Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Join the Movement!

Have you been trying to follow along with any of the projects I've posted? Or perhaps got your own minimizing projects? Ever feel overwhelmed? Or even proud of your accomplishments? (I think it is important to celebrate small accomplishments.)

And the big question: Do you simply need a bit of accountability? Join in with my Monday Minimalist movement! Post your progress or your ideas. I'd love to have you join!

This is my 33rd week of doing my Monday Minimalist posts!

Hobo Mama is the one that suggested having a bloggy button for my MM posts. And then... she made a button for me! Isn't that awesome?!

Grab the button for your MM posts:

Momma Jorje: Monday Minimalist

A big thank you to Hobo Mama for creating the button! Please do let me know if and where you choose to participate so I can perhaps set up a link list of other MM blogs. Thanks for your support as we kick off a Monday Minimalist Movement!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Surf

I've spent the entire week either resting because I couldn't catch my breath or trying to unpack... also cleaning the old apartment (supervising, at least). We have now turned in the keys. Hopefully it won't take two full months to settle into this new place so I can spend some more time preparing for Spencer's arrival, too!

On to the links!

What web pages have caught your eye lately?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Down Syndrome Awareness Month ~ Confidence

This year / month marks 30 Years of Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Before we received Spencer's diagnosis, I knew very little about Down syndrome. So I'm taking the opportunity of my blog and this month to give you some little snippets of information.

So yeah... 30 weeks pregnant now. We were (and are?) confident in our decision to keep Spencer. Sometimes I wonder and worry, though. Am I really up to the challenge? Can I provide all that he needs? Can I balance his needs with the needs of my other children?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Surprise Shower

As you may recall from my recent Vacation Weekend with Volunteers post, I mentioned that there was a Surprise Cloth Diaper Shower for me. I could not believe the outpouring of love and support I received that day! As I said, I have really wanted to switch to cloth diapers, but the start up cost has been prohibitive. I have, at least, gotten Sasha completely out of diapers.

Surprise Cloth Diaper Baby ShowerSurprise Cloth Diaper Baby Shower

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sasha's Halloween History

Sasha's First Halloween ~ Pink Skeleton CostumeOne of Sasha's first costumes. She was 1 month old.
Click over to Natural Parents Network to see her in the black version.

Sasha the Ghost for HalloweenSasha in her pillowcase ghost costume for her 2nd Halloween. My brother sent the bag (with goodies) for her.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Moving

Moving seems to be the one time that most people become minimalist. I think it is easier to be heartless about getting rid of stuff when you're faced with a decision: Toss it or carry it? And not just carry it, but once you get there you have to unpack it again and find a place for it all!

Sasha in a boxPacked up and ready to go!
Sasha ~ August 2011

We tend to get rid of furniture during moves, too! Part of that is definitely because of all the downsizing we've done. We just have NOT had room for all of our furniture! With this move, we've gotten rid of the last couch piece. We're still trying to find room for the ottoman because we've honestly gotten more use out of it than any other piece of furniture. I'm a bit nervous, though, about the final weeks of pregnancy... I've slept on this old couch many times during pregnancy and with a restless newborn!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Surf

Moving this weekend, so had to plan ahead again. I did find some goodies for you, though!

  • Sasha is 2 years old and has been able (at least occasionally) to count to 10 completely on her own. She has always loved to hear me count or even count backwards. So... do you think she is genius material? Check out How to Spot a Gifted Toddler. It isn't what you think, I promise.

  • And speaking of being advanced in math, check out Education & Wage Slavery: Hand In Hand? I don't want to raise my kids to blindly follow authority, which is what I feel public school teaches. This article goes into other reasons the system doesn't really work for the people.

  • Did you know that 16 states plus DC have legalized marijuana for medical use? It seems ironic to me that even Washington, DC has it, but so many states don't. Looking to relocate? See the list and laws in each state.

  • Do you remember the show Sister Sister about the twins separated at birth and then they found each other? They wind up living together, even though their parents (a single father and a single mother) don't get along. Anyway, those twins now have a reality show and in case you hadn't heard, they caught the breastfeeding world's eye recently! Check out the details here.

I hope you're having a less eventful (or at least more relaxed) Sunday than I am! What interesting web pages have you read this week?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Down Syndrome Awareness Month ~ Etiquette

This year / month marks 30 Years of Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Before we received Spencer's diagnosis, I knew very little about Down syndrome. So I'm taking the opportunity of my blog and this month to give you some little snippets of information.

What's in a word? I've raised my teenager (and am raising my toddler) with the understanding that words are only words. So long as they use words in the proper context (yes, even curse words), I have not had a problem with their usage. I have explained that some people find certain words offensive. If you use those words around friends, their parents might not want you around anymore. That said, I have certainly discouraged the use of words like "stupid." Calling someone stupid is rude, to say the least.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NPN Volunteer Goodie Bags

As you no doubt recall, I recently posted about the First Annual Natural Parents Network Team Get-Together. One of the extra special amazing things was the Welcome Bags we received! I don't want them to miss mention as they totally deserve a shout-out!

Back in March, I entered to win a gorgeous Free Reusable Produce Bag. I didn't win, apparently. So imagine my surprise when Dionna (of Code Name: Mama) handed me this very bag (or at least one made of the same fabric by the same blogger) on Friday night of our gathering!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Buddy Walk

Sasha & Krystal on Inflatable Slide @ Buddy Walk 2011Sasha & Krystal on Inflatable Slide @ Buddy Walk 2011

Spencer's Spiders - Buddy Walk 2011Spencer's Spiders
(immediately after the walk)
We had 1 more member (Tyler's friend), but I don't have photo permission.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Linkage

Between traveling last weekend, recovering from traveling, and then spending most of our time OUT of the apartment (again) this weekend , I have just not had a chance to tackle any new projects. I've had some percolating, especially since we are moving in a week and have not packed a single thing! Still... I won't let a Monday go by without sharing something minimalist!

As much as I'd like to say that my idea for a weekly post (on the M-day, of course) about minimalism is a totally original idea... I'm not the only one to come up with the idea. I hadn't seen it anywhere when I started, but there is also a series on miss minimalist. Every Monday she posts the profile of one of her readers - real life minimalists. She even has an interesting character shared today! So if you're interested to see how other real people do minimalism: Head on over and check out the series, or at least today's post.

Even MORE special, though, is last Friday's post! She caught up with a couple from a previous Monday post. These folks used minimalism to reach their dream of world travel and are now living out of backpacks!! What a beautiful tale that goes right to my heart! This post also includes a giveaway that ends today! Its an eBook, so don't sweat the space it'll take - its just digital. ;-)

Have a great week! I hope you have less to tackle than I do this week!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Surf: Banana, Anyone?

After driving 5½ hours home on Monday, we've had a very busy week! Monday night: toured hospital. Tuesday: OB appointment where we agreed I should actually deliver at a different hospital (with a higher level of nursery available). I also went to the Buddy Walk kick off event to drop of cash donations and pick up t-shirts! Wednesday: WIC appointment and meeting with Tyler's new teacher. Thursday: drove sister to an appointment. Friday: a lengthy appointment with the Healthy Start woman - which is actually a nice visit. Saturday: Tyler's Manga AI club meeting! and today? The BUDDY WALK!! Monday I actually have clear... so far. But we're moving next weekend so we have LOTS to do!!

All that... would you like some links?

  • Hobo Mama's husband, Crackerdog Sam, guest posted for her carnival post this past Summer. He wrote about starting their 3yo son on an allowance. This month he guest posted for the carnival again and provided us with an update on the program. I loved the first post and really enjoyed the follow-up as well! It can be nice to have friends with kids slightly older than your own, so you can get ideas on how you want to handle different topics. Check it out at New lessons from an allowance.

  • I re-posted an image on my blog about how words hurt. My friend Luschka shared her post with me and it is a good one. Check out Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones…

  • I love to read funny tales that show just how silly some opinions can sound. In this example, read about Penis Reduction Surgery: Does Size Not Matter? Maybe a funny approach can help you convince someone in your life. I know they helped me!

  • I know I already posted my own article about the Natural Parents Network Meet-up, complete with a link list of other volunteers. However, there is a post about it on the actual site and I thought I'd share. The First Annual Natural Parents Network Cross-Country Get Together!
I hope you found something here worth your while. What interesting things have you learned online lately?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Down Syndrome Awareness Month ~ Medical Concerns

This year / month marks 30 Years of Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Before we received Spencer's diagnosis, I knew very little about Down syndrome. So I'm taking the opportunity of my blog and this month to give you some little snippets of information. Once again, I tried not to write a book.

This week I'd like to tell you about the medical problems that can affect babies and children with Down syndrome. Again, these issues will not all affect every person with Down syndrome, but they are all possibilities. Our son will likely get a grab-bag selection of issues. We're hoping for as few as possible!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vacation Weekend with Volunteers

On the weekend of October 8 some of the amazing women and men who work hard to make Natural Parents Network the wonderful community and resource that it is got together for a meet-up at two locations across the U.S. — the Midwest and the Northwest. This was the first time that many of the volunteers have met in person after a year of collaborating on this amazing website. Please scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of links so that you can read what some of the other volunteers had to say about this incredible First Annual Natural Parents Network Team Get-Together!

It had been in the planning for months! As the date approached, my husband wanted me to admit (and realize) that we might not be able to afford the trip, but I was determined! This was just the light at the end of the tunnel / vacation I needed! Camping was great, but it was only one night.

It was a full weekend get together of volunteers from Natural Parents Network! A chance to meet all these internet friends... IRL! There were lots of confessions leading up to it, mostly people worried about meeting. Just like online, though, no one judged.

Midwestern Volunteer GatheringMost of our group.

With my first impressions of our arrival to our hosts' home running through my mind, it feels like it will sound like a hotel review! It was just really, really cool to see a real person using cloth "toilet paper," unpaper towels, and actually sorting garbage into recycle bins! Either she just re-organized how she handles these things or she is the real green deal!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Money

Sasha & Tyler with Birthday CarEspecially with very young children, hand-me-down birthday gifts are a great way to save money!

See more MONEY photos on Natural Parents Network today and check out this month's Carnival of Natural Parenting: Money Matters.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Money vs. Time

Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Money Matters

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 finances affect their parenting choices. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


In the Summer of 2010, we made a big financial decision. I took on a Part Time job (in addition to my Full Time position) in order to help my mother and to afford an expensive (to us) condominium rental close to my family. The space was HUGE to us and we lived there for the tail end of my pregnancy, the birth of our child, and most of her first year.

Condo Living RoomNot our actual condo, but the same floor plan.

As the lease drew to a close, we knew that it was still a stretch to make all the bills and I was frustrated working the Part Time job. We moved into a much smaller two bedroom apartment and I quit working the extra job. Within a few months, I got bitten by the Minimalist Bug. I had suddenly realized that my dreams were NOT unattainable, regardless how big they seemed! I started getting rid of JUNK. Suddenly, a lot more stuff seemed like junk. We also minimized our bills. We started cutting out / down on things we "needed" and on entertainment expenses, too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Small Spaces

I'm driving back home today, but I do have some interesting links to share with you regarding Minimal Living...

Ever seen a colony of finch nests? Etgar Keret, a writer from Israel, has commissioned what looks to be the narrowest house in the world. Read about Living Very, Very Narrowly from NPR. This place is tiny!

Then there is this guy....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Surf: Absentee

When this post publishes, I'll be out of town. So I didn't have the FULL week to collect links, but here is what I did gather for you...

  • This October marks 30 years of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the achievements and abilities of people with Down syndrome! National Down Syndrome Society offers some great ways to get involved!

    Red-headed JorjeMy hair in May 2009
  • I've been hating my hair! I had it bleached out and dyed with semi-permanent hair color just before finding out I was pregnant with Sasha. I did color it once sometime after she was born (so I was breastfeeding at the time). However, now I'm pregnant again... so have felt that I couldn't dye my hair. I miss my red SOOOO much! A bunch of my friends from Natural Parents Network have been talking about getting their hair done, so I asked their opinion on hair dye while pregnant. (Did you know you can ask questions on the their Facebook wall?) I got this great link about Hair Dye and Pregnancy. And now... I have red hair again!

    In case that link is broken, you can also check out The Mayo Clinic's answer or BabyZone's take on hair dye during pregnancy. The short version, though: Go for it!

  • I also wanted to remind you of my Resources Page. I have a few pages listed there that are dedicated to specific themes. If you'd like to see a resource page done on a particular topic, let me know!

I hope you're having a great weekend! I'm sure I am! (Remember, I'm writing this in advance.) Read anything fascinating this weekend?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

This year / month marks 30 Years of Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Before we received Spencer's diagnosis, I knew very little about Down syndrome. So I'd like to take the opportunity of this blog and this month to give you some little snippets of information. I'll try not to write a book!

To get right down to it, I'd like to start with what Down syndrome is, scientifically speaking. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes in every gene in their entire body. As you are surely aware, building a baby involves copying genes. Sometimes an error happens in the process.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Camping @ Spencer Creek!

Spencer Creek 2011 - First Family Tent CampingOur first family tent camping...
This is how it began.

Spencer Creek 2011 - Throwing DirtShe stayed plenty busy for tent-raising and enjoyed throwing dirt into the air!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Other People Holding You Back?

Minimalist Mom has a great post today about living with other people's stuff. She discusses the hesitance of spouses as well as living in a furnished space.

I have a TON more minimizing to do in just the next few weeks, but I do not have any new projects to share with you today, so I hope you'll enjoy her article for a little inspiration instead. Thanks for tuning in!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Surf: With Crafts!

I bought Sasha some finger paint a few weeks ago and finally let her use it this week! She paints using a brush with her sister, so I let her use a brush, too. She covered the paper with orange, then I gave her red, then blue. She had a great time. The next day she kept asking for "red" (with sign and word) and it took me another day to figure out she meant paint!

That was just a tidbit from our week. Here are some links!

  • Wow, just wow! Several news stories about Whooping Cough outbreaks where everyone involved was vaccinated but still got sick!

  • Did you know that TLC Tugger offers a free Your-Skin Cone to dads-to-be?? (This is a tool used to reverse some of the effects of circumcision.) Not only do you get the product for free, they include waterproof ankle bands with the words "DO NOT circumcise or retract" for your infant to wear while in the hospital! I've been trying to sell my husband on reversing his circumcision, but also really want those ankle bands for our son!

  • In my recent search for the right / affordable Cloth Diaper solution for my family, I came upon this link. The post offers a handful of ways to get started with cloth diapering for under $100. The links within are all for I already have a friend that does Everything Birth, so if I order anything it'll be through her. I'll be doing a virtual consultation with her soon, but have been hoping to get enough stuff as gifts before Spencer is born.

  • Next weekend I'll be doing a crafting project with a group. We're going to be doing Freezer Paper Stencils. I don't think I'm great with an x-acto blade, but we'll see how it goes. We got some nice thick onesies, so now we just need to decide on a design or two.

  • Here is one idea I found that would go well with our upcoming Buddy Walk. This woman didn't use Freezer Paper, but still... this could make for a cute template.

  • I'm waiting for the right opportunity to sit and watch some of the 30 Natural Birth Videos and Slideshows to Prepare Children for Labor and Birth provided in a recent Code Name: Mama post.

I hope you enjoyed some of my links. What have you been reading this week?

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