We've been recovering from our trip, so I haven't been reading (or writing) much. It's odd how getting back from a vacation can be exhausting, isn't it? At least I managed some laundry, so there's that.
- "Breastfeeding Beauties" from Aruban Breastfeeding Mamas: Go see the prettiness. It will take two seconds and last all day.
- Speaking of breastfeeding a toddler, I love "breastfeeding a toddlby: the myths and the reality" from grumbles and grunts. She's got such a great way of explaining the facts about breastfeeding beyond infancy in a way that's chatty, appealing, and non-judgmental.
- "if it’s friday, you should mess around on the inter-netz instead of working" from Kelly Hogaboom: Because there's nothing like linking to another link post within a link post. For instance, she's got a link to an article calling Facebook on its "Double (D) Standard on Obscenity," with pictures showing what breasts you are allowed to show on Facebook and what ones you may not (hint: the ones with a baby or two attached), plus a side note on a woman not allowed to breastfeed at Head Start (despite being a legally protected right) because it was making other people uncomfortable (read to page 2 of that one). There's another discussing unintentional gender stereotyping in the classroom. (I thought this was an interesting read as a parent as well.) And there's one on how driving into a fat person won't earn you a prison sentence, because fat is what kills, not being hit by a car. There, Kelly's doing my work for me. Score!
- "The Santa Dilemma" from KellyNaturally.com: I was at a couple shopping centers lately and found myself unaccountably excited instead of annoyed that Christmas was already everywhere. Mikko saw some old photos and videos of himself in Christmases past and is now daily begging us to bring out his "Christmas hat" (a Santa hat Sam's had since college) and the "Christmas house" (aka, the Fisher-Price nativity set my parents bought him). And we made the mistake of buying an Ikea advent calendar way too far in advance, so all the chocolate is gone. And then we bought another. And another. And I think we're going to have to go with construction-paper links from here on out (because there's no way I'll get around to making one this cute).
All of this preamble to say: I'm actually looking forward to Christmas, so Kelly's post is timely. I think we've mostly taken the same tack she has, letting Santa be sort of pretend but not emphasizing it one way or the other. We haven't gone out of our way yet to convince Mikko Santa is not "real," because right now, to him, dreams are real, and so are fictional characters, so it would be a losing battle anyway. We don't say presents are from Santa, but we do point out Santas we see for photo ops and will read stories that feature Santa. I don't like the idea of trying to convince him of a lie (even a pleasant one), so I imagine we'll continue developing our strategy as Mikko gets older. Tell Kelly what your family's take is on the Santa situation, and I'll be sure to eavesdrop.
- "5 Ways to Make Breastfeeding on Demand Easier" from The Parent Vortex: Tips for those newborn days, especially, from learning how to cosleep to letting a partner or other support person give you a few hours' headstart on sleep.
- "Garden Guilt Be Damned" from Garden Therapy: If a person has a whole blog devoted to gardening and she can still admit (and show pictures of!) her failures and inattentiveness, what reason do any of the rest of us amateur gardeners have to feel guilty? I agree with her wholeheartedly: none. Gardening is a learning process, and it's also supposed to be fun.
"I give myself great pep talks about how the garden is there for me not me for it. That when I want to garden I will always have LOTS to do and when I want to do other things, well that’s life."
- I'm doing a special and rather informal event called HAVE KIDS, WILL TRAVEL (witness that I'm too lazy to have made a graphic, and I just now finalized the name), with a series of travel articles and travel-related giveaways. To kick it off, I was fortunate enough to host a wonderful guest post on "Natural parenting & air travel with young children," written by Michelle from The Parent Vortex. It has great tips on what to pack (and what not to), how to survive the flight, and how to adapt once you arrive. Also check out the comments for an anonymous reader's tips on getting through (old-style) security; I will be writing a post (soon, I hope!) on my experience dealing with the new full body scanners vs. TSA pat-downs.
- I've got a nice collection of travel-friendly giveaway prizes up right now, as well as a couple others:
- "My Brest Friend breastfeeding prize kit" from My Brest Friend: This $155 prize pack features their patented flat nursing pillow, a travel pillow with all the features of the original but that inflates and deflates for easy take-along comfort, a nursing cover, a wooden nursing stool to help your posture even more, and breastfeeding supplements, including a multi, fish oil, and fenugreek. Contest is open to U.S. and ends in TWO DAYS, on Tuesday, November 23. If you wanted to Tweet a few extra entries, now's your sweet, sweet chance.
- "Giggle Junction I Spy Bag": This is part of my HAVE KIDS, WILL TRAVEL special event, in which I present ideas to keep little ones amused in planes, trains, automobiles, waiting rooms, restaurants, or in-laws' houses. Check out these home-sewn toys from from Giggle Junction on Etsy. The designs on the flannel pillow are adorable, and there's a see-through window that feature thirty miniature items hidden among the plastic pellets inside for your little discoverers to seek out. Contest is open WORLDWIDE and closes November 30, perfect for Christmas travel or holiday gifts.
- "Glitterful Felt Stories story + flannel travel board" from GlitterfulFeltStories.com: This is also part of HAVE KIDS, WILL TRAVEL. A tactile and visual way to encourage literacy and play acting, these felt story characters that stick to a roll-up travel board are custom made with attention and adorableness. Contest is open to the U.S. and ends December 1.
- "Grow Smart Games My Pocket Games or I Spy Sensory Stick — winner's choice!" from Grow Smart Games on Etsy: This is also part of HAVE KIDS, WILL TRAVEL. You get your choice of a uniquely shaped I Spy tube with lots of little goodies hidden inside for little eyes to peek at, or a fun collection of old-fashioned games that pass the time, such as Hangman and The Alphabet Game, on decidedly newfangled laminated cards with an attached dry-erase marker. Contest is open to the U.S. and Canada and ends December 7.
- There's also a special Facebook giveaway over at Natural Parents Network: When NPN reaches 1,500 fans on Facebook, one lucky liker will get a $15 gift certificate to Yo Ho Graphix, an Etsy store with stunning decals, plus clothing and tote bags, many of which celebrate breastfeeding and family. So like NPN on Facebook today so you can be entered to win, and see the post for bonus entries to increase your chances.
You can find more shared items during the week at my public Google Reader recommendations feed.
Check out Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust Diaries (on hiatus), Maman A Droit, Navelgazing, Momma Jorje, pocket.buddha, Breastfeeding Moms Unite!, Enjoy Birth, A Domesticated Woman's Adventures, This Adventure Life, The Parent Vortex, and A Little Bit of All of It for more Sunday Surfing! (If you also participate in a regular link list, whether on Sunday or not, let me know and I'll add your link.)
Feel free to add your recommendations in the comments. Happy reading!