babywearing, Photography, Picture of Me, review

Review: Ethos Babywearing Toile Bleu

Have you heard of Ethos Babywearing ? They’ve been around for a couple of years and have some innovative blends for their wraps! They also have a pretty cool convertible soft structured carrier. Today, I’m going to tell you about my time with this beauty–Toile Bleu.


When I first grabbed this budget BreatheBlend wrap out of the bag, I was shocked by how thin but dense it felt! It is a whopping 325 GSM. Toile Bleu needed some work and I was up to the challenge! Maxine (~40 lbs) and Minerva (~20lbs) both had plenty of time up in this beauty.  This wrap breathes so well and I really enjoyed it on our humid days especially. It was very grippy which helped me keep my seat popping queen (Minerva) in place once I tied off a carry.

This wrap was in my base size, so I got to try all my favorite base carries! I double hammocked almost every day that this wrap visited. Toile Bleu is ideal for me with double hammock because though it was super grippy, the passes moved easily for me and stuck in place once I moved onto the next step. I also enjoyed this with front wrap cross carry with the passes spread. I rarely do FWCC with spread passes, but this wrap made it a need for me! This wrap had some amazing shoulder pleats as well. It was flat and comfortable on my shoulders.

I recommend this wrap to more experienced wearers and also to those with heavy kiddos! Also, if you love grip you will LOVE Ethos Toile Bleu! This budget wrap is $145 for a size 9 which is great compared to size 9’s elsewhere.

Be sure to check out Ethos on Facebook and Instagram. Also, check out their Facebook group, Wear Ethos

Extra special THANK YOU to Ethos for your generous donation of this wrap to the Babywearing International of Hampton Roads lending library! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

speak

Facebook has a problem

So me and many of my friends are being harassed on Facebook by some racists. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Everything we say is being reported. This afternoon I got off of a 24 hour ban, only to be put on a 3 day ban hours later.

Facebook is allowing my friends and I to be harassed. They don’t respond to us when we contact about getting our accounts reinstated because we don’t have huge followings and aren’t popular public figures.

Anyways, once again Facebook is allowing racists to have their way. They can call us racial slurs all day but we can’t even say “white people” without getting bans.

GET IT TOGETHER FACEBOOK.

I’m going to add more of my bannable comments as well as my friends comments as I get them.




This was on my personal page as a public post. It was shared multiple times.

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I was talking about fucking saltines here.
babywearing, review

Review: Baby-Doo Orchid Ring Sling

I recently had the privilege of hosting a Baby-Doo Orchidej ring sling from Marsupial Mamas. I absolutely LOVED the colors! When I opened the package the first thing I did was gasp at the colors.

Snoozing at Peppa Pig Live! Peppa’s Big Splash

This 100% cotton ring sling was a size medium which is juuust long enough for me to work with. I usually use a large or extra large sling. I used this exclusively with Minerva. She is 11 pounds, 21 inches, and 3 months old.

She fell asleep in this sling a lot.

I used this Baby-Doo ring sling for a few weeks. It was super soft! It was on the thin side of medium and was excellent in the hot weather we had. It was really comfortable on my shoulder. I really like how easy it was to get through the rings. I usually nurse while wearing so adjusting through the rings is incredibly important for me.

A milky nap at the doctor’s office. Necklace by The Vintage Honey Shop.

Ring slings are my go-to carrier especially when I need something quick to toss in my bag. This ring sling passed the fit-in-my-bag test! It isn’t bulky at all and did not take up much room in my diaper bag or my carry-all purse.

Bus stop napping

I would recommend this sling to wearers of all skill level. This would be so great for someone who is brand new to ring slings. It was so easy to get through the rings. I loved it with my baby! I would definitely recommend this ring sling to friends. Especially friends who look great in jewel tones!

kangaroo carry while we waited for window tinting
naptime while shopping

Check out Baby-Doo on Facebook and Instagram! Follow Marsupial Mamas on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to join Marsupial Mamas Neighborhood for all kinds of fun and to hear about sales first!

babywearing, review

Review: Oscha Roses Atlanta

Oscha Slings is a company that I have not tried much. I have only tried two or three others besides this one and each time it was a different blend. This time is no different. Oscha Roses Atlanta is a blend of 47% Ice Cotton, 37% Organic Cotton, and 16% Organic Linen. I’d never heard of ice cotton until this wrap was previewed in July so I was very interested in trying it.

Atlanta Roses is a thin wrap and was very easy to wrap with. It was so thin that I was able to tie off a front wrap cross carry in a base -2! I was pretty impressed. The ice cotton made the wrap feel cooler and since there is linen also, I feel that this is the ultimate summer wrap. As I’ve been using the wrap it has been breaking in quite nicely. I mostly have been using it with Minerva (8 weeks, approx 8 lbs) in front carries. We mostly front wrap cross carry (fwcc), but we have also been doing FWCC torso carry.

Atlanta Roses has been super comfortable on my shoulders. It is flat and not cushy in my opinion. The wrap glided easily and has just enough grip to make sure everything stays in place.

One special thing I appreciated about this wrap was its writing along the side to commemorate the 2016 International Babywearing Conference in Atlanta, which is why the wrap is called Atlanta Roses. That is a wonderful touch.

Roses was comfortable even with my 34 pound toddler. Maxine was very comfortable in a multilayer back carry. We did a lot of double hammock with her.  I found it surprisingly supportive and I would not hesitate to have her wrapped for very long periods of time.

I feel that Atlanta Roses would be a great wrap for all babywearers. This wrap is also good for infants, and for toddlers too in multilayer carries. If you get a chance to try this wrap, I highly recommend it!!

Follow Oscha Slings on Facebook and Instagram. Also, follow Marsupial Mamas on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to join Marsupial Mamas Neighborhood for all kinds of fun and to hear about sales first!

Pregnancy

Minerva’s Birth Story

Pregnancy is one of the most miserable experiences in my life. I absolutely love and adore labor, delivery, and snuggling the new baby BUT I am just so sick and in so much pain that I don’t enjoy pregnancy at all. Minerva’s due date was July 5th. My one wish was to not be pregnant when July arrived.

So the week leading up to me going into labor, I was absolutely exhausted. I felt sick. Everything hurt. I had no motivation to do anything. I sat around that week just making sure Maxine had all her necessities. After my 37 week checkup, I told my obstetrician that I wouldn’t make it to the next appointment. Of course, he didn’t believe me.

The night before the next appointment, I decided to put in the grocery order that I was putting off. As soon as I hit ‘submit’ I said, “well I’ll probably go into labor tonight after the cancellation cut off.” Marvin said that I probably wouldn’t but if I did, he would still go pick up groceries at 9:00 AM. While I was watching Devious Maids that evening, I had a terrible bout of nausea but brushed it off because I’d felt horrible the entire week anyway. Once that feeling went away, I decided that it was time for Maxine and I to go to sleep. Of course my night owl was not ready for bed so when Marvin got home, she stayed up for a while with him.

Next thing I know, it’s 4:00 am and my stomach was bugging out. I got up to pee and then I had a pain that felt like one of the cramps I get during my endometriosis flare ups. I found that strange so I walked around upstairs some and then it happened again. I decided to download a contraction timer app in this moment because what else was I gonna do at 4:00AM?  I didn’t know if they were contractions or not because with Maxine my water broke. Well after a few hours and many less than 5 minute apart cramps, I decided that these actually were contractions and I should really get ready to go to the hospital.

my timed contractions

Maxine and Marvin were still asleep. I packed Maxine’s overnight bag, texted my mom and Dana, then woke Marvin up. Maxine was still in her nightgown for the 30 minute drive to the hospital because I packed her outfit for the day in her overnight bag. When we finally got to the hospital, they checked to see if my cervix was dilating. I was 4cm so they waited an hour for progress to decide if they were going to admit me or not. Shortly after I was hooked up to the monitor, my mom arrived because Marvin had to go get the groceries still (LOL). Maxine was so happy to see my mom.

maxine in her nightgown

After about 20 minutes, the doctor on call came in to check on me and remembered me from calling earlier that morning and said that they were admitting me. YES! I was so happy because I was so OVER being pregnant. I was excited to change into that ugly hospital gown. Once I was all set up and connected to the IV, I decided to walk the baby down some. After walking three or four laps around the women’s center I felt that I needed to be back in my room.

walking laps around the women’s center at Obici!

I sat on the birthing ball for a short while and then my water broke. That’s when I lost all control of my pain. Those contractions HURT SO BAD after my water broke. Around this time Marvin got back to the hospital and immediately fell asleep. I don’t blame him. He worked open to close the day before and hadn’t had much sleep. I would have been asleep too if I worked a twelve hour shift. My dad arrived around this time too. That worked out perfectly because he was able to take Maxine on a walk.

Maxine's last picture with mommy as an only child
Maxine’s last picture with mommy as an only child

I was basically screaming through contractions at this point. I asked the nurse for an epidural and she said I needed to wait for my IV bag to be empty. I tried to wait for that to happen but shortly after, I had three back to back contractions that had me in a ball on the bed. I screamed “I NEED AN EPIDURAL RIGHT NOW” so loud that the nurses heard me from the nurses station and they came to the room immediately. My nurse checked me and I was 5cm dilated. Marvin woke up at this point and the anesthesiologist came in and got started. My IV bag wasn’t empty yet (lol in yor face nurse).  Marvin kept me still and after three pokes with that long needle my epidural finally was inserted and the medication kicked in. I felt so much better. The nursing student (who was AMAZING) put my catheter in and the nurse checked me again and I was 9cm. This happened over 30 minutes! I went from a 5 to a 9 in half an hour! The nurse then said that we had to wait on the Doctor to push. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the entire floor was full of women in labor and I would have to wait nearly an hour and a half to push. No big deal–I had zero urge to push at that point and needed to get myself in the right mindset to push. To kill time, I chatted with friends online who had no idea I was in labor. I also gave out some Babywearing advice in my local Babywearing Facebook group.  FINALLY it was time to push. This moment was so great. My mom called my sister on FaceTime so she could “be in the room” and that made me feel so happy. It was weird pushing this time because I could not feel myself pushing at all. After three sets of three big pushes and two tiny pushes, Minerva slid on out.  She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice but the doctor corrected that quickly. Marvin cut the cord and then they gave Minerva to me (with a towel of course because I don’t do icky slimy anything).  I was so happy!! Finally not pregnant anymore!! That was exactly what I said too. My placenta came out very fast this time as well. I’m glad too because I did not want to see it at all and it was gone so fast that Marvin didn’t even notice it being delivered.

I don’t think I could have planned a better birth experience. I really am so grateful with how everything went. It was perfect.

me meeting Minerva for the first time. My sister’s facetime screenshot. I’m definitely crying here.

Hello 6 lbs 1 oz of perfection 💕

Our first selfie

A happy family of four.

We are so excited that Minerva is finally here! Her due date was July 5th. She was born June 21st at 1:33 pm. Here are some pictures from her first week of life.

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One day old Minerva 💕

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Minerva Crying at one day old

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Sleeping Minerva

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Minerva at eight days old
words

In Case You Forgot, I’m Black

In elementary school, I was oblivious to racial issues. I was in classes with mostly white people. All of my best friends were white; they were my sisters and brothers. When I was in elementary school, I rarely heard about or dealt with racial issues.

It wasn’t until middle school that I knew something was different. There was a boy who always called me horrible names and made fun of my dark skin. Who does that? At the time I wasn’t aware, but what I experienced was racism.

When I was a teenager, I loved going to the mall and stores with my mom. One notable shopping experience happened when I was 14 or 15. My mom, my sister, and I had gone to Kmart. Because I got bored easily, I usually wandered around the store alone while my mom shopped. Usually I stayed in the book section, but I was curious about makeup, so I went to that aisle to look at all the different products. You know that weird feeling you get when someone is staring at you? I had that feeling. When I looked behind me, I saw an employee turn the corner really fast. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but when I made it to the next aisle over, the employee confronted me. I’ll never forget him. He was an older white guy with grey hair around the sides, and he wore round glasses. He demanded that I open my purse. I immediately started crying. . I didn’t know why he wanted me to open my purse, but I opened it anyway. I had lip gloss, my wallet, and a book in there. He demanded that I show him a receipt for my lip gloss–My half-used lip gloss. Through my tears, I told him that it was mine and that I didn’t have a receipt because my mom bought it from the pharmacy near my house. He huffed and walked away. I ran to find my mom and stopped wandering around stores for quite a while after that. I mean, I was so scared! I didn’t even tell my mom what happened. I was THAT scared. I thought I’d done something wrong.

Fast forward to later in high school. My group of friends was more diverse, but still included a lot of white people. Often, I had friends call me names like “Oreo” or “Black-white girl” because I “acted white.” I usually laughed with my friends about it, but I’d go home and cry. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I felt like I wasn’t acting the way I was supposed to. I didn’t like the stereotypical black things and everyone pointed it out to me. In the same breath, those who called me the previously mentioned names also called me “clear.” They didn’t see me as black. What does that even mean?

All of this, among other things, led me to self-harm. I just didn’t want to be here anymore. I mean, my friends couldn’t even go a day without pointing out how different I was. I felt like a freak.

I’m now 27 and confident in my skin. I know who I am. When people tell me they don’t see color, I speak up. When people say something racist, I speak up. When people say things to me in an attempt to joke around because I’m not a “typical black girl,” I speak up. Yes, I’m black. Yes, my hair is kinky. No, you can’t touch it. When the cashier at Walmart decided that I didn’t deserve a proper greeting, but instead asked for my WIC payment information, I spoke up. When the random woman in the mall walked by and said,  “She is from Africa, look at the baby back there,” I spoke up. When the greeting card store employee followed me around the entire store, I spoke up.

I may not always share my personal struggles, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t deal with racism. I feel like people forget that I’m black. I do experience racism. I do experience judgment. Just because you’re white and you’re my friend doesn’t mean that every other white person in the world treats me the same loving way you do.

I don’t even know why I feel that I need to disprove the claims from many of my white friends who think I don’t experience racism. It’s probably because every time I post an article about racism, I get asked “Well, how does that affect you?” It’s probably because every time I post a status update about racism, I am told “Brittany, I love you, but I am tired of hearing about this all the time.” It’s probably because every time I post a picture about racism, I’m told “Hey, that is reverse racism!” Getting an insider’s view of what it is like to deal with racism in America is not an easy thing to digest. You’re not going to always want to see it. Be happy that you don’t have to live that every single day.

Hey friends? In case you forgot, I’m black.

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Parenting, words

There’s Always Someone…

Since I’ve given birth, my life has revolved around being a mom. I’m with my child almost every second of every day. My days consist of breastfeeding, babywearing, and doing homework. That’s it. It’s all I think about. It makes sense that the things I share on various social media websites will reflect my life, right?

I post about breastfeeding.
I post about babywearing.
I post about attachment parenting.
I post about school.
I post about everything I believe in.
I post about everything I don’t believe in.
I post about my entire life!

Yesterday was no different. I shared the status of one of the moms that I admire very much. It was great information so of course I shared it!

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I love that! Breast milk is amazing! The post got a few likes, but then I got an odd and unnecessary comment that had nothing to do with the post.

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To be honest, the comment angered me. I constantly see things I don’t want to see on facebook. I simply hide the posts or just disregard them. I don’t go to the posts and say, “Well you know, you post too much about this. Stop it.” The post had nothing to do with breastfeeding in public. The only hatred I have received in MONTHS is that comment right there. Of course I thought about it and I gave the person a simple and polite response.

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After this, many of my incredible friends expressed their support for me and explained to the person how easy it was to hide updates that they didn’t want to see. They also expressed how much they appreciated my posts on breastfeeding because they learn so much. The person said a few other things, but then said something that threw me off.

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Why would anyone go to an acquaintance to complain about me rather than speaking to my husband or myself first? It makes absolutely zero sense. No one tried to make the person out to be a villain, but people did tell said person how they felt about them making an unnecessary comment on an unrelated post.

Luckily the person deleted me after I asked the person why anyone would go to them about me. It’s possible that the person was just trying to justify their rude comment. I am happy that the person is off of my Facebook friends list. I am also absolutely elated to know  that I have so many friends that do appreciate my posts and care about the many different aspects of my life.

I don’t plan on changing my posting habits. If there is a problem, I extend the same invitation to you as I did the person in this post; just unfollow me. My Facebook and Instagram both reflect my life perfectly.

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