Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review: Hello Baby

I've been trying to find good books to help my toddler understand that a baby brother is on the way. Hobo Mama offered a list of books (with short reviews!) for preparing an older sibling. Her son is, however, a year older than Sasha so none of the books I could get seemed to fit for us.

On my search, I had another book suggested and actually had to use my library's Interlibrary Loan service to get a copy. (I am SO glad my library offers this!) Hello Baby written by Jenni Overend and illustrated by Julie Vivas.

I had mostly been checking into board books, but I've gotten some regular paper books, too. This one is paper. And it isn't going to work for what I needed. However, it is an amazing book!

It is written as though from an older sibling's viewpoint. He has two older sisters, but has never witnessed a birth himself. You read about how his mother prepared him for her noisy birthing, an uncle's early gift of firewood to warm the home for baby's arrival, the arrival of the midwife and other support. He shares with us his sister's reaction and how he feels about the new baby and his family. It is SUCH a sweet, sweet book. At one point I was chuckling and at another I was nearly in tears.

You may find this book especially helpful in preparing an older sibling for a home birth of your new baby. I'm certain you will enjoy the book yourself, too! The book is 32 pages long and is a bit wordy for my 2yo, but isn't heavy reading at all. The artwork is lovely.

Do you have any book recommendations for me? I need books aimed at young toddlers.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

LiceMeister® Comb

September is Head Lice Prevention Month. I've offered up many facts and warnings about lice as well as advice on how to prevent and battle infestations. Today I want to review for you a tool: The LiceMeister® Comb.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Buddy Walk Change

Buddy Walk Change CollectionSat down with Sasha immediately after breakfast (hence the bib) to empty our change jar into our collection jar for Team Spencer.

Buddy Walk Change CollectionShe loved "playing" with the change. We've never emptied our change tin (only dug for quarters), so it still had cat hair in it! We haven't had a cat in over 2 years!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Rearranging

Do you ever try to tackle a big "get rid of stuff" task and find yourself just moving items from their current spot to some other spot? I am absolutely guilty as charged! I've been alright with it, though. It really does mean more work as you wind up touching the same item several times before you (probably) just get rid of it anyway. It becomes about condensing, but that can lend itself to gently minimizing your stuff.

Walk-in ClosetOur Walk-in Closet

We have 1 walk-in closet in our tiny apartment. It holds... stuff we don't want Sasha to get into (and won't need often), sheets, what is left of our clothes that we don't wear often and haven't donated yet, and some other odds and ends. For a walk-in closet, you notice you can't really walk into it? This was my point of interest this weekend.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Surf

What did I even do this week? Ah, we got Spencer's echo-cardiogram. (It looked good!) I also contemplated some major decisions. Here the links that interrupted that train of thought along the way.

  • According to NPR, Comcast if offering reduced rate internet for low income families! They are also offering discounted basic PCs for a every discounted rate! Wonderful program! As our income drops, this may be an option to which we turn.

  • Scientists have to be able to map the protein structure of diseases in order to understand and combat them. Microscopes only offer one view, though. It is one-dimensional. A video game was written for figuring out the actual 3-D makeup of diseases. Care to guess how long it took online gamers to crack the AIDS enzyme puzzle?

  • I have, over the past year, seen many posts and discussions pop up regarding the "No 'poo Method." Heard of it? The idea basically seems to be that you stop shampooing your hair. That does dramatically simplify the philosophy a bit. I finally read an argument that intrigued me and looked around a bit. Here is the post I'm considering for reference for my own "No poo" experiments. I already rarely shampoo my hair (or Sasha's) at all.

  • There has also been a lot of discussion of homeschooling in my parenting circles lately. Specifically, there has been some comparison of types. Did you know there were several different types (or ways) to homeschool? I love Wikipedia and they have a great entry about homeschooling as an umbrella term (or at least covering many different methodologies).

  • Someone shared Onyx, this cool source for non-plastic containers. They have all sorts of stainless steel stuff, including straws!

  • I've had a few occasions recently where I noticed my uterus was hardened. I know this happens with orgasm, but I was noticing it at other times. Then it finally hit me... I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions, duh! Then I wondered what sorts of things make them happen. I was actually a bit surprised by the list provided by American Pregnancy Association.

    The list includes "when someone touches your belly." Wow. Really? Thankfully my BH aren't causing me any pain or discomfort at this point, they just feel strange. I kept thinking that Spencer was mashing directly on my bladder... nope, it was my BH uterus.

I hope you've enjoyed my links this week. I know I did! I've posted several others through the week directly onto my Facebook Page. Click over and "Like" so you won't miss anything!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nursing through Pregnancy - 25 weeks

Soon after my last post on this topic, things improved.

Sasha mostly stopped needing to nurse for as long. She started to go to sleep a little earlier each night. She stopped clamping down on my nipple (except when I didn't get her to bed fast enough once she was asleep).

However, the teeth marks continue and are further and further around my nipple now, almost performing a full circle. Sleep improved, but has gotten worse again. I think due to some illness.

About to bare it all here, you have been warned...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All Natural Topical Lice Treatments

September is Head Lice Prevention Month. I've already discussed the reasons not to use chemicals on your babies' heads as well as what to do instead. I bet you're wondering, though... what about other home remedies?

Japanese Kewpie MayonnaiseJapanese Kewpie Mayonnaise
Photo Credit

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Playground

At the end of a Summer that was too hot for me to go outside, Daddy had a vacation day... which we used to go to the park! We always seem to go when no one else is there.

Daddy helping Sasha UP the slideDaddy helping Sasha UP the slide

Sasha at top of slideDaddy shows Sasha how to get
to the top of the slide.

Sasha on swing #1Is that a happy girl or what? Smiling over at Daddy, also swinging.

Sasha on swing #2Sasha had to try every swing, even though the other 2 were not toddler swings.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Freebies

Possibly the toughest thing to resist taking home: freebies.

A few months ago I brought home a pretty pink and purple water bottle that is the style I never use. Sasha has played with it, but otherwise it is just taking up valuable space. So when faced with freebies, I try to stop and ask myself:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Surf

Two birthdays this week, one turned 13 and the other turned 2. Yow! I've been sharing more great links on my Facebook Page the day that I find them, so go "Like" if you haven't already. Here is more backlog of what I've collected for you!

  • Do you have daughters? Do you hate pop music? I don't hate pop music, but sometimes I'm shocked to hear what little girls are saying when they sing along to their favorite songs. I remember going into my little sister's elementary school for carnival night and hearing "Tonight's the Night" (or whatever its called) from the Spice Girls. Wow. Can you say "Not appropriate?" Thankfully, Peaceful Parenting has compiled a list for us of Approved for Girls: Music! Now, if only she had also set up a playlist of them already gathered on YouTube! Nah, that would just be too darned convenient, no?

    Music GirlMusic Girl
    Photo Credit

  • Hybrid Rasta Mama: A Natural Parenting, Healthy Living BlogLast month, Hybrid Rasta Mama did a guest post on Fabulous Mama Chronicles. The post is about an awesome way to handle the questions with which we get inundated by our children. This has got to be the most positive, open-ended, learning-encouraging, imagination-encouraging approach I've ever seen to this topic!

  • And finally, possibly the most beautiful poem for mothers. I don't think I'd ever read the entire thing, but click over to peaceful parenting to read Babies Don't Keep, such an important reminder.

  • Visit Natural Parents NetworkOh! One more! Also from last month, but in case you missed it, Natural Parents Network ran a piece on Welcoming a New Baby (when there is already a little one in the home). The topic is, of course, of great interest to me.

And there you have it. Here's hoping you have a great week and that the weather is nice, wherever you are. We've welcomed the cooler weather here in Oklahoma! Please feel free to send me links you think I should feature. Alternatively, you could even post them to my Facebook Page! Have a great week!

Friday, September 16, 2011

EC - No Praise / No Discipline

It can be very difficult, especially in the beginning with Elimination Communication, to not go nuts when you start catching pees (and/or poops). I definitely got excited, but tried not to specifically say "Good job!" or whatever. (If you don't understand why I wouldn't want to tell my child she is good, please check out Hobo Mama's guest post by Anktangle on Being "good" and/or Hobo Mama's own follow-up post a month later about Why "good kid" bothers me.)

Everett on the PottyEverett on the Potty
Photo Credit

So, instead, I'd excitedly say "Daddy, Sasha went peepee in the potty!" I also don't punish for "accidents." She's been using the potty (off and on) since she was two months old! I don't think you can consider a 6 month old wetting the bed (because I let her sleep naked) an "accident." I do not want to shame her into using the potty! or anything else for that matter! Shaming children... is a shameful act!

So... how on earth do I motivate her?! Well first off, the idea is that babies do not want to sit in their own waste! However, I have found a way to "praise" or "bribe" her that I feel totally good about!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If not chemicals, then what?

September is Head Lice Prevention Month. It is a timely reminder. I've said quite a bit about the importance of alternatives to chemical treatments for lice infestations. But if not chemicals, then how to you get rid of head lice and their nits? Well the NPA and I are here to tell you! Note: The NPA emphasizes the importance of education in advance of outbreaks. I couldn't agree more!

The NPA's Ten Tips for
Head Lice & Nit Removal

'Cuz if you don't get 'em out've still got 'em!

© 2004 NPA
with my comments added in italics

  1. Work under a good light, such as a lamp or the natural sunlight from sitting by a window or going outdoors. I often had a lamp and a flashlight when working on Sasha's hair and I swear it was still not enough! Natural light is best, but that didn't work for us. Ultimately we used the light in the bathroom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Playful Parenting = Extra Energy??

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Through Play

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how challenging discipline situations can be met with play. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


It can be hard to remember that when your child wants to do something they can't (like be in the kitchen while Daddy is cooking bacon), it is much easier to distract than just to argue "no" or wrestle a toddler in tantrum mode.

This was our exact situation recently. I was exhausted. I'd had a rough night and just felt like crap. But I knew Sasha could not be in the kitchen with Daddy. And so what started with us arguing with Sasha (ever argued tried to argue with a 2yo?) suddenly turned into some one-on-one play time. I scooped my beautiful toddler up by her hips, threw her legs over my shoulder and hugged her upside down. This is something I do often, but I really did not think I had it in me on this particular morning.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Ultimate Minimalism

Today I have for you something that I think could be the ultimate in minimalism... and the greenest choice I have ever seen. Have you decided what you want done with your body once you die? Even if you donate / sell your body to science, I've heard that once they're finished with it, it still has to be... disposed?

I've already decided that I want to be cremated. I do not want to continue to take up precious space on this earth once I pass. However, Martín Azúa has taken it one further. Check out his Bios Urna Biodegradable!

Bios Urna BiodegradableImage is from Martín Azúa site.

You can have your ashes feed a tree! Read an article written about the Biodegradable Urn on I just don't think you can get much more minimalist than this... at least not postmortem. Can you top this?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Surf

It doesn't seem like I did much in the last week, but I don't really remember doing much surfing. I did see lots of Wordless Wednesday posts and shared most of them on my Facebook page. However, after doing the Down Syndrome themed Sunday Surf edition a couple of weeks ago, I still have a backlog of links to share with you!

  • This first link is an important one and is new from this past week. True Confessions of a Real Mommy publishes a Tell all Tuesday series. This past week she published one that I think is important for future mothers (and anyone who may know or ever know a future mother!) to read. Had you ever heard of Prenatal Depression? Please, please go read this!

  • Also new this week (from Monday, actually, in response to my Monday Minimalist: Kid Clothes), is what looks like it could become the next best thing to eBay! ThredUp lets you box of clothes and sell them for a set price AND/OR buy boxes of clothes for a set price. Every box is the same price. I think they are a bit unclear about that price without sign-up, though. I wasn't sure if it's plus $10.95 shipping (seems high) or box + shipping IS a total of $10.95. I haven't signed up yet, though. The clothes I bagged up last Monday were for a friend.

  • Dr Lawrence B Palevsky MD | FAAP was brought to my attention for his philosophy of Healing the Whole Child. Naturally. I haven't even surfed through the site much yet, but I knew you'd want to see it! He also has a Facebook Page.

  • One of my newest readers recently posted recipes for toothpaste... including a Vanilla one! I love vanilla toothpaste so I keep meaning to make this one! The toothpaste is kid-friendly and she offers some other flavor tips as well. (I think this one posted last Sunday so it is officially new as well.)

I hope you enjoyed these links and learned something new here today. Please feel free to send me links you think I should feature. Alternatively, you could even post them to my Facebook page! Have a great week!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Nursing through Pregnancy - 20 weeks

The first time I read about someone letting their toddler nurse even though their milk was gone, I was shocked. My knee jerk reaction was even slight disgust. But as I read more, I could see where this was a viable option. My heart went out to the mother, who was in a good deal of pain during nursing. Still, she stuck to what she felt was right for her family, setting limits for her own benefit.

Another mother lost her milk during pregnancy as well. Her son still wanted to nurse, too. She got the "Heebie Jeebies" from it, but has still stuck to what she feels works for her family. She has set limits for herself, but allows her son the comfort of nursing.

breastfeeding in the third trimesterbreastfeeding in the third trimester
Photo Credit: HoboMama

Since getting pregnant, I've been absolutely paranoid about losing my milk. I eat oatmeal occasionally to help my milk supply. And then it happened. Sasha quietly and without my realizing it, stopped breastfeeding. Oh she still nurses, plenty! I've checked, I still have milk. (It really never went away since I had Tyler, 13 years ago!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Treat Lice without Chemicals?

September is Head Lice Prevention Month. It is a timely reminder. This week, I'd like to explain why you need chemical-free options for fighting lice. You're not actually treating lice, you're treating your child.

No matter what you do...

Be Sure To Provide a
Non-Chemical Choice For
Children, Families, and Yourself!

© 2002 NPA


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Birthday Dad!

Me & My DadHappy Birthday Dad!
(he isn't likely to actually see this)

Sasha's First BirthdaySasha & Grandpa
Sasha's First Birthday
Her second is next week!

Go see some adorable tiny babies on Natural Parents Network today:
Wordless Wednesday: Preemies

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Kid Clothes

How fast is your little one growing? They sure sprout up, don't they? Are their drawers getting cramped? Not only was our little plastic dresser thing stuffed, I had a box of Baby Clothes in the closet. I knew there had to be some overly girlie stuff in there and we're having a boy. Plus, a dear friend is having a girl next month! So it was high time I went through all of it and weeded out what I know we won't use with Spencer.

Minimizing Baby StuffBox o' Baby Clothes in the Closet

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Surf

Woo, I actually collected a lot of links over the last two weeks! As you may recall, last week was a special themed edition of Sunday Surf: Down Syndrome. I was still finding cool stuff online...

  • I found this really cool article about What Your Pediatrician Wishes You Knew. My only beef with the article is that there are supposed to be at least one more page. Its missing. Still, some good stuff in there!

  • Are you here because you're an Attachment Parent, too? How about Attachment Marriage-ing? Very interesting take on... attachment principles.

  • Check out these Dream Bedrooms! There is one especially for Amanda Metro! Which one is your dream bedroom?

    Sasha's Dream BedroomSasha asleep in our bed.
    September 2010 - 1 year old

Friday, September 2, 2011

Introduction to Solids... Portions?

I don't like the term "Baby Led Weaning" when it comes to introduction to solids. I think the phrase applies better to nursing than solids. However "Child Led Introduction to Solids" is just too long!

7mo Sasha with cantaloupe7mo Sasha, loving cantaloupe!

Still, we began introducing solids to Sasha at 6 months. (She was showing plenty of interest in our food and I was a bit obsessed with this 6 month mark.)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to School - Head Lice Awareness

September is Head Lice Prevention Month. It is a timely reminder. If you have children in day care or school settings (and likely if you were ever there yourself), you're fairly familiar with the process. Someone is found with lice. Then every student is checked and sent home until they can be cleared of the lice.

As of Monday, my daughter was on her 8th day of school. Half of her class was sent home with lice, including her. Thankfully for us, the nurse only found 1 nit that she believes to be "dead." It was nearly to the end of the hair shaft, so it is likely from the bout we had last Spring.

Have you checked your child for lice lately? There are some important steps you can follow to prevent a lice outbreak in your family.

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