Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Another sweet year

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

My family knows how to make a girl feel special on her birthday.

Wordless Wednesday: Another sweet year == Hobo Mama
First, they took me to the Queen Mary Tea Room,
where I was fittingly given a tiara to wear.
Sam and I had been 10 years before to the day!

Wordless Wednesday: Another sweet year == Hobo Mama

Wordless Wednesday: Another sweet year == Hobo Mama
Despite being a child-not-so-friendly place
(don't let the crayons fool you),
and despite my kidlets not being fancy-tea drinkers,
they both did remarkably well.

Wordless Wednesday: Another sweet year == Hobo Mama

Wordless Wednesday: Another sweet year == Hobo Mama
Apple juice, not too much of which ended up on the froufrou decor!

Friday, April 25, 2014

LAST CHANCE for the Essential Parenting Collection: Price reduced!

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

Essential Parenting Collection from Mindful Nurturing
Mindful Nurturing's Essential Parenting Collection is ENDING TOMORROW!

And…we've reduced the price big-time, from $49.97 all the way down to $32 for the full bundle.

It's also your last chance to grab any of the topical mini-bundles ($19.97) on Pregnancy and Birth, Parenting the Early Years, Child Development, Mindful Guidance, and Resources for Parents.

For a full overview of ALL the 35 e-resources, read my introductory post.

For a mini-review of several resources that have meant something to me, visit this post.

Calling for submissions for the May 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Ages and Stages

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

Calling for submissions for the May 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Ages and Stages
Theme: Ages and Stages: Pick one age or developmental stage of your kids and tell us something about it. Maybe you'll hand out teething advice, or newborn sleep suggestions. Maybe you'll reminisce about the terrific twos or look forward to the burgeoning tweens. Tell us something about an age or stage, either past, present, or future!

Deadline: Tuesday, May 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, May 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 May 13 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, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Easter goodies

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

Wordless Wednesday: Easter goodies == Hobo Mama
Best Easter picture ever.
And I'm not saying that only because it's the first time
we've ever gotten a non-screaming photo with a big costumed holiday character.
I'm also saying it because Alrik has unintentional bunny ears,
both boys had the dirtiest pants in history due to a day sliding down hills,
Mikko had spilled his drink all over his shirt,
they both were covered in potty-training stickers
(I give them out like candy, deserved or no),
and Mikko was super-duper proud of how big he smiled.
It's really just perfect!

Wordless Wednesday: Easter goodies == Hobo Mama
Easter morning meant finding all the chocolate eggs I'd hidden away
(a family tradition I'm happy to carry on).

Wordless Wednesday: Easter goodies == Hobo Mama
Mikko had so much fun that he decided to hide some for us, too!

Wordless Wednesday: Easter goodies == Hobo Mama
This guy ate every one he found.
Neither was all that great at spotting them,
which means there are still plenty hidden here and there.

Wordless Wednesday: Easter goodies == Hobo Mama
Mikko had forgotten that Easter baskets exist
and was enchanted when I drew back a sheet I'd had covering theirs!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Honoring your child's love language

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

Honoring your child's love language == Hobo Mama
Goofing around with my sweet dude at the Apple Store

Lately Mikko, 6 and a half years old, has been gifting me goodies as a surprise. One time he went with his dad to the grocery store to pick up flowers and a two-liter of soda for me (I'd been craving!), and several other occasions since he's stolen away my smartphone to let his dad help him unlock the next episode of Candy Crush, spending 99 cents of his own allowance each time.

His reaction every time is to wait for mine — so I try not to disappoint! I'm not much of a gusher, but I give it my all. It's hilarious and heartwarming that he shows me his love through these frequent little gifts.

I've been thinking a lot, not coincidentally, about love languages (you can read more at this affiliate link). Clearly he has a tendency toward two in particular: physical affection (the boy's a cuddler!) and gift giving and receiving. Indeed, every time he gives me a gift, he asks me, "Now what are you going to get me?" Ha! I'm not sure he quite understands the concept of a gift, but I will say he understands clearly what he needs to feel loved (probably more aware and certainly more outspoken about it than most adults). He shows me by doing those same things to show me love.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Biking adventure

Wordless Wednesday: Biking adventure == Hobo Mama
For a recent Family Day, Sam and Mikko conspired to tempt us all into an adventurous bike ride. Mikko had this idea to bike all the way to 7-11, about 3 miles one direction, and he'd never biked that far before. His reward would be a Slurpee, of course.

Wordless Wednesday: Biking adventure == Hobo Mama
Alrik and I were game. He loves his hand-me-down front-mounted seat!

Wordless Wednesday: Biking adventure == Hobo Mama
Whee! We took several breaks, but spirits were high.

Wordless Wednesday: Biking adventure == Hobo Mama
We got a later start than planned because we realized Sam didn't have a helmet and had to run out and buy one. That meant we got to see a nice sunset and enjoy the thrill of biking back in the dark…

But first, of course, we took a ton of selfies.
Wordless Wednesday: Biking adventure == Hobo Mama

Friday, April 11, 2014

10 Easy Ways to Go Reusable at Home at Natural Parents Network

I have a post today at Natural Parents Network with "10 Easy Ways to Go Reusable at Home."

In the spirit of Earth Day this month, I'm sharing 10 simple changes you can make to create a more eco-friendly environment in your home. Some of you might have done all these and then some, but for those of us who need a nudge in a new direction, here are some baby steps to pick and choose from, according to where you are on your environmental journey.

Natural Parents Network: 10 Easy Ways to Go Reusable at Home

1. Replace paper towels with cloth dish towels, sponges, and rags.


It can seem daunting to discontinue paper towel use when you're accustomed to grabbing one several times a day for all manner of cleaning projects. If the idea of going cold turkey scares you, keep a roll at hand but gradually increase the number of reusable options you have as well.

Here's what we use in place of paper towels.

Continue reading at Natural Parents Network ››

Photo credits:
Dish towels: Becky F
Bento box: Maki
Wool dryer balls & cloth diapers: Hobo Mama

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Hear me speak about breastfeeding!

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

Hear me speak about breastfeeding! == Hobo Mama

Sorry to be so thoroughly unwordless on a Wordless Wednesday, but today is the day you can hear me speak at the Nourished Living Summit about long-term breastfeeding and tandem nursing!

It is FREE to listen to my talk, and you have 48 hours to listen. Head over RIGHT NOW to register — for FREE — in order to listen to my presentation (or any of the others on natural family living still to come through April 29!).

Hear me speak about breastfeeding! == Hobo MamaToday is also the day you can start buying lifetime access to the FULL Nourished Living Summit. If you want to hear any of the 69 incredible speakers (including Dr. Jay Gordon and Elizabeth Pantley), today's the day to purchase your lifetime access.

Because…TODAY ONLY, it's $20 off. It's a 24-hour sale that will go away tomorrow, so April 9 only, the full summit is $127.

You can also purchase individual tracks if you're interested in certain topics particularly.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How we made our own Family Day

Welcome to the April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Pastimes

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 stories and wisdom about family pastimes.



We all need time as families to reconnect. Many of our families have parents who are working opposite schedules, or with one out on the job and the other at home. Many of us have kids in school or activities that keep us separated many days of the week.

Our family decided to become intentional about having one day a week we spend solely on each other: Family Day. Does your household have a Family Day?

Sam and I have an unusual lifestyle in that we're both self-employed, and we both unschool (homeschool) our two (soon to be three!) kids. To make that balance, we each need dedicated time to work as well as plenty of opportunity to spend time with our children.

We've decided on this schedule, and it's been working for us for awhile now: Sam takes care of the kids Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday while I work. I take the kids Monday, Thursday, and Saturday while he works. (Sometimes the person working leaves the house for a different location, and sometimes the person taking the kids does, and sometimes the person working just hides upstairs!) This does mean our work days can sometimes be quite long since we get only three of them a week, but it's working out well at this point, and I love that we have this flexibility.

That leaves Wednesday as the best day of the week: Family Day!

I realize for a lot of people, it's probably a weekend day (or days) that ends up being Family Day, but we're happy that most things are open but not crowded mid-week. Might as well take advantage of our unique situation, right?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to use a ring sling {plus a babywearing giveaway!}

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

How to use a ring slingA ring sling is a highly useful carrier since it’s easy to learn to use (just pop your baby in and tighten the fabric through the rings) and can be used from newborn days (in front carries) up through toddler years (in a hip carry). Plus, it’s a poppable carrier, easy to let children in and out of without a lot of bother.

A ring sling is a length of woven cloth that loops over the wearer's shoulder and is adjusted by the overlapping rings worn near the shoulder, with the baby sitting in the pocket created by the fabric. Ring slings work for any caregiver because they can be sized big or small and made plain or fancy, with different colors, patterns, and fabric choices — often cotton but also blends, linen, very lightweight mesh or solar-protective fabrics for water and summer use, and brocade and silk for dressier occasions.

Using a ring sling can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice and guidance, you’ll soon find it becomes second nature. I'll share some pictures here my husband took of my 2-year-old and me showing how it's done. Front carries work well with any age baby or toddler, and the hip carry is better attempted once a baby has good head and neck support.

I’d like to remind you of a few safety pointers to keep in mind when learning any new carry or carrier:
  • Keep your baby supported with your arms until you’re sure the carrier is secure.
  • If your baby or you are not feeling well, try again later.
  • Enlist another trusted adult. Ask the other adult to keep hands on the baby, or to help you secure the carrier, and be clear about who’s doing what.
  • Use a mirror. If you’re out, any reflective surface (building windows, car windows) will help.
  • Start low. Sit on the floor as you begin a wrap so you both can have less fear of falling. Later on, try starting from a sofa or bed or the seat or trunk of a car.
  • Ensure airways are clear and babies don't slip deeply into the pocket of fabric.
  • Keep young babies tummy to tummy and upright against you. Support unstable heads with fabric behind the head.
  • If you need help, request it! If you want someone to confirm that your baby’s in safely, ask away. If you feel uncomfortable with certain carries, that’s totally fine — find what works for you and your little one, and enjoy your own brand of babywearing!


Front Carry in a Ring Sling

Carrying a baby tummy to tummy in a ring sling is perfect for snuggly newborn days on up. It’s most comfortable with lighter loads and makes for convenient breastfeeding.

How to use a ring sling

Loosen the ring sling and place over one arm and then over your head.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Math

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

I thought I'd give some glimpses into our homeschooling / unschooling,
natural-learning process. Here's how we do math around here.

Wordless Wednesday: Math == Hobo Mama