Posts Tagged ‘Carnival of Natural Parenting’
Welcome to the March 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting With Special Needs
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 shared how we parent despite and because of challenges thrown our way. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
It is a huge honour to have Jorje from Momma Jorje guest posting here for this month’s Carnival of Natural Parenting. Please make sure to stop by and check out her blog and Facebook page if you’re not a fan already!
We were very lucky in that we got advanced notice that we would be having a child with special needs. We received Spencer’s Down syndrome diagnosis about mid-pregnancy. I kind of saw this as having a new hobby thrust upon me.
I don’t mean to make light of the situation, trust me. However, I now had a new passion to research. Isn’t that what you do with a new hobby? Then I came up with a plan to manage his care. I put together a notebook with tabs for all the different types of problems he might have, so we could avoid overlooking anything. I added paper to each section and jotted down which tests he needed to have and when.
I’d been told that babies with Down syndrome don’t really require much special assistance for the first 6 months. That isn’t entirely true. Aside from low muscle tone (which is very common, but Spencer does not have), babies with Down syndrome tend to have small mouths. The reason this is a problem is that their tongues are not so small. They tend to thrust them forward and out. So far, Spencer doesn’t do this too much, but he did need to work with a Speech Therapist when we were in the hospital. What? Speech? Yes, because they work with the mouth, not just speaking. It is hard to eat if you continuously push the food out of your mouth, ya know?
Spencer has required several extra medical appointments by comparison to “typical” children. (At 2 months old, he has already seen a pediatrician several times, a cardiologist, an audiologist, and has had 2 x-rays done, soon to be another. He also has blood-work to be drawn soon.) I had originally thought I’d purchase a Day Timer or other such calendar book, though I really love my Google Calendar. As a minimalist and being broke, I put off the purchase and never did get to it. Instead, I now print a month or two ahead (from my Google calendar!) and keep it in his notebook. This makes it easier to book follow-up appointments while I’m on site without the risk of double booking. You do, however, have to make sure to keep all calendars synced. I have to come home and immediately add appointments to my online calendar.
My quick tips, from my minimal experience parenting a child with special medical needs: Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the February 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Respectful Interactions With Other Parents
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 focused on how we can communicate with other parents compassionately.
“The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don’t know.”
This quote is one of the central ideas of the book The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver; it is a statement made by artist Frida Kahlo to fictional protagonist Harrison Shepherd, following a mutual revelation of previously undisclosed tragedy to one another together with the realization that both had judged the other wrongly.
The idea continues as a theme throughout the book and is one of the meanings of the word “lacuna” - a gap or missing piece of the story.
Shepherd ultimately becomes a famous author during the infamous McCarthy era in the US - first judged wrongly by most everyone who fawns over him, and finally judged even more harshly when the tide of public opinion turns against him.
Having recently read this book (twice – it is a really good one), this idea of ‘the thing you don’t know’ was one of the first that jumped out at me when I thought about the concept of respectful interactions with other parents that is the subject of this month’s carnival.
As most of us know, parenting is a pretty darn personal subject for a whole lot of people. Essentially, criticizing (or even gently communicating) a ‘lack’ in someone’s parenting skills amounts to criticizing or calling out who that parent is as a person – probably because when you become a parent, it becomes a major part of how you define yourself as a person. If someone has a problem with your parenting style, they have a problem with who you are. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids in the Kitchen
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 shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Some of the memories I cherish most from childhood are those of helping my mom in the kitchen. It was mostly the occasional baking for a treat or holiday; she actually wasn’t a huge fan of cooking for the most part, but she pretty much always let us help from as early as I can remember…starting off with stirring and eventually moving up to being able to complete each task.
From that point, I was never held back from experimenting in the kitchen.
We had this crazy 70′s style plastic case full of recipe cards that had a whole section of recipes for children. I think I made almost all of them – my mom was happy to buy the ingredients and I got my little brother in on the action. Now that I think about it those were probably some hideously disgusting recipes lol – but I was so proud of myself for putting it all together!
As we grew older my brother and I took over many of the cooking duties, and I continued to learn and experiment – we even hosted a ‘French’ dinner for my parents one night in the backyard, where I made quiche for the first time – so exotic!
I kind of laugh at myself now about it all, but I really do remember the joy I had in all of those activities – especially when I figured out how to make something really great and shared it with friends.
For me, it’s a rich legacy of tradition, creativity, and family all mixed together – so of course I can’t wait to pass all of it on to my own little ones.
I’ve actually been surprised at how easy it’s been already to involve my daughter in the kitchen – she’s only 14 months after all, but I’ve already seen several ways to include her… Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Money Matters
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 how finances affect their parenting choices. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I’ve been doing a bit of mental inventory lately about how our financial situation has altered since we’ve been ‘becoming crunchy’.
It’s been an interesting process. One of the main reasons I was never more then on the edges of ‘natural living’ was the idea that it cost too much – in both money and time. When we had Bean, the husband and I felt we were making some big sacrifices that we’d never been willing to make for ourselves in terms of spending extra for organics, etc.
But as we’ve transitioned so much over the past 13 months, I’ve come to realize that we’re not only (for the most part) evening out – we’re actually spending less in many cases, and the time saved in one place easily makes up for more time spent in another.
It’s been quite a shock really – the expense is one of the biggest objections you hear when you talk about getting into all that organic stuff – but how does it really end up breaking down?
Here’s something of a snapshot of what it’s been like for our family (I am guestimating on the prices)…
Things I Used to Buy vs. Things I Buy Now Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Growing in the Outdoors
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 how they encourage their children to connect with nature and dig in the dirt. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
A few months back I was talking to my mom on the phone when she excitedly told me she had signed up for a class in straw bale gardening.
Well, it turns out that you can make a garden out of straw bales (like hay bales, except straw), planting your veggies and such directly in (or on top of) the bales.
I was intrigued, so I decided to Google it and give it a go myself.
It’s supposed to be easier in some ways than a regular garden – no digging, not as much weeding or bending over…and since my thumb is far from being green I decided to go ahead and try it – easy is good, right?
I also have a strong desire for my baby Bean to know where her food comes from, and this is one way to contribute to that. I’m not sure how much she’ll understand as she won’t even be a year old until August, but I figure, the earlier, the better.
I have dreams of taking her to visit farms to see cows and chickens, going berry picking and apple picking, visiting farmers markets and other such field trips. I’ve heard stories of kids who have never even seen a cow and I’m determined that that will not be the case for my family!
Anyway, we were talking about gardening, right? Read the rest of this entry »
What a week!
Can I have another weekend please?
In spite of being tired (and still quite full), I feel almost ready for a new week to begin – just need a quick recap of the weekend first!
Bean came down with a bit of a cold and was miserable Friday night, so Saturday night we added some eucalyptus and lavender essential oil to the humidifier and it seemed to help quite a bit…she’s almost back to her normal self today (though we are still getting more nighttime wakeups than usual…poor Bean!). I was very thankful to mamas on Facebook for their helpful advice, though I DO have a bit of a beef to share!
Here’s the thing – I posed the exact same question on two pages (essentially: Bean has cold; natural remedies; how much oil should I put in the humidifier). On one page (an AP/natural parenting page that allows fans to post questions and get advice from other fans), I specifically stated that breastfeeding was not an option for us – I knew that if I didn’t, the answers would probably be filled with bf’ing remedies (not that I have anything at all against that – it just wasn’t something that was going to be helpful to me!). Read the rest of this entry »
I am very pleased to announce the winner of the Baltic Amber Teething Necklace Giveaway:
And thank you so much to everyone who entered – I will be hosting another giveaway this coming Friday (April 22nd) from a wonderful WAHM, so be sure to stop by again next week!
And just a quick update on my own Bean’s situation – since I have been using the necklace, she has hardly had any fussy teething moments – it is night and day from how unhappy she was before! So if you’re wondering if they really do work, I will happily add my voice to the ones who are recommending them…
In the meantime, I promised another Sunday Surf – some of my favorites from this month’s Carnival of Natural Parenting.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out any of the carnival posts (or you don’t have any idea what the heck a blog carnival is ), I do highly recommend surfing around some of these listed below. Basically, some amazing blogging mamas – Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama, host a blog carnival each month on a certain topic that centers around natural parenting.
This month’s topic was Compassionate Advocacy – what it means, how to do it, so on and so forth.
This is actually a subject that is very dear to my heart – both as a person who used to be VERY bad at it (!) and as someone who has benefited from so many compassionate advocates as a new parent. I really feel that understanding compassionate advocacy is important to anyone who has a desire to see positive change in the world around them (whether you are a parent or not!) and there are a ton of good lessons to be learned here.
So without further ado, here are some of my personal favorites from the carnival: Read the rest of this entry »
So far it’s been a pretty great weekend…I had the chance to head downtown to the Toronto Green Living Show on Friday with my MIL and brother-in-law (and the Bean, of course!) and hubby is interested enough that we’re going to stop by again for a few hours today on the way to visit some friends.
It’s always fun to get a chance to see all the exhibits of various things green (though I do find it rather ironic to look at the pile of paper pamphlets and fliers I came home with…hopefully most of it’s made from recycled paper!).
I got a chance to try Kefir – something I heard of only recently, and may look into incorporating it into my diet. Bean tried some carrot juice (she was a fan) and some banana baby yogurt (not a fan), and of course I got all kinds of fun food samples (favorite was the sheep cheese…I really like sheep cheese ).
I also purchased some Indian spices from Arvinda’s – very much looking forward to trying out some of her recipes, and 2 SmartKlean laundry balls – something I have been intrigued by for awhile now (I’ll do a review once I’ve had the chance to try them out for a bit).
Yesterday was mostly a cleaning day, along with a bit of rearranging in the living room, but I got a chance to relax and read a novel too, which feels like something I haven’t done in awhile.
Along with that, I’ve been reading a lot of great posts this week – so without further ado, here’s your Sunday Surf! Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Compassionate Advocacy
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 how they advocate for healthy, gentle parenting choices compassionately. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
“I know where you are coming from, but you do not understand where I am coming from.”
This was directed at me once from a woman I had not seen or really talked to beyond the occasional Facebook greeting for about 12 years or so.
She had posted one of those slightly inflammatory, tongue in cheek type statuses (that actually was disparaging to quite a large group of people) and unintentionally sparked a debate.
You know the type…there were people cheering her on, people totally dissing her, and a few lone voices trying to respectfully disagree through rational debate.
I thought I was one of that last group. This was a woman I sincerely liked and respected; I honestly didn’t think she understood the total impact of what she had written. I was trying to respectfully point out to her how she was coming across, while she was getting more and more angry.
Her final retort was the quote written above; not long after writing it she simply deleted the entire thread.
This situation itself was a bit of an aberration…I honestly don’t think this woman was trying to stir the pot; she just thought she was posting something that everyone she knew would be happy to agree with. But I couldn’t get over thinking about that statement.
I thought, “How could she know ‘where I am coming from’? She doesn’t really know me. She doesn’t know much at all about what I’ve experienced or gone through during the last 12 years.”
At the time, I was also thinking, “That is absolutely the worst argument you could ever use…it’s so easily disproved!”
But as I’ve been thinking about the meaning of compassionate advocacy (the topic of this month’s Carnival of Natural Parenting), this whole conversation came back to me, and I’ve realized how much I actually do use that very argument in my own head when I disagree with someone or when I want to convince someone of something.
I know where you are coming from, but you do not know where I am coming from.
In my more rational moments, it’s a statement I actually find laughable. How incredibly arrogant it would be to go around feeling that way!
But I do feel that way…a lot of the time.
Fortunately, I’ve recognized it – not just from the situation with the woman above, but built up from all of my experiences, which include a past of being very judgmental, and a present of still fighting the tendency a lot of the time.
Because of this, I’ve built up some tactics over the years to help me to become more compassionate. After all, I am a passionate person; I have strong beliefs…I get excited and want to share things…I don’t like the idea of just sitting back and saying nothing.
So if I feel the need to advocate either for or against something, I have to bring several determining factors into play. I ask myself: Read the rest of this entry »