Family Nature Club Reflection 4.0

We're now two months into our family nature club, so I thought it would be a good time to introduce some routines, traditions, and activities. I want to keep our outings relaxing and mostly unstructured, but I also want to support traditions and routines the kids can become familiar and comfortable with. After reading the Coyote's Guide, one way I choose to do this was by creating our own group version of a sit spot.

The idea behind a sit spot is that its a place you visit frequently; a space you can really get to know and build attachment with. One of my favorite things about a sit spot is if you consistently visit over a long enough period of time, you can observe the subtle changes that happen through the seasons and over the years. 

I decided that I would try out this practice with our group by choosing one place we visit monthly throughout the year. My sit spot choice was the regional park because when we have met here in the past its a popular outing. Also, its somewhere most people in our community know about. Plus, it's along the river which means its great for seasonal change.

Visiting once a month might not be develop a sit spot to its full potential but in a casual group with limited consistency, its a good start. Hopefully it will provide an opportunity to introduce the sit spot idea and encourage families and the children to find their very own sit spot that they can visit alone more often.

 
 
Last week was the Graco event to promote the new Little Lounger, hosted by Chelsea at Some Day I’ll Learn. I joined a group of local mommy bloggers to get together, talk about this new product, and listen to our stylist talk about some great fashion tips for those extra fifteen minutes the Little Lounger will give you. But what is a mommy with a toddler that wears black yoga pants every day doing here? My toddler might not fit the Little Lounger and I might not be the biggest fashionista in town, but I had a great time. Here’s why.

You would have a hard time convincing me that I “need” to spend more than 10 minutes getting ready each morning. But I do enjoy spending time for myself occasionally and feeling good about myself, even if my style isn’t exactly fashionable. I loved our stylist, Sandra at Mariposa personal styling mostly because she started out with tips for “lounge wear” or “work-out chic.” PERFECT! Personally, I own three pairs of pants (all the same: black yoga pant) and some pair of leggings. Okay, I own more than that, but they either have not fit since pre-pregnancy or I just don’t like them. 
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Now about that Little Lounger. I love baby-wearing and attachment parenting, but some times new-mommy needs to take a bathroom break, drink that coffee at a safe distance, or tackle that ever growing to do list. When you need just fifteen minutes, the Little Lounger is a go-to product.

What I love about this: easily folds, comfortable and safe place for baby, and the Rock Locks™. When my baby was a little baby, we had a swing, which sat idle because I didn’t want to leave my baby in the room alone and what use is the swing if you have to sit next to it in the room and do nothing. The Little Lounger can easily fold and move around the house so baby is never out of reach. Second, the Little Lounger is an elevated space for baby to lay. I used to move our little co-sleeper bassinet around the house, but it wasn’t elevated and two dogs meant it couldn’t just sit on the floor either. Last, the Little Lounger is has this feature called Rock Lock, so that it can be rocked back and forth or locked into place when needed.

Here’s a picture that captures my daughters thoughts on the Little Lounger (photo by: Shannon at The Mommy-files).


 
 
Welcome to the November 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Feeding Your Family

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared recipes, stories, and advice about food and eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Obese. I never thought I would hear the word used to describe my body. When I heard that word the truth is that I felt emotions I have been feeling my entire life: defeated, disappointed, and ashamed. To have that word placed into my medical record was the undeniable confirmation that my body and my health have slipped beyond my control. I knew that something had to change. So I want to share a little about my story and how it has changed the way I think about food, body image, and health as a parent.I was ten years old when I first became conscious of my body-image. Since then I’ve been on a journey filled with ups and downs, emotionally and physically. Then, I experience pregnancy and all the beautiful, but terrifying changes of my body..But, in the year since my daughter was born, I gained more weight than during my entire pregnancy and I gained over 40 lbs during pregnancy. I got caught up in the joys and responsibilities of being a mom and the neglect of myself finally caught up with me.

So I decided its time that I change my path a little bit. The best thing I can do for myself and my family is make meaningful, slow, and practical lifestyle change; ones that are not only good for myself, but for my daughter.

Decide that My Health is Important

I love that being a mom means that I have to think about someone more than myself. But I still do need to think about myself sometimes. My health is important so that I can be there for my daughter at my full potential.

Make My Health a Priority

Some times that change in perspective is enough and the changes just happen, but I realized that I need to put more time, thought, and effort into it. As a full-time mom and student, I don’t always feel like I have the time to do anything additional like exercise or plan healthier meals. If it means I need to stay up an hour later at night searching Pinterest for meal ideas (for someone with limited cooking skills) or doing sit ups on the floor, then that’s what it takes.

Worry More About Nutrition than Calories

As a teenager, I became obsessed with my weight. The irony was that I watched everything I ate, but I wasn’t exactly health-conscious. All I cared about was the number of calories, not weather the food was healthy. As a parent of an often picky eater, sometimes I worry too much about getting her to eat, that I’ll give her something that I know will get her to eat a little. This doesn’t always lead to a balanced diet.

I Am the Role Model

My dream for my daughter is that she won’t face the struggles I’ve experienced. I hope that I can share with her a love of good, healthy food, self-confidence, and how to live a healthy, active life style. But that means teaching and changing myself first. Every time I drink my soda, I see her watching me. For now, she doesn’t know the difference as a pass her a water, but someday my actions won’t be so easy to hide. Better to make the changes now while she is young.

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Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon November 12 with all the carnival links.)


  • Nut Free Desserts for the Holidays — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama will be talking about navigating the holidays with peanut allergies in the family.
  • Making Peace with My Picky Eater — Once upon a time, there was a boy who would try anything. And then he turned 3. Thus began the dinner chronicles at Dionna at Code Name: Mama's house.
  • Foodie Morphed by Motherhood — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis reflects on the changes of her family’s food culture since becoming a mother, and shares a snapshot of their current food rhythm.
  • Introducing First Foods — Wondering what your little one should take a bite of first? That Mama Gretchen explains baby-led weaning/baby self-feeding and answers a number of questions that may come to mind!
  • Feeding Your Family — Coconut Oil!!! — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama is a coconut oil devotee. In this post, she shares her favorite ways to include coconut oil in her family’s diet as well as why she feels it is important to do so.
  • We Thank the Earth for its Food! — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle spends hours in the kitchen each day trying to make medicine in the form of food.
  • Focusing on Healthy, Gluten-Free Foods for My Family — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares what her family is doing to eat healthily along with her recipe for gluten-free peanut butter oat bran muffins.
  • Intolerance — sustainablemum laments the misunderstanding surrounding food intolerances.
  • Don’t Let Food Sensitivities Ruin Your Holidays! — Rachel, the Titus 2 Homemaker, talks about ways to enjoy the holidays even if you wrestle with food sensitivities.
  • Losing grains, keeping empathy: Paleo and fat acceptance — Lauren at Hobo Mama vlogs about her family’s decision to cut grains to improve health — and hopes she can retain her position as a proponent of size acceptance even as she loses weight.
  • Easy Homemade Crockpot Mac & Cheese — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work, shakes off the blue-box blues with an easy crockpot mac-and-cheese recipe with no artificial dyes or excessive preservatives … just creamy, delicious, comfort-food goodness.
  • Extended Family Dinners — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about sharing family dinners with housemates and why it works for her.
  • Five Suggestions for Eating Healthy During the Holidays — No need to feel powerless when it comes to our highly sugared/processed food culture during the holidays &emdash; Andrea at It Takes Time offers tips to stay on track.
  • How to feed your family — no food required! — Jessica at JessicaCary.com is kind of obsessed with food. But, lately she’s realized there’s more to nourishment than what she cooks up in the kitchen.
  • Food as family medicine: living gluten-free and beyond — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama sticks to her gluten-free guns but sees room for improvement in her pursuit of a real-food family table.
  • Feeding My Family — Challenges and Growth — Susan at Together Walking shares what has been most challenging about feeding her two kids and how she has grown in the kitchen since becoming a mother.
  • How I Lost 75 Lbs — What I Eat & My Top 5 Tips — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares how she and her family became healthy, happy and active.
  • The Weight of Motherhood — Revolution Momma at Raising a Revolution rethinks her relationship with food after struggling with post-pregnancy weight gain.
  • Geek Food: Pumpkin Pasties — While Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and family might have food sensitivities, their geekery knows no limits. So, when faced with a desire to recreate Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter, they do not shy away!
  • Pumpkin Harvest Muffins — This summer Mama is Inspired and family grew pumpkins, and this autumn they are baking scrumptious, healthy muffins out of those pumpkins.
  • Reintroducing Meat to the Vegetarian Tummy — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares some of the considerations she explored before transitioning from a vegetarian diet to reintroducing meat as a protein source and a few tips on making it an easy one.
  • Thanksgiving Meal, Thankful? — Jorje of Momma Jorje has never felt terribly thankful for Thanksgiving itself. Perhaps that could change if she’s a little more invested?
  • 5 Ways to Use Healing Bone Broth — It’s that time of year again, when unpleasant little bugs make their way into our homes. For Megan of Boho Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, homemade stock or bone broth is a natural remedy.