Day of the Dead: Sugar Skulls

These are sugar skulls that we made when we attended a Day of the Dead class. My children really enjoyed making these. Earlier this week, when we came across the exact same mold on clearance, they were thrilled, as we can make these at home again next year!

 

 

 

 

Attachment Parents Get Real: Melissa from the Happy Mommy Blog

Welcome to Attachment Parents Get Real! Today I am featuring Melissa of the Happy Mommy Blog. Attachment Parents Get Real is a series featuring real life attachment parents and caregivers  in an effort to help normalize attachment parenting, dispel myths, and help others identify with attachment parenting and gentle discipline. We would love to have you join us. If you are interested in being featured on Living Peacefully with Children as part of the Attachment Parents Get Real series, please read more about the initiative and fill out the form. 

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Melissa didn’t set out to be an attachment parent. In fact, until about 1 1/2 years ago, she didn’t even know that attachment parenting existed. When she began her parenting journey, she did so without the tenets of attachment parenting in mind. However, she did have  her own ideals. Melissa knew that she didn’t want to ever leave her children alone to cry it out or to hit them in any fashion.

The tools and techniques Melissa and her family uses have changed as they have grown on their journeys. They have moved from a more authoritarian style of parenting, which included  time outs or use parentally imposed consequences, to a more authoritative, gentle discipline style. As their children have grown, Melissa and her husband realized that if they were always imposing consequences, their children would not have experience dealing with situations on their own. Decisions would always be based on fear of consequences rather than genuine decisions based on what the child believed was the correct thing to do. They realized that childhood was an opportunity – one of learning with loving parents.

Attachment parenting became even more important to Melissa when her second child, and then her third, were diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, sometimes referred to as Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Their family has found help with therapists and a special sensory diet, but it has been their parenting decisions that have made the most difference. All of the family benefits from their attachment parenting choices. Melissa, herself, feels calmer now than when she utilized punishments and rewards. She has given herself permission to take a moment to gather her thoughts and feelings when faced with parenting challenges. Doing so allows her to act in the manner which will be of the most help rather than reacting to the situation. Her children have learned that whatever is happening, their mother will be there for them to help them. She is their ally rather than their adversary.

Family life has changes in other ways, based on the needs of the family. Melissa became a SAHM a couple of years ago in order to start homeschooling their children and help her children with special needs. Prior to that time, she worked outside the home after receiving her master’s degree. They have practiced safe bed sharing for as long as each child desired, which also helped when her son was having issues breathing at night. Extended nursing has helped all of her children to calm down after active days spent playing and learning or with the hyperactivity sometimes associated with Sensory Processing Disorder. Through it all, Melissa and her husband stay connected with their children through both family and individual time together.

Melissa is the author of the Happy Mommy Blog, where she shares her trials and tribulations in her journey toward peaceful parenting. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page. She is a human rights activists and is taking life one day at a time, working together with her family. She considers herself a “work in progress.” She isn’t perfect, but her children are proof that attachment parenting works. Melissa encourages parents to find others who are supportive and tries to support other parents in any way she can. Attachment parenting, just like any type of parenting, isn’t always easy, but the effort, just like our children, is worth it.

 

Looking for more information on SPD? Check out some of these posts and resources:

Dragons, Dragons

Eric Carle's Dragons, Dragons

Eric Carle’s Dragons, Dragons is a wonderful collection of mythical creatures with poems from a myriad of authors, appealing to children (and adults) of all ages. Carle’s signature artwork perfectly compliments the beautiful prose, bringing these imaginative words to life and inspiring creativity in both writing and art.

Since the November theme for Families Create was rhyme and verse, I thought this favorite book was perfect. After reading it with my children, they were all inspired to spend several hours drawing their own dragons and mythical creatures, including the following one:

 

Driveway Painting

When we were pendulum painting, some of the paint went off of the paper onto the driveway. After looking at it for a few days, I decided there was really only one thing taht made any sense – paint the driveway! My kids loved the suggestion, and we set to work watering down some more tempera paint (washable so it isn’t permanent). It was nice, messy fun and watching the different techniques was a blast. My one year old decided that her belly button was feeling left out and promptly remedied that. After cleaning up our painting supplies outside, the kids piled into the bathtub to get cleaned up, giving me some downtime as I sat there supervising and knitting some of their holiday gifts.

Pendulum Painting

Lovely weather at the end of Septmeber had us spending a lot of time outside. We decided to improvise with a couple of saw horses, an extra board, some string, a water bottle out of the recycling bin, and watered down tempera paint. Walla! Pendulum painting!

Families Create! October Call for Submissions

Photo by Emily

Please join us for a monthly blog carnival focusing on families and creativity. Families, Create! is a blog carnival with a purpose: we want your family to get creative and have fun! Read below for details on the October carnival, and check out the main carnival page for upcoming themes in 2011. (Check out January, February, March, April, June and July if you missed them.) Your co-hosts are Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children. Here are the submission details for October 2011:

Theme: Phizzwizzers: We all have a little phizzwizard in our lives. It’s the odd and out of the ordinary, the dreams we aspire to, standing up when others don’t, the individuality that makes as unique. Share your uniqueness with us with your phizzwizzing creations!

Looking for some phizwizzing inspiration? Check some of these books out:

If you do use a book for inspiration, please mention it in your post so that we can read it too!

What will your post consist of? Each month we will have a theme, things like “Heroes and Heroines,” “Fantasy,” and “Weird and Wonderful.” You will craft a post (or 2 or 3) around one of those themes. You are only limited by your imagination! You can create a handmade craft that embodies the qualities of the post (publish pictures and/or a tutorial!). You can write a story using the theme as inspiration. Your family can act out a story (we will have a handy list of on-topic books for you each month that you can use or ignore, as you desire). All we ask is that 1) you and your family create something that goes along with the theme; and 2) you post about it sometime during the month.

Deadline: Monday, October 31. Your post(s) must be published on or before Monday, October 31. Fill out the webform (at the link) for each post you publish for inclusion in September’s carnival. (If you publish three different posts for the carnival, you will fill out the webform three different times, each will include different carnival URLs and titles.)

Link-up date: Friday, November 4. After we have compiled all of your links, we will send you an email with an html blurb to paste into your (previously published) submission(s) that will include all carnival links. Please edit your posts to include the links no later than Friday, November 4. You’ll get lots of link love for your site and post(s), and you can check out all of the other creative ideas generated by this month’s theme! Please also help us spread the word about the carnival on your Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Please submit your details into our webform: This will help us as we compile the links list. Please enter your information on the form: Families, Create! October’s Make & Play Carnival

Please do: Write well. Write on topic. Write a brand new post for the carnival. Post great pictures and/or video. Please feel free to be creative within the gentle confines of the carnival theme. If your family is feeling so inspired, you could write a poem or children’s story, put on a one act play, craft a photo essay, or create a handmade craft tutorial instead of a regular blog post (though those are welcomed, too!), as long as what you write is respectful of the carnival’s intent. If you want help determining that ahead of time, please talk with us.

Please don’t: Please don’t use profanity of the sort that might be offensive to more sensitive readers or their children. Please don’t submit irrelevant posts or posts that are purely marketing for products you sell.

Editors’ rights: We reserve the right to edit your piece or suggest edits to you. We reserve the right to courteously reject any submissions that are inappropriate for the carnival. Please also note that since there are two co-hosts on different schedules and conferring over email, our personal response to your submission might seem delayed. Don’t be alarmed. We also reserve the right to impose consequences if the responsibilities of the carnival are not fulfilled by the participants.

If you don’t have a blog: Contact us (CodeNameMama {at} gmail.com and LivingPeacefullyWithChildren {at} gmail.com) about potentially finding you a host blog to guest post. Please write your piece well in advance of the deadline in that case, so we can match you up with someone suitable. But if you really have something amazing to write — why not start your own blog? If you want advice, we find Scribbit’s free Blogging in Pink ebook to be a very helpful and down-to-earth guide, for beginners on up. If you have questions: Please leave a comment or contact us: Dionna {at} CodeNameMama {dot} com and LivingPeacefullyWithChildren {at} gmail.com Stay in touch:

Our Family Creates! from Code Name: Mama and Living Naturally With ChildrenShow off: If you are a participant or supporter and want our button to put in your sidebar, grab this code and proclaim to the blogosphere that your family creates! Grab the Code:

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Seed Bombs

Tsuchi dango (Earth dumplings) were invented in the 1950s by a Japanese farmer named Masanobu Fukuoka as a way to store seeds for next season’s crops. These seed balls could be planted without tilling and resulted in stronger plants, as the seeds were protected by the balls during germination. Today seed bombs are used to regenerate land after natural disasters and by geurilla gardners to add plant life to urban areas.

We made seed bombs with some of our friends this summer. It was simple and messy and fun. I purchased a big bag of region appropriate seeds. Then we pulled out a bunch of shredded paper. Plastic containers were perfect for the kids to mix the seeds, paper, and water and then shake until they were all mixed. They formed the balls with their hands and carried them home in repurposed egg cartons.