Kiwi is 18 months: 10 memories of my big little toddler

Kiwi is 18 months old—a whopping year and a half. She runs, she throws a ball, she does her darnedest to jump, she understands so much. I can hardly believe how big my littlest has become: a big little toddler.

My big little toddler - Ten Thousand Hour MamaAt 18 months, my toddler loves to go on hikes. Ten Thousand Hour MamaEat dirt? Sure! But good luck trying to get this toddler to eat real food. Ten Thousand Hour MamaThis 18 month old toddler says, "Let's go outside, Mom!" Ten Thousand Hour Mama

I recently read a few past milestone pasts about Peeper. The posts reminded me of some things I’d forgotten (that she used to call oatmeal “wee-mo,” for example). I also realized that I’ve slacked lately on keeping Kiwi’s milestone posts up to date.

This month, as Kiwi turns 18 months, I captured ten things about my big little toddler that make her uniquely her.

At 18 months, I'm capturing memories of my big little toddler. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Sexual assault isn’t funny—and it shouldn’t sell t-shirts

Over the weekend on Facebook, I saw a photo that made me furious. It showed the storefront of a local Spencer’s store, which included a display of Trump t-shirts. One in particular—pretty sure you can guess which one—was so offensive that went on the offensive.

I tweeted, talked and shared with anyone who would listen or read the following message:

Sexual assault isn’t funny, and using it to sell a t-shirt is disgusting.

Sexual assault isn't funny. Calling out sexism and rape culture is our duty as citizens. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Raising activists: How to take kids to a protest

Today more than ever, we need to raise our kids to be world-changers. For us, that means we are committing to take kids to a protest, even if it’s not always convenient. That also means we’re raising our girls to be nasty women—a title I wear with pride.

The night before I took Peeper and Kiwi to their first demonstration, I didn’t know what to expect. But I wanted to prepare, so I asked some friends and activist parents I know how to take kids to a protest.

I followed their advice, and I’m happy to report our family activism went great! Both Peeper and Kiwi did great at the protest, and I put into action all the wonderful tips I got.

Now is the perfect time to learn more about how to take kids to a protest. After all, there are a ton of marches and demonstrations nationwide that match up with the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. (You don’t have to go to Washington, D.C. for the big march; here’s an article to find an inauguration protest near you.)

If you’re bringing your kids, here’s how to ensure your mini activists stay safe and happy.

Want to raise your kids to be activists? Here's how to take kids to a protest or political march. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Do you want to build a snowman? Marshmallow snowman topper

If you live around Portland like we do, chances are you just got dumped on. I woke up this morning to about 7 inches of thick, packable snow—the kind that makes an awesome snowball and doubles over tree branches. So naturally, we pulled an Anna and asked, Do you want to build a snowman? I answered YES! and made both the regular kind out of snow and a marshmallow snowman topper.

When it snows (or you just want an edible craft), this marshmallow snowman topper is perfect to set on a cupcake! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

How to raise strong women: Guest post

“I challenge assumptions about women. I do make some people uncomfortable, which I’m well aware of, but that’s just part of coming to grips with what I believe is still one of the most important pieces of unfinished business in human history—empowering women to be able to stand up for themselves.”

-Hillary Clinton

How to raise strong women and independent girls with confidence. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

A few months ago, a woman lost the presidential election. We all know who this woman is and we’re all well aware of what a grand disappointment and sorrow her losing has brought upon millions of Americans, both locals and expats. This is yet another reason why we need to raise strong women.

We’ve all trusted a change was about to happen; we thought for a second our daughters will have someone other than us, their mothers, to learn from. We hoped a woman was going to be heard.

Winning the election would have been more than just a democracy refreshed; it would’ve been a beacon of hope for all the young women out there, all the brilliant, ambitious, yet to be accomplished young girls who are at the beginning (or at the peak) of their professional lives. This was supposed to be a change, a milestone so grand that everything would’ve gotten a different flavor.

In her emotional post-election speech, Hillary spoke about many things, addressing one aspect in particular: “…and to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” Thank you.

With a bitter taste in our mouths but refusing to surrender, we will raise strong women. With us as their teachers, our daughters will learn (and understand) the following: Read more

Bending backwards for your kids

When you bend over backwards for your kids and don't get a thank you, you just gotta laugh. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

The entire family was driving down the highway recently when Peeper let out a wail.

“What’s wrong?”

“My heel’s in the wrong spot!” she screamed. Turns out her sock had turned around and she couldn’t straighten it.

I tried coaching her through righting the sock to no avail. As I was in the passenger seat, I twisted all the way around and stretched my arm back.

“Put your foot next to your head,” I told her. I was just able to reach her sock and fixed it.

I waited a beat.

“Do you have something you want to say to Mom?” I asked.

While I massaged the shoulder I’d nearly dislocated, I waited for the thank you.

Peeper was silent for a minute then spoke.

“I want milk.”

It was all I could do to hold my head in my hands and laugh.

That is parenting in a nutshell: You literally bend backwards to help them recover from some ridiculous problem and instead of saying thank you, they move on to the next demand.

At least we have humor, right?

What’s the most ridiculous big-little problem you e had to solve for your kids?

How to fix a clogged duct: 10 breastfeeding tips

If I had a dollar for every time I googled “how to fix a clogged duct,” I’d be able to afford that 2017 Disney World trip Eric apparently promised Peeper last month. (I was all, “You said what?” So now we’re going to Disney.)

You see, I get clogged ducts on the regular. I’ll notice the signs of a clogged duct: a painful spot on one breast, a lump, a red spot, swelling, and oh did I mention the pain? By this point—going on 18 months breastfeeding Kiwi and almost as long with Peeper—I know how to fix a clogged duct. Breastfeeding mom friends of mine sometimes text me and ask for tips to get rid of ’em, so now I’m sharing these 10 techniques with you all.

I’d hope, of course, you don’t actually need these tips to fix a clogged duct. But if you do get one, you’ll want to try whatever works until it’s gone. After all, clogged ducts can turn into mastitis, a really nasty breast infection accompanied by fever, chills and super painful swelling.

So try these 10 tips and with a little luck, your boobs will be back to normal ASAP!

How to fix a clogged duct when you're breastfeeding, even ones that won't go away. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more