Tag Archives: babywearing

How I wash a woven wrap

I happen to only own cotton wraps (for now!) so the process is pretty easy for me. Be aware, however, that different fibers require different care and washing/drying methods.

Today I wrapped my Girasol Avalon Diamond Weave size 5 woven wrap. I’ve been practicing a ton lately with Atticus and he gets an m&ms as a treat when he cooperates. He’s been doing really well…. But there’ve been a few times when I’ve ended up with chocolate in my hair and on the wrap. It’s been in need of a good washing!

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Washing
I threw the wrap into the washing machine on a gentle cycle with a small linen bag of soap nuts. Soap nuts are a natural way to wash things and I love them. I washed the Avalon solo because I don’t want it to get twisted up with anything else.

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After it was finished washing I let it set for a few minutes to let any leftover water drip off, then I checked it over to make sure all the grime came out and to check for any pulls or loose threads. All clear!

Drying
Here you have some options… I like to use the drying process as a way to beat my wraps into submission, plus I’m impatient, so I toss the wrap in the dryer on a low-heat cycle. I add my three Woolzies dryer balls to help break the wrap in. These natural wool dryer balls work as a fabric softener and also speed up the drying time.

Cotton things can shrink, though… So if you’re concerned you can also hang dry your wrap. The best option is, of course, using an outdoor clothes line… the sun makes it smell wonderful and frankly if you have access to a clothes line you should just always take advantage of it (we aren’t allowed them in my neighborhood, can ya tell I’m bitter?). If it’s rainy, cold, or you just don’t have an outdoor clothes line, you can also hang the wrap to dry in your shower or in your laundry room. Use hangers to loop the wrap accordion- style (see below) and just leave it be for awhile.

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And you’re done! Now it’s time to snuggle, hammock, or wrap with your woven 🙂

More Info
A few things…
•Be careful with your wrap and always check for pulls, loose threads, etc. before washing, between washing and drying, and after drying
•Do NOT use fabric softener or other scented washing accessories
•If you’re washing a ringsling wrap a sock or something around the rings when drying
•If you’re just wanting to break in your wrap there are other options, so don’t feel limited to washing
•If you’re not sure or insecure about washing, ask! Post on a forum or Facebook group or check the following resources:
Paxbaby washing instructions
Babywearing 102 washing and care

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Just when you think you’ve had enough

Everyone has times when you think things are bad, and then they just get worse. It’s been like that for me lately. I hate to be a downer, but my job is hard. Being a full-time working mom is hard. Getting housework done is hard. Personal issues I’ve recently had are hard. Stuff’s just hard, man. But just when I thought I’d had enough things start to get better: stuff at work that wasn’t working for so long is… better. Just when I was feeling crappy, a coworker took the time to tell me I’m appreciated.

I know a woman named Jennifer. Jennifer is calm, hilarious, peaceful, sarcastic, smart, sympathetic, and thoughtful. I love working with her because she is always ready to listen, share empathetic stories, give her honest opinion, and take action in whatever way you need her to. Jennifer always has a funny story or humorous idea; some of my favorite work moments involve Jennifer’s humor. She purchased some bump-it’s once and tried them in my hair. Now, if you know my hair, you know why that’s funny. I probably had the highest, tangliest, bumpiest bump ever. Another time I brought in one of my wraps (my Dolcino, my first real woven) and she photographed me posing with some library babies. She’s such a great photographer… I can remember helping her get pictures off her digital camera a few times, so of course I got to check out her pictures. She’s amazing at taking pictures of anything! I’m lucky to be her Facebook friend, because I constantly get to read stories and see photos she’s taken while on nature walks.

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Before my 30th birthday last fall I started thinking a lot about what happens to us when we die. Morbid, I know, and yeah… I’ll save the details for another post. Jennifer is a co-pastor for a Quaker church with a lot of theology knowledge, an open mind, and a peaceful demeanor. I talked to her briefly about my concerns, and I’ll never forget how she responded when I told her my fears, and asked her, “what happens to us when we die?” Her response: “I don’t know.” She told me her thoughts and hopes, but she never made me feel stupid, or like I should be fearful, or like I was bad or wrong for not already having a firm belief. I still don’t know what I think, and I wonder about it a lot. But I’m not as lost anymore, and I know I can depend on her to talk it out any time.

Jennifer knows how hard work has been for me lately, and today as I headed back to my office to get my things ready to leave I was surprised to find her in there. “Hey, I was just writing you a note,” she said. “It says ‘I bought you some cookies. Of course I had to try one. Then I had another but I couldn’t finish it, so I only had half.'” Totally Jennifer. So giving, but so honest and funny at the same time. I told her she didn’t have to so that, and she said, “it’s just some cookies.”

Jennifer lied. It was more than cookies. First of all, the gift came with a hug. I’m not one to ask or offer hugs often, but each time I share one with someone I remember how great they are. Once I got to my car I opened the gift bag and shared some cookies with Atticus and Trent. I told Trent that Jennifer had given them to us. He knows Jennifer because he likes to share his crazy jokes with her and play shy with her. We went back in to thank her, then left. It wasn’t until later that I saw what else was in the bag: a delicious looking tea drink I can’t wait to enjoy. I love tea! And the best part… a Jennifer original photograph.

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I first saw this picture when Jennifer shared it on Facebook. I showed this to Trent and asked what he saw and he said “some trees.” Then his face lot up. “A heart, mommy!” He said that it was nice of Jennifer to give it to me.

Jennifer also included a note, which made me cry. She said something really important, something I want to remember and something I hope others take away from this.

I think people don’t realize that they are making an impact on others unless the ‘others’ tell them. So, I am telling you!

She’s right. And I bet she didn’t know how much her thoughtfulness meant to me, how hard things have been and how wonderful her words felt to read, and just how perfectly timed she was. Actually, I’m sure she knew. Jennifer’s too smart not to. She always notices the little things.

She is a good woman. I’m so glad to know her. Thanks, Jennifer.

Starting our spring garden

So much going on right now. I have had no energy to write.

Gardening season is upon us! Nate and I took all three boys to Cox’s Plant Farm last Saturday. I wore Atticus on my back in the ergo and he just loved walking around and looking at all the flowers and plants and watching his brothers run around the greenhouse. I love being able to wear him.

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We picked out our spring plants and got some soil to add to our raised bed. Nick and Trent (and Nate and I, if I’m being honest) love playing Plants vs Zombies, and Trent wanted to buy sunflowers and peas. He looked for some of the other plants from the game, but got distracted easily. The boys had a great time.

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One half of our fenced backyard has planting space around the inside perimeter, but the other half doesn’t… yet. Nate got lots of wood on sale for a really good price and build up another layer on the existing perimeter bed, and plans to do the other perimeter bed hopefully this weekend. This will almost double our planting space!

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After our Easter family dinner we took Nick back to his mom’s house and the younger two boys fell asleep. It gave Nate and I time to plant our carrots, radishes, onions, and lettuce in the raised bed. I potted the lemon balm, spearmint, and lavender we bought to keep around the pergola. They all smell wonderful! I also repotted what was once a tiny aloe baby but is now 4 larger aloe plants. The roots were all balled up tightly together, but I’d let the dirt dry up enough that they were easy to separate without damaging. I plan to give one to my friend Courtney and possibly one to my other pal Sara. I’ll keep the other two. I’m actually glad I finally repotted the aloe, because I burned my arm cooking Sunday afternoon and was able to use one renegade piece of aloe that did come off to help treat the burn that still hurt 5 hours later. It helped a ton.

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Hopefully Nate is able to finish the rest of the perimeter bed this weekend, so I can plant a row of peas. Then, in the next month we can list and plan our other plants. I know we will do pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, green and hot peppers, and a variety of herbs. Not sure what else. So glad the season is finally here!

Making Your Own Woven Wrap for Babywearing

This past fall my mother and I embarked on a brave quest to make my own woven wrap so I could wrap my wee baby Atticus. I became addicted to babywearing just a few months after giving birth to Atticus in February of 2013. I bought a Moby when I had Trent and unfortunately never used it, and my mom bought me one as a gift prior to having Atticus. I was determined to learn how to wear this time around. I knew that having a newborn and a toddler at the same time could be hectic if I didn’t have a way to carry around the baby without wearing out my useless/non-existent arm muscles. Woven wraps can be super expensive, I quickly realized, and I thought making my own would be a cheap alternative addition.

Atticus and I Using Our Handmade Woven Wrap
Atticus and I Using Our Handmade Woven Wrap

I won’t bore you with my wrap purchases on this post, but be warned that they’ll surely come up soon. I have a handful and they’re gorgeous and soft and fun and cozy and useful and and and…

So anyway, my mom and I decided we were going to bang out a wrap on our own! Here’s how we did it.

Making your own woven wrap

Purchase your materials. You will want a sturdy but not-too-stretchy fabric. I used Osnaburg, but some people also use tablecloth material. I bought my Osnaburg from Hobby Lobby. The cost was $4.99 per yard, but they typically have a code you can enter for 40% off one item. You can also buy Osnaburg on Amazon for around $4.98/yard. I bought 10 yards, which would have been $49.90, but after applying the 40% off code my total before shipping was $29.90. I chose to purchase 10 yards was so that I’d have plenty, since I knew the Osnaburg would definitely shrink. I definitely wanted a size 6 wrap, which is 15.09 feet or 181.10 inches, or just over 5 yards. [Find more information about wrap sizes and other information about woven wraps on PAXbaby’s Woven Wrap Guide. Be warned… once you start poking around you’ll start losing hours before you realize it]. I figured buying so much extra would either leave me enough for a shorty or a ring sling, if I ever wanted to make a second wrap.

10 yards of Osnaburg is a whole lotta fabric!

Wash the fabric. First we washed the Osnaburg on hot and dried it on hot. Again, Osnaburg shrinks, and I wanted to leave plenty of room for shrinkage before measuring and cutting. Some people suggest you wash and dry 2-3 times, but I only did it one. I lost approximately 1/2 yard.

Choose your size and cut. Next, determine for sure what size you want your wrap to be. As I mentioned above, I wanted a size 6 (just over 181 inches). In addition to the 181 inches, we left extra fabric to allow for more shrinkage and for tapering the ends. Check out this nifty Babywearing102 Formal Investigate on Tapers to see different depths of taper by wrap maker. We measured 15 inches from each end so that, not including the tapers, the wrap measured 181 inches. Then, we cut on the diagonal so the tapers weren’t too deep.

Measuring the taper 15 inches deep
Cutting the Osnaburg on the diagonal for the taper

Serge or sew the edges. After the fabric was measured and cut my mom and I took turns serging the edges. If you’re not familiar, a serger uses 4 or more spools and has the capability to trim the edges to keep it clean and even. At the end of each side I tucked the four threads back into the serged edge with a needle, then added some fray check. (*If you don’t have a serger you could fold the edges under twice and then sew it for a nice seam. It would take a little more time to do that. You could also not sew or serge at all if you don’t mind slight fraying. Fraying doesn’t effect the integrity or strength of the wrap.)

The serger makes a nice clean cut and edge
The wrap as it is being serged

Attach a middle marker on the long edge. I wanted a middle marker on my wrap, so we took a piece of ribbon and folded it in half, then held it in place with pins until we got to that point of the fabric while serging. Needles can easily (and dangerously!) break with a serger, so we removed the needles and slowly serged over the ribbon to attach it.

The ribbon is serged on for a middle marker

You can see in the picture above that because we used four colors of thread on the serger the different sides of the wrap are obvious when up close; one side is primarily purple and the other side is primarily green. New babywearers (and some veterans, too) need to be able to see the difference between the sides so the wrap doesn’t get twisted. I also wanted to be able to tell the top from the bottom (again, to prevent twisting). With this in mind, we serged one long edge with the wrap turned over, so that the opposing thread colors were on the facing side.

It was not an easy project, but it also wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and it was very rewarding! I got to spend time with my mom, try out my new serger, and got a new baby wrap out of it! Maybe one of these days I’ll dye it. You can see below that Atty and I both love it!

A size 6 is quite long!
A close up view of the finished product
Atticus loves his new wrap!
A back view of the wrap job. Plenty of length.

I had this fantastic idea…

…to start a blog. Actually, several of my friends had the fantastic idea and after tons of encouragement as well as the death of a website I’ve decided to take the plunge.

But dang, no one told me how hard it would be to choose a blog name.

First of all I am a Libra and thus am not equipped to make decisions. I couldn’t figure out what topic to focus on. After all, everything that I’m interested in is so thrilling that readers will want to hear everything I have to say about it. If I started out with a house and home blog (which I wouldn’t, because I don’t house and home) and then decided to start talking about the awesome book I’m reading or how difficult being a working mom can be or what I’m tackling today in Photoshop then I’d be straying from the topic too much, right? And hey, all-encompassing blogs aren’t a dime a dozen, right? I love writing. I love other things, too, and all equally. And I have a lot to say about everything and nothing, so this is my space to say a ton of that.

  • I’m a mother. I didn’t want to be one at one time, but I obtained an awesome child through marriage and decided to have two more awesome kids. My three boys are hilarious and beautiful and I love them.Me, Nicholas, Trent, and Atticus
  • I’m a wife to a dude that totally isn’t my typical type. I love him.

    Nate & Me

  • I’m a full-time working woman; a librarian and an IT manager. I recently finished a master’s degree just two months after delivering my youngest. What a doozy.
  • I love granola/hippy parenty mushy-gushy stuff, like babywearing, breastfeeding (yeah, ’til they’re 2 years old, too, isn’t that weird?), co-sleeping, not crying-it-out, giving birth and knowing what happens during labor, etc.IMG_2012
  • I love gardening and canning and preserving. I’m not good at any of it, but I love it.IMG_2016
  • I love reading (but do it slowly) and listening to bluegrass and Nine Inch Nails. IMG_2708
  • I love giving my opinion and telling it like it is but not if I can’t hide behind a keyboard.

So I guess you could say I’m a suburbanite. And you might also say this is my soapbox. Now step aside so I can get up on it.