Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Hiking in the park

I brought the boys to the neighborhood we lived in
before they were born for a trek in the woods.

Hiking in the park == Hobo Mama

It's a gorgeous location.

Hiking in the park == Hobo Mama

It's steep, though, which was scary at first.

Hiking in the park == Hobo Mama

Hiking in the park == Hobo Mama

Hiking in the park == Hobo Mama

Eventually they thought the hills were the best part.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Calling for submissions for the June 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Animals

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 April 2014!(Check out May, April, March, February, 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.

Here are the submission details for June 2014:

Theme: Kids and Animals: How do your children interact with other critters? What kinds of pets do you have, and what lessons have your kids learned through caring for them? How else do you encounter other creatures, and what do these relationships mean to your family? Carnival posting: June 10.

Deadline: Tuesday, June 3. 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, June 10. 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 June 10 and email us the link if you haven't done so already. Once everyone's posts are published on June 10 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, May 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Climbing high at the playground

We explored a new playground and got some shots of the kids
enjoying contraptions they'd never seen before.

Climbing high at the playground == Hobo Mama

Mikko loved this spiderweb-ball thing.

Climbing high at the playground == Hobo Mama

Fortunately it didn't trap him.

Climbing high at the playground == Hobo Mama

Climbing high at the playground == Hobo Mama

Alrik on the slide.

Climbing high at the playground == Hobo Mama

Cool action shot!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Take my hand until that day

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

Time for a music break!

I adore this song from Dar Williams, "The One Who Knows":

It really speaks to how I want to be as a mother.

All the things you treasure most
will be the hardest won.
I will watch you struggle long
before the answers come.
But I won't make it harder —
I'll be there to cheer you on.
I'll shine the light that guides you down
the road you're walking on.

Every time I hear those lines, I think: Yes! I don't want to make it harder. There's enough of struggle in growing as it is, and it's not my job to add to it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Trying for number three

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

I wrote this diary as we were trying to conceive our third child. I'm currently eighteen weeks pregnant and happy to share it with you now.

I don't share when we're trying to conceive. I never have, through three pregnancies so far. It just feels odd to me, for people to know, to be waiting, to be pushing us to test, to reveal — I guess I fear it will make us more anxious, and the wait less special, less of a delicious secret between Sam and me.

But I think the pre-conception thoughts are interesting to share, so I've decided to write this diary, to be published whenever it feels right.

December 18, 2013
I've boiled my DivaCup, and I wonder if — and hope — it's the last time for a good long while. I looked at it while it was cooling in the dish rack and thought how sad I'll be if next month comes around again and I'm using it.

My ovulation date is — get this — Christmas. I think this is so cool. As long as we can sneak away from the kids this week, we'll be golden.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Little gymnast

Alrik's been busy with some parent-tot classes this spring, taking swimming, soccer,
and now gymnastics. He LOVES gymnastics.

Little gymnast == Hobo Mama

Jumping into the foam pit is such a rush!

Little gymnast == Hobo Mama

Little gymnast == Hobo Mama

Little gymnast == Hobo Mama

Rolling down the incline.

Little gymnast == Hobo Mama

He prefers his own patented balance-beam move: The Waddle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The best parts of ages 0-6

Welcome to the May 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Ages and Stages

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 their children’s most rewarding and most challenging developmental periods. 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!

I'm currently living with an almost-three-year-old and an almost-seven-year-old, and I have to say: I've enjoyed all the ages so far. Here's my breakdown of what to expect and what to cherish from each age:

0 years old

The best parts of ages 0-6 == Hobo Mama

This is a huge span, because you're going from a newborn to a toddler in one brief year. I say brief, but in my experience, this first year is one of the longest years of your life! In general, that's probably a good thing, so you can enjoy the newborn sleep-all-the-time phase (but then be quickly done with the never-sleep-anytime phase), those first early smiles (just gas? please!), the belly laughs of the four-to-six-month variety, and the burgeoning mobility of crawling, scooting, standing, and even walking (depending on how far your tot gets that first year) and the accompanying leaps in independence and learning. What an incredible year!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Weaning during pregnancy

Weaning during pregnancy == Hobo Mama
Breastfeeding in very early pregnancy
during the photo shoot for my babywearing book
Since I was public about my decision to let my first child nurse through my pregnancy and tandem nurse, I want to be public about my decision this time around: I'm in the second trimester right now, and my nearly three-year-old second child has mostly weaned, with my guidance.

I chose to breastfeed Mikko through Alrik's pregnancy because, ahead of time, I saw no good reason to quit, and plenty of good ones to continue. Mikko, then three, was showing no signs of wanting to stop, and so many of his nutritional and emotional needs were being met through nursing. Plus, I knew tandem breastfeeding would help smooth his transition from an only child to a big brother of a much-younger sibling, and I'd always hoped for child-led weaning.

But then I actually did it. For plenty of those who try, the experience is bearable and even enjoyable. For me, and for many others, nursing during pregnancy and the resulting breast tenderness was very painfulvery. My milk dried up by the end of the first trimester, taking away that benefit for Mikko (and leading to some very sad nights for both of us). And as much as I enjoyed the extra snuggliness and sharing of tandem nursing, I was wholly unprepared for an unwelcome side effect: nursing aversion, and how. I couldn't stand nursing Mikko for a long time, and put up with it long enough to move through it and out the other side to a gentle, mama-directed weaning just after he turned five. (Yep, even then, Mikko wasn't ready, but I was at that point.)

So why make a totally opposite decision with Alrik and this pregnancy? For one thing, I can. It was always my choice to continue nursing Mikko (not coercion on his part, too much guilt on mine, or external pressure from the dear fellow hippies I consort with — they were sympathetic and supportive in whatever choice I made). One reason we waited two and a half years to get pregnant with our third, even though I ain't getting any younger, was to give Alrik his chance to continue nursing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Early summer at the beach

It was finally warm enough for a couple days for the boys to get on their swimsuits and get their feet wet. Mikko made fast friends with several boys, playing frisbee together and defending a sandcastle from the encroaching ocean.

Wordless Wednesday: Early summer at the beach == Hobo Mama

Wordless Wednesday: Early summer at the beach == Hobo Mama

Wordless Wednesday: Early summer at the beach == Hobo Mama

Wordless Wednesday: Early summer at the beach == Hobo Mama

Wordless Wednesday: Early summer at the beach == Hobo Mama

Wordless Wednesday: Early summer at the beach == Hobo Mama

Thursday, May 1, 2014

London is booooring…except for the infestation

London is booooring…except for the infestation == Hobo Mama

We're going to London this month, and we're trying to get the kids excited about the adventure — with mixed results. The trip is part of our intention to travel with kids and not be scared into staying home. But maybe we should have been…

My mom and dad had offered to care for the kidlets while Sam and I had two weeks away by our lonesomes (the theater! the fancy afternoon teas! the talking without interruption!), but we turned them down. We just couldn't imagine being away from our kids for that long, or handling the worry of how they would manage without us. (Probably fine, but we'd be sad!) Plus, we wanted them to experience the joys of travel.

A resolution I am now questioning, even in the planning stages.