Saturday, June 21, 2008

Last Class, Must Sew

Yesterday, I finished the marking for the "doubled up" 6 week lab course I just taught (these courses are brutal, consisting of a regular 12-week semester's work, compressed into half the time). Phew!

So, last night I celebrated while the kids played Wii and sewed this "pouch sling":

No, it's not for me- it is for a friend, now living in the US, who recently had a new baby. Here's my "baby model"!

People either love or hate slings. I loved the one I had when my girls were about 8-15 months old, but before they were that age I was not comfortable using it, and, after about 18 months, they were not interested in sitting in it. Plus, at 18 months they were getting heavy to lug around, and a stroller was the more attractive option!

I think if I had this "pouch" type of sling when my daughters were small infants, I would have been more comfortable with it. Thinking back 11 years, the sling I had was probably too big for me- I'm barely 5'2". Fit is important in slings.

Of course, with Daniel, I figured he was already too old to want to sit in a sling, as he was almost 3 when he was adopted. I did use a hip carrier with him, but, again, it's hard to lug around a 27 lb toddler on your hip for very long. Or maybe I'm just a weakling ;)

So... about slings... I'd definitely recommend to anyone either giving birth or adopting to try a few out. There are all sorts of different styles to choose, and some work better with different body types... check this site to see the varieties that exist:

A word of warning- until you know what style works for you, don't plunk down a lot of $$ on a sling. They can be surprisingly pricey. BUT, since they are also relatively simple pieces of cloth, it doesn't take either a lot of sewing skill or time to make one. If you have a sewing machine, try it! If you like the result, you can make another, and another...

Happy slinging!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Summer Solstice

As the sun spirals its longest dance,
Cleanse us

As nature shows bounty and fertility
Bless us

Let all things live with loving intent
and to fulfill their truest destiny...

Wiccan blessing for Summer

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Price of Gas...

Since my last post, we've decided that our vacation plans, which included driving about 5500 km, are not wise in these times of rising fuel costs. Oil hit $137 per barrel yesterday. Unbelievable. And I think I'm happy about it.

To be clear, I'm not happy that we had to change our vacation plans. But I wonder if the rising cost of oil is not just the "shock" that we all need to realize what our collective greed for petroleum is doing to this planet we call home.

When something that society's "fringe" (of which I've always aspired to be part of) has been yelling about for decades suddenly hits the mainstream in the pocketbook, things get serious. When there are new opportunities to make money from environmentally-friendly options like hybrid cars, or alternate energy sources, or organic food, these items become more readily available in the marketplace. And, I think, this is a good thing. For the most part, anyways.

I've always envisioned a lifestyle for myself and my family that involved trying to minimize our ecological footprint on the planet. I think, in recent years, we've been missing the mark by a lot. Our lives are rather typical of a three kid, suburban, middle-class, double-income professional existence, which, in general, does not tread lightly on this Earth. We take some efforts to make more environmental choices in our day-to-day lives, but I'm not sure that the collective impact is all that great. I believe that our lifestyle, like that of most families in Western society, is simply unsustainable.

How can I match my desire for a "lighter, kinder" lifestyle with the reality of our fast-paced lives? Open to suggestions here.