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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
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A Little Bit of All of It: A Natural Parenting Blog
October Unprocessed 2012
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Posts Tagged ‘Code Name: Mama’

For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

Boy it is giveaway central around here lately (and there’s even more to come a little later this week!). There have just been so many great things to share – and I hope you know I don’t do giveaways or reviews for anything I don’t think is really awesome – my enthusiasm is very real! :)

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing a beautiful book recently released by Dionna Ford, blogger at Code Name: Mama and co-founder of both the Natural Parents Network and Nursing Freedom.org.

The book is called For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom. A gorgeous keepsake intended for mothers of grown children – it is one of the best ways I’ve ever seen for a mom to pass on her memories and wisdom in a form her children can treasure forever.

You know how a beautiful journal just inspires you to want to fill it up? I always feel that way when I browse the fancy journal section in the bookstore – and For My Children fits that bill perfectly. It’s so pretty! The illustrations, the colours – everything about it cries, “Write in me!”

And for those looking for further inspiration, For My Children takes care of that, too. Each page is headed with a prompt or guide for writing your thoughts to your kids – things like:

  • What do you wish you had known as a new mother?
  • If you had to compare your family members to fictional characters (from movies, books, etc.), who would they be?
  • Have you ever nursed a broken heart? What did you find were the best ways to heal the hurt? Read the rest of this entry »

A Tradition of Love

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.


Sneaky Chef

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 lolbut 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 »

Crunchy Living is SO Expensive…Or Is It?

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.

***

Example of an American grocery store aisle.

Image via Wikipedia

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 »

Celebrating Breastfeeding & Taking a Break

Well, everything continues to be hectic around here lately…

While not impossible by any means, transitioning from a year of being able to focus almost solely on baby (and occasionally housecleaning ;) ) to widening that focus to ‘the real world’ is getting to be a bit out of hand.

Work is still uncertain – I’ve been applying for jobs but I may also be able to work it out to stay at the place I originally wanted to stay – I will be figuring that out (hopefully Monday) and if it actually becomes decided then a whole lot of stress will be lifted off me!

If it doesn’t…? Well, you do what you gotta do, right? 

GAPS is still going well – I’ve shortened the intro a bit and haven’t suffered any ill effects thus far. I even had a cup of (gasp!) coffee this morning!

Well, it was half a cup. And it wasn’t very strong. But it was really good…

I am certainly feeling more normal after last week’s exhaustion, though I probably haven’t been getting to bed early enough and it really shows when I don’t.

It’s still a lot of work to make pretty much everything I eat from scratch at home, but I’m definitely getting a routine down for it and it becomes easier every day. I am very proud of myself, knowing I haven’t eaten anything processed in 2 weeks!

I’m still buying yogurt because I haven’t gotten a chance to try making it again, but that is going to happen soon. I made butter last week and it was a success, so this week I’m making cultured butter. Stock is so easy it’s pretty much ridiculous – the most difficult part for me is washing the stock pot lol.

I really don’t like the sauerkraut I made – I find it way too salty tasting and I’m not sure if it’s because I used too much salt or if that’s how it’s supposed to be. At any rate, I think I need to figure out some different fermented foods – hopefully will be able to check out the Nourishing Traditions book at some point as I hear it’s pretty much the cultured/fermented food bible…

Aside from work and diet, Bean is coming up on a year and definitely requires a lot more attention now (not that that’s a bad thing at all) – but she’s really getting to that stage of so much fun interaction and wanting to do what we’re doing – and not wanting us to do anything without her!

All told, there’s a lot on my mind lately – and we will be visiting with family members we rarely see during most of next week, so I’m officially taking a break from blogging for a week to a week and a half or so – in fact I will be going mostly screen free when our family members arrive.

So – just a few housekeeping details (and more on World Breastfeeding Week): Read the rest of this entry »

A Garden Made of Straw

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.

***

Getting ready to garden...

Getting ready to garden...

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.

Straw bale-huh?

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 »

In Honor of Spank Out Day USA…Just a Day Late!

Fanny-Whacker!

Image by gwen via Flickr

I really wanted to blog yesterday in honor of Spank Out Day USA (which falls on April 30th every year) but alas life intervened. The Bean is still not feeling well and hubby had to be away most of the day, so she was my first priority.

As he’s here now to take care of her, I get the chance to set down some of my thoughts.

I also had the good fortune of being able to read through a bunch of other great posts before putting my own together, so hopefully this will be pretty inspired! (No chance to comment on them yet – it’s coming – I was reading while Bean was asleep and the keyboard sounds wake her up).

In some ways, this is a touchy subject in which I feel inhibited about expressing my feelings. I have a wonderful mother who frequently stops by to read this blog and I don’t want to hurt her in any way by what I write. I have friends who sincerely believe in the Biblical sanctioning of spanking as a form of discipline, and I don’t wish to offend in my advocacy or come across as arrogant or frustrating to anyone.

So please know that the spirit of my writing is of one who is on a learning journey, and trust that I am not calling ANYONE a bad parent or claiming to be the authority here. I’m simply sharing what I’m learning – what I am passionate about – and hopefully opening a fruitful (rather than negative or hurtful) conversation… Read the rest of this entry »

Winner! Baltic Amber Teething Necklace – & Another Sunday Surf!

Amber Bead Necklace

Amber Bead Necklace

I am very pleased to announce the winner of the Baltic Amber Teething Necklace Giveaway:

Nikki L.

Congratulations!

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 »

Passionate and Compassionate…How do We do It?

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.

***

You don't understand!

You don't understand!

“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 »

The March of Kindness is Over – We No Longer Have to be Nice!

OK, that title is my little nod to April Fool’s day…we can continue to be nice in April even though the March of Kindness is officially over. :)

I am truly thankful to Dionna over at Code Name: Mama for initiating this whole thing…she’s helped bring quite a community together!

For me the month has been in some ways up and down, but mainly it’s been great, and I know doing and seeing all these acts of kindness have contributed so much to what we’re trying to do as a family – it’s not always easy making changes, and a little kindness goes a long way in the midst of it all!

I’ve loved reading about the RAOK’s (Random Acts of Kindness) from others – especially the ones from children. I am looking forward to the Bean being old enough to make it part of her day on a regular basis!

And I’ve had a lot of fun committing RAOK’s myself ;)…especially the ones for hubby (he’s probably been the focus of a grand majority of mine) – I think it’s actually done a lot to improve our relationship over the past month; it’s certainly changed my attitude a lot!

I’ve also enjoyed being the recipient of what seems like a ton of AOK’s!

  • A friendly stranger helped get me into the Ina May Gaskin conference in Toronto when I felt there was no way I was going to be able to go.
  • I’ve had a ton of response to this blog…wonderful comments and all kinds of people joining in on Facebook – it’s really been awesome!
  • Alicia over at McCrenshaw was instrumental in helping me get my blog button HTML up on the sidebar (though I’m not sure she realized how much she helped me lol)…I know, I’m weird, but it was very exciting to me to accomplish that! :)
  • And Becoming Crunchy even got 2 awards this month – the Stylish Blogger Award from Jessica at The Cloth Diapering Mama, and The Cherry on Top Award from Alicia at McCrenshaw – woohoo!

I’ve also been inspired by Zoie over at TouchstoneZ to begin writing a letter to my Baby Bean every month, and joined together with The Modern Aboriginal Mama and becca stiches and bitches in my No Poo Experiment. All kinds of fun! :)

I know there are more AOK’s and friends that I didn’t list as well…there’s just too many to cram into one post!

But for me, this March of Kindness is actually ending on a more serious note. Read the rest of this entry »

Becoming Crunchy is in Style!

At least, Jessica at The Cloth Diapering Mama thinks so. :) She was so kind to pass on the Stylish Blogger Award to Becoming Crunchy – it gives me warm fuzzy feelings down to my toes!

I am thrilled to accept this award and its pay it forward concept, which involves the following 4 steps:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve the award.
  4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

So first of all – thank you to the Cloth Diapering Mama! She’s got some awesome stuff going on over at her blog – be sure to go check it out! :)

Now…7 things about me… Read the rest of this entry »

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