5.31.2012

busy days, baby nights

The days have been flying by this week. I don't know why work has been so much busier this week, but I've had so much to do... not a bad thing at all since I've been very productive, which makes me feel good, and makes the days fly.

Yesterday was a busy evening as well. Dinner and Gwen's bedtime like usual, but then I took off as soon as I was sure she was down. Our friend Kerry just had a beautiful baby girl, whom they got off to a bit of a rough start with since she was tongue-tied and breastfeeding has been a bit difficult, so I was heading over to offer an extra pair of hands and help however I could.


The baby snuggling was a lovely bonus.


Ro is helping out a few days too, another friend Alex is going as well, and even Trav is going to stop by to give her a hand on Tuesday. I'll go back next Wednesday again.

Holding a newborn is always a nice treat. It's so easy to forget just how tiny they are when you haven't seen one in a bit. I thought the seven week old from Monday's BBQ was small, but Dana was even smaller! Even their little, squawk-like cries. Tiny and sweet.


Otherwise, life continues. Ate a strawberry from our garden this morning, and it was so amazingly sweet and lovely. Had some extra time, so I made a poached egg for the first time as well. Little pleasures are the best.

That's all I have for now, but check out my guest post over on The Path Less Taken. I was thrilled to have a chance to offer something up for her. Let me know what you think. 

5.29.2012

grateful

There are a lot of things I'm grateful for, and though I have down times and frustrations, I'm always so lucky to have weekends like this past one to remind me how full and wonderful my life really is. So, in no particular order, here are some odds and ends that made me smile or reminded me how blessed I am over the past three days.

- First, this weekend, of course, wasn't just any 3-day weekend... it was Memorial Day, a time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. That right there is enough to make me feel blessed and lucky; that those I know who have served have come home, and that there are those who do choose to fight to keep me free. The Pioneer Woman re-posted some beautiful pictures that people took to represent Coming Home. Check them out. They are beautiful, though some are sad.

- Watching Gwennie eat the first strawberry from our garden!


There is just something amazing about eating something you grew yourself!

- Putting in our A/C units... gravy its hot outside already! But we have so so much to look forward to this summer (mommy & tot swim class, Cape Cod, a father's day baseball game, my 30th birthday, camping, etc), so I'm excited that its all almost here.

- New babies. A friend just gave birth to her first daughter this past Friday (who I will hopefully be snuggling Wednesday night), and another friend will be having her second child next week. New life is the ultimate blessing. Also, the snugly little 7 week old that I got to hold for almost an hour yesterday (a friend of our friend's who had a Memorial Day BBQ). Holding tiny ones like that remind me of how big my girl is.

- For my whole family, they may be a little crazy sometimes, but they are amazing. And I am lucky.



How was your long weekend?

5.25.2012

growing my hairs

So, Trav asked me a while ago if I intended to keep my hair short forever, or if I was going to grow it out again. Of course I was going to grow it out again, I can't keep the same hair length for more then a few years before I get the itch to chop it or grow it as the case my be. He told me he loves my hair no matter what, and he thinks I look cute this way, but he missed my long hair. At the time I told him I would start growing it out this past November (about a year after I first got it chopped), but once November came I realized I was still enjoying my short hair too much to chop it! Growing it out can be a pain, so I wasn't going to do before I really really wanted to or I would have gotten impatient and chopped it again. So a few months ago, I was realized I was ready when I found myself really missing being able to pull my hair back into a ponytail!

So I got it cut one last time in Feb: 


Then I started letting it grow. I'm still going back in every 2 months or so to get it shaped a bit, so its not shaggy looking, but otherwise we're just letting it go.



Its still very short, but its getting long enough that its not exactly a pixie anymore and I'm having to figure out ways to style it so it doesn't just look... poofy.




We'll see how this goes in the next few months, and how many awkward stages I hit!

Ladies with short hair... Any styling tips?

5.24.2012

unsaid words

Feeling a bit overextended lately. Busy at work, busy with personal stuff (odds and ends: dentist appt, exchanging a dress, figuring out what Lehigh games we can go to this year, etc.), and whipping up a few guest posts (fun!!). It's a lot at once and I am so looking forward to the 3-day weekend to just take a big, deep breath. So for today, just a quote that I found and love, since I too have found there are important things that I can never find the words to say:

"The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them--words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more that that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear." - Stephen King



What words have you left unsaid lately?

5.22.2012

you have questions, I have answers!


I thought I would answer two questions left for me the other day. I really like them both, so I wanted to answer them in a post for all to see vs. in the comments.

crunchyfarmbaby has left a new comment on your post "questions?":
I'd love to know what you're reading! :) I <3 books!

CrunchyMama, I <3 books too!!  :-)  I just got done reading the most recent book in a series I love so much. It's called Pirate King, and its about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. Love them all, and I highly recommend them to anyone. Start with The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I've also been reading a Dorothy Sayers book, but am having trouble getting into it (though I loved The Nine Tailors). Before that was The Monkey Wrench Gang, and next will probably be the next in the Ender's Game series (I'm currently up to Ender's Shadow). I also reread Harry Potter almost every year (nerd alert), and am wanting to start Lord of the Rings, which I haven't read since I was a kid.

What are you reading?


Heather has left a new comment on your post "questions?":
Write about giving birth. Unless I totally missed it in a previous post, I want to know the details of your experience with a midwife and having Gwen outside of a hospital, your emotions, the pain, what you did expect, what you didn't expect, your advice to women who want to have their child this way, etc. :o)

Babs, you deleted this question (presumably when you saw my birth post), but I wanted to answer it anyway! Not rehash the detailed bits like in that post, but briefly answer your other questions.

So in order, very quickly (ask for explanation or expansion on any of these): the midwives I worked with were amazing, and if not for them and Travis, I don't think I would have had the faith in myself in the throes of labor to keep on with the unmedicated labor I desired, they were amazing! Emotionally, you are all over the place. I was nervous, excited, but mostly just focused on coping. The pain isn't like anything you've ever experienced before, but you can almost fall into a rhythm with it, and that helps you get through it. There is a huge mental component to it as well, just needing to go in with the idea that your body is made to do this and that you CAN do it, because if you go in thinking you can't, then you can't. Afterward my key emotions were the elation at meeting my daughter, and a rush of empowerment and pride at what my body was capable of. And tired... I was really really tired! LOL. Expectations: I wasn't sure what to expect exactly, so there wasn't so much that did or didn't surprise me. The only thing for sure that I wasn't expecting was that the pain would last past the end of my contractions, which happened since Gwen was in a position pushing on a nerve and I would have to shift a bit after the contraction ended to shift her position.

As for advice... know what you want and own it, make sure you have a support system (partner, midwife/doctor, friend, doula, parent, etc) that knows what you want and will support it, and then be prepare for anything and everything to change! You have to know what you want, and believe in yourself and your body to do it. But you have to know that labor is unpredictable, and the baby is the one who decides when its going to happen, and how quickly. Talk to your main support people beforehand and tell them what you want to hear (for me, "you are strong, you're doing great, your body is doing what its supposed to."), what you want them to do (rub my back, offer me sips of liquid), and what you don't want. Bring the things that relax you, be it certain music (I played Enya!), certain smells (a room spray, natural oil defusers, etc), a certain t-shirt or blanket or stuffed animal, etc. Be proactive in creating an environment in which you can deal with the pain.

Any other unmedicated birth mamas want to add their advice for someone seeking the same?

5.21.2012

what normally happens

So what normally happens is this... by 10am I realize that i have approximately 20 different windows open on my computer. Work email, personal email, documents I'm working on, browser windows with things typed in the search engine to remind me I wanted to look up that one thing, etc. I don't want to forget, so I just open them all in the morning, then I work my way through. On less busy days I get through them quicker, get to blogger faster, get a good post up (or better yet, make the final edits on a post I mostly finished the night before). On busier days (weeks...) I end up with multiple windows still open at 3, lots of work things left to do, and you end up with a paragraph like the one above!

Happy Monday all, hope your day flies! (And just to make this not so empty... two pictures:)

Driving through the grocery store.

Loving her first corn on the cob.

5.20.2012

the best laid plans, and seeing what grows


So the weekend didn't end up looking exactly as I had expected... but c'est la vie! My mom, our babysitter, got sick. So no quiet dinner for two. But we did pick up awesome sandwiches and have a loud dinner for three at home.  ;-)  We didn't make it out Saturday to pick up Trav's new shoes (his b-day present), but we did head out to a local putt-putt place to play some arcade games. And we got his shoes today. It may not have gone as planned... but it was still a lovely weekend.

Especially since we did this too:

Dog included for scale...

That would be our new (slightly-)raised veggie bed.

Trav built the frame during the week, put down a layer of compost then filled it with soil on Friday, and Saturday we planned our little plants. Gwen helped break up the dirt and spread it around. She was excited to help. Maybe she'll even try some of the stuff we grow, since she helped!

Speaking of which, want to guess what we're growing?









From the top that would be: bell peppers, rosemary, spearmint, apple mint, and peppermint, sweet peppers, strawberries, and cucumbers!  :-)  Not pictured: the jalapenos! Trav loves his peppers, I love my mint. LOL.

How was your weekend? 

5.18.2012

anticipation

Trav, Gwen, and I have our campsite reserved (at Rickett's Glen State Park) for the Friday - Sunday at the end of August/beginning of September. My brother, Trav, and I are officially registered for The Color Run in DC come the following weekend (my cousin soon too, hopefully!). Its going to be a full, busy fall... and honestly, I couldn't be more excited.

I can't wait to sleep outside, to hike, to leave my phone in the car and be out of touch for a little bit! I can't wait for Gwen to sleep in a tent for the first time, and see waterfalls. I can't wait to be goofy with my brother and get colorful! There is so much to look forward to.

My level of excitement and anticipation is sky high!

Bringing it back to this month, Trav's birthday is Tuesday, so my mom should be coming over tomorrow to watch Gwen so we can have a dinner out together! We haven't done that in months, yet one more reason to be excited.

Happy Friday all. What are you excited for?

5.17.2012

greening my cleaning with ecover {review and giveaway}

I'm always looking for ways to "green my routine" a little bit, and especially when it comes to cleaning. I hate all the strong chemicals that most cleaners have. So when I was given a chance to review a green product by Ecover, I jumped at the chance! From the moment it arrived, I knew Ecover was different from other companies... just check it out:

The recycled their old papers by shredding them into filler for their packages!

I was given their natural laundry liquid to try out. Since Gwen's arrival, we've been using one of the big name free and clear detergents. I liked that it didn't have dyes or perfumes, but still didn't love all the chemicals involved (especially since Gwen's skin can be a little sensitive). Ecover's Laundry Liquid does have a smell, but its light, pleasant smell that comes from plant based materials. Plus, once washed the smell didn't linger, our clothes just smelled... clean! And its made to be safe for sensitive skin.

As for how it works, well I gave it a good workout... a full washer, complete with my grimy jeans from working outside, and the towels we used to wash and dry Daisy. It passed with flying colors! Everything came out looking great. Plus, it is extra concentrated, so you need only a small amount to do a large load.

Something else to love, their new 100% PlantPlastic Bottles. A little bit about PlantPlastic from their brochure:

Like you, we recognize that plastic packaging is a major problem - not only does it clutter up your home, the plastic is made from crude oil. It’s an increasingly scarce resource and we all know the problems associated with oil spills and the pollution it brings…. So for three years now we’ve been working to find a new, alternative packaging solution that starts to address some of these issues. We’re very proud of the results. By harnessing the power of nature and applying a little clever science, we’ve implemented an innovative new PolyEthylene (PE) - a green plastic we call PlantPlastic that’s 100% renewable, reusable and recyclable - and made from sugarcane! We’re so pleased with it that we’re making our bottles 100% PlantPlastic. It’s also good to see that some other well-known brands are now thinking of following our lead – even if they initially only intend using up to 30% renewable plastic. Manufacturing our new PlantPlastic is unbelievably simple. Sugarcane is harvested to produce sugar, which is then fermented and distilled to produce ethanol. This ethanol is dehydrated to create ethylene, which is polymerized into PlantPlastic. That’s really all there is to it. PlantPlastic is impressive in so many other ways. Because the sugarcane is grown and harvested in harmony with its natural environment, the nearby Amazonian rainforests remain unaffected. The entire production process is so efficient that we need only harvest 15 hectares of land to make a year’s worth of Ecover packaging. Taking a look at the packaging your favorite products come in is another step toward your more sustainable lifestyle. With the new Ecover PlantPlastic bottles, we make it easy to choose; 100% PlantPlastic bottles made from sugarcane mean you cut down on your carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels, simply by choosing our bottle! It’s one more way Ecover makes it easy to Feel Good Cleaning.

I definitely look to cut out plastic use whenever possible, so this is a big bonus for me.


Learn more about Ecover by checking out their website http://www.ecover.com or following them on twitter (EcoverUS) and facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EcoverUS

BUY IT: Ecover products are widely distributed, and you can look for a retailer near you by using their store locator: www.findecover.com. You can also check out their online shop (free shipping on orders over $40,  and since they are an online shop host for many other brands, it’s easy to reach the $40 minimum): www.ecover.alice.com.

WIN IT: Ecover is offering one lucky winner a bottle of Liquid Laundry, just like I received! Check out the rafflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5.16.2012

27 months



Dear Gwenivere,
I stood by your crib and rubbed your back the other day, while you fell asleep. Most of the time I just put you down and say good night and leave the room, but that night you asked me to "wub my back, mommy?" and how could I say no to that? I rubbed your back and looked at how long you were in your crib, picturing so vividly how tiny you used to seem in there. You aren't tiny anymore. You're still a lean girl, but you are a GIRL, so big and doing so much.

You are a little parrot now too. You already say so much, but you are learning new turns of phrase by repeating things that we say. For good or bad. (I'm pretty sure I heard you say Damn the other day!) And you are getting pretty smart too. You love making connection... like the night I told you that I couldn't rub your back anymore because my arm was tired, and you nicely suggested I use the other arm! Or the one time you didn't want me to put my glasses back on after we nursed before bed, and I told you I needed them to see you better; now most nights you give me a big grin and say, "to see me better" as I put them on. Yes baby, to see you better.



You are colorful and fun and expressive. You pick your own clothes, chatter on about every little thing, and have very definite opinions. I only see your amazing personality growing from here on out, too.

Last month we went out to lunch at a diner on the way home from an errand. You had the best time sitting in the booth with us, and loved looking around at all the people. Best part though... just before our food came, you looked over at the door just as a grandmother came in with her two grandsons. One was probably about 3, the other maybe 1.5, and you were so excited that you yelled out, "Hi Babies!!!" loud enough for the whole dining area to hear. Everyone got a good chuckle out of that.

Baby, you are friendly and loving. Your kisses and hugs melt me every time. On weekend mornings I eat up every last second of morning snuggle time, and sometimes you even ask me to turn over so you can rub my back! (And who am I to say no?! LOL.) You make friends where ever you go (in fact, after just one "playdate" neighbor Joe's granddaughter Ava called you her best friend), and though you can be a little shy sometimes, once you warm up to someone, you have nothing but smiles for them. I'm so lucky to have you around to make all my days brighter.

Love you times a million Gwenie,
Mommy



5.15.2012

questions?

Jury duty was, well, jury duty. I got a lot of reading done. I didn't get chosen (phew!).
Work is work. Have a lot to do, with one less day to do it in, and a little frustrated that my "day out" yesterday means no work from home day this week. I can't really complain, but its still a tad frustrating.

I have a few posts already lined up in the queue (one for tomorrow and Thursday already scheduled!), but not inspiration to really write today. So I'll put this out to you... anyone have any questions for me? A topic you want to hear me poetic waxing on? Or topics you want to see someone (in general) write about? Let me know!

5.13.2012

mother's day weekend

What a gorgeous weekend we ended up having. It was a great combination of at-home relaxation and out and about fun.

Saturday we headed up to my parents for my hair appointment, and to deliver a birthday gift to my Dad, as well as to take my Mom out to buy some flowers for her garden (our Mother's Day gift to her).


Gwen was so excited to see them. What you can't see in the picture above is the constant stream of, "I go to see Nonnie and Papa? This way to Nonnie and Papa house? Yay Nonnie and Papa and Lady [their dog]. This way Mommy? I see Nonnie Papa now?" It was cute for the first 20 minutes, slightly less so for the next 55!

Today is Mother's Day, and Trav treated this girl well. I slept in until 9:15 (especially nice since her cold had Gwen sleeping fitfully for the first part of the night), then came downstairs to sweet cards (Gwen "signed" hers all on her own), a magnet that Gwen had painted for me, and a box full of cloth paper towels that Trav got me to help with my mission to cut out paper towels. Lets not forget my lilac bush... which is doing well, and looking even nicer now that I have some baby grass sprouting next to it!


Coming in slowly, but surely!


The rest of the day was pretty relaxed. We headed outside for most of the morning. The weather is definitely changing over to summer now. Since its getting so nice and warm out, we decided to break out the water table for the first time this year.


Gwen was in heaven!


Daisy found her own way to keep cool!


The rest of the day involved some laundry and other chores, tennis camp for Travis, more outdoor play, but lots of relaxing too. All-in-all, a great day!!

As for tomorrow, I'm going to be away from the computer all day doing my civic duty (jury duty!), so have a great Monday all. 

5.12.2012

Carry Me Please {giveaway}

(I thought you guys might enjoy the chance to win a great carrier!)

Welcome to the Carry Me Please giveaway! Babywearing can be a wonderful time for both mom (or dad) and baby! For some it is a necessity for others it is just a way of life. For what ever reason you wear your little one, you should be able to do it in style!


Tailor Made Momma has put together and amazing giveaway and is offering up the winner choice of an Ergo or Pikkolo baby carrier!

This giveaway is open to the US and Canada and will end on May 26th!
Don't forget to come back and get your daily entries in!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

5.11.2012

Recipe Guestpost!

Guestblogged one of my recipes (an old one!) over on Vagabond Studios! Check it out HERE and let me know what you think.

the Times hubbub

So, unless you live under a rock, you've certainly seen the Times cover that has been provoking huge reactions. And, you might have guessed I was going to chime in... here's my take.



Short version: Like the pictures, dislike the inflammatory title. Article okay.

Nursing Gwen, 3 months
Longer version: I'm an AP mama. I still breastfeed Gwen, and at 27 months that's considered "extended breastfeeding" (even though for the rest of the world that's considered normal). 6 or 7 is definitely extreme, and not for me, but that was simply a mention of one woman (not the norm), not even one that was pictured in the article. At 3 (the age of the child in the first picture) or 4 (the oldest age of any of the breastfeeding kids pictured), the breastfeeding relationship can still be very mutually beneficial. I think Gwen and I will be done by her 3rd birthday, but I wouldn't judge someone if their child wasn't done at that point.

I think the picture was posed to be a little "in your face," but I also think that as a society we need to get over our hangups about boobs. That mother is doing with her breasts what breasts are made to do. The fact that society has chosen to sexualize breasts, is an adult problem... no 5 year old is thinking of his mother's breast as a sexual object. Only an adult would say "sucks on his moms breasts," that 5 year old is saying nursing or nummies or milkie. I wish the title they chose wasn't so inflammatory, but I like the pictures. I think they are beautiful.

As for the article, I know some AP individuals are getting up in arms over it... but I don't think its anti-AP. The title sucks, and I don't think the full text of the article is online, but I didn't think it painted AP in a bad light. Yeah it may have focused on some of the "extremes", but its wasn't negative per se. I think they were actually trying to show how normal the women who do this are.  

What are your thoughts?

5.08.2012

Parental Support for an AP Mama

Welcome to the May 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: 
Parenting With or Without Extended 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 how relatives help or hinder their parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. 
***

When I found out I was pregnant with Gwen, I gathered books to read on pregnancy, I researched baby items online, and I started thinking about what kind of mom I wanted to be. That last part was both the easiest and hardest of them all. I wanted to be the kind of mom that my mom was (and is!) to me, but those seemed like big shoes to fill. Could I ever be so patient? Would I be able to instill in Gwen the same desire to share with me, the way I wanted to share with my Mamacita? Could I pull off the same amazing balance of friendship, respect, and guide that my mom had cultivated?


In the two years since Gwen has been born, my level of respect for what my mom did has only grown. And it makes me feel even luckier when I get to see the two of them interact. My parenting choices aren't everyone's cup of tea, and some of them aren't the popular way of doing things. But I was lucky enough to have grown up with an amazing example of how breastfeeding, nature loving, gentle parenting can work. How many other people can say they have known they've wanted an unmedicated childbirth experience since the age of 7? Seeing how strong my mom was when she had my brother inspired me.

Having my mom and dad, as sounding boards and supporters during this journey is second only to Trav's support and encouragement. They are eager babysitters who I know will happily respect my gentle parenting wishes, and with practiced care. They are sources of inspiration and wisdom when Gwen enters a new stage. Best of all, they are always willing to stand back and let me figure out this motherhood thing the organic way... by living it, and learning by doing.


They say it takes a village to raise a child. My child is no exception, and I'm so grateful for my family's support.

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit 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:
  • Dealing With Unsupportive Grandparents — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, The Pistachio Project tells what to do when your child's grandparents are less than thrilled about your parenting choices.
  • Parenting With Extended Family — Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy shares the pros and cons of parenting with extended family...
  • Parental Support for an AP Mama — Meegs at A New Day talks about the invaluable support of her parents in her journey to be an AP mama.
  • Priceless GrandparentsThat Mama Gretchen reflects on her relationship with her priceless Grammy while sharing ways to help children preserve memories of their own special grandparents.
  • Routines Are Meant To Be Broken — Olga at Around The Birthing Ball urges us to see Extended Family as a crucial and necessary link between what children are used to at home and the world at large.
  • It Helps To Have A Village – Even A Small One — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses how she has flourished as a mother due to the support of her parents.
  • The Orange Week — Erika at Cinco de Mommy lets go of some rules when her family finally visits extended family in San Diego.
  • One Size Doesn't Fit All — Kellie at Our Mindful Life realizes that when it comes to family, some like it bigger and some like it smaller.
  • It Takes a Family — Alicia at What's Next can't imagine raising a child without the help of her family.
  • A new foray into family — As someone who never experienced close extended family, Lauren at Hobo Mama wrestles with how to raise her kids — and herself — to restart that type of community.
  • My Mama Rocks! — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment is one lucky Mama to have the support and presence of her own awesome Mama.
  • Embracing Our Extended Family — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares 7 ideas for nurturing relationships with extended family members.
  • Doing Things Differently — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares how parenting her children far away from extended family improved her confidence in her choices.
  • Snapshots of love — Caroline at stoneageparent describes the joys of sharing her young son's life with her own parents.
  • Parenting with Relies – A mixed bagUrsula Ciller shares some of her viewpoints on the pros and cons of parenting with relatives and extended family.
  • Tante and Uncles — How a great adult sibling relationship begets a great relationship with aunt and uncles from Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
  • Tips for Traveling With Twins — Megan at the Boho Mama shares some tips for traveling with infant twins (or two or more babies!).
  • Parenting passed through the generations — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about the incredible parenting resource that is her found family, and how she hopes to continue the trend.
  • My Family and My Kids — Jorje of Momma Jorje ponders whether she distrusts her family or if she is simply a control freak.
  • Parenting with a Hero — Rachel at Lautaret Bohemiet reminisces about the relationship she shared with her younger brother, and how he now shares that closeness in a relationship with her son.
  • Text/ended Family — Kenna of A Million Tiny Things wishes her family was around for the Easter egg hunt... until she remembers what it's actually like having her family around.
  • Two Kinds of Families — Adrienne at Mommying My Way writes about how her extended family is just as valuable to her mommying as her church family.
  • My 'high-needs' child and 'strangers' — With a 'high-needs' daughter, aNonyMous at Radical Ramblings has had to manage without the help of family or friends, adapting to her daughter's extreme shyness and allowing her to socialise on her own terms.
  • Our Summer Tribe — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger shares a love of her family's summer reunion, her secret to getting the wisdom of the "village" even as she lives 1,000 miles away.
  • My Life Boat {Well, One of Them} — What good is a life boat if you don't get it? Grandparents are a life boat MomeeeZen loves!
  • Dear Children — In an open letter to her children, Laura at Pug in the Kitchen promises to support them as needed in her early days of parenting.
  • Yearning for Tribal Times — Ever had one of those days where everything seems to keep going wrong? Amy at Anktangle recounts one such day and how it inspired her to think about what life must've been like when we lived together in large family units.
  • I don't have a village — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama wishes she had family nearby but appreciates their support and respect.
  • Trouble With MILs-- Ourselves? — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake Half Asleep explains how her arguments with her mother-in-law may have something to do with herself.
  • A Family Apart — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings writes about the challenges, and the benefits, of building a family apart from relatives.
  • First Do No Harm — Zoie at TouchstoneZ asks: How do you write about making different parenting choices than your own family experience without criticizing your parents?
  • Military Family SeparationAmy Willa shares her feelings about being separated from extended family during her military family journey.
  • Forging A Village In The Absence Of One — Luschka from Diary of a First Child writes about the importance of creating a support network, a village, when family isn't an option.
  • Respecting My Sister’s Parenting Decisions — Dionna at Code Name: Mama's sister is guest posting on the many roles she has as an aunt. The most important? She is the named guardian, and she takes that role seriously.
  • Multi-Generational Living: An Exercise in Love, Patience, and Co-Parenting — Boomerang Mama at The Other Baby Book shares her experience of moving back in with Mom and Dad for 7 months, and the unexpected connection that followed.
  • A Heartfelt Letter to Family: Yes, We're Weird, but Please Respect Us Anyway — Sheila of A Living Family sincerely expresses ways she would appreciate her extended family’s support for her and her children, despite their “weird” parenting choices.
  • The nuclear family is insane! — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle is grateful for family support, wishes her Mum lived closer, and feels an intentional community would be the ideal way to raise her children.