Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Surf: Death and taxes

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaWelcome to the Sunday Surf, a tour of the best blogposts I've read throughout the week.

I am sorely tempted to skip Sunday Surf this week because I'm up to my ears in businesses' excise taxes (due January 31). However, there's a linky! And I have links (a couple)! And who cares if it's 4:30 in the morning and I have repetitive stress injuries in my wrists from too many tax-related computer tasks!

If you are a fellow blogger, we would like to invite you to join Laura from Authentic Parenting and me to join in a Sunday Surf of your own and sign up on our linky below. Read more at the Sunday Surf page.

Enjoy some reading!

  • Mama Birth: A Home Birthing OB Speaks Out- 

    Love this article by a home-birthing obstetrician covering her own fears of homebirth and her reasons for choosing one, and the pros and cons of homebirth vs. hospital from an OB’s perspective.
  • This is Worthwhile: Afterlife and a 4 yo: Sparkles and stars (and robots) 

    On explaining death to the young.
    I’m reprinting my comment on the post, because it’s what I want to say anyway:
    I really appreciate your thoughts here. We had a similar discussion the other night (what is it with four-year-olds?), because Mikko’d heard about mummies and was worried about them. I said, “It’s all right; they’re just dead bodies wrapped in cloth. They can’t hurt you. They’re dead.” Which, duh, led into, “What’s dead?”
    Now, we’d talked death before, because our cat died last year. But this was not concrete enough for him, because he keeps asking when she’ll be able to come back from the vet, what medicine we can give her to make her better, whether more sleep will help (hint: the euphemism “put to sleep” doesn’t mean much to a four-year-old).
    This time, as I fumbled once more through the explanations, we both ended up in tears, and I didn’t know what to tell him. I fell back on the concept of heaven, even though I have no idea (anymore) what waits beyond. I hoped it would be comforting. It was not. “Can we go there and see God and then come back here?” Well…no. It’s hard for me to understand, and harder still to deal with. I’m not surprised it made my four-year-old have nightmares all that night. :(

    To cheer things up after that sad story, I will say that our exchange started with a hilarious "Who's on First?" sort of comedy routine, where he kept saying, "Mommy," and I said, "Yes?" "No, mommy!" "Yes?" before we finally understood each other. "Oh! Mummy."

Carnival news

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
Find other carnivals at my Natural Parenting Carnival Linky. And please, please, please help me keep it updated by adding in carnivals OR memes (recipe linkups and the like) that you're hosting or entering! It would be soooo helpful. Don't be worried that yours is too small — I want to promote everybody's special blog parties! Even if the carnival or meme is already represented but you want to update the information, enter it again and I'll go in and delete the old info. Thank you!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Calling for submissions for the February Carnival of Natural Parenting!

We continue to be delighted with the inspiration and wisdom our Carnival of Natural Parenting participants share, and we hope you'll join us for the next carnival in February 2012! (Check out our January post and a summary of all our 2011 posts if you missed any.)

Your co-hosts are Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Lauren at Hobo Mama.

Here are the submission details for February 2012:

respectfulTheme: Respectful Interactions with Other Parents: No matter what parenting philosophy you subscribe to, you’ll eventually meet someone who disagrees with you. This month we’re focusing on how we can communicate with other parents compassionately. Share your tips, challenges, or experiences with communicating nonviolently during disagreements, commenting or communicating without being judgmental, or responding when you feel judged or criticized. The point of this month’s carnival is to promote peaceful interactions!

Deadline: Tuesday, February 7. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to us by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: CarNatPar {at}

Carnival date: Tuesday, February 14. Before you post, we will send you an email with a little blurb in html to paste into your submission that will introduce the carnival. You will publish your post on February 14 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published on February 14 by noon Eastern time, we will send out a finalized list of all the participants' links to generate lots of link love for your site! We'll include full instructions in the email we send before the posting date.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Alrik's birth story: Sweet surprise unassisted home water birth

Welcome to the first edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama!

In the month of January, we start afresh, a new year, new ideas. Hence, our participants have looked into the topic of "Birth and New Beginnings." Take a look at the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants.

This is the birth story of my second child, born at home into the water and his father's arms. I started writing this in May, days after Alrik arrived, and I've finally finished it for the carnival. I would apologize for the length, but I figure birth story enthusiasts will want the full picture. It was a good birth. A very good birth.

Well, I've been staring at a blank screen for awhile, thinking of how to tell the story of Alrik's birth. The problem is that I don't remember it all. Maybe Sam can help fill in the labor-daze gaps. At any rate, here's what I can grasp through the fog.

Amy of Anktangle came out to help me get ready for the birth. I'd been having very gentle warmup contractions that week, at 39 weeks, and I'd started losing my mucus plug. Amy confirmed the baby was sitting much lower in my belly as well. As I triumphantly posted on Facebook and Twitter, "Bloody show! And the baby's dropped!" Before realizing that might sound violent and distressing to anyone not in the birth-vocabulary know…

The warmup contractions that week were like mild menstrual cramps, and followed no set pattern. I didn't bother to time them, because they weren't coming in waves so much as clusters. But I did think: It will be soon. I knew soon was relative — it could be within a month, after all. But, then again, it could be within the hour. So we hurried to finish up our preparations, and I looked forward to meeting my little one whenever ze decided to show up.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Magic tricks

Here four-and-a-half-year-old Mikko demonstrates his illusionist skills with his bouncy yo-yo and common body parts you may already have around the home. Practice every day, and eventually you, too, may be convincing enough to amaze your friends and family.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Surf: Listening and responding

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaWelcome to the Sunday Surf, a tour of the best blogposts I've read throughout the week.

It's that awful time of year when I'm working on my businesses' excise taxes (due January 31) and you'll quickly become bored of hearing me talk about it. The good news is, we've enjoyed a few days (and fortunately just a few) of snowy weather that made for some fun sledding (a lot more snow fell after this post!), and I've still been able to round up a few links for you to read.

If you are a fellow blogger, we would like to invite you to join Laura from Authentic Parenting and me to join in a Sunday Surf of your own and sign up on our linky below. Read more at the Sunday Surf page.

Enjoy some reading!

Friday, January 20, 2012

High time for tea

Show me Your Tea Stash at Strocel.comI wasn't sure what would inspire me to post today until I clicked over to Anktangle and saw her note about's call to Show Me Your Tea Stash.

Hey, that sounded fun. And easy enough. I thought.

Here's my tea, and my tea commemorating adventure.

There were a few problems. One is that we have a lot of tea, in a not-big-at-all kitchen.

I couldn't get far enough back to fit the whole cabinet into the picture.

So I had to transfer it all to the stairs. Which I quickly realized had the worst lighting in the known universe. But I had already moved it all.

And my son was yelling at me to come play dollhouse. Note: How this particular four-year-old boy plays dollhouse is to pretend to set the dolls on fire and have firefighters come to put them out. (Did I mention I need to have a girl?)

I didn't realize till afterward that our camera was on the wrong setting, which wasn't helping matters at all. What I did realize early on was that our battery was almost out of juice and the replacement battery nowhere to be found, so between the yelling at me to play and the super-low battery, I knew I had to take pictures fast. Ah, the glamorous life of a blogger…

The lovely pink and brown boxes are my Sacred Rose organic herbal teas, which I got for reviews I did previously — I drank the Matri nearly daily during the latter part of my pregnancy, and I lurve Morning Blossom.

I just wanted at least one pretty picture in this post. This is not from today, considering the sun has taken a leave of absence.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Snow play

Our family braved Snowpocalypse 2012 or, as Shannon put it, SnOMG, to bring you these pictures of winter frivolity. We waited till after the baby's nap to go out, which affected how much of the blizzard was left… Didn't stop us!

boy walking in snow jacket and boots in winter outdoors in Seattle

baby smiling in snowsuit

dad and boy carrying cardboard box sled in winter outdoors in Seattle
We also didn't let the fact that we had no actual sled stop us.

dad and boy sledding at top of hill on cardboard box
Or hills.

dad and boy sledding on cardboard box in winter outdoors in Seattle

Monday, January 16, 2012

Talking about race with (white) kids

I've been wanting for some time to talk about this subject — discussing race with children — but have shied away out of fear that I will say something wrong or, at any rate, inadequate.

I am white, after all. The fact that it's four years into my blog that I make a simple declaration like that is proof enough. I am steeped in white privilege to the extent that I could go my whole life without intentionally addressing the subject of race and be just fine. (Not admirable, but with no apparent impact on my quality of life.) Those who are not white, in this white-dominant U.S. society, cannot avoid the topic of race. I also do not want to. I want to stand with them and bring my children up to be less prejudiced than I am.

Oh, I said it. I have prejudices. They make me shudder and blanch and think, "Please tell me that thought did not just go through my head." I look at our parents and see, We are a little better off, a little improved, from the generation before us, and the same could be said for them, and that gives me hope.

I have come to realize that the only way to help the next generation — Mikko and Alrik and their peers — grow up even less prejudiced is to talk about race, openly, freely, frequently. And I realized that I was doing a disservice not to bring up that pledge of mine here — to talk about talking about race, so that this topic, too, is out in the open.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Surf: Breastfeeding and battlefields

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm excited about our new-style, link-up Sunday Surf. On Sundays, Laura from Authentic Parenting and I will continue taking you on a tour of the best blogposts we have read throughout the week. If you are a fellow blogger, we would like to invite you to join in a Sunday Surf of your own and sign up on our linky below. We also have a pretty new button by Jenna Design to add to your post and blog sidebar.

Read more at the Sunday Surf page.

Enjoy some reading!

Carnival of Natural Parenting

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaI hope you thoroughly enjoyed our latest carnival!

January Carnival of Natural Parenting 2012
This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener and gentler.
Read all the updated links at the end — plenty of Sunday Surfing for you there!

I talked (in oversharing detail) about our adventure into family cloth (which I am still using, by the way!).


#NaNoProgMo January 2012: Week 1
Hear how things have been going on my writing progress. How are your projects? We'd love for you to continue making progress on your writing this month, alongside Teresa and me! Link up and pick a writing/editing goal for January. (It's never too late to start!)
NaNoProgMo: National Novel Progress Month