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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
Freedom of Cloth Carnival

Posts Tagged ‘natural parenting’

DIY – A Natural Parents Network Volunteer Blog BLITZ!

It’s that time again! You might remember the great post in December 2011 that highlighted the Natural Parents Network Volunteer’s most popular or favorite posts from the year. Well, we are back and this time we are bringing you a collection of posts that focus on Do It Yourself projects, How To’s, Tutorials, Recipes, and anything related to a step by step guide or informational how-to.

I consider it such an honour to be part of this awesome group of volunteers and benefit from their wisdom all the time. There are so many wonderful posts here and I hope that this serves as an excellent resource that you can pass on to your friends! Enjoy!

Jorje of Momma shares her Family Cloth Tutorial in pictures. She includes step by step photos with some tips for making very neat family cloth. You can find Momma Jorje on Facebook, too!

Lani at Boobie Time Blog shares “How to Help a New Breastfeeding Mom.” This post provides some tips on helping a new mom while she is learning to Breastfeed. You can also find Boobie Time Blog on Facebook and Twitter.Momma Jorje: a slightly crunchy momma

Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shares “How I Make Cloth Wipes.” This post details how Amanda made all of her cloth wipes. You can also find Let’s Take the Metro on Facebook.

Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy shares “Lessons in a Picture Book.” A Lesson plan for pancakes and how to make your own butter! You can also find True Confessions of a Real Mommy on Facebook and Twitter.

Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction shares “Tips for Road Tripping with a Toddler.” A long car trip with a young child can be a great way to make some wonderful memories if you are prepared to meet the challenges. You can also find Monkey Butt Junction on Facebook and Twitter. 

Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares “Maple Cinnamon Swirl Bread.” This recipe tutorial shows you how to make a sweet whole wheat bread with beautiful cinnamon swirls in each slice. You can also find Farmer’s Daughter on Facebook and Twitter.

Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares “How To Consume Coconut Oil Plus Coconut Oil Candy Recipes.” This post provides some tips on how to get your daily dose of coconut oil down the hatch. It also provides some very tasty recipes for coconut oil candy! You can also find Hybrid Rasta Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Alicia at Lactation Narration gives some ideas for how to accomplish Partial Weaning for moms who would like to cut down on nursing without completely weaning. You can also find Lactation Narration on Facebook and Twitter.

Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife shares “A Learning-Rich Environment.” This post provides a number of suggestions for creating a learning-rich environment and incorporating learning into everyday life, with a particular focus on the preschool age. You can also find The Hippie Housewife on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google +.

BecomingCrunchyKelly at Becoming Crunchy shares “Kale Chips = Awesome! This post shares a super easy recipe for making a super easy (and surprisingly tasty) snack from one of the most healthful greens around. You can also find Becoming Crunchy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes shares “How to Move to California.” A silly how-to she wrote while she and her then fiance were driving to their new home. You can also find Shannon on Pinterest, Flickr, and Google +.

Gretchen at That Mama Gretchen shares a recipe for “Homemade Fruit Leather.” It’s easier than you ever thought and the perfect snack for you and your family. You can also find That Mama Gretchen on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Julia at A Little Bit of All of It shares “How I Cloth Diaper (Part 1).” This post details the way Julia has cloth diapered her daughter along with the products she uses. You can also find A Little Bit of All of It on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Joella at Fine and Fair shares “Our First Sensory Bins.” In this post, she shares how she made a “Scoop, Measure, and Pour” themed sensory bin, as well as an “In the Garden” themed bin. She also shares some tips for making your own sensory bins! Fine and Fair can be found on Facebook and Twitter. 

Visit Code Name: MamaFor all of you breastfeeding mamas, Dionna at Code Name: Mama has the ultimate DIY experience with the main ingredient being your breastmilk! 58 Medical, Cosmetic, and Other Alternative Uses for Breastmilk includes a cradle cap remedy, an anti-itch salve, weaning jewelry, lotion, and more. You can also find Dionna on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings offers several ideas for “Keeping a Toddler Happily Busy on a Long Flight.” The list includes handmade felt activities, among many other things. You can also find Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Shannon at The Artful Mama shares “Preparing Toddlers for Birth.” This post features MamAmor dolls and shows some alternative ways to talk to toddlers about pregnancy and birth. You can also find The Artful Mama on Facebook and Twitter.

Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World shares her “Family Binder DIY.” This post shows how to put together a family binder, to help organize cleaning, meal planning, shopping and budgeting all in one convenient location!

I Thought I Knew Mama: A window into the adventures of stay at home mamahood, natural parenting, & green and healthy livingCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares “5 Green Living, Spring Cleaning Tips.” This post provides easy ways to keep the toxins out of your home and to freshen up your home for spring. You can also find I Thought I Knew Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings shares “Daily Bread: My Favorite Whole Grain Bread Machine Recipe.” This recipe is easy, highly adaptable, and a great starting point for creating your own daily (or almost daily!) homemade bread. You can also find Intrepid Murmurings on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares “10 Tips for Toddler Carseat Woes.” Check out these ideas of dealing with toddler carseat issues without resorting to punishments. You can also find Living Peacefully with Children on Facebook.

Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares “DIY Mom’s Night In.” A somewhat humorous solution, this post provides exhausted Mamas the recipe for the perfect way to recharge!

Stacy at Sweet Sky shares “Ways to Bring More Mindfulness Into Your Days.” This post provides tips and tricks to bring yourself back to the present moment, so you can be the parent you want to be. You can also find Stacy on Facebook.

AnktangleAmy at Anktangle shows us how to make your own popsicle stick puzzles, a fun and simple “busy bag” activity for toddlers and preschool aged children. You can also find Amy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Hobo Mama: A Natural Parenting BlogLauren at Hobo Mama shares “How to sew a mei tai baby carrier.” The mei tai is Lauren and Sam’s favorite carrier for baby Alrik: as comfortable and simple as it is beautiful. You can also find Hobo Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Visit African Babies Don't CryChristine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares “How to Make Rainbow Coloured Rice (Without Alcohol) for a Toddler Sensory Bin.” This post provides a step by step tutorial for making vibrantly coloured rainbow rice for sensory play, includes a printable PDF. You can also find African Babies Don’t Cry on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Luschka of Diary of a First Child shares “How To Send A Hug In An Envelope.” This post is a creative way to send more than just the standard card to love ones. It literally is a hug in an envelope! You can also find Diary of a First Child on Facebook, and Twitter.

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 »

My Dream Daycare…

Child 1

Image by Tony Trần via Flickr

So this morning as I was walking along, thinking about how I have to go back to work in less than 3 months :(, I was daydreaming about opening a home daycare.

I actually strongly considered the possibility (mainly so I could stay home with the Bean) but unfortunately when most people see giant rottweiler + small child, they don’t think, “Aww, how sweet.”

In fact, it’s usually more along the lines of, “Aren’t you afraid that dog is going to maul your child?

Luther, of course, is highly saddened by these thoughts…as nobody seems to like him sometimes. He knows we love him though! And he is amazing with the Bean…

Anyway, I’m getting off track.

So when I imagine my likely never to exist home daycare, I think about what I would want from the perfect daycare. Thus, the following would be my ad: Read the rest of this entry »

I Knew I Was a Natural Mommy When…

Mommies, daddies and fellow green enthusiasts…my name is Jessica aka Cloth Diapering Mama and it is my honor to be guest posting over here at Becoming Crunchy, as it is one of my very favorite blogs! I’m an advocate for Natural and Green Parenting and for our dear care-giver…Mother Earth. Please stop by and say hi sometime or find me on Facebook or Twitter. I hope you enjoy my post…had a little fun with this one. :)

If you’re a reader of the Becoming Crunchy blog you have undoubtedly seen the unfolding of a Natural Mommy and Daddy in Kelly and Dave. We all have a starting point. Some of us were practicing Natural Parenting before we realized that it was actually a way of life…some of us read about it and wanted in and some of us had an epiphany of sorts – or an awakening – once we were blessed with the gift of our little ones.

However you ended up HERE, know that by being a part of this community you are raising awareness and spreading the word about Natural Family Living…grass roots style…and that’s about as organic as you can get!

Here’s a little bit about my Natural and Green awakening:

I knew I was a natural mommy when…

That expensive crib turned into a GREAT laundry basket!!

  • Just didn’t feel right to put my newly emerged nursling into a separate sleep space…even with our big-boy, our first born, nearly 4 years old…cuddling, heart to heart and breath to breath remains our bed-time routine.


~Our Family Bed/Circus~ Baby says, "Mom get that camera out of my face, I'm busy bonding with my brother!"

I knew I was a natural mommy when I thought… 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 »

Weekend Update & a Sunday Surf


The Ham I Baked Today - 1950's Style Awesomeness

The Ham I Baked Today - 1950's Style Awesomeness

What a week!

Earth week, mama cloth reviews and a giveaway (still lots of time to enter!), an Earth Day Blog Carnival, guest posting at The Cloth Diapering Mama, The Great Cloth Diaper Change, and Easter!

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 »

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 Power of Women…the Power of Community

Cover of "Spiritual Midwifery"

Spiritual Midwifery

In regards to the lack of blogging this past weekend, I must explain that I became a little Ina May obsessed. :)

I spent all day Saturday listening to Ina May Gaskin speak at Victoria College on the U of T campus – an amazing experience, to say the least! I also spent the entirety of Earth Hour telling hubby what I learned that day (poor hubby!)…he was a good listener though.

I found my way to a few Babble blog posts that were written by or interviews of Ina May, and followed through hundreds of comments of debate that she actually participated in – quite interesting. I finished Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta, and got about halfway through Spiritual Midwifery, and the whole time I kept wondering…

Where was this woman and where were these books when I was pregnant??

Of course, they were around…I just didn’t know where to look for them. I read plenty of pregnancy books, but I didn’t really know much about the natural parenting movement until fairly recently. I didn’t really get the power of reading and hearing positive birth stories, and of surrounding oneself with a community of supportive women (whether that be in person or online – I believe they are both very valid).

I’m not even sure exactly how I got into it all…I think it was coming across some information about cloth diapering – the idea of it both (initially) repulsed and intrigued me. I started doing more research, and that was my entry way into the crunchy, natural, peaceful parenting world.

I resonated with it instantly, as I did with Ina May Gaskin as soon as I came across her as well. The minute I heard she was coming to Toronto, I knew I had to be there. I knew that seeing and meeting this woman even once in real life would be something I would want to tell my grandchildren about (as well as being incredibly inspiring for me).

And I honestly don’t believe this is simply because I’m a mother or because I’m attracted to things like natural birth and natural parenting…I really, truly believe that Ina May Gaskin is one of our modern day heroines – she is a champion for women (and children) whether they ever get pregnant and have babies or not.

And I felt that inspiration and power of being a woman and being supported by other women throughout this past weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

Praying for Japan

Japan Earthquake - Getting the update news

Japan Earthquake - Getting the update news

I am generally not what you would call a newshound…in fact, I rarely pay attention to it – I don’t get any channels on my TV and I spend my time on the Internet elsewhere.

There are various reasons for this –

  • I don’t really believe we were meant to experience a barrage of information 24/7
  • I do generally find it very depressing
  • I am self-centered (to my shame, but it’s true)

But sometimes things do break through my bubble – usually because they are on such an astronomical scale, like the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan today, threatening several nearby countries as well. I’ll admit, I first heard about it on Facebook. Learning more, it has been on my mind all morning.

I’ve read tongue in cheek stories regarding the fact that being a mom makes you cry over the news…I have never found it so true as today. All I can think about is the children who are being affected by this…and their parents – my heart is wrenched in a way that it has not been for a long time.

I have a tattoo that spells out ‘Redeemer’ in another language. I have it as a permanent, physical reminder that no matter what happens on this earth, God is our ultimate Redeemer – He can and will bring good out of the most terrible things.

Right now, He is bringing the heart of the world to Japan and the other islands near it that are threatened. He is bringing relief workers, donations, prayers – maybe from people who have never even considered doing or giving before. He is bringing good that we will never even know about.

Why did this happen in the first place? Read the rest of this entry »

What is Crunchy?


Image by efedefoto via Flickr

What is crunchy?

Kind of a funny word, first of all. :)

I first discovered it when I started obsessively reading parenting blogs and websites with the coming of my daughter. It’s a word that definitely has more than one definition when you apply it to people, but this is what I’ve boiled it down to for me:

An ‘Attachment’ parenting style. A healthy lifestyle. A more natural way of living.

You might also find it grouped along with words like hippie, natural, granola…all those types my husband definitely never aspired to be (but guess who’s currently heading full tilt in that direction?)

I will admit that I’ve always sort of aspired to being this type of person, but I never really managed to put in the effort.

Until now. Read the rest of this entry »

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