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Archive for December, 2011

Best of 2011 ~ A Natural Parenting Blog BLITZ!

I am proud and honored to be volunteer with the Natural Parents Network (NPN), a community of natural-minded parents and parents-to-be where you will be informed, empowered, and inspired.

When you visit the NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about Activism, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Safety, Feeding With Love, Gentle Discipline, Healthy Living, Holistic Health, Natural Learning, Nurturing Touch, Parenting Philosophies, Practical Home Help, Preparing for Parenting, Responding With Sensitivity, Safe Sleep, and so much more!

The volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make NPN the outstanding resource it is also spend countless hours informing and inspiring others on their personal blogs. To close out 2011, the NPN volunteers have come together to provide you with some valuable reading material.

Each volunteer has selected either their most viewed post of 2011 or their favorite post and shared the link here. Please take a few moments to visit each post. Our intention is to expand our reach as bloggers and informed parents and parents-to-be who are still growing as we move through our own journeys. Each volunteer has provided links to other social media sites where you can follow them as well.

We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them. We are always looking for new volunteers so please, contact us if you are interested. Just a few hours per month can help other mamas in a huge way! Read the rest of this entry »

Co-Sleeping Barriers – What’s Stopping You?

Welcome to the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival hosted by Monkey Butt Junction . Our bloggers have written on so many different aspects of cosleeping. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...

Image via Wikipedia

Bean is sleeping upstairs right now in the middle of our queen size bed. It’s fairly chilly in our room so she’s got a few layers on, along with a halo sleep sack we found awhile back on Babysteals that helps keep her toesies warm.

In a few hours we’ll be joining her, as we have for the past 15 months, sharing a family bed.

I never imagined what a meaningful effect bedsharing would have on our family before Bean came along. I gain so much peace of mind from having her right there next to me where I know she is OK and can respond immediately if she is not.

I know I get a lot more sleep – she’s always been one to wake relatively often during the night to eat – and I literally can hardly imagine actually getting out of bed and going to another room to feed her. Having her right there makes that part of parenting much easier!

The husband gains a lot from it – he had to return to work basically right away after she was born, while I had her most days every day for her entire first year. Sharing a bed was a way for him to maintain a very strong bond with her for more hours of the day than he might normally get. Now that I’ve returned to work, I feel the strength of that bond as well.

In many ways for me, bedsharing has become a cornerstone of the trust my daughter has for me. She knows that I will always be there for her – no matter what time of the day – especially when she is at her most vulnerable. The dark doesn’t matter because mommy and daddy are always right there next to her. There are many ways to gift one’s child with that trust – and it is a powerful and much to be desired gift for them to have. I am thankful that we have found such a way of giving it to her.

I could go on and on about the benefits we’ve found in our co-sleeping arrangement, along with the other benefits that studies have shown will last throughout her lifetime.

But what I want to touch on here is the fact that I came very close to missing out on all of this, for two reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

What Does It Really Mean? Staying Mindful Through the Holiday Season

Welcome to the December Mindful Mama Carnival: Staying Mindful During the Holiday Season

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have shared how they stay mindful during the holiday season. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Polski: czerwona bombka typu jasnochropowatego...

Image via Wikipedia

The second Christmas of our marriage, and the first with our six-month-old baby, the beautiful flesh of our child made the whole miracle of incarnation new for me, and that newness touched on kairos (God’s time, not human time).

Now, all these years later, I plunge into the delightful business of painting Christmas ornaments with my grandchildren; I hear the hammer as Bion puts together a dolls’ house which looks remarkably like Crosswicks, our house in the country; the New York kitchen smells fragrant with Christmas cookies; this, for me, is incarnation. ~Madeleine L’Engle, Miracle on 10th Street

At this point I don’t think I’m going to let a Mindful Mama Carnival get away without quoting Madeleine, but this is one I definitely couldn’t leave out when talking of mindfulness during the holidays. Miracle on 10th Street is a book my mom bought me quite a few years ago, one I like to re-read every Christmas.

It’s a collection of story, meditations, letters, journal entries – all sorts of reflections from such a very wise woman, based on the time between Advent and the New Year.

I don’t just enjoy reading these stories – I find every year that I need them. Christmases have not always been wonderful (though many have), but there is much temptation to sink into melancholy or alternately frenzy as the maelstrom of commercialization that surrounds us reaches its high point – I find myself susceptible to both all too often.

Since having Bean, I’ve desired more strongly than ever to make the holidays a time of mindfulness and true celebration. Last year was good, though somewhat busier than I would have liked, and the joy of Bean and I visiting my family was tempered by the sadness of being separated from the husband when he wasn’t able to take vacation at that time.

This year is still an experiment in progress. Read the rest of this entry »

Bakery Worthy Mini Broccoli & Cheese Crustless Quiches from The Organic Family Cookbook

In celebration of the Organic Family Cookbook giveaway (that ends tomorrow!) I’ve gotten permission to share one of the yummy recipes from the book – Bakery Worthy Mini Broccoli & Cheese Crustless Quiches!

This was a huge hit with everyone when I made them…now that I’m sharing I’m wondering why I haven’t made them yet again! I know what we’ll be planning for this weekend…

Hope you enjoy – and be sure to enter to win your own copy of the Organic Family Cookbook by Anni Daulter before giveaway closes at 12 midnight EST tomorrow, Dec. 9th!

Lotus loves to play “bakery,” and these little morning treats are always on her menu. Kids appreciate foods in small containers. The food doesn’t seem to intimidate them and appears more manageable and fun.

Cook’s Note: I use ramekins for this recipe, but you can use a jumbo muffin pan as well. (Kelly’s note – we used jumbo muffin pans – worked just fine :) ).

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2½ cups chopped fresh broccoli – (Kelly’s note – we actually used frozen organic broccoli – wasn’t bad at all!)
  • 1 teaspoon wheat germ
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, tamari, or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 6 individual ramekins or jumbo muffin cups.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, then immediately add onions, stirring occasionally, to start browning. Once the onions are browned, stir in broccoli, wheat germ, pepper, salt, and Bragg’s. Cook over medium heat for approximately 8 minutes, until broccoli is softened. Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, and cheese. Stir in broccoli mixture. Ladle egg-broccoli mixture into prepared ramekins or muffin cups. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned on top. Serve warm.

Serves 6

Super simple and so tasty – if you get a chance to give it a try, let me know your thoughts!

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