Thursday, March 25, 2010

Would you put your baby in a duffel bag?

***edited to add: My live traffic feed says quite a few people from Europe are reading this. I'm really curious how you  are finding me! Please quench my curiosity by commenting!!***

I was already annoyed and planning to blog at some point about the idiocy of the CPSC's warning about baby slings.  Now that they have named and forced a recall of the one that killed 3 babies in 2009, I'm even more annoyed. 
At first, when it was just a general warning, I thought if anything, slings should just be added to the list of SIDS dangers, like stuffed animals and blankets in the crib. 14 deaths in 20 years, 12 of which were preemies and/or had respiratory issues anyway. Doesn't everyone know 8lbs is the minimum for sling riding?  I wondered how a parent could be so clueless that they wouldn't notice a baby not breathing. When I'm wearing my itty bitty babies in my DreamSlings or other slings, you can feel the movement of the breathing because they are so close to you, and if you can't just feel it with your belly, you can put your hand on the outside of the sling and feel the breathing. Most babywearers that I know do it frequently, just like we feel our bellies while we are pregnant.

To me it's like publishing a general warning about carseats rated for 20-65 lbs because a two 16 pound babies didn't make it through wrecks in 4 years. Those babies shouldn't have been in those seats in the first place. Failure to follow weight guidelines and pay attention to less than 1 kid/year does not warrant the amount of news coverage and bad press that this has gotten!

So then, yesterday a facebook friend posted about the recall of the Infantino SlingRider. I went to see what it is, and it's the big fluffy, funky sling sold at Wal-mart, I'm not surprised which one is recalled. Have you ever seen one of those used? I never once saw a person using it correctly. I saw a dad wearing a brand-new-from-the-hospital baby in one one time, and it was hanging so low it actually flapped against his thighs as he walked.

I noticed that even in the pictures on the package, the sling is worn more like a duffel bag than how real pouch and ring slings are worn. This thing even has a 3 point seatbelt to keep the baby from falling out. A REAL sling doesn't need a seatbelt because they baby is held CLOSE to the wearer, and a properly fitted or adjusted sling isn't going to let the baby fall out. WOULD YOU PUT YOUR BABY IN YOUR GYM BAG? That's what this Infantino Slingrider is. An open top duffel bag with a seatbelt.
A properly fitted pouch sling (like the picture on the left) has the baby's  butt at about the wearer's belly button, and the baby is worn with his head above the butt. The SlingRider, as advertised (middle pic), has the baby lying down, and the bag they are calling a sling hangs low, more like a duffel bag (last pic).

I HAVE seen "instructional" YouTube videos that show you how to carry a baby in a sling with the head down by your hip, with the feet going up toward the shoulder. SERIOUSLY? Would you walk around with your baby upside down? NO. So why would you plop it into a sling upside down?

It's really going to suck if the Government puts out rules about all slings when this is ONE poorly designed baby killing monster of a "sling." That big fluffy monster is NOTHING like a ring sling or a pouch sling.

If people aren't smart enough to make sure their baby can breath, I don't think a government illustration like this is going to help:

I have to wonder how much money was spent getting an illustrator to make those FANCY drawings above. Wouldn't it have been easier to show a picture like this: 

While we're at it, lets put out a giant scary warning about ALL tricycles because SOME certain ones are tippy, dangerous, poorly designed pieces of crap.

Summary: The Infantino SlingRider isn't really a sling. It should not be called a sling, let alone be allowed to ruin babywearing for responsible parents everywhere.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kids' Room Curtains.

Remember when I said this blog is about experimental homemaking? Well, it really is.

Sharkboy (3) and Lavagirl (2) share a room. It's had a yellow and sage green bumblebee curtain up since we moved in about 18 months ago, but now that they are getting a bit older, that just seemed wrong. Wal-Mart had some awesome Disney Cars fabric, so I set out on a mission to find some Princess fabric that would coordinate. The black background was key. I wound up finding it on Etsy, and ordering from JAPAN! Add some coordinating borders and tabs, and in my head, this was awesome!!

Guess what? I managed to make the borders different sizes AND the green panel has 7 tabs, while the purple panel has 8 tabs. Seriously! I wasn't drinking or anything. It was such a simple project, and my inability to focus made it just not work. Oh well. Luckily, Sharkboy and Lavagirl are not paying customers!

Oh, and to top it off, when I cut the section of the Disney Cars fabric, I managed to cut it right below where Lightning McQueen is, so it's Cars WITHOUT LIGHTNING MCQUEEN.

When dreaming this up, I also forgot that that wall in the kids' room is green. Had I actually been thinking, I would have made the green border red. or yellow, or blue, or something other than a 2nd green.

Sincerely, The Experimental Homemaker.
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Breastfeeding contest!!

Yay!! A contest is being created by another blogger. The purpose is to promote breastfeeding. So, if you have any awesome pics of breastfeeding, or a blog about it or well, pretty much anything breastfeeding-related, or a prize to donate, click on "blogger" above.

I love contests!  I posted in her comments that I'd donate a DreamSling gift certificate to the contest. I hope she wants it and gets other donations too.

"Sand Table"

Finally!! After thinking about this for months, I finally bought a 5lb bag of cornmeal. I dumped the cornmeal into a small sterilite container from the Dollar General , and had 1 "sand table." Then, since I knew the kids couldn't share 1 bucket, I grabbed another and dumped in some rice. Not surprisingly, they have been mixed since then, but they have also been used daily for a week. Yes, it takes me a while to get around to blogging. Yes, it leads to a lot of sweeping and/or vacuuming. Yes, I'll have to replace the rice and/or cornmeal at some point, but you know what? That time is better spent making an easily cleaned up mess, than watching more hours of Dragon Tales and Barney. We watch enough PBS. I'm so bored with PBS after an entire winter of it, that we've started watching PBS en Espanol. Yes, that's right, Plaza Sesamo and the like. It's just as entertaining, even when you don't understand much of the language.

Of course, for 10x the price, you can buy a giant, hard to store table...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Restaurant charged a Kid-Fee!!!

Seriously? a "mandatory gratuity" at a restaurant for a group of 5? Isn't that a low number, especially when the 5th is a 5-month-old? plus, it wasn't even 20%, and the server (who we know and like) would have gotten at least 20% from us. So, this silly policy actually screwed the poor server. When questioned about it, the owner of Ken and Dale's basically said it's a kid fee because kids make messes and they have to clean them up. SERIOUSLY? This is what I get for not wanting to cook dinner tonight.  We'll stick with Wendy at the Chinese Buffet from now on.  She loves kids, even when they are insane. Our kids were AWESOME tonight.  We leave 2x the pigsty anywhere we go usually.

It's not like this is a fancy dinner place with white tablecloths and candelabras.  It IS the fanciest place in town, but that's not saying much. It's more like a diner with all booths,  pie slices in a glass case, and a "bar" that looks like it's straight out of a Shiny, Silver, Trailer-type 50's style diner.

I'm not arguing that a place can't have a policy on gratuity for standard group sizes. I didn't even have a problem with the group of 5 policy, although I do find that to be a LOW number. My problem is with the owner's statement that they should have charged the baby double! No, he wasn't joking.

It's a good thing Wyatt didn't get hungry while we were there. If he had, I probably would have started nursing him, and the owner probably would have asked us to leave or quit nursing or something.  As it was, Wyatt was the perfect example of a good baby in a restaurant. He sat there quietly munching on his high-chair cover the whole time. Never made a squeak. Ok, so he did reach his claw out and pull a salad plate onto the floor--but that is OUR fault for not realizing he could do that. It didn't even break! The older kids have broken plenty of plates in lots of restaurants --better restaurants than this, with a group of 5  (3 adults and 2 little kids), and haven't been treated like kids are the worst possible customers.

Well, this was going to be a status update, but I guess it's turning into a blog post.

It's not news to me that this little town isn't toddler-friendly. It's not news to me that the Aloha Spirit is severely lacking from Nebraska. It's not news to me that the old "The customer is always right" policy is long gone from America, but come on, how stupid. Counting a 5-month-old as a part of a "party of 5?"

Now, instead of sewing tonight, I'm going to go find lots of restaurant review sites! whoo hoo! fun!  This town thinks it is a "tourism destination."   So, people must go online looking for reviews and recommendations of where to take their FAMILIES on vacation.

Ken & Dale's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sibling Shirts

  Back when I was still pregnant, I wanted coordinated brother/sister shirts for the kids to wear when they came to see the baby at the hospital. Unable to find what I really wanted, I designed these myself on Creative Memories' Digital scrapbooking program, Storybook Creator 3.0 plus. Then I had them printed through

At the same time I had another shirt for me made by SpreadShirt, and it was just words printed on the shirt. It came out much better than the kids' designed ones. They are more like iron-on transfers that I could have done myself. So, I was not impressed by spreadshirt.

I've tried multiple times to get a "good" pic of the 3 kids, but didn't succeed before Wyatt outgrew his shirt.

Since it's hard to see in the pics, here are the designs:

Sorry for posting an old project, but I'm half-done with a bunch of projects and blog posts and just not ready to publish those...  Curtains, 2 DreamSlings, a rant about the CPSC, and Snuggies coming soon!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stuffed Pork--Fancy Food!

So, Hubby grabs groceries from the commissary when he goes for his Navy reserves drill weekend. He grabbed a plain pork tenderloin last time. I've cooked lots of the flavored ones before, but never a plain one. So, I googled for something yummy, and this is what I went with, from Chowhound. Go there for the actual recipe. I'll just put the basics here.
The night before I had to brine the pork and also put some garlic to soak in a cup of wine.
The next day:
First I had to butterfly and pound flat the pork into a giant rectangle.  Add herbs to wine/garlic mixture, spread on pork rectangle.

Then I rolled it up and pinned it together with toothpicks since I didn't have any twine. Covered it in a Honey-Lemon sauce and finished off with a liberal sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.

While it baked, I basted it every 10 minutes. I stuck it with a thermometer after 7 bastings and it was perfectly 160. After resting it until hubby got home, sliced and served with garlic bread and wine. Mmmm....The kids even loved it!! I think the Honey helped.


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