Ovolo Scavenger Hunt - Let the Madness Begin

During the International Babywearing Conference in Tempe, AZ a wrap company named Ovolo hosted a scavenger hunt for 6 amazing wraps. Each day they would hide a tote bag with one of the wraps somewhere in the venue. Then they would post a picture on Facebook of the bag in its hiding location. Since I did not have any scheduled classes at the conference (only Mollie did) I determined I would find one.  I had even picked out the one I hoped to get from the preview picture (yes I know, I’m unusually excited about wraps for a man).

The 6 wraps to be hidden. the top one was my favorite. (Photo used with permission from Ovolo) 

When we arrived at the hotel on Wednesday I took the kids and made a game of scoping out the entire hotel. We scoured every floor and every staircase, keeping track of all the good hiding spots. Thursday morning after a stroll to Starbucks, the wrap hunt madness began. Ovolo uploaded a photo that revealed the secret hiding place of the first wrap. I instantly recognized the lobby fireplace (Ok, the first one was easy). Ella, our 3 year old, and I raced desperately to the elevator. But alas, we were too late. Turns out we were not the only people stalking our prey; the tote and its wonderful textile treasure was long gone. Sadly, I checked my phone. The newly posted picture of the proud babywearer confirmed what I already knew. But never fear dear readers, for five more hunts were yet to come.

As the week unfolded I began to lose hope. It seemed I was destined to miss my mark on every wrap. I was swimming with Ella and Wesley when the 2nd drop occurred and the hunt was over before I even knew it had begun. The next day I was oh so close on number 3. Hunt 4 was lost to a malfunctioning alarm clock (Ok, fine, I slept through it). Wrap number 5 was the trickiest picture to identify. By the time I figured out the location I was once again too late. Hope diminished and shoulders hung, Ella and I returned to the room defeated once again. Only one more chance lay before us. The realization that the last remaining wrap was the one I had originally picked out served to spur us on.  Mollie and I stalked the Facebook page religiously; draining our phone batteries at rates we did not know was possible.

Thanks to our toddler being awake and insisting on going on a walk, all the hard work paid off. The stars aligned and our walk had randomly put us in a very strategic position when the final picture was posted. I immediately knew there were only 3 possible locations based on the type of chair and the wall pattern the tote was pinched against.

This was the clue picture to find the final wrap (Photo used with permission from Ovolo)

This was the clue picture to find the final wrap (Photo used with permission from Ovolo)

My wife and I exploded into action and split up to search the elevator lobbies. Mollie and the kids went to the closest lobby while I sprinted up the stairs to level 4. I struck out on 4 and frantically pressed the elevator button hoping I was not too late. I burst through the door on level 3 and sure enough, there it was. The prize was finally in my grasp: an amazing Ovolo Heartwood Onyx size 5. WOOOHOOOO.

A free wrap and sleeping toddler to boot. Coincidentally the wrap matches the shirt I wore today.  Like I said, stars aligned.

I tried to have a little fun writing this blog and was a bit dramatic and cheeky. But I want to take a moment to seriously thank Ovolo. You guys are awesome!  My kids and I had a ton of fun hunting for these. Ella enjoyed it so much I would pretend to look with her when I knew a wrap was not actually hidden yet. I’m still a little shocked that everything worked out the way it did. I got the exact wrap I wanted out of the 6 hidden. And it just so happened to be the size that I needed. Once again thank you Ovolo for your time and effort in putting together this fun and generous activity.

FYI: Ella is currently passed out on the bed using the Ovolo as a blanket.

My New Wrap and Ring Sling- Tekhni Meandros and Pavo Gotham

I finally have a wrap and ring sling of my own thanks to my awesome wife. She split a size 7 Pavo Gotham Fireworks with a friend who wanted a shorter wrap. We had our half converted into a sling for me last week. At the International Babywearing Conference in Tempe she got me a Tekhni Meandros Petra woven wrap.

Nap 1 and 2. Its always nice when I can successfully transfer him to the bed and then use the wrap as a blanket. Never unsupervised! 

I have been using my wife’s carriers over the last couple years. I’m not the kind of guy to worry too much about wearing my wife’s purple, pink, rainbow and flowery carriers (in fact sometimes it’s funny just to see the looks of horror on the teenage boys' faces in Target). None the less, I’m really excited to have some carriers to call my own that are a little less “girly”. Both carriers look awesome and are very comfortable. Both Fireworks and Meandros were pretty soft right out of the box, requiring almost no breaking in.  

The Fireworks sling is great for my little Wesley right now. He is very curious and enjoys the wide range of motion a sling allows. However, if he is sleepy or if he will be up for a long time, the long size 7 Meandros is perfect. It lets me snuggle him up in a nice sturdy Front Wrap Cross Carry (which has resulted in two of the three naps he took yesterday).  The size 7 is also long enough for me to do a Double Hammock back carry with both Wesley and Ella Kay (our three year old). Unfortunately, this also resulted in Ella taking a nap, so she was still awake and crazy at 10:45 last night.

We finally got her to sleep at 11:15 by going on a walk outside with her up on my back again.

Welcome to Caleb's Corner

Let's be honest, the babywearing world has been a bit one-sided when it comes to gender. How many times have you seen a dad with his kid thrown up in a Half Jordan's back carry? Sure, Baby Bjorn is making its mark, but the bottom line is babywearing is considered a mommy thing. Dads are traditionally more distant from their children; the iron fist of justice whose only purpose is to provide, punish and play. Well, excuse my crassness, but screw that!  I want to be just as big a part of my kids' lives as their mother. I'm not about to strap on a prosthetic boob to get in some bonus bonding. But I can still be a source of comfort, keep my kids close, and be an emotionally available dad. For me, baby wearing has played a big role in these goals. It's more than just convenient child storage. It's an opportunity to bond, snuggle, and be more available to your baby. For a father who is striving to break some of the more traditional parental roles, babywearing is perfect.

As my wife and I built the concept for our business, I realized it was important to help expose the perspective of babywearing dads. In Caleb's Corner I will share my life as I navigate the ever unfolding territory of parenthood.  It is my hope that through sharing my stories and experiences I can encourage other dads to get excited about babywearing. The time of distant father figures is gone. Who cares if people think you’re wearing a curtain. Wrap, tie, sling and buckle that baby up with pride. 

Wesley and I on our way to the Farm's Market sporting the amazing Pavo Fireworks. I got to use it for a day before we had it turned into a ring sling for me. I would have loved to keep the whole size 7 but Mollie's friend owns the other half.