Hello! Happy New Year! And welcome back to regularly scheduled Smarty Mommies programming!
Before we were so rudely and chaotically interrupted by the holidays and their accompanying endless parenting, Shannon had begun a tour of the website for those of you who are new to the Smartiverse. If you haven't seen it yet, please do check it out! It includes, among other things, a glossary of our cultishly adorable Smarty lingo and a link to our shop through which you can purchase some deeply awesome Smarty swag.
I'll tell you how it would grab you: Tenderly by the nape of your neck, bringing you closer with a firm yet considerate hand until your lips were mere breaths away from... Oh, please excuse me. A small person has just interrupted this interlude to ask for some butt-wiping assistance. You know how it is.
Or if flasks, soft-core, or soft-core flasks aren't your thing, this perfectly chaste mug would hold a perfect, eye-opening 15 ounces of morning coffee to start your day off right.
It's sad, but true, that "Think about this mug full of coffee" is far more effective as dirty talk than anything I wrote for the flask.
But enough about the store and on with the resources! Please allow me to introduce you to a handful of my favorite websites!
Full disclosure: Breanne Boland, the artist behind the travel-oriented blog Deviation Obligatoire, is a close friend of 2/3 of the Smarty Mommies. Fuller disclosure: this isn't a parenting blog at all. Fullest disclosure: you need this in your life in spite of, or perhaps because of, its lack of parenting content. It is wonderfully written and illustrated with beautiful photographs, and, most importantly, it has inspired me to explore my city with my children as a tourist might. Deviation Obligatoire reminds me to open my eyes and pay attention to the spaces that I'm usually blind to in the distracting chaos of parenting. It makes my experience of my usual haunts richer, and has helped me maintain a conscious engagement in experiencing those places with my children. I don't think that was Breanne's intent, but I'm grateful for this unintended consequence, just as I am for her.
I highly recommend Dan Siegel's Parenting From the Inside Out and Mindsight for those of you interested in exploring your own psychological and biological experience of parenting and how it informs your child-rearing choices. For those looking for a more direct approach to the brain science behind parenting, read The Whole Brain Child and No Drama Discipline. All are wonderful, helpful books. There are also a number of Youtube videos of him explaining his practices and theories, for those of you who are barely getting a regular shower, let alone regular reading time. This is good, evidence-based science here, which is often hard to find in parenting texts. And if it happens to make you think "I'm a Dr. Dan fan" in the same cadence with which George Clooney says "I'm a Dapper Dan man" in O Brother, Where Art Thou, then so much the better.
Good advice, especially if it's DALS's Chicken and Orzo Soup. (Image Source)
Because you have to feed your starving children, self, and (if they're lucky) Smartner regardless of your druthers, you might as well enjoy food writing that is entertaining, warm, and that recognizes the challenges of preparing meals for a busy family. Dinner: A Love Story is also a well-organized cache of reliable recipes, so go on and feed the beasts. The author, Jenny Rosenstrach, also has two cookbooks, Dinner: A Love Story and Dinner: A Playbook, both of which I highly recommend. They're beautifully designed, well written, and contain meals and meals' worth of deliciousness.
This is NOT what life with a 3 year-old looks like in my house. Oh, no it is not. No, no, no it is not. (Image Source)
This blog, one of my favorites to curl up with after tough days, features beautiful photographs of and writing about Americanized gemutlichkeit (the untranslatable German word for extreme coziness and hominess). It's what I want my life to feel like, all quiet, homemade, artisinal, candlelit intention without any of the usual ear-splitting, commercial, fluorescent chaos that usually gets my family through the day. And, because we're talking big German words here already, I also nurture a dark schadenfreude that eagerly awaits the day author Alicia Paulsen's daughter comes home with a gaudy, rhinestoned, glittered Monsters High minidress purchased for her by her doting grandmother. MWAHAHAHAHAHA! WHERE'S YOUR HANDKNIT, SELF-DESIGNED, HOMESPUN PINAFORE NOW? HAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHA!
And that, my friends, concludes Part 1 of our Resource Round-up! I hope you enjoy these links as much as I do. And, please, leave your favorite books, websites, videos, and any other resource you'd like to share in the comments! Let's put our Smartysmarts to use and share the Good Stuff with one another!