Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The busy-ness of Spring

It's been a few weeks of crazy around here. But here is a glimpse of our days. Some things that we have been up to:

We created the sets for the Turning Pointe Dance Studio production of The Firebird.

Tessa discovered that she likes a lot more foods. And she likes to climb through tunnels too.

Lucy learned to ride her bike. By herself. Without training wheels.

A new Pinkletink Baby exclusive design was released after a very long wait. Which means I am shipping out baby carriers all over the world and work is seeming never ending.

The chickens are laying lots. Some of them are also molting and look idiotic.
We are eating a lot of quiche and poached eggs and scrambled eggs. Not all together.

The peas are growing taller every day. The broccoli I started in the little greenhouse is up. And the basil. And the lettuce. Summer veg is just around the corner.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The world awakening



Lucy and I pulled the mulch and stuff off the garden a bit yesterday. It looks rich and loose and ready and we got good and dirty poking around in the soil. We moved the garden to make room for the swing set last summer and now we are beginning to turn it into something new. It is a long rectangle of soil now, but oh, what will it be by summer?

Inside we poked through our seeds and found the ones that need to be planted soon. Peas. Carrots. Salad greens. We will work on planting those on Saturday. Lucy is impatient. "Can we turn over the earth, Mama? Can we make it ready for the seeds?" She pokes in the soil with fingers, sticks, the toes of her shoes. She misses her big sister who went to a farm for the week with her class from school and asks, "Will Ella be home in time to help us with the garden?" All in good time, all in good time.




But everywhere there are reminders that plants are ready to begin their Spring time work, that some have already begun their push toward the sun. We find reminders everywhere poking through the leaves. We enjoy the warmth of the sun on our faces. Tessa is eager to explore these new green things too. She touches the flowers and laughs. She knows they are good. She is happy to be outside hatless and to feel the breeze in her hair. She wants to know what we will do with those rattly paper packets, what is this mound of soil in the back yard? Soon little one. Soon. Spring is almost here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Meeting where they are

Today my three girls are making things. Here at home we are surrounded by the cloth, thread, needles, and notions of creating things by hand. We are busy, quiet except for the occasional "Ouch!" as a needle meets a finger, or "Help, Mama!" as a thread comes to an end and needs tying off. And here, watching the girls work and play, I am struck by the fact that they are all doing the same things, but they meet the task where they are in their own development: Ella, at 9 years old, is busy embroidering am intricate picture onto a piece of white muslin. Lucy, at 4, works hard to create a wild abstract masterpiece of stitches on her muslin, learning to make stitches and use a sharp needle, to hold an embroidery hoop and to not sew through the extra cloth hanging from it's edges. Tessa, 17 months, plays with the snipped off bits of cloth and thread on the table, piling the scraps and thread into little piles, patting them, taking them apart, and piling them again. All of them are happy to work with the bits and pieces, but in their own time, their own ways.





And me? I have been sewing this week too. Perhaps that is why they asked to sew today, having seen me at the sewing machine. The dress on Tessa was made in less than an hour yesterday. A skirt and another dress were made last week. The girls are fascinated by my box of cloth... which piece will turn into a summer dress? Which piece a hat? Amid all the other things I should be doing (making sets for The Firebird ballet, working at my actual Pinkletink Baby work, house work, etc... the list is endless!), I am creating the kids summer wardrobe. I look at it as creating our summer photos, creating the look of our days. And what to create next? A drawing, a painting, a dress, a new baby carrier design for work, a ballet set... the creative possibilities are many.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Back in the saddle again

I have been drawing every day again lately. T is 16 months old and plays pretty well on her own now, and that means I can draw. Well, at least I can draw for a few minutes at a time. So here are a couple drawings I have done lately from my small moleskine sketchbook of "tiny things".

Monday, February 14, 2011

since I was here last...

Almost a year has passed since I last posted here... and probably no one has really noticed that I disappeared. But, if anyone did notice here is a quick update:

This year I had a new baby, was very sick with pre-eclampsia during and just after pregnancy, taught several drawing and painting classes, and then got sick with what seems to be a never-ending sinus infection... it's definitely been a year of ups and downs. I have hardly made any art in months, but I made a beautiful baby, so it's not like I was doing nothing at all. Hopefully I will have more time for art again soon...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Baby sling warning by CPSC



Well, there has been a big flap in the babywearing world in the past couple of days. It seems we are about to be warned that "slings" are unsafe by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The problem is this: No matter how you wear them, no matter how you cut it, BAG SLINGS ARE ALWAYS UNSAFE (You can see one in the photo to the left). I teach this all the time in babywearing classes. A bag sling can not support your small baby in a safe position and I ask parents who bring them to me for help to simply throw them away (many have!). When a baby is crunched into the bag part of the sling the baby has no support for a safe spine and head position in this style of carrier. A child can get curled up with chin mushed against chest and can have what is called Positional Asphyxia, or PA, which basically means, they can't breathe because their tiny airway is crunched up. So, yeah, bag slings are bad.... however, many carriers support children in safe and comfortable ways to support their back and head in a way that is safe and appropriate for their developing spine and neck.

The problem is, this is one style of carrier and the media seems to be jumping on all baby carriers and slings as being potentially harmful. Well, let me say this... most things are potentially harmful if used incorrectly, whether it be your baby's car seat, their crib, their swing, their stroller, or their sling or other baby carrier. The important thing that most media sources are failing to report is the information that parents need for safe carrying in a sling or other style of carrier. As parents we are given more instruction on how to keep our babies safe in cribs and car seats (though not enough) Here are some guidelines for safe babywearing:



1) Your baby should always be CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS. That means their head should be high on your chest.
2) Your baby's knees should always be higher than his or her bum so that your baby is sitting safely on their bum.
3) Your sling or carrier should extends up your baby's back to their armpits (if they have head control) or to support the back of the head (if they do not yet have head control).
4) Your child's face should NEVER be covered by the fabric of the carrier or by your clothing.
5) Your baby's bottom should never be below your waist level (if they are close enough to kiss they shouldn't be below your waist).
6) Your baby's head should always be higher then their body.
7) Your baby's head should always be supported unless they have complete head control.
8) Your baby should be snug against your body, not dangling or flopping away from you as if in a sack.

This is a good list of guidelines, and most carriers if used correctly by parents meet these criteria.
If at any time you, as the parent, feel that your child is not safe or comfortable you should take the carrier off and seek help to make it work correctly.

There will be a class on babywearing safety and safe positioning at the Center For Breastfeeding in Sandwich, MA on March 22 at 10:30. If you have questions or concerns I urge you to email me (nora@pinkletinkbaby.com) or come to the class. I am always available to help with slings and carriers.




Let me just say it again... Babywearing is a good thing, but bag slings are bad.... like anything, babywearing can be done incorrectly (just as there are accidents in cars, cribs and strollers!) and things can go wrong. But when done right, babywearing can be your most treasured and special baby bonding expirience. You, as the parent, need to be educated about all aspects of taking care of your baby and it can be a tough job, but babywearing should be something that you strive to do because you and your child will benefit by it. As with everything in life, it is hard to separate fact from fiction sometimes... but the facts in this are simple, babywearing is safe when you follow the rules... just like driving and swimming and using a carseat... all safe and good things, when you are educated and informed.

Here are some useful links to other sites with information about bag slings and sling safety.

What is a bag sling?

Correct Positioning

Common Sense

NY Times Article

Northhampton News report

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Clarification for Lucy


Clarification for Lucy, originally uploaded by nora_gardner.

My daughter Lucy is entering fully into the spirit of Valentines day this year, complete with heart shaped pieces of red and pink paper, crayons, and glue... she is thrilled to be making things and the fruits of her labors are scattered over the table and the floor around her. "See my clementines!" she shouts with glee! And Ella corrects her for about the thousandth time, "Silly, Lucy, you mean 'valentines'." What's a mom to do but laugh and paint the picture that pops into her head? And, then it dawned on me... clementines do have one important thing in common with valentines besides a rhyming ending.... they are both at their best when they are proffered after dinner with some nice chocolate :)