Google+ Authentic Parenting: October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pioneering Today Cream Cheese Jelly Rolls

Welcome to the Mindful Holidays eBundle Sale, brought to you by my affiliate partners Mindful Nurturing and the Nourished Living Network. This is your chance to get access to 7 holiday inspired resources that will get you through this years holiday season stressless and inspired.
The bundle is only $9.97 and will only be available until Monday November 4.

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written by Melissa K. Norris


Want to bake something nice for your neighbors? I know Christmas Eve Day is often as busy if not busier than Christmas Day for many folks. I make up two pans of my chocolate cinnamon rolls and deliver them to neighbors the day before Christmas Eve. That way they have breakfast already waiting the next morning. If the rolls aren’t all eaten the night before that is.
One of the beautiful things about yeast breads is the dough can be prepared the night before and store in the fridge. Pull it out the next morning, allow to come to room temperature and then bake. Either of these rolls are a wonderful treat for breakfast. Plus, you can spend the morning with family or in quiet time by yourself instead of kneading and mixing dough.

I came up this recipe when I was staring at the rows of homemade jams and jellies I’d preserved for the year. While I enjoy the fruit spreads on sandwiches, biscuits, waffles, and pancakes, I wanted to use them in some other form. These rolls were born.

On the hunt for low sugar jams and jellies? Try my Low Sugar No Pectin Strawberry Jam, Low Sugar No Pectin Cherry Jam, and Low Sugar Grape Vanilla Jelly to get you started.


Jelly/Jam Cream Rolls (From Pioneering Today-A Homemade Christmas by Melissa K. Norris)


1/2 cup warm water (120 degrees or lukewarm on your wrist)
1/2 cup warm milk
1 package yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 egg
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cup flour

Filling
2/3 cup jam
8 oz. cream cheese
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Frosting
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1 and ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons milk

  • Pour warm water and milk over yeast in a glass, plastic, or wooden bowl. (Never use metal for bread. It doesn’t hold the heat and will kill your yeast) Let sit for 8 to 10 minutes until foamy. Add egg, butter, and sugar. Stir in salt and flour.
  • Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Dough should feel smooth, not sticky. If it’s sticky, keep adding small amounts of flour at a time until smooth.
  • Cover dough with a tea towel (traps warmth and helps dough to rise) and allow to rise for an hour in a draft free spot. I always put mine on the top of the fridge or your oven with just the oven light on works, too.
  • After dough has risen, roll out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle approximately 18×14 inches.
  • Cream the sugar, softened cream cheese, and jam together. Spread over rolled out dough. Tightly roll up dough, just like a cinnamon roll. If some of the filling squeezes out, just scrape it out and drop it in the bottom of the pan. With a sharp knife, cut rolls and place in a large pan. You can also use dental floss or thread to cut the rolls. Put the thread under the roll, bring both ends around and to the top, cross over, and pull taut, slicing through the roll. Allow to rise for another hour.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Take out and let cool.
  • Mix frosting ingredients and spread over warm jam rolls.


About the author
Melissa K. Norris, author of Pioneering Today, creates new traditions from old-time customs, award-winning blogger, and radio show host. She teaches traditional bread making classes, canning, and heirloom gardening workshops. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found digging in the garden, playing with flour and sugar, and inspiring her pioneer roots.
preserving a lost heritage for her readers. Melissa is a newspaper columnist,
Melissa found her own little house in the big woods in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. Her books and articles are inspired by her family’s small herd of beef cattle, her amateur barrel racing days, and her forays into quilting and canning—without always reading the directions first. Connect with Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for daily tips on implementing the best of the pioneer lifestyle into your modern life.

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In Pioneering Today-A Homemade Christmas, author Melissa K. Norris, shares how to get back to the true meaning of Christmas, tips for homemade baked goods when you’re stretched for time, homemade affordable gifts people will use and like, and how to give the gift of yourself to your loved ones with special planned activities. With over 36 recipes, homemade gift ideas and decor, you’ll experience a simple Christmas with the joy the season was intended.

This week only, you can get this amazing Christmas resource for only 9.97$, paired with 6 other holiday themed resources, including three months access to a virtual yoga studio.




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Embrace the holiday season with the Mindful Holidays eBundle, featuring 7 resources to boost your holiday spirit for only $9.97! What's in the bundle?

  • Pioneering Today - A Homemade Christmas. Melissa K. Norris, 48 pages, value $2.99
  • Bliss Balls for Beginners. Lushka van Onselen, 50 pages, value $3.22
  • More than a Holiday. Sarah Nichols, 150 pages, value $7.95
  • Avoiding Holiday Burnout: 10 Keys to a Relaxing and Enjoyable Holiday Season. Marie James, 35 pages, value $3.99
  • Adventures With Kids! In the Kitchen. Chara, 82 pages, value $14.95
  • Work Hard, Rest Deeply: 5-Class Series. Jennifer Hoffman, value $28
  • Approaching a personal herbal practice, herbalism basics and herbal safety considerations. Amanda Klenner, 41 pages, value $4
This sale is organised by my affiliate partners Mindful Nurturing and the Nourished Living Network. Buying a bundle through the affiliate links in this posts supports this blog. Thank you!


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Halloween Preparations









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Does your child love all things creepy and scary? Then my new eBook A Curiously Creepy Alphabet Book is the one to read to your little one this Halloween!

Awesome illustrations by Jenna Goldstein and a variety of Rhyming styles will certainly draw your child into the whimsical poetry of this book.

Suitable for children ages 2 and up, also adapted to early readers.


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

7 Resources for a Peaceful Holiday Season

Welcome to the Mindful Holidays eBundle sale, organised by my affiliate partner Mindful Nurturing, in collaboration with the Nourished Living Network. Grab your chance to get access to these 7 eProducts, including 3 month access to a virtual yoga class, tips for cooking with kids, recipes and more. Total retail value $69.09. Only available from October 28 to November 4.

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Even though the holiday season is supposed to be a season of reconnection, closeness and love, for many of us, it's also a stressful time, with much to be done, more mess and activity than we're used to and sometimes conflict between people with complicated histories. 
The Mindful Holidays bundle was created to offer a selection of resources to help us through this time of year with joy and laughter instead of conflict and stress. Check out these amazing contributions and kick start your holiday season:

MasterPioneeringTodayCoverPioneering Today - A Homemade Christmas

Melissa K. Norris, 48 pages, $2.99

In Pioneering Today-A Homemade Christmas, author Melissa K. Norris, shares how to get back to the true meaning of Christmas, tips for homemade baked goods when you’re stretched for time, homemade affordable gifts people will use and like, and how to give the gift of yourself to your loved ones with special planned activities. With over 36 recipes, homemade gift ideas and decor, you’ll experience a simple Christmas with the joy the season was intended.

author photo buttonAuthor bio

Melissa K. Norris, author of Pioneering Today, creates new traditions from old-time customs, preserving a lost heritage for her readers. Melissa is an newspaper columnist, award-winning blogger, and radio show host. She teaches traditional bread making classes, canning, and heirloom gardening workshops. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found digging in the garden, playing with flour and sugar, and inspiring her pioneer roots. Facebook - Pinterest - twitter  

Cover ImageBliss Balls For Beginners

Luschka van Onselen, Keeper of the Kitchen, 50 pages, $3.22

21 Fabulous recipes that can be made into gifts, lunch box snacks, or treats for guests. They are dairy free, gluten free, and mostly sugar free too, and are easy for adults and children to make using common, healthy, lovely ingredients. Official product page

Author bio

Luschka lives in England with her husband and two daughters. She has been on a real food journey since her first child was born, and loves trying new recipes and flavours. She recently started a food blog, Keeperofthekitchen.com, where she shares the recipes she uses to fill her kids lunch boxes - normally healthy, always tasty, good-for-you snacks. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest  

MTAHcover (1)More Than A Holiday

Sarah Nichols, Simple Life Abundant Life, 150 pages, $7.95

This is a Christian-based 25 day Family Christmas devotional. It's designed to help your family focus on the real reason for Christmas - the birth of Christ. It is full of family time activities as well as a parent section to understand the history and theological significance of each day. Official product page

Author bio

Scott and Sarah have been married for 6 years. He is a youth pastor and she used to teach special education, but now stays home with their two young boys. Scott and Sarah desire to help people live the abundant lives God has for them. You can find us at http://simplelifeabundantlife.com Facebook - Twitter - Google+ - RSS feed - Pinterest  

THS Press ebook cover AvoidHolBurn JPGAvoiding Holiday Burnout: 10 Keys to a Relaxing and Enjoyable Holiday Season

Marie James, The Homesteader School, 35 pages, $3.99

Have the holidays ever made you feel more stressed than blessed? Expectations and pressure to create the perfect holiday can lead us down a path toward burnout. Author Marie James, who has been there and learned how to restore the joy, shares ten keys to planning more relaxing and enjoyable holiday seasons.

Author bio

Marie James and her husband Jim live on a Pacific Northwest farm they share with their extended family. A freelance writer and editor, Marie blogs at The Homesteader School (http://HomesteaderSchool.com). She can be reached at Marie@HomesteaderSchool.com.  

Stitching_Heart_ecover_RevisiAdventures With Kids! In the Kitchen (ebook)

Chara, Stitching Hearts Together, 82 pages, value $14.95

Chara uses her sense of humor and practical experience as a teacher and mother of 3 to help you and your family succeed with real food cooking. Whether you are a gourmet cook or just learning, you will find practical ideas and suggestions for how to get your kids cooking, culturing, cleaning and celebrating their time in the kitchen! You can find the new ebook “Adventures With Kids! In the Kitchen”  and Chara with her adventures on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. Product official page

Chara-@-Stitching-Hearts-Face-pic-193x300Author bio

Chara @ Stitching Hearts Together is a busy (she says “That word seems so cliché- maybe dizzy is better”) wife and homeschooling mom to 3 healthy, happy (most of the time) children. A teacher by trade, Chara has always been passionate about educating people- about real food, simple living, the importance of playing in the dirt and a variety of other topics.  

WorkHardRestDeeply500Work Hard, Rest Deeply: 5-Class Series

Jennifer Hoffman, Stay-at-Home Yoga, $28

Product description

This virtual yoga series from Stay-at-Home Yoga has five, full-length classes accessible whenever and wherever you roll out your mat. You will get three months of unlimited access to this series, designed to help you release tension, increase strength and cultivate joy this Holiday Season. (BONUS: Mindful Holiday Bundle Purchasers can also save $20 off an Annual Stay-at-Home Yoga Premium Membership!) Official product page

Author bio

bonusJennifer Hoffman is not your average yogi. A public accountant turned certified yoga instructor, Jen now balances an active practice with her busy life as a yoga teacher, blogger, mother, and wife. The key to this balance is simple: Jen lives life with intention. She teaches virtual yoga classes at StayAtHomeYoga.com. At EveryBreathITake.com, she encourages her readers to live with intention, writing with a heart for whole and healthy lives on parenting, faith, relationships, and, of course,yoga. She is also the host of the Intentional Chatter Podcast. She relies on her husband Derek to keep their two lovely children – and two furry Labradors – off camera through Namaste. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - RSS Feed - Newsletter signup    

September 1 cover FINALApproaching a personal herbal practice, herbalism basics and herbal safety considerations.

Amanda Klenner, Natural Herbal Living, 41 pages, value $4

This book is the perfect step in the right direction for anyone considering using herbs, essential oils, or flower essences in their own life for health and wellness. It discusses how to approach a personal herbal practice with joy and gratitude, the basics of herbalism, and important safety considerations. Official product page

Author bio

Natural Herbal Living is written by several experienced practicing herbalists who have a passion not only for herbs, but for sharing their vast and extensive knowledge as well. They have many different specialties giving every issue a depth that you won't find in most herbal texts. You can learn more about our amazing authors here Facebook -  Twitter


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Get your bundle today and save close to $60! These products will never be sold together at this price again!!!

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Buying this bundle through the affiliate links on this blog supports my family. We are very grateful for your support!


Photo Credit for Mindful Holidays Image: © Aaron Whitney | Dreamstime Stock Photos



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Monday, October 28, 2013

How to Cultivate Joy This Holiday Season

This month, my affiliate partner Mindful Nurturing has teamed up with the Nourished LivingNetwork to bring you the Mindful Holidays eBundle sale, a collection of 7 inspiring eProducts with a total retail value of almost $70! Now for sale for only $9.97. This bundle is only available until the 4th of November.

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written by Jen Hoffman

While it's supposed to be one of the happiest seasons, I often feel more stress than joy in November and December. I desperately want this Holiday Season to be different. I want to close out this year with remarkable joy. I long to begin 2014 not with a resolve for less stress, but a well established habit of joy.

I used to think feeling happy was a matter of choice. I mistakenly thought I just needed to make a simple declaration, "I choose to be happy."

But, I'm discovering that we can't choose feelings. Instead, we choose our thoughts and the feelings arise. If I want to change my feelings, I have to change my thoughts. I need to carefully cultivate the ground from which my feelings arise.

My yoga mat is the perfect place to tend that ground. The practice of restorative yoga and deep relaxation provide a unique opportunity to grow joy-producing thoughts. If I am going to have a joyous Holiday Season, I must carve out time for rest that I remain awake and alert to observe.

But, particularly at this time of year, I find it difficult to just lay down on my mat and relax. I need to prepare my body and my mind for rest with active yoga first. So, I also need to set aside time for the physical release of tension through asana.

This Holiday Season, I’m going to let joy arise on my yoga mat with some hard work followed by deep rest. Would you like to join me? Are you willing to set aside 40 minutes a few times a week to tend the ground from which your feelings arise?

The Work Hard, Rest Deeply Yoga Series ($28 value) is one of the resources available in the Mindful Holidays Bundle! This series includes five full-length classes accessible whenever and wherever you roll out your mat. Mindful Holiday Bundle purchasers will get three months of unlimited access to this series, designed to help you release tension, increase strength and cultivate joy this Holiday Season. (BONUS: Mindful Holiday Bundle Purchasers can also save $20 off an Annual Stay-at-Home Yoga Premium Membership!)

Let’s do some yoga together! I’ll be in my living room. Meet me in yours, okay?


About the author
Jennifer Hoffman is not your average yogi. A public accountant turned certified yoga instructor, Jen now balances an active practice with her busy life as a yoga teacher, blogger, mother, and wife. The key to this balance is simple: Jen lives life with intention. She teaches virtual yoga classes at StayAtHomeYoga.com. At EveryBreathITake.com, she encourages her readers to live with intention, writing with a heart for whole and healthy lives on parenting, faith, relationships, and, of course,yoga. She is also the host of the Intentional Chatter Podcast. She relies on her husband Derek to keep their two lovely children – and two furry Labradors – off camera through Namaste.


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Buying the Mindful Holidays Bundle through the affiliate links in this post supports this site. Thank you!


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The Mindful Holidays eBundle, that's 7 eProducts for only $9.97, delivered right to your inbox. Kickstart your holiday season and add this bundle to your cart!





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Friday, October 25, 2013

Imprinting, Failure and Growth

APBC - Authentic ParentingThe Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, co-hosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting, is hosting a blog hop this month on Traditions and Legacies. As we’re slowly heading up to the holiday season, we’re thinking about what traditions – old or new – we pass on and what we want to leave behind. What do we want our children to remember? What do we want them to carry out into the world? Simply add your post, new or old, to the convenient linky tool below before November 29, 2013. What do we want to leave behind, that's part of the question today for the Authentic Parenting Blog Linky.

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As a parent I think a lot about what my children will take with them throughout life by the way they were parented, the good and the bad... Will they feel loved and worthy? Or will they pick up on negative beliefs?
Will they take on my restlessness? His messiness? Or my creativity and his problem solving skills?

It can be overwhelming to thing of the massive impact you as a parent have on your child. I have found that it's best to focus on the positive, on the growth, on the things you are doing that will have a positive lasting impact. The memories you make that will be fondly remembered when they grow up. The time spent just looking into each other's eyes. The joy.

Whenever I get sucked into a negative thought spiral, when my parenting wasn't up to the mark, I snap myself out of it by considering all of the good things I've done for my kids, all of the ways I showed them my love.
I've learned not to focus on big ways of making it up to my kids when I fail as a parent, I apologise and then try to find ways to be better at it on a daily basis. Small ways, not grand gestures.
Being more responsive. Hugging them even when I'm stressed and frustrated. Taking the time to lie with them when they wake up and when they fall asleep.

They may indeed not be the grand things they will remember, but they will have the most shaping impact.





Want more information on achieving growth as a parent? Follow me on Facebook and get daily updates  
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Do you have traditions or legacies in your family? We want to hear! Share your new or previously published blog posts in the easy linky tool below. Entries will be accepted between October 25, 2013 and November 29, 2013. Blog hops 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 Authentic Parenting! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways to bring authenticity into our lives and our parenting. Want to help host this blog hop on your own blog? Grab the code and share everyone’s posts with your readers! <!-- end LinkyTools script →>


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Newborn Baby: When Love isn't Instant (rerun)

My son was born unassisted at home, and up until the last few moments - though being intense - our birth experience was wonderful. But baby came out limp and unresponsive, which gave us quite the scare and resulted in calling the paramedics and being transferred to the hospital. To this day, I haven't really written about that part of our son's birth as it is raw and ugly and hard…
But we need to share these things too, since those are the issues where we most need support.

I had read about childbirth and what to do in emergency situations. I did know that breathing wasn't exactly necessary and as long as the baby was attached to a pulsating cord, he could take his time to start breathing on his own.

My baby being limp and unresponsive though, was something I was not prepared for.

After he was born in our birthing tub, I leaned back and lifted him to my chest and nothing. Even after some petting and talking to him, no response. My husband had gotten out of the tub as the last moments of the birth had been hard on me and he wanted to get the lights on to make sure everything was allright.

"Is he OK? Is he OK?" He asked from across the dining table.

"I don't know," I trembled, my heart pounding, "He's not reacting." My heart beat so hard I couldn't check if his hearty was beating. I had no idea he had a pulse, but his color was good.

"Is his heart beating?" my husband asked.

"I can't feel it," I said, meaning that I couldn't sense it due to my own strong heartbeat. I had glanced to find that it was a boy, but all I could think about was 'Oh my God, my baby is dead, oh dear'.

My husband - misunderstanding what I had meant - thought there was no pulse and responded in fear: "Do I call the ambulance?"

"I don't know," I said "Yes!"

So he called and in the 7 minutes it took them to come, he called twice more. Meanwhile, I had gotten out of the tub. Rubbed rescue remedy on the baby's temples . Patted him, held him head down in case he had ingested water. Patted him some more. Talked to him.

"Come on, baby, please baby. We love you, please wake up."

My daughter followed me like a beaten puppy. "Is the baby ok? Is he dead? Will he die? What's going on?"

By then we were standing in the kitchen, the cord dangling between my legs, with the placenta still to be born. It was 15 minutes before 5 AM.

Our baby boy started gasping. Small irregular "ugh ugh's".

"He's making noises, daddy!!!! Dadiieieieie!" My daughter yelled to my husband who was dwindling between the hallway, the kitchen and the front door, waiting for the paramedics to arrive.

I cried tears of joy, knowing this was a good sign. My baby was not dead - even though he was still hanging head down in my arms, cord attached and me bleeding onto the kitchen floor.

The paramedics came and checked him over. His color was good, oxygen levels great and heart beating strong. They hesitated for a while but decided to take us to the hospital anyway, just to make sure everything was ok. They cut the cord.
My husband would follow us with our daughter by car.

I transitioned to the hospital - no siren - and held my baby close to me. Both of us wrapped in two bathrobes and some sheets. He glanced at me, groggy and didn't want to drink.

Upon our arrival in the hospital, the baby was taken for examination in one of the emergency room cubicles and I was taken to another. I was too overwhelmed to complain, but my heart dropped.

From the cubicle I was taken to an exam room for some stitches and by then my husband came. My daughter climbed on the exam table with me to lay in my arms. We talked about what we would name the boy. My husband only found out we had a boy when the paramedics had put him on the table to check him over, but he hadn't reacted to it.

We found out he was doing ok, but they had put him in an isolette and on an IV. We couldn't go see him.
He was 'irritable' and once I would get to him, I couldn't touch him, or as little as possible.

When I finally got to my son, I know he recognized me, because he relaxed as soon as I spoke to him and stroked the base of his nose.

The hospital pushed formula against my will, because I was unable to produce 'enough' milk to their standards. They refused for me to hold him until the second day and even then I had to fight every new staff member I met only to get the same I had established with another midwife.

I got to take him out and hold him. Finally even nurse him a little. Pushing myself to produce enough milk with the pump so they would stop the formula. By then we found out that Belgium's milk bank had ceased to exist.

Somewhere along my hospital stay I told my husband I didn't love the child the way I did my daughter. I hadn't had that rush of oxytocin like I had with her - there wasn't the time, really. I didn't really feel connected. I just felt sad, and frustrated.

We had a falling out with both our parents when they found out the birth had been unassisted.

My daughter didn't want to leave the hospital when she came to visit and it took forcible removal every time she had to go at night. My husband was a wreck having to take care of the girl and the house and all the technical details of the baby's registration. I felt like my family was falling apart and we had no support whatsoever.

I felt sorry for myself and for the baby who was left to his own devices in that creepy isolette.

My son is seven months old as I write this and I cannot imagine how I ever doubted loving him. I can't remember when I did start, even though I do know it was not there instantly.

Was it when he smiled at me that second day? Was it the first time he nursed. Was it when he was sleeping next to me, curled into my arm, the first night we brought him home? Was it the first giggle?
I couldn't say. All I know is that I am smitten with this boy.

Difficult starts can have happy endings.

Did you have difficulties loving your newborn at once? How did you handle?


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Saturday, October 19, 2013

How Gentle Parenting Works in Every Day Life: 3 scenarios (rerun)

I often get asked how this positive parenting, gentle discipline stuff works in daily life. So here are 3 typical interactions from our daily life that put gentle parenting and setting limits to the test:


The Case of I don’t wanna
One morning, my six year old kept asking when breakfast was going to be ready. He didn’t want to set the napkins on the table (it’s his job-every morning).  I empathized tough I was really hungry and getting annoyed. Honestly I was thinking, it’s just napkins, it will not kill you to set them.  Instead
 I said: “You don’t feel like doing napkins this morning, I get it…uhm…”
  I decide to give him two choices: “You can set the napkins while I get the fruit washed or we can swap jobs for today.”
 His answer “nope, not doing anything today”
I say: Everyone has a job at breakfast time, you can either come up with a job you want to do or swap with me and that’s my final offer! (I said this with a nice smile but I was being firm)
He says: “ Fine..let’s swap jobs”

My son is not thrilled about this but also not upset. After he finishes washing some fruit he asked if he could also cut the fruit up and make a fruit salad. So instead of us arguing about him having to set the napkins, this ended up into a really positive interaction.

Why I think this worked: Once my son felt involved and capable, the thought of doing a little work before breakfast wasn’t so overwhelming. Also he had a chance to make a choice or come up with his own solution. Being trusted with something that is usually my job made it that much more interesting.

The Case of the Lost shoes
One morning everyone is ready to leave when I see my four year old has no shoes on. “Where are your shoes?” I ask.
 His answer, “I don’t know. Can’t find them anywhere.”
“Oh, you are kidding right? How many times…” I wasn’t yelling, but I didn’t like the direction I was going in so I stopped myself. I took a deep breath and continued “Wait, let’s start over. Where have you looked?”
 “Uhm, under the sofa and the shoe box, but NO…no shoes there. Maybe murph ate them.” He offered with a giant sneaky grin. (Murph is our dog)
 “Ok. Let’s look together, but let’s be quick so we are not late!” I offered.
We all started looking and then my two year old runs to us “Found them! Found them! Look at me, I found shoes!” The kids gave each other a big hug.  Before I could say anything my son said “Thank you Bella for finding them.” (seriously that stuff just melts my heart!) In the car, I asked my son where he thought he should put his shoes when he got home.  The next morning, the shoes were in the shoe box where they belong and we had no issues. 



Why I think this worked: Instead of blaming or nagging about the lost shoes like I originally had wanted to, I realized that in that moment, offering a helping hand to my four year was much more valuable than making everyone feel bad about lost shoes, lost tempers and wasted time.  Also, by following up in the car, I had a chance to offer a gentle correction about keeping shoes where they belong. 

The Case of the Near Melt Down  
“Buy me this mama?” Bella said one day at the supermarket check-out.
 “Oh those look yummy, but no, sweetie. We already chose lots of other things from the store, I am not buying those.”
 “Oh man!” she said in a tiny voice with a bit of tears welling up.
 I try to think about this from her perspective…who can resist hello kitty marshmallows? They are pink, they are shaped like a kitty, they look so enticing! But I don’t want to buy them. I am NOT going to buy them.  I have a 10 second internal rant: Thanks a lot store for putting them RIGHT there where my two year old can drool about them.  I mean seriously it’s cruel, two year olds walk around the store, all they see are hairy knees, calves and the hem of ugly shorts and then BAM…candy at the check-out….it’s no wonder they want it… it looks oh so good!
I knelt down, “You so wish I would buy that for you so you could eat it all up?” “no, mama I like the cat, no eat it, just hug the cat” Bella says.  “Oh, ok, you want to hug it and then put it back?” I asked. “Yes mama.” Uhm…potential disaster, if she decides to never let go…uhm…plan, think…ok got it. “Hey, how about this, you hug the cat, then we put it back and you give the cashier the store card?” To my relief she said yes and we followed our plan. 

Why I think it worked: Instead of demanding that my daughter take her hands off the candy, I took a moment to see things from her perspective. Also, giving my daughter a specific task to do after hugging the cat made it easier for her to transition away from the claws of sweet kitty-cat ;)  

non-perfection disclaimer: I swear we are not a perfect bunch, we have moments that are less than ideal, my kids spill glue, aggravate each other and even cry at the store...sometimes I am not so patient and have to apologize too...but the more we practice gentle/positive parenting tools the more things just really happen to work well. 

What about in your family...how does positive discipline/gentle parenting work in your home? 

Peace and Be Well, 
 


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival - Call for Submissions: Traditions and Legacy

APBC - Authentic ParentingWelcome to the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting. We hope that you will join us on the last Friday of each month as we share posts about living authentically with our kids. Submission deadline: Sunday, October 20.


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Traditions and legacy

With lots of holidays coming near, we take a moment to consider what memories we are building. What do we want our children to remember? What traditions have we established or discarded? What do we want to leave behind, as a parent.

How to join in?

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com and mamapoekie{at}yahoo{dot}com, and fill out the webform by October 20. 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 October 25. Please do:
  • Use your creativity
  • Write an original, previously unpublished post on the given topic
  • Be respectful
  • Spell check your post
Do Not Use excessive profanity or promote violence against others As the co-hosts of the carnival are 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.

Why Participate?

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 Authentic Parenting! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways to live and parent authentically.  


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The Joy - Relaxation Relation

Welcome to the October edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Enjoyment 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 brings joy to our lives. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.


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What makes this day different from the next? 
Why are you able to enjoy the little things today, a nice cup of hot coffee, brushing your hair, putting on a nice dress, while the next day *everything* seems to be a source of frustration. 
Why do some people seem to stroll through life with a smile and others wrestle through it with a smile.

Here's a big part of the secret: relaxation.
Stress and joy are mutual enemies, whereas relaxation fosters enjoyment. 

Yet relaxation is a hard thing to achieve in this fast paced life. that's why it's a multi-million dollar industry. Pushing out yoga DVD's and relaxation tracks and the like, just to give people that window of hope, that maybe if they work hard enough, they'll get a little enjoyment out of their grim, grey, busy lives. 

Don't get me wrong, yoga DVD's and relaxation tracks might very well help you on your way to relaxation. The reality however, is that for most people, they're a challenge, just another extra thing on their to do list.
That's not how you achieve a solid base for a relaxed attitude to life. The things you do to achieve relaxation shouldn't be an extra thing on the list, they should be a source of pleasure and joy themselves.

A first step is to be less serious about all of it. 
In my home, we try to incorporate yoga in our daily life, but when we skip it one day, it's no biggie. We have other relaxing activities every day. We do yoga as a family, and with friends. We use DVD's and the Yoga pretzel cards, which are a great source of fun. 

my daughter and unnanny doing the yoga pretzel exercises

Any activity that clears your mind can be relaxing. It all depends on what you like. Find that out and do more of it. It can be sports or crafts or even sudoku. Do the activity for the fun of doing, not for an expected outcome. 

Find balance. Strive for a mix of physical and mental activities. Work isn't necessarily stressful if it's something you like doing, but if you're constantly working your brain, balance it with physical exercise and vice versa. 
Like the Romans said: "Mens sana in Corpore sano" (a healthy mind in a healthy body). Yet in our culture we tend to think that we need to be only one or the other. We either cultivate our minds and let our bodies wither or the other way around. "She's more of a thinker" we'll say about our intelligent daughter and steer her away from physical activity. 
We can be both mentally and physically strong. We need to be both if we want to obtain optimal physical and mental health. 

Instead of seeing relaxation as just an activity, see it as the foundation of life. If you practice relaxation instead of just going through the motions, your life will change and you will reap the benefits in the form of energy and enjoyment.

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Do you find yourself stressed and overwhelmed on a daily basis? Check out My eBook "Mommy Overwhelm: A Holistic Approach to Parental Stress and Depression" to put you on the path of a more relaxed and enjoyable parenthood.






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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 make their lives joyful. We hope you will join us next month!

  • No, She Doesn't Sleep Through the Night - And It's Not So Bad! - This post on Partners in Kind is about our family sleep habits, how we tried CIO, and how our family learned to let go of the 'standard' in order to enjoy a good nights rest for all of us. 
  • Don't Do Anything That Isn't Play - Momma Bee at Raising a Revolution is inspired by Marshall Rosenberg's (nonviolent communication) advice "don't do anything that isn't pay" to find the enjoyment in doing even the most mundane and disliked tasks.
  • Shared Hobbies - Jorje of Momma Jorje shares her progression of hobbies, since hobbies can wax and wane. She also explains why sharing a hobby makes it the best. 
  • The Joy - Relaxation Relation - At Authentic Parenting, Laura discovered how much enjoyment is related to relaxation.
  • Finding and Defining Enjoyment - Anneli at Mamman i det gula huset shares what she enjoys, her thoughts on how she has found truly enjoyment through self-reflection and how to find enjoyment in every day tasks.
  • Simply Enjoying Life - Mandy tries to focus on enjoying life at Living Peacefully with Children by cutting out some things and changing her perspective on others.


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Friday, October 11, 2013

Your Busy, Their Busy (rerun)

How often do we parents brush off our children’s requests for our attention with a “Not now, I’m busy!”. I sincerely believe that, when you result to saying such a thing to your child, you are indeed ‘busy’. For the record, I say it too (well, I’ll say “Yes, but I will first finish...” and only if my finishing it is really important - like I just have to push post or I am in the middle of a sentence, or otherwise my meatloaf will burn), but I didn’t ant to write about which busy is valid and which is not.

Image: Flik on Flickr

What I do want to write about in this post is respect.

If we want our child to respect our ‘busy‘ and not throw a fit because we can’t immediately drop what we are doing, we must in turn pay our children that same respect.
We must accept that sometimes they are busy too.

Even if their busy does not seem important to us, their ‘busy’ is worth just as much as our ‘busy’. From their point of view, your tapping on a keyboard or stirring in a pot is just as interruptible as their games are to us.

So if they say they are busy, give them the time they need to wrap up. Do not feel undermined or attacked because they don’t respond to you immediately. After all, you are not running an armed force. You are running a household. And you do the same to them.


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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pain Free Labour

Written by Ann Bentley, Pain Free Labour

Hi, I am a midwife from Manchester England who is pashionate about giving women the best chance
possible for a lovely labour. I have experienced myself 4 labours, 2 very painful and 2 pain free. Society teaches women that labour will be painful, when they start to labour they become naturally anxious. It is this anxiety and the hormones secreted that cause changes in the body that lead to contraction pain.

The international best-seller Dean Koontz captured the essence of why we accept painful labours so easily when he wrote:

“Fear is the engine that drives the human animal. Humanity sees the world as a place of uncountable threats, and so the world becomes what humanity imagines it to be.”

In our dark dank past women were exploited. No surprise there then. They were not even allowed an education so that they could say “Hey, stop exploiting me you patriarchal society you”. We have had to fight tooth and nail for our relative freedom. The only battle that has yet to be won in the civilised world is childbirth.

Fear of childbirth has been instilled in us for hundreds of years. Doctors have made money out of us by keeping us in fear so that their services are needed to provide a medical model of care to help us birth. Early midwives were burned as witches so that women would turn to the medics in their time of need.

Modern health care follows blindly the believe in painful labours as the norm. There has been no research that I know of to support this belief. Within the UK we pride ourselves on offering evidence based practice and yet there is no evidence that uterine smooth muscle is designed to cause the sensation of pain when contracting normally. Yet we continue to believe. “The world becomes what humanity imagines it to be.”

Perhaps women want painful labours. Perhaps fear is the engine that drives the human animal. Perhaps we only feel comfortable when something we believe in comes true. Any other outcome would be too hard to accept, too big a paradigm shift for us to relate to.

Well tough. Get with the plan. Pain Free Labour has begun to seep into our belief system concerning childbirth. Midwifery led birthing centers are springing up all over the UK. Women are having pain free labours during the first stage when taught how to approach labour. Relaxation techniques are being learnt in parentcraft sessions to keep women from entering the stress/pain cycle often seen in labour.

We are being allowed to learn the truth about labour now in the UK only because the strain on the NHS from medicalised care has become too much. A calm pain free labouring woman in a pool is cheap compared to a theatre full of expensive equipment and staff. The caesarian section rate has reached an all time high. We have lost faith in our innate ability to labour naturally.

If I had not experienced this phenomena of pain free labour personally then I may well have been one of the supporters of offering elective caesarian sections for maternal choice. As a midwife I have helped countless women to have a pain free labour. As an author, I have explained in detail why uterine smooth muscle was never designed to cause the sensation of pain during a normal contraction.

So, who will join me in supporting the massive shift that we need in our belief system that will enable women to labour as nature intended; with medical support on stand by if needed? Who will be brave enough to swim against the tide and face the wrath of humanity when one of their “uncountable threats” is removed leaving them uncertain and afraid? Who will take a leap of faith in order to free women from the last of societies manacles holding us down? Who, maybe you?

Ann and Mark after a pain-free labour
About the author

Midwife from Manchester trying to change the way women approach labour today. My first labour was so horrid that I set out to find a better way to labour before I had my second. My second was wonderful and the first stage was pain free. A midwife from hell made my third very painful as I was not allowed to sit up to labour. My fourth was a home birth and once again pain free. If I can do it then anyone can. Simply follow the advice in my blog or from my books on Amazon (Pain Free Labour) and you too can discover the secret that the medics have kept from us for the past three hundred years. The first stage of labour was never designed to cause the sensation of pain. 

Labour well. 
Ann Bentley.


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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Children & Relaxation






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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kid's Activity: Constellations

Written by Iyas, Freaky Rivet


On a clear night, there's little that relaxes and opens the mind more than just lying back and gazing at
the stars. Now admittedly, this is probably more easily done where 'clear night' is a description (for example in Laura's Liberia) than where it's just crazy talk (for example in my England). But suspend your disbelief you Northern Europeans and Canadians, and think of those two or three nights a year when it happens!
Well, on those clear nights, spotting constellations with your kids can be enormous fun. Not just the ones that actually exist - and here's a great kids astronomy site where they can learn a few - but also imagining some on a particularly starry night. We've done a "dad's belly" constellation in my family, but given some time and inspiration, your kids could get a lot more offensive than that!
Aside from spotting them in the great outdoors, and especially for those of us who's skies are too regularly cloudy, it can be great fun to do a craft project and create a constellation with the kids for their bedroom. Black paper, a favourite cartoon character, and some stick-on glow-in-the-dark stars, and we're all set. Stop reading now - you know what the rest of this activity is...



Choose a favourite cartoon character with your kids. Preferably one with a very distinctive shape - say Lisa Simpson. Find a clear picture of them on the internet, blow the image as large as you can to fit on a piece of paper and print it out. Cut around the shape, pin it to the black card, and then place shiny stars on either the key points of the character or where the outline has a dramatic change of direction. Try to avoid just putting stars along the full outline - that's not how constellations look - but just stay with the key points of changing direction. Remove the outline, and you should be left with stars that mark out the shape of the character.
Done! Stick it on the ceiling above their bed or behind the bedroom light, and when the light goes out, they'll be left with a Lisa Simpson (or whomever) constellation.

Leaving you to go outside, lie back, look at the stars with a glass of wine, creating your own risque constellation outlines with your partner!
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Freaky Rivet was founded by Iyas, the author of this article and father of four, and Kevin, an ex-teacher of over a thousand children and who also runs activity days for schools. Iyas used to lead a business and technology consulting organisation of nearly 500 people, which he left for the bigger challenge of herding his four children with his wife around Latin America for 6 months. During this life-changing trip to recover from the corporate world, he discovered both the subtly addictive nature of gadgets and technology for children, and their ability to enjoy exploration, discovery and activity when peeled away from the technology. It was this eureka moment that led him with Kevin, an old friend from their time together at Oxford University, to come up with the Freaky Rivet concept - inviting children into a life of activity, of exploration and of discovery by using technology rather than fighting it. In his spare time (kidding, right?) he runs a charity for children living in disadvantaged and war-torn environments.

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Buying a subscription to Freaky Rivet weekly activity emails to get kids moving supports this site. We are very grateful for the small income this generates. Many thanks!


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