Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week with NPN!

celebrate world breastfeeding week with NPN

Join us as Natural Parents Network celebrates World Breastfeeding Week, commemorated in more than 170 countries worldwide August 1-7.

world breastfeeding week 2012 logoWe invite you to come along with us:
  • Read the posts on breastfeeding that will go live this week.
  • Write your own breastfeeding-related posts, and link them on the bloghop.
  • Share the word about World Breastfeeding Week! Grab the code below to paste at the end of any blog post you're linking up to tell others about WBW and encourage them to read all the shared posts.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Surf: Darth Vader in a polo

Welcome to the Sunday Surf, a tour of the best blogposts I've read throughout the week.

The weekend's gotten away from me, but I still wanted to supply the linky for you Sunday Surfers out there. Here's a quick and dirty post, and we'll resume our normal operating hours next week…

boy in fedora with purse
Mikko's choice for our beach walk: Green Lantern shirt, dad's fedora,
and purse he picked out at Goodwill Outlet

boy in mom's hat
Then he decided he'd rather swap with me and wear my hat.
I have to admit, it looks good on him.
Don't worry about the 19th century portrait expressions;
it's his typical pose look now.

I will save my links till we meet again, my lovelies.

boy in Darth Vader mask
To assuage your disappointment:
Darth Vader in a polo shirt

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Giveaway: Jessicurl Haircare Light & Luminous Collection $36 ARV {8.14; US} CLOSED

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

Jessicurl is offering our readers a giveaway of a Light & Luminous Trial-Size Collection, a value of $36.

This haircare collection for finer curls and waves includes six safe and gentle products perfect for wavy and curl hair on adults or little ones! The zippered travel pouch includes a step-by-step instructional insert with tons of tips and techniques to help you get fabulous curl enhancement and definition.


I love Jessicurl products for my wavy hair, and for my young son Mikko's. Jessicurl haircare products are made from positive ingredients that are safe and natural or naturally derived. They clean hair without stripping the natural oils, and moisturize and style without weighing down the texture. Most significantly, they've made my wavy hair look nearly curly!

My hair on the Jessicurl regimen

I first became aware of Jessicurl haircare when I was transitioning my own hair from straight to wavy — an intriguing discovery I made when I started treating my hair more gently and ditched harsh shampoos and styling products. It also coincided with the birth of my firstborn, who gave us another delightful surprise: a headful of ringlets.

I needed haircare products that could care for my baby's curls gently and with a natural look, and also keep my own hair looking attractive. But I wanted to make sure anything I used was safe for my baby's sensitive skin and easy on the environment. Jessicurl fit the bill!

Jessicurl recently sent me a travel-size collection of Light & Luminous products, which is a collection designed specifically for thinner hair that might be weighed down by richer products. This makes it perfect for a lot of younger kids, who still have that baby-fine hair. (Jessicurl also offers a Rich & Radiant collection that's more moisturizing, ideal for thicker or coarser hair.)

This collection of 2-ounce bottles in a zippered pouch is perfect for traveling, as I discovered on our recent road trip, where I was able to simply toss the pouch into my suitcase and have all my haircare together. I enjoyed trying out the collection, rediscovering favorite products, and sampling new ones. Here's what's included:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Children, pets, and death

Welcome to the July edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Pets and children.

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants are sharing their thoughts and experiences with pets and children! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Mikko the boy and Mrs. Pim the cat

Mrs. Pim was our cat before Mikko was born. We adopted her at age two from the animal shelter, where she'd spent several months in a cage, growing gaunt and nervous from the barks in the room next door. She stole our hearts by poking her paw through the bars after we'd placed her back in her cage. After that plaintive signal, how could we not choose her?

We knew a little about her from the form that was filled out when her previous family released her to the shelter, but it was missing one vital piece of information: the genetic condition that would be the cause of her death.

At age 6, she went in for some extensive tooth care, and blood tests revealed her kidneys were failing, an inherited disorder to strike such a young cat. I became pregnant with Mikko soon thereafter, and we prepared for one life to enter as the other would exit.

newborn baby getting sniffed by cat

Only Mrs. Pim stuck around — for four more years — happy ones, I think and hope. Mikko and Mrs. Pim got to meet and know each other, and there was love: entirely one-sided love. Mikko thought Mrs. Pim was so stinking interesting that his second sign and his first spoken word were "kitty." Mrs. Pim was much warier of her admirer than he was of her (despite the fact that she had all her claws and many of her sharpest teeth), but she typically tolerated him.

cat and baby eyeing each other

cat and baby on mama's lap

For my part, I loved watching Mikko care for her, in all the senses of that word. He was eager with her brush, and he loved to help scatter her food into her feeding tray. He helped us scoop her litter box, which did not always make it easier, but I appreciated his awareness of her needs.

When Mrs. Pim declined, suddenly, as I was pregnant with our next baby, I tried driving to the vet alone through an unusual Thanksgiving snowstorm but had to turn back on the icy hills. Mrs. Pim had a reprieve of another few days with her family, and then we all went together to the vet to hear the news we knew was coming: She needed to be put to sleep. We had to let her go and end her suffering.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Giveaway: Take a joyride of a road trip in a Kia Sorento = Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android Tablet $500 ARV {8.5; US} CLOSED

Kia Sorento

We just happen to be going on a long road trip the week I'm writing this — from Seattle to California and back. We know we'll make it to San Francisco, about a 13.5-hour drive if we play it straight down I-5. We might throw in some other cities while we're on the move, if the kids are holding up. I know we'll survive in our 5-passenger hatchback, but…a girl can dream. Wouldn't it be nice if we were taking our road trip in a Kia Sorento instead? With advanced technology, sporty styling and a spacious interior, the Kia Sorento is the crossover everyone will want to drive, no matter where the road takes you.

Before we had two kids, back when we were shopping for a replacement for our 1997 Ford Escort that had had one too many things fall apart, we figured a somewhat larger 5-passenger car was plenty of room. Right? As it turns out, not so much. We're continually feeling the squeeze. And now that we're looking at possibly adding a third child — meaning a third child car seat as well — I'm not sure if our car will be able to take us all! I've been dreaming of future upgrades in passenger space and cargo capacity, and throwing in towing abilities for good measure — and the Kia Sorento, as a midsize crossover SUV, would be ideal. At a starting price of a little over $23,000, it’s also the crossover that makes the most sense to own. Let's imagine a road trip of Now vs. the fantasy of Then, shall we?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Contest winners

We went to a ball game recently, which means — of course — we ended up at Krispy Kreme afterward. (They always turn on the hot light after a game.) Turns out they have a contest going on where you take a photo of yourself in one of their hats somewhere interesting, and the prize is a trip to any Krispy Kreme in the world.

Mikko decided he was going to enter AND WIN. (He's very confident and/or doesn't understand odds.)

Krispy Kreme donuts boy in paper hat with an original glazed donut

While *inside a Krispy Kreme* was probably not the most original location to choose, I have to admit he looks downright iconic.

Alrik doesn't do donuts yet, but he had to get in on the posing.

Krispy Kreme donuts baby with milk — Alrik a13mo a1yo

What do you think? Are they winners?

UPDATE: I just checked and they've posted our photo. I can't link directly to it, but you can click "View & Vote" and then either scroll or search by last name for Wayne.


I voted, and you don't have to log in or anything to do it. Just an easy click. So if you want to make Mikko's day… ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Calling for submissions for the August 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 August 2012! (Check out July, June, May, April, March, February, January, 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 August 2012:

farmer's marketTheme: Farmer’s Markets: Are you a seasoned farmer’s market pro or are you more comfortable in the aisles of Whole Foods (or Walmart)? This month is an open challenge to you: Find something new you can experience and write about at your local farmer’s market. Can you eat completely local for a week? Can you get to know one of your farmers by name? Ever thought of asking for gardening advice from a vendor? Could you take your kids on a field trip to one of the farms? Get creative – learn something new about your local farmers.

Deadline: Tuesday, August 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} NaturalParentsNetwork.com

Carnival date: Tuesday, August 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 August 14 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published on August 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.

Please submit your details into our web form: This will help us as we compile the links list. Please enter your information on the form embedded at the end of this post, or click here to enter it on a separate page: August 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting participant form

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hobo Mama, here and there

I've got a few items to share with you around the web-o-sphere-o-plenty.

Baby Orajel Naturals reminder:

Hi, everyone,
In case you missed my review of the great new Baby Orajel Naturals teething product, you can still read it here (though the giveaway has ended). I also wanted to let you know that if you are one of the lucky women attending the BlogHer conference in NYC on August 3-4, 2012, you can visit the Baby Orajel folks at Booth 1100 to learn more about taking care of your little one’s teeth and gums! They may even have some product samples to share with you, so be sure to stop by.

(The rest is non-sponsored content.)

Poetry book review at The Mule:

Oh, my goodness, I am so happy for this review of Poetry of a Hobo Mama from The Mule!
Poetry of a Hobo Mama by Lauren Wayne
For some reason in spite of these credentials I was a bit skeptical when I took my first dip into her volume of poetry. Maybe it's because it's so easy to write poetry badly, and these days anyone with an internet connection can publish the sort of dross that a few years ago would have stayed safely under the mattress. My cynicism quickly melted away, however, within moments of beginning to read Poetry of a Hobo Mama. Wayne forges short, stark, luminous poems out of the deep melting pot of motherhood, bringing us little creations filled with exquisite detail on birth, love, miscarriage, breastfeeding, mortality - even elevating pumping to a thing of beauty! (The first tantalizing drip — drip — drip / like the flirting of a sprinkler / just out of reach on a hot day).
I often get reviews that say, "I expected it to be bad! And it's good!" And I totally get that (and am appreciative it's not the reverse), because doesn't "self-published poetry book" just scream at you to run away? I'm so glad people are liking it and connecting with it. Read more at The Mule. You can buy your own copy of Poetry of a Hobo Mama at Amazon (5-star reviews, baby!) or CreateSpace.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Surf: Cross-nursing, squatting, and hair extensions

Welcome to the Sunday Surf, a tour of the best blogposts I've read throughout the week.

I have a LOT of links this week. So I'd better just get on to sharing them!

But I won't. First I'll show you goofy pictures of sparkly hair extensions Mikko convinced me to buy. (Never bring a 5-year-old to Sally Beauty Supply. Or do.) You'll notice that Mikko left them in for approximately 4 seconds, but Alrik's time was even faster. Even though he could totally use the extra hair. Babies have no sense.

sparkly hair extensions — mikko m5yo, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

sparkly hair extensions — mikko m5yo, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

sparkly hair extensions — mikko m5yo, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

sparkly hair extensions — alrik a1yo a14mo, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

sparkly hair extensions — alrik a1yo a14mo, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

sparkly hair extensions — alrik a1yo a14mo, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Sam refused to let me place one in his hair or his beard, on the grounds that I might post the resulting crappy cellphone pictures on my blog. As if! That man has serious trust issues.

To make up for your loss, I present you a picture of a 5-year-old helping me browse at Pier 1 Imports:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Now that we've gotten the important parts out of the way, on to the links!