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Sorry about my absence…

but THIS happened.

My son, Tener Day, was born on the evening of June 10, 2014 at home in a birthing pool full of love (and some other stuff).

Birth story coming soon! Time is not of the essence right now, as my breasts are currently in VERY high demand and I want to do the experience justice.

For now, here’s a few pics of the little milk-slurper.

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Thanks to all who have given their support to our family during this time. All the love and meals sent our way have made the transition much easier than we (I) imagined!

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Gifts that won’t piss parents off

Sometimes I wish I could be down with Barbies and mini pink computers and whatever else is being marketed to our kids these days. It would certainly make parental life easier. I’m really picky when it comes to toys for my child, and I’m not alone.

I mean, I have a 4 year old daughter who is impressionable. Everywhere we turn, there’s some image of a made-up princess prostitute nightmare for preschoolers. I mean, are toy-makers trying to screw us all over? Because it sure seems like it.

But don’t fret because there are actually some original and creative toy choices out there for kids. I asked around and came up with a bunch of gifts that are totally PPA (picky-parent approved).

(The list of gifts we hate is way longer.)

1. Things that go (and stay) outside

Many parents said they preferred toys that go outside versus inside. That way, even in the cold months, they remain outside or in the garage and never make their way into the house — woohoo! Playhouses were a favorite among PPs. They can range in price, especially if you’re looking for a wooden model, and though we like to represent the smaller shops, the Neat and Tidy Cottage (Sam’s Club, $136) is by far the most bang for your buck. For the summer months, a good old plastic pool is always a winner, as are simple gardening tools (For Small Hands, $17) for those little diggers.

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Why I’m definitely going to breastfeed in public

A few years ago, I was sitting at brunch with my family of three. Our 1-year-old daughter sat chatting in the high chair while my husband and I enjoyed some much needed mimosas on a late Sunday morning. It was early spring but the sun was so hot that I had to run down the street to find some sunscreen in a nearby store so my strawberry blonde, blue-eyed bobbin wouldn’t fry.

After chatting with a group of baby-clad ladies at the table next to us, I offered them the bottle of lotion. Their babies were all smaller and newer than mine. Having never used sunscreen on their porcelain skin before, they hesitated, scanning the label for parabens, the same as I had done a few months earlier. We talked for a few minutes about babies and the band Phish (one of the babies shared their name with the lead singer and our daughter’s name is a song by the band). Then one by one each baby got fussy and all three mothers began to nurse.

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The secret to happy kids? Simplicity

A few years ago, if you’d asked people what kind of parents they were, you’d probably get responses like “dedicated,” “good” or maybe “a bit of a worrier.” But these days, that same question might have a very different connotation. Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock or just avoiding the Internet for the past five years (I’m not knocking ya; it’s crazy around here!), then you know there are a variety of different parenting “styles” out there, not just adjectives for describing parenting techniques.

You’ve probably heard people use the words “helicopter,” “attachment” and “free-range” to describe how we bond with and mold our offspring. (OK, now I feel like we’re talking about chickens.) But you may not have heard of something called “simplicity parenting,” so here I am to tell you about it.

The model offers a refreshing view of parenting today. I recently spoke with author and educator Kim John Payne who coined the style. When I asked him what parenting is lacking today, he replied with one word. “Space.” To put it simply, he believes that kid’s lives and schedules these days consist of too much, too soon. It is his intention that when it comes to parenting, we all need to slow down and simplify things.

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5 Girly toys I don’t hate

Once in a while, someone gives my kid a gift that makes me cringe. I’m instantly wondering how long we’re going to have to keep it and what covert operation I’m going to have to pull off to sneak it out of the house. My biggest pet peeves are things that are super gender-specific, electronics and things that come with a million-trillion pieces (except on the extremely rare occasions when the awesomeness of the toy outweighs one of those traits).

While we don’t have a strict no-technology rule in our house (we watch TV and movies, although at a minimum), we prefer to keep electronics out of everyday play items for our daughter so that she can spend her time being creative with her toys. The truth is that she much prefers it this way. A toy that can do many things is much more fun than a toy that only does one thing (i.e., go beep-beep-boop and drive Mama crazy). So I really have come to appreciate it when people give her gifts that don’t pigeonhole her and that also let her explore her creativity. I also love it when I don’t have to stand over her, supervising her every move.

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We recently celebrated Christmas and my daughter’s birthday (two weeks later — yes, shoot me). It was major toy overload, as expected, but we made it out alive and luckily picked up some pretty different and creative stuff.

Here are some of my daughter’s favorite new (mom-approved) toys!

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The mom I really want to be

The mom I really want to be

There’s a mom who lives a few streets over from us — let’s call her Vicky. I see her frequently at the park and the grocery store, and we’ve recently started getting our girls together for playdates. Vicky and I are relatively like-minded. We send our kids to the same type of alternative school, we embrace natural parenting techniques, and we’re both stay-at-home moms. She had a home birth last year — same as I’m planning to do in a few short months. We always have lots to discuss on the parenting front, and conversation is usually easy.

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DIY, Uncategorized

How to: Make A DIY Felt Board

How to: Make A DIY Felt Board

All you need to make this super easy gift is:

  • a cork board
  • a staple gun
  • a pair of scissors
  • assorted felt

Start by wrapping your cork board with felt. I chose white. Actually, I originally wanted to do green on the bottom half and light blue on the top for grass and sky but Michael’s did not have large enough felt to cover my board. In the end I was glad I went with white because then I had more options for scenes (a beach scene, a farm scene, a castle scene). Pull the felt tightly so there are no wrinkles and staple gun the felt all the way around the back of the board. Cut off any excess. Then, all you have to do is cut some lovely felt pieces of your choice. I seriously had way too much fun doing this, though my hand did get tired from cutting (it’s kind of tough to cut felt. I recommend investing in some sharp scissors!).

I made this board for my daughter’s fourth birthday and she adored it. And I have to admit, it felt so good to watch her play with it for hours on her birthday morning. She hugged me and said “thank you for making this for me, Mommy!” I can’t wait to make more felt pieces with her to stick on.

Happy felting!

P.S. Kids love it if you include their own face (or your whole family’s) but you could make it a bit simpler by skipping this step. I printed these pictures on plain paper, then used a little modge podge on the back to adhere them to the felt.