Category Archives: Random

Exciting News! We’re Moving!

I have some very exciting news to share! A Little Bit of All of It is now at http://naturallifemom.com. The name of the blog has not changed, just the URL so please change your bookmarks. If you subscribe to the feed in Google Reader or through another service, please update your subscription so you continue to get posts. The feed is now feed://naturallifemom.com/?feed=rss2 or you can click on the RSS icon at the top of the blog at http://naturallifemom.com.

There are also some other new changes that I’m looking forward to sharing with you. The look of the blog has changed for starters. Some new things you may want to check out:

  • You now have the ability to listen to posts.  It’s really simple! Just click on “Listen Now” under the title for a post. You can even download posts into your MP3 player to listen to later. There is also a way to subscribe to posts in iTunes on the sidebar.
  • I will continue to do Sunday Surf posts but it may not be every week. I’ll still be sharing my favorite posts with you though throughout the week on the side bar. This way I can share more and you can check it anytime, not just on Sunday.
  • I have added a page that will have contents soon. “Hall of Fame” will include only the blogs that I have shared 10 or more posts by them in my Sunday Surfs. Once a blog is added to the Hall of Fame, I will do a post on them along with the content of theirs I’ve shared so be on the lookout for that! I know there are a couple blogs that are close to that magic number 10!
  • Recipes is also a fairly new page that I’m working on. It’s a work in progress but feel free to check it out when you need some meal plan ideas!
  • I have added a store where you can find and purchase my favorite products!
  • I’ll be adding a Blogroll soon.
  • I also have a new email: Julia@NaturalLifeMom.com.
There are other minor changes and additions here and there that you’ll discover while browsing the blog. I hope they make your reading experience better! Please feel free to let me know of any other changes you would like to see!

Sunday Surf

I hope you enjoy this week’s Sunday Surf, the best of what I’ve read this week.

Babywise is Not the Bible. Parenting by the Law or by the Spirit? – “You do not have to answer to Gary Ezzo or anyone else. You do have to answer to God. You don’t need Babywise, you need the Holy Spirit.”

It’s OK, just not in public – “I don’t know why people get so weirded out about praying out loud in public. Maybe it’s the thought that faith is such a personal thing. Maybe it’s the fear of imposing one’s faith on another, one who may or may not want to be exposed to faith-matters.”

Try Again – “When we make mistakes, even if it comes to the point where he feels like spanking is his only option, that doesn’t mean he’s stuck parenting that way from then on.  We will encourage each other to “try again” to break the old patterns ingrained in us from how we were parented.”
 
Avoid Green Guilt and Do ONE Thing – “Let’s ease the anxiety and focus on what you can do.  How about the motto:  ‘Do One Thing.’ Doesn’t that sound simple?  Just ONE thing!”

Get Jealous? – “I want to be able to give a straightforward answer when asked if Sparky and Spunky are my only or if Sparky is my oldest. I don’t mince words about it for the most part, but it makes people very uncomfortable.”

via e-mumshop.com

The Gift of Milk- “I felt like I had a superpower. Nursing our babies is kind of magic. After years of nursing my now-weaned children, I still marvel at the basic premise: growing a baby simply on the nourishment that our own bodies provide!”

That Psychology Today Blog May Say Black Girls Are Ugly, But My Baby Knows Better – “I came across this poem, written by my beautiful, chocolate drop, Mari. She is, simply, amazing, and her words assure me that no matter what idiot tries to make her think she’s a lesser than, the work Nick and I are putting in to remind her she’s the straight fire is paying off.”

So What Exactly Is Instinctual Breastfeeding? And How Old Is Too Old? – “The problem, in my opinion, is simply the way America views breastfeeding.  Giving expectant moms a list of the benefits of breastfeeding is nice, but we need to start making it more socially acceptable.”

Early Parenting Choices: Sleeping and Nursing – “So a message to those parents that are confused about what the right choice is –  follow your gut.  If listening to your child cry makes you cry – pick him up and hold him. Do what you feel is the best and natural. Don’t let anyone else make these important choices for you.  Your child is depending on you and only you.” 
 
International Day of the Midwife – “And then, with relief and wonder I thought, “Thank goodness the births of my children were not like this.” And I felt terribly sorry for the many many women who experience their children’s births the same way I experience the dentist.”
 
Baby food. Excuse me while I get up on this soapbox…. - “Does this imply that other commercially marketed baby food is not real food? Absolutely. Because it’s not.”
 
It’s really quite simple… – “So when I ask myself if, as a parent and a wife, I am acting as Christ would act, I don’t need to look very far. He Loved me so much that He died rather than require me to face the punishment I deserved.” 
 
Top 10 Things Breastfeeding Advocates Should Stop Saying – “Breastfeeding is the biological norm.  Anything less is inferior by default. “Best” conjurs a notion of something that only a select few can achieve and sets formula up as the norm; we want to talk about breastfeeding as something that’s achievable for almost all moms.”
 
Husband vs. Children?- “I think that this whole child-centered vs. husband-centered premise is a false dichotomy that completely lacks balance and perspective. Why must it be an either-or situation to begin with?”
 

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Sunday Surf

I haven’t done a Sunday Surf in a little while so a lot of those links are older and actually not from this past week but they are all great posts I’ve read since my last Sunday Surf. Hope you enjoy!

What Does it Mean to Really be Pro-Life?“As pro-lifers, let’s remember that saying “yes” to life brings new love, new potential, a new human being who can beat the odds to make his mark on the world.”

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best“I may not be saving lives or creating masterpieces but I’m touching hearts and funny bones and to me that’s the greatest thing in the world.”

Three Easy Tips for Natural Living“I know the thought of transitioning a lifestyle that you have lived for many years to that of a natural one can seem overwhelming, but…you don’t have to make lots of big changes all at once.”

Why Am I Still Nursing My Toddler? – “Is there anything more natural than a child nursing? No preservatives, no fakes, no add-ons, nothing artificial. Just a mom, a baby, and pure milk. It’s how babies have been fed for thousands of years. Throw us both on a deserted island with just a beach and a palm tree and we’ll still be nursing.”

Closet Clothes Makeover - “The goal when finished is for my closet to represent pieces I am truly wearing and not taking up space just to ‘look’ at.”

5 Doula Myths Debunked“I’ve noticed some common misconceptions about doulas and their role in birth.”

Food: Bad, Better, Best – “Since it is not always ideal or possible to make the most optimal food choice here’s my take on some of the options…”

Natural Cleaning…Without Vinegar“In transitioning to natural cleaners, many people are unsure of where to start, so I’ll share what has worked for me in the last couple years.”

What is Natural Parenting?“The best and most educational book we can read ON THIS EARTH is the Bible. In there you will find all your answers to parenting and the like. When you read it and put the Word in your heart, you will open yourself up for the Lord’s instruction… if you ask him about parenting decisions, he will guide you! “

10 Best Tricks for Fooling Yourself to Work“You may not follow all of its tips, but one or two will almost certainly motivate you to get back to work.”

Parenting to Sleep: A Spiritual Discipline“From the first day I met my precious daughter, God gave me a mama heart that told me to respond to her cries and soothe her to sleep rather than leave her to cry alone and give up when she realizes no one is coming to help her.”

Looking at That Time of the Month in a Whole New Way – Guest Post - “In many cultures around the world, the idea of menstrual seclusion was an acceptable practice, surrounded by elaborate rituals. But rather than a punishment, it was often considered a celebration of the power of women, as well as a chance for women to gather in quiet and rest – a rare opportunity in many cases.”

Why Tea Gives You a Sense of Well Being - “When we are sick our immune systems need a bit of a boost, especially at the onset of a cold. Tea is packed with antioxidants that help our immune systems fight off different viruses that love to make us feel terrible.”

Resisting Rewards: When Treats Turn Sour“Worse, plenty of studies have shown that kids who are rewarded actually lose interest in the activity they’re being rewarded for, from preschoolers making art to older kids reading. Yikes!”

Five Reasons to Consider Keeping Chickens – “Before I became a chicken owner, I would have never guessed that a flock of chickens can be some of the best entertainment around! It is amazing how quickly they develop personalities and preferences.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


For the Love of Mom Bloggers

10,000 hits is a big milestone here at A Little Bit of All of It and we are celebrating with a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers! Kelly is a first time mom and blogs at Becoming Crunchy about her family’s changing landscape from mainstream to granola. (Her husband very occasionally joins her on the blog.) She likes to talk about the challenges and rewards of making the world a safer, healthier place for her daughter, along with what she’s learning about natural parenting, pregnancy and birth, and more. I know you are going to enjoy her post below!

Why is Mom Blogging So Important?

Why is Mom Blogging So Important?

I am so thrilled to be over here at A Little Bit of All of It today, and honored to be able to share with you here in your community.

There’s a question that’s been on my mind lately...how are there so many mom bloggers who give so much great information and get so much active feedback every day?

I never set out to be a mom blogger. I’m guessing that I’m not alone in saying I didn’t even know about the whole mom blogger movement until after I became a parent. I even used to blog – both for myself and others as a ghostwriter – but it was mainly all business type stuff – this world was totally not on my radar.

And it’s kind of become a joke of sorts…become a mom, start blogging! But this isn’t just a bunch of random women nattering on about baking cookies (although of course, blogs about baking cookies are awesome). This is a phenomenon. This is something that is affecting hundreds and thousands of families today, and will likely only grow in influence.

This is fascinating!

Because I have become part of it all and because I’m something of an analytical type, I want to set down some of the reasons I’ve seen for the amazing emergence of the mom blogger – not just to explore it, but to make my thanks known as well – I certainly don’t know what I’d do without them!

And that leads into reason number one: Moms need community.

Back in the day (before cities, essentially) women didn’t lack for community anywhere there were groups of people living together. I don’t want to idealize it – I believe those times were tough. But things that we struggle with for lack of support – breastfeeding, discipline, loneliness…they didn’t have to deal with it. The whole village literally was raising each child.

I believe there is a need for that within us still, and because the community of support may not be surrounding us in real life for various reasons, we’ve turned to the village of the blogosphere. Is it any less significant because it takes place over internet lines and long distances?

I like to think that Julia and you and all kinds of other people I’ve never met are part of my village – the women surrounding me who are actually helping me to raise my child. And it’s not to say that these interactions in real life are not important – they are, and we should take them when we can get them. But we often can’t, or if we can the opportunity is limited. Mom bloggers have stepped in to fill this gap.

So how is it that so many of them are so popular? Wouldn’t you think people would be sick of us by now? ;)

Here’s what I think (my reason number two): Moms have wisdom.

There’s a post here from Emerging Mummy that I feel sums up beautifully a small part of the wisdom that is unique to mommies – it very much elucidates something I’ve felt for a long time.

Being a mom gives you a secret understanding that no one who has not had the experience is privy to. That doesn’t invalidate those people. It certainly doesn’t mean that we are all knowing or super special or exempt from making mistakes.

But we do have a unique opportunity to have our worlds turned upside down by tiny, new beings. We have the chance to see a totally new way of looking at the world – through the eyes of someone who is experiencing it for the first time. We have the awe and terror of being responsible for guiding a person through this life.

I don’t think there is anyone who can go through the experience and not learn something – or a lot of somethings! – from it. And the exciting thing about mom blogging is that we can share that learning – that new wisdom. We also get the chance to learn it from others – things we may have never even contemplated.

The world of a living room filled with toys, a computer on a coffee table and a child upstairs napping can be mind-blowing.

And that community, and that wisdom, lead into reason number three: Moms need to hear each others stories.

The idea of the Mommy Wars is one that is well established. These battles do take place (though not as often as some media would have us believe), but the concept itself is ugly. I know for me, when I was a brand new mom, the fear of people judging me for my choices was something that terrified me in that extremely vulnerable state.

But the more I’ve shared my stories, and the more I’ve read from other moms…the more the judging and the arguing seems to fade into the background.

True, we all tend to mainly seek out people we resonate with, so the chance for disagreement may not actually come up that often. But I have found that when it does, it’s often not as bad as I thought it would be. And the reason behind that is that we have less and less opportunity to make assumptions about people’s decisions when we begin to hear and understand and really get their stories.

It’s a human tendency to think the worst of people, or to at least believe that we know the reason behind someone’s decision based on our assumptions. But these stories break all of that down. The more we hear them; the more they are told…the more the walls of judgment and ignorance can come crashing down.

And I truly believe we are longing for this. It’s why we’re all out there, posting that blog. It’s the basic need and desire to be understood, and understanding others comes right along with it.

So that’s why I love mom bloggers. There are probably many more great reasons they are so popular, but those are my top three. What do you love about mom blogging?


Natural Parenting Blog Party

I’m very late but I’m finally here and I’ve answered the Day 1 questions below! I’m looking forward to reading all of the other participants answers and the rest of the party! Not sure what I’m talking about? Go check out this post at The Peaceful Housewife.

1.How many children do you have, and how old are they? One in heaven, Shannon, would have been 4 this April and one on earth, Marcella, just turned 2 this March

2.Do you have a partner, or are you a single parent? I am married to my husband and we are about to celebrate 9 years of marriage this April.

3.What are your “hot button” parenting issues? I would say I’m passionate about breastfeeding beyond infancy, baby-led weaning (in regards to starting solids), cloth diapering, bedsharing/co-sleeping and natural childbirth.

4.Have you made any parenting choices that you didn’t think you would make before you were a parent, i.e. cloth diapering a child when you had previously thought it was disgusting? I had thought I would stop nursing after my baby turned 2 but so far we’re still going strong and I don’t have any plans to wean.

5.Is there one book or person in particular that’s heavily influenced your parenting choices? I couldn’t point to just one book. I have read several and they all have affected me in different ways. Some have made me aware of things I hadn’t thought through and others have clearly shown me what I definitely did not want to do! I know the Baby-Led Weaning book very clearly affected my decision on how to start solids with my daughter.

6.If you had to describe each of your children using only one word, what word would you use? Energetic

7.Is there one parenting decision that you regret more than others and wish you could change? The first thing that comes to mind is actually something during the birth I wish I would have done differently. I fully intended to delay cord clamping until I found out they would not be able to type my daughter’s blood if they waited the full time for it to stop pulsing. Without knowing her blood type I would not know if I needed an RH shot after birth. So, we opted to not cut immediately but also not wait until it completely stopped. I feel like this was just really selfish on my part looking back. I don’t know why I ever thought that was a good idea. The irony is I ended up having to get the shot regardless because the lab took so long with the results and I would not have needed it after all. Next time I will just get the shot and let the cord stop pulsing. No need to know the child’s blood type right away.

8.Is there an area of your parenting you wish you were better at? I’m not patient….at all.

9.Now for the fun questions – is there one particular food or type of food that you could eat every day? I love cheese!

10.Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Definitely vanilla. I’m not a fan of chocolate.

11.What’s your guilty pleasure? Internet time…I spend way too much time online.

12.If you could be part of any television show, which show would it be? I don’t watch a whole lot of TV so I don’t even know!


Favorites at Facebook

Yellow daffodils - floriade canberra

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s another round of Facebook questions and answers. I ask questions throughout the week, fans answer and I pick my favorite to post on the blog each week. We’ll play again next week so become a fan and join the fun!

Here are this week’s questions and my favorite answers:

Q: What’s your best housekeeping tip?

A: I’d rather spend time playing with my children than doing dishes. But when I do clean in other ways, I try to get [my daughter] to help me so at least we’re doing something together. – From Amanda of Let’s Take the Metro

Q: Have you had any recipe disasters lately?

A: – Becoming Crunchy and I discussed her black bean brownie recipe. (I didn’t realize I needed to let them cool BEFORE letting my husband try them. :))

Q: What’s your favorite flower?

A:  Daffodils – From Emma

Q: Favorite natural remedies?

A: I find an ice pack on the forehead for a bit can really help with a headache. – From Becoming Crunchy

Q: What do you do special from your anniversary?

A: We, um, breathe air. A lot. All day, in fact. – From Let’s Take the Metro

Thanks for all those who participated! Come play with us next week!


I Appreciate You!

It’s Blogger Appreciation Day!  Below are the top referring blogs to this blog for the last 30 days. If you’re on this list, THANKS!

Simple Mom 330 times

Connected Mom 120 times

I’m an Organizing Junkie 23 times

My Journey to Lean 19 times

Fidelis Familia 15 times

Farmer’s Daughter 9 times

Fine and Fair 9 times

Good Enough Mum 8 times

Authentic Parenting 7 times

Prizey 7 times

Visit 3 Boys and a Dog for more Blogger Appreciation Day posts.


Easter, Babies, and Sleep – Sunday Surf

Babies and Birth

My Beautiful, Peaceful Birth Space -“It’s hard to explain in words what it means to walk into this space to give birth instead of into a hospital room.”

Is Fear in Pregnancy (and Birthing) Inevitable?“…it seems pretty unhealthy to be so scared of such a normal and natural process, doesn’t it?”

Getting a Baby on a Schedule“The problem can come in when someone tells us that we HAVE TO get our babies on a schedule from the get-go or the entire world will crumble apart.”

The Power of Women…The Power of Community“...I think I got so into it because I was just so impressed with seeing all those women in person who really knew and felt the importance of supporting women in birth.”

Really, My Breastmilk is Turning to Water!?“The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to full use of family foods is a very vulnerable period.”

The Curious Case of the Crying Baby“Just as I would never outright ignore someone who was speaking to me, especially someone I care about, I will never ignore Annabelle’s cries, but I am starting to view them differently.

Bedsharing Rewards“The morning begins with a babble rather than cries, and my baby lays next to me babbling and smiling until I decide I am ready to face the day.”

When You Have Tried for a Year“Not only are you now in a the new category of ‘infertile’, you have to deal with people telling you that you are doing something wrong and need to try their method.”

Four Lies Sleep Trainers Tell You (and One Truth They Won’t!)“How many adults fall asleep being rocked? How many still co-sleep with their parents? Not everyone was sleep trained, so obviously the child does decide to sleep on his/her own eventually.”

Parenting

Verses to Parent By: Part 2 - “When I was yelling at my kids, constantly criticizing, withholding love because of my disapproval of their actions or spanking my children, those actions were not showing them my love.  They were showing them my authority, my ego and conditional love.”

As Easy as Falling Off a Log: Advertising to Children (Part Two) - “A half hour spent on Nickolodeon was a half hour of “I want that!” “I need that!” as commercial after commercial advertised directly to my daughter…”

Proceed with Caution“Each child is unique and develops at a different pace, focusing on different aspects of growth.”

Laughing All the Way to the Breastmilk Bank“I boo the toy industry for including a bottle with every baby doll. It’s one way bottle feeding is normalized when it should be the exception.”

You Let Your Daughter Play with THAT?“I find it so ironic that in a society that’s so entrenched with sex and sexuality that parents choose to get their blood boiling over a doll that mimics natural feeding.”

Easter

Healthy and Homemade Easter and Ostara Basket Ideas (with Tutorial Links)“For families who would like to avoid Easter and Ostara baskets full of sugary, processed foods (think Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs) and cheap plastic toys…”

Get Your Egg On: Eco-Eggs Coloring Kit“The dyes are made from plant, fruit, and vegetable extracts (rather than arsenic and unicorn tears or whatever is usually in that stuff).”

Easter Basket Gift Ideas“But if you eschew all that plastic crap and you don’t particularly want your kids to have all that processed sugar what do you?”

Food

Food Schizophrenia: Living in the “Real World”“I kept my thoughts of ‘Would you like Blue Dye Number 1 for Attention Deficit Disorder, or Red #40 for anaphylactic shock?’ to myself. Instead I said, ‘Blue Gatorade or Purple?'”

Check out Adventures in MommyhoodAuthentic ParentingBaby Dust DiariesChildOrganics,Cloth Diapering MamaFabulous Mama ChroniclesHobo MamaI Thought I Knew MamaMama and Baby LoveMama EveMaman A DroitMomma JorjeMonkey Butt JunctionMotherhood MomentsMy Inspired BabyNavelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Let’s Play – Facebook Favorites

Ukulele boy

Image by Gilmoth via Flickr

We’ve been playing a game this week on Facebook. Every day I ask a question, fans answer and I pick my favorite to post on the blog each week. We’ll play again next week so become a fan and join the fun!

Here are this week’s questions and my favorite answers:

Q: Tell me something strange you did today.

A: I performed emergency surgery on a ukulele.  – From Liz of Garden Variety Mama

Q: What’s your favorite rainy day activity?

A: Reading and listening to the rain. It doesn’t rain enough for me to find the time to read! – From Cindy of My Awesome Olive Shoots

Q: Favorite cold weather comfort meal?

A: Ooh, I’d say either chili, stew or potato soup. – From Jenny of  The Peaceful Housewife

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Count of Monte Cristo – From me…because no one else responded ;)

Q: What are you most looking forward to about Spring?

A: I’m so looking forward to getting these kiddos out of the house more and lots of trips to the zoo! – From Jenny of The Peaceful Housewife

Q: Tell me what you had for breakfast this morning!

A: Egg white veg scramble on multigrain bagel! From – Shannon of The ArtsyMama

Q: Name a favorite 80’s song!

A: Anything by Heart. – From Josh of Cella’s Sweets

Q: What are your plans for the night?

A: I plan to become a vegetable on the couch. – From Let’s Take the Metro

We’ll play again next week so come be part of the fun!! And thanks to all who participated this week! I enjoyed all of your responses.


The Pantry- Project:Simplify

Lazy Susan Before - Yuck!

Week Three of Project: Simplify

This week’s hot spot was already on my to-do list: the pantry! I actually clean out the pantry on a regular basis (although it’s how to tell from my before picture!) so I didn’t need to throw anything out, just need to reorganize everything. What I REALLY have been needing to organize/clean out was our lazy susan. It is where all of our spices live and is just a mess.

I did the pantry in a short amount of time. I put things back on the correct shelves and in their proper spots. Basically the bottom shelf contains all cooking wines and vinegars, canned goods and teas. The middle shelf is all of my husband’s baking items. The top shelf is for all bagged items (like dry beans, pasta, etc.), boxes and canisters. I have the bread items up there as well.

Pantry Before

The lazy susan I did in one afternoon. I took everything out so I could clean off the shelves which were pretty yucky with spilled spices. Once the shelves were all nice and clean, I put all of my husband’s baking supplies back (mostly fondant tubs) and then set to work looking through the spices. Most were still okay to use but some were expired so I threw those out. I separated them into spices used for baking and cooking and then made a list of all of the spices we had along with expiration dates. I put these on little post-it’s and stuck it on the inside of the cabinet. Hopefully this will make it easier when I’m menu planning to see what I have on hand. I found 2 of 3 or 4 spices. Oops!

Pantry After

I didn’t need to clean out the fridge because I just took all of the shelves out a week or so okay and cleaning them in the sink. I routinely go through the food, weekly pretty much. Since we grocery shop once a week, and meal plan that way as well, we generally have a pretty empty refrigerator by Sunday so it’s easy to see anything that needs to get tossed if I missed something during the week.

How about you? Does your pantry need a makeover? Tell me about it in the comments. One week left of Project: Simplify!

Related Articles

 

Lazy Susan After


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