My name is Christine Bliven. I was born in Zürich and lived here nine years before moving to the US (Seattle area) with my family. My father is American and my mother is Swiss. I studied Psychology and received a Master’s degree before following my heart (now husband) to San Diego, California. There I continued my studies and completed a Certificate in Infant Preschool Mental Health. After several years in sunny California my husband and I decided to move to Zürich for a year or two as he finished up his Phd. Four years later we are still here and have two lovely kids.
Babywearing: We were given a wrap before my son was born and my husband wore him home from the birth house. We continued to babywear and found that my son loved it and it was really convenient for us. As I got more involved with the babywearing community I realized that there weren’t any consultants who provided consultations mainly in English. Many can speak English and do a fantastic job consulting in English, but their websites are in German and so it’s difficult for expats to find them. So with some encouragement from a good friend who is also a consultant, I took the training at the ClauWi school and became a babywearing consultant myself. Now I consult both in German and in English and I love helping new moms find ways to be closer to their babies and simultaneously find time for themselves.
Signing: I’ve loved American Sign Language (ASL) for as long as I can remember. I watched in awe as the interpreter at our church interpreted the songs with beautiful motions. I took a class at a community college in San Diego and then when my work schedule wouldn’t allow me to continue I found a one-on-one Deaf tutor who continued to teach me the language. We found an amazing Deaf community and were able to learn not only about the language but about the culture. Once we moved to Switzerland I took a beginners sign language class in German sign language. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between that and ASL. I’ve had experience using sign language with my own kids and noticed not only that they can use it to communicate before they speak, but also that they enjoy it. By teaching baby signing classes I am hoping to pass this joy on to other families with young children.