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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Project PINK - Painting the Blog World Pink for a Cure

Marilyn of The ArtsyGirl Connection is hosting Project Pink today. It's a day that supports the drive for a cure to breast cancer in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I feel honored to have joined more than 50 blogs in drawing attention to this important cause.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Make a Trash Bag Halloween Costume Tutorial

All you procrastinators--here is a quick tutorial for how to make a spherical Halloween costume--you know--if you're making a pumpkin costume, Mr. Potato Head costume, or trash bag costume. This costume basically transforms you or your child into a giant, stuffable ball. Use your imagination and go crazy.

Baby T is going to be a garbage man, so Little M is going to be a trash bag. This is how I made Little M's garbage bag costume.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tandem Nursing: What Got Me Through the Early Days

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. Visit the links below and link up your own story to tell us about breastfeeding with an older child or leave a comment!

When I had Little M last January, Baby T was still nursing. I knew I wasn't going to wean him right away--it seemed cruel to do that right after shaking up his life by bringing home a newborn. But deciding whether to actually nurse them at the same time and scheduling the nursings was a roller coaster. There were pros and cons to tandem nursing, but the pros definitely outweighed the cons.

This is how I made it through the early days of tandem nursing a toddler and newborn.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Upcycled Contest - Cloth Quiet Books

Marilyn from the ArtsyGirl Connection is hosting a contest, and you can vote for your favorite upcycled project! So of course, I had to join in the fun. I submitted my handmade cloth quiet books to the contest.

To vote for me, click on the button below, scroll down to #13 (The one that says "Busy Books" and has a photo of the flower page from my quiet book) and click "Like". You have to submit your vote before Sunday, October 30!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: You Can't Make This Stuff Up

I'm usually so long winded, so this week, I'll let these pictures (almost) speak for themselves:

Passed out after the Ergo transfer

Monday, October 24, 2011

What is Baby-Led Weaning Anyway?

Do I follow the baby-led weaning philosophy? It’s not like I sit my baby in the high chair and frantically shovel food down his throat at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I read his cues, and if he seems hungry while I’m eating, I feed him. But I do feed him store-bought baby food.

I mentioned when I wrote my post entitled "What is Attachment Parenting Anyway?" that I don’t like labels. It’s partly my own insecurity; because I don’t fit into any one label, I find it hard to attach labels to my parenting style. I have also found that trying to subscribe to any one label as a mother has interfered with my own intuition. For example, when Baby T was younger, I read so many books on sleep that I completely lost my own natural rhythm as a mother. It was like I completely forgot how to do anything without consulting a book.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weaning a Toddler: It's not Black and White

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. Visit the links below and link up your own story to tell us where you are with breastfeeding or leave a comment!

I've talked about the weaning roller coaster on my blog in the past. And Baby T is still weaned.

But he still asks to nurse. Almost every day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: A Craft Project with a Toddler

Toddlers have the attention span of--well, a toddler. Baby T loves to do projects, though, so we're always working on crafts. But it's not usually a linear event. This is how doing a craft project with a toddler normally goes in my house.
The project required painting paper plates. Baby T just
wanted to squeeze the paint onto the plates.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Surf - Money, Chores, and a Green Halloween

Authentic Parenting Sunday Surf

I've been slacking on Sunday Surf posts lately because--well, because I've been slacking. My week starts on Monday and it starts off strong. I peter out and sit around and eat chocolate chip cookies and drink beer on Sundays.

But this week, the Carnival of Natural Parenting posts went up, and they dealt with money matters. I learned a lot, and I still am not done reading them all. I've also been doing some research about Halloween crafts and decorations. I've never been into holidays or decorating, but now that I have kids, it's so fun to do projects with them.

Here's a little shout out to the what I read this week.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Miracle Cleaning Solution

When I posted my article about how to save money by using what you have for the Carnival of Natural Parenting, a lot of people wanted to know about my all-purpose cleaning solution that cuts through anything.

This stuff is amazing. I make it in a spray bottle and use it for anything--even the food that's been stuck to the high chair for a year. Use it with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in your shower, and you'll be amazed at how clean your shower is. The only things I don't use it for are cleaning windows (for that, I just use straight vinegar mixed with water) or the entire floor (it can be slippery).

I was actually inspired to make it after reading a post about Cleaning the Natural Way on I Thought I Knew Mama. (The post was actually written by Julia from A Little Bit of All of It.) The way she described the cleaner she made sold me. She said it smelled like sweet, fresh air. I immediately wanted to make the cleaner she described, but I didn't have lemon essential oil. So I searched online and found and tweaked the recipe that is now my miracle natural cleaning solution.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Breastfeeding Support - And I'm Not Talking About the Boppy

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. Visit the links below and link up your own breastfeeding support story or leave a comment!

I was recently at the grocery store making a WIC purchase. The cashier commented that she notices that some people get baby meats with WIC and others don't. I explained that breastfed babies get meats because they don't get the iron that's supplemented in formula.

Then, the cashier said, "I didn't breastfeed. I was too scared."


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


For the past few months, I've been working on making a cloth quiet book for my 14-month-old nephew. A quiet book is like a cloth activity book that is interactive, so it keeps kids busy (and quiet). I had made one for Baby T, and I made one for my other 2 nephews last Christmas. I love making these, but it takes a lot of energy. I have to pull out a lot of little materials, the iron and ironing board, rulers, pencils, cutters and cutting mats, and it can be a lot to manage with a couple of ragamuffins running around.

I went back and forth a few times thinking I was not going to be able to finish this for my nephew, but I did. I mailed it on Monday, and I thought I would share some of the pages. I really only had time to make the cover (which includes the outer front and back pages and the inner front and back pages) but I can make additional pages at will and add them in as I have time. Hopefully I will get to add more pages in this lifetime!

What makes my quiet books different than many you see out there is that I use fabric scraps from clothing, sweaters, blankets, and pieces from my other projects. A lot of quiet books are made from felt. Using felt is easy; why would I go the easy route?! Nope, I make it a lot harder on myself by using fabric (some that frays), interfacing, and the almighty zig zag stitch.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Save Money by Using What You Have

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.


Surprisingly, I am decent with money. It’s not because I’m organized or Type A, I assure you. Nor am I obsessively frugal. I try really hard to do things like create a budget, micromanage my finances, use only cash, and clip coupons. But in reality, I have a general idea of what I have to spend every month, I splurge on things I really want need, I use my credit card for almost everything (although I pay it off monthly), and I rarely clip coupons.

So how was I able to leave a job where I was really comfortable and still afford my mortgage, my two kids, and my new grill? I’m resourceful. I save my money where I can so that I can spend it on the things I really need.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Breastfeeding: Relaxing or Multitasking?

The reality of a nursing corner: More work, less play
When I had Baby T, I had this vision of breastfeeding that entailed a breastfeeding “corner,” complete with a pitcher of water, books, comfy pillows, and someone feeding me grapes. And then I brought Baby T home and reality hit. Baby T was a puker. When I sat down to nurse him, I inevitably ended up covered in vomit. And I had to get up at least three times to get burp cloths, towels, and other equally absorbent items.

I vascillated between trying to get things done and wanting to be on a babymoon. I felt guilty turning on the TV and accosting Baby T’s innocent ears with inane babble. But I wanted to keep in touch with friends and work, so I would post on facebook one-handed at 3 A.M. I wanted to prove I could do it all, and I didn’t ask for help very often.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Babywearing: How to Choose a Baby Carrier, Wrap, or Ring Sling

Babywearing comes in handy for everyone
Last weekend, I attended the Cape Fear Maternity and Baby Expo. I met a lot of expecting mamas who were excited to learn how to use a baby carrier. But one question always comes up when deciding what kind of baby carrier to buy: Which baby carrier is right for me?

Different carriers are better suited for different purposes, and it's nice to have more than one. But the reality is that baby carriers are expensive and we're not all made of money.

Here is a breakdown that lists the types of carriers that work best for different situations.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A Day in the Life (Continued)

I've spent just as long posting this as I did living it. Maybe even longer. Last week, I left you with a little lunch and laundry. Here's the rest of the story:

2 P.M. - 4 P.M. After lunch, I nursed Little M some more, and he fell asleep, so I was able to get some writing done. When I'm just sitting on the couch and Little M falls asleep, I usually have the best luck if I lay him down right next to me. The only problem then is that I'm stuck. I can't leave the couch, because this kid is pretty mobile.
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