Monday, April 30, 2012

This is the only day in the world

For this last day of National Poetry Month, here is a poem I wrote while I was pregnant with Alrik:

older sibling touching the pregnant baby belly — family maternity photo shoot on the beach Pictures, Images and Photos


This is the only day in the world
that I am 35 weeks and 35 years,
that my boy speaks in a high voice
and pronounces his Ls like Ys,
and my husband has shaved his head
and is wearing a tie
for the first time in a year.

This is the only day in the world
that we are a family of three
and my belly sticks out before me
and makes me glad to see
the bright red points of scars,
the protrusion of my navel,

like the center, a rose,
a point of focus,
present here, now, yes.



A reminder that the giveaway is ending soon for SEVEN copies of my book, Poetry of a Hobo Mama.

You can still enter the giveaways at Natural Parents Network:
Giveaway: Poetry of a Hobo Mama Parenting Poetry — $12 ARV — 2 WINNERS! {5.14; Worldwide}

and at Hybrid Rasta Mama:
Giveaway: Poetry of a Hobo Mama Parenting Poetry — $12 ARV {5.5; Worldwide}

Please read the lovely reviews from the talented bloggers, enter the giveaways, and enjoy the parenting-inspired poetry!

Poetry of a Hobo Mama

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Surf: Swimmingly

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

spring garden raised bed
I love seeing the start of a spring garden.
Even cooler is that half that greenery overwintered.
This past week felt pleasantly full. Maybe it was the intense celebrating we did for my birthday. Maybe it was hosting multiple meetups. Maybe it was having two parent-child swim classes.

Funny thing about those classes: The age range is six months to four years. Rather extreme range, no? There's this single, solitary doofus visionary in the class struggling to support a 50-pound four-and-three-quarters-year-old during all the songs where you pour water on your baby's behemoth's feet and the games where you lay the little (big) ones out in front of you to practice floating. She's the only one who can't fully support her child the class-approved way of two hands under the armpits and has to slip one hand under the back so, you know, her kid doesn't drown. Gosh, she must feel a little silly. Good thing she's having too much fun to let it show.

Mikko, on the other hand (oops, just blew my cover), thinks it's torture that I'm making him attend a swim class. He'd rather play with a toy boat the entire half-hour instead of practicing kicks, refusing to practice bubbles, and reaching with his arms for the toy. I think that boy's a born unschooler, I truly do.

But this is the absolute last chance we have to take this class, and I've paid for it now, so we're persevering, dangit!

All right, then…some reading:




Guest post


A Recommendation For The Humble Condom at Diary of a First Child

Condom Embroidery Hoop ArtLuschka's presenting a series on Contraceptive Options, and she's let me wax eloquent about, yup, condoms.
I’d like to recommend them to you for their consideration as a birth-control method for male-female sexual couples interested in preventing pregnancy, due to their many benefits:

Economical — in my own comparisons with other birth-control methods, condoms are a frugal choice.
Compatible — since they’re non-hormonal, you can use them while breastfeeding or in preparation for trying to conceive, and they won’t interfere with tracking your cycle.
Convenient — less mess. Don’t make me over-explain that.
Easy — less chance of user error than remembering to take a pill every day at the same time or schedule an appointment for a shot or other procedure. I mean, yes, some prep is needed, but that’s what practice is for.
Effective — somewhere around 90-98%. More on that later, but suffice it to say — no “oops” babies here so far!
Reversible — want another baby? You got it.
Read more at Diary of a First Child, and I'll chat with you in the comments over there. I know we all have different perspectives on birth control, so I hope we all can learn from each other.

Poetry of a Hobo Mama giveaway extravaganza

Giveaway: Poetry of a Hobo Mama - 7 Winners! {4.30; Worldwide}

Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three YearsYou have one day more to enter the giveaway for one of SEVEN copies of my poetry book. The group giveaway ends tomorrow, April 30, so enter now!

Here again are the reviews and giveaway links from all the bloggers participating in the group giveaway, so you can read their thoughts and pick your favorite one to enter from!

Please also read the latest reviews:

Giveaway: Poetry of a Hobo Mama Parenting Poetry — $12 ARV — 2 WINNERS! {5.14; Worldwide} at Anktangle & Natural Parents Network

Touching review from Amy:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Condoms & poetry

There — that got your attention.

Things going on elsewhere:

A Recommendation For The Humble Condom at Diary of a First Child

Condom Embroidery Hoop ArtLuschka's presenting a series on Contraceptive Options, and she's let me wax eloquent about, yup, condoms.
I would like to present to you … the condom.

Not any particular condoms, either, just male condoms in general.

I’d like to recommend them to you for their consideration as a birth-control method for male-female sexual couples interested in preventing pregnancy, due to their many benefits:

Economical — in my own comparisons with other birth-control methods, condoms are a frugal choice.
Compatible — since they’re non-hormonal, you can use them while breastfeeding or in preparation for trying to conceive, and they won’t interfere with tracking your cycle.
Convenient — less mess. Don’t make me over-explain that.
Easy — less chance of user error than remembering to take a pill every day at the same time or schedule an appointment for a shot or other procedure. I mean, yes, some prep is needed, but that’s what practice is for.
Effective — somewhere around 90-98%. More on that later, but suffice it to say — no “oops” babies here so far!
Reversible — want another baby? You got it.
Read more at Diary of a First Child, and I'll chat with you in the comments over there.

Giveaway: Poetry of a Hobo Mama Parenting Poetry — $12 ARV — 2 WINNERS! {5.14; Worldwide} at Natural Parents Network

Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three YearsTouching review from Amy of Anktangle:
I’ve been a fan of Lauren’s writing since well before I knew her personally, because her writing is just so incredibly easy to relate to. There’s no pretending and no putting on airs or avoiding the touchy and controversial subjects, only the reality of her life as a wife, mother, and woman. She reveals her true self through her words: the humor and wit, the wisdom and growth, even the taboo and painful parts.



This is a beautiful, funny, truth-filled collection that I believe would resonate with any mother. The focus on Lauren’s experiences as an attachment-focused parent gives it a unique perspective which any parent on the natural parenting spectrum could appreciate. But it’s not just for the “crunchy” mama in your life; it’s truly about the human experience: about life and love, about laughter and loss. It’s about the joyfully heart-wrenching reality of loving someone as deeply and fully as a parent loves her child.
I love hearing Amy's words and connection, and she shares one of my favorite poems in the post.

Read more and enter to win one of two copies at NPN.

Giveaway: Poetry of a Hobo Mama Parenting Poetry — $12 ARV {5.5; Worldwide} at Hybrid Rasta Mama

Love Jennifer's honest take:
Lauren Wayne of Hobo Mama fame, one of the two lovely mamas who founded and run the Natural Parents Network, is both an author and a poet in her own right. I had known for some time that she had a collection of poetry but had kind of ignored it. I always felt bad because I love supporting other mamas in their creative endeavors but truth be told, I was worried if I read it I would not like it. This would not be a function of Lauren or her poetic skills, but instead a function of my indifference to poetry.

Did you know that April is Poetry Month? Well it is and I decided what better way to support Lauren than to sit down, read Poetry of a Hobo Mama from start to finish, then share my impressions with you. I took off my “aversion to poetry glasses” and put on my “let’s see what Hobo Mama brings to the table glasses.” You know what? I am really, really glad that I did.



Lauren’s book of poetry will grab you. It grabbed me hard. She writes from a place so deep inside that you almost get lost there at times. She bares her soul. She lets you into her happiness, her sadness, her joy, and her pain.



If you like poetry, you will adore this collection from Lauren. If you hate poetry, you will adore this collection from Lauren. If you are on the fence about poetry, this collection will make you take notice of the beauty in poetic expression. It will also make you feel a whole lot better about your own experiences and feelings in this journey of life and motherhood.
Seriously, what better endorsement could there be?

Read more and enter to win a copy at Hybrid Rasta Mama.

Keep in mind you can still enter the giveaway for one of SEVEN copies that ends Monday, April 30. I won't let you win more than once, so feel free to enter all three giveaways to improve your chances.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Poetic children's books

For National Poetry Month, Mikko and I have been enjoying some poetically inspired picture books. So many children's books are poems, but these have been especially lyrical, and the beautiful illustrations help the poetry along. Reading aloud books like these helps me remember that poetry was created to be spoken.

Splash, Joshua, Splash!

Splash Joshua SplashWritten by Malachy Doyle; Illustrated by Ken Wilson Max

Lovely, lilting story of a water-loving little boy on a day spent with Granny, culminating in a thrilling trip to the local pool's water slide. The language begs to be read aloud — nearly sung.

"More!" says Joshua, whooping and yelling,
"More!" says Joshua.
"More, more!"

So up they climb,
and down
they sail, and
SPLASH!
they crash
into the water.

Up they climb,
and down they sail,
and SPLASH!
they crash,
again and again.

After the slide adventures, the text quiets down by describing the cozy, dozy bus ride back home. Bonus points for showing a grandmother caregiver (and an active one at that), a farmer's market, multiethnic pool-goers, and public transportation. I really like this one.


The Sound of Day, The Sound of Night

The Sound of Day, The Sound of NightWritten by Mary O'Neill; Illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Divided into two sections, these dual poems follow day and night sounds (appropriately enough). I loved that the daytime poetry was more singsongy and bright, and the nighttime poetry sounded muted, with quiet touches of hesitation from the lulls in the meter.

Day:
Twitter of birds,
Squealing of brakes,
Beating the frosting
For devil's food cakes.

In the day, two children get ready and go off to school, coming home to celebrate the arrival of a new baby sibling. Night then follows those early lullaby newborn moments, enhanced by a first snowdrift outside. The text without the pictures might make you think of more literal interpretations of the words, but the charming illustrations bring you into this particular family's story.

Night:
Tiptoe footsteps,
Car on road,
The tiny hopscotch
Of a toad.

And steadily
Upon his beat
A watchman's solid-sounding
Feet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: You say it's your birthday

I made it another revolution around the sun! Mikko was happy to help me celebrate.


Matching boys, off to use some of my many birthday freebie coupons.
(That's not a sponsored link — just figured you might like to do the same when it's your turn.)


Consulting the drinks list.


But he always orders the same thing.


We take annual pictures at Red Robin, despite the atrocious lighting.


The neon clothing trend is giving me flashbacks to my junior high school wardrobe. (This post is all about dating me.)


Shanghaiing my ice cream sundae.


The big boys went to Party City and got ideas for games as well as assorted festoonery.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Calling for submissions for the May 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 May 2012! (Check out April, March, February, January, and a summary of all our 2011 posts if you missed any.)

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

Here are the submission details for May 2012:

grandpa carrying preschoolerTheme: Parenting With or Without Extended Family: How does your family help or hinder as you raise your children? Do you feel supported or shunned for your parenting decisions? This topic can be as broad as you'd like. Write about maintaining connections (or distance), tips for traveling, or the concerns or joys of parenting around relatives. You can choose to write personally or more neutrally.

Deadline: Tuesday, May 1. 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, May 8. 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 May 8 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published on May 8 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.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Surf: Birthday surprise

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

I'd like to preface this with a big Thanks a lot for nothing to Blogger. They switched me over to the new editor, which I'd tried out before but despise. Everything took four times longer, and it messed up my formatting, and, to top it off, it lost all my changes! Lovely. 
Sam taught me a hack for getting back to the old editor (for now): Replace blogger.g in the URL with posts.g — booyah! 
Anyway, that's why Sunday Surf is so late today. I just had to go to sleep instead of trying to reconstruct at 3 in the morning. I think that was the wise course.

baby eating ice cream cone held by father
Alrik demonstrates proper ice cream cone enjoyment.
Yesterday the boys took me out to eat and to buy (SECRET) items for my (SURPRISE) birthday party. I don't know what they are AT ALL, except for all the things Mikko blabbed to me.

Four-year-olds love having secrets but are not as down with the keeping of them.

So, yes, tomorrow is my birthday. And our big plans this weekend include continuing to use birthday coupons I've amassed. Same as every birthday. But I like it, for I am easy. Also, a cheap date.

At some point I will be AMBUSHED by the fantastic surprises I don't at all know about. And much merriment will be had by all.

I've already started teaching Alrik some birthday signs in preparation.

Some reading for you:





Poetry of a Hobo Mama giveaway:

Read the reviews of my poetry book from six fabulous bloggers and enter the group giveaway to win one of SEVEN COPIES! I'm so excited to be sponsoring this giveaway. Please enter, and enjoy!

You can also check out the 5-star reviews I now have on Amazon! Yea!

See that cover at right? --> That's my side boob up on Amazon. Support nursing in public by purchasing your own endorsement — it fits nicely on your bookshelf!