Benefits of Babywearing

Welcome to the June 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Babywearing

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about babywearing. We hope you enjoy this month’s posts and consider joining us next month when we share about anger.

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When our first child was born, we broke out the sling. To say that extended relatives didn’t understand our choice to use a sling and forego carrying carseats, lugging strollers, and enjoying wearing our baby would be an understatement. We were told he would never walk. We were told he would be clingy. We were told so many things, but we knew that we had done our research. We knew we were following what felt right to us. We knew that our child was thriving. To help o

  • Babywearing results in less crying. When you are right there with your child, you are better able to read cues in the moment. This means that babies don’t have to resort to crying to try and communicate their needs. Their needs are met before they reach that point of desperation.
  • Babywearing leaves more time for learning. Crying is exhausting and really takes a lot out of babies. Babies who are worn tend to be in a calm, attentive state, perfect for learning. They spend less time recuperating and more time taking in the world around them. They also have a better view than the one they would have sitting in a stroller or other contraption. They are up at an adult’s vantage point, ready to interact with the people around them.
  • Babywearing helps babies regulate. Up until birth, a baby has not had to depend completely on their body’s own systems. Suddenly, their bodies are forced to contend on their own. When babies are worn in a sling or carrier, the adult’s body helps them to regulate their own. The baby will tune into the adult, regulating his/her own bodily systems, such as respiration.
  • Babywearing allows for easier bonding. A mother’s oxytocin levels are increased through physical contact with her baby. This leads to a more intimate bond, lessnes the incidences of postpartum depression, and aids in breastfeeding. Babywearing with other adults similarly aids in the bonding between the baby and that adult.
  • Babywearing leaves your hands free. Taking care of an infant, or toddler, takes up quite a bit of time, leaving you with less time to do necessary everyday things or find some time for yourself. By wearing your baby, you leave your hands free. Your baby is content, and you can get some things done.
  • Babywearing leads to more confident parents. Parenting is hard, and many parents question whether or not they are doing a good enough job. A content baby who is learning and cries less aids in making more confident parents, who in turn will be more likely to meet their child’s needs in a secure and gentle fashion.
  • Babywearing can be done virtually anywhere. You can wear your baby virtually anywhere you would otherwise take your baby. You don’t have to worry about pushing a stroller in rough conditions or lugging it around. There is no need to fit a bulky car seat in the cart when shopping (the AAP recommends that infants should not be in car seats unless they are in the car). Babywearing allows you to be just as mobile as you were before the baby was born.
  • Babywearing affords better sleep for baby. Many babies sleep better when in contact with a loving adult. Babywearing affords better sleep for baby.
  • Babywearing counts for tummy time. When a baby is worn, they learn to counter themselves against the gentle sway of the parent’s motions while receiving the amount of support they need for their current stage. This helps strengthen core muscles.
  • Babywearing gives babies control over themselves. Babywearing allows babies the opportunity to turn away from the world when they are overstimulated. This results in children who can chill out before reaching melt-down.
The next time someone gives you grief about babywearing, reply that this is what works for you, and then throw in a fact about babywearing. Eventually, as they see your secure happy child and you share various facts with them, they will most likely give up on trying to talk you out of it.

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APBC - Authentic Parenting

Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month’s Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, when we discuss anger!

 

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

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 28 with all the carnival links.)

Keeping it Simple at Home

Welcome to the June edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Around the House cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about what we do to keep the little things from overwhelming us. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.

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One of the things many people comment on when they come over is the fact that our home usually doesn’t seem cluttered. We are by no means minimalists, although I have a secretly harbored dream of being a minimalist. We have kids. I have a husband. We have a dog. And, frankly I would never be willing to give up my books. And as decluttered as we are, my home can get trashed just like any other. It seems like any time I get sick, I come out to find that a cyclone has hit the house. The good news is, that even as quickly as my home can become trashed, and it can happen in remarkable speed, we can just as quickly get everything back in order.  Here are a few quick tips on how we do this:

  • Have less stuff. Sure, it sounds simple enough, but this idea is overlooked a lot. The more stuff you have, the more stuff there is to put away, and the more stuff there is to clean. I don’t know about you, but while a may be a decluttering diva, I don’t particularly want to spend hours each day cleaning or even picking up. There are other ways I prefer to spend my time. So, clear out the excess stuff that you probably don’t even need. Better yet, don’t even bring it in the house at all. Keep your money, and your sanity, by keeping things simple.
  • Everything needs a place, and only one place, to have as its very own home. When items don’t have a home, they never go to their spot, and you spend your time moving them from place to place. That is a lot of work, and it just adds frustration. If the item is important enough that you use it, you need it, you love it, or it adds to your life in some way, it is important enough to have its very own location.You won’t waste your time playing musical locations and you will always know where the items goes. Even better, everyone in your household will know where the item goes, saving you the time you once spent answering the question, “Have you seen….?”
  • Clean as you go. This is an easy one to forget, especially when you are tired and busy. However, cleaning is so much easier if done right away. Just ask me about the time that I went ahead and stayed up late decorating a birthday cake but decided to clean up in the morning. Dried icing is not your friend. Besides, if you are cleaning a little bit all of the time, there is no build up and cleaning is easier.
  • Quick pick-ups. This is a must at our house. Five minutes can make the difference between chaos and calm. A quick pick up throughput the day is easier than letting everything pile up. With everyone pitching in, it may not even take the entire five minutes. Even on busy days, quick pick ups need to happen for us before bedtime. Our days start out so much better when we wake up to a clean house. It gives us a clean slate, and keeping everything going is much easier.
  • Be realistic. That artful display of carefully organized whatever supplies in neatly stacked containers may look nice when you first put it together, but is it really realistic? Are you going to take the time each time you need something to put everything back the way you had it? Is your family? Part of keeping things organized means being realistic in your expectations and making things easy. Keep it simple to keep it done.
  • Make things functional. The organized mail rack in the living room isn’t doing you much good if you bring mail in through the kitchen. It makes more sense to have the kids’ art supplies near where they actually work on art projects. Keep things you use often where you can easily get to them and save the more long term stored items in the out of the way places. Only keep out things you are using. If the kids tend to not play with play food when they are in a dollhouse mood, switch them out so that you only have the current item out.
What tips do you have for keeping a home simple?

 

photo credit: the bbp via photopin cc

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Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple ideas around their homes. We hope you will join us next month!

 

 

 

The Vaccine Debate: Making Informed Decisions

Let me preface this by saying I am not here to debate whether or not people should be vaccinating their children. I don’t need to know where your family stands on the issue. If you want to debate one another on the merits of vaccinating versus not vaccinating, feel free to take it somewhere else. I won’t even mention our family’s own position. No, what I want to address is the debate, aka fighting and name calling, that tends to go on whenever the subject of vaccines is brought up.

  • Do your research! Others are making money off of this industry from both sides. The American Academy of Pediatrics is a trade organization whose purpose is to protect the interests of pediatricians. Big pharma makes money off of the sale of vaccines. Even those books written by anti-vaccination advocates are profiting the authors. If you are gathering your information from someone, anyone, who stands to make some sort of profit, I beg you to reconsider. Even if you are gathering your information from someone who doesn’t stand to profit, you don’t know where they got their information. Do your own research. Before we had kids, and periodically since then to refresh, I dug through the medical literature. I wanted to know the truth and not rely on anyone else’s interpretation of the studies. I’ve been ripping apart journal articles and doing research for a very long time, so I have some experience extracting factual information from opinion and good research from poor research. Even if you don’t have that experience or capability, don’t just blindly follow someone else. Do your best to gather as much information as you can in order to make an informed choice.
  • Stating your profession does not make you a subject matter expert. You are a chemist? A biologist?  A nurse, a doctor (we’ll revisit that in a moment)? Great! Good for you! I hope you enjoy your profession. However, that does not make you an expert in any way shape or form about the matter of vaccines. Stating your profession, regardless of your stance, does not an expert make. Sure, you are attempting to establish yourself as the infallible expert, but that isn’t the case. My husband and I could point you to all manner of scientists on both sides of the debate. We could also point you to scientists who know how to read journal articles and determine their accuracy and plenty who have no flipping clue. We could even include ourselves. Don’t blindly follow someone.
  • Saying, “I’m a doctor,” is not evidence. Again, regardless of your stance, your profession does not make you a subject matter expert, and most doctors, just like most people, tend to believe what they are told and have not been digging into the actual studies. You can also find doctors on both sides of the debate, so stating that no doctor would ever recommend against your advice is untrue. Doctors can prove a very valuable service in our community when they work with us, but the bottom line is, you are responsible for your child. Whether I am pro-vaccine, anti-vaccine, or somewhere in the middle, if a doctor states that either there are no benefits to vaccines or that there are no negative aspects to vaccines, I am walking out the door with my children. Everything in life has positive and negative aspects. To ignore that fact is either blatant ignorance or purposeful manipulation. Patients, and the parents of patients, need accurate information in order to make informed choices. Withholding information does not allow for that. Repeating the phrase “I am a doctor,” or having your mother chime in with, “Thank you, Dr. So and So,” still doesn’t give you any more credence. Not being willing to listen to your patient shows a lack of caring and humanity.
  • Most of us want the best for our kids. Sure, I know people who don’t vaccinate without having fully researched the topic, just as I know plenty of people who do vaccinate without having fully researched the subject. For the most part, though, most parents are just trying to do what they think is best for their children. I would hope that regardless of their decision, they have spent some time researching to make the best informed choice they can. However, even if they haven’t and are blindly following someone else, chances are they are still trying to do what they believe is best for their kids, even if it doesn’t coincide with what you would choose. The whole name calling thing? It isn’t helpful. If you are trying to convince someone of your position, you have just lost them. If you believe in making informed choices, you have just shut down communication, and you have just fueled the debate – not the debate looking at hard evidence of positives and negatives of whichever side, but the one that fuels violence and mommy (and daddy) wars.
You don’t have to agree with someone to be respectful. You don’t have to agree with someone to understand that while you may be coming at a topic from different view points, you still are both trying to do what you, based on the information you each have, believe is best for your child. You don’t have to agree with someone else to act in what you believe is your child’s best medical interest.You don’t have to agree, but it would be nice if everyone would try to show some compassion and understanding for other parants.

photo credit: pikimota via photopin cc

Simply Living Blog Carnival June 2013 Call for Submissions: Around the House

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Around the House House work never seems to end. What tips and tricks have you figured out to help keep your home running smoothly? Help others simplify their homes and their lives.

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by June 11. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on June 18.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Review and Giveaway: Captain No Beard series, (total combined value of $90), Worldwide

This is a joint giveaway with Living Peacefully with Children 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.

Carole P. Roman is offering three of our readers their own copies of the Captain No Beard series (Captain No Beard, Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience, and Stuck In the Doldrums) a value of $30 x 3 (combined total ARV $90).
Reviewer received a free sample for review purposes and consideration was given to NPN for hosting the review/giveaway. Links may be affiliate links.

Stuck in the Doldrums is a full color picture book for children about the continuing adventures of a young pirate named Alexander, his cousin Hallie, and a menagerie of a crew. Follow their adventure and discover the important truth inherent to all parents and caregivers – with power comes responsibility. For more reading fun, check out the rest of the Captain No Beard seriees

From our reviewer, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children:

About the Book:

Natural Parents Network: Captain No Beard series giveaway

Stuck in the Doldrums, by Carole P. Roman, continues the tale of a young pirate’s life. Alexander, the pirate captain extraordinaire, and his cousin and first mate, Hallie, are joined by a menagerie of a crew: Mongo, the “mast-climbing monkey,” Linus, the “loud-mouthed lion,” and Fribbit, the “floppy frog.” Together they travel on their ship called the Flying Dragon, whose name was chosen for its fear-inducing qualities.

Without a wind to lift their sails, Captain No Beard and his crew find themselves marooned on a desert island, or as he says, “stuck in the doldrums.” The crew decides to make the best of the situation and sets about enjoying their day. Cloud watching, beach playing, and sand castle building top their list of activities. Seeing his crew enjoying themselves, Captain No Beard tries to steal some of the fun for himself with orders until he finds that no one wants to be around him.

Off to the ship by himself, he declares he will do everything himself. However, when a giant squid attacks the boat, he quickly realizes that he can’t go it alone and calls for help from his trusty crew. The crew is met with indecision, due to the earlier treatment received from their captain, but compassion prevails, as they vow to help first and talk to him later. With the help of the fearless crew, the Flying Dragon is saved, and Captain No Beard apologizes for his earlier actions.

Natural Parents Network: Children's book giveaway

The story has merit for parents and children alike, but I have to disagree with the title “Stuck in the Doldrums: A Lesson in Sharing.” The book isn’t about sharing at all. It is about perversion of power and how we use and abuse the power and trust given to us by others. It is a reminder that others, including children, deserve to have a voice and choice in their lives. As Captian No Beard learns, “Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you know everything. A good captain must always consider everyone’s feelings . . . .” With less of the playful pirate lingo found in the first of the series and with drawings which are less crisp, Stuck in the Doldrums still provides an easy segue into discussing an important issue between parents and children.

About the Author:

 

Carole P. Roman is former teacher and current businesswoman. Her favorite job is that of grandmother, and she loves to snuggle up in a chair, reading stories to her loved ones. Carole is proud to be able to go on daily adventures with her grandchildren, traveling all over through books and always being home in time for dinner. As the dedication in the book reads, her grandchildren have “reminded [her] how much fun it was to go from the bottom of the sea to the most distant star. All in one day!”

 

 

BUY IT!

You can purchase your own Stuck in the Doldrums, along with the other book sin the series at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Create Space. The books sell for approximately $10 each and shipping ranges by site. Carole has another children’s book in which yoga is incorporated into every day life: I Want to Do Yoga, Too Her newest book series, If You Were Me, focuses on helping children learn about other culture and understand the global connection we all have.To stay connected with updates, Like her page on Facebook.

 

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a copy of Captain No Beard from Carole P. Roman, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.

Three winners will receive copies of the Captain No Beard series of books. Contest is open WORLDWIDE.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Simply leave your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry form.

Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. When commenting for extra entries, please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.

This is a joint giveaway with Living Peacefully with Children and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!
BONUS ENTRIES:
See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For entries that require a blog comment, please include your email address with the comment so we can match up entries. If on Blogger, you can write it like this to foil spambots: mail {at} naturalparentsnetwork {dot} com
For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just tell us with your entry.
Tweets must be a minimum of 24 hours apart — you can return to update your Rafflecopter entry without losing any of your previous entries. Your Tweets must be unprotected (publicly viewable).
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Rafflecopter will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes, and a representative from NPN will send an email notification. Leave a valid email address as you enter so we can contact you if you win. If we can’t reach a winner, we’ll draw a new name at random.
The winner will have 48 hours to respond by email; otherwise, NPN will select another winner.

No purchase necessary. Entrants must be age 18 or older and be residents of the countries listed at the giveaway post. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winner(s) agree to hold Natural Parents Network and the giveaway hosts harmless for any problem with receipt and/or use of prize. Winner must contact the product seller or manufacturer directly if there is any problem with the prize or prize delivery. Winners are responsible for any taxes or customs fees related to prize winnings. NPN and the giveaway hosts reserve the right to publicize the winner’s first name. Void where prohibited by law.

Contest closes June 8 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

Disclosure: Reviewer received a free sample for review purposes,
and consideration was given to NPN for hosting the review/giveaway.
Links may be affiliate links. Amazon links are affiliate links.
We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful
to your life as a natural parent. If we don’t like a product, we won’t be
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Information About Our Reviewer:

photo

Mandy O’Brien is a WAHM to four fantastic unschooled children. You can read a bit about their lives at Living Peacefully with Children, where she writes about equality, learning, and life.

 

Photo Credits: Author (second picture) and Carole P. Roman.

What You Didn’t Know About Labial Adhesions in Baby Girls

A silent moment in black and white When our first child was born, I was an informed parent. There was no way I was letting any doctor (or anyone else) retract his perfect, intact penis. At birth, and for quite a while after (sometimes until puberty), the foreskin is adhered to the glans of the penis. This is a way for the body to protect itself, and the foreskin should not be forcably retracted. I knew that many doctors are still unaware about how to handle intact penises, and I was prepared to protect my child.

However, throughout my life and three children, I had not heard about labial adhesions. It was during my fourth pregnancy that I finally read about labial adhesions in baby girls. Just as the foreskin is adhered to the glans in little boys, there are times when the inner labia of baby girls adheres, blocking the opening to the vagina, either partially or completely. One would think that in a country where intact girls are the norm, doctors would know how to handle something like this. However, I began to read stories about doctors recommending gentle pressure against the adhesion, using Q-Tips, vaseline (petroleum) products, and even the use of estrogen creams on baby girls. Usually, as this generally reoccurs in girls who have labial adhesions which are forcably separated, the estrogen use became cyclical until puberty. I was appalled.

So, I dug further. I couldn’t believe that something that is apparently quite common in girls and seemed to correspond with a similar phenomenon in intact boys, did not serve some purpose. Surface reading will tell you that labial adhesions occur in relation to some type of irritation. Digging deeper in the medical journals, I discovered that, just as with boys, separating labial adhesions is not a recommended treatment. The use of estrogen cream is not recommended. Placing petroleum products on an infant’s genitals is not recommended. The general consensus of those who have conducted research on this subject is that labial adhesions in little girls are a naturally occurring phenomenon, generally in relation to some irritant as the body’s way to protect itself. Parents should keep an eye on it and gently wipe well at diaper changes, but otherwise it should be left alone unless there is a problem.

Relieved to know that my gut instinct was right, I happily went on with my pregnancy and later gave birth to our fourth child, our second daughter. Fast forward about 3-4 months, and I noticed a labial adhesion. Glad that I had read about these before her birth, I kept an eye on it and continued to do so as the labial adhesion increased in size. While I now knew labial adhesions were perfectly normal, I was a bit nervous about the fact that it continued to grow longer. I also couldn’t determine what the irritant might be. We used gentle products, avoided soaps, didn’t give her bubble baths, and changed her diaper immediately after she voided. So, I hit the research again.

That was when I came across some more research that linked labial adhesions with food allergies. Everything clicked into place. We were (and are) in the midst of dealing with allergies, including a lot of food allergies, in our family. Our youngest child had the most immediate and observable reactions to various foods. It made sense that her body was protecting itself. So, we continued to take a wait and see approach.

The adhesions continued, stopping when they reached a certain point, and stayed for a while. I continued keeping an eye on it during diaper changes. Then, one day as I was folding laundry and she was having some naked time (a joke to anyone who knows this child and how she can strip off all clothes and diaper in about 1/2 second), I glanced over to check on her and saw that she was doing some self-exploration and that the labial adhesion was gone. It had served as protection for as long as she needed it and gone away when it was no longer needed. We didn’t try to force it to open, causing trauma, and so the labial adhesion hasn’t returned.

Our bodies are wondrous. They generally know what to do, if we only listen. Informing ourselves of what is normal (or a variation of normal), and searching out responsible, knowledgeable medical care when there is a true need, allows us to make informed choices for our families.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended as medical advice. Neither the author, nor Natural Parents Network, are medical doctors and do not assume any responsibility for medical decisions made by parents. This article is written for educational purposes only. The author and Natural Parents Network actively encourage all parents to do their own research and make informed choices about their family’s medical care.

 

Previously posted at Natural Parents Network.

One Ingredient Wrinkle Minimizer

Wrinkles, while often associated with older age, are not caused by age alone, but by other influences which sometimes seem to go along with the natural course of aging.  There are many products on the market sold as wrinkle minimizers or defenders, usually containing a long list of ingredients, many of which are questionable for using,  and having questionable results.

You may already have a secret, all-natural, wrinkle minimizer in your kitchen: Virgin Coconut Oil!

Coconut oil is great for your skin.

  • Coconut oil helps hydrate the skin. drinking plenty of fluids will help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Putting coconut oil on your skin will help hydrate from the outside in.
  • Healthy oils. We’ve all heard the importance of eating plenty of healthy fats which contain Omega’s. Using coconut oil on your skin also helps add in those healthy fats, keeping the connective tissues soft and supple and defending against sagging and wrinkling.
  • Protection from the sun. Sun damage can aid in an increase of early wrinkles. New studies show that virgin coconut oil aids in sun protection, acting as a natural antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage and prevents premature aging and degenerative diseases. At the same time, your body will still be able to make Vitamin D from the sun while wearing coconut oil. While coconut oil on its own may not be enough sun protection for you on those days spent out in the full sun, using it on a regular basis will provide some protection against other times.

Just keep a small container of coconut oil in the bathroom and lightly massage into your sin at night (massaging also helps strengthen facial muscles). You can even use coconut oil as an all-natural make-up remover. Try it for a couple of weeks and see if you notice a difference.

Giveaway: One-Year Subscription to Crafting Connections: 3 Winners! $120 ARV {5.18; Worldwide}

This is a joint giveaway with Living Peacefully with Children 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.

Photo Credit: Living Peacefully with ChildrenCrafting Connections is offering three of our readers a one-year subscription to Crafting Connections Magazine. One reader will receive a one-year print subscription, and two readers will receive a one-year digital subscription.

Crafting Connections is a full-color magazine whose purpose is to help adults and children connect with  one another and create an authentic life using crafting mediums. With an emphasis on nature and creation, Crafting Connections hopes to help families connect with one another through authenticity and creativity.

 

From our reviewer, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children :

About Crafting Connections

Photo Credit: Crafting ConnectionsCrafting Connections Magazine launched in the autumn of 2012. The owners, Andrea and Danielle, have a strong desire “to create authentic, connected and creative lives for [themselves] and [their} children.” While there are many crafting magazines available for adults or for children, they recognized a need for something that would appeal to families as a whole. They wanted to help other families who were looking for ways to connect with their children while growing and learning with and through their own creativity.

 

Crafting Connections Magazine

Photo Credit: Crafting ConnectionsI was pleasantly surprised when I received a copy of Crafting Connections magazine. The full-size magazine is in vibrant color and printed on heavy paper. When the owners said they wanted a magazine for adults and children to enjoy together, they meant exactly that. The size, color, and strength of this magazine make it perfect for snuggling with little ones and leisurely looking through. The magazine can stand up to multiple children turning pages and still hold its own.

The content of the magazine is down to earth. You won’t find unrealistic projects that leave you wondering why something sounded so easy until you attempted it. There is no perfection in its simple ideas, and that is exactly where the true perfection lies. The magazine gives ideas for families but stresses that the finished projects are culminations of the people, lives, and creativity of the individuals who make them.

Photo Credit: Crafting ConnectionsThe actual projects focus a great deal on nature and reusing items that would otherwise be in your recycling or garbage bins or using natural items found in or around your home. There are no calls for expensive or hard-to-find items, and you can easily substitute items.

The magazine would appeal most to those families wanting to do nature- and/or craft-themed projects with their young children but who could use some simple ideas to do so. If you are a wealth of ideas when it comes to this type of thing, you may not find the magazine as beneficial. While many of the projects are things that my older children (my four children range from almost three years to ten years old) like to do, the magazine is targeted mainly for families with smaller children.

 

BUY IT!

You can purchase your own magazine subsription at CraftingConnections.net. One-year print subscriptions (4 issues) cost $60. One-year digital subscriptions (4 issues) cost $30. If you would like to try out an issue to see if you like the magazine, you can buy a single print issue for $15 or a single digital issue for $8.

 

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Crafting Connections, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.

One winner will receive a ONE-YEAR PRINT SUBSCRIPTION TO CRAFTING CONNECTIONS MAGAZINE. Two winners will receive a ONE-YEAR DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION TO CRAFTING CONNECTIONS MAGAZINE. Contest is open WORLDWIDE.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Crafting Connections and tell us one thing that has inspired you to get crafting with your little ones! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.

Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.

This is a joint giveaway with Living Peacefully with Children and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES:See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

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Simply Living Blog Carnival May 2013 Call for Submissions: Daily Lives

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Daily Lives Everyday life can be hectic. Talk to us about how you keep everyday things from overwhelming you. Are you an organizer or declutterer? Do you avoid shopping like the plague? Perhaps you treat yourself to picking up dinner for your family sometimes. What in your daily life helps keep things simple?

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by May 14. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on May 21.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Hitting Out of Fear

 Today is National Spank Out Day, I’m sad to say. In a society where we speak out against the hitting of women, against the hitting of racial minorities, against the hitting of animals, against the hitting and bullying of anyone, there are still a large number of people who think hitting children is perfectly acceptable or even necessary. It boggles my mind.

The thing is, parenting can be scary. We go through pregnancy with the child secure inside its mother’s womb, and then suddenly this little person is on the outside, completely dependent upon….us. Children depend on us for food, shelter, warmth, guidance, and love. It’s a lot to take on. The fact is that while some people who hit their kids really don’t care, most of the parents hitting their children actually love them and do so because they are afraid.

They are afraid….

  • that by not hitting their kids, society will deem them unfit parents.
  • that their children won’t respect them.
  • that their children will be hurt even worse.
  • of losing control.
  • of the pressures of life.
  • of not knowing what to do.
It’s a scary world out there, full of unknowns, but when it comes to parenting, you don’t have to be afraid! Your children come into this world knowing only you. You are everything to them. They look up to you. They love you. They just want to spend time with you and learn with and from you.
Forget about what other people might think. The only people who matter are your kids. Besides, haven’t you heard that you shouldn’t jump off a bridge just because your friends did?
You won’t gain respect by hitting someone. In fact, you will lose it. Hitting a person, especially a smaller person, in order to control them is called bullying.
Hurting your child will not protect them in the future. Helping them navigate life and giving them tools and techniques to deal with life’s situations will.
There are a lot of things in life you can’t control, and that includes other people. Accept it. Deal with it if you need to, and then help your children to learn to control themselves.
Life can be rough, but that idea that your kids are born loving you? Still there. Come home to your kids and remember that no matter how bad life gets, they love you.
If you don’t know what to do, don’t resort to violence. Learn a new way. Learn how to help your children navigate that allowing your hurt to rule your actions.
In the end, no matter why some parents hit, they still make that choice. With every day and every situation, you have the opportunity to choose not  to hit. Your children love you. Live up to that love. Be deserving of the respect they want to show you. Be deserving of the love they freely give.

 photo credit: dhammza via photopin cc