Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Fluff!!


We have had so many exciting things going on in the last month! Our new group is off to a stellar start thanks to all of you! Our membership drive has been incredibly successful. Because of that, we got some NEW FLUFF!!!!!! We are very excited about some carriers that were donated and we would love to share with you what we bought with membership money!

We checked out so many wraps during the Sugar Grove and Dekalb meetings that we NEEDED more! When we contacted Jennifer at Marsupial Mamas to see what she had in stock (because we know she ships lightening fast), she graciously offered to donate some very special wraps! (See above) Thanks to Marsupial Mamas, we now have a beautiful Kokadi Erdvogel. It’s a size 4, all cotton and whimsical. Jennifer also donated a size 5 Natibaby HEMP clovers. Yes, you read that right, HEMP! These wraps are both atypical for a lending library and we invite you to thank Marsupial Mamas personally!

We also want to thank Alisa from Color Dip Studios! Alisa is a friend to many of us. She’s very excited about our new group and our growth. She also donated something we don’t have….a Comfy Joey ring sling! Ring slings are popular in our library and we’re happy to have a new brand for everyone to try out!

That's not all! Thanks to all of our new memberships, we were able to purchase two more wraps and an SSC! Did someone want more hemp? We purchased a very loved, well-broken in size 4 Erba hemp Indio. We love that it's well-loved so that it's all soft and floppy but still supportive!

We also purchased a Heaven and Earth Nino! Ninos have a tight weave and this one has just enough weight to be great for toddlers as well as little babies! Who doesn't love a good Nino?

Want something else to be excited about? We have a new Kinderpack! This one is a standard body with standard straps and it's adorable! Kinderpacks are very good quality and one of the comfiest carriers for older kids. We now have both an infant adjustable and a standard sized KP and hope to acquire more soon.

Remember, this month ONLY, all of our membership money stays in our local group! You can enter to win great prizes by becoming a member, renewing your membership, referring someone who becomes a member or by donating a carrier. If you can't make a meeting, contact one of the leaders to sign up this week! Happy June!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Membership Drive

We have an exciting announcement!
As you may or may not already know, half of all membership money we collect from you goes to help support the international organization. This means that $15 of every $30 membership goes to our local group. For the month of June, Babywearing International is letting all BWI groups keep 100% of any new memberships collected during this month!

What does this mean?
We use your membership money to help purchase new carriers for the lending library. For example, one $60 mei tai currently takes us 4 memberships to purchase. For this entire month, it would only take 2 memberships to pay for that same mei tai. This is perfect timing for us as we get our new group up and running. So, if you've been thinking about joining but haven't taken the plunge, this is the time to do it! Spread the word and let's try to bring in as many new members as we can this month. We would love to purchase more new and exciting things to add to our lending library for you! For more about how the library works see below.

If you are a current member and would like to get in on the fun, you can! Anyone can renew this month for another calendar year and we still get to keep the whole $30! Yay!!!!! Please let us know if any of you would like to do this!

We are going to be doing a fun giveaway this month. Every membership purchased during the month of June will be eligible for one entry in the drawing. If you bring a friend to a meeting and your friend becomes a member, both you AND your friend will receive entries in the drawing. Look for more details on this soon!

Carrier Trade-In
We will also be offering a carrier trade-in program for the month of June. While we welcome and appreciate carrier donations any day of the year, during June you will receive a 12-month membership credit when you donate a gently used carrier to our library! There are a few restrictions on this: The traded in carrier should have a retail value of at least $50. We are looking for carriers that are a good fit for the library, and acceptance will be at the discretion of the leaders. We're excluding narrow based carriers (such as Baby Bjorn carriers), stretchy wraps, and pouches; as these items are not requested as often, and we have enough to meet our current needs. The carriers can be mailed to a leader, dropped off with a leader, or brought to a meeting! Note: Carriers traded in for the promotion will not be provided a tax-deductible receipt, since the BWI membership offered in exchange includes a benefit of services to the recipient through the lending library.

Where to find us:
We will be having at least 3 meetings during the month of June with a potential 4th meeting to be added. Meetings are posted under the events tab and will be in Rockford, Sugar Grove, and DeKalb. If you would like to meet up with a leader to donate a carrier, we have leaders living in Montgomery, Elburn, Algonquin, and Harvard. We also have a babywearing dad who works in Rockford and would be willing to meet up to take carrier donations. We hope to see you all this month!

How the Lending Library works
We have a library of baby carriers that we take to every meeting for people to try out. If you are a member you can take one carrier home each month to try out. Memberships are optional and cost $30 a year. You don't have to be a member to come to meetings and try carriers out but being a member is a great opportunity to see how different carriers will work for you and your little one. You will also help us add to our library. We like to keep it full of a variety of different styles and brands for you to try.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Babywearing…Pass it on!

A post by our own Karl, written a couple years ago.

My mom was one of those moms who seemed to know everyone. Growing up in a small town going anywhere with my mom it seemed like I always heard, “Oh I remember when you were this big…” I’m sure most people have had this experience; I guess it comes with the territory of growing up in a small town. I mean it is a natural process, we do grow up, but to hear that over and over again gets old. There was one time that stood out from the rest of the “I remembers” that still sticks with me today. I was with my mom in a small shop on the square in Woodstock. The store was Stone’s; it was the type of shop I would hesitate taking MY kids into: small ceramic bunnies, collector plates, as well as other numerous fragile crystal brick-a-brack décor that is only found at the relatives’ houses that clearly don’t have any young kids living there. Yet, there was something about Stone’s that brought kids in by the droves: candy. The store was run by an older couple (Mr. and Mrs. Stone) who seemed to love children, plus they kept the candy at the front of the store to avoid any crystal bunny mishaps. The couple always had a smile across their face and was happy to sell the sugary vices to the children of Woodstock. Seeing that my mom knew everyone, that meant we couldn’t go anywhere without stopping to have a conversation with at least someone. Satiated with a few Swedish fish, my mom asked Mrs. Stone, “Do you remember this guy? He was the one that I wore during that nature class.” Mrs. Stone had that far off misty look in her eyes as she filed through the memory banks and then a smile crept across her face. The two then continued on about how much I had grown since then, and how cute I was then riding on my mom’s back, what a good little student I was, and how much I enjoyed riding along. This piqued my curiosity, after we left the store I asked, “Mom, what were you two talking about? You wore me?”

As we walked home, my mom explained to me that she had sewn a backpack carrier for me while she was talking some graduate classes. Seeing that it was a field course where they met at some of the local forest preserves to study the flora and fauna, why not bring me along? Once back home, she rummaged through some stuff in her sewing room and emerged with a well worn lump of light blue fabric; the hand-made carrier. She explained to me, while living in Okinawa during the Viet-Nam War, my mom saw the ladies there carrying their babies, so she wanted to make one for her (future) baby (me).

Apparently, I was happy in the carrier as they hiked around learning about the environment. Hmmm, think there is a coincidence that I am science teacher?? Modeling is one of the best instructional strategies that we as parents have in our parenting tool box. If our children grow-up seeing us babywearing the chances are pretty good that when they have children, they will babywear. I don’t want to preach to the choir about how great baby wearing is, but let’s think about what we are doing while wearing our babies. My mom took me out in nature, the memories I have of this I can’t remember. But our brains are fascinating things. Memories become the fabric of who we are and how we view the world. With each new experience that we expose our children to, the more their brains grow. What better way to enrich our young ones lives than to bring ‘em along? Let’s face it, I love wearing my kids! As my family hikes around the different forest preserves, I have a little voice behind me asking me questions, a little hand rubbing my shoulders or back as I scramble up a steep path, and little feet to tickle as we walk through grassy fields. Even the hum-drum drudgery of day to day tasks (mowing the lawn, putting the dishes away) are made better with a little friend on board.

The bond that was forged with my mom was something that I cherish and I want to pass on to my kids. Today, I am kicking myself that as a babywearing father, the carrier that my mom made has been lost in the shuffle of time. I think I remember seeing a picture of me on my mom’s back while she was showing me some sort of flower or plant. It’s a shame that the picture has also been lost, because I could show my kids that I too was back rider, not to be confused with the Black Riders, or Nazgûl. Had they been worn by their parents maybe their life would have turned out differently.