Friday, April 29, 2011

Emotion Games

Like most toddlers, Sasha doesn't like it when she doesn't get her way. I try to always view things from her perspective. I would try to calm her down when she was upset. And then I read this post from This is Worthwhile about a child's autonomy.

It is easy to understand, as aware mothers, that our children have autonomy. We don't force them to hug or kiss anyone. I try my best never to manhandle my daughter even for a diaper change. If she needs a few minutes bare-bottomed, so be it. I'm prepared to deal with the mess. She doesn't want to wear socks (she does, for medical reasons), well a night without socks isn't going to harm her. I think by mainstream standards, I am spoiling her rotten. Sometimes my husband accuses me of such. I'm really trying to simply respect her as a person.

This article opened my eyes to a new angle, though. Emotions.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Eggs!

Easter 2010 ~ SashaSasha's First Easter ~ 2010
I did the dying ~ she hardly noticed.

Easter 2011 ~ SashaSasha's First Easter Dying ~ 2011
It starts off neat enough...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Safe Minimizing

After I recently tossed an important skillet, I've tried to pause before taking any items out of rotation that are actually getting used. I still want to get rid of more stuff, but I'm trying to be a tiny bit more... cautious about it.

When I first moved out (of the house I'd owned for several years, leaving almost everything behind), I carefully picked out and purchased 4 fluffy towels in 2 shades I liked. I felt that it was a good start to my new home. I also got 2 washcloths and 2 hand towels to match. Then my boyfriend (now husband) moved in with me and brought 1 beach towel. Then Sasha came along and we received 1 hooded baby towel.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Surf: Funny, Free & Shocking

Oh my goodness, I found so much funny stuff to share with you this week! To jump right in, I'd like to share this YouTube video of Talking Twin Babies. There are several in the series, but this is the first I found and it is so friggin' funny! It will brighten your day, I promise!

And now on to some straight up links. First, more funny stuff!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chosen Family?

When I was a kid, I pretty much called every mother I knew "Mom." As a mother, I've referred to close friends as "Aunt _____" and "Uncle _____" to my kids. The trouble I had with this, however, is the way that people tend to float into our lives and then float back out again. I know it is the way of the world, but it isn't really the way of relatives. I have felt bad when someone got very close to us and spent a LOT of time with us... and then disappeared.

My Wordless Wednesday post this week showed a close friend of ours. In fact, he is my husband's best friend in addition to being a close friend of my own. We both met him (and each other) through work. Now that he lives a few towns away (and doesn't work with us anymore), we don't see him often. To save on gas, we fetch him and keep him for days at a time for longer visits. (Yes, in our tiny one bedroom apartment where the bedroom belongs to my daughter that only lives here part time.)

2007 ~ B2007 ~ Uncle?
Big kids can play in boxes, too!

This was the case this past weekend. We kept our friend for 6 days. He is always helpful when he is around and he is very good with kids (he has 2 of his own). He even took Sasha for a walk so Elmo and I could have a little alone time. We've never sent Sasha out with another person like that! So obviously, we trust him. I found myself wanting to refer to him as "Uncle _______," but stopping myself. It seems like it would be a curse on the relationship. There is a chance he will move far away. We plan to live on the road (though return to visit often). I just... I'm not sure how I want to handle this with our daughter.

Does your family have any chosen relatives? Have you had trouble result from such situations? Do you ever find yourself pushing people away for fear that they'll get too close? I could really use some input here!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Consistent and Loving Care

Image short descriptionWe had a friend visit for several days recently. He also provides consistent and loving care whenever he is here.

Visit Natural Parents Network Be sure to check out another photo of Sasha and other Consistent and Loving Care photos at NPN's Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Careful what ya toss!

One of the hardest parts of downsizing your junk is the emotional attachment and sentimental value we assign to stuff. This is why we tend to say that our stuff owns us, rather than owning our stuff. Once you begin to look at things in a different light, you can re-evaluate their value.

Not everything loses value, though! I have 3 non-stick skillets. I want to get a cast iron skillet that has not been pre-seasoned, but I haven't made it to a store that carries them yet. So for now, I have to 3 non-stick skillets. And I think they're hand-me-downs. I really shouldn't even be using them. One is small which is great for a grilled sandwich or scrambling some eggs for my family. Another (this one new when I got it) is deep and wide, great for hamburger / pasta dishes that have to simmer, covered. The third was a very wide, but shallow skillet. It has scratches. So, on a whim, I recently tossed it. No point in donating it, so it didn't go into my Goodwill bag. It went directly into the garbage and, soon after, out to the dumpster.

A couple days later, I realized... it was my French Toast pan! I had totally forgotten. This was the only skillet that could hold 4 pieces of bread (or even 4 grilled sandwiches) at once. Crap! I will survive without it, but we like to eat French Toast fairly often. I haven't made French Toast since we lost the pan.

Birthday Breakfast ~ French ToastSasha's First Birthday Breakfast
French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, & Sausage

My point? Just as I have my Goodwill bag set aside for things I suddenly choose to take out of rotation - it still sits there for a few days (or a week) before it goes away. So, should I have a "maybe toss this in 2 days" pile? That is a tough one. I've gotten fairly ruthless with my minimizing, so I don't think I want to do that. Hopefully I've learned my lesson with my beloved French Toast skillet.

Perhaps if you (or I!) choose to toss something that does get regular usage, stop and think about the value. Think about why and when you use it before you toss it. And if you do lose something that had more value than you realized, I assure you: You will survive without it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Surf: Lindane

I've received a couple of links from The National Pediculosis Association®, Inc. recently that I've been saving to share with you. I just needed to take the time to collect my thoughts. While writing this post, I did collect more links to share here.

First up, Pharmalot reports Itching For Change: Lice & Pharmaceutical Products. The Stockholm Convention banned Lindane production and agricultural use a couple of years ago. Lindane is a neurotoxin. Lindane has shown up in foods from all over the world. This did not, however, include pharmaceutical use. That means that lindane can still be used in lice and flea treatments. That means people are putting a neurotoxin on the scalps of their children. The article explains some scientific studies, a California ban on lindane, law suits, and some history. It is interesting reading.

Photo Credit: Dea Bee

The World Health Organization classifies lindane as "Moderately Hazardous." It is presently banned in more than 50 countries, and in 2009 was included in the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants, which bans its production and use worldwide (except for pharmaceutical use).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Extended Breastfeeding, So Far!

Welcome to the April Carnival of Breastfeeding:
Extended Breastfeeding

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Breastfeeding hosted by The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog and Blacktating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I had my first child when I was just 17 years old. I didn't do any real research during that pregnancy, but somehow knew that breastfeeding was the right choice for me. My stepmother was surprised by my decision. I don't think she or my father really understood. They went to the store the day my daughter was born and returned with gifts - they each picked out a t-shirt for me. While I do nurse in t-shirts these days, I don't think they are generally considered nursing-friendly clothing.

Soon after, I got into an argument over nursing my daughter without any cues from her. I knew when she was hungry because my breasts told me. I moved out. I nursed her until she was about 6 months old when I switched her to formula. When I asked about a pill to dry up my milk, the doctor told me to just wait for it and to take Tylenol for the pain. Wait. Pain? I had no idea! It was awful! While I would never "wean" like that again, my mother adopted my daughter not long after that, so it was best that she was not still on the breast.

Fast forward 8 years.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Advocating or just Opinionated?

Welcome to the April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Compassionate Advocacy

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they advocate for healthy, gentle parenting choices compassionately. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


As parents, we're faced with SO many decisions. Sometimes we go with our gut, sometimes we research like crazy, sometimes we ask our friends and/or parents what they did when facing the same decision. There are more decisions to be made than a non-parent could even imagine!

So after making these decisions that will have such a huge impact on who our children become, I think we have to feel confident in our choices. We know we decided for a reason(s), whatever that may be. We may have even had to argue our ideas with a partner. I think the very confidence that is necessary to a parent can, when shared with others, come off as being opinionated.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Progress

Celebrate the little victories. I got the bug to downsize into an RV around October / November of 2010. I dove in pretty hard core and have amazed those close to me with the things I've let go. It has been a serious paradigm shift for me, a former pack rat. In December we'd downsized enough to move into a smaller (cheaper) apartment.

Pile of JunkJunk Pile still remaining
one month after our last move

Smaller Junk PileJunk Pile remaining today

I have the irresistible urge to provide some disclaimers, though:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Surf: Mostly Breastfeeding Stuff + Some Gems

The links seem to be plenty for this week, no extra intro necessary!

ParisKeep Reading... You'll See...

  • Have you ever tasted your own breastmilk? Have you tried it in your coffee? I've tasted it, years ago, and don't recall specifics other than thinking it was perhaps a little sweeter than regular milk. I wish I had thought to ask Ronni what it tasted like, in his words, when he was old enough to talk and was still nursing. Well Stefanie of Adventures in Babywearing thought to ask! Such a sweet exchange (and short, too, if you're looking for a quick read). Straight from the mouths of babes!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Daddy & Samantha

Elmo & 1mo SamanthaElmo with Samantha @ 1mo
(my stepdaughter)

Elmo & 1mo SamanthaElmo with Samantha @ 1mo
June 2008

Elmo & 1mo SamanthaElmo with Samantha @ 1mo
a rare visit to our apartment

See also WW @ NPN!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Board Book Review: Carry Me

Carry me (Babies Everywhere)Carry Me (Babies Everywhere)

"Whether tucked in a blanket, peeking out of a basket, riding in a backpack, or wrapped in a parent's arms, babies worldwide are carried in unique ways. The simple, rhyming text of this board book introduces children to the ways their global neighbors travel."

I love this board book! Not only does it show babies being worn in different ways from all over the world, it then includes a sort of photo - index in the back. It has a smaller version of each photograph and tells the country of origin. We picked it up at our local library.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Habits & Clutter

I have been, okay I still am, very much a "flat surface" kind of person. You know, the kind of person who sets things on every flat surface until you come home with something and can't find anywhere to set it because all of the flat surfaces are full!

I still do this. I tend to stack mail next to my keyboard or on the end of the kitchen counter to get to later. This is a habit I really, really still need to improve! I feel as though I have tackled reducing our belongings as well as saying no to new/unnecessary purchases, but I am still only in the middle of my journey. I still have more junk to clear and habits to change. I don't feel like I've reached a standstill, but I do feel I've slowed down a lot.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Surf: Variety Hour

I avoided the internet enough this week that I actually wound up looking for stuff to read and share this weekend. Then I thinned some stuff back out as I realized some other things I should have shared that just hadn't been saved yet. Here are the links that made the cut and why:

  • I enjoy posts that make me think. If you do, too, then check out Culture Dust from Love Live Grow with a dreadlocked hippie-freak farm girl. She wrote it so very eloquently!

  • Visit Natural Parents NetworkJessica Lang's article on Natural Parents Network ~ Skin to Skin Bonding: As Brothers Attach made me stop to think about something... that I can't believe hadn't occurred to me sooner! Just as parents bond with our new babies with skin-to-skin contact, so too can siblings. I need to keep this in mind when we have another...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Attachment Parenting a Child with Lice - Part V

I bet you thought I was done when I posted Life after Lice, didn't you? Well guess again. Sasha had lice for two and a half months! There were a few times in there that I thought we had made it through, but then found more.

I don't want to make other parents worry even more because we had a hard time, but I also want to present a true view of our battle. I have spoken with Deborah from The National Pediculosis Association®, Inc. several times. I do not know what I would have done without her continued support. Every time I reached the end of my rope, Deborah dragged me back.

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