The reason why this is the Independence Day edition is that it's the Fourth of July here in the U.S. And everywhere else in the world. Har har!
And that, my friends, is the extent of that thematic grouping. I just needed a subtitle, to be honest.
I will say, though, I'm disappointed that this year we won't be able to just walk down our street and watch the fireworks over the water. They've canceled the ones we used to be able to see, and I don't feel like fighting traffic to watch the other ones. Sigh.
We will instead be staying home and keeping our cat company through the endless rounds of firecrackers going off outside our windows that spook her each year, so there's the silver lining. For our cat.
All right, on with the non-fireworks show! Don't bother looking for independence references in the links that follow, because you'll be hard-pressed to find them.
- Bilingual fans! Join the "party with the word nerds!" from Bringing up Baby Bilingual: "A virtual party for us 'Language Nerdos'" aka the Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism's latest installment. You can find my post about finding children's songs online, alongside posts from illustrious company.
- And I heartily recommend the ebook "Parenting auf Deutsch - German Phrases for Parents" from Alphabet Garten: "Many parents can comfortably hold a conversation with other adults in German, but are at a loss when trying to discuss bedtime, homework, or bathroom needs with their kids. German classes usually don't teach this kind of stuff. You have to learn it on the job." Sign up for the Alphabet Garten email newsletter and download this awesomely helpful ebook for free. If no one has put a guide like this together for other languages, someone totally should! This is exactly the sort of thing a non-native speaker needs to feel comfortable parenting in another language.
- "It is okay to talk to strangers" from Together Parenting: At the same time I was writing
myAmy Adele's idea about calling cards for parents and bloggers, Cassie at Together Parenting (unprompted by my thought waves) was making her own calling card and working up the courage to give it to a random but simpatico-looking stranger. And then she designed an innovative one with lines on the back to get printed up at VistaPrint. Kudos to her for actually doing what I was thinking about doing. "I am going to build a little social network not hide at home alone, even if I have to challenge a few social norms to do it." Right on!
(Stay tuned, by the way — I have some fabulous Amy Adele news on the horizon as well as an unveiling of my own calling cards!)
- I love this collection of (almost) 2-year-old updates from My World Edenwild: "Baby-led weaning update", "Breastfeeding an almost two year old", and "Diaper-free, finally." Often people write about these topics when they first start, but to look back and see how it all turned out at the end (of BLW and EC, anyway) is fascinating.
- "If Spanking Does Not Work in the Long-Term, Why Start Spanking at All?" by Code Name: Mama at API Speaks: Since spanking has no long-term effectiveness (even an hour after a spanking), why not choose a better discipline tool in the first place for the parenting toolbox?
- "Free Kid's Music" from Flexible Dreams: Great suggestion to start a Pandora children's station! Not a recent post, but recent to me.
- "Casual Remarks" and "But Wait, There's More: The Problem of the Cat's Weight" from Swistle: On how a cat who is twice her "recommended" size can live a long and healthy life and become a "healthy" weight only when dreadfully unhealthy. Consider, as Swistle admirably does, how this applies to human bodies.
- See also Swistle's post (I told you I read blogs in chunks) on "Reusable Pads: The Long-Delayed Update": A great overview on going to cloth menstrual pads, complete with laundering tips. Stay tuned for some upcoming posts on mama cloth here! (Squee!)
- "I tried on my wedding dress today" from This Is Worthwhile: The first post I've read where someone doesn't fit into her wedding dress anymore but is happy about it.
- "'It Hurts Down There' A Lesson in Disposable Diapers" from Peaceful Parenting: We used cloth the whole time we were diapering/EC-ing, except — as in the article — when we were traveling. And that was the only time our baby was irritated by diapers. Frankly, so were we, and eager to get back to our cloth!
- "Letters to my past self" from A Gift Universe: I liked this look back at the choices we make — and the charitable tone within.
- "Sexing the breast" from Spilt Milk: Another nuanced post about how breasts serve multiple purposes — and in the end belong to the owner to use as she pleases.
- "Newborn and infant safety in baby-holding devices" from Sleeping Baby Productions: This is a comparison of the safety of infant car seats when they're being used as infant carriers (as in, not in the car only) vs. the safety of soft infant carriers (slings and wraps and the like). I've written before about the safety concerns documented with using car seats outside the car — in particular, the risk of respiratory distress from having the baby's chin fall forward when the angle is too upright. In all the media attention about babywearing risks (in very ill-conceived deep-pouch slings — see Sorta Crunchy for one thoughtful take on this), it's nice to see an article that highlights the facts that (a) carrying your infant in a plastic bucket is not safer than carrying with a sling or wrap — in fact, the opposite is true; and (b) there are safety guidelines to follow no matter what form of baby carrying you choose. I particularly liked these tips:
- "Infants should always be visible and kissable in a carrier.
- "Any carrier should hold the baby the way you would hold the baby in arms."
- I also want to highlight an excellent guest post from Dionna of Code Name: Mama on "Tips to help parents assume the best intentions": When your kid is acting in a way that pushes all your buttons, it's time to take a deep breath and make sure you're seeing the good behind the apparent misbehavior. It's not easy, but whenever I do, I'm always relieved I was really listening and respectful rather than assuming the worst and flying off the handle. Share your tips and experiences in the comments, too, and many thanks to Dionna for carrying forward the conversation on that topic in her usual insightful way.
You can find more shared items during the week at my public Google Reader recommendations feed. Unfortunately, I sort of slacked off at putting my recommended articles in that list this week. Whoops!
Feel free to add your recommendations in the comments. Happy reading, and happy Fourth! (See, I brought the theme back around.)