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My New Year's Resolution for 2014? Taking Care of MYSELF

  It's pretty common for moms to get so caught up in taking care of everyone else that their own basic needs get shoved aside.  All too often, if a to-do list item doesn't involve someone else, then it's reassigned to the endless list of things that will probably never get attention, along side the far less pressing projects like cleaning out the closet.  Particularly during the holidays, there is a tendency for us to be so overwhelmed with the tasks at hand that we find it difficult to fit in even simple, routine necessities for ourselves.   As I sit here... read more

Five Free, Festive Ways to Have Fun at Christmas

I don't just want my children to love the gifts they get at Christmas.  I want them to enjoy the spirit of the season, enjoy time with their family, and have some memories that last longer than opening a present.  Over the years there have been a few things that we have been able to do no matter how much money we have had or haven't had.  The memories of Christmas can last longer than the toys.     1.  Christmas Lights! Going through a cruise through little neighborhoods where people have their lights out.  This so fun and delights the children but only costs the... read more

Christmas Through Their Eyes

            It is almost impossible to believe that it has been eleven years since my husband and I spent our first Christmas as a married couple.     I remember that year vividly.  I spent the month before Christmas trying to find decorations that would make our tiny one bedroom apartment feel Christmasy but that also fit into our meager budget.  At the time I didn’t know how to make anything, and I was too busy studying for my Master’s exams to learn.   I remembered holidays from my youth, all of us nestled around the Christmas tree in our Christmas pajamas on... read more

6 Mistakes People Make When a Friend's Child Dies

By Suzanne Leigh   My daughter, Natasha   1) Announcing the child's death on social media. Don't do this. Please. Doesn't matter how active the parents might be on Facebook et al; it doesn't mean they want to share their news on this forum, and it doesn't mean they want you to do it on their behalf. See #2 for two reasons why this might rankle.   2) Alerting everyone you know to news of the death. The parents couldn't control the accident or illness that claimed their child's life. Some of them may feel strongly about controlling the manner in which the news of... read more

Lead in Christmas Lights, Toxic Decorations and Toys - Why Natural Materials are a Good Idea

    Christmas decorations and toys - they seem harmless enough, with nothing but festive moments and good intentions behind it all. Sadly, from christmas lights to garlands to toys, they are not as innocuous as they may seem.  Many contain heavy metals like lead, flame retardants, and other endocrine disruptors like BPA and phthalates.  Often these things are made with PVC, which is damaging to both the environment and people in many ways.   I encourage everyone this holiday season to take a closer look at what materials their decorations and toys are made of and... read more

Can Attachment Parents Put Their Own Happiness First?

By Jessica Williams for kidsinthehouse.com   Sometimes it can feel impossible for an Attachment Parent to put their own happiness first, even though, as every Attachment Parent knows, it is a deeply rewarding and mutually beneficial style of parenting. With the child's needs at the forefront, however, it can be a demanding parenting philosophy and in-the-moment parental needs are often put on the back burner. This KidsInTheHouse.com video from Christine Carter , Ph.D., sociologist for UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple... read more

15 Fun and Enchanting Holiday Tales for Children

The holidays are a time of magic and delight for children. Celebrate the enchantment of the season with these 15 extraordinary tales.   The giveaway portion is over--the winner can be found in the comments!    An exquisitely illustrated retelling of a classic story from Barefoot Books. An evil troll creates a mirror which reflects the bad and ugly sides of people. When it breaks, shards of its glass enter a young boy, causing him to reject his loving family and best friend Gerda. Helped by kind strangers and guided by her warm heart, Gerda makes... read more

To Santa or Not To Santa

                    It’s one of those things that you don’t realize is a thing until you become a parent, like wipe warmers or cracked nipples or the skill involved in snapping dozens of tiny, tiny snaps at three am while barely conscious.    Wait, cracked what now?   The great Santa controversy is hotly debated on parenting websites and forums all across internet land. It’s lying to children! Says con (well...) It’s encouraging a child’s natural sense of wonder and whimsy! Says pro (one can always use more whimsy.) But for most of us who fall somewhere in the... read more

Three Low Cost Holiday Gifts to Make with Kids

My goal with crafts is usually to stay out of craft stores.  Have you ever ended up spending more money to make hand-crafted gifts than you would have spent otherwise?  I'm not just talking about my former room-mate who wound up in the emergency room with severe burns from her Christmas candle-making project.  I'm talking about those times you went to the craft store and discovered all the cool things you needed to buy in order to make that perfect gift for someone.  I'm also talking about those projects where the individual gift costs very little but the ingredients... read more

Mothering with Mental Illness: The Natural Addition to my Treatment Plan

Guest Post By: Jennifer Marshall     One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past eight years since my bipolar disorder first emerged, is that my number one trigger is lack of sleep. I had barely slept in the weeks leading up to each of my four manic episodes. Those episodes all required stays in the psych ward for a few days to a whole week at a time, and a boatload of psychiatric medication before I came back down to Earth.   I can’t tell you what a relief it is to nail down the one thing I needed to protect in order to stay well.   But just because I... read more

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