Saturday, June 25, 2011

pStyle Giveaway Extended!

Good news! I've extended the giveaway deadline to July 7 so I can crosspost it on Natural Parents Network. See the "Win It" section for extra entry options.

pStyle Color Selection pStyle Color Selection


For your own chance to win one of TWO pStyles, enter in the comments below! Contest is open to U.S. and Canada.

  • Tell us why you want a pStyle and what color you'd choose.
Leave a valid email address in your comments (the line where it says "email address") so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses are not made publicly visible.

This is a joint giveaway with Momma Jorje, a natural parenting blog, and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES, to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry above (leave a separate comment for each so we can count them all):
  • Subscribe to Natural Parents Network in a reader or by email (1 entry for each).
  • Follow Momma Jorje via Google Friend Connect.
  • Leave a relevant comment on a non-giveaway article at Natural Parents Network and tell us which post (comment on separate posts for up to 3 entries total).
  • Like on Facebook.
  • Like Natural Parents Network on Facebook.
  • Follow Momma Jorje on Networked Blogs. Please leave your Facebook profile name so we can confirm.
  • Post this giveaway on your Facebook page or wall and leave the link (1 entry). You can use this status update: Enter to win one of TWO pStyles from and @Natural Parents Network. Contest ends July 7 and is open to Canada & US.
    Be sure to attach the contest URL to your update (this is not part of the status)!

  • Follow @pStylefabulous on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.

  • Follow @NatParNet on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.

  • Tweet about this giveaway (up to 5 times total, at least 24 hours apart). You can tweet this text: Want to pee standing up? #Win a @pStylefabulous from @NatParNet! #giveaway {7.7; Can/US}

  • Enter another of the current giveaways on Natural Parents Network (1 extra entry per giveaway — check back for more).

  • Put the Natural Parents Network badge on your website or add to your text blogroll for 2 extra entries each. The HTML code for the badge is in the right sidebar of Leave your site URL in the comment.

  • Add to your text blogroll for 2 extra entries. Leave your site URL in the comment.

  • Contest open to Canadian and United States mailing addresses only.
  • Contestants may enter at either Momma Jorje or Natural Parents Network but not both. Entries will be combined for the drawing of two single winners.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so we can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let us know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don't have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • We will pick the winners through after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave a valid email address as you comment so we can contact you if you win. If we can't reach a winner or don't hear back within a couple days, we'll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let Lauren know: Lauren {at}
Contest closes July 7 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Friday, June 24, 2011

One Amazing Gran

Mom's Senior PortraitMom's Senior Portrait
I always thought she looked like a movie star in this photo!

My mother and I had our spats. There were phases of my life when I rarely spoke with her, despite living only a few miles apart. She was, however, an amazing Gran.

When Ronni was born, my mother helped me debate and prepare my argument against vaccinations. She ultimately asked me very hard questions that I needed to be able to answer. The biggest and one that I always remember... She asked if I didn't have Ronni vaccinated and he caught one of the vaccine diseases and died, what would that do to my marriage and was I prepared to face these possible consequences. Ronni's father never did agree with me on vaccines, but he was less willing to be wrong than I was. My mother helped me to be strong in my convictions about vaccines. Sometimes I find this extra amazing specifically because she suffered from Polio as a child and Post Polio Syndrome for much of her adult life.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dedicated to Gran

In loving memory of Gran.
June 30, 1946 - June 21, 2011

Sasha's was the one and only birth my mother ever attended and it moved her to tears. I'm not sure she was ever more proud of me than in that moment.

Gran and SashaOctober 2009
Gran & Sasha (1 month old)

Gran and SashaMarch 2010
Gran & Sasha (6 months old)

I'll miss you, Mom.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Losing People

I don't really have any inspiration to share with you today. I don't have any personal minimizing updates, either. I spent a chunk of my day in the ICU waiting room. I feel like people are suddenly being minimized right out of my life. Is it my age? I'm nearing the big four-oh... in a year and a half.

We're moving in just under 2 months. Hopefully we'll see another surge of minimizing here again very soon in preparation for that.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Surf: Fathers Day

Started the day with a call from the nursing home... they were having Mom taken to a hospital. Sorry, Daddy, no Bacon & Eggs for breakfast. Spoke with my dad and he really ticked me off assuming and arguing about what was wrong with my mom. It was *not* her heart. It was none of his business that she had lower GI bleeding. I did wind up having a lovely visit in the evening with my dad and his wife, though. Sasha even convinced him to follow her into the kitchen, get chicken out of the fridge, and feed it to her sitting on the kitchen counter. It was so adorable. Oh, and she told them both "I love you." Priceless!

How 'bout some links?

  • I haven't really researched vaccine choices since my 12yo was born. I've heard about reactions, especially autistic ones. I read this amazing and terrifying story on The Guggie Daily this week I'd like to share with you: Where Vaccine Doubt Persists.

  • You like to buy local? What about when you go fast food? Do you go to big chain restaurants? Do you ever think about where your money goes? This week a friend shared this link about breaking the chains. It is published in a local magazine here in Oklahoma (not even in my town), but applies everywhere! Support your local community! Buy local!

  • Also from The Guggie Daily, I really appreciated Confessions of a Circumcised Man as well. It is an amazing and touching article written by a victim of this genital mutilation. The lead-in is amazing as well. As I prepare myself for a possible argument for our child, I am gathering links like this one to share with my husband who is currently pro-circ.

  • A friend suggested Jicama to me as a low-carb wonderfully versatile veggie. I have never had it... honestly wasn't sure what it looked like. Once she described it, I did pick one up at the local Super Store. I have yet to try it, though. You can eat it raw or cooked and there are lots of recipes. In fact, just looking on flickr for photos I saw lots more options! Have you tried jicama? In what dish? Here is one good page about it, including some sample recipes.

  • During one of many late-night Natural Parents Network volunteer team chats, my friend Amanda shared a link to The Whole Network. This looks to be an amazing anti-circumcision resource! Again, a good link to keep for that possible impending argument. Should we be having a boy, I intend to win!

    pStyle Color Selection pStyle Color Selection
  • Speaking of winning, this is the last week to enter to win a pStyle on my blog! Read the review and enter the giveaway here. This is a low entry giveaway so far, so your chances of winning one of two pStyles are great!

  • CNN Opinion published what turned out to be a fairly controversial piece on how fathers should wake the hell up! I was amazed at some of the negative comments men were leaving! I signed up for the site just so I could post supporting the article. I will say, however, that I am a very lucky woman. I may write an entire post about the 10 commandments of righteous fatherhood later, but suffice to say... my husband is wonderful and I appreciate him every day. If you missed it, check out the article.

I hope you enjoyed this week's list. I did! Oh, and I did also manage to salvage some Fathers Day for hubby by taking him out to a nice lunch and to purchase a gift.

Have a great week! And remember to appreciate good dads every day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fidgety Nursers

When Sasha was still an infant and even a bit older, I recall being thankful that she had no specifically annoying fidgety habits while nursing. I was also disappointed for a bit that she didn't do that adorable thing Tyler did where she would just hold the edge of my bra. It was somehow very sweet. I was glad she wasn't much of a nipple-tweaker or anything. She did go through a phase where she wanted to bury her hand in my armpit! I'm ticklish and couldn't stand it!

Anyway, fast forward to my nursing toddler. It is a whole different world. I, of course, get the nursing acrobatics sometimes. The main thing that is driving me crazy, though...

Sasha has always played with and pulled her hair when she is sleepy and breastfeeding. Recently, she has started playing with mine. In fact, if it isn't down where she can reach it, she fusses until it is. She will gladly pull a fist full of hair down for herself! So, if I actually have my hair up in a pony, this makes a mess of my hair. If I just wear a clip, not a big deal. Except when I forget to fix it and wander around with half my hair hanging down in the back.

SashaSee her arm reaching up?

My hair has quickly become her security blanket. She has never latched onto a single object for comfort with any regularity. If we're out and she feels uneasy about something (say, a giant bookworm walking around the library, giving kids high fives), she latches onto my hair. I am okay with this. Actually, I'm tickled that *I* am her security. I think this is a healthy arrangement!

Now for the "kicker..." When drifting off to sleep, holding and twirling my hair isn't enough for this little bundle, oh no! She must run her toes through my hair! This seems counter-productive to sleeping, but she manages it. Her foot occasionally deciding to lodge in my throat, however, is counter-productive to my sanity and comfort!

What crazy and/or annoying things have your children done while nursing or for additional comfort?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Minimalism and Hitting the Road

This woman used minimalism to fit her entire life into a car (on purpose)! Then she hit the road. This is a great blog entry by her, so I wanted to share it. My only concern was that the post was written in April (this year) and there had not, as of yet, been ANY updates... of any kind. I'm not sure when exactly she hit the road... but I'd like to know what has happened since.

There has been a post this month, but it speaks absolutely nothing of the minimalism and travels. I hope there will be more soon.

Please enjoy: Just don’t call me a tramp. It confuses my mother.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Surf: Focus

I got some bad news about my own health this week and it has made for a rough week. I'm also having a very hard time focusing on much since I got pregnant. Its amazing I've managed to keep up with my posting schedule. On that note, here are my links for you this week.

  • I hadn't noticed just how old this article was, but MSNBC reported on a hospital that had lawyers rush to court to get legal guardianship of her a woman's unborn child if she returned to their hospital - all because she refused a Cesarian. What are mothers' rights during childbirth?

  • Have you encountered the Facial Recognition on Facebook yet? I was recently uploaded photos to my husband's account and Facebook guessed that a photo of our daughter was some other person on his list of friends. It was encouraging me to tag her. Odd, to say the least. Check out PCWorld's article: Facebook Facial Recognition: New Technology, Familiar Problem

  • I read a great older post at Authentic Parenting on why you should Avoid Giving Birth On Your Back And Follow Your Body's Urges To Push. I enjoyed the article and the link, despite the fact that I couldn't be convinced to change positions during my last labor. I very much needed to do just that and once I finally did everything progressed.

  • If you are interested in gender neutrality, then you'll likely enjoy the most recent comic on Poly in Pictures. It's titled Bits.

If you know of an article I simply must read (especially about focus while pregnant), please be sure to share it with me!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Japanese Women have Worms?

I don't guess I get out a lot... socially speaking. And I don't have a lot of friends that like sushi. I had been craving sushi for months before I got pregnant with Sasha. I waited until she was about a year old to have it, though, per the medical warnings. (Yes, I shared it with her, too!)

So here I am pregnant again and wanting sushi, again. I find it hard to believe that Japanese women don't eat sushi while pregnant. In fact, I finally found an article that pointed out they DO eat it. They consider it quite a healthy thing for pregnant women to eat!

That said, I don't live in Japan. I was hunting for someone, ANYone to tell me that they ate sushi while pregnant (and had no dire consequences). I recently read Anktangle's birth story and noticed that she had sushi while in labor! I literally contacted her on Facebook to ask her about this! Turns out she had only eaten California Rolls unagi rolls (cooked eel). (For those not in the know, California Rolls also do not contain any raw fish.) Well phooey. She asked that I let her know if I found any research indicating that it is safe, after all.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Dust in the Wind?

Just a quick note this week to share a link with you. Jonathan Fields wrote about all of the stuff left behind when the elderly pass on. Even precious keepsakes, family heirlooms, personal mementos may wind up in a landfill. The photo in his post is very poignant, as is the entire (short) post. Go check it out for a little Monday Minimalist Inspiration.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Surf: Variety Hour

I've spent the day feeling very sick (more than just hormones today). I believe it was something I ate, but more on that later. Here are the links that I collected special for you this week.

  • I've seen lots of posts from crunchy types post about gender stereotypes. We're all supportive of boys having their own selection of the entire color spectrum. We support a parent's right to choose asexual (or more correctly: gender-free) names. This latest story, though... I just don't know. Go read Parents keep child’s gender under wraps on Yahoo! News. Then please come back and tell me what you think. I believe in standing up and telling the world your beliefs on such topics... but I'm not sure how I feel about putting your child's psyche at risk for the effort... what do you think?

  • Just for fun and fascination, check out these Perfectly timed photos! You'll be so impressed with the first few you see, but by the time you get to the bottom, the first will have been left in the dust! Awesome stuff! Oh, but if you're easily offended... skip it.

    Milk Nose

  • Speaking of crunchy parents, Amanda from Let’s Take the Metro recently wrote an amusing guest post about How to Become Crunchy. It is a quick read, so go check it out for a chuckle. Amanda is a hoot!

  • Sometimes late at night, when I'm waiting for Sasha to nurse to sleep in my lap, I Stumble through the net. One of my categories is Atheist / Agnostic. The other night I stumbled upon Wikipedia's page on Atheist's Wager. It was quite interesting. If you're set in your faith and not into reading such things, please skip it. If you're curious, though, enjoy! It, too, is a short read. I hadn't actually heard of Blaise Pascal's Wager, so it was all new to me.

  • My husband and I have already opened an argument about circumcision. My main argument (though he knows I'm against it) was that we not bother arguing until (and if) the situation arises to deem such a discussion necessary. I really appreciated this link today, though. It is written by a doctor! You don't find a lot of intactivist doctor articles. I will refer back to this one should the need arise, but my husband also saw it on my screen today. End genital mutilation now by Dr. James Page, MD.

Have a great week!

Friday, June 3, 2011

pStyle Review & Giveaway!

EDIT: Good news! I've extended the giveaway deadline to July 7 so I can crosspost it on Natural Parents Network. See my new post or NPN post for extra entry options.

Warning: You can expect this to be a "TMI" sort of post!

I have no plans of turning this into a Review / Giveaway blog, but I'd love to do one every month or two. I got interested and got lots of advice from my new friend over at The Undomestic Mommy. I contacted the first company I had in mind late one Friday and had a response from Krista by Monday morning!

So I've received 3 pStyles - one for testing / review and 2 to share with my readers! I was SO excited to receive them! I have been amazed, however, by how many friends of mine have never heard of female urination devices! There are actually several products on the market and even a Wiki page for them!

Such a device is designed to assist women in urinating from a standing position. It is physiologically possible to do so without such an aid, but these devices can make it easier and some can even make it possible to do so without dropping your britches! These things have been around for nearly 100 years (at least)!

pStyle Color Selection pStyle Color Selection

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Family Play Time

Chef SashaSometimes play time has to work around duties. We weren't even having Mac 'n Cheese, but it was the right size for her little hands.

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