Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Surf: On hot tubs, over-blogging, and much, much more

Welcome to the Sunday Surf! Here are some of the best links I've read this past week.

I just spent some hours trying to reconstruct the links I was going to share with you, because once again my browser has crashed repeatedly and taken my saved links with it. I really should become more conscientious about sharing them in my public reader feed before that happens, huh?1 The good news is, I got to read some more as I was poking around in my history and Google Reader.

mama and son touching pregnant belly bump 18 weeks
Eventually, he'll actually be feeling something under there.
The other good news is, Sam has now felt the baby move! That gives me such a kick (so to speak). Now I just have to wait till it's consistent and strong enough to bring Mikko into the experience. There's no way he'd keep his hand on my belly for five minutes the way Sam was persuaded to!

For months after Mikko was born, I'd feel funny twinges in my belly — from muscle spasms or gas or food digesting or whatever it was – and I'd think, "Oh, it's the baby!" And then I'd remind myself, "No, stupid, the baby's on your lap. That's a fart." And I swear, I now have to keep reminding myself, "No, it is a baby now."2 How surreal to have an entire person inside me, frog-kicking away.

  • "The Power of 10" from Code Name: Mama: An insightful viewpoint on discipline — putting into perspective how fleeting your child's behavior is, and how lasting your responses can be.
    "For anyone still on the fence about giving yourself a chance to calm down before you come back to your child (after your child has done something you believe is inappropriate, etc.), consider this:

    Will your child’s behavior matter in 10 seconds? 10 minutes? 10 hours? Will it matter in 10 days, weeks, months, or years?

    How about your response – how will the punishment you choose affect your child in 10 seconds? 10 minutes? 10 hours? How will the way you choose to punish your child matter in 10 days, weeks, months, or years?"

  • "Unschooling is How Adults Naturally Learn": So glad to have a guest post featured on The Mahogany Way! It's about how my adult way of learning is similar to how unschooling can look, philosophically. I'm someone who's very interested in unschooling but a little worried about pulling it off, so writing posts like this helps me understand how familiar self-directed learning is to me already. I hope it helps you as well (or your concerned/dubious loved ones) if you need a way to relate unschooling to everyday life. (Because, you know, it is everyday life.) I'm chiming in on the comments over there (much more diligently than I do here, heh), so please do click over and let me know what you think! And enjoy Darcel's fantabulous blog while you're at it, where you can see day-to-day unschooling in action.
              Speaking of guest posting, I have a really interesting guest post (hint: car-free!) coming up here on Hobo Mama tomorrow from Minimalist Mom, so come on back, enjoy and be enlightened, and show our new guest some comment love!
              Want to guest post or want me to guest post? Let me know.

  • "'What if…?' On prenatal precautions and superstitions, and the burden of blame" from Raising My Boychick: This came at a relevant time for me. I've been swimming again, and I enjoy relaxing in the hot tub to warm up a little before and after. I was reading the sign that cautioned pregnant women to consult their healthcare provider before using the spa and wondered how much of a rebel that made me. The thing is, I use it totally moderately, for what that's worth. I don't use it in the first trimester, when the developing baby might be most susceptible to heat damage, for lack of a better term there; the hot tub's not really all that hot (just a bit above average human temperature); and I stay in for about 5 minutes at a time, getting up to sit on the edge with just my legs in if I start feeling warm. Mikko's my little unscientific, anecdotal testimonial to the fact that you can have a healthy baby after using a hot tub during pregnancy. This pregnancy, I'm going even more daring by eating soft cheese. Only, not daring at all, because they're all pasteurized in the U.S. I've also scooped litter boxes. Don't tell. Arwyn brings up the discerning point that women are pushed into "behaving" during pregnancy not just because of actual risk but because of the fear, if anything does go wrong, that the mother will be blamed — either by herself, or by the world at large. Like a woman I once read about who had a miscarriage, and her coworker told her it was because she ate a Peppermint Pattie at lunch every day — because everyone knows that peppermint can cause miscarriage. Um…thanks, pal.
  • birth labor hot tub whirlpool -- Christy Scherrer Horribly irresponsible woman laboring in a hot tub. The nerve of some pregnant women to be comfortable!
  • "Compassion for Tantrums" from My World Edenwild: A beautiful post that helped me gain some perspective on emotional outbursts — both my own and my child's (and others'). Lisa points out how we often don't choose to become angry, or enjoy it sweeping through us, and how it's a process learning to harness such strong emotions — one we have no right to expect our children to have mastered yet, considering that we haven't, either.
  • "Today, I left him at daycare" from This is Worthwhile: A short (if you're feeling overwhelmed by the links — see, I'm looking out for you!) and heart-breaking account of leaving a child at preschool for the first time. We're still having issues with preschool and Mikko, and today we went to a new church
    boy at first day of daycare with backpack
    The trusting Mikko on his first day of preschool, just before we first started breaking his heart by abandoning him. Oh!
    and tried to drop him in the nursery, with much protestation. There was a first attempt to put him there, followed by a very loud ten minutes in the very quiet service (his idea of being quiet was to thumb through the hymnals, making up his own songs as he went), and then fifteen minutes with Sam in the nursery playing alongside him, followed by his alone time. It was the sweetest people working there, and when we got back, Mikko was happily engrossed in driving a train through a "train wash" (aka, a volunteer's hands set on the floor like a tunnel), and she told us how they'd also just read a book about jumping in puddles. Ah, but Mikko proceeded to lecture us all the way back to the car on how rotten a time he'd had and how we were never to go to church again — too boring upstairs, too lonely downstairs. Oh, the layers of guilt! And yet, and yet — he's fine. We're fine. But it's hard, every time. (P.S. Hawk was fine, too.)
  • "Drop-side Cribs, Penises, and Vaccines" from Baby Dust Diaries: This is from last month, but I'm slow (wait for footnote 3 to hear more on this issue). Really, really interesting comparison of risk factors and a musing on why certain things are banned when other things are not. I like this article she linked to from The Stir"Infant Car Seats Should Be Banned, Not Drop-Side Cribs" — because I've made no secret that I think those things are obnoxious. (Not the people who use them, just the implications of their widespread use — the safety issues with toppling and breathing obstruction, the lack of human handling that babies get if they're left in them for long periods, the health effects on parents' shoulders and backs from lugging the things, and the push to turn kids forward facing when they've outgrown the infant seat but could still have continued rear facing in a convertible car seat. See, I have my reasons.)
    Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
  • The January Carnival of Natural Parenting was a thing of beauty. We had over 40 bloggers come out to share the inspiring ways they learn from their children! Check out a few of the links for some heartwarming, occasionally tearjerking stories.
  • From there, I share "My Kids Have Taught Me That It’s Time To Stop Blogging" from Breastfeeding Moms Unite!: In some ways this floored me, and in some ways it resonated with me in a way I need to think about further. Take today: We got back from church early this afternoon, and it's now after 10:30 p.m., and this is all I've done today.3 Is that right? Is that balanced?
              I also loved Melodie's "Thank You Card," and not just because she said incredibly nice things about me. I liked reading about all the other blogs that have meant a lot to her, too — I've found some new ones to follow! We'll miss you and your voice, Melodie, and we hope you guest post (like, you know, here!), but I totally can understand where you're coming from. Many blessings and happiness to you and your family while your little ones are still little!

  • Some new tutorials are up at
    • "Choosing who can comment in Blogger: Allowing the option of name and URL": Help guiding you through the admittedly confusing Blogger settings for comment permissions, so that you can choose the option that's best for your blog.
      "Choosing what permissions to grant commenters (from requiring registration to allowing anonymous commenters) can affect how easy it is for people to comment — and, therefore, how likely readers will be to convert to commenters. Specifically, you might receive more comments if you allow commenters to type in their own name and URL or comment anonymously, because it can be appealing for certain commenters.

      Everything has its pros and cons, of course…"

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!

1 Incidentally, I don't often share something in my public feed that I then don't feature in a Sunday Surf, so I wanted to mention that some of the links in my feed are slated to make appearances in future articles on similar themes, so I won't be featuring them today. Could you be even more surprised that this list does not include something?
2 It's possible it's sometimes still a fart.
3 It's not all I've done, but it's the bulk, without any extensive breaks; I don't know how to explain my working process to anyone. I've also played rockets with Mikko, got into discussions on why people might have no legs or a plane might need to land on the water (I really shouldn't bother trying to watch TLC documentaries while he's around), defined "mechanic" and "arbitrary" for him, ate a supper that Sam prepared, entered a giveaway at the last minute I had forgotten was ending (got it in! whew!), looked up the lyrics to "Pie Jesu," read and commented on other blog posts as I searched for these ones, and so forth. But it's a far cry from my optimistic expectations that I'd bang this out in a couple hours and then enjoy a blogging-free rest of the day. I work so slowly. I don't think I could cut back on the amount of emails I write or comments I respond to, since I do the bare minimum as it is (if that), so is it a question of finding somewhere else to step up the speed and phone it in? Or is it a question of subtracting even more duties, many of them self-imposed? Or is it possible to find balance only by walking away, as Melodie has chosen? See, much to ponder. Let me know if you have perspective on this blogging-while-parenting thing.


rakster said...


I've been dying to reply to some of your recent baby-focussed posts as I think we must be due at exactly the same time and it is like reading a mirror of my own experiences some days (but have been keeping mine under wraps until now so have resisted).....

Congrats again...

I am really enjoying the kicking in earnest now too.. Hope Mikko gets to feel it soon. O just 'talks' about the baby and gives it kisses... With no real concept of what it is I'm sure. ..


Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

I am slow to write as well. The post yesterday took me weeks to write from start to finish. I didn't sit at the computer for weeks writing, but it simmered. And Saturday I worked on it for hours, tweaking and fretting because each section was MUCH longer than I wanted it to be. Ah well.

My first resolution (in the spirit of Melodie) is to post every other day. Up until now I was killing myself to post 5 days/week. Every other day isn't earth-shattering, but it's something for my perfectionist, OCD self. (Watch what happens when the Carnival falls on the wrong day - I'll break out in cold sweats ;))
I'm thinking about doing the same thing for NPN, because I spend an inordinate amount of time working on NPN stuff - maybe not every other day, but perhaps 4 days/week instead of 6 (although you do WW - is that something you can stop? Or limit? Say 5 pictures, no more.)
As soon as I feel comfortable with every other day, I might even do every three days - watch out!

And, of course, I keep thinking about letting go. As much blood, sweat, and tears as I've put into it, it's been too much for me these past however many months. I took a break in December, and I took time this weekend to schedule one post/week for the next couple of months, and that's about all I want to do for now. (sigh)

That's all I've got - I'm really not much help. But I'm completely with you there in spirit. Strength and hugs for whatever you decide to do.

Momma Jorje said...

It sounds like you and I blog with a similar style. Sasha now knows that if she takes my hand, I'll follow. So I get dragged off to the kitchen to play. Often. If she drags me away several times in a row (and I keep coming back to my desk), I just drop the computer for a while and play in the floor until she moves on to something without me. Sometimes I get distracted by cooking or cleaning, too. Then I remember my PC is still powered on and I was in the middle of writing a comment. Oops!

I'm really into this blogging thing, but the lil ones must come first. I am amazed by all that you do, but then I work outside the home. I kind of hope that when we hit the road I'll have an even harder time finding time to blog. How messed up is that?

Lisa C said...

Thanks for linking to me. I almost took down my "Compassion for Tantrums" post because I hardly got any responses, and when I share one of my deep dark secrets like that, I figure people don't respond because they think I'm nutso and just don't want to say so. But if you thought it was good enough for your Sunday Surf, then I guess it was worth leaving up.

Thanks for the link to that site with the dyeable silk scarves! We bought Michael ONE play silk for Christmas, and I really want to buy more but they are pretty spendy. It was worth the $15 for just the one, though, because he loves it and plays with it a lot. But you can only do so much with just one.

Oh, and from the perspective of a person who works in a church nursery...I think it's awesome if the parent wants to stay with the child until the child gets to know some of the new faces. The child may still cry when you eventually leave them in there without you, but at least they will have had a chance to become familiar with the nursery workers. It really makes a difference.

Melodie said...

Sorry I am so late in seeing this. I guess not blogging is keeping me away a bit more from blog reading too. Anyway, thanks for your kind words. My mind still words like a blogger, thinking of how I could take experience A from a current situation and apply it to a post, but alas I am enjoying not having that pressure too. Eventually I would love to guest post for you. I will let you know!

Related Posts with Thumbnails