Category Archives: Parenting

Beloved children’s books and the Absorbent Mind

Beloved Children's Books and The Absorbent Mind - Vibrant WanderingsMy brain is scattered of late, which has a lot to do with how little I’m blogging. This topic has been on my mind for weeks, but I just can’t pare it down, so I keep starting and stopping. Tonight, I’ll give myself a few minutes to get what I can down, because I really want to hear what you all think about choosing books for the young child. I’ll do my best to keep from following too many bunny trails here.

My oldest, Annabelle, is now three. She has what Maria Montessori referred to as an “absorbent mind,” and my goodness does that girl absorb things! In my early years of teaching, before Annabelle came around, I saw the tremendous capacity that children have for absorbing and recalling information and experiences, but it wasn’t until I spent all of my time with the same child that I truly got a sense of what this means. Annabelle absolutely takes everything in, not just experiencing and processing it, but actually making it a part of herself. I see the way experiences shape her, the way they come out in her play, in her interactions with others, in her overall behavior. I’ve really been shocked by the extent of this reality. Continue reading

Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide!

If you need to complete your holiday shopping, find a birthday present for a friend, or just treat yourself to something special, the NPN Holiday Gift Guide has something for everyone. But what’s even better, the NPN Holiday Gift Guide is a great opportunity to shop consciously and to support many naturally minded small businesses. The companies that have provided items for review and giveaway are almost exclusively made up of small businesses or work-at-home families.

Below you will find information on 74 companies from 25 of our NPN volunteers. The companies are giving away 89 products and gift certificates, for a total combined value of $2,550.

As you scroll through the Gift Guide, we encourage you to click on the links for each of the reviews — look for the links to our volunteers’ blogs in each heading (i.e., “From ABC Company via Blog Name” — the “Blog Name” has the link to the review). Our volunteers have crafted thoughtful posts on each participating company with pictures of and links to products that are simply perfect for our natural parenting families. And while we’ve split our Gift Guide into sections (“Perfect for Kids” and “Family and Home”), you’ll discover that many of the stores offer goodies that people of all ages will enjoy. Continue reading

Giveaway: Box of Eco Friendly Art Supplies from Stubby Pencil Studio – $60 ARV {11.25, WW}

This is a joint giveaway between Natural Parents Network and many other natural parenting sites. You may enter for all of the giveaways at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide!

Natural Parents Network, Vibrant Wanderings, and 24 other natural parenting bloggers are giving away 89 items perfect for gifting for the holidays as part of the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide. The combined total value of all of the items is $2,550.

Have you finished your holiday shopping? The NPN Holiday Gift Guide is a great opportunity to complete your gift-giving purchases for family and friends, while supporting many naturally-minded small businesses. The companies who have provided items for giveaway are almost exclusively made up of small businesses or work-at-home families.

Please stop back to enter the giveaway. The Rafflecopter entry system will be live November 1 on this post (and on every post participating in the Gift Guide). Please visit some of the other review posts listed below and read about the fabulous companies offering giveaways in the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide.

Please continue reading to learn more about Stubby Pencil Studio, which is offering our readers a giveaway of a box of eco friendly art supplies valued at $60.

About Stubby Pencil Studio

Stubby Pencil Studio is an online shop specializing in quality, earth friendly art materials, school supplies, and unique gifts for children. The company was founded by Kate who, inspired by her twin girls, continues to run it today. Literally everything in my daughter’s collection of art supplies comes from Stubby Pencil Studio and it’s a company I have remained loyal to for a number of reasons. Not only are the items Kate sells high quality and mindfully sourced, but they’re truly non toxic and safe. I love knowing that if Annabelle sticks her paint brush in her mouth during the creative process, what she’s swallowing is plant based – even gluten free and vegan!

Another thing that keeps me coming back is the incredible customer service. I’ll tell you a little story: my friend Nicole and I placed orders for art materials together a few times, so that we could share shipping. Because we were both ordering, our orders were rather large, and I received an email from Kate shortly after I placed one. She had a coupon code available that I hadn’t heard about and therefore hadn’t used. I had already paid for my order, but without my even asking, she refunded 15% of my money anyway. I was already hooked because of the great products, but that interaction sealed the deal. It’s abundantly clear that Kate is among those rare business owners who truly love what they do, care about their customers, and always remain true to their own business ethics. When it comes to items Kate carries I won’t buy anywhere else! Continue reading

Eliminating Struggle from the Morning Routine

If you’ve been around this space awhile, you already know this, but: Since April, two year old Annabelle has slept in six different beds, lived in two houses and slept in two different hotels in between. She has adapted to a few different schedules for both her daddy and for me, only to have them change soon after. Oh yeah, and she had a baby brother. All of this seems to have made it hard to settle into a comfortable groove during mornings at home, and many days it was a huge struggle just to get out of the house. Some days I simply gave up because I didn’t want to struggle anymore, and we stayed home when I really could have used a bit of time out of the house. See, Annabelle would start playing, reading, drawing, or doing something else important to her and would suddenly decide that she had no interest in doing any of the things one must do before going out, like getting dressed. She seemed to feel so much better, and rest so much better, when she engaged in something in the outside world each day, but it was not easy to get her in to the outside world before rest time came. Continue reading

Letting the rhythm find you, on NPN

You can find me over at the Natural Parents Network today, where I talk about the idea of seasonal and daily rhythms. Here’s an excerpt, but you can head over and read the full article here.

The idea of a daily rhythm, too, began to feel like a total joke, at least where our household was concerned. I thrived on a consistent routine, and it seemed to work well for my daughter, too, but I kept reading idealized, poetic descriptions of “daily rhythm” (said in the peaceful, calming voice of an enlightened earth mother) that insisted that a rhythm was not a routine. I started to roll my eyes every time I saw the r word, as it seemed to mock me with its unattainable beauty and perfection.