Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Friday, August 21, 2015

Calling for submissions for the September 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids Blogging

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 September 2015! (Check out August, July, June, April, March, February, January, and a summary of all our 2014 posts, 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 September 2015:

Theme: Kids Blogging: It's time for the kids to take over our blogs — what does your little one have to say? Would he like to share what he's been doing this summer? Does she want to dish about what life is really like with you? If your little ones are preverbal (or they don't want to write something), feel free to share pictures (photos or hand-made), imagine a post or letter you imagine your little one would write, or get creative in whatever way feels right to you and your child.

Deadline: Tuesday, September 1. 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, September 8. 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 September 8 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, August 19, 2015

My backyard

I have to say —
I still haven't gotten tired
of that view.

(You can click to see it larger.)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Plus size and craving a Stitch Fix? Join the club!

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

UPDATE: I did it! Here's my first Stitch Fix review. See how it went!

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? Assuming you're on Facebook, I'm going to say yes. It's all over the place there, with people giving out their referral links left and right (oo, oo — here's mine!), and it sounds so freaking great.

Stitch fix is a subscription clothing service. Your personal stylist sends lovely clothes to your home that you can try on sans dressing-room fluorescents. All the fun of shopping, none of the hassle … for women sizes 0-14. Ah … there's the rub. The chub rub, I mean.

Seriously, 14?! Is that all?

I'm 5'9" and fat. (That is not a pejorative, just a descriptive.) I haven't been a 14 on the bottom since my wedding, unless we count Old Navy jeans, which, let's admit, we shouldn't.

But I'm on that bubble, where I'm sometimes plus size and sometimes conventional. I often do wear size 12-14 on top, but sometimes larger, and more like 16-18 on bottom. What's a fluffy girl to do in the face of Stitch Fix discrimination?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Marine adventures

We had a library pass to go
paddle boating on the lake
in a charming wooden boat.
Pirate family, ahoy!

I get to add "on a paddleboat" to
my list of odd places to breastfeed.
Going through
two life jackets was quite the feat!

It was a gorgeous day to be out on the water,
watching seaplanes and avian life take off and land.

Boating brothers!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We're all unschoolers

Welcome to the August 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Life Learners

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 talked about how they continue learning throughout life and inspire their children to do the same.

I dug into my photo archives to bring you
these pictures of pursuing learning as an adult.
Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

One thing being an adult has taught me — even before I ever heard of unschooling or wanted to pursue that for my then-future kids — is that learning never stops. There is no window to learn something that then closes and you don't have a chance anymore — there's always a new opportunity to educate or train yourself.

I did really well in school, kind of too well. By that I mean that I knew how to play the "game" of school — parrot back what the teachers wanted to hear, get good grades on tests, behave properly — and yet I didn't fully understand the point or value of learning for learning's sake until I was nearly out of academia. I'd thought about going for a master's degree, and, not to knock anyone who kept on into higher and higher education, I'm personally glad I decided to stop after my bachelor's. I'd had 19 years of being in school, from preschool on, and it was time to stop schooling and start learning.

It was actually my senior year of college where that thought had (finally!) kicked in: What was beyond for me, the good-grade-earner schoolgirl? How would I find value? How would I prove my worth? Was I able to direct my own life without others determining my path for me?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How to change a cloth diaper, animated

I made this nifty little animated gif
to demonstrate how quick & easy
changing a cloth diaper can be!

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

Prefolds can get a rap as a type of cloth diaper
with a steep learning curve,
but you can see how just popping
a soft and snuggly prefold
under a snapping or taping diaper cover
is sposie-simple.

Or, after three kids in dipes,
maybe Sam's just a pro!

Monday, August 3, 2015

On being a playful parent & following your child's lead

toddler playing in bathroom with kitchen implements
Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

This is a post I first published 5+ years ago, and I'm breaking it out for you as a helpful reminder: Let your kids teach you how to play like a kid.

Here are some recent examples to illustrate what I talk about below:

Clockwise from top right: Mikko decided we needed to jump into hay together hand in hand; Alrik tells us which My Little Pony to play and what lines to say; Mikko directed me on shooting a video of putting funny hats on his video-game characters; Alrik told me we needed to stick out our tongues for this selfie; and Karsten I included because it's pretty easy to tell what makes him happy — especially if there's a swing around!

From April 2010

Why are there a spatula, tongs, strainer, two ice cream scoops, mushroom scrubber, address labels, several dish towels, and child's chair in the bathroom? Only the two-year-old knows, and he's not telling.
Yesterday Mikko was directing us as if we were, as Sam put it, an improvisational jazz troupe.

It's hard to tell you what was so intriguing about this exchange to Mikko, and when I describe it, you'll probably be thinking, What the hey? But here goes.

There's a show called Dora the Explorer (yes, you may have heard of it and/or love/hate it, whatevs), where a fox character named Swiper comes up and tries to steal something. When he's foiled (through a clever tactic of telling him to stop), he slinks away, muttering, "Ohh, maaan."

This was, sadly, the best video I could find of our inspiration.

I was hiding on the stairs so Mikko wouldn't bug me while I was trying to do something on the computer. (Yes, this is on a post about responding to our children with sensitivity. You got something to say?)