Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I love her, but... GRR


The Taboo Carnival
Welcome to the Taboo Carnival. Our topic this Fall is I LOVE YOU BUT I DON’T ALWAYS LIKE YOU! This post was written for inclusion in the quarterly Taboo Carnival hosted by Momma Jorje and Hybrid Rasta Mama. This month our participants reflect on the concept of loving versus liking our children and their behaviors. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I have a 3-year-old girl who seems "very 3" and an active 10-month-old son that idolizes her. She loves to make him giggle, but she hates it when he grabs her hair. This doesn't seem to stop her from sitting directly in front of him or even dangling her hair at him, taunting him. Then, of course, she screams when he grabs it.

Just this morning, she was emptying his toy basket, playing "with" him when he apparently tried to grab his own toy / basket, so she shoved his head. I flipped out! These kinds of things are happening more and more often. Children around babies have always made me nervous, now I'm living with it Every. Day.


Sasha taunting Spencer with a toy she
doesn't actually want him to have.

I feel like part of my issue is the protective aspect of being a baby's mother. I have to protect him, even from her. I wonder if some of it is just our history of nursing aversion. The gist, though, is it seems like we're going through a stage of my not liking her a LOT of the time!

I think this is normal and see nothing wrong with it. I realize its the things she does that I dislike so passionately, not her specifically. It is very difficult, though, to separate the act from the person. The trick is making sure our children always feel loved.

I know my kids don't always like me, either! Doesn't this really apply to everyone we love?


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Visit Momma Jorje and Hybrid Rasta Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Taboo Carnival! Enjoy the posts from this month’s Carnival participants!

  • Learning to Like and Love — JeninCanad at Fat and Not Afraid divulges the long journey it's been to learn to love, then like, her son.

  • How Do You Like Yourself? — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about teaching her children likability.

  • You Can Love Someone and Not Like What They Do — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children reminds herself, just as she reminds her children, that unconditional love is not dependent on liking what a person does.

  • I hated my three year old — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about how much trouble she had dealing with her 3 year old.

  • I love her, but... GRR — Jorje of Momma Jorje vents a bit about annoying behavior, but loves her children... even when they drive her nuts!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Spencer has DS?

When Spencer was first born, we could pick out the markers for Down syndrome, but we really just saw our son. My friends also said they didn't think Spencer looked like he had Down syndrome. At first, it was reassuring. It was a good feeling. No parent wants their child to be identified by their afflictions. Then it seemed like every time I talked to a friend, I was hearing it. It started to bother me. It was as if rather than being identified by Down syndrome, Spencer was being identified by the fact that he didn't look like it. Eventually those comments died down.

A couple of months ago, for the first time, a "stranger" asked me if Spencer had Down syndrome. I think I took it in stride. She was a fellow mom in our local cloth diaper group. She noticed that Spencer looked like Noah, a fairly famous little boy that is kind of close to Spencer's age and also has DS. He is famous because of the blog Noah's Dad. This lead into a discussion of Spencer's health. As my regular readers know, Spencer has minimal health issues brought on by DS.


Since then I've had a few more people ask if Spencer has DS. I think they may have all had someone in their lives that had DS, so they were better "trained" to recognize the common traits. Still... it was becoming a little bit jolting. Yes, my son does have Down syndrome. I am not ashamed of him or his chromosomes. I just don't know if I was ready. It took me by surprise.

Now I find myself wondering if his DS markers will become more obvious as he gets older. Only time will tell. Whatever the case, I love my son more than I ever imagined! His care is not at all overwhelming. Down syndrome does not define him or my relationship with him.

Have you ever asked a person if they or their child had DS or some other affliction?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Volunteering to Burnout and Back


Welcome to the November 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Service Projects

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 written about what service means in their families.

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I once created and moderated an online homeschool group. I helped keep a Mom's Night Out going for that group. And then I started and ran Homeschool Scouts. When I got burned out from constantly reminding people each week that we needed a volunteer to lead, a volunteer to bring snacks, and a volunteer to bring drinks, I finally just said - Someone do this or nothing is going to get done. Guess what, nothing got done. The group fell apart.

Fast forward a few years and I started taking Tyler to Girl Scouts. She was homeschooling first grade, but I found a close-by group with a mixture of girls from different schools. I was determined to just be a mom. I sat elsewhere in the room and was not going to get involved. But... they needed a cookie mom. Alright, I'll be the cookie mom. When I went to train for that, the Cookie Coordinator said that Cookie Moms make great co-leaders. Next thing you know, I'm Cookie Mom and Co-leader for our troop.


Brownie Girl Scout Tyler, January 2007

Friday, November 9, 2012

Taboo Carnival Call for Submissions

Jorje from Momma Jorje and Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama are pleased to present the second quarterly edition of The Taboo Carnival. This Carnival will be held four times yearly (February, May, August, and November). The topics will be wide and varied but focus on subjects that are typically not discussed in the natural parenting/mindful living world of bloggers.

The November Taboo Carnival topic is:
I LOVE YOU, BUT I DON’T ALWAYS LIKE YOU!


Love. It is defined as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person or a feeling of warm personal attachment.”

Like. It is defined as “to find pleasant, to enjoy, to want to have.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

Routine Battles

This post was originally published on Anktangle as part of the April 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting. I'm needing to write a follow-up, so wanted to publish this here:

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It wasn't until our recent move that I finally got a good, steady routine going with Sasha. We now brush teeth and hair as well as go potty before bed. The potty part was the hardest for me to remember! I just GO when I have to go.

I had night weaned her only recently, so she was no longer waking to nurse. She would wake to pee, though, or even wet the bed if I didn't make sure she went before going to sleep.

Not long after the move, I started limiting bed time nursing to only 10 minutes. This occasionally made for battles, too, as she is learning to fall asleep without a nipple in her mouth.

And that is the short story background to get to this: sometimes we have tooth-brushing battles. She loves to "brush" her own teeth, but would fight letting me brush them. I am sad to say that I have argued and yelled at her. The only thing that seemed to work was threatening to not let her nurse before bed. I even tucked her into bed a few times before getting her to let me brush her teeth! I felt awful about it, though. That is not the parent I want to be.

While chatting with some other Natural Parents Network volunteers online, one of these friends suggested a bedtime routine list. I took her brilliant idea and ran with it! I wanted to make the routine fun.

Momma Jorje - Checkmarks

I started out by printing some images, but I'll get back to those. The fun crafty part started by making 3 checkmarks using 4 x 6 notecards. I colored them each a different color and set them aside.

Momma Jorje - Bedtime Checklist

I made a square template using notecards and traced them to make "blanks" on trimmed-down posterboard. I used regular white glue spread thin on the backs of my images to glue them next to the blanks.

Note that I looked for images to specifically assist in our struggles. The hair and teeth pictures are of a woman brushing the child's hair and teeth. I think it might be fun to use actual photographs from your own bedtime routine.

Momma Jorje - Bedtime Checklist

I stuck self-adhesive Velcro® to the back of each checkmark. If I were to improve on this project, I would have taken the Velcro® size into account and made the checkmarks fit better.

Momma Jorje - Bedtime Checklist

I lined up the checkmarks where I wanted them and set the other side of the adhesive Velcro® in place with them. Then I mounted (taped) the checklist on the bathroom door at Sasha's level.

Momma Jorje - Bedtime Checklist

I also mounted a pocket for the checkmarks. I used notecards again, but made the top piece slightly larger than the back piece to allow extra room for my checkmarks. This pocket is mounted out of reach.



That first night, she was so excited! Sasha was more than happy to do her bedtime routine and check each item off the list. I let her choose what order in which to do these things.

The next morning, she wanted to do the checklist again! That was great, as these same steps were great for a morning routine for us. (Our list only has brush teeth, brush hair, and go potty.) Later in the day she wanted to do the checklist every time she went potty! She at least wanted to place that checkmark every time.

The second day she was back to battling our bedtime routine. I am hopeful that the list will still be fun, but I think timing bedtime better might also help in our case.

How do you manage the bedtime routine in your house?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide!

If you need to complete your holiday shopping, find a birthday present for a friend, or just treat yourself to something special, the NPN Holiday Gift Guide has something for everyone. But what's even better, the NPN Holiday Gift Guide is a great opportunity to shop consciously and to support many naturally minded small businesses. The companies that have provided items for review and giveaway are almost exclusively made up of small businesses or work-at-home families.

Below you will find information on 74 companies from 25 of our NPN volunteers. The companies are giving away 89 products and gift certificates, for a total combined value of $2,550.

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