Let Them Be Awesome! | Raising Kids Without Fear

“Stop playing with that stick! You’ll poke an eye out!” “Don’t climb on the truck. It’s dangerous!” “Don’t get your dress dirty.” “You can’t wear Princess dresses all day. They are for dress up only!”

Those are all of the things I thought to say to my daughter while I was taking this photo. But I didn’t say them. Not a single one.

How much of a child’s day is filled with the words; “DON’T, CAN’T, STOP” and “NO”? How many times a day do we bark orders at our children? Sometimes I wonder if I’m a mom or a drill sergeant.
Continue Reading →

How Do I Protect my Family from the Hawaii Sun? (A “Hippy” Mama take on Sun Exposure)

Since moving to Hawaii one of the most frequent questions that I receive on my Instagram/YouTube is about sun protection.

“What do you do to protect your child from the suns harmful rays?”

“How do you protect yourself from getting sun burn?”

“What brand of sunscreen do you use?”

The sun isn’t something we should have to fear. After all, the sun is the source of life! So, I want to begin by saying that a proper amount of sun is not harmful to us, in fact, it is tremendously beneficial.

Why? Well, because we need the sun for Vitamin D.

Continue Reading →

Dear Struggling Mom

Every once in awhile I receive an email from a struggling new mama who feels hopeless, and alone, and they ask for my advice. The thing is… I don’t have advice. For the most part, all I can offer is support, encouragement, and some tips that I learned from trial and error. Because the truth is…I am there with you! I struggled to!

The biggest mistake that we make as mothers is not supporting each other by being honest about our experiences.

We do each other an injustice when we pretend that we are perfect.

We fear talking about our struggles, because we don’t want to be judged. But, the truth is, we ALL feel that way at some point, and we SHOULD talk about it.

So, I’m going to talk about it….

I struggled, and I still struggle sometimes.

If you struggle, here is my letter to you…

Dear Struggling Mom,

I want you to know that I FEEL you!

Many of the struggle stories that I hear are part of my own story as a mother.

Just because I have a blog, post high quality photographs of Kaia being cute, and talk about how sweet life is on Instagram, doesn’t mean that I am perfect. Sure, our little family is happy a lot of the time, but that doe not mean that we are always happy. The truth about life is that it is bittersweet; and that means sometimes it has to be bitter. (And, nothing is “wrong” with bitter, it’s just part of being alive!)

Continue Reading →

My Kids Story book is NOW AVAILABLE!! (yay!)

Hi Friends,

Today is the day! My kids story book “The Adventures of Ripe Fruit” finally hits the shelves!

Well, not literally (since it isn’t going to be in book stores); however, it is NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon, Amazon UK, and the Create Space online book store!! This is so exciting for me. It has been a long, boring winter, and drawing this book really kept my spirits alive. As I dreamt of a faraway, tropical escape, in the dead of winter… this book was being manifested.

kSo what is the book about? The book follows a cartoon Kaia as she imagines that her fruit comes alive and they explore a tropical island. They experience the joy of life, and the beauty of nature.

Continue Reading →

Kaia’s Tooth Story

t ttSo, my sweet little Kaia has a new “one front tooth” look that you most likely have noticed. The story behind what happened to her left tooth is pretty simple—she fell, and her tooth was knocked out. However, there is a much longer story to what happened and what I have learned from the experience.

It all started a few days ago when I decided that I wanted to step back from my outer purpose, and really focus on my inner purpose of freeing my mind. I planned on meditating, being mindful in my daily activities, and putting all of my current projects on hold. I wanted to find peace, to stop thinking so much, and to find tools to stay in the moment.

I don’t like to admit it, but I am not as mindful as I like to think I am. For example, I can get SO deep into my projects that I ignore what is happening right NOW. It’s a habit that I have had most of my life. Before I had a family, I would become so engrossed in my artwork that I would barely eat for days. I didn’t even want to take ten minutes away from my artwork to eat!

Continue Reading →

7 Things I’ve Learned Since I Became a Mother

kaia treeSince I have to write this while my 13 month old is taking a nap, I will skip the intro & get right to it….

#7 – My parents are people too

Growing up I always felt like my parents knew everything! They almost weren’t even human. But, it turns out, they are just regular people. They were babies once, who grew into children, who grew into adults, who had a baby of their own and had no idea what they were doing (just like the rest of us)!

 #6 – How to do everything one handed

Before my daughter was born I decided to “baby carry” and to never let her “cry it out”. It was a personal choice… a very demanding personal choice that I have (during many late nights) thought about abandoning. BUT I never did, and while my left arm was full of baby, I had to figure out how to do lots of new things with my right. Sure, I could have used a baby sling, or wrap, and sometimes I did, but other times it was just easier to pick her up and hold her. Who else has learned how to rip toilet paper, open a jar, & spray off a table with one arm? It can’t be just me.

#5- To thank my Mother

I don’t know if I ever thanked my mom as kid. I don’t even remember feeling grateful for her. I guess it’s just beyond a child’s mental capacity, or maybe I was just selfish. Either way, I am thanking her now. I thanked her while I was pregnant (& apologized). I thanked her after I gave birth (& apologized). I thanked her during my 2 month sleep deprivation (& yup you guessed it I also apologized). I can’t thank her enough now, and I hope one day my daughter does the same.

*My LO just woke-up which leaves me to type with one hand as I nurse her. Which brings us back to #6 & forward to #4….

#4 – To value my alone time

I don’t remember the last time I set out to do something alone, and actually did it alone. Even going to the bathroom isn’t always accomplished alone. Babies need their mamas, and they don’t know that sometimes we want 5 minutes to our selves. I’ve learned to enjoy the moments I have alone. Showers have a whole new value to them, and I’m sure I am not the only mother who learned to enjoy the peace and quiet that exists in the shower walls. (However, I know that my daughter won’t need me this much forever, so I enjoy her dependence as much as I can without going crazy.)

#3 – Not to judge other people, especially parents

I guess I had the luxury of having choices when I was childless, and that made me think that everyone had choices. But, I’ve learned that sometimes (espiecally when you have a baby), you have very limited choices. We may set out to do something one way, and end up doing it a completely different way. For example, I didn’t want to be induced, but it happened. I never thought I’d consider giving up breastfeeding, but I almost did. I didn’t want my daughter to watch television, but she does. Sometimes the choices you want to make are just too difficult to see them through. I will never judge another parent for their choices, because I have learned that we are all doing the best we can in our situations.

#2 – To live in the moment

From the moment my contractions started, until this moment right now I have had to live in each and every moment. When you have a baby you have to always be alert, and pay attention. Especially when you are a stay-at-home mom. One second away from the baby could mean a finger in the outlet, a choking hazard in the mouth, or a roll off the changing table. It is a curse, and a blessing. A lesson about life, indeed.

#1 – To see the miracles

Looking at my daughter reminds me how miraculous life is. My husband and I made her! We made life! I look at her little toes and can’t believe that they used to kick me in the ribs. How incredible is that? And if that isn’t enough, kids have a way of always seeing the beauty in life, and they don’t hesitate to point it out to you. I love when my daughter brings me into her world, and reminds me what it was like to be a child. I look forward to seeing the world through her eyes… to see all of the miracles.

 

A little tid bit about this blog…

This blog is for new parents, and parents-to-be, who are interested in raising their children differently than what the western culture deems “normal”. You might be interested in parenting with an attachment parenting type style.

Once we decide that we want to parent this way, there are many decisions to be made, but no clue on how to make them. Many of us have never actually seen a mother breastfeeding, or a baby sleeping in bed with its parents, or anyone washing cloth diapers. So, how are we to know how to do these things?

We could ask our parents, and our friends. However, most of them also have no experience in the things we are interested in.

One of the things my daughter has taught me is that the human species learns by example. That is why we turn out like our parents, and why Kaia mimics everything that I do. But, it is also one of the reasons that attachment parenting, and “unorthodox” parenting styles sometimes don’t work out for the family. We don’t have anyone in our lives to learn from and follow their example. Since the world is a big place, there has to be other moms and dads out there that are like minded, so the internet is a great place to connect.

If you are looking for some advice and don’t know where to look, this is the right place for you. As a new-mom I know how tough it can be to raise your child this way when no one around you agrees with you. Sometimes we might even fail because we don’t have enough support to do things our way. This is especially true when we have no visual example of what attachment parenting look likes. We might ask ourselves if we are even doing it right. I know I almost gave up on breastfeeding because I was convinced the baby wasn’t getting milk when she was. I had a lactation consultant come to our house because I didn’t have anyone else to tell me if she was even drinking!

So, to help women parent this way I make review & how-to videos, take photographs and blog about different things that my family does. It’s my hope that showing mothers how we make attachment parenting (and the like) work for us, they will see how it can work for them. Make sense? I hope so.

Here some of the things I touch on:

Natural birth, birth in general, breastfeeding, breastfeeding supplies, a healthy diet (I chose Raw til 4 Vegan), cloth diapering, elimination communication (how to start late), co-sleeping, bed sharing, baby carrying, holistic medicine, starting solids late, plant-based foods, attachment parenting, gentle discipline, distraction, reviews on products, and many other similar topics.

 

When I was pregnant I was obsessed with researching EVERYTHING. Everything about pregnancy, everything about birth, and everything about babies.

I guess you could call me a hippy. I didn’t want to follow government guidelines, or blindly go along with ‘what everyone else is doing’. Sometimes I feel that we, as humans and parents, need to do some of our own research and find out what is true for ourselves. For me, that meant a lot of digging into what ingredients were used in baby items, what it was really like to breastfeed, what ingredients were in vaccines, how cloth diapers worked, what baby products were safe for my baby’s skin, what holisitic pediatrician would be a fit for our family, what co-sleeper would be safest for our bed sharing plan, what midwife would deliver our baby, and so on.

Even though I had nine months to do my research, I was still not prepared for the obstacles that life put in our way during, and after our pregnancy…

From birth complications, to a hospital stay, to latch issues, engorgement, plugged milk ducts, detergent reactions, cloth diaper routine problems, to sleep issues, back and rib pain from poor breastfeeding positions, sleep deprivation, and calorie intake issue, to stomach issues and colic, to baby carrying issues, and feelings of un-acceptance from loved ones… I was not prepared.

If you are pregnant, and reading this in hopes of becoming prepared for motherhood, you should know one thing right now… no matter what, you will not be prepared.

I’m sorry, I know you don’t want to hear this. I certainly didn’t, but it is very true.

So now that I’m here… on the other side of pregnancy… the motherhood side… I thought it would be helpful for other hippy moms (and moms-to-be) for me to show you what it’s like to parent this way. Because, for me, I had no one in my life who had experience with breastfeeding, co-sleeping, holistic medicine, baby carrying, or attachment parenting. Whenever I ran into a problem I was on my own. When I got engorged I didn’t have anyone to go to for advice since I didn’t know a single woman who had breastfed. I would have given up on breastfeeding all together if my midwife had not sent a lactation consultant to my home.

Having support is so important if you want to succeed, and I feel that many women- who want to parent this way- don’t have the support they need. I know I didn’t. So, here I am…. ready to led my helping hand to new moms who don’t know what they are doing (because none of us do), and maybe my hind-sight will help you figure out the obstacles that you might be going through (or will be going through soon enough).

Before I end this rant, I would like to say one last thing: Being a mother is not easy. Of course, it’s wonderful, and a miracle, and a total blessing. But, those are the things that everyone talks about. I want to take a moment to talk about what no one seems to talk about. Motherhood is tough. I didn’t want to believe it. I thought that I would love everything about being a mom. I figured since I was going to baby carry that I would simply strap the baby to my chest, plop my breast in her mouth, and go about my business. Dead wrong.

There are some days when you think to yourself “I just need a minute to myself” and that is OK. You need to know this, because I didn’t. We are pushed passed our physical, and emotional limits on a daily basis. Breaking down from time to time is completely normal. Things will most likely not go the way you plan, and let that be ok. Expect the unexpected. And know that everyone is just pretending… no one really knows what they are doing either. We are all simply trying our best…and that’s all we can do.

Why “Loving Kaia”?

Kaia is the name of our daughter. Her name means ocean, or sea in Hawaiian (where we hope to move to). Since Kaia came into our lives she has changed us for the better. Loving Kaia has made me a better person. Loving Kaia is the reason I wake up in the morning now. Loving Kaia is why… everything!

Bless! 🙂

 

I want to put a little disclaimer here:

I am not perfect. I am not certified in anything, and I am not a professional. I’m simply a mom who is showing you what worked for me, and my family. Also…. I want to say that I am proud of every parent. I don’t negatively judge any parent’s philosophies or choices. Being a parent is the hardest, most beautiful role in our lives, and we all do it differently. Just because I chose a certain parenting style doesn’t mean that I think less of parents who chose otherwise. I understand that we all must make choices that consider our beliefs and circumstances.

Sometimes I get upset when I unintentionally offend people (but that is a huge lesson in motherhood… to let go). None of us are perfect, and that includes me. I am far from perfect. When some people read my thoughts they are instantly offended, and that is not my intention. I try my hardest to come across as loving and accepting, but some people will always misunderstand me. If you find yourself in this place, please know that I am not negatively judging you or your parenting. I am only showing how I do it…. for other like-minded women. If you do not agree, then this website is not for you.