to sleep the whole night (other that having to get up and go to the bathroom, bummer) and not get up with him a million times.  It was lovely.


While we were there we went to their Goodwill (Goodwills in TN are SO much better than the ones in KY!) and found some cute Halloween costume ideas.  We ended up going with the pumpkin but both were adorable.

IMG_6763IMG_6761Mom got some of my and my brothers’ old clothes out to see if there was anything that would fit Hudson.  We put an old bonnet of mine on Hudson.  He was less than thrilled.  I thought it was hilarious :).


Hudson celebrated his first Halloween this month.  We had this cute pumpkin onesie that he wore to church the Wednesday before Halloween.  The outfit fit fine but the hat was way too small (and he kept pulling it off anyway).

IMG_6837IMG_6840On Halloween he wore the pumpkin costume we found at Goodwill.  We took him trick or treating to two of our neighbors’ houses so they could see his costume.  Then we went to Trunk or Treat at our church.  It was super cold so we only stayed out at our trunk for a few minutes to hand out candy. Hudson was not a fan of all the costumes or when everyone clapped for all the contest winners.  He loved eating chili though!


other stuff

A few weeks ago I was at the end of my rope with the car seat situation.  He STILL cries most of the times we’re in the car and while it had improved some for a few months, this month we went drastically backward to where he would start screaming and clinging to us as we walked to the car, before we even got him in his seat.  It was awful and Michael and I were seriously dreading the holidays because of all the traveling we’ll have to do.

So I went to my biggest source of parenting advice, Facebook, and asked my friends for help.  I got tons of helpful suggestions and lots of people commiserated and said their kids were the same way…unfortunately most of them said they just had to wait for their kids to grow out of it but at least it was nice to know we weren’t the only ones.  We tried several of the suggestions with no luck.  The two most popular ones were to use a dvd player or to turn him forward facing (tons of people said their kids traveled much better once they were able to turn then around).  We really didn’t want Hudson to watch any tv at such a young age but we also don’t want to turn him forward facing anytime soon because of safety reasons.  We talked about it and decided that tv was the better of the two options and to give it a try.

I tried riding in the back with him and playing YouTube videos on my phone.  Guess what, it worked!  Not 100% of the time, he still cries some, but it has helped a TON!

Some other random cute pictures:

I love a baby in a suit!  Those shoes stayed on about 10 minutes but were cute while it lasted.


Riding on mommy’s shoulders


Hanging out in a tote bagIMG_7017

One night after his bath we parted and combed his hair down like a little old man.  It’s crazy to me how different he looks with his hair like this!  IMG_7030And here’s our monthly comparison

10 month comparison

9 months in, 9 months out

Hudson is 9 months old!  He’s now been outside of me longer than he was inside me.   So weird!  I cannot believe my little man is 9 months.

Here’s a recap of the last month:


At his nine month appointment last week Hudson weighed 21 pounds 12 ounces and was 28 inches long.  He was in the 33rd percentile for length and 82nd for weight.  Our pediatrician seemed very pleased with his growth.  Thankfully this month then only shot he got was his flu shot and he did great with it.  He also got some blood drawn and he did fabulous – didn’t cry at all when they pricked his thumb and squeezed the blood out!  His tests indicated that he was a little anemic; I’m not surprised as he is still eating mostly breast milk (from our research it seems that breast fed babies get plenty of iron until they are six months old and then if they are not consuming iron-rich foods it can drop).  So we’re going to work on that, but otherwise everything was great!

I love this comparison of his well-baby visits.  It is amazing the change from when he was four days old!9 month dr visit comparison

Hudson is in all 12 month clothes, although some of his less-stretchy 12 month pants (blue jeans, khakis, etc.) are too tight because of his cloth diapers.  I’m either going to have to move him up in his pants (which will then be way too long) or buy special pants for cloth diapered babies (which are pretty expensive for baby clothes – maybe for a Christmas present).  He’s still in size 4 disposables at night.


We’re still mostly breastfeeding and offering table food occasionally.  Toward the end of the month Hudson started showing more interest in his food and more ability to pick it up and get it in his mouth (actually eating some of it rather than just playing with it) so I think he’ll be eating more now.  New foods this month: Puffs, veggie melts, eggs, oranges, applesauce, apples, and probably more but I didn’t do a good job writing it down this month so I’m not sure what else.

He still doesn’t really know how to use his sippy cups but we give it to him often and I guess he’ll figure it out eventually.

Silly daddy put a bowl on my head!



Terrible. Ugh, it is so awful.  Naps are few and far between.  I’m talking he’ll sleep less than an hour total all day.  His naps typically last only 15 – 30 minutes.  An hour is an occasional nice surprise, and anything longer than that is unheard of.  Night time isn’t much better either.  It’s actually gotten much worse this month than it was last month.  There were many, many days this month that he woke up three or four (or more!) times each night.  He had been only waking up once before Michael and I went to bed and then once in the wee hours of the morning.  Now it’s more like every two hours.  And there were a couple of days that not only did he wake up, he also decided after he ate not to go back to sleep so he was wide awake for 1.5 to 2 hours in the middle of the night.

So. Not. Fun.

He’s still in his cosleeper next to our bed (although halfway through the month we finally lowered it from the bassinet position down to the pack ‘n play position) and then ends up in bed with us after he wakes up to eat during the night.   I was nervous about the transition when we lowered his bed.  I was afraid that he would wake up since I had to bend over so much further to lay him down but he has done great with it.

IMG_6356Such a sweet angelIMG_6387IMG_6449He fell asleep mid-roll one night – it was so funny!  He laid like this for a good while and then finally finished rolling over and settled in for the night.
IMG_6469My little snuggle bugIMG_6488

I love gazing at this precious face while he sleepsIMG_6532


We’re mobile!  Hudson started crawling about halfway through the month and there is no stopping him now.  He went from crawling his first few paces one day to crawling all over the house (and fast!) practically overnight.  We are working overtime to get things baby proofed around here.  He’s definitely doing a good job of showing us how un-baby proof our house is – ha!

IMG_6695He’s always loved trying to grab my computer and phone cords.  I moved them away from the front of the chair but once he started crawling he realized pretty quickly that he could go around behind the chair to grab them.  Those cords have since found a new home!



He crawls all over the place, especially in the kitchen while I’m trying to cook.  He likes to push a bowl around…and apparently this day he nearly crawled out of his shirt!


In addition to crawling, he also started pulling up to standing.  One afternoon I was sitting at the kitchen table eating and Hudson was playing in the living room.  I looked up from my snack and noticed he had pulled up on the recliner!!  I was shocked!  He had never done that before!  Now he pulls up on everything.  We got out his activity table that I had purchased a while back and he loves to stand at the table and play.

IMG_6651IMG_6709He had been pulling up on his knees and leaning over the side of his cosleeper and we hadn’t been leaving him unattended in it anymore, but once he started pulling up to his feet I knew it was time to lower it down immediately.  The day he started pulling up he was napping and I was sitting in the bed working on my computer.  I looked over and in a blink of an eye he had stood up and grabbed some of my lotion.

IMG_6701He can still pull up in his lowered bed but at least he can’t fall out.


other firsts

We finally got around to buying a pack ‘n play.  My mom has one at her house that we’ve used several times but we knew that we’d need one for church camp and we found a great deal on one locally so we snapped it up.  It’s been very handy, although Hudson doesn’t like to stay in it for very long since he’s not used to being in it.  The first time we used it was at a craft expo where I had a booth and he played in there for a good while.


This was not his first bottle, but it was the first bottle we’ve given him in a long, long time (I think the last time he had one he was only 2 weeks old).  After my horrendous breastfeeding debacle was over I had no desire to pump for a while and I had worked so hard for the ability to breastfeed that I wasn’t interested in giving him a bottle yet.  We never really got around to trying it and at some point I figured it was too late.  We do give him sippy cups of water (that he just plays with, rarely drinks) but never a bottle of milk.  However, one night I had a plugged duct so I was pumping after Hudson went to bed.  He woke up wanting to nurse but I had just pumped for a long time so we decided to try a bottle just to see how it went.  At first he sucked a tiny bit but mostly just let the milk pour out of his mouth.  Then he started chewing on it and refused to drink.  Obviously that ship has sailed but it was still fun to try!


Hudson rode in a shopping cart for the first time.  I always wear him when we go shopping but we decided to try letting him sit in the cart.  He liked it for a few minutes and then got a little unhappy.


First time to the park for a playdate


new skills

Well crawling and pulling up to standing are obviously the big ones for this month.  His motor skills have improved quite a bit and he’s actually pretty good at operating the little toys on his activity table.

He’s started giving kisses and waving.  He first kissed himself in the mirror and then kissed some of the animals in his book.  Then he started giving me kisses and they are the sweetest things ever!  He will very rarely kiss Michael (we think he doesn’t like his scratchy face because even when he does give him a kiss it’s a super fast one).  He actually was waving last month and giving a “normal” wave.  For whatever reason now he’s switched to waving backward at himself.  It’s cute!

Not a skill, but his hair has changed and is getting so much more curly!  I switched his baby wash/shampoo and I don’t know if that made a difference or if it was just a coincidence that it happened at the same time, but his hair is crazy now.  Michael had very curly blonde hair as a baby too so I’m not surprised.   We used some water to spike it up in a mohawk for church one night.



Our big adventure this month was church camp!  We went in the summer to one church camp but Hudson and I drove there and back each day and slept at home.  This time we stayed the whole time!

Our congregation has been involved in building a new church camp and it wasn’t quite finished in time for a summer camp so instead we did an abbreviated camp over fall break.  Because it was over a weekend Michael was able to come with us (he only had to take 2 days off of work instead of 5).  Camp was wonderful and I am so thankful that we were able to go, but it was definitely difficult with a baby!  I stayed in the lodge with the other women and Michael was in a cabin so I was on my own at night.  The other women were great about helping me out but it was still stressful!

The first night was the worst.  He woke up all night long and I think I slept less than three hours total.  He would not sleep in his pack ‘n play and ended up sleeping with me all night every night so I didn’t rest well.  I felt like I missed a lot of camp between having to go feed him, get him to nap, and put him to bed at 8pm.  It was a different camp experience for sure but that’s the phase of life we’re in and that’s ok.  I’m just glad we were able to go!

He had a blast of course since there were tons of people there to play with him and give him attention.  It really helped me with my anxiety about leaving him, too.  In my last update I shared how nervous I was about leaving him in his Sunday school class.  While we were at camp I taught a Bible class twice a day.  Michael was also teaching a class at the same time so some of the other women who were not teaching watched Hudson for me.  I wasn’t far away and I was so focused on my class that I didn’t worry about him.  He had fun and did great for them and it helped me get over that anxiety.  Since then I’ve been able to leave him in his class on Wednesday nights some (I teach his class on Sundays and sometimes I sub on Wednesdays) and I have had a much easier time with it.

The packing was a bit more challenging too…this is my van, packed full.  Michael had to drive separately since we couldn’t fit it all in one vehicle!


We also went to Nashville one Saturday to eat lunch at Cracker Barrel with some of my college friends.  It was fun to catch up with everyone!


Michael had a Monday off work so we went on a little family hike to Lost River Cave.  It was an easy hike, about a mile, and very pretty.  Hudson slept on my back for most of the hike!  They have a great play area that he will enjoy when he gets older.


other stuff

“How is he doing in the car?” is a question we are commonly asked, as most people know how horrible that has been since he was born.  He is better.  Short trips are fine unless it is bed time and he’s tired.  Long trips are still difficult.  Occasionally he will fall asleep, but usually after quite a bit of screaming.  We still don’t know why and I guess we never will, I just hope that at some point it will get better.

I will be quite honest that we’re dreading the traveling part of the holidays just a little.  I’m super excited about our first holiday season with a baby and I think it will be so much fun, but the thought of having to drive with him in the car to all the different family functions makes my skin crawl.


Just look at those sad eyes and poochy cheeks – who can resist??


Kissing the bathroom floor?  Eww.  Time to be more diligent in cleaning the floors!

Sad, cranky baby.  Why is he crying?  Who knows.  Probably because he isn’t being held.  Or because he’s exhausted from not taking naps.  Sigh.  This is unfortunately a too-common (in my opinion) occurrence around here.


He really is a pretty happy baby though.IMG_6534

Chilling with his legs crossed and chewing on a spoon.

This is his concentrating poop face.  He’s very obvious – he gets very still and you can tell in his face that he’s pooping.  And then usually you can hear it when it happens!  Eww.  It’s pretty funny to watch.  

“Helping” Daddy read a book
IMG_6576This was not his first bug bite, but it was definitely his most prominent one!  Poor kid looked like he had a big ‘ole zit right on his forehead!

We went and visited Michael at work one day and their secretary had this clown nose in her desk.  Hudson didn’t care for it but he sure looked funny for the few seconds he left it on!

I love this comparison of me at 39 weeks pregnant and Hudson at 39 weeks old.  I tried to hold him so he was curled up in the shape of a pregnant belly to compare but he wasn’t having it – still a cute shot though!39 in 39 out

And here’s our monthly comparison

9 month comparisonI’m constantly amazed at how he grows and changes.  I love my little man so very much and can’t imagine going back to life without him!

no ‘poo no thanks

No, not that kind of poo. I’m talking shampoo.  Have you heard of going no ‘poo?  I’ve been hearing about it for a couple of years on Pinterest and blogs; basically you stop washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner and use other natural options.  There are several methods of doing this but the most commonly talked about one is baking soda and apple cider vinegar.  You “wash” your hair with a baking soda and water solution then rinse and “condition” with a vinegar and water solution.

It had mixed reviews, as most things do, but the majority of people had good results and said if you’ll stick with it through the transition period then your hair will be ah-mazing.

Well, who doesn’t want ah-mazing hair?  And I’m nothing if not up for a a good ‘ol crunchy hippie girl challenge.  So tried it.  For a month.

I started October 7, 2013 (Yes, last fall.  A year ago.  And I’m just now getting around to blogging about it.  Don’t judge.) and I was so optimistic.  I wore my greasy hair in buns, covered it with big headbands, used a DIY dry shampoo, and tried to wait it out until the transition was over.

Well, that never happened for me.

It was bad, y’all.  I’ve always had greasy hair (like, it would start looking greasy less than 24 hours after I washed it) but this was beyond horrible.  My hair felt gummy and gross and looked awful.  My scalp was itchy and flaky so I looked like I had dandruff on top of the nasty grease.

I tried and tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t take it anymore!  One Sunday morning after I “washed” my hair with the baking soda and vinegar then dried my hair to get ready for church I just wanted to cry because it felt and looked so nasty.  I jumped in the shower, re-washed with my old shampoo, and ahhhh…talk about some ah-mazing hair.  After a month of grossness it felt SO wonderful.  (Well, I quit on November 3 so almost a month, but close enough)

I had told very few people that I was doing no ‘poo because I didn’t want everyone to think I was gross.  But after I washed my hair for the first time in a month I got several compliments on it so obviously it didn’t look good while I was doing it if they noticed that big of a difference.

So, would my hair finally have transitioned if I had kept at it?  Maybe.  But honestly after a month of trying I wasn’t willing to keep going.

Would I try it again?  Actually, I might.  Not any time soon, but maybe someday.  I’ve since heard that if you have hard water (and we do) that the apple cider vinegar isn’t the best thing to use so that could have been my problem.  I might just need to tweak some.

Why am I telling you all this?  I have no idea.  I know this works really well for some so I’m not trying to discourage you from giving it a try, I guess I just thought I’d share to show that it doesn’t work for everyone.

After I gave up the No Poo I went back to my conventional shampoo for a while.  I’ve now switched to a natural shampoo and conditioner from Young Living and I think it’s a good balance – better for my hair without quitting cold turkey.  I had a transition period with this but it was very mild and didn’t last nearly as long.  People who don’t like the no ‘poo method often prefer to do “low ‘poo” by using a natural shampoo like I’m doing or trying to shampoo every few days instead of every day (or just washing with conditioner – I’ve heard of that one but I’m not sure how that works exactly).

Here are some pictures from during that time period.  I didn’t get any close ups because I didn’t think about it nor do I think you could really tell anything from a picture.  Looking at these pictures that really don’t look that bad but trust me, in person it looked bad and it felt worse.

IMG_8505 IMG_8493 IMG_8480 IMG_2623

So what do you think?  Have to gone no ‘poo?  Would you try it?

(I’m hoping ‘Becca will weigh in here on why I had such a hard time with no ‘poo, maybe she’ll have some insight.  Of course if any of the rest of you do then please share!)

babywearing 101

baby wearing 101

Babywearing = the only way I get things done.

Seriously.  I have no idea what I would do if I didn’t wear Hudson.

So what is babywearing?  It’s just what is sounds like: where you wear your baby (say that five times fast…).  It’s not a new concept, really. I mean, people have been wearing their babies for years!  But I feel like it has just recently become much more popular and mainstream and there are tons more options.  Everyone is familiar with Baby Bjorn’s and the metal framed ones of years past (my mom wore me in one) but all the choices that we have now can be overwhelming to navigate.

Why baby wear? Well, for me one big reason is that it allows me to get things done.  Hudson loves to be held but realistically I can’t hold him all day long; however, by wearing him he can be close to me and happy but my hands are free.  Some other reasons for me (some small, some big):
– Hudson is less fussy when I wear him – he’s close to him mommy which is where he is happiest
– I can go places and do things that I wouldn’t be able to with a stroller (like on a hike or a crowded consignment sale)
– People are less likely to touch him and get in his face if I’m wearing him which is great if you’re concerned about germs
– Your shopping cart is empty and there is room for groceries since you don’t have a baby and/or a carseat in there

Note: you do not have to be a crunchy, all natural, cloth diapering, organic eating hippie to baby wear (even though I think cloth diapers are awesome and you should totally consider them).  So don’t write it off!

Here’s a handy little guide of some different types of carriers to get you started babywearing.

1. Stretchy Wraps

A long piece of fabric (5.5 meters or approximately 18 feet) that you wrap around your body.

Popular Brands –  Moby, Boba (I have a Moby)

Pros – This is a popular wrap that many people have so it’s easy to find (and easy to find good deals secondhand).  The stretch is very forgiving so you don’t have to get it exact.  It’s perfect and cuddly for brand new babies.   Once you figure out how to wrap it (watch YouTube videos, there are tons) it is super easy.

Cons – Long and bulky and it can seem overwhelming.  Because of the stretch you can’t use it once baby reaches a certain weight as the wrap can no longer support them.  For us, I think that was around 15 pounds or maybe even less that I felt like it wasn’t supportive enough.  Can’t back carry with a stretchy wrap.

My Thoughts – All new mommies (and daddies) need one of these; in fact, I listed this as one of my newborn must-haves.  When Hudson was first born he wanted to be held all.the.time and many days the only way I could eat or blog or read or anything was by wearing him.  No, they aren’t used long term but it’s great for the beginning months.

Pricing - A new Moby or Boba is around $45ish.  I got mine new but unused at a consignment sale for $20 I believe and I see them sold used for about that price all the time.  I’ve seen them on Zulily before and I’m sure other baby deals websites have them too.  Some people DIY stretchy wraps but by the time you buy and hem that much fabric I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

first time Moby WrapMy first time wearing Hudson at five days old

Moby WrapOne of my last times wearing him in the Moby.  At this point I would wear him in it while I was sitting down (at a restaurant, at home while he napped) but he was too heavy for me to wear him comfortably while I walked around.  He was about four months old.

It definitely served its purpose and got tons of use in those first few months

boba wrapmy friend Gina wearing her son in a Boba wrap

2. Soft Structured Carriers (SSC)

A carrier that fastens with buckles and has more shape/structure, usually has straps like a backpack.

Popular Brands – Ergo, Beco, Boba, Tula, Kinderpack (I have an Ergo)

Pros – Very easy to use; no wrapping or tying, just fasten the two buckles.  Also very quick on and off.  Can be used for front, back, and hip carries (front carries from birth, back carries when baby gets a bit bigger, and I don’t know anyone that uses them for hip carries, but it is possible).  Another very popular one and easy to find good used ones.  Popular with dads since that are less complicated (not that dads don’t use other carriers, it’s just that the majority seem to like SSCs).  Can be used with children up to 35-40 pounds (varies by carrier)

Cons – Can be expensive.  You usually have to use an additional insert when baby is very tiny (at least you do with an Ergo).  Not as comfortable for sitting down (in my opinion).  Requires a bit of adjusting when switching from one wearer to the next (if they are different sizes).

My Thoughts – This is another must-have carrier.  I have an Ergo and love, love the ease of it!  It is by far the quickest to put Hudson in so it’s my favorite for running errands as it doesn’t take but a second to get him in and out, and when you’re going multiple places that’s really nice.  Michael will use it too since it’s so easy.

Because of how quick and easy it is, my Ergo gets the most use out of all my carriers.  It goes shopping, hiking, to church camp, to Bible Bowl, basically everywhere.

I started front carrying Hudson in the Ergo when he was maybe three months old?  I’m not sure.  At the time he was too small to sit in it regularly but I didn’t have an infant insert so I used a rolled receiving blanket under him to modify it.  I started back carrying him around 5 months old.  Back carrying has been a life saver when it comes to cooking, cleaning, or doing anything else where Hudson wants to be held but I need my hands free.

Pricing – This varies widely.  A new Ergo is around $120, although you can often find them on sale or at TJ Maxx for $60.  You can usually find them used for less than $100.  Some of the custom carriers and toddler sized ones that can support children larger than the 35ish pound weight limit are upwards of $200+.

back carry with ErgoOne my first back carries with Hudson in an Ergo.  He loved it! 

galaxy gray ErgoErgo at WalmartMichael wearing Hudson while we were shopping (also in an Ergo, same style just a different print)

baby wearing at church campsnoozing in the Ergo at church camp (I have the hood pulled up over his head while he sleeps)

hiking with Ergohiking last week

BobaGina prefers a Boba

3. Ring Slings

A long piece of fabric that adjusts to fit with a pair of rings

Popular Brands – Maya, Sakura Bloom, Sleeping Baby Productions, ZanyToes

Pros – Compact and easy to take with you.  Easily adjustable from person to person.  Quick in-and-out.

Cons – Not quite as intuitive as a SSC, has a bit of a learning curve.  The rings can be hard to figure out how to adjust and the shoulder can be uncomfortable.  Weight is all on one shoulder instead of both.

My Thoughts – Ring slings are my least favorite of all the carriers.  I know some people love them so don’t rule them out based on what I say.  I just find them harder to adjust and not as easy to use overall.  Hudson is a major leaner so it doesn’t feel secure enough for him when he starts leaning backward but I think I just need to practice.

Pricing – Again, this varies widely.  I think a Maya Wrap ring sling is around $80, then there are many others more expensive than that.

These are also very easy to DIY but of course f you want to make one yourself then please do some research as to what kind of rings and material to use as you want to make sure you use safe materials.  I have made two slings – one was a mesh sling that is not sturdy enough for long term everyday use (the mesh is quite slippery) but is perfect to use in the water.  The mesh and the rings cost me $10.  I also made one out of half of a tablecloth (lots of tablecloths are the perfect material) and the materials for that cost me $17 I think.

MayaPracticing with a Maya Wrap ring sling at a local baby wearing meeting

mesh water slingswimming with mesh water slingMy DIY mesh water sling

tablecloth ring slingMy DIY tablecloth ring sling

4. Woven Wraps

A long piece of fabric made out of a non-stretchy woven material.  Unlike stretchy wraps that basically come in just one size, these are sized (usually 2-7 are the most common sizes) and you buy the size based on your size and what kind of carries you want to do.

Popular Brands – Girasol, Natibaby, Kokadi, Didymos, Pavo, Little Frog (I have a Girasol)

Pros – Basically no weight limit (I’ve seen pictures of people wrapping other adults just to show that they can).  Can be used from birth onward.  Many, many different carries for front, back, and hip.

Cons – Definite learning curve.  It takes practice to learn how to use it and just wading through the brands, materials, and sizes can be overwhelming.

My Thoughts – I love my woven for at-home use more than when I’m out and about.  If you’ve been reading my updates on Hudson then you know that he is a terrible napper.  Lots of days the best (and only) way to get him to take a real nap is to wear him so I wrap him and let him take a “wrap nap”.  My woven is so much snugglier and comfortable for than then wearing him in a SSC.

These are not for everyone.  If you are totally new to baby wearing I probably wouldn’t encourage this at first, but that being said don’t let it intimidate you!  Once you’ve got it then it’s pretty easy.  This is a fantastic blog with YouTube videos for a bunch of carries based on the size of the wrap.  It’s a pretty comprehensive list and a wonderful way to see them in action and learn for yourself.

Pricing – Extremely varied.  Lowest price for a new one is probably around $80.  Average is in the $150-$200 range, but there are quite a few that cost $300+.

However, you can easily DIY a wrap.  That’s what I did at first because I wanted to try it out for a bit before I decided if I wanted to spend the money on one.  I got onasburg (a linen-like fabric) at Hancock’s for $2 a yard and then hemmed it.  It isn’t pretty (although you can dye it if you want) but it works and that’s what matters.  Later once I knew what I wanted I bought a Girasol (Light Rainbow, Size 6).

fcc onasburgfcc onasburg side viewTrying a Front Cross Carry with my onasburg wrap

fwcc onasburgfwcc onasburg side view

fwcc Girasol light rainbowA Front Wrap Cross Carry

IMG_5269My first attempt at a back carry.  I had no idea what I was doing! (don’t worry, Michael was there spotting me)

ruck tied tibetan onasburgMy first successful back carry at a local babywearing meeting (obviously Hudson was quite cozy!)

ruck tied tibetanrecreating that back carry at home

ruck tied tibetan Girasol light rainbowFixing supper

Girasol light rainbow diamond weaveHudson loves to be wrapped (usually)

wrap nap Girasol light rainbowwrap nap!

Girasol light rainbowIt even makes a good blanket/beach towel

picking veggies while baby wearingMichael snapped this picture and I find it so funny – I look like ultimate hippie nature crunchy girl wearing my baby and picking veggies from the garden

rebozo 2 rebozo 1Gina using her wrap to do a rebozo hip carry

5. Mei Teis

Pronounced may-tay (although I think my-tie sounds better).  A cross between a SSC and a wrap; it has a fabric panel like a SSC but ties instead of buckles.

Popular Brands – Infantino, Baby Hawk

Pros – Less complicated than wrapping but you still get that snuggly wrapping feeling.  And you get the SSC structured feeling without the cost and bulk of a SSC.  Easier to switch between users (like mom and dad if there is a significant size difference) than a SSC since you re-adjust the carrier each time anyway.

Cons – Not as convenient as a SSC because of the tying, still has a long tail to deal with.  Sometimes the straps dig uncomfortably into my neck.

My Thoughts – Mei Teis are fine carriers, nothing wrong with them, I just don’t care for them since I have an SSC and a woven to do basically the same things.  I got an Infantino used for about $15 so I keep that in the car as my back up carrier in case I happen to be out and left my usual ones at home.  That being said, some people love them and that’s all they want to use and they are a fantastic price if you’re on a budget or aren’t ready to sink money into one without knowing if you like it.

That being said, I got this out of the car to take a picture for this post and it’s the first time I’ve used it in months; I liked it a lot better than I remembered!  I think I may start using this one a little bit more now.

Pricing – A new Infantio mei tei like mine is $30ish, so one of the cheapest carrier options.  But then of course you have some in the $100+ range too.

infantino mei tei

These are not the only options but these are the most popular ones.  The world of babywearing can be super overwhelming.  As with all things there are some people who just have one carrier and some who collect them and have tons of them in all colors, varieties, price points, etc.  Babywearing can have it’s own language too!  Try not to let that scare you!  If you have a local babywearing group then try to go to one of their meetings so you can check out different carries and see what you like.  Or get with a friend (me!) who has several you can try.

There are some great Facebook groups out there too:

Babywearing 102
Everyday Babywearing
Babywearing Love and Support
Babywearing on a Budget (a buy/sale/trade group for carriers less than $100)
The Babywearing Swap (a buy/sale/trade group for carriers more than $100)
Babywearing DIY Advice & Support (if you want to DIY any carriers)

Do you baby wear?  What is your favorite carrier?

Note: This is not a how-to post on baby wearing.  Please make sure you do some research or better yet visit a local baby wearing group (if you have one) to make sure that you are properly and safely baby wearing.

Big thanks to Gina for sharing her babywearing pictures for this post.