Friday, January 31, 2014

Calling for submissions for the February 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Fears

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 2014! (Check out January 2014, December 2013, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, January, and summaries of all our 2012 posts and 2011 posts if you missed any.)

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

IMGP3408Here are the submission details for February 2014:

Theme: Parenting Fears: Before we became parents, we likely all had worries about what parenting would be like or who our future kids would turn out to be. What fears have come true, and what was not worth worrying about? What concerns do you have for the future about your own capacity to parent, your kids’ outcomes, or the sometimes scary world we live in?

Deadline: Saturday, February 8. 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}

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Boy in light

When you see cuteness happening, you have to grab a record.

Boy in light == Hobo Mama

Boy in light == Hobo Mama

Boy in light == Hobo Mama

Boy in light == Hobo Mama

Monday, January 20, 2014

No 'poo doesn't mean no clean

No 'poo doesn't mean no clean == Hobo MamaThe other day, NBC's Today's Talk with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford decided to mock a crunchy blogger, Jacquelyn Byers of LittleOwlCrunchyMomma, for speaking out about forgoing shampoo for her hair — and, ultimately, choosing nothing but water rinsing once or twice a week. (If you want to watch the cackling of the TV hosts, the relevant portion of the video starts at 6:40.)

Now, I actually have a little insight to offer into Jacquelyn's decision to do away with soap and haircare products — unlike Hoda and Kathie Lee — because I did my own experiments with baking soda and vinegar and then two months with water only, no soap, shampoo, conditioner, anything (except on my hands, which I continued to wash with soap).

I can therefore refute most of Hoda and Kathie Lee's objections to the idea and offer a more balanced view of the practice.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Experiments in electricity

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

We got our latest Appleseed Lane subscription box
and began to play with one of Mikko's
favorite scientific amusements: electricity!

You can't go wrong with crafting your own circuits out of bits of wire and nails and glasses of water! You can tell Alrik was thrilled to see the effects of static electricity as well. And I learned something about the differences between static and current electricity, which probably were taught to me long ago but I forgot or didn't get it back then, so I was plenty pleased, too. See — homeschooling is useful for everybody!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Making a family bedroom

Welcome to the January 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Stay the Same

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 talked about the continuity and constancy in their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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

Making a family bedroom == Hobo MamaWe've now been cosleeping for six and a half years. And by cosleeping, I'm referring specifically to bed sharing. Just before Mikko was born, we bought a king-size mattress and put it on the floor of the single bedroom in our apartment. Even in the hospital, he slept in my arms, and once he came home, he slept beside us — and still is.

When Alrik was born, we added him in. We experimented with putting a crib mattress on the side of the king, but mainly we just all piled onto the king — Alrik on the edge with a foam bumper, then me, then Mikko, then Sam, who sometimes ended up on the floor. (There were four in the bed, and the little one said….)

Lately, and even though one of us is just a little two-year-old squirt, we end up doing jigsaw arrangements every night. Sometimes there's a hard skull in my spine. Often my bum or my knees (depending on which way I've turned) is hanging over the edge. When I come to bed after the three boys are asleep, I sometimes end up settling down sideways at the foot, like the family dog. Sam recently had a dream he was trapped in a tunnel — and awoke to find himself unable to turn over because of two certain little boys who had hemmed him in. Now we've been considering a third child, which would mean five in a bed, and — nope. Not with our bodies and our sprawlers, not in a king, and the king mattress is the widest conventional mattress you can get (76"). (A California king is longer but narrower at 72", for those pondering your family-bed purchases.)

We love cosleeping and bed sharing, but we need to find a way that works better to let everyone sleep comfortably.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The dance of responsiveness

The dance of responsiveness == Hobo MamaI 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.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset on Christmas Eve

Hobo Mama: Sunset on Christmas Eve
This was my view on Christmas Eve.

Hobo Mama: Sunset on Christmas Eve
And I got to share it with this guy.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to live the plastic bag–free life: 7 top tips

How to live the plastic bag–free life: 7 top tips == Hobo Mama
Reusable bags are so versatile.
A couple years ago, the city of Seattle voted to ban plastic shopping bags. Despite being proponents of the concept of encouraging reusable bags, Sam's and my first reaction was "Oh, noes! What will we do without our plastic bags?!"

If you're looking to make the switch from plastic to reusable at grocery stores and the like and need some pointers, this post's for you. This is how we've made the new lifestyle work with minimal fuss and bother.

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

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Here's to a happy new year!

I hope your holidays were warm and your new year is looking bright.
Here are some happy pictures from our Christmas celebrations.

Hobo Mama: Here's to a happy new year!
One present on Christmas Eve!

Hobo Mama: Here's to a happy new year!
Guess it was the right one!

Hobo Mama: Here's to a happy new year!
Bonus Christmas book for story time

Hobo Mama: Here's to a happy new year!
Starting in on the loot on Christmas morning

Hobo Mama: Here's to a happy new year!
That's the way to rip!