It’s a virtual holiday potluck on Facebook!

virtual-facebook-party

Does the holiday season creep up on you, and before you know it, you’re completely overwhelmed? This year start planning early and have some FUN with other busy parents just like you.

Join parenting experts Tamara Champion, CEO of natural parenting store bynature.ca, and Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit AKA yoyomama and author of Healthy Mum, Happy Baby, as well as other parents getting prepared for the holiday season with a Virtual Holiday Potluck! Join us to kick off the holiday season, have fun, and, yes, enjoy shopping discounts and prizes throughout the evening!

When and Where?

Mark your calendar! The party date is Wednesday, November 10th and runs from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm but you’ll want to register beforehand to take advantage of our special savings offer. The more RSVP’s the greater the savings!!

If you live on the East Coast, RSVP to the Parenting By Nature Facebook page BEFORE Wednesday, November 10, 8:00pm EST.

If you’re on the West Coast,
 RSVP to yoyomama’s Facebook page BEFORE Wednesday, November 10, 8:00pm PST.

What to Bring:

It’s a potluck! Everyone who shares has the chance to win prizes during the evening. We’ll be discussing:

• family traditions and the spirit of giving
• your favorite holiday music
• funny Christmas YouTube videos
• your tastiest holiday recipes (allergen-free, for bonus points!)
• green holiday tips
• links to online holiday planning resources or tools you may use
• anything else to help with holiday planning!

Why Pre-Register?

The more the merrier! Share our holiday event with friends as we’ll be offering a discount on anything at the bynature.ca Kids store based on how many RSVP/participants we have for each party (as of 8pm EST):

• Free Shipping over $49 for 200 RSVPs (Storewide! Canada only)
• 10% discount for 300 RSVPs
• 15% discount for 400 RSVPs
• 20% discount for 500 RSVPs

So tell your friends to RSVP! The more participants, the greater the discount! The discount code will be shared with participants during the potluck event and will be offered for a limited time (discounts apply to KIDS department only and may not be combined; see bynature.ca policies for full details when using discount codes).

We can’t wait to connect with our fantastic fans, supporters, and customers and meet new people. Most of all, we want to help you save time and money as you get ready for this special time of year with your family.

See you on November 10th!

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Other Positive Changes

Wow! I’ve been watching Why Cloth Diapers video contest entries, and I love seeing all of these parents outline their reasons for using cloth diapers.

One in particular caught my eye. Amy made a video about hanging her cloth diapers to dry to save energy and to save wear on the diapers.

“I”m really happy to find that using [cloth diapers] has inspired me to make other positive changes.”

One of those changes is hanging the rest of their clothes to dry. She started with the diapers and continued with clothes. Now she is using the dryer less and saving energy.

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Adventures in Babywearing by Domestic Dork

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Holly Noelle

Blog to Inspire finalist Domestic Dork is Holly Noelle, a twenty-something SAHM and freelance graphic designer. She loves her family, art, reading, writing, herself, and hyperbole (but most especially hyperbole). She’s definitely not a domestic diva. Her dust bunnies are breeding and her cooking skills are nearly nonexistent. She’s doing the best she can while battling ADHD, “Mommy Brain,” and an aversion to housework. Holly is an ex-pat living the Canadian dream. She also wears a yeti hat.

I own two strollers: an umbrella stroller that lies folded in the back of my station wagon “just in case” and a monstrosity that spends the vast majority of its time folded and stuffed into a closet as the Beco baby carrier that hangs above it is taken out and used again and again and again. Poor strollers. They must be lonely. Tough luck Mr. and Mrs. Stroller, but Ms. Beco is the one pulling her weight in this family instead of weighing us down.

Domestic Dork babywearing

We have been fans of babywearing since the first day we tried it. When my baby girl was smaller we’d tie her on in a stretchy wrap. The wrap was wonderful! Our daughter loved the perpetual hug that babywearing provides and we loved having our hands free to do dishes play video games. But before traveling several thousand miles to visit Grandma and Grandpa we invested in a Beco from Parenting By Nature. We felt that a carrier that could be easily gotten on and easily adjusted would be more convenient going through airport security and since our little girl was getting less and less little, it would be practical to have a structured carrier that would better support her weight.

‘Practical’ does not even begin to describe how we feel about babywearing with a structured carrier; ‘cozy,’ ‘easy,’ and ‘fun’ come to mind. When traveling? I’d go with ‘absolutely necessary’ and ‘miraculously helpful.’ There’s no plane-side checking of a baby carrier. You either continue wearing your babe on the plane, or you can roll up the carrier and stash it in your diaper bag. Wearing our baby during our flight helped keep her happy and secure versus cranky and wiggly (which kept us parents from being cranky too)! But the real benefit came when an unforeseen landing problem landed us in the emergency room.

Upon descent my body freaked out a bit. I had some blood pressure and hyperventilation issues that left me weak, sick, and fuzzy-brained (well, more fuzzy-brained than usual) and before you could say “please return your tray table to its upright position” the flight attendants had called for help. I found myself being wheeled through the Toronto airport on a stretcher so I could take my first (and hopefully last) ambulance ride to the emergency room while my worried husband raced behind carrying every. last. piece. of our carry-on luggage. The one thing he wasn’t struggling to hold onto? Our daughter.

We ended up spending hours at the hospital. We waited quite a while in the emergency room before being told I was fine and that it was nothing serious. Then we spent more time trying to figure out where we would stay for the night, how we would get there, when we could fly again, informing family members of what had happened. It was, to put it mildly, stressful. But the one thing we weren’t stressing about? Our daughter. The whole time she was happily worn by her daddy.

All three of us love babywearing. We use our Beco regularly, around the house when our daughter is fussy, at the grocery, at the park, at the mall, everywhere! But the convenience and emotional benefits of babywearing really shine when life gets complicated. Wearing your baby is like wearing a life jacket…a life jacket for your sanity. So our strollers stay folded and stashed away, rarely seeing light of day, not really earning their keep. Which leads me to ask…anybody want to buy a stroller? Barely used, great condition. Going cheap!

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The winner of Blog to Inspire ’09

We asked “Can you Inspire?“. When Amy of Raising Arrows posted her entry about breastfeeding her daughter Emily, we were more than inspired; we were moved to tears. From reading the comments left for Amy on her post, we know we weren’t the only readers she touched. The memories Amy shares of nursing her little girl during her first few months is nothing short of magical. It is our hope that many other mothers are inspired to try breastfeeding because of her words.

We are pleased to announce that Amy’s post received the greatest number of votes for The Most Inspiring Blogger. Amy is the winner of our grand prize (a $600 Visa Gift Card and a six-month paid blogging position). Watch for Amy’s contributions to our blog in the coming year. Congratulations Amy!

Please take a moment to read her winning entry below and to learn more about Emily – the inspiration behind Amy’s post.

Breastfeeding: The Memory of Emily by Raising Arrows

Raising Arrows profile

Blog to Inspire winner Raising Arrows is Amy, a thinker, a writer, and a homeschooler. On her blog she chronicles what life is like Raising Arrows.

Breastfeeding is part of my story. It is part of Emily’s story. From her birth to her death, I nursed her. The connection we shared for those 7 months and 6 days will forever be precious to me.

Emily and I shared a nursing relationship that was unique. I’ve nursed all my children, but by the time Emily, number 5, came along, I was a seasoned breastfeeding mama and we were good…real good. So good in fact, I managed to nurse her while climbing down into a dark, and rather treacherous, cave in South Dakota, adding to my extensive list of Places I’ve Breastfed.

Nursing baby on vacation

When she became sick that night in December of 2007, I nursed her through the scary early morning hours in that lonely hospital room, waiting for a diagnosis…a diagnosis that would eventually bring a stall to our breastfeeding relationship for days on end as her tiny body healed from major surgery.

The day we were reunited, baby to breast, I cried. I held her close, tucking those stray wisps of fuzzy brown hair behind her ears and murmuring my affection in that secret language of mothers and babies everywhere. All the tubes and wires in the world could not keep me from her.

Life post-surgery was challenging and changed for us. Emily was fragile. She nursed every two hours around the clock. Yet, my patience held. I still look back at those weeks with fondness and an awe that I never once felt tied down or irritated by the nearly constant breastfeeding sessions. Did I know? Did I somehow sense those days were numbered and soon, much too soon, I would be left with only memories? Did I feel her tiny frame slipping from my fingers as I held her tightly and gave of myself in the only way I knew how?

In the early morning hours of February 10, 2008, I nursed my little Emily for the very last time…just 3 short hours before her death. It was just her and I in a darkened room…connecting. For weeks on end following her death, I could feel her next to me suckling as my mind climbed out of the depth of dreams and into the world of awareness. Not only did my heart ache for Emily, my body ached for her as well. In excruciating, primal pain, my body mourned her absence. Slowly, unwelcome emptiness set in and I was left with memories…beautiful memories.

Breastfeeding is not just something you do. It is something you feel. It is a connection, a bond, that spans time…eternity, if you will. It is not just a mother feeding a baby. It is a mother and a child intertwined in a dance with steps only they know, with emotions only they share. What I wouldn’t do to dance with her again.

Instead, I dance with another. A new little nursling with beauty and grace all his own. He does not replace the sister he never knew, but his presence soothes her absence. As the two of us share silent, solitary moments in the middle of the night, I am reminded of her and blessed by him.

Raising Arrows with baby

Read about the Blog to Inspire contest and read posts by the rest of the finalists.

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Our Inspiring Blogger Posts

Here is the promised list of all the entries sent to us for our Blog to Inspire contest by category. We’ll also be featuring the posts on our blog over the coming months. Although once you start reading them, it’s hard not to read them all. We received some wonderful entries (44 in total!). Our finalists for each category have been listed first, but other than that this list is in no particular order.

In our Cloth Diapers category (15 entires) …

Stuland
He’s a Boob Man
The Eco Chic
Ejlee
One Income Dollar
Melissa’s Happenings
Frugally Yours
Organic Parenthood

In our Babywearing category (8 entries) …

Hobo Mama
A Life Less Loaded
From My Life
My Bloggy Life
Modern Alternative Mama

In our Breastfeeding category (15 entries) …

Pistachio Love
Dagmar Bleasdale
Dumaresq Kiddo
Simply Living on a Budget

In our Natural Play category (6 entires) …

Parenting by Nature

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