Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Ringing out a good year

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









Friday, December 26, 2014

Calling for submissions for the January 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Household Chores

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 January 2015! (Check out December, November, September, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January 2014, and summaries of all our 2013 posts, 2012 posts, and 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 January 2015:

Theme: Household Chores: Oh, that dreaded word! We all have 'em, but how do we manage to do them? Talk to us about your household tasks, how you divide the labor, and how you involve your partner or housemates and children, or how you wish you could. Submission deadline: January 6. Carnival posting: January 13.

Deadline: Tuesday, January 6. 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, January 13. 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 November 11 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published on January 13 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.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Natural Parents Network wishes you a Happy, Crunchy, All-Inclusive December Holiday Season

As we celebrate the Winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the Southern, the Natural Parent Network volunteers would like to wish you and your family Happy Holidays, whatever holiday(s) you may celebrate. As such, we have put together our own rendition of a classic for you. We hope you can take an opportunity to relax and spend time with your loved ones amidst the chaos of the season.

Please enjoy
The Twelve Days of Crunchy, All-Inclusive December Holiday Season.
May you have a wonderful New Year!

 

Photo credit: Elena Roussakis

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Merry Christmas to you!









From the Hobo Family to yours, a very merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Baby love









Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Natural parent's baby shower registry

Natural Parent's Baby Shower Registry Gift Guide: The simple essentials for breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping, & cloth diapering! -- Hobo Mama


Welcome to the December 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Greatest Gifts

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have suggested go-to gifts and gifting experiences for the holiday season for all your loved ones.




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

I couldn't resist when the topic was gifts this month — my mind turned to my sweet new baby, and I felt the itch to make a list of all the gifts we haven't gotten him.

See, the grandparents have been asking us what they can give Karsten. They asked when he was born in late October, and now they're asking as Christmas looms. And we keep answering them truthfully: We have everything.

This is the third baby, and the third boy. We're set!

But that means I've been around the block a time or two, and I know now what sort of natural-parenting baby registry I would make if we weren't living in Hand-Me-Down City and needed to start from scratch. My btdt experience can be to your profit! Just copy this list of must-haves and would-love-to-haves on over to your own baby registry or holiday wish list, and outfit your natural nursery like a boss.

Note that, since I'm constantly nak-ing a newborn, I'm going to veer toward minimalist (my preference for our small space) rather than comprehensive and crunchy, as is my family's wont. So this list will be the essentials we needed for breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping, cloth diapering, and other attachment parenting choices. If you made different parenting choices (and that's valid!), you might need to add and subtract to this list, but it can still be a good starting point as you consider your options.



Cloth diapering: Keep things super simple, and ask gift givers to pre-load gift certificates to a diaper service. Not an option where you live? Keep things still pretty dang simple, and go with prefolds and wool diaper covers, plus some wool wash and lanolin. If you're buying supplies yourself, eBay is a good spot to look for high-quality but reduced-price diapers and covers. You'll want at least six covers in small or newborn size and at least 18-24 of the small prefolds. Then you can move up (probably relatively quickly) to medium and park there for awhile, so don't blow your whole budget on the smallest sizes. The good news is cloth diapers have a good resale value! Throw in some wipes, use a small daypack as a just-right diaper bag (reasonable size and easy to sling on your back to have hands free for baby), and store your dipes at home, both clean and dirty, in a wet-dry hanging bag. I thought we'd need a diaper-changing pad or table, and I was wrong. You can (and will) change diapers any-old-where. If you want to throw in some elimination communication, add a little potty — it'll come in handy eventually either way.


Babywearing: My hands-down (hands-free, ha ha!) favorite carrier is my handmade mei tai (tutorial here if you sew, and tutorial for a no-sew option if you don't!). If you want something available for purchase, other magnificent options are commercial mei tais and soft structured carriers like the Babyhawk, Infantino Wrap and Tie (frugal option), Ergo, and Boba. Any of these will work well for little babies on up through toddlers, so despite the initial price tag, buying one is a thrifty choice. And might I recommend my book, The Natural Parent's Guide to Babywearing? It will help you learn to wear your baby with confidence and ease.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Crunchy love & St. Nicholas' Day


Saturday is St. Nicholas' Day, so Momma Jorje published my post on the German celebration of Nikolaustag to remind us all to put out our boots tonight!

Every year, Hobo Mama posts about her family's St Nicholas Day celebations after the fact. I kept suggesting it would be better if she could remind us all beforehand so we could join in! Last year she did it, just for me!! We didn't get much notice, but we got a little. This year, I'm republishing her post (with permission) as a guest post and with more notice!

So: Let this be your reminder! Put your boots out December 5th and Saint Nicholas might just stop by to tuck some shiny little goodies inside!

(Unless you've been naughty, of course. Then all bets are off.)



Since we speak some German at home, we like to learn about the culture as well. That's why we celebrate Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, each year.

Because the feast day of Saint Nicholas is December 6, empty boots (Nikolausstiefel) generally go outside the door the night of December 5, the eve of Nikolaustag (Nikolausabend).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Karsten & his big brothers

Want to see the baby love?
I told you how the big boys are adapting to a little brother,
and here you can see it in action,
at one month old (plus 7 and 3 years).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Brotherly love: How siblings adapt to a new baby

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

I thought I'd give a little update on how the big boys are handling a new little brother. In general, Mikko and Alrik (7 and 3 years old) can't stop swooning over baby Karsten.










Now, it's not all fun and games. Mikko's adapting really well. Alrik's much more prone to meltdowns and seems to need a ton of attention from both Sam and me (which is fair).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Calling for submissions for the December 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Greatest Gifts

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 December 2014! (Check out November, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January, and a summary of all our 2013 posts, 2012 posts, and 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 December 2014:

Theme: Greatest Gifts: We're talking materialism! What have relatives or friends bought your family or kids that were hits out of the park? What gifts have tanked? What recommendations would you have for gift givers, and what's on your wish list this year? What gifts have you given that showed what an awesome gifter you are? Let's talk presents this holiday season!

Deadline: Tuesday, December 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} NaturalParentsNetwork.com

Carnival date: Tuesday, December 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 December 9 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published 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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Babymooning

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

A little look at what we've been (not) doing
for the past month
with little Karsten around.

(Hint: It's mostly looking at Karsten.)









Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Where to get the wiggles out in bad weather



Welcome to the November 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Indoor Play

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 have shared ideas and inspiration to keep families happy and healthy while cooped up indoors.




Seattle has about nine months of drizzly gray skies to contend with — but I have three (count 'em!) little kids who need to run off some energy each day, and a small home in which to do any of that. We have to rely on getting out of the house regularly — so, in particularly grim weather, that means having indoor spaces we can fly to that allow for boisterous movement and loud voices.

I wrote, when Mikko was two, a top 10 list of my favorite places to amuse kids during wintry weather, but since Mikko (now seven) has aged out of many of those excursions, I've added to and expanded my list here to include options for elementary-age kids as well. I've found, unfortunately, that many kid-centric locations cater solely to the five-and-under crowd, which has made life challenging when I want to take more than one kiddo with me (which is to say, most of the time!). I know it's just that most places assume kids over the age of five will be in school all day, so we've had to source some homeschooling-friendly (or at least -tolerant) options. I hope this list can help you, too, if you're in the same boat!

Friends' houses

We live in a building with quiet-loving adult neighbors who don't always understand children's needs to be total hooligans all day long. Getting away from the grown-up grouchiness to friends' houses where kids are allowed to stomp around, jump off furniture, slam doors, and yell at the top of their lungs is so dang freeing. Plus, great for all ages!

Play cafés & indoor playgrounds

We have various coffeehouses & cafés around that offer play spaces for the kids along with hot beverages, wifi, and snacks for the parents. Admission prices vary, as do age limits. There's a nice, big indoor play structure downtown that allows a high range of ages, just giving young tots a small safe place blocked off within the larger area and otherwise allowing the older goobers free rein. And, um, don't shoot the messenger, but fast food joints also sometimes have some sweet climbing structures.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Three for tricks & treats

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


We successfully went out for Sam's birthday a couple days before Halloween,
so the baby & I were emboldened to join in on a short
trick-or-treating jaunt at our local business district.

Sam and I had different, themed costumes planned,
but Karsten's somewhat tardy arrival meant mine
didn't fit my postpartum mummy tummy. (Nerts!)
So I'm the ocean, and Karsten's a shark. Bam.


Alrik will not take off this Power Rangers hoodie.
It's the best.


Mikko's super into dragons
and wanted me to design an even fiercer costume
or ratchet this one up a notch,
but…um…I had a baby. So that's my excuse.


This baby.
That's a no-sew fleece mei tai I made, by the way,
that just happened to be oceanic in color. Score!


My sweet niece bought this "I love my mummy" outfit
for Mikko when he was born. We've taken Halloween pics
for each kid in it since.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: First days

We are happily enjoying our babymoon with Karsten, who is a week old. What with one thing and another, his birth announcement didn't get posted till several days after I wrote it, so he's already a more peaceful little guy than it first appeared. I think having lots of milk now is to thank for that!

Li'l sleeping dude.

With the proud mama.

He's beginning to open his eyes
and take in the world.
Today he made his first pre-cooing sounds,
and I just about died of cuteness.

With the happy dad.

Meeting the brothers (7 & 3) for the first time.

He's got a little too much face.