Thursday, July 30, 2015

The best thing about long-term breastfeeding

Mikko looks on as his newborn youngest brother, Karsten, nurses on the first day.

There's so much to love about breastfeeding beyond infancy: the closeness, the health benefits for you and your nursling, having a tool to calm and connect. Here's one that continues well beyond the time nursing stops: Your child will think breastfeeding is normal and natural. Because it is.

Mikko is eight years old, and our nursing days are literally years behind us. But he breastfed till five years old, old enough to remember, and what he remembers is all pleasant. He describes nummy milk as the best milk in the world, sweeter than ice cream, even though he has no current desire to taste it; the memory is enough. He remembers snuggling and being close, and he's confident and content in those memories as well.

And he's taken those memories and projected them on to his baby brother. Karsten is nine months old, and still breastfeeding like whoa. Mikko loves it. He cheers him on. Whenever Karsten makes the slightest fuss, Mikko will turn to me: "Give him nummies, Mama."

When Karsten's eating, Mikko will lean in close and say affectionately, "You're a nummy thief, aren't you?" Karsten will break off nursing to smile milkily up at his brother. Mikko loves that Karsten's being nourished, body and soul, just as he was.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Look who's crawling!

Guess who's getting around!

It's a bird …

It's a plane …

It's Superbaby!

He's 9 months old and ready to cruise!

Breastfeeding here & there

I've breastfed in some unusual places in the past eight years of nursing my three sons. My philosophy is that breastfeeding can happen at any time or place, wherever I am and whenever my baby wants to eat.

That's led to some interesting breastfeeding locations! I hope you'll share some of yours in the comments, or even in your own post.

At a lavender festival

(I wanted somewhere to sit, so originally they directed me to a sheltered spot. But eventually I wanted to get back to work on my lavender crafts so I just propped Mikko up while I got to it.)

In a mountain village
(And on the way there. My father-in-law was rather exasperated we had to pull over.)

On ferries

On a tour boat
(That was during my only — failed — attempt to use a blanket as a cover — it kept blowing off!)

On a sailboat
(I still question the wisdom of taking a newborn on a sailboat…)

On a motor boat

(That life jacket was pretty hilariously big for Alrik.)

At Pike Place Market
(I remember how awkward I felt getting settled on a bench there with newborn Mikko, with strangers sitting and standing all around me, but we managed!)

At two Nordic Festivals

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Calling for submissions for the August 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Life Learners

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 August 2015! (Check out July, June, April, March, February, January, and summaries of all our 2014 posts, 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.

life learnerHere are the submission details for August 2015:

Theme: Life Learners: How do you continue to educate yourself once you are out of “formal” schooling? Are you inspiring your own children to be lifelong learners? Do you wish you had time for more? Share tips, tricks, advice, or wishes with us.

Deadline: Tuesday, August 4. 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, August 11. 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 August 11 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, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Surreys and swings

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

Here's what's been going on around here lately.

Karsten is 8 months old &
almost crawling:

He's got those ninja moves
where we don't see him making any efficient or particular forays,
and yet when we turn around,
he's in an entirely different location.

Alrik is learning how to write
(his choice).
That E is epic. It's got, like, fourteen lines across.
Every E should be so lucky.
We got this little lap board at Target in the $1 bin, fyi. 
Homeschool gold!

Oh, right, and Karsten learned how to drive.
Forgot to mention that.
They grow up so quickly.

We went to a movie for Family Day.
All my cute boys.
We saw DreamWorks Home, as Alrik always correctly titles it,
at the cheap theater.
My favorite line was "High hand touching!"
which I will now say instead of "high five."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How to help your kids run a marathon, mile by mile

Welcome to the July 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Summer Fun

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 how to get out and enjoy the warmer season as a family.

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

Several years ago, I wrote an advice post asking how in the world to get a kid to want to walk. That child was my oldest, Mikko, and … he still hates to walk. Note: I do not mean “walk long distances” or “walk fast” — I mean, move his tush at all. So, apparently, it was just who he is!1

But, three years ago, when I was figuring out how to change from someone who hates running and is terrible at it to someone who could maybe, very slowly, run a 5K race (not well! obviously! but finish it!), Mikko was intrigued by my efforts and expressed his own interest in competing in a race.

Technically, kids can enter a lot of races, and there were plenty running (full out) alongside their parents in the 5K I eventually conquered (at a snail’s pace, but I kept moving the whole time!). However, I knew Mikko wouldn’t do well for a whole 5K (about 2.2 miles), even walking. So I kept looking and found the Seattle Children's Kids Marathon, and it was perfect for us.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Camping for the Fourth of July

We went camping for the Fourth of July weekend.

And, full disclosure, we meant to stay two nights
and made it only one
(though we spent our last day to the full).

But if you watch this Auto Awesome video from G+,
you'll think we had a golden time.

So that's nice. Thanks, Google,
for shining it all up for us!

Don't get me wrong, it was lovely in its way,
just also uncomfortable (said Sam & I),
and a little boring (so said the oldest),
and with too many bugs (according to both older kids).

So maybe we're more indoorsy than out, but …

it was still a good weekend for

beach play in the sunset,

fireworks across the water,

scampering up a slide,

hiking through the ferns,

looping ourselves with glow sticks,

improvising s'mores through a burn ban,

and making memories as a family.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Brothers in spring

I came across these gems in my unending
photo-editing quest.

Three brothers in their Easter duds:

Looking sibling-sweet
in Nana-smocked outfits.

Now a little behind-the-scenes glimpse for you: