24 Ways to Soothe Colic and Save Your Sanity
My first baby was the shriekiest infant I have ever encountered. Seriously, you guys, it’s a dang miracle I ever went on to have more children. And the other two weren’t exactly a walk in the park! On the bright side, I now know more ways to soothe colic than I ever thought possible.
My (Slightly Unconventional) Parenting Tips for Toddlers
Before having kids, everyone thinks that they know exactly how they’ll parent. They read books and make charts and lists and all sorts of plans. Then, the kid finally comes along and all of that goes right out the window.
5 Words to Stop a Tantrum
I’ve tried very hard throughout my son’s life to approach situations with empathy and understanding. The world can be a confusing place for children, with all this hustle and bustle and seemingly little logic surrounding the decisions that affect them. I’ve been pretty stern when it comes to outbursts, but have been surprised to discover that the best way to stop a tantrum in our home is with five simple words.
The Best Playard: Parenting is all about Containment
Parenting, I’ve decided, is all about containment. Much like a zookeeper, parents need to set limits and boundaries to train their kids before they take over the whole dang house. When you have a toddler AND a baby, thing can get even more tricky because you have to keep their various entertainment and containment apparatuses (apparati?) from enveloping your entire living room. That’s why I’ve deemed our new playard – which works equally well for infants all the way through rambunctious toddlers – the best playard on the block!
On Parenthood and Survival
Nate and I are not stay-at-home parents. We’re not 9-to-5 working parents, either. We baby-wear and we stroller-push. We’re completely attached, but bed-sharing is SO not our thing. Our kids have been breastfed, bottle-fed, and everything in-between. When people first meet us and discover that we have goats and chickens and a whole array of composting-gardening-hippie-lifestyle habits, they make certain assumptions about what kind of people we are.
These Lessons Live Forever
It struck me yesterday that Some Boy is at the age where he’ll actually remember things. The words and lessons that we impart to him today could stay in his brain for a lifetime, eking their way out at opportune (or inopportune) moments.
The Humanization of Mommy
There’s nothing as simultaneously humbling and empowering as birthing a child. The body is overtaken, wracked with feelings and experiences that its tenant has little control over, displaying the very real limits of joints and skin. Women are seen as the "fairer" sex, daintier and gentler than our counterparts. But there’s a vigor in this life-giving frame, a stature unmet by men. There’s a reason why Nature – with her unkempt soil and havocking winds – is called Mother. Striking cliffs and roaring streams come from deterioration, and new life is no different. A fire has to rage before a sequoia can grow.
Life with Three Kids
Wondering what life with three kids is like? I’m dishing on some of the down-and-dirty details today in a video blog.
I Hate Playdates
I’ve talked a little bit in the past about the awkward forced socialization that is the playdate. I hate playdates. There, I said it. We’ve tried several times to hang out with families who have kids in Some Boy and Sidekick’s age ranges, and it never goes well. The kids usually get along great. Us parents, however, have a harder time. Most of Nate and I’s close friends don’t have children, so we wind up doing the playdate thing with "acquaintances."
Baby Must-Haves for the 2nd or 3rd Kid
When Some Boy was born, I shared my new mom must-haves including our favorite items that we used with our first son. After our second son came along, we thought we could simply reuse the stuff from the first time. No new registry needed, we’ve been around the block! I’ve totally got this, right? Wrong. The thing with second, third and subsequent kids is that your parenting style changes completely and you need an additional set of gear to adjust to the new new normal. Baby must-haves for kids after number one include all the stuff from the first time around, as well as additional items to keep the older kids happy and give mom and dad more hands-free maneuverability since they can’t hover over the kid all day like they did in those precious first-time parenting months.
The One Thing You Should Say to Young Parents
The last time I saw my grandma wan’t particularly different from any other day. I was anxious, trying to keep my kids from destroying her picturesque house. We crouched down on the floor by her bed, Some Boy playing with trinkets stocked just for him. Sidekick fussed over nap time.
Overnight Diapers and the Big Cloth Debate
I’ve long been a cloth diaper advocate. Those who read the blog regularly or know me in person are well aware that my detergent is "green," my baby wipes are handmade, my cleaning products are all natural and my diapers are made of cloth (with the exception of the few natural disposables I keep on hand for things like theme parks and other places where bulk is a serious problem). That’s just me. I’m kind of a hippie. But I’m also very realistic and practical and open to change when something isn’t working for me. And lately, cloth overnight diapers haven’t been working for me.
The Key to Three
Now that we have three kids, I’ve had a lot of friends asking what the trick is to juggling them all. How can tri-parents get out of the house without losing their minds? Or losing a child? How to get dinner on the table in a timely fashion? How to keep the preschooler from busting open daddy’s "safety-locked" drawer and trying to BURN THE HOUSE DOWN WITH A LIGHTER while you’re tying the toddler’s shoe?
Navigating Health Care with a Family On-the-Go
When you’re as active as our family, navigating health care can be a bit daunting. There’s been more than one occasion when we’ve been on the road and one of the kids has started hacking up their lungs or developed a weird skin thing or a mysterious pain.
The Tooth Fairy Forgot?
My kids are rapidly approaching the age of losing teeth, which totally freaks me out because EWWW. And also, the tooth fairy forgot to fetch my teeth on occasion when I was a kid. No hard feelings or anything (I assume she’s a busy gal) but I know she’ll probably forget at some point with my own kids. I’m not stoked about handling the inevitable meltdown.
The Weird World of Buying Breast Milk
With baby number four a little over three months from arriving, we’ve been fielding all sorts of questions about childbirth, newborns, gear and breastfeeding. So we’re sharing some insight from our last five years of child-rearing. Today’s topic? Buying breast milk.
5 Clever Ways to Get Kids Excited about Movies
Some Boy and I went to a movie event last week and this kid had so much fun! I’ll admit that we’ve struggled a bit with getting him involved and engaged in movies in the past. Our 3-year-old is all about the big screen whereas our 5-year-old dude would much rather be doing something hands-on and active, so I was excited to see him soaking it all in and eagerly asking when we can take our next family trip to the theater.
5 Ways to get Kids Excited about Saving Energy
Saving energy is crucial for people across the globe, but here in California it’s part of our everyday existence. The boys and I drive by former lakes on a daily basis that are now nothing but cracked floors, and I struggle to convey to them that they’re witnessing human impact.
The Importance of Why
Oh, the days of yore. When the world was so large and all things appeared wonderful. The future was bright and ever possible. Our hearts had the power to change the world. To move mountains and to cross oceans. Our minds, not so much. So we learned. We studied and we eventually found the answers to the universe.