Tell us a bit about yourself (where you’re from, what your hobbies are, etc.)
I was born in Reynoldsburg, but we moved to New Jersey when I was in elementary school. I came back to Ohio to go to college at The Ohio State University, which is where I met my husband too. We live in Upper Arlington and enjoy being able to walk from our neighborhood to the nearby library and park. My daughter is almost 2.5 years old and I am pregnant with our second child. We like adventuring around town, dining out, boating, and all the hockey things.
I am an intervention specialist (special education teacher) at an elementary school. This will be my 11th year teaching in Upper Arlington and I still love it as much as Day 1. My job is slightly different year to year depending on my students’ needs so it keeps me on my toes in a good way. I mostly work with students with learning disabilities like dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Depending on what’s needed, I teach students one-on-one, in small groups, or go into their general education classrooms to teach. It’s a challenging, but fun job!
Tell us about your family (significant other, children, fur children, other pets, etc)
If you visit our house, you can expect to leave with some pet fur! We have two dogs, a Newfoundland and a Bernese Mountain dog, and two cats. They are all extremely friendly and will be all over you to get love and petted. We are blessed that my husband’s job is unique and flexible enough that he can stay home with our daughter during the day. He’s a hockey consultant with more weekend and evening hours so we wind up watching a lot of hockey games!
When you were pregnant, did you plan on wearing your baby?
Yes! I even attended the first official workshop class that CBW offered back in November 2015 when I was 7 months pregnant. I started with a stretchy wrap and loved how snuggly it was! I quickly got bit by the babywearing bug, wanted to learn more, and try a variety of carriers.
What do you love about babywearing?
Besides the security factor of knowing my baby is with me, safe, fed, and happy... it was a life saver when I broke my foot when my daughter was 3 weeks old. I felt helpless. My husband was returning to work, my mother had stayed with us the first two weeks, and my mother-in-law was visiting but going home in a few days. There was no way I could use crutches (or worse, attempt to hop on one foot 3 weeks post partum) and take care of a newborn. Babywearing literally saved my sanity. I could safely wear her and use a scooter at the store, or wear her and use a crutch or two to get around the house. As my daughter got older, babywearing allowed us to experience things like hiking or even being able to see the animals at the zoo that are difficult or cumbersome with a stroller or holding her.
Which one of your carriers do you use the most and what do you love about it?
Once my daughter was old enough and could fit in them, we almost exclusively use onbuhimos when we are out and about. This Japanese style carrier is designed for high back carrying (like a piggy back ride) where the baby can look over your shoulder. A main draw of onbuhimos is that they don’t have a waistband, so it’s a compact carrier that’s very quick to put on and it’s flattering on the waist. Once you’ve found the “just right” settings for you, it’s a very comfortable carrier. The learning curve can be steep and it’s best to get in-person help with this type of carrier, so come to a CBW meeting and we’ll get you set up if you’re interested!
Tell us about your main role within the CBW Leadership Team?
I am the chairperson for our Member Engagement and Leader Training committee. Our role is to develop the content that we teach at our workshops, meet-ups and other meetings. We also have a thorough training education program for the volunteers that are training to be CBW leaders. I also am trained through the Center For Babywearing Studies as a babywearing educator. Because not everyone is able to take the time and expense of getting that training, I have shared much of it with the leader team and revised our teaching procedures and content to make CBW leaders the best babywearing educators we can be for our members.
What additional role(s) do you have within the CBW Leadership Team?
I teach at both the Sunday skills workshops and Saturday meet-ups. I recently stepped back from our Social Media Committee after a year of service to focus on developing some new leader training content and to transition to co-leading the Sunday skills workshop. There is a surprising amount of work that’s done behind the scenes to make our workshops and meet-ups seem seamless the day-of for members. Each of us also help support our online community and ensure members are receiving correct and safe feedback in a positive manner.
What drew you to become a leader for our community?
Being a teacher by trade made me want to learn all of the best practices in babywearing. I experimented with many carrier types and rapidly advanced my skills. I attended quite a few CBW meetings and others were asking me for help on carriers. At that time, some of the current leaders encouraged me to apply and I attended yet another workshop in order to observe exactly what their role was because I had been so focused on myself and my own learning at other workshops. I had learned a lot from CBW leaders and members, so I felt that being able to pass on the knowledge I’ve learned would help others on their babywearing journey.
What activity are you most likely to rely on babywearing to get done?
Shopping! It gives me two hands free to grab things and extra room in the grocery cart. I love that we can be on the go and my daughter can even nap on me, so we can get a lot of things done.
What skill do you hope to master over the next year? (does not have to be babywearing specific but it *can* be)
More tandem wearing skills! I’ve practiced with demo dolls, but it’s not the same! There’s going to be some major shifting in how to balance a 30+ pound toddler on my back with a 8lb newborn on my front. I’m excited to try out different combinations of carriers to see what works best for us.