Friday’s Mixed Nuts


1 One long woven piece of cloth is all I need to get around with the twins. It takes up a lot less space than a double stroller and the babies are happier in there. They are getting heavy now at 20 lbs a piece and I can only wear them comfortably for 30-45 minutes. Read more about the weird and wonderful world of woven wraps by following this link to The Weird and Wonderful World of Woven Wraps

 

On our way grocery shopping!

2 Two baby carriers (one woven wrap and a Boba structured carrier) replaced one double stroller and two high chairs on a recent overnight trip. That’s what I call efficient use of space. Who said that traveling with baby required a semi-trailer?

On our way out! Nobody is crawling on dirty floors here! Or licking public bathroom doors!
At breakfast at the Sleep Inn, high chairs need not apply. Not that they had any.
Restrained by a strategically placed woven wrap
Restrained by the Boba carrier

3 Three slow cheers for me: After a great month of August and beginning of September, I had achieved my goal of running 4 times a week, twice 10 km, one fast 6 km and a long 15 km. I was also going to the pool twice a week. Heck, I was even running 4km to the pool and back! I had energy despite the lack of sleep, I felt great. Then the twins went through a hell of a teething and cold episode and I stopped sleeping completely for a few weeks. It’s been almost two months of no exercise and my energy is in the tank, my sleep patterns are shot  and my spirits are low. I have started gaining weight again. It’s time for the proverbial kick in the you-know-where!

4 Four Crying Out Loud David Petraeus! What is to be concluded when a charismatic and uniquely talented individual throws away a brilliant career based on his strategic judgement and acumen, a career rooted in reliability and trustworthiness, loyalty and commitment to his country, for an extra-marital affair? That fame and power pale on the scale of human needs compared to love and affection? That the smartest people are not always that smart? If the director of the CIA conducts an affair over a Gmail account, what hope is there for the rest of us?

5 Five (sarcastic) fingers way up for Canadians who are indebted to record levels, and even higher for the analysts I overheard on the radio saying that it wasn’t such a big deal since default rates remained relatively low. Basically saying that Canadians may own less than they owe but hey, no biggy. There is no need to worry until the collection agencies are calling. In Kelly McPharland’s words:

“Joe Average Canadian now owes $26,768 (on top of the mortgage, remember). Worse, Joe’s carrying $3,573 on his credit card, which is just flat-out nuts unless you consider being gouged at usurious interest rates a boon to society

(…)

But Canadians? Hey, we’re not worried. Income growth is stagnant, the housing market is cooling (meaning we’re not as rich as we think we are) and Flaherty says he can’t balance the budget after all because commodity prices are suffering. But people are still managing to cover the monthly payments, so why worry? We’re already borrowing four times faster than the rate of inflation, and Christmas is coming, so let’s all just stick that concern in a sock and put it in a drawer until later.”

So as Christmas approaches, I would like to remind you that your children don’t need nearly as much stuff as you think they do.

A babywearing picture album


This post is a babywearing picture album with captions for those wondering about the different kinds of baby carriers.

I am not an expert, just a mom with opinions. I do not sell or advertise carriers but I use them a lot. When the twins were born, I started using the double stroller everywhere. It served it’s purpose. But as they grew  the bulk of the stroller became unnecessary. I decided to ditch the double stroller in favour of a single lightweight stroller and more babywearing (the verb used to refer to parents who prefer “wearing” their babies on their bodies for transport and comfort rather than use devices such as swings and strollers).

In one of my Facebook groups, a mom was asking about the difference between different kinds of soft-structured carriers. This is a picture album with captions resuming the main differences.

You will notice that I only use ergonomic soft carriers and woven wraps.Ergonomic carriers  hold baby in a seated position as opposed to the popular Baby Bjorn or Snugli where baby is held dangling by the crotch. People often ask “What is the best carrier?” and the answer is unfailingly “It depends.” The best carrier is the one that fits the best . The best fit is influenced by mom and baby’s body type, age, weight and life experience (yes, life experience. Such as a back injury or abdominal surgery.)

Read on!

Coup de coeur: Rivière-du-Loup, Québec


Vous vous demandez peut-être pourquoi je n’ai rien publié depuis quelques semaines. J’ai en fait écrit ce post trois fois : l’ordinateur a mangé les deux premières versions. Mise-à-jour : Et j’ai trébuché sur mon fil et perdu la troisième version.

Donc… Pour la troisième quatrième et dernière fois…

En  route pour l’Ile-du-Prince-Édouard, nous nous sommes arrêtés pour deux nuits à Rivière-du-Loup avant d’entamer la traversée du Nouveau-Brunswick. J’y ai découvert une ville à l’échelle humaine avec une vue imprenable sur le fleuve. Malgré sa situation incomparable, Rivière-du-Loup n’est pas une ville ravagée par le tourisme. Les opérateurs de l’industrie récréo-touristique sont sympathiques, dédiés à leur région et déterminés à laisser une bonne impression.

Lorsque nous avons fait nos réservations au printemps dernier, le Village Vacances Valcartier (région de Québec) nous a surchargé pour chaque enfant excédant le maximum de corps humains permis sur un terrain. Dans notre cas le prix par nuit a presque doublé. $95 par nuit, c’est beaucoup moins cher que l’hôtel mais quand même! Nous leur avons expliqué que nous n’étions pas un groupe ou un camp de vacances ou une gang de voisins qui arrivaient pour le party. Nous sommes une famille avec 2 adultes et 8 enfants qui sont tous les nôtres. Rien n’y a fait. C’est le contre-poids d’une grosse boîte corporative: l’infrastructure y est bien meilleure mais la touche humaine y est manquante.

À Rivière-du-Loup, le Camping du Quai nous a accueilli à bras ouverts et avec flexibilité. Nous avons payé le prix du site, sans surcharge malgré le nombre d’occupants. Comme l’a fait remarquer Michelle, propriétaire du camping : « Les enfants apprennent beaucoup en voyageant. Il ne faudrait pas les pénaliser parcequ’ils font partie d’une grande famille. »

Nous avons utilisé notre journée à Rivière-du-Loup pour partir en bateau voir les baleines du St-Laurent. L’opérateur des expéditions sur le St-Laurent nous a fait un prix de famille qui nous a permis de faire l’expédition, le prix tel qu’affiché aurait été prohibitif, nous sommes 10 après tout! Les enfants ont passé une demi-journée splendide, calme et ensoleillée, à regarder une maman rorqual et son petit leur faire tout un spectacle. Nous avons rencontré un couple de Rimouski qui tient un gîte sur la ferme et promis aux enfants  de faire une tournée de la péninsule gaspésienne un jour. Grâce à nos porte-bébé, Sarah est restée au milieu de l’action sur le dos de papa tout en restant bien en sécurité. J’ai porté les jumeaux, un sur le devant et un sur le dos, pendant toute la tournée. Eux bien emmitouflés dans leur veste de polar, moi bien isolée par mes deux petites bouillottes : j’étais la seule sur le bateau en t-shirt!

Puisque notre escale à Rivière-du-Loup n’était qu’une étape sur la route de l’ Île-du-Prince-Édouard, nous n’avions pas planifié de sorties autre que notre virée sur le St-Laurent. Lors de notre prochain séjour, nous allons prendre le temps de faire une randonnée à l’Isle-Verte  et visiter le parc marin du St-Laurent .

Au retour de l’Île, nous avons à nouveau fait escale à Rivière-du-Loup. Puisque nous voulions repartir aux petites heures le lendemain matin, nous avions décidé de laisser la roulotte attachée à la van.  Après avoir cherché en vain un resto de type Big-Box avec un stationnement assez grand pour accommoder notre équipage, j’ai suggéré à mon mari d’aller fouiner du côté du quai de Rivière-du-Loup. Récemment réaménagé grâce à un investissement important du gouvernement du Québec, le quai nous a permis de nous arrêter pour manger et repartir sans le stress de devoir manier notre roulotte dans les petites rue sinueuses. Nous y avons fait la découverte du tout petit restaurant  « Le Boucaneux » que nous recommandons chaudement. Heureusement, nous y sommes arrivés vers 16 :45 et avons pu avoir une table pour 10 : toutes les tables étaient déjà réservées pour la soirée. Un mardi soir. À Rivière-du-Loup. Ils n’ont pas de chaises-hautes ou de menu pour enfants, soyez préparés. Mais le repas a bien valu la peine de sortir les chaises hautes de la roulotte!!

Au revoir Rivière-du-Loup! Et à bientôt!

Day trip (Or why good baby carriers and large families rock)


As you may have noticed, the move and consecutive adaptation-reorganization have punched a significant hole in my ability to blog. Not only time is at a premium but I am mentally and physically exhausted and  unable to string two coherent ideas together. I have posts started on attachment parenting twins, the twins’ 9 month update, the twins’ birth story, an update on the running diaries about setbacks (ha!) but I’m unable to finish them. So until my brain returns, here is another lazy picture post.

3 carriers: Ergo, BabyHawk Mei Tai and Boba 3G

This month we are experimenting with different infant/child carriers. With 3 under 3 at home during the day (and with me to run errands), I am definitely short a few hands. Pushing a bulky double stroller just adds to my misery and I started carrying the twins in two baby carriers, one at the front and one at the back. We went on a countryside stroll this Father’s Day and left the stroller in the van. In this picture (above), Clara is carrying Lucas in an Ergo baby carrier, Eloise is carrying Eve in a BabyHawk Mai Tei and I have Sarah in a Boba 3G.

Boba up and down

The Boba 3G was a loaner from a local breastfeeding and babywearing store. Go give Milkface some love: they are awesome. The carrier goes on and off easily and is the best I found for carrying a squirmy preschooler. My daughter is 35 lbs and fits in the Boba like a dream thanks to a high back, wide body and handy foot stirrups.

Carrying a 35 lbs preschooler in a back carrier may seem like overkill…

… but bear with me: it makes my life a lot easier. She is near me, under control, and will stay in the carrier a lot longer than the stroller. When it’s time to walk, she goes up and down easily. I thought it would also be a good workout but the excellent design and weight distribution in the Boba 3G makes it feel like a whimpy daypack…

BabyHawk Mei Tai: best for my petite 12-year-old. She comfortably carried her 18 lbs sister for 30 minutes before she got too heavy.

The children love carrying their baby siblings in carriers. And I love the help!

Adventurers in the pine forest
For younger babies in a back carry, I prefer the smaller-bodied Ergo.

Everyone agrees with me yet that big families and good carriers rock?

Fathers Day shot: that’s some heavy lifting!
We had lunch in the beautiful village of Almonte
And topped it all off with ice cream