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

For one boob nap, a second child becomes an only child

As I tap this one-handed on my phone, I’m nap trapped. My toddler has fallen asleep breastfeeding, leaving me unable to put away all the kids’ new toys, go through unopened mail, unpack our suitcases or do any of the other things on my list. But I am not complaining. Today, I’m happy for this boob nap.

Kiwi rarely falls asleep on me these days. And on the occasions she does, I can’t let her snooze on me. I don’t have that flexibility; I have a preschooler.

But Peeper went down to Eugene with her dad to pick up our dog, so for today I am mom of only one kid. And that “only child” has a doozy of a cold. So it’s really not that shocking she fell asleep at the breast—and why I let her keep sleeping on me, boob nap style.

When my toddler fell asleep in a boob nap, I stayed put. She and I both got exactly what we needed. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Do good every day: My New Year resolution

“It’s so easy to dismiss the opportunity to do something good because you’re hoping to do something great.

Don’t wait. If you have something to give, give it now.”

—Mark Bezos, Ted Radio Hour, Giving It Away

I’m usually not huge into New Year’s resolutions—I prefer writing gratitude lists and making incremental changes that don’t overwhelm me (or disappoint when I don’t follow through). But in 2017, I wanted to do a kind of resolution that feels imperative: to do good every day.

Sure, I could resolve to exercise every day or cut out sugar or lose just enough weight so I feel comfortable in jeans again. But this year I need to put my values into action and make the world a little better.

Some New Year's resolutions can change the world. I'm resolving to do good every day. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

My end of 2016 Gratitude List

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a gratitude list of 50 things I’m grateful for. I remembered that post recently when I thought ahead to the New Year. I feel a lot of fear when I think about what is to come next year and beyond, but fear doesn’t do a lot of good unless it motivates some sort of positive action. I have been working to incorporate doing good every day (more on that later), but positive action can also include acknowledging all the things that are right with the world. After all, a perfect antidote to anxiety and uncertainty is reflecting on the many reasons to be thankful.

If you’re like me and you’re feeling anxious—whether that’s from the incoming president or post-Christmas bills—I invite you to make a gratitude list, too. It may just help you feel better about the end of 2016 and look forward to the New Year.

This New Year, instead of making resolutions, I'm writing a gratitude list. What are YOU thankful for? Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more