Friday, February 28, 2014

Giveaway: My Chickadee Babydoll Carrier - $22 ARV {3.31; US}

learning through play
This review is part of Natural Parents Network's Learning through Play Giveaway!

"Play is . . . the way that children make the world their own, exploring, making sense of all their new experiences, and recovering from life's upsets." {Larry Cohen, Playful Parenting} It is also well-established that children learn through play, which is why we've gathered some creative and fun products and websites to share with you and your children.

The Learning through Play Giveaway features nine amazing products for kids of all different ages and interests. I'm featuring one of those companies in my review below. When you get done reading my review, please click on over to the full Learning through Play giveaway post (live on March 1), where you'll find information on all of the goodies you can win. In total, we're giving away products worth $738!

Even if you don't win one of our fabulous prize packages, please consider spending part of your educational budget at one of these small businesses. By supporting small businesses and independent authors, you are helping families, boosting local economies, and supporting ethical practices of manufacturing, production and selling.

Without further ado, here is my review - thank you for reading and entering! (Check back here on March 1 when our Rafflecopter widget will be live and ready for entries.)

This is a joint giveaway with Momma Jorje and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

My Chickadee is offering our readers a giveaway of a Babydoll Carrier, a value of $22.

The My Chickadee babydoll carrier lets your little one carry their doll so they can be just like you. This makes an ideal new sibling gift!

Janina, from My Chickadee, learned to sew when she discovered she was pregnant with her daughter. She now creates diaper bags, wet bags, totes, reusable snack bags, and a miniature carrier for children. This wonderful carrier lets a child carry their doll or plush toy just like you carry your child. This child-sized baby carrier makes a wonderful gift for a child welcoming a new sibling! My Chickadee products are easy to clean, machine washable as well as being lead & phthalate free. All of the products offered by My Chickadee are designed by a mom and made in the USA.

Sasha has never been as into her babydolls as I guess I had hoped she would be. She does, however, still love to be worn in my baby carrier. She was thrilled to receive her My Chickadee mini carrier! It renewed her interest in her baby dolls. I was amazed at how quick and easy it was to help her put on the carrier! It includes long hook-and-loop closures, so it can accommodate a wide variety of children and lovies.

The carriers are offered in a variety of busy fabrics that are the popular style these days. This carrier has an adorable pocket, though we haven't chosen any items for it yet.

The carrier seems very durable yet soft, very well put together. When wearing as a back-carry, it did seem like the straps rode up on my daughter a bit, but I felt like maybe I wasn't putting it on quite right. No instructions were included as it is a very simple design. I am hopeful that we'll get it right with more practice, just like any full size carriers.


You can purchase your own Mini Carrier at My Chickadee. These are a steal at just $22. Items are shipped via Priority Mail with rates starting at $5.00 for one item for all destinations in the US. Express Mail is also available for overnight delivery. All orders are mailed with complimentary insurance and tracking.

My Chickadee also makes a very cool All-in-One Diaper Clutch (which includes a changing station). They also have a mini version so your little one can change their baby's diaper using the same tools you do! There are also a few versions of wet bags (divided, foldable, and mini) as well as reusable snack bags. Very green!


Learning through Play Giveaway: Enter March 1 - 31, 2014!

$738 ARV; United States residents only

Enter below in our Rafflecopter widget - the main entry is simply to tell us which prize you'd prefer.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just tell us with your entry.

Tweets must be a minimum of 24 hours apart — you can return to update your Rafflecopter entry without losing any of your previous entries. Your Tweets must be unprotected (publicly viewable).

You don’t have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.

Rafflecopter will pick the winner through after the contest closes, and a representative from NPN will send an email notification. Leave a valid email address as you enter so we can contact you if you win. If we can’t reach a winner, we’ll draw a new name at random.

The winner will have 48 hours to respond by email; otherwise, NPN will select another winner.

No purchase necessary. Entrants must be age 18 or older and be residents of the United States. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners agree to hold Natural Parents Network and the giveaway hosts harmless for any problem with receipt and/or use of prizes. Winner must contact the product seller or manufacturer directly if there is any problem with the prize or prize delivery. Winners are responsible for any taxes or customs fees related to prize winnings. NPN and the giveaway hosts reserve the right to publicize the winner's first name. Void where prohibited by law.


Contest closes March 31
at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Disclosure: Reviewers received sample products for review purposes,
and consideration was given to NPN for hosting the giveaway.
Amazon and other links may be affiliate links.
We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful
to your life as a natural parent. If we don't like a product, we won't be
recommending it to you. See our full disclosure policy here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 8

Day 47 - Sunday - February 16

He likes the new Bistro Table... loves putting his toes up there!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 6

Day 33 - Sunday - February 2

We've had this strange snow, warm, snow, warm cycle...
this snow just folded right up.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Out of Mind, Out of Fear

Welcome to the February 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears

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 stories and wisdom about parenting fears.

I see stories often enough, they seem like big news. Young man with Down syndrome accepted to college. Young man with Down syndrome owns and drives his own pickup truck. (See his "Great Story" below.) Young couple with Down syndrome gets married. (A documentary was made about them!) Another couple with Down syndrome, this time in Britain, gets married. But notice I said they all seem like big news. Why?

Because they're not common stories. Yes, the treatment (not just medical) of people with Down syndrome has come a loooong way in the last 50 years. People with Down syndrome are living longer than ever before! They're doing more and are growing into contributing members of society. But these kinds of news stories are still just that, news.

So what does the future hold for Spencer? I was already 38 years old when he was born. How long will I live? His father is younger, but not exactly the picture of health. Will Spencer be independent enough not to need someone else to look after him? Will his sisters feel obligated to take care of him or might they resent him for any special needs he has in his adult life?

He's still my baby.

So how do I deal with this fear? I don't. Ha! Mostly I just don't think about these things. Spencer is two! He is living a pretty typical childhood, with some extra therapeutic help and some delays. There is no telling what the future may hold for him. I'm certainly not going to start fretting about limitations now.

What are your parenting fears?

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • When Parents' Fears Escalate — If we didn't self-doubt, we probably wouldn't care enough about our children to struggle with understanding them. But how do we overcome self-doubt? Read advice from Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., guest posting today at Natural Parents Network.
  • What ifs of addiction — After seeing how addictions of adult children is badly hurting a family close to her heart, Hannah at HannahandHorn shares her fears for her own child.
  • Sharing My Joy — Kellie at Our Mindful Life shares her fear that others think she is judgmental because she makes alternative choices for her own family.
  • Building My Tribe Fearlessly — A meteorite hit Jaye Anne at Tribal Mama's family when she was seven years old. Read the story, how she feels about that now, and how she is building her tribe fearlessly.
  • Fear: Realized — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen shares how her fear of car accidents was realized and how she hopes to be able to use her efforts to overcome the remaining fears to help her children overcome their own.
  • I'm a Negligent Helicopter Parent — For Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow, the line between helicopter parenting and negligent parenting is not so cut and dried.
  • My Greatest Fear For My Child — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama admits that she has struggled with not allowing her fears to control her and how the reality of this was blown wide open when she became a mother.
  • Proactive Steps to Calm Parenting Fears — Every parent has certain fears related to dangerous situations, That Mama Gretchen shares ways she is preparing herself and her children for emergencies.
  • Homeschooling Fears – Will My Children Regret Being Homeschooled? — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares an interview with her now-adult children that answers a question she had throughout their homeschooling.
  • An Uneasy Truce — Homeschooler and recent convert to unschooling, Tam at tinsenpup shares just a few of the things she tries to keep in mind when fear and insecurity begin to take hold.
  • Fearing the worst, expecting the best — Tarana at Sand In My Toes writes about fears that come with parenting, and why we must overcome them.
  • Can I be the parent I want to be? — Amanda at Postilius confronts her struggle to peacefully parent a preschooler
  • Out of Mind, Out of Fear — How does Jorje of Momma Jorje deal with her pretty steep, long-term fears regarding her son's future?
  • I Don't Homeschool to Manage My Kids' Transcripts — One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama's fears of parenting is that she will get so caught up in the monotony, the details of homeschooling, the minutiae of everyday life, the routine of taking care of a household - that she will forget to actually be present in the moment with her children.
  • Beware! Single Mom Camping — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her first adventures as a single mom. She laughed, she cried, she faced her fears.
  • Parenting Fears And Reality Checks — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares her three biggest fears as a parent - that most parents share - looks at the reality behind these fears, and offers a few suggestions for enjoying parenting.
  • Parenting fear : to kill a pink rabbit...Mother Goutte tells us the story of a pink rabbit that disappeared, came back, and became the symbol of her worst parenting fear...
  • Roamingsustainablemum considers whether allowing your children freedom to explore the world safely is harder now than in the past.
  • Meeting my parenting fears head-on — Lauren at Hobo Mama had many fears before she became a parent. Learn how they all came true — and weren't anywhere near as scary as she'd thought.
  • Don't fear the tears — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger worried that letting her children cry when going to sleep was tantamount to the dreaded parenting moniker, CIO. She discusses what actually happened after those teary nights, and how she hopes these lessons can carry forward to future parenting opportunities.
  • Will I Still be a Good Mom? — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot worries about her mothering skills now that breastfeeding is no longer the top priority.
  • Pregnancy Fears: It Happened to My Sisters, It Will Happen to Me... — Kristen at Country Fit Family discusses the difficulties with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that the women in her family have had and how she overcame them.
  • Fears — Meegs at A New Day talks about how her fears before parenting led to a better understanding of herself and her desires for her daughter.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Essential Parenting Collection

Mindful Nurturing Essential Parenting CollectionMindful Parenting is my affiliate partner. I generally try to sell enough of a bundle that I can earn a free bundle myself. I'm sure you'll find something here you can use, too!

Welcome to the Essential Parenting Collection, the biggest online collection of Mindful Parenting products! This digital bundle offers a wide array of eProducts, including eBooks, audiobooks, eCourses, workbooks, audio, coloring pages.

The Essential Parenting Collection is offered at $49.97, fractions of the retail value of $751.48.

We have divided the products into 5 categories. Scroll down the page to learn more about ALL of these wonderful resources.

Each mini bundle is available for $19.97.

  • Pregnancy and Birth
  • The Early Years
  • Child Development
  • Resources for Parents
  • Mindful Guidance
  • Free Gifts with purchase of the Full Collection

Dig into these amazing resources!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Midwives for the Win

I did not get to have my births attended by midwives, but came close a couple of times. Today I bring you a guest post about using midwives (for more than just births!). Please scroll to the bottom for a bio on today's author, Meegs.

My dad hanging the "It's a Girl" sign.
My experience with midwives started at birth, when my Mama was one of the first women to give birth at the almost complete birth center in eastern Pennsylvania. I don't remember that experience, of course, but the midwife who delivered me and I are permanently connected as I carry her name in mine.

Seven years later and I was present at the same, now thriving, midwifery center for the birth of my younger brother. That experience I do remember, and it was that day which made it clear in my mind that a midwife was the only way I would go with my own childbirth experience. Even at seven years old I was able to see the care, compassion, and dedication these women have for mothers, babies, pregnancy, and birth.

My mom and I, soon after my brother was born.

As I got older I was able to experience firsthand some of the differences in care between standard practice OB/GYNs and midwife care. Nine years ago I made the permanent switch to a midwifery center for all of my gynecological care, and I won't ever go back. With a midwife, I know that they have built in the time for me to ask all the questions I want, without feeling rushed. And I get to do so at the beginning of my appointment, before they even ask me to take my clothes off. They take the time to get to know each patient on a personal level, and because of that are able to better understand you and your symptoms.

At my last OBGYN, the one that made my switch permanent, I often felt judged. Heaven forbid I wanted to ask a question about sex, self-pleasure, or anything out of the ordinary down below; I felt awkward, and there were many times I chickened out. Even with the wonderful, kind OBGYN I had growing up, there was always a feeling of them needing to go a little faster, move to the next patient.

My first snuggle with my baby girl.
With midwives, I've never felt rushed, and there was never a question I was too uncomfortable to ask. Their patience and willingness to talk things out led me to find the birth control that worked for me and with my body. Best of all, it led me to an amazing, homey, loving birth experience.

Pregnancy is not a handicap, and delivery is not something to be forced through as quickly as possible. With the right personalized guidance, both experiences can be hugely empowering. With midwives I am never just a number. My daughter is not just another baby. From the moment we joined them, we were valued, and in the case of my daughter, loved. As individuals.

I am so grateful for these wonderful women, with their understanding and appreciation of the power of a loving pregnancy and birth experience.

Meegs is a lover of the outdoors, a budding yogi, and a tattoo enthusiast trying to live her most authentic life. She is also a gentle Mama to the most amazing girl.

You can find her online at her personal blog, A New Day (also on facebook), as a contributor to Connected Mom, and posting reader questions on the Natural Parents Network's Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I like to move it, move it!

I've always believed that physical play is important for children (and adults, too!). Roughhousing is good for the heart... and good for the heart. I don't have an exercise routine (though I often think I should), but I often lay in the floor to roll around with my kids. Sasha loves to give "Running Jumping Hugs!" Whew, you better be ready for them! Sasha and Spencer love to chase each other through the house, which I always encourage and enjoy the giggling! Sometimes, you might even catch one of us larger people (Daddy, big sister or myself) taking chase.

We also have fun with impromptu kitchen dance parties! And when the weather is nicer, I really enjoy taking our entire family out for long walks in the park: treasure hunting!

How do you cultivate a habit of being physically active in your family?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Minimalist: Clothing Storage

As promised, I'm sharing our minimal clothing storage today! And in true Monday Minimalist fashion, the words are minimal, too.

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