You’re an animal! (and Tender Wondersuits giveaway!)

Flamingos, as it turns out, rock Peeper’s world.

We went to the Oregon Zoo recently, and I walked a different route than I typically do. The path took me down a lush section of the park I hadn’t been to since I was a kid. We finally came across some animals, but the bats were asleep and the lizard wasn’t moving, so Peeper seemed more interested in the flowers.

Then we found the flamingos.

She flipped! It’s a good thing there was a glass panel separating us from them because she tried her hardest to get into that pond and see them up close.

Oregon Zoo - flamingos - Ten Thousand Hour MamaOregon Zoo - flamingos - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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Bachelorette party reflections

The other night I went out like I haven’t gone out in years.

I joined a bunch of girlfriends for a bachelorette party. We went to the kind of place that gives you a paper bracelet for getting a table and stamps the inside of your wrist, that has a swing above the bar, that men try to hit on you until they realize they’re roughly a decade younger than you.

In all its trashy ridiculousness, we had fun.

The next morning I felt pretty miserable—not from a hangover (I had a cocktail at dinner but sipped water at the bar, thank goodness) but because I went to bed late, woke up in the middle of the night to get Peeper back to sleep and got up before dawn with a certain toddler who thought it’d be great timing to start her crib calisthenics routine.

Walking Finn and Peeper to the park that morning, I glanced down and noticed the stamp and bracelet. They seemed so incongruous to my reality as a mom that I had to laugh. Maybe my early-20s self would laugh that I get buzzed off one drink and can’t handle wearing heels for more than an hour and would rather hang out at the playground than barhop. But that’s where I am in my life, and I don’t mind. The view is pretty good from here.Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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14 months

In the last month, Peeper has gained the gift of gab. I’m astounded by the words she says: In addition to the baby basics like ball, cat and bye-bye, she names moles (her papa and I are marked by a constellation of ‘em) and clocks (despite our not owning one; she learned the word at her grandparents’ house and by looking at books).

Sometimes she gets a bit mixed up by her limited vocabulary. A few weeks ago we went to the farmer’s market, where they were offering free pony rides. When Peeper saw the horses, she shrieked, “Dog!” Um, close enough.Ten Thousand Hour Mama - Horse at Black Butte Ranch

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A motherhood mulligan

Eric and I have been disc golfing together since we met. When we first started dating, we’d drive to Dexter State Park and play a round, flirting between throws.

Now that we’ve been married for six years and have a toddler, disc golfing looks a little different: I skip most holes because I’m too busy chasing Peeper and preventing her from eating rocks, sticks and hunks of dirt. But one thing hasn’t changed—I still call “mulligan” when I hit a tree with my drive. I don’t keep score anyway, so what’s the harm in a little do-over?Ten Thousand Hour Mama - Champoeg Disc Golf

Ten Thousand Hour Mama - Champoeg disc golfI was recently interviewed by friend and former colleague Lee Walker Helland about motherhood mulligans—the things we wish we could have done differently. Her story, First-Year Do-Overs, just ran in American Baby. (Take a peek to read my interview and hear what other moms would have changed about getting out of the house, accepting help and sleep training.)

I talked, of course, about breastfeeding. If you want to catch up on our BFing journey, you can read about it here, here and here, or just read a good summary here. Thankfully, our story has a good ending: Peeper is still breastfeeding, and I’m so grateful to have been able to nurse her this long on my terms.

Is there anything you would have done differently in parenthood?

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Making peace with my epidural

Ten Thousand Hour MamaThis month marks the first installment of my new column in the Portland-area family magazine Metro Parent. I figured I should start at the beginning, so I wrote a little about Peeper’s birth story.

I had planned on having a medication-free birth but, for many reasons, I opted for an epidural. I sometimes felt like I should have had a “natural” birth (I use those quotation marks with a huge eye roll—having a baby by C-section or without medication is not unnatural!), but I’ve since come to terms with having an epidural.

You can pick up a free copy of Metro Parent all over town or read the full column here.

Were you happy with how your labor and delivery went? Was there anything you’d change? Did it take you a while to reconcile with your birth story?

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Begging dog - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

My daughter and my dog, equally excited by the prospect of my tossing them peas.

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Toddler philosophy

Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Life is too short to walk around empty-handed.

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