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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Babywearing videos for hurricane victims

I just found this post from another blogger. The folks at the Mamatoto Project made 3 videos for parents who might need to carry newborns, infants and/or toddlers to keep them safe from the hurricane debris. Here are the direct links to the videos:

If you know anyone who might benefit from this message or these videos, please pass the information along.

Thank you,

Monday, August 29, 2005

Moving out

Marnie, our neighbor and Arianna's surrogate grandma, brought a little chair over for Arianna yesterday. You would think Arianna was a queen and that chair was her throne! She immediately put it into her playhouse and sat down. Then, she grabbed her doll stroller from Auntie Sharifa and put that into the house too. She sat in her chair looking like the cat that ate the canary. And she said with a toothy grin, "Marnie gave this to me."

We have eaten all of our meals outside since then, because Arianna insists on sitting in her chair! She has taken ownership of her special place.

Well, I thought Arianna would be a LITTLE older before she decided to move out of the house!


Friday, August 26, 2005

Play house

Okay, I don't like to advocate the purchase of more plastic toys, but Arianna received a special present for her birthday last month for Papa. You can see the picture at:

Arianna loves it. She runs outside after breakfast and fusses around inside her house. The other day she made pancakes in her house and doled out a healthy portion to all present. In the winter, we have room to bring it inside. I was thinking about stealing Aunt Sharifa's idea of making it into a book nook. I just need to find a small chair to put inside for her and goodness knows we have plenty of books (probably enough to fill the entire playhouse itself)!

Arianna has another special toy, from our wonderful neighbor, Marnie. You can see it at: Marnie got it for a song at a yardsale (what a great way to recycle plastic toys, freecyle is another great toy recycler). I think every kid at her birthday party had to ride that horse at least once. It's amazingly popular.

Here's our favorite rhyme to sing when Arianna rides her horse, Spirit (you sing and ride a little faster with each verse):

"This is the way the ladies ride,
Nimble-nim, nimble-nim-nim.

This is the way the gentlemen ride,
Gallop-a-trot, Gallop-a-trot.

This is the way the farmer rides,
Jiggety-jog, jiggety-jog.

This is the way the butcher boy/girl rides,
Trippetty-trot, trippetty-trot, trippetty-trot

'Til he fell in the ditch with a
Flipperty, flipperty, flop-flop-flop!"

Thanks Walker, Andrea, and Marnie, for all the fun toys!
Rebecca and Arianna

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Zolowear sling recall

Now here's an example of a RESPONSIBLE baby carrier manufacturer. Kudos to you, Darien, for attending to this safety concern quickly!

If you know anyone who has recently purchased a Zolowear sling, please share this info with them.


From: Darien Wilson
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 9:54 PM
Subject: Important Safety Notice

ZoloWear, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission ,
today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product.
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.

ZoloWear is voluntarily recalling about 177 slings sold between May and
August 2005 due to a manufacturing error. ZoloWear slings should have
three rows of stitching securing the webbing and fabric together. Some
of the slings in the recall lots have short webbing, so only one row of
stitching holds the webbing in place. This stitching can break, posing a
fall hazard to young children.

We have received one report of the webbing coming apart from the sling,
but the baby was not in the sling at the time. We have not received any
reports of falls or injuries.

Included in the recall are: solid natural color and five prints (Splash,
Pink and Black Stripe, Pink and Brown Stripe, Pink Punch and The
Hamptons). These colors are shown below:



Pink and Black Stripe

Pink and Brown Stripe

Pink Punch

The Hamptons

Not every sling in these colors has a problem. To see if your sling
needs repair, look at the webbing that attaches to the rings. It should
look like the first image, not the second image:

If your sling appears to have bad webbing, or you are not sure, please
stop using it immediately. Send us your sling so it can be repaired.
There are two ways to return your sling to us for repair:

* Mail the sling to us yourself
* Request a postage-paid envelope, pack the sling in it, then
leave the package out for your U.S. Postal Carrier

If you prefer to mail your sling in yourself to expedite the process,
please mail it to:

ZoloWear Recall
1016 Harwood Place
Austin, Texas 78704

Be sure to include your name, address, and phone number so we can return
it to you. We will repair your sling and return it to you as quickly as

If you prefer to have a postage-paid envelope mailed to you, please
e-mail us at and we will send an envelope for you to
return your sling. Please be sure to include your name and address. If
you prefer, you can fill out our online form at, or call our recall hotline at
888-285-0044 from 9 am to 5 pm weekdays.

At ZoloWear, Inc., your family's safety is our highest priority. We use
quality materials, sturdy design and construction, and each sling is
inspected thoroughly. This voluntary recall was reported to the
Consumer Product Safety Commission within 24 hours of our discovery of
one defective sling. This is an unusual occurrence and we are taking
every measure possible to correct it with as little inconvenience to our
customers as possible.

Darien Wilson
President and Founder ~ 800-609-7792 ~ 800-630-3109

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hip Daddy ??

I found this article accidentally when I was trying to research a new baby carrier called the Hip daddy. I was shocked to find that there are strollers that cost $700+ on the market and PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY BUYING THEM!!

I've been busy on the babywearing swap and just received a BoopaPakka from and a wide blanket podeagi from I made a few mei tais, but they are very tricky to sew. I had an easier time making my ergo-type carrier! You have to get the angles just right, without getting the body too wide, and there is a huge difference when you change fabrics and shoulder padding!

I could never make a mei tai that was more comfortable than my ergo-type one. I did find a papatum carrier, which looked a LOT like an Ergo, although not as versatile because they were selling two different sizes.

Arianna will still let me experiment on her when I get a new baby carrier, but the only time I can wear her for long periods of time is when we take walks. Even so, I know my babywearing days are numbered! Wah!

Oh, by the way, I redid my Thriving Babies website. When you go to you will be able to sign up for my babywearing e-course. There is a link to the order page in the P.S. at the bottom, otherwise the new order page is on

I will give a more detailed review on my new carriers soon.


P.S. Is it strange for a toddler to pretend her pieces of chicken are something else when she is eating dinner? Like, "Here is a baby in a swim diaper. And this is a little kitty. And this is a big bad kitty - ROAR!"

P.P.S. Her little stories are too cute! Her first story went like this, "Once upon a Sly, Sly Kitty...ran up the tree house!"

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's nice to have friends!

I just received a post from my sister-in-law, Carmen, that made my day. She actually went out and bought my e-book, even though I sent her the first draft for free. Then she told me how wonderful she thought it was.

Bless you, Carmen, you brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my heart.

Not only did Carmen let me use her beautiful baby girl in some of the e-book photos, but she wanted to support my project even further by buying the book herself.

I can't tell you how much it means to me that someone I KNOW, actually cared about my labor of love enough to invest in it herself. (I am going to refund her money, of course, but her caring gesture touched me far deeper than the few bucks the book cost.)

Carmen, you are too sweet for words and I am proud to call you my sister!

Did you ever watch that John Travolta movie, I think it's called Phenomenon? When he got a virtual brain transplant from a comet and became super smart and learned Portuguese in two days? Well, he had really fallen for this woman who made these gorgeous bentwood chairs. So he kept on buying them, just so he could see her when she came back to the store with a new shipment. Of course, she was really mad when she found out he was the ONLY one buying them, but she soon realized that he did it out of love and because he believed in her and that, all-in-all, he was a pretty amazing guy.

Now there are plenty of other folks who have shown their belief in me and my writing in other ways, and I truly thank you for that. But I just had to take a moment to lionize my sister-in-law because she was the first person in my family who actually invested in me.

Con mucho carino,

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Baby Bjorn Resisted Safety Recall After Many Injuries

Baby Bjorn Active carriers were recalled last year because the buckles could spring loose allowing the baby to fall. The company recalled the product after discovering this.

Five years ago Baby Bjorn learned that many babies were becoming severely injured. When babies curled up into a fetal position, they could slip through the leg holes. After Baby Bjorn learned about the safety problem, they resisted for 12 months before recalling the product:

Baby Bjorn, a Swedish company known for its high-end soft infant carriers, successfully resisted the CPSC's recall efforts for more than a year by claiming ignorance of Section 15: they didn't know about the CPSC's statute that requires a company to self-report product defects.

"Small infants can draw up into a fetal position inside these carriers and slip out of the leg openings, 240,000 recalled. The U.S. distributor for Baby Bjorn, Regal + Lager, learned in May 1995 that a 10-day-old baby had slipped through the leg hole of a Baby Bjorn carrier and fractured his skull. Although the distributor claimed that the incident was attributable to product misuse, Baby Bjorn began manufacturing a new version of the product with smaller leg openings. A year later, a 16-day old infant fell out of her Baby Bjorn carrier and fractured her skull. Similar reports accumulated in the following months. More skull fractures, a concussion, internal bleeding were reported. All of the babies had slipped through the leg holes of the Baby Bjorn.

After several meetings involving the CPSC and Baby Bjorn's U.S. distributors, and one with Baby Bjorn's company's president, Bjorn Jakobson, an agreement was reached to recall the carrier. By the time the recall notice reached the public and the CPSC had approved the carrier "retro-fit," it was Christmas. The CPSC held the notice until January 1999, three and a half years after the first child was injured by the Baby Bjorn infant carrier. "
(Quoted from

Goes to show you that you can't necessarily trust baby carriers (with big pricetags) from big companies!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Pampered Audience

I was reading the fall line-up in TV Guide this week and found the most interesting article on toddler TV ( a full 21 pages were devoted to kids' shows alone). As I have said before, we are just too busy engaging in life to watch much TV. I don't think we've turned the TV on for 3 months now. (Well, we did watch that Napoleon Dynamite video my mom brought with her, but other than that, no TV. "Make yourself a dang quesadilla" for Pete's sake and be done with it.)

Anyways, the article discussed two new shows that are being targeted at two-year-olds: Classical Baby 2, from HBO, and Little Einsteins, from Disney. The producer of Classical Baby 2 claims her goal is to create a "lifetime of enjoying great art." The show combines animated characters and orchestra members, bringing classical music to life and fusing it with famous art from Chagall, Warhol and Jasper Johns.

Little Einsteins is a slightly more sophisticated version of the Baby Einstein DVDs (which made Disney $165 million last year).

Despite the supposed good intentions of these producers to introduce fine art to toddlers, (which I frankly have to question when millions of dollars are at stake, not to mention the loyal following they will have developed by playing Pied Piper to infants!) recent brain research discoveries have not shown TV to be beneficial in developing the creative muscle of children.

The author of the article went on to do an excellent job of summarizing current brain research and stated some things that DO enhance brain development:

1. Interaction with people, especially those that lead to bonding and communication skills.
2. Partaking in hands-on activities, such as playing with blocks or sand or climbing or "helping" cook/clean.
3. Doing something creative, such as painting or playing with play-doh.

(Yes, these things require some adult involvement and supervision!)

Now I'm not criticizing anyone who watches TV or lets their children enjoy a favorite show or two. But it can't be the ONLY stimulation a toddler receives. Life is too rich (and too short) to be in front of the tube 6+ hours a day! And it doesn't provide the interactive learning environment necessary to grow a healthy mind.

I was very impressed that the author introduced both sides of the argument, in the TV Guide, no less! I guess they know, as do I, that one article won't really change anyone's behavior.

who prefers to read about TV rather than watching it
and who still believes one person CAN make a difference,
at least in the life of a child!

P.S. Thriving Babies has moved to a new URL:
but you should still receive the posts via e-mail if you are a Thriving Babies Google Group member.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

1 History Place

Andrew's dad and step-mom were visiting us this week. We took Arianna to the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY and she had a blast (so did we). She shopped her heart out in the grocery store, rode the Mr. Roger's trolley, and took a stroll down Sesame Street. Her favorite spot to hang out (she went there twice) was 1 History Place.

1 History Place is a kitchen, dining room, and living room from the turn-of-the-century. The kitchen has an icebox and a hand pump for water, the dining room has a piano and a set of teacups, while a real mantel frames a blazing fire (made of construction paper) complete with the family entertainment of the day: a train set, a trunk full of dress-up clothes, a doll house, black and white family photos, wooden toys, a library of children's books and a collection of old dolls.

I found it very interesting that we all felt most at home here -- lingering for more than a half-hour. We adults all sat down in the wingback chairs, grabbed some picture books, and started reading while Arianna contentedly played with the dolls. It was very refreshing not to hear an electronic synthesizer or see flashing lights or be surrounded by constant motion. Everything inside 1 History Place was peaceful, yet everyone was engaged.

Andrew and I were laughing about our old-fashioned daughter, but I'd like to believe that she preferred 1 History Place over the other exhibits because it reflects our own lifestyle. We prefer non-electronic toys that stimulate creativity and try to engage Arianna in real-life experiences rather than watching TV.

This has seemed a natural outcome of our Attachment Parenting perspective. Wearing Arianna in a baby sling or carrier has helped us find ways to include her in our everyday life as opposed to seeking other methods of keeping her busy.

This is in vast contradiction to an article I just read, entitled Pampered Audience. I can't find it on the Internet, so I'll have to paraphrase it for you. . . tomorrow!

Oh, my blog now has a new home at:

More later,

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Absolutely amazing!

I have sold 4 books since Sunday and I am so pleased with the wonderful responses I am getting about the Thriving Babies book on babywearing and baby carriers. I was so nervous to put the book out there, because I know it's not perfect -- there's so much I could add. But the 30 day challenge spurred me to action and I took the plunge.

I have been receiving wonderful feedback about the free chapter I am giving away and the book itself. You can access the free chapter yourself by filling in your name and email at the bottom of the website:

When I started posting a few months ago, I wanted the blog to be an active forum for Thriving Babies readers to share and ask questions. That didn't happen because I never got the book out. I would love to share the comments I've been receiving with others as well as provide more of a community forum for my readers, though.

I am thinking about putting the blog on my website so readers can access it, but then I wouldn't be able to email the blog directly to all of you -- my family and friends. I could send out an email with the URL, whenever I updated the blog on my website though. So you could still be privvy to the latest arianna news!

Any thoughts about the change in delivery?


P.S. Andrew has just started an awesome new blog on cloth diapering at: Check it out!