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

Chew on this: The 10 best teething products and tips

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I’m considering starting a baby consulting business. Consultations will go like this.

My baby is cranky. She’s probably teething.

My baby doesn’t sleep. He’s probably teething.

My baby wants to eat all the time/won’t eat anything. She’s probably teething.

My baby bites me/other kids/the dog/wood chips at the playground. He’s definitely teething.

But after having two kids who have grown lots and lots of teeth, I have tried just about every product and technique to relieve teething pain. Here, then, are my recommendations for the best teething products.

Teething hurts! Thankfully, these tips, toys and best of the best teething products will help your baby feel better ASAP. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

North Pole, Oregon

In the days leading up to Christmas, Peeper kept sneaking glances out the window. “It’s going to snow soon,” she said.

Yet the rain continued, and snow refused to accumulate.

The lack of powder was even more cruel considering a huge snowstorm stopped her Aunt Amy and Uncle Luke from driving down for the holiday. At least Peeper got to see all the snow on FaceTime when we talked with my sister.

Then finally, finally, over the weekend it snowed!

Snow storm in Portland Read more

Kiwi is five months

DSC_1046The other morning Kiwi woke up from a nap and I startled when I looked at her.

“You got bigger!” I exclaimed.

I swear she grew in the 45 minutes she was asleep. She has changed so much in the five months since she was born.

Yet some things have stayed the same. Kiwi entered the world talking—not crying—and she is even more of a chatterbox these days. She squeaks, coos, gurgles and squeals all day (and, ahem, night) long. She clearly has a lot to say!

DSC_1210Kiwi is rolling over both ways, trying to sit up on her own and laughing up a storm. She has become remarkably intentional in her explorations of the world. She reaches out her hand to bat at a toy or the Christmas tree, and she turns over or contorts her body to get a better look at what Big Sister Peeper is doing.

IMG_4276The two girls are interacting more. One day while Peeper was sitting on the potty, she yelled “ha!” for some reason. Kiwi giggled, so Peeper did it again—and again—and again, eliciting bigger belly laughs each time. And the other morning, Peeper saw me tickling Kiwi by nibbling her cheeks, tummy and armpits, so she copied me. “Nom nom nom!” she said as she gummed her little sister’s side.

IMG_4325At the same time, I haven’t wished for time to stop or even slow down. The last five months have been among the most challenging of my life. Kiwi is napping much better and starting to sleep more at night, but the ongoing lack of rest has been brutal on me. And my transition to mom of two has been less than graceful. So I smile when I look back on newborn pictures of Kiwi, but I don’t want to transport myself back to those days.

Plus, why stop time when every day brings something new? Kiwi is changing by the minute, or at least by the nap.

IMG_4444

Rest in peace Uncle Paul

To say Uncle Paul was all heart is completely accurate—and a bit ironic, considering he received a new heart a year and a half ago.

Eric’s sweet, thoughtful, loving uncle passed away last week. He was buried in the Quantico National Cemetery yesterday and today is his memorial. Family flew in from across the country, though the girls and I had to stay home. I hate to miss the celebration of his life and seeing our loved ones, but I am remembering Uncle Paul from afar.

As a celebration of his one-year anniversary of the heart transplant—effectively his one-year birthday—he and Eric’s parents hopped in an RV and took a road trip to the West Coast. Uncle Paul hadn’t met Peeper yet, and Kiwi had just been born.

IMG_2313_3 Read more

The spirit of Christmas

DSC_0980The other day Peeper and I shared a rare morning just the two of us: Eric and Kiwi were napping, so we headed downstairs to play out of earshot. It turned out to be the perfect time to get into the true spirit of Christmas.

After some jumping on the couch, reading books to dolls and building towers (then knocking them down, of course), I suggested we wrap some presents.

“These are for a little boy who doesn’t have any presents,” I explained to her. We are sponsoring a child whose parent is incarcerated, and I had bought him action figures, shoes and pants—his wish list items—earlier in the week. “Some children don’t have as many toys as you,” I added.

Christmas lessons in toddler-sized packages

Peeper chattered and jumped back and forth over the wrapping paper tubes as I cut, folded and taped. I unpeeled the backing from shiny bows, and she stuck them on the boxes.

I wanted to involve Peeper in our family giving this year. We have so much while others have so little, and I don’t want her growing up expecting that  abundance is the norm. Providing for others so their holiday is a little brighter is a family tradition, and Peeper is old enough to learn some of these lessons. Read more

Life > Blog

Balancing life with two kidsLong time no see, Blog.

I’ve been writing here much less frequently since Kiwi was born. Well, duh, you might think. I do, after all, have an eight-week-old and toddler to take care of, plus a husband to occasionally talk with, plus a full-time job writing. (Cleaning and cooking have completely fallen by the wayside, too. Our house is a constant disaster.)

My hiatus is perhaps to be expected, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

I like this blog. I enjoy writing it, sharing it, connecting with other people and building a community of other bloggers and readers. It doesn’t bring in a cent and probably isn’t advancing my career in any way, but it has become something that’s important to me.

As moms, it’s easy to let go of the things we enjoy—but that don’t tangibly contribute— especially in the hazy first months of a baby’s life. But we shouldn’t.

Even though this blog centers around my family, it’s for me. I am a writer, and writers write. Sure, right now I’m writing and editing full-time, but this is fulfilling in a different way. I get to say what’s in my heart (or in my sleep-deprived mind, at least).

At some point, I’ll regain some of the balance that’s missing. In the meantime, I haven’t completely forgotten about my tiny corner of the internet. I’ll be back.