Preparing the Garden in April

April 20, 2016

A little ambitious, are we? Really Minnesotans shouldn’t start gardening til after Mother’s Day because you never, ever know when the frost will hit. It’s a sneakily long winter. The kids are thrilled to be outdoors without coats on. Earlier last week I had them in their snow pants. YES. to play outside. As an aside, my Whole Parenting Goods shop is going on vacation Sunday til later next month and all leggings will be out of the shop til winter. So use the code “freeshipping” and grab something if it suits your fancy! Our sweet youngest. Who thinks he is a grown man and can wield the same gardening tools as his dada. He’s snuggly but also so filled with vim & vigor! Sassy Knit pants, local mama artisan, for the win, folks! And she’s so delighted in her fort. It’s where she stashes anything and everything and she defends it with impunity. When it is invaded, this is her expression. Right before she screeches. And the more time outside with Dada, the better, right? My sister has a new little love in her life and this pup is staying with us until my sister’s new house is all done with construction. To say the kids are in love is an understatement. How’s your garden coming together this year?

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5 Nursery Items I LOVE

September 9, 2015

I’m a sucker for lists. Three kids in and now I have a very strong sense of what I love in kids’ decor, clothing, utensils, you name it, because I’ve wasted a lot of money and time figuring it out. Sometimes you learn by experience. And sometimes you get luckily gifted something that you fall in love with. I’ve written my brain dump on registering already, and five items that make parenting easier, and nine toys for the first year, but let me foist yet another list on you because a girlfriend is expecting her first and asked me if I had to only have five things in my nursery, what would they be?? (Also listed allll my Whole Parenting Goods crib & wall & party banners up in the shop! Free shipping through the weekend FREESHIPPING code. Really original, right?)   But back to my list. 1) Disposable Diaper. We cloth diaper by day and use a wonderful local service, Do Good Diapers. They also retail my favorite favorite favorite disposal diaper because this third baby wet through every combination of night diaper out there. Naty are fully compostable and indeed, Do Good will do that for you, too! They hold more pee than anything else I tried. They never ever break open. And they aren’t bleached or dyed. They also make my favorite wipes. 2) Brooklyn Herborium Infused Coconut Oil. Maybe biased because my sister’s organic skincare line makes these but I love it. I still try to give a quick rub down massage to…

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Audio Stories and How They’re Saving My Life

July 22, 2015

You know how we’re not screen people for our kids, right? It started when SuperBoy was really little and the AAP came out with its no-TV-under-2-years-of-age recommendations. Sometimes I soapbox about it {Damage of Screen Time} {How I Survive without Screens for My Kids}, but truly I get it, parents, I get it. You need a break. We all need a break. Screens provide both opportunities for education & entertainment. The biggest break for me has been audio stories. Books on tape, as they once were called. And I’m not just talking Curious George though I love this story so much. Those books on CD are fab for our car trips for the flip-the-page part. But my mom gifted us with a new batch of really, truly, educationally, awesomely entertaining: Jim Weiss audio stories. We’ve got Greek Myths, the Old Testament, Arabian Nights, King Arthur, Gone West, American Tall Tales, Egyptian Treasures. His voice is magical. It’s not too tough for a preschooler to track with. Stories with cultural importance, historical value, and a moral to the story? We listen to them morning, noon, and night. When we read our Greek Myths now, SuperBoy can really go deeper because he’s heard the audio stories. We bought a Lewis & Clark book that he’ll sit with for hours, largely because the Gone West CD goes into their journey in detail. And the King Arthur??? He’s gone retro with my old lego set that’s all knights and dragons and a castle. I think it…

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9 Favorite Baby Toys for the First Year

May 14, 2015

As I’ve been going through like the mad woman that I am and purging out toys, books, clothing we aren’t using regularly or frankly, that I loathe, I’m realizing there are a few staples from the first years of my older children’s now long-past childhoods that the baby loves. That I love. That really, after three kids, I would buy, full-price. At the snap of a credit card against the counter. That fast. Over on my baby registry post I list out the must-haves for babies in general, but these are my real workhorse toys that I am going to put my stamp of approval on. Big stamp. Me. Right there. 1) Silicone teething ring It has different textures along its ridges. It can be clung and clutched. It can be easily wiped off after rolling away from you on an airplane. We have it in in yellow & I bought in on a whim at the coop one day many years ago. Love it! I think this link sells a two pack. Worth it! 2) Wooden rolling wheel We bought one similar to this when I was first pregnant with SuperBoy. One of those “oh, look, it’s wooden and I’m feeling nesty” buys. It has rolled its weight in gold. Yes, my children also bang it on their faces, but it rolls and jingles and the insides do NOT come out. That’s right. No fetching on the parents part. 3) Indestructible books: Baby Faces The avid teether loves these and the older…

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Capsule Wardrobe volume 3: the baby edition

March 3, 2015

And now for the moment you’ve all held your breath: the baby edition! Read SuperBoy (4) here. Read SweetPea (2) here. I promise I’ll put my edition up soon, too. And check out my friend Sarah’s capsule post for her eldest. Really good ideas, here. But back to baby business. I truly hate lots and lots of baby clothing options. They are ill-fitted or unsuitable for movement or scream PRINCESS or SPORTS. And then they all end up stained to high heaven. I get pickier about baby clothing the more babies I have. Go figure. I actually bought more clothing for BabyLove than practically SweetPea, and she was my first girl! Tops. short sleevers: organic cotton onesies are a must. I like Nature Baby and Under the Nile. Avoid Gerber or Circo (target’s brand) as they are so poorly made they just don’t last. I’ve been gifted a few sweet Minnesota themed ones. Love them, natch. L’ved Baby is okay but hasn’t washed well for me. Maybe I need a laundry lesson. long sleevers: I love waffle knit because they don’t absorb spit up as quickly and they are warmer and more durable in this weather. Polarn has great stripes, as shown here, of course. I don’t mind snaps on the side for extra fit, or a few buttons in front, but long sleevers that have that stretch collar where the shoulder part is supposed to fold back. What is that called? Brain freeze. Anyway, I don’t like that because it never fits…

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Capsule Wardrobe volume 2: ideas & inspiration for the two year old girl

February 16, 2015

Sitting on the back stair landing, sporting their Whole Parenting Goods leggings, and BabyLoves desperate to escape the clutching hands of these two. Welcome to volume 2 where I tell you how I pared down SweetPea’s wardrobe to a healthy handful of pieces that I actually like. Volume 1 that told about SuperBoy’s is here. When I purged, I put a few thingies for sale on my insta account. When I shop used, these are places I do: Just Between Friends: in person consignment sales. Search for your state. ThredUp: lots of kid & baby outfits, gently used. Zulily: but only when it’s a brand I trust. I’ve had a few failings here. Polarn O. Pyret. {{Sales right now on wool layers and outer clothing!!}} I shop my favorite wool brand & outdoor clothing brand for their frequent sales. Joules: fav british brand has an outlet shoppe where I’ve scored great ones for the kids. SweetPea isn’t a particularly girly-girl. The “pink gene” hasn’t been turned on. She’s impatient when I brush her hair. She doesn’t want me to fuss over it. She wears whatever project she was doing that day on her clothes. Markers, paint, food, glue, whatever. It’s always evident. When I stepped back to look at what clothing we had inherited from my very sweet friends & cousins whose families were done growing, and what I had acquired for her, I realized how little she actually had. A handful of pants, a few dresses, a few tops, and sweaters. Not enough pajamas and…

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