Monday, June 14, 2010


Yellowstone is a site to behold. One cannot come this close to it and NOT go see at least some of it. So, on Tuesday, the day before conference classes started, there was an opportunity to go to Yellowstone.

Old Faithful:

And a bunch of other sites. Babywearing is ESSENTIAL if you are taking a baby to Yellowstone!!

And if you are wondering why Kristi (above center) is not wearing a baby:

Thank you Ann Marie for the photos! Check out her blog here!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day two . . . one more time

The last session of the day today was the medical professionals panel. And I learned quite a bit. Towards the end, Elizabeth Strong from Ergo, also the moderator, shared a story about how she when to speak to a group of parents and it turned out that they were all deaf. She had an interperter and while she was speaking she realized that these parents NEEDED to be hands free. They needed their hands to communicate and having to choose between holding their baby and communicating didn't seem fair.

Arie Brentnall-Compton also shared that in the work she has been doing with some of the First Nations (Native) populations in Canada, babywearing saves lives. There are fewer maternal suicides, mothers in dangerous situations who are wearing their babies don't have to choose between leaving immediatly when they have the chance and going back for the baby.

I've heard over and over this week how that first moment you get your baby on changes your life. It feels right. Your instincts are suddenly in overdrive. And it's true. Babywearing changes lives. It saves lives. It gets to our human-ness on so many different levels. I want to shout it from the mountatin tops.


Day two . . . again

Tonite was also the family dinner. A chance to visit and play.

And eat.

And there are blue boxes in the corner? Oh my . . .

Welcome to Idaho. We have great little bands who sing songs for kids. And love songs have lyrics like, "If my nose ran money, I'd blow it all on you . . . "

This is her first back carry. And it's Kelley's Kozy. And Kelley is helping. How awesome is that????

And it's beautiful.

While the band is inside singing about running noses, the outside entertainment was also quite entertaining.

For all you babywearing geeks out there, a celebrity shot.

Wish you were all here!


Day two

It's hard to blog when one doesn't have Internet access. And it's hard to blog when one is putting on an International Conference. But today was a good day. A really good day. An amazing day. The concentration of amazing people in one place is really overwhelming for me. So overwhelming that about four times today I felt like I was going to just cry. And I am not a crier.

Tonite I got home and my four-year-old asked why I had to go teach all these people how to use carriers. I asked her if she liked being in a carrier. Of course the answer was yes. And then I told her that all these people are learning how to use baby carriers so they can carry their babies just like I carried her. Yes, my kids have missed me this last week. But see this dad right here?

This dad made a point to find me and tell me that he had a lot of ladies to thank. He wanted so badly to hold his baby, but he could not figure out how to do it. They had a mei tai and they could not make it work. And now the mei tai works. And now he's got a pouch--compliments of Hotsling--and he knows how to use it, too. Now he has TWO carriers that work and he knows how to hold his baby the way he wanted to. THAT is what the conference is about.

This is where I see him in a few years. Yes, I asked and he did this all by himself.

This is the Radcliff family. Melissa designed the Peekaru and together they run TogetherBe.

She called me yesterday because they were going to be late. Because they had a new member of the family just show up at the cabin they are staying at. A puppy. And they named it Rigby. And from that pile of free Hotslings she picked up a carrier for the puppy. Totally awesome!

This is me and Arie Brentnall-Compton on the "Rockin' Couch" down at the museum. Yes, it rocks. Literally. And it's rather theraputic, actually. (And by the way, Arie rocks, too!)

I love this wrap carry. Beautiful. And the Ergo is beautiful, too!

Babywearing is beautiful. And I am loving all these amazing, beautiful people filling Idaho with their passion and information. We hope it spills out into the rest of the world.

More to come . . .


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Keynote speaker Kelley Mason

Huge thank you to Kelly and her family for making the trip to come speak to us! I loved hearing her perspective on life, family and raising children. (And we got it recorded, so if you want a copy, they will be available.)

One thing she said really struck me. After her story of getting firewood from the wood pile to the house to keep the house warm while her baby sat screaming in the carseat on the porch and how she knew there had to be a better way, she said something about how discovering babywearing suddenly enabled her to meet her needs and the needs of her children. That is such a universal statement.

I've been putting together the museum display and have been struck at how even though every culture does it somewhat differently, all parents universally need to meet the needs of their babies while still meeting their own needs as well as the needs of their families. Native Americans used cradle boards and propped their children up against trees, or even hung them from trees to keep them safe and happy. The traditional Chinese culture coaches young girls into motherhood through the process of making baby carriers even before they are married. These young girls even raise their own silk worms and spin their own silk to do the embroidery on the carriers that they eventually wore to market to attract potential suiters. Sadly, many of these traditions are being lost.

Our western culture seems to have lost most if not all ties to the traditional ways of doing things. But then people like Kelley find that they have a need and they need to meet the needs of others and they can't do it with the tools they have. So they go out and create a tool. And then others who have the same need look at that tool and see it for what it is and want it. And a business is born. It happened to Kelley when she created the Kozy mei tai. It happened to Erika Hoffman, a mother of twins and the founder of Didymos, after she decided out of desperation to try the South American carrying cloth she had in her drawer. It happened to textile engineer Guenter Schwartzer, founder of Storchenwiege, after his search for a solution to help his daughter who was a new mom. It happened to Robyn of Babyhawk after she made a carrier that met her need for function as well as her need for style.

I was talking with a woman from Norway today and she said that where she is from, people tend to think that wearing a baby on ones front is dangerous. And she observed that here in the United Staes, people tend to think that wearing a baby on your back is dangerous. I guess everyone does it a little differently depending on their needs. But in the big picture I am seeing, it's almost as if America is trying to find its tradition again.

The theme of this conference is "Babywearing: the fabric of a global community." And really, I can't think of any better practice that would hold a community together than the raising of our children. Learn to wear your babies. Teach people how to do it safely. Help them find what works for them so they can meet their needs and the needs of their families. It's what this conference is all about. And it will make this world a better place.


It's here!

The first offical day of the conference is over. And as an orgainzer, it went well! (Heidi here, by the way). Rigby is officially the babywearing capital of the world this week. I have never seen so many baby carriers in such concentration! You all are making babywearing SO beautiful. (And all you wrappers are AWESOME!!)

Photos will be coming as soon as we get them. We have professional photographers roaming the grounds we will be posting some of their photos here and links to their websites for you all to purchase what you love.

I have a whole bunch of things to say and not a bunch of time right at the moment. But I want to say right now that one of my favorite things so far has been watching people who have never met one another or who haven't seen one another since the last conference shake hands and hug and carry on like old friends. The babywearing community is amazing.

Kelly Mason from Kozy Carrier gave a great talk to end the day. I will be back later with some comments on that. And I had several people come up to me and tell me that even if they came all the way to Idaho and only took the one class that they took today, it would be totally worth it. That is what this conference is all about.

I shall be back!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

The conference is HERE!

June 9-12th, Rigby will be the babywearing capital of the world!

Want to come? It's free and it's going to be great! Check out the official conference site and register online. It's easy and there's something for everyone.

If you don't want to register, come at 2:30 each day (Wed, Thrus, Fri) and attend our all conference sessions. You don't need to be registered or even attend the conference to come. Keynote Kelley Mason and Family will be speaking on how babywearing has affected their family on Wednesday. On Thursday a panel of medical professions will be answering questions regarding babywearing from a medical perspective. And on Friday babywearing expert M'Liss Stelzer will be doing a special presentation that is sure to be very informative and interesting.

On Saturday come to Rigby days and walk in the parade with us! Or, watch and cheer!