Love wins: A rainbow-hued celebration

Friday morning, Peeper and I were playing on the floor when Eric walked in. Barely taking his eyes off his phone, he asked, “Did you hear?”

The news he was talking about—the Supreme Court’s decision that overturns states’ bans on same-sex marriage—the “justice that arrives like a thunderbolt”—bowled me over. I of course began to cry because I’m a giant ball of emotions these days. I immediately thought of our same-sex friends whose marriages were now recognized by the federal government, the people in states like Ohio and Kentucky can now enjoy the legal benefits and social recognition of marriage, and the plaintiffs who fought for harrowing years in Obergefell v. Hodges case so that gay and lesbian couples nationwide could marry, too.

Peeper, being the empathetic little bug she is, gave me a hug. “Mama feels better now,” she said.

Indeed, Mama felt wonderful.  Continue reading

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For the love of Mexican music

Peeper has found a new passion.

We were out to dinner in Seattle (at Mama’s in Belltown) this week, and Peeper was teetering on the edge of Meltdown Canyon. She had been going to sleep much later and skipping naps altogether in our few days out of town, and I was beginning to think that a sit-down dinner in a restaurant was simply asking too much. But we’d already ordered, so we made a go of it.

That’s when the music started.

Toddler Mexican ballad music

The musicians even let Peeper strum the guitar; this is her clapping and strumming along.

Continue reading

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7 animal noises you’ve been messing up

Along with swaddling a squirmy baby, changing a diaper without smearing poop over every surface and operating on practically no sleep, making animal noises is a skill absolutely necessary to parenthood.

Between songs like Old MacDonald and books like Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, moms and dads become pros at mooing, quacking and cock-a-doodle-dooing. As a child ages, though, the animal sounds parents must make become more complex.

But when was the last time you heard a toucan? And do you go all-in with genuine elephant trumpeting, or do you cop out and say “toot toot”?

In addition to these pressing questions, I am going to bet you’ve been making a handful of animal noises completely wrong.

So let me (and YouTube) enlighten you. Go ahead and click play (though not if your dog is in the room—he might will definitely freak out) to step up your animal noises game. Continue reading

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Father’s Day: 10 reasons why my husband is an amazing dad

Toddler and dad blow dandelion father's dayAbout a month ago, I tooted my own horn spoke the truth about how I am a really, really good mother. Well, the same goes for Eric, my forever person and father to our wonderful Peeper and Kiwi.

I know him well enough to be fairly certain that he’ll feel all embarrassed by this post (just as he was extremely awkward when I shared with the world that he’d been awarded the educator of the week—something especially noteworthy, I think, because he teaches special ed and this is his first year as full-time teacher. Heck yeah, I’m proud!). But he can just deal, because I’m going to sing his praises anyway!

Dad hugging newborn dad carrying baby hazelnut orchard Eugene Oregon Dorris ParkDad baby Timbers soccer game PortlandTen ways Eric is a wonderful father barely scratches the surface, but these reasons give a glimpse into how lucky our family is to have him. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in the crazy and rewarding whirlwind of parenthood.

Happy Father’s Day, my love. Continue reading

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23 months

Toddler adirondack chairLately I catch myself staring at Peeper. A lot.

I look up and there she is, and suddenly I’m overcome.

After she goes to sleep, I lose myself scrolling through my Instagram feed or flipping through photos on my phone. I can’t get enough of her, and then I realize I’ve been smiling at her pictures for the last 30 minutes.

Perhaps it’s a side effect of knowing our second child is on her way. The coming arrival of Kiwi makes me savor this time with Peeper even more.

But my absorption with her goes beyond soaking up these last minutes of her as our only child. She is just so damn wonderful.

Toddler yoga downward dogToddler bench Mary S Young Park sheep loveyIMG_1044 IMG_1113 Continue reading

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5 Pregnancy truths no one told you

There’s practically a cottage industry for literature to tell you what to expect when you’re expecting (along with what to do and what to not do under any circumstances or you’ll ruin your baby forever). Some details, though, seem to get left out.

Well, ladies with a bun in your oven, let me enlighten you. Some of these secrets aren’t pretty, but such is life. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Continue reading

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The Baby Survivalist Room: Stocking up pre-baby

You’d think that since I’ve done this whole pregnancy thing before that I’d have it down by now.

Ah, if only.

Here I am at 34 weeks—that’s a month and a half from my due date for anyone who can’t be bothered to do the math—and I still feel largely unprepared for the tiny person who’s about to make our family a foursome. Perhaps part of me has gone all laissez-faire about it because I figured I have everything we used with Peeper; perhaps I’m just more focused on things like taking care of a toddler to make fastidious to-do lists and register for layettes.

(Still not entirely sure what a layette is.)

This past week, though, I finally got my widening butt in gear—at least a little. Continue reading

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