Category Archives: Parenting

The Toddler Bedtime Routine

I’ve been surprised by how difficult the adjustment to having two children is emotionally. I expected to be tired, harried, and any number of other things, but I did not expect to be sad. I’m not talking about the baby blues here, either. While I treasure and love our sweet baby boy just as much as I always have his sister, I find that I’m mourning the loss of all the one-on-one time I used to have with Annabelle. As she has grown up, one of the biggest parenting challenges we’ve had with her has revolved around sleep, so it’s funny that the salve for my growing and aching mama heart would be bedtimes with my girl. Bedtime has become my favorite part of the day with Annabelle, and these days it’s not (just) because I’m so exhausted from the day that I can’t wait for her to be asleep. Mostly, it’s the one time during the day when I can relax and spend time with just Annabelle, and I treasure it. The road to get here was long, and we still encounter bumps along the way, but we have a pretty darn pleasant bedtime routine going at the moment. Continue reading

island baby laundry

Going it alone with an infant

Over at the Natural Parents Network, I’ve written about some of the things that helped me get through the early months of Annabelle’s life with her daddy away.

Here’s an excerpt:

We had recently moved to the island of Guam, where I had not yet developed any close friendships, and where we were not only geographically removed from our extended family in a big way, but we were also in such a drastically different time zone that I couldn’t even reasonablycall someone I loved every time I needed a listening ear. It all sounds awfully dramatic and awfully difficult when I write it out like that, and solo parenting certainly isn’t easy (let’s face it, parenting period isn’t easy), but it was manageable, and over two years later, is still a time I remember fondly for the most part. Looking back, there are a handful of things that I feel contributed to my ability to maintain my sanity during that very busy time. I’m sure there’s more I could have done, and I’m sure there are things I could have done differently, but all in all, I’m happy with the choices I made.

Read the whole post, and share your own new mama survival tips here.

Giveaway: L’il Baby Chaps and Prefold Belt from EC Wear — $28 ARV {9.8; Worldwide}

This is a joint giveaway with Vibrant Wanderings and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

EC Wear is offering our readers a giveaway of some great, EC-friendly clothing: a pair of L’il Baby Chaps and a Diaper Belt, a value of $28.

L’il Baby Chaps are split pants with an open design that allows babies and toddlers to potty quickly and easily, and caregivers to notice when a diaper is wet so they can change it without a hassle. Diaper belts are designed to hold a prefold in place while still allowing easy access for diaper changes and potty visits.

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When my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was born, I knew I wanted to practice elimination communication (“EC”) with her from the very start. What I didn’t know was how much of a hassle it would be to remove and replace a cloth diaper every single time she needed to pee — especially given her sincere distaste for being diapered at all. I was determined to stick with it, but wasn’t quite ready to ditch the diapers altogether, so I started researching solutions. Enter EC Wear, an online shop selling EC friendly apparel, where I found some cute infant training pants to try. Not only did I end up loving the trainers, but I was so happy with the shop and its friendly and knowledgeable owner, Marija, that I couldn’t wait to place another order and try out a new diapering solution or two. I was thrilled to know that EC Wear is owned and operated by a mom not unlike myself, and that she makes a special effort to source products that are responsibly produced and fairly traded. Continue reading

My Farewell Mother Baby Blessing

Photo (and henna) credit: Amanda of Gaia Eco Solutions

On one of our last Saturdays on Guam, the amazing mothers I had gotten to know through Garden Day got together and made me feel like the luckiest woman alive. I’m not really sure what to call the gathering they had for me, but it made me feel incredibly blessed, so I suppose a Mother Blessing is the closest thing. To any who were a part of it and may be reading this, I can’t say how incredibly grateful I am to know you, and to have you in my life – even if only from a distance now. All day long, I kept looking around at the people surrounding me, thinking, “Is it possible that I could ever find such an incredible group of talented, generous, caring women again?” There are amazing women everywhere, of course, but it’s a rare thing to find so many in community with one another. In the past I have dreamed of pulling together and introducing all of the amazing women I know, but on Guam, they were already friends and I’m honored that they shared that friendship with me, too. Continue reading

nursery

Preparing for Baby: The Registry

This is intended to be part of my sporadic Preparing for a Second Child series, but really it applies just as much, if not more so, to first children, hence the title. We’re entering the home stretch, with our littlest family member welcome to join the fun on this side of my uterus anytime in the next 1-5 weeks. We’ve reached the point where I’m taking an inventory of everything we have on hand and deciding what, if any, last minute things we need to get together this week. For new parents especially, it can be so hard to determine what is truly needed when so much is marketed as an absolute must have, so I thought I’d take a look at what I personally feel is helpful to have around. I would love to hear how this compares with your thoughts, and what worked for your family, too. Continue reading