Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Surf: Luna Park

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

Sunday Surf: Luna Park == Hobo Mama
A café near us has enchanting vintage entertainment possibilities, like this shake-'em-up ride with Batman that I decided was akin to the spin cycle. Throw up your fries and shakes, kids!

Sunday Surf: Luna Park == Hobo Mama
This clown will sing and dance for you for just a quarter! That's some old-school entertainment.

Sunday Surf: Luna Park == Hobo Mama
Mikko was so taken with the juke box (I helped him choose the Beatles' "Birthday" since it's one of his favorites) that he wants to build his own. He was fascinated when I told him I actually have a record player stashed away somewhere. No records, but a genuine player.

Not bad amusement value for 75 cents total!

Good links to share!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Cute kid & a two-headed cat

Wordless Wednesday: Cute kid & a two-headed cat == Hobo Mama
Loving this boy.

Wordless Wednesday: Cute kid & a two-headed cat == Hobo Mama
And this wild hair.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The dance of responsiveness: Subscribe to my newsletter!

The dance of responsiveness: Subscribe to my newsletter! == Hobo Mama
I love the attachment parenting principle of responding with sensitivity, because I think that in itself can sum up attached parenting: witnessing your child's needs and meeting them with love.

One thing that's become important to me is realizing that there's no magic formula for responding with sensitivity: Our children's needs are different from another child's, and the needs change as they grow. It's a very in-the-moment process of checking back with your child and yourself to see if you're in tune right now.

When Mikko was born, Sam and I learned quickly that we needed to respond quickly, and often! As a high-needs baby, Mikko needed a lot of help regulating and soothing himself: babywearing, bouncing, walking, white noise, massage, lullabies, and lots and lots of time breastfeeding. We figured out we could put him down for small periods — but only if we kept up the motion: in a bouncy seat with our foot doing the jiggling, or in a baby hammock that rocked him to sleep.

When Alrik was born, we discovered a truth we'd guessed: that every baby is different. He's been much more easy-going and independent, confident to forge his own trail even in unfamiliar places. But, still, he knows he can circle back to his home base and that he'll receive the reassurance and reconnection he needs.

Want to read more? Sure thing!

Every month the joint newsletter from Hobo Mama, Code Name: Mama, and Natural Parents Network wings its way to inboxes all around the world, bringing compelling content like the article I wrote for the July newsletter on Responding With Sensitivity.

So subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter: original articles, linked resources around the month's theme, newsletter-exclusive giveaways and deals, fun polls, and more — all delivered right to your inbox!

Subscribe now to get the July 1 issue
with the article above on the rhythm of responsiveness!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why I wear makeup: A crunchy, feminist perspective

Why I wear makeup: A crunchy, feminist perspective == Hobo Mama
Face "done."
Destany of They Are All of Me had a thought-provoking post on Natural Parents Network about why she's going naked.

Naked from makeup, that is.

I posted the link on my Facebook page and got some interesting reactions, from people who've been makeup-free for years to one commenter in particular who said she's "tired of being told every single thing in my life is something else I should feel guilty about. It's exhausting."

That prompted me to go ahead and write this post that's been simmering in my mind for awhile now: a defense of makeup from a crunchy feminist.

Every so often I'll see a blogger who makes a big deal about trying out not wearing makeup for a week or whatever, and I want to give them a slow sarcasti-clap. Because nearly universally these are gorgeous, young, clear-skinned people for whom makeup is just an added flourish, like a piece of ornate crown molding on an architecturally charming house. "Oh, you're 25 with skin as smooth as porcelain, and you skipped mascara for a few days? How brave you are!" (I'm kinda snarky in real life.)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Surf: Suspect kitty

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

Sunday Surf: Suspect kitty == Hobo Mama
Hmm … one of these cats is not a cat.

Good links to share!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Calling for submissions for the July 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning About Diversity

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 July 2013! (Check out June, May, April, March, January, December 2012, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, 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 July 2013:

Calling for submissions for the July 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning About Diversity == Hobo MamaTheme: Learning About Diversity: Diversity surrounds us — our family make-ups are unique, our abilities and goals differ from our friends, we have different standards of living and sets of beliefs … both across our communities and around the world. How do you teach your children to embrace and respect diversity?

Deadline: Tuesday, July 2. 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, July 9. 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 July 9 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published on July 9 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, June 21, 2013

On dressing children

I wrote this when I was pregnant with Alrik two-plus years ago and never hit "publish," I guess afraid my pickiness about clothing would come across wrong. I'm feeling willing to take the chance now that it will just spark some interesting discussions.

This post contains affiliate links.

I've been sorting through boxes of Mikko's baby things, trying to find (a) newborn clothes and diaper covers and (b) homebirth supplies. I've been piling things by size, and Mikko has been trying to help me, which has been not as helpful as he intends. "No! Not in that pile, Mama. Here, I do it right."

I'm astonished at how many of his baby clothes I don't like.

Unsnapped one-pieces made for good
boxing robes for our bruiser.
For one thing, his sex was a surprise, prompting everyone to load us up with pastel yellows and greens. Then, once he was born, it was all light blue, all the time.

Don't get me wrong — those are all lovely colors, in moderation. But I lean toward vibrant clothes for kids, and the pastels just look insipid to me.

And beyond the colors are the cuts. We got a lot of onesies and other one-pieces. I know people think onesies are the awesomest thing ever — except that we don't. I was doing elimination communication AND cloth diapering a baby who peed every five minutes (no exaggeration). PLUS, we had a huge baby who was wearing diapers that were on the bulky side — we could barely ever get the snaps closed in the first place, much less keep them that way. I intuited that we would need separates; I put several examples of kimono-style t-shirts and elastic-waist pants on our baby registry and pleaded in the comments that these would be "so convenient!" No one took the hint.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Dinosaur loose in the library

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Did you know laptops don't like it when you spill soda on them? Alrik tested that proposition for me last night. After some drying time, I'm back with a late WW…

Wordless Wednesday: Dinosaur loose in the library == Hobo Mama

Mikko, his triceratops, and I all looked up the next
Captain Underpants books at the library computers.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Surf: To the airport! For no good reason!

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

Sunday Surf: == Hobo Mama
We had an impromptu adventure: hopping the bus and light rail to explore
the airport. (Well, the parts you can get to without a ticket!) I love
public transportation excursions — perfect for kids, cheap for me!

Good links to share!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Perception & my love affair with armchair detecting: $100 giveaway! {6.25; US}

Perception & my love affair with armchair detecting: $100 giveaway == Hobo Mama

I am a mystery buff. I read detective novels — heck, I write them! I relish whodunnit movies and miniseries. I follow along with stories of true crimes past and present. And I watch a lot of crime dramas on TV.

I like to think I'm pretty much a full-fledged detective myself … of the armchair variety.

I might never have analyzed a peculiar residue left at a crime scene or immediately identified the cause of death of badly decomposed remains or tricked a suspect into confessing on tape. But I like to think I could — if I ever stood up and went outdoors. Yep, I'm an indoor gumshoe, and proud of it! I can totally solve anything … that's on TV.

Which is why I was so happy to receive an advance copy of the first episode of the second season of Perception, a crime drama on TNT. TNT is known as the Home of Crime Drama, and indeed, many of my favorite detective-in-training shows are right there on that channel!

I had never seen Perception, though, so I was eager to give it a viewing.

Watermelon mango smoothie: Vegan and dairy-free

Watermelon mango smoothie recipe == dairy-free, vegan, sweetener-free = Hobo Mama

Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. This month, we celebrate Smoothies and Mocktails! Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you're welcome to join us next time, or if you have a previously published recipe you'd like to share, add it to the linky below.

This is one in a series of guest posts by other bloggers. Read to the end for a longer biographical note on today's guest blogger, my partner and husband, Crackerdog Sam. From his mighty kitchen arsenal, today Sam offers a dairy-free, sweetener-free summer smoothie containing only four natural ingredients that's sure to refresh both kids and adults.

Guest post by Crackerdog Sam

We were first introduced to watermelon agua fresca (which is simply watermelon liquified in a blender) at a local Mexican restaurant several years ago and fell in love with the simplicity and taste. I, of course, had to experiment with different variations, and I really like this one: The addition of the mango gives it a smoothie consistency.

Watermelon mango smoothie recipe == dairy-free, vegan, sweetener-free = Hobo Mama


  • 3 cups watermelon cubes (1/4 of a personal watermelon)
  • 1/3 cup mango cubes (about 1/2 a mango)
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 ice cubes

Dietary/allergy notes:

Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, sweetener-free. Well, look at it: It's just fruits and herbs!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Six-year-old smile

Wordless Wednesday: Six-year-old smile == Hobo Mama

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Policing politeness

Welcome to the June 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting in Theory vs. in Reality

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants are sharing how their ideas and methods of parenting have changed.

Policing politeness == Hobo MamaHere's the danger of blogging: You find yourself doing something that you know you wrote against at some point before…

As Mikko's gotten older — he just turned six — I've found my laissez-faire attitude about his (lack of) manners shifting into appointing myself instead his own private Courtesy Cop. And I had this nagging suspicion — more than a suspicion — that at some point I had written a blog post all about how I don't coach my kids to say "please" and "thank you," that I just model it. Yet here I have been, whispering to him, or saying outright, "Remember to say 'thank you'!" or "That's not a very nice way to ask; what would be a better way?"

I didn't really want to write about this subject for the carnival, because — well, gee, how embarrassing! But let's delve in, shall we?

The past

Dropping the "say 'please'" script

Various excerpts from the post in the past:

We've gotten several compliments lately about how pleasant and agreeable our three-year-old is. He politely thanks people for giving him things. He always wants to help with whatever we're doing (whether it's helpful or not!). He gives affection freely and spontaneously, leaning over with an unexpected hug and "I love you, too, too, fweetie Mama" since I responded to his earlier "I love you"s with "I love you, too, sweetie." (The cute makes your teeth ache, doesn't it?)

We try not to (sometimes I slip up!) tell Mikko what to say to be socially acceptable. I never appreciated as a kid having something withheld until I remembered to "use the magic word" or being prompted with a whispered "Tell Grandma you love her!" It felt false to me, like a breach of manners rather than true sociability.

My theory — and it's not just my theory — is that humans are innately social creatures. They want to fit into their social group (their tribe). To specify this with children, children are always looking for ways they can cooperate within the social structure and model the behavior they see in older children and adults. This doesn't mean that every action they make is in line with what we want from them at all times. For one thing, we often don't want our babies acting like adults (trying to operate the lighter or turn on the stove). For another thing, they often miscalculate what is expected of them (not picking up on social cues and signals) or their own abilities to follow through (like being able to pour from a heavy pitcher). What it does mean is that, overall, barring anything that keeps them from taking part in the social group, children will act like little social scientists in finding their proper behavior within the group. They will observe what their elders are doing and try things out for themselves. They will self-correct if something they try goes badly. Of course, all of this takes time and repetition and is limited by their current developmental abilities, so they don't get it correct right away or every time. (And sometimes they simply choose their own unique paths!)

When it comes to manners, I don't teach Mikko how to be polite. I model it. (I hope!) I say "please" and "thank you," "excuse me" and "I'm sorry," to him, and to others in his presence. Despite not being "taught" manners, he has them, and he knows how to use them!

Monday, June 10, 2013

LAST CHANCE for a parenting library! Plus a freebie from meebie!

Sales through the links in this post go to support the work of my website and toward the incredible contributors to this bundle! Thank you so much.

The Mindful Parenting eBundle Sale ends TODAY! I can hardly believe we're at the end of this whirlwind two weeks, but that's what my calendar tells me. This is your LAST CHANCE to get these 22 quality parenting e-products in one place! Time to stop dithering and hop on over to get your copy of this bundle before it's gone!

The bundle costs only $24.95 — let's break down some math here. My book is already worth $9.99. Some other resources are worth more than the bundle as a whole (!), but let's say they're worth about $10 on average. If you were interested in buying even three of the resources this year, you'd come out far, far ahead by buying the bundle now instead. You don't necessarily need to read all 22 (amazing) titles, but there's no downside in having them available to you!

It's like populating your mindful parenting library in one go. And you guys know me — you know I've vetted all these resources. I wouldn't be recommending them if I weren't serious about how life-changing they can be!

Want even more incentive?

I've been working on developing some new Activity Cards and am pleased to offer a sampler pack of twenty for anyone who buys the bundle through my affiliate link. These fun and educational flashcards will help you entertain your kidlets during any tedious situations. If you email me your receipt, I'll email you the PDF (for printing) and jpg (for mobile) versions of 20 cards. Yea!

Meanwhile, you'll be enjoying your bundle, hand-designed for the thoughtful parent: e-books, workshops, e-magazines, and audio with themes such as creativity and play, peaceful guidance, mindfulness for mothers, children and food, self-care and relaxation, and more.

Check out all the contributors below — then hurry to purchase!

Attachment Parenting International Teleseminar

Attachment Parenting isn’t new. In many ways, it is a return to the instinctual behaviors of our ancestors. In the last sixty years, the behaviors of attachment have been studied extensively by psychology and child development researchers, and more recently, by researchers studying the brain. This body of knowledge offers strong support for areas that are key to the optimal development of children, summarized in API’s Eight Principles of Parenting. Enjoy the exchange among the world’s leading experts in attachment parenting discussing API’s 8 Principles of Parenting, listen to their responses to questions of our time, and hear their answers to questions from the audience.

Panel experts include:

  • Dr. William Sears
  • Martha Sears
  • Dr. James McKenna
  • Ina May Gaskin
  • Dr. Isabelle Fox
  • Mary Ann Cahill
  • Barbara Nicholson
  • Lysa Parker


Relaxation Meditation (audio) — Amy Phoenix — lifetime access!!

Relaxation Meditation helps you access inner awareness and resolve, cultivating the space for true, lasting transformation. Relax into parenting as you enhance your relationship with yourself, your child, and life at the same time.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Surf: Science kid

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

Mikko and I went downtown to attend the Science Expo and Mini Makers Faire (for mini-inventors) yesterday. It rocked. Since we're unschooling but inventions and science are not my bailiwick, I love that there are resources like this out there that can satisfy him.

Sunday Surf: Science kid == Hobo Mama
This is his typical non-smile for photos, but he was super proud of the light-up pin
he's sporting that he soldered himself. I was proud, too! I've never soldered a thing.

And what do you think all that science-learning did for him?

Sunday Surf: Science kid == Hobo Mama
My little scientist is also a conservationist. He volunteered to clean up
all the trash around the bus stop because it would be "good for the environment."

Woot! Science!

Good links to share!