Clingy phase 2.0: Extreme toddler face melds

If you’re looking for Kiwi, she’s busy trying to literally merge herself with me. Because she does nothing halfway, she’s taking the clingy phase to new extremes.

What, your toddler doesn’t try to smash herself into you with such force that you suddenly become one person instead of two? Isn’t that attachment parenting?

Oh, my bad. I thought that was totally normal behavior.

Oh my gosh, the clingy toddler phase is taken to the next level: She wants to smash her face into mine! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Oh my gosh, the clingy toddler phase is taken to the next level: She wants to smash her face into mine! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Must-do kids activities in Portland: Oregon bloggers’ recs

Having a bunch of blogger friends is the best. They’re like a combination of the hive mind, Yelp, google and a travel agent, except with really awesome photo skills. When I need recommendations on where to eat or what to do in Portland, Oregon, I ask my Portland bloggers buds first; ditto where to stay at the coast, or what to cook for an upcoming BBQ. So when I wanted to collect a bunch of must-do family and kids activities in Portland, I knew who to ask.

I posed this question in a handful of Portland bloggers groups I belong to:

When friends and their family visit Portland from out of town, where do you send them?

Lucky for me (and you!) they sent a bunch of responses. Read on for insider tips, recommendations and curated travel plans for the best Portland family-friendly spots and kids activities!

Blogger recommendations for the best restaurants + kid activities in Portland, Oregon! family-friendly travel // Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

7 ways to help on this World Refugee Day

You can make a difference. Here's how to help refugees. // volunteer // charity // give back // Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Six years ago, Syrian teen Nabil fled Syria with his family. They stayed for four years in a small apartment in Jordan, all the while doing everything they could to find a permanent, stable, safe home. Now Nabil and his family have settled in Seattle, where he plays forward on his soccer team, volunteers with a Muslim organization to reach out to local homeless people and welcomes other Syrian refugees as they arrive and begin to rebuild their lives.

This World Refugee Day, which is marked across the globe on June 20, nonprofits, governmental organizations and regular citizens like you and me can recognize the immense resilience of refugees like Nabil. I got to interview Nabil for my work with Microsoft Philanthropies, which is sharing stories of refugee youth to direct donations to its nonprofit partners such as the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, the UNHCR and more. And stories like Nabil’s, and the tens of thousands of others like him, inspire us to want to know how to help refugees.

 

7 ways to help refugees for World Refugee Day - and every day. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Father’s Day scavenger hunt with Yoobi chalk

Truth be told, we aren’t huge on holidays or anniversaries around here (with the exception of Christmas—which we call XMAS XMAS!!!). But Father’s Day is this weekend, and I wanted to involve my kids in doing something special for Eric, who is truly a phenomenal dad. The trick: Their attention spans are short. Kiwi is a disaster with paint, which rules out most Father’s Day crafts. And they’re much more interested in doing stuff with their dad than spending an afternoon making him a photo frame out of popsicle sticks. So this year, we devised a Father’s Day scavenger hunt.

One reason I’m excited about a Father’s Day scavenger hunt is that it doesn’t take a ton of commitment or prepping. All I needed to do was take a few photos of the kids (which in itself is no small feat, considering their semi-disastrous history with photo shoots). The girls didn’t have to do a ton. They can save their Father’s Day enthusiasm for the day-of, when they’ll get to “help” their dad find his prize!

So if you’re looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift, this scavenger hunt—made with just a few photos, lots of chalk and a little imagination—is the perfect way to tell dad “I love you!”

A great Father's Day gift: a scavenger hunt with the kids! Ten Thousand Hour MamaLooking for a quick + easy gift for Dad? This Father's Day scavenger hunt, complete w/ kids photos, is perfect! Ten Thousand Hour Mama A Father's Day scavenger hunt is a fun, easy and great last-minute gift idea for the kids to do for Dad. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Read more

Meals for new moms: Bring just what they need (& want!)

Everything you need to make delicious meals for new moms - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

When each of my girls was born, the steady delivery of meals was an enormous help. I couldn’t figure out how to breastfeed, much less feed myself, so the food friends brought nourished me in a way I deeply needed. In addition, their visits proved to be a much-appreciated and reliable contact with the regular adult world whose primary concern was not how many wet diapers the baby has had today. So if you’re considering making meals for new moms, I say to you: DO IT.

Since my big girls are no longer babies, I’ve had the opportunity to pay everyone’s kindness forward. I’ve brought quite a few meals for new moms and their families, and in the process I’ve learned a lot about what to do—and what not to do—when delivering meals to new moms.

So if you’ve signed up for a meal train, YOU ARE AWESOME. Know that by making a meal (or bringing takeout—that’s totally not cheating!), you are showing this new mama that she is loved, supported, cared for—and that her village will help lift her up as she undertakes the most monumental change of her life.

She is a new mom, and you are helping her become the best mother she can be.

(And that’s a big deal.)

If you’re not quite sure what to bring or what to do, though, you’ve come to the right place. When it comes to making meals for new moms, I share these 12 tips to help you make life easier for the family more focused on umbilical cord scabs than dinnertime.  Read more

Yaquina Head Lighthouse with kids: Newport, OR & beyond

While visiting the Central Oregon Coast, I never plan activities ahead of time—I figure we’ll stay on the beach nearly every waking moment, since the coast is my (and my family’s) happy place. But on our most recent trip to Newport, OR, I found myself looking for a family friendly outing that didn’t involve throwing sand or chasing toddlers who were splashing in the freezing Pacific. My dad and I ended up going to Yaquina Head Lighthouse with the kids—an incredibly scenic stop just a few minutes north of Newport, OR.

Visiting Yaquina Head Lighthouse with kids is a fun family activity outside of Newport, OR on the Central Oregon Coast. family travel: Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Spirited and strong-willed: Kiwi is 22 months

Over the weekend, Eric was mowing the lawn while the girls played outside. Kiwi followed behind him pushing a green plastic toy mower. Peeper was blowing bubbles but wanted a turn with the mower.

“Can I have a turn? Here, you can take a turn with the bubbles,” Peeper offered.

“MO!” Kiwi yelled. Then she left the toy mower, picked up the bottle of bubbles and dumped out the whole thing on the grass. Then she went back to her toy mower and happily pushed it along as if everything were right with the world.

Eric told me the story and we laughed hysterically—partly because the scene so perfectly exemplifies the feisty, sometimes ornery, stage our almost-2-year-old is in.

22 months old spirited toddlerShaving cream and paint in the bath kids messy craft project - Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more