Category Archives: parenting

Pick Your Own

Don’t those look like delicious raspberries?

Too bad they’re not actually raspberries… they’re unripe blackberries.  Joshua likes to pick and squish raspberries, so when he grabbed a berry from the blackberry bush I thought that was what he was going to do.  Instead, he decided that after days of squishing berries he was ready to eat one.  He’ll probably never eat one again!

Later that day, while visiting my family’s farm, we went for a wagon ride and picked some sweet corn and peaches.  I hoped a sweet, juicy peach would make up for the unripe blackberry incident.

To my surprise, Joshua ate half of that very big peach, skin and all! He loved it!

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Filed under Adventures, Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Outside, parenting, Photo Essay

My Big Boy

Joshua is turning 17 months old this week.  I still can’t really believe how big he’s gotten! He wears a size 3 to 4 T, and weighs in at over 30 lbs.  Time really does move more quickly when you’re a parent.

Joshua’s vocabulary has expanded, and I want to list out all of his words to have on record.  (In semi-order of appearance)

  • Mama
  • Dada
  • tractor
  • duck
  • dog
  • hi
  • bye
  • what’s that? (wassat?)
  • moo
  • uh-oh (or uh-whoa)
  • whoa
  • horsie
  • wow
  • baa
  • bock bock bock
  • meow
  • truck
  • yeah
  • NOOO!
  • eat
  • out
  • up

Joshua also knows that he can grab people’s hands and lead them where he wants to go.  I can tell he wants to communicate with us more, and it must be so frustrating to not have the words to do so.  He gets upset when we don’t understand, or also when we don’t do exactly what he wants.  I can see the “terrible” twos coming on, but for the most part I’m doing my best to understand why he acts the way he does, out of being tired, hot, overwhelmed, etc.  I’m also trying to treat him with respect, understanding and compassion, especially when he’s having a hard time.  It’s not always easy!

Joshua loves books, especially The Big Red Barn, Moo, Baa, La La La, anything with tractors or farm animals, and Goodnight Moon.  He loves to watch “Thomas the Train” on TV and we try to play outside every day, especially with rocks, dirt and sand.  Joshua is a fearless climber and keeps me on my toes.  He loves to be chased, climb the stairs, and play peek-a-boo.

Joshua is such a fun-loving boy.  We’ve had lots of good times this summer playing at the beach, in the pool, on the farm, at Ed’s parents’ house, in our play room, and outside in the driveway.  I am thoroughly enjoying staying home for the summer, and I’m completely exhausted at the end of the day.  I crash into bed knowing that Joshua will have me up early the next morning, since he has never wasted time by sleeping in.  His days are full of fun and excitement.

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Filed under Adventures, Natural Learning, parenting

World Breastfeeding Week

It’s World Breastfeeding Week! When a friend asked me if I was going to be blogging about it, I said probably not. I’m kind of all blogged out when it comes to breastfeeding, having written for a year now at the Breastfeeding Diaries.  My monthly check-in column “Yes, We’re Still Nursing!” is just about the perfect amount of writing.  Breastfeeding is part of our normal life now, as normal as me snacking on berries, eating fresh-caught fish, or having a big glass of water by my side at all times.  It’s how we live, it just IS.

That’s not to say that I don’t think about it or talk about it.  I’ve been happy to help out some of my loved ones who are new mommies with questions about nursing and expressing.  I laugh about it, like when the UPS man encountered my nursing bra-turned-swimsuit drying on the front porch.  I’m also really proud of the fact that I have nursed Joshua every single day for the last 16 1/2 months.  That’s just amazing to me.  I wish I had that kind of endurance in other areas of my life (dieting, exercise, laundry…).  I’m very happy with how our nursing relationship is right now. I nurse Josh when we’re together and don’t worry about it when we’re apart. There’s no pumping, bottles, measuring, washing dishes, or any of the stuff that stressed me out about being a nursing, working mom.  He nurses way less now than when he was a newborn, but I’d say he probably nurses about 10 times a day, just usually for shorter periods of time.  But to me it’s no big deal. It’s just what we do. 

I’ve thought about night weaning, but I don’t think Joshua’s ready for that yet.  I do believe that he’ll wean when he’s ready, but I see no reason to push it at this point.  I joke that I have no idea how I’d ever get him to sleep without nursing, as he nurses to sleep every time he’s with me, with the exception of falling asleep in the car a few times.  Though he falls asleep fine when we’re apart. 

Over the past 16 1/2 months, I’ve lived and breathed breastfeeding.  While eating, in my sleep, in public, in private, without a cover (but sometimes with), in the bath, in the pool, at the beach, at a parade, at a tractor pull, at picnics, in a parked car, in the shade, in the sun, on the couch, lying down, walking around, sitting on the floor. Whenever, wherever.

So what’s the plan? There is no plan. I have no plans to wean him at X age, just as I have no plans to keep going until X age.  If I had to make a prediction, I’d guess that his nusing duration would be measured in years, but we’ll see.  We just go with the flow.

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Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, parenting

Contact Your Reps Now!

By Dominique Browning of the Moms Clean Air Force

MomsCleanAirForce

I don’t want to nag, though we all know moms are great at that. But I’m going to remind everyone that as of Monday, August 1, we have only FOUR MORE DAYS to write to the EPA  in support of their NEW Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. This regulation will cut down the poisonous emissions from coal-fired electric plants. Fetuses, infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of toxic coal pollution.

Pro-polluters have been working overtime to cut funding for the EPA and block anti-pollution regulations. They’re spending millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions–to protect their right to pollute!

Motherhood is powerful too.  We have to make our voices heard.

Someday your children will thank you. Right now, you have to fight for them. My A Number One Reason will always be the same: my two beloved sons, for whom I will always fight like a mama bear, Alex and Theo. I’ll bet you feel the same way about yours.

Here is a GREAT REASON to write to the EPA now.

1.  YOUR VOICE MATTERS. No politician wants to make a mom mad. The EPA needs to hear that you want it to protect your right to clean air. Sometimes being a great mom means being an active citizen.

2.  WE’VE MADE IT EASY–AND YOU CAN FIND THE TIME. It is faster to write to the EPA than it is to change a diaper. Sometimes being a great mom means being an active citizen. Make your voice heard!

3.   POLLUTION CONTROL MEANS MORE JOBS. Green jobs are rising dramatically. Retrofitting coal stacks with scrubbers means more jobs for people in the industry–and a stronger industry overall.

4.   HOW DARE THEY HARM OUR BABIES! Fetuses, infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of toxic pollution. Childhood cancers are on the rise. So are asthma attacks.  Pregnant women are warned against eating tuna fish because it is full of mercury. And polluters keep on fighting for their right to pollute.

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Filed under parenting

Summer Vacation!

It’s finally summer! I used to plan summer vacation for myself, but now I’ve got a companion! I’m so excited to have all summer to do nothing but play with Joshua! Well, I guess I’ll probably have to pull my weight with dishes, laundry, cooking and cleaning.  But the majority of my days will be spent playing!

Each week, I hope to find time for each of the following:

  • swim in the pool (this may end up being more than once a week!)
  • go to the beach (may substitute the pool…)
  • go on an adventure – aquarium, zoo, movie, children’s museum
  • do something crafty at home – paint with pudding, build a cardboard play house…

I also want to transform the room above our garage into a playroom.  Toys are now crammed into our living room and not organized at all, and we have this big empty space.  Some ideas-

  • Find kid-sized table and chairs. I have a little rocking chair, maybe paint it…
  • Add a nice rug
  • Make  a felt board
  • Set up a cozy reading area and move Joshua’s book case into the playroom from his bedroom

Of course I want to do some things for myself, too. I’m hoping to keep up with Weight Watchers for the summer and I also have a few books I’m reading.  I’m hoping to get some canning done and keep up with the garden, too.

What are your plans for the summer?

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Filed under Adventures, Home, parenting

Air Quality Alert – Tips for Indoor Fun

Cross posted at Moms Clean Air Force

There’s an air quality alert today in my neck of the woods thanks to high temperatures and elevated smog levels.  Temps are in the 90′s, humidity is high and it certainly feels hot! Some schools are even dismissing early (not mine, we have air conditioning), and we still have over two weeks left until summer vacation.  Our local health department recommends limiting outdoor activity for little ones, so I’ve got some tips for indoor fun to help your family beat the heat and/or smog!

Healthy Cool Treats

It’s important to stay hydrated when it’s hot.  Make water fun with cute water bottles or cups and by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or berries.  In addition, you can serve juicy fruits like watermelon or try some frozen grapes or bananas.  Use popsicle molds to make your own yogurt pops, which are very easy and one of my favorite treats for a hot day! 

Don’t Let the Sun Shine In

There’s something about keeping the lights turned off that makes you feel cooler.  Close the shades and the blinds to keep the bright sun and heat out of your house.  You can even take it a step further and build a fort or tent for inside play.  Stories, maybe even ghost stories, are best told in a tent.

Keep It Low Key

Inside time is perfect for reading, board games, crafts and family movies.  You won’t exert a lot of effort but you’ll keep little hands and minds busy.  Why not put on a talent or fashion show?

Water Play

Even if it’s too hot or smoggy to go outside, your little ones can still make a splash.  Put on swimsuits, grab the water toys and head to a cool bath tub! Children can burn some energy, keep cool and get clean all at once.

Educate Yourself

As long as you’re stuck inside, read up on smog.  Check out the interactive map at Air Now, read about the Smog Pollution Rule and learn about ground-level ozone.

What’s your best tip to keep your cool (and your sanity) when your family is stuck inside?

Please join the Moms Clean Air Force to help us fight for clean air for our kids. We need your voice! If you haven’t already, please email the EPA to show your support of the new Mercury and Air Toxics rule .  Thank you!

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Filed under parenting, Sustainable Living

Calling All Green Moms!

Cross-posted at Moms Clean Air Force

Are you a green mom? Have you taken steps towards reducing your environmental impact? Have you educated yourself on environmental problems? Have you contacted your representatives, the EPA, or written letters to the editor about environmental legislation? Do you blog about your efforts to go green? Do you consider yourself to be an expert environmentalist?

If you answered “Of course!” to any (or all) of those questions, then the Moms Clean Air Force would love to invite you to participate in our online chat on Wednesday, June 1, from 2:00 to 3:00pm EST.  We want to get more moms involved in our movement in support of clean air, and I know that most of my posts at Farmer’s Daughter are “preaching to the choir” or perhaps to the “experts”! I’m counting on you to come share your experiences and ideas in our online chat.  We want to brainstorm about ways to get other moms involved in the fight for clean air! Some more details…

Politicians in Congress, influenced by profit-driven corporations and lobbyists, are trying to gut the Clean Air Act and dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency. We have to rally moms to counter pro-pollution forces for the sake of our kids’ health and their future. If moms don’t fight for clean air, who will?

But moms are busy and may not know how to get involved. How do we get their attention? How do we get them to speak up? How do we recruit them for the Moms Clean Air Force?

 The chat will take place on Facebook, so be sure to “Like” Moms Clean Air Force, then click on the “smiley face” chat tab on the left hand side of the page.  You can RSVP/register here.

To get your gears turning, here’s the first discussion question:

What, for YOU, is the most powerful motivation to be involved in this campaign?

My motivation to preserve, protect and defend the environment is for the benefit of future generations.  I cared about the environment long before I became a mom, since I love spending time in nature, but having a child brings the future into  reality instead of an abstract concept.  When I look down at that little perfect face, I know how important it is to act!  Who better to defend my son’s health and future than his Mommy?

Since I won’t be home from work in time for the chat, I plan to check it out later and join the conversation as I can.  I hope my green friends can help to fill my place!

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Filed under parenting, Sustainable Living