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Music festival season: where are you going, and how are you preparing your family?

Oh, you guys. It's fully upon us: summer music festival season, which for some of us means packing up the entire family to dare the crowds, the heat, and the occasional disoriented daytime psychonaut at our favorite festies. After the amazing experiences I had with my family last year at Oregon's Beloved Festival, I'm in full-fledged preparation mode to head back to the festival again next month. So, where are y'all headed this summer?

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Love It Love It Love It lives up to its name's promise AGAIN (+ free shipping coupon!)

I've totally gushed about UK-based children's boutique Love It Love It Love It on Offbeat Families before. I first found them via a reader comment back in 2009, and I've basically been dressing my son in their gender-neutral Scandanavian-influenced rainbow kid gear ever since. See, 90% of my kid's clothes come from the Goodwill, and cost 99 cents. The other 10%? They're euro-baby splurges from Love It Love It Love It. All my favorite pictures of Tavi? He's wearing their stuff…

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What are your family plans for summer? (And will I see any of you at the Beloved Festival?)

May is when my family and I start really solidifying our summer plans, starting to block out chunks for camping and visiting out-of-state family. To get a little inspiration, I spent some time doodling through Offbeat Families archives looking for great ideas for things to do this summer. Join me in some schemes, and then tell me… what are YOUR family plans for this summer?

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Collectively grieving Newtown, CT

Stephanie and I are both completely devastated by the situation in Newtown, with Stephanie being especially freaked out since she already survived one shooting last week (she and her son were at the mall in Oregon last Tuesday when three people were shot and killed). The two of us have been talking all weekend, and we just don't have much to contribute to the discussions about Newtown. That said, I do want to provide a place for Offbeat Families to support each other through the grief we're all experiencing as we emerge from the terrible events of last week…

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Yay for midwife mamas!

I'm not sure how many Offbeat Mama readers know about my mom. She wrote a few guestposts back in Offbeat Mama's early days, but for those who weren't around back in early 2010 here's the backstory: my mom Therese is a retired midwife who was first the founding president of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), and then the Academic Director of Seattle Midwifery School. In high school, I grew up grading midwifery tests.

Anyway, MANA just celebrated their 30th anniversary, and my mom went to a big gathering they had in California. I was tickled pink when she shared this picture of some of the past presidents, and thought some of you midwifery fans might be as well.

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Beloved: taking my son to his first music festival

The last time we went to a music festival, it was summer of 2009 and I was pretty pregnant. We stayed for about a day, and then we bailed — with much navel gazing and obsessing from me. WHAT DID IT MEAN? So that was three years ago. I've continued to dance, mostly at dance studios and very occasionally at clubs… but we had not made it back to a music festival. Then along came the Beloved Festival, in Oregon. I was contacted about doing an Offbeat Families workshop at Beloved, and so here's how it all went down…