Kiwi is 8 months

Baby dandelion Ten Thousand Hour MamaThis post is really late, but work/life/everything has been a bit much. Life ebbs and flows, and we’ve been at high tide for a while now.

But Kiwi moseys along, oblivious to deadlines and the empty fridge and the thick layer of dog hair on the unvacuumed carpet. (Ok, she actually does notice all that hair, especially considering a large amount of it ends up in her mouth.)

Kiwi is now mobile. She was so close to crawling for what seemed like forever, and then one day she finally managed to move forward instead of backward. She never looked back.

Ten Thousand Hour MamaBaby crawling Ten Thousand Hour MamaBaby with doll Ten Thousand Hour MamaNot being stuck in one place has revolutionized her life (and ours, obvi!). She is even more engaged now that she can spy something that interests her and get to it. Read more

Kiwi is 7 months: Sisterhood

Baby fox toy Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Everybody’s doing a brand new dance now,
I know you’ll like it if you give it a chance now,
Come on baby, do the Locomotion!

The last month Kiwi has been all about moving around!

She’s not crawling, although she’s made it to all fours and is occasionally rocking, the first steps toward that milestone. But she intentionally rolls toward a destination where she’s set her sights—a beach ball, her toy piano, and especially Finn.

Baby fox toy Ten Thousand Hour MamaBaby and dog Ten Thousand Hour MamaShe also moves by whale tale splash, a special move she’s waiting to patent. While on her back, she lifts her entire body up to her shoulders and slams it back down on the ground. She swivels around like this and, by all measures, looks very proud of herself.

Sisters forever

Kiwi has also started the Peeper Fan Club. She is, of course, President. The two of them have also started a band. Kiwi does solo side projects, too.

Kiwi Rock from Catherine Ryan Gregory on Vimeo.

Sisters band Ten Thousand Hour MamaSisters band guitar Ten Thousand Hour MamaSisters Ten Thousand Hour MamaShe’s pretty much obsessed with Big Sister. Peeper can do no wrong. Even when she is hitting Kiwi in the face with a pom pom or grabbing toys away, Kiwi stares and giggles.

Sisters Ten Thousand Hour MamaSisters Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Oh so tired

Over the last few weeks, everyone in the house has been passing a cold back and forth. Kiwi has been sniffling for what seems like forever. During the day she’s still her usual cheerful self, but the nights have been brutal.

Every night is worse than the last. My euphoria over her successful sleep training has been replaced by despair as I feed her to sleep every two hours. And the last few nights, she has been awake in the deep, dark hours when everyone else is snuggled safely in their dreams.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart; parenting two is even harder. But when I’m living in a sleep-deprived fog no quantity of caffeine can touch, beautiful rays of light break through: the love these girls share.

Shine on, sisters.

Sisters Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Kiwi is six months

I haven’t been this thrilled with Kiwi getting older since, well, she was born.

Six months marks a watershed in her short life.

Sweet, sweet sleep

Most important in her development, of course, was the sleep training. Kiwi transformed from a sleep-shunning infant who never slept longer than two hours at a time to a Ferber-ized champ who puts herself to sleep (no more bouncing!!) and snoozes for up to six hours at a go.

Getting more sleep means I feel less like a hollowed out shell of myself—and means I get to enjoy this dumpling much, much more.IMG_5307

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Happy house-iversary

One year ago we moved into our West Linn home, which, thanks to Peeper, we still call New House.

We’ve been here long enough that people have stopped asking us how we like our “new” neighborhood, house and town. But I’m just as grateful today as I was on that first day we moved in.

Toddler trampoline Read more

Peeper is 2 1/2

“I’m showing you two, right?” Peeper asks, holding up her index and middle fingers to show how old she is. She hasn’t quite mastered holding up a half-finger, though technically she should: She’s 2 1/2 years old.

Eric and I routinely marvel at how freaking awesome she is. She makes me laugh, like when she warned Eric, “Don’t get a head wedgie!” and when she blows a raspberry and says, “You tooted with your mouth.”

Toddler playing cardsPlaying poker with Grandpa Read more

Christmas scenes

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a joyous holiday! Ours was the busiest we’ve ever had, but all the visitors, noise and merriment meant we made even more memories.

Tinsel Christmas tree - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

A glimpse into our Christmas

My family always decorates the Christmas tree with packages upon packages of tinsel—so much that visitors have said they can’t see the ornaments beneath. This year Peeper joined in the Christmas Eve tradition.

She tossed handfuls of silver strands onto the tree, making “spiderwebs” on the branches. The lower boughs still bear thick clumps of tinsel—I couldn’t bear to redistribute them more evenly. After all, having wads of tinsel is a family tradition, too, dating back to when my younger sister was about Peeper’s age.

IMG_4878 - Version 2


This was Kiwi’s first Christmas. She was more interested in the wrapping paper and boxes than opening presents, though she did love the Christmas tree and its tinsel.

Kiwi had changed so much since the last time most of our loved ones saw her. The holidays are all about being with family, so it was even more special that we got to spend uninterrupted time together.


Christmas memories

On Christmas morning, the kids dug into their stockings first. Peeper pulled out trinkets and little toys—and glitter glue.

She couldn’t be persuaded to open presents until after she’d emptied a half-dozen tubes of glitter glue on her art projects. Forget toys and surprises; give this girl some Dollar Store glitter glue!


All the anticipation, excitement and breaks in routine took their toll, though. Peeper threw more tantrums than usual, ate hardly anything and skipped naps four days in a row.

At least she worked on her Christmas song repertoire in bed.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from Catherine Ryan Gregory on Vimeo.

Christmas is one of my favorite times, but it’s probably good it comes just once a year. This holiday’s cheer will be plenty to get us through until next year.


Two months: Kiwi

If the first month of Kiwi’s life was figuring out what the heck we were doing with our newly expanded family, the second month has been about getting to know this beautiful, engaging, curious tiny person.

I can’t get enough of her.

Baby two months old

Getting lost in my baby

I memorize the locations of the freckles on her head. Before too long, her hair will grow longer and I’ll never see them again.

I admire the delicate curves of her ears. They remind me of the swirl of a seashell or the whorl of a knot on a tree.

I feel her gentle breath on my skin as she breathes in and out.

I know the telltale fussiness that tells me she needs to burp (which is different from her tired, hungry or overwhelmed fussiness). And I can feel the burp inside her before it bubbles up. (“Good burp!” Peeper congratulates her every time.)

Baby Sharknado Read more