link salad

Ladies and Gentlegeeks,

I sat down to share some links with y’all and had to pause the job in order to take Little Girl outside with warm gears on, so we could crunch the ice on some puddles.  The reason for my playful outdoor interruption?  This article from the Guardian about the important role of language in maintaining a positive relationship with the natural world.

Next: a collection of videos dedicated to exploding brain myths.  Enjoy.  Less enjoyable, but equally important, here is a report from the Australian government about children’s exposure to family violence.  If that has you reeling, here is a slew of info from the American Psychological Association about increasing adult resilience.

Another gathering of useful links from another amazing crew is this collection from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

I’ve been revisiting my appreciation for Motivational Interviewing as a result of seeing a (FRICKIN’ AMAZING) presentation by Stuart Ablon at the conference in Banff.  His Collaborative Problem Solving approach seems to have a bit in common with MI.  Add it to the list of stuff I love!

Just a few more.  A li’l something from Scientific American about the ways that diversity makes us smarter,  some examples of how Richard Scarry books (which we adore, round here) have been made more relevant to today’s audiences, and finally, because Little Girl has been asking heartbreaking questions lately, some links for talking with your kids about death.

Life!  It’s amazing.  It’s awful.  And in between, there’s laundry.

x x x

wonky typing

necklace b wmysterious, non?

a few cool links on a cool evening.

This first one is courtesy of our People’s Statistician.  It is called Useful Science … enjoy!  I’ll see you in about three weeks.  That’s how yummy the website is to those of us of a nerdy persuasion.

NEXT … I share news of a super fab looking seminar … fairytales, story telling therapy, Portugal!  Holy ding dong!  Don’t I wish!

Here is a very interesting article about the Politics of Playgrounds, and this is a link to the Neuropod podcast.

Finally, a blog I wish I’d found years ago!  All hail the Feminist Breeder.

Man, my index finger is sore after a run in with my car door (albeit a fortnight since that happened!!).  Take care out there, e hoa ma x

quick hypocritical post

b reads little treasureswhaddup pre Christmas geeks.  Hope you’re not on a screen when your school holiday children are seeking your attention.  That’d be lame.  That’d be just what I’m doing right now … hypocrite.

So here’s Big Girl reading the latest issue of Little Treasures magazine, which has a wee piece written by this geek therein.

Some quick links I gotta share, then I’m going to do some drawing with Little Girl.  First, here is a write up about the latest inductees to the toy hall of fame.  Any guesses?  Now a link to some of the world’s coolest playgrounds (although I tend to rate the area under our macrocarpa trees as equally stunning).

Very nice (inspiring!) cartoons from a clever New Yorker are here, and it’s not too late to purchase a pair of chickens for Christmas.  Finally ….  this is the recipe to the world’s most awesome Christmas cake.  Made mine yesterday!  Thanks, Nigella!

overthinkers anonymous


You are a dear wee website.  You have given me a place to file my thoughts and preserve a gigantic number of links (* or portals to wonderlands of learning and discovery, as I like to think of them).

You’re a bit of a secret, though, which is cool, but there is this thing I love to imagine you doing.  Just quietly.  I love to imagine that you,, have improbably become a useful launchpad, catapaulting conversations between thinking parents and scattering chat among other assorted family-folk.

In a world gone bonkers, only you manage to somehow bring together a pot pourri of links that is JUST SO MY CUP OF TEA.  Which shouldn’t surprise me, because I posted every darned last one of them.  Beginning with THIS, my very first blog post.  Awww, cute.

I do love you, darling website, and I promise I can change.  Please, baby(geek), just give me a little more time.  I dream of a bright future for us,


Me xx

End scene.

Anyway, I’m obsessing more than usual about these notions of communication and internet and purpose because last week I went to a Social Media 101 training day.   Holla, Enterprise North Canterbury!  Tumeke, Simplify & Amplify!

It’s all very fascinating, and I kinda dig learning about the psychology of marketing, and why people do stuff and how to get them to do the stuff you think they oughta, I am horrified by what my dear late mother would’ve called the Coca-colonisation of the world.  The blatant and aggressive enslavement of populations by corporations too slick and sneaky to be outfoxed.  Really, I think we should all buy less.  Use less.  Do more for ourselves.  

And the whole technology of twitter and facebook and all their chums is flippin amazing.   As a tool, it’s the way to find all the peoples who care about the things.  Nana over here has to do some work … cos I’d love to find some thinking mamas and I think that’s where they are and yet I FEAR the lure of the devices.  Both for myself and for all of us!

Pads and Macs and smart phones and regular (dumb?) phones … OH … behold these amazing ads from China about resisting the phone addiction FOR THE CHILDREN …

… here’s the thing …. I’d love it if we could all get the fact that societies of useful adults – that is, adults who are kind, competent, smart, healthy, capable, or at least not incompetent dicks – those sorts of adults are more likely if they were gifted responsive, warm, calm, loving care while they were babies.  There.  It’s that simple.  I said it.

Not just me.  Heaps of people.  Like Harvard’s Center for the Developing Child.  Heaps.

And you cannot tell me, not even for a second, that the brains of human young will be as effectively nurtured by distracted adults whose faces glow from their device du jour than they will be by an adult available to meet their gaze, respond to their vocalisations, and make up lame songs.

Ladies and gentlegeeks, I think we gotta unplug more.  For ourselves, and sure as the dickens for our babies.

I mean, I’m all for the flow of mindfulness teaching, (at school!  Love it.)  I am generally very Mindful of Mindfulness, but I can’t help but think we wouldn’t need quite so much mindfulness training if we just spent a wee bit less time skittering between devices and leaping between operating systems.

It’s like how we eat tons of fatty food and then obsess about weight loss.  I’m talking about us as a culture, not YOU.  Or ME.  Just all of us, you know?  Truly: if we did like Michael Pollan … “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” and then went for walks and did some yoga then VOILA!  Wellness.

Sorry.  I’m a bit didactic and grouchy tonight.  I’m angsting.

Yeah, I angst about encouraging folks deeper into the digital world and further from the juicy messy deliciousness of real life.  And yet I love the handiness of a magical box that sings the commercials of my youth and finds me amazing recipes and connects me to people I love, all over the world.

What the flip.  Modern life … I need me my online yoga before bed.  Love you, Adriene, my electronic friend!

Irony, she lives.

more linking

Photo on 2015-01-23 at 10.38 morning.  Quick array of links before this Geek gets stuck into some writing.  And reading.

First up, the coolest thing I’ve seen in AGES … coverage of an art project from Australia in which ghastly Bratz dolls are given makeunders, and with their natural beauty on show they are posed in age-appropriate clothes in natural, outdoor settings.  Here’s the artist’s actual website.  I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!

And now to a lovely blog written by a RIE educator, Janet Landsbury.  My buddy sent this to me.  And then made up crazy new translations for what RIE might stand for.  It is actually the abbreviation for the organisation founded by the late, great Magda Gerber, called Resources for Infant Educarers.

Slightly depressing research is written about here confirming that children will eat junky snacks whether they’re hungry or not, and a write up here about the power of maternal soothing to mitigate the effects of pain.  Interesting, cos I was aware about research suggesting that infants on the laps of their mamas had less cortisol production when receiving injections, and I’ve heard Bruce Perry talk about injured soldiers who talked with their mums on the phone needing less pain relief … and this kinda seems to marry those stories.


OK.  That’s gonna have to be enough for now.

Arohanui xx

big emotions

Photo on 2014-09-15 at 15.09Kia ora geeks.  Hope your week is going swimmingly.  Mine began with a new issue of OHbaby! magazine, featuring an article I contributed.  It’s called “weathering the storm”, and it’s about supporting children with their big emotions.  The issue also features an utterly beautiful baby on the cover.  LOOK!

Here are a random assortment of links for your surfing pleasure … This is from the good folk at the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard … it is about using science to inform child welfare policy.  Similarly, but differently, here’s a fact sheet about the negative impact of instability on our little children.  We are about to have an election in NZ and I wonder if our leaders have read this.  (have ya?  hmmmm?)

Here is a cool resource for teachers about “sowing the seeds of neuroscience“,  and this is a link to some research into the evidence base for early childhood education.  Of course. all that only works if we are talking about care of high quality.  And that is a whole separate conversation if we’re talking ’bout babies.

Actually, that last link comes from the excellent website of the For Our Babies campaign, which deserves your time.  I have just finished the book of the same name by Ron Lally and it is such an outstanding summary of the complex layers that have led us to today … I wholeheartedly recommend it.  The relevance oozes beyond the USA.

Now a feelgood link; a new find called Green Child magazine.  Recipes, ideas, inspiration.  Yum.

Finally, a couple more links encouraging you to slow down and create mental downtime.  Specifically, if you’ve got writing to do, head outside.




The most recent issue of OHbaby! magazine has an article I wrote about sharing.  (It also had a very timely article about forward-facing vs. rear-facing carseats, which is something that I’ve been thinking about lately.  And this was before the Prince George controversy.)

May I also share with you a link to an AMAZING article shared with me by one of my lovely geeky mama pals.  This is about outdoor play and makes strong reference to the ‘loose parts’ phenomenon, which has been rattling around early childhood circles for 15 years or more.  Although the loose parts might look a bit different in that context.  Less fire, more supervision.

Another yummy article about outdoor play is to be found here. Love their point about stairs being more risky than climbing trees (so we should do what … stop kids from living in multi storey homes?).

Unrelated but fab link: a family-friendly podcast is available for download here.  Love.

Thank you so much for bearing with me during my website hiccups.  Ay carumba.  Technology.  Extra special thanks to my invisible Web Magician and my excellent onsite IT guy.

stellar links, sunny day

These pictures will make you wish you were a photographer: here the gent in question photographs his daughter in such inspired ways.  Blown away.   I was similarly inspired by this photographic collection of awesome playgrounds from around the world.

Here you can enjoy the list from Scientific American of the most obvious research findings of 2013, and begin 2014 with the Governor General’s message: it’s a shout out to families.  HOLLA!

A link to a fascinating podcast is HERE (thanks, Slate) and it’s rather illuminating in its discussion of children’s learning about and use of the word NO.  Enjoy!  (No!)

Meanwhile, closer to home, Little Girl is cutting her second molars (OUCH!).  While I empathise, I find myself kind of pleased to have something to blame the grouchiness on.  Big Girl’s grouchiness can be blamed on my current obsession about the amount of sugar we’re all consuming.  As the person responsible for feeding this family, I find it can be quite the burden to choose things that are delicious, balanced, and that the fellas will eat.

Motherhood, eh?  It’s all I ever wanted, and it wears me out.  Both things are true.

monday linking

quick link dump:

an oldie but a goodie … new mamas learn a lot from watching their babies.   Meanwhile, this is a link about choosing quality toys, from Zero to Three, and speaking of playtime, I love this from Attachment Parenting International about playful parenting of older kids & teens.

Here is an interview with the author of “Slow Parent”, and in celebration of time spent in my garden with the toddler today … here is the herb blog from the good folks at Kings Seeds.