Like sunscreen and strollers, I became obsessed with finding the best and most comfortable baby wrap and carrier when baby girl was younger. I tried the original ergo carrier and found it to be uncomfortable and too much material for it to be breathable or cool for the baby.
This was when eBay was our best friend. We sold that carrier and after much research purchased a Lillebaby carrier. It had a mesh material that would hopefully keep baby and mom cool in the stifling heat, and an ergonomic shoulder/back strap. This carrier, however, was as uncomfortable as the original ergo. The torso length was far too long and the ergonomic strap was pretty pointless and silly-looking with my outfits. It was also difficult to carry baby for long periods of time as she got heavier and the mesh material felt rough and scratchy against baby girl’s skin. In paparazzi photos though, Liam Helmsworth and Ryan Reynolds were both seen wearing a Lillebaby. I think if you have a similar body frame as those guys, it might be more comfortable, than on someone as short (5’4″) as myself. It is designed by a Scandinavian company, isn’t it?
Anyway, after much persuasion and arm-twisting on my part, we then sold the Lillebaby and got the ergo 360. Although this was an improvement on the original ergo and the Lillebaby, it didn’t take more than 40 minutes before my hips, shoulders, and back would start aching. If baby girl finally fell asleep when I wore it around the house, and I wanted to put her down to bed, I’d leave the room and then undo the giant Velcro waist strap as to not wake her. The Velcro strap was pretty annoying too because you couldn’t make minor adjustments easily once you had the baby in the carrier. This is a a major dealbreaker. I am able to change the waist and shoulder straps throughout the time that I am wearing my toddler now with my Tula. How tight or loose we want the straps changes depending on if she’s sleepy, how long I’ve been carrying her, and the activity.
In the end, I found two amazing carriers, one of which I still use to carry my 30 pound 2.5 year old toddler for more than an hour at a time, with hardly any discomfort:
Baby Tula Ergonomic Carrier – Urbanista – Baby: I have no idea how, but all of the slight differences in various carriers, make a huge difference on your pain and stamina when wearing them. I found the Tula carrier, after poring over countless blogs and forums about babywearing. This carrier is the only one you will ever need to buy. Don’t waste your money on the other ones. We got the toddler size on Amazon. She was around 18-19 pounds when we got it, and I was debating whether or not to get one, since she was already much older (almost 13 months), was walking, etc.. I regret a lot of stuff that we purchased when we had the baby, but this is not one of them. I only wish I had gotten it from the beginning. I am constantly using it. Even now, when she is 2.5 years old, I bring it with me, when we take the train, go to the zoo, museum, on the plane, on vacation, etc.. I can easily carry her for an hour, without being uncomfortable or have any back, shoulder, or hip pain. She weighs 30 pounds too and was a big baby from the start. The Tula has so many cute designs too.
Solly Baby Wrap: I follow them on Instagram and they honestly seem like really nice people and I love their story. They are living the dream. That’s reason enough to want to support their business. However, their wrap is also pretty awesome.
I read that the other ones are made of thicker material, and, in the dry heat of southern California, it’s important to pick one that is breathable and cool. The Solly wrap is thinner, but stretchy. They also focus on making ones with really cute colors and prints. I also read that the Solly is much shorter in length, in comparison to the Moby, and that for more petite women, the Solly was much better suited. We babysat one of my friend’s four month old a couple of months ago, and I was able to bust out my Solly wrap again, after not using it once our baby got much bigger, and it helped the baby fall asleep right away and kept him calm, despite being in a new environment. I credit his unusually long naps that day to the Solly wrap.
His mom had given me a clipboard to rigorously mark how long his naps were and details about his feedings. She told me afterwards that his naps are usually much shorter, and was shocked to hear how long he had napped for that day. When I dropped him off later that day, I lent her my wrap just in case.
It really is so freeing to be able to put your baby in a secure wrap, and to have your hands and arms free. I couldn’t even get my own drink from the refrigerator pre-Wrap era. I felt my independence come back that day my Solly wrap came in the mail.
Wearing a regular baby carrier is not as comfortable as a wrap in certain situations. If you’re at home, doing housework, or walking around on the plane, you want to stay comfortable and as light as possible, and the Solly wrap is perfect for that. I can thank my Solly wrap for not completely losing my sanity, when it became clear that the baby wanted to be held almost non-stop.
On vacation, I traveled with both the Solly and the Tula. If the weather was more humid and sticky, I wanted to have the Solly and wear it instead of wearing a heavier carrier. The Tula is great for when you want to put the baby down easily. I recommend both brands though to all of my friends.
As a practitioner of BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) it’s impossible to avoid the topic of açaí, a Central and South American fruit known for its numerous health benefits. Of course none of these benefits are verified by the FDA, but do a quick Google and you’ll see all sorts of amazing claims, from heart health, to weight loss, to aiding digestion — sounds too good to be true so it probably is, but they taste great and the concoction known as the “açaí bowl” combines a number of delicious and healthy goodies into an easy to eat, refreshing package.
The açaí is the purple portion you see at the bottom. Usually sourced in frozen packs which are blended with juice to make what’s essentially açaí smoothie. In this particular bowl that’s topped with granola, bananas, and strawberries. Blueberries, coconut flakes, and honey are also common additions. I think most açaí bowls also include guarana, which gives it a kick of caffeine. This particular açaí bowl is from a Juice It Up! in Irvine. Açaí Republic in Tustin is also a great place to get these.
If you want to try making one of these at home, check out Rener Gracie’s video on Youtube for some great ideas. Short version: blend the frozen packs with frozen grapes to make the purple base you see above and let your imagination run wild. Raisins add a different texture, and fruits like papaya are a welcome addition.
So, after trying out La Roche-Posay’s Gentle Kids sunscreen, the next day, she had a raised coin-shaped red mark on one of her cheeks. I noticed it the morning after, but still put it on again the next day thinking it was maybe from something else. Anyway, her dad is convinced that it’s from the sunscreen. He already thinks I take the whole sunscreen thing too far anyway, so we are on opposite sides of the spectrum.
I haven’t been using any sunscreen because of the rash, but did pick up two other ones from CVS that I want to try when her skin calms down. The babyganics has both titanium dioxide (3.0%) and zinc oxide (6.0%). It also has a third ingredient octosalate, which isn’t exactly safe but less risky than oxybenzone. My niece uses it with no problems apparently. A nanny at the playground also mentioned that the mom had no issues when using it on her ezcematic child.
So many of my Facebook friends all said they used thinkbaby. I tried it before, and didn’t like it at the time. It made our eyes burn in the shower when we would wash it off. I’m willing to try it again though, after hearing so many people list that as their top choice.
The rash has calmed down a lot since and we haven’t been using anything. In any case, I ran into the beauty manager at CVS outside, and we started talking about the rash and the different kinds of sunscreens out there. She said the La Roche-Posay gentle kids sunscreen was the latest and the greatest out there currently, and that it was the only one that didn’t have a certain nasty carcinogenic chemical in it that all of the other ones had in it. She didn’t recall the name, at the moment, but showed me all of the brochures that she had and said that she went to school to study exactly what we were talking about. The school, when I asked, was taught through Loreal, which owns pretty much every single make-up brand out there, according to the beauty manager. It even owns La Roche-Posay, which happens to be the number one selling cosmetic in France, she said.
When I asked her about the rash, she said her grandkids had gotten that too and that the doctor had said it was a fungus from the sun. A sun rash. I haven’t looked into it, but I’m going to. Wouldn’t she still be getting it though on the days I wasn’t using sunscreen though?
It was a pretty cool though to hear how stores like CVS pick what they have in their stores. It’s still a bit confusing, but at least if I run into her again, I’ll learn more next time.
Unlike other franchises, it doesn’t cost millions of dollars in the bank to operate a Chick-fil-a franchise, like McDonald’s or even a Jollibee’s. The competition is stiff and they only pick maybe 1 in 20,000 applicants, I vaguely remember reading. They interview your family, friends and associates. You don’t have ownership over it either, but rather operate it. If you passed away, it goes back to Chick-fil-a, not down to your heirs.
We tried a Jollibee’s for the first time on the way home from Anaheim. I get all the hoopla for it though. My cousin waited for two hours outside when it opened near Chicago. I’m glad we didn’t have to wait that long and got to try it.
Lee’s sandwiches in Sunnyvale, CA was awesome too. The bread was always delicious and the banh mi was cheap, fresh, and tasty. Their coffees were so good too. I saw one in socal one time, as we drove past it on the freeway, but haven’t gotten to go yet. I haven’t had a good banh mi sandwich in a long time.
Discovered these books at the University of California Irvine bookstore a few weeks ago. We were there buying workbooks for my husband’s physics classes and saw these books in the same aisle. I’m beginning with the Lean Startup. I love these sorts of books because I feel inspired and it gives me great ideas. It makes you realize that for many successful people, things didn’t come easy for them and that life was full of failures for themselves too. That these are all valuable lessons that shape us, into hopefully, better or stronger versions of ourselves. Being on a college campus made me feel young again and also old too at the same time. They looked like kids, just like we must’ve been too in college. At the time though, I thought I was so grown up, but looking back now, I didn’t know anything and I still don’t know what I’m doing. We were the only parents walking around there though with gray hair, rolling around their kid in a stroller. Anyway, I would love to take this class at UC Irvine one of these days.