Handmade camping dolls make for an unforgettable summer

Handmade camping dolls make for an unforgettable summer

When Eric’s parents were visiting Oregon this summer, we took a camping trip at Milo McIver State Park. It was the girls’ first camping trip of the year, and I wanted to help make it special. (Yes, I know the very fact of spending all day outside and roasting marshmallows make camping special without any extras. But still.) I pulled inspiration from one of our favorite books, Lulu & Pip, and made camping dolls for the girls.

The camping dolls were an instant hit. The dolls went with us everywhere, from a hike to the camp chairs beside the fire. They got dirty. They got chewed on. They earned their title of camping dolls.

And my hope was realized: The camping dolls helped make our camping trip unforgettable.

Handmade camping dolls made a recent family camping trip even more fun! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Peeper is 4: Fourth birthday reflections

A few days ago, both the girls woke up at 4am. Eric tried to get them back to sleep, but Peeper was having none of it. “Yesterday Mama told me I have three days until my birthday. But now I have only TWO days until I’m 4!” This girl is just a little excited for her fourth birthday.

We’ve been talking about her birthday for a while now, but only recently has it seemed concrete to her. After all, concepts of months and weeks are a little abstract for a preschooler. So the week leading up to her fourth birthday, we talked about how many days were left until she turned 4.

And now that day has come. Happy birthday, my sweet, fierce, loving, compassionate, hilarious, sassy daughter!

Happy 4th birthday to my daughter, the silliest preschooler I know. Ten THousand Hour MamaHappy 4th birthday to my preschooler! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Kiwi is 12 months old: Leading me

Not long ago, Peeper came home from gymnastics. She ran into the bedroom, where I was changing Kiwi’s diaper.

“We learned frog jumps!” Peeper exclaimed—and began bouncing up and down, landing with her hands between her feet.

Kiwi squealed. She rolled over. Coming up to her knees, she started to bounce, too.

The two sisters laughed and jumped like frogs and laughed some more, all the while watching each other.

That little scene perfectly shows the core of Kiwi’s personality—her exuberance. She is so in love with life.

At 12 months old, my baby (wait, toddler?!) is the one leading me! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Peeper is 3

It’s hard to believe that 3 years ago, my beautiful Peeper made me a mom.

I will never forget that day. Early that morning I woke with contractions. A bit later, Eric, my sister, Finn and I went for a hike. My water broke on the car ride home. At the hospital, I endured excruciating back labor that made me wild with fear. But just after 9pm, I met the tiny person who had grown from two joined cells to an entire person, and my life broke open in the most joyous way possible.

This preschooler is 3 years old and brings me so much joy. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Peeper’s third birthday marks a division in my life—a clear before and after. But she continues to rock my world every day we spend together. Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: My 100 year old birthday prize

This guest post is by Jenni Bost, expert party-thrower, generous extrovert and wonderful mama to two boys. She blogs about DIY entertaining projects and motherhood at A Well Crafted Party and organizes the blogging group Portland Bloggers—in addition to working outside the home. (Phew!) In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, Jenni and a whole slew of mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Check out all the posts in the series!


 

mother's day family photo
Family Photos by Macey Snelson of www.momentsbymacey.com

Do you remember that feeling of never being big enough, fast enough, or strong enough? Living life through the eyes of my sons—with the knowledge that comes with getting older—is humbling to say the least.

My oldest son is four years old and very much enjoys growing older. While I wince with each creak of my aging body, I hear my son talk about his next birthday (not for many months yet) and all the joy that comes with that celebration. (He is totally my kid.) He often talks about “when I get to be 100 I’ll be faster than anyone” or “when I get to be 100 I’ll be a giant.” One hundred years is not old to him.

On a recent car ride and yet another discussion about his birthday he quieted in concentration and then quite seriously asked me, “Mom, do I get a prize when I get to 100?”

“A prize?” I asked.

“Yea, like a toy or a present or something?” he asked in explanation.

I laughed at the time and joked about telling him once I get there. However, the thought stayed with me for some time—especially as I had been mulling around about what I’d write about for this “Happy Mother’s Day to Me” series.

I work in the senior living field and know firsthand that living to 100 (or much older) is no longer the complete fantasy it might have been.

I also totally believe that a prize should happen if I hit 100 years old. The thought inspired my letter to my son for when I hit 100 years old.  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

Painting birthday party: Making a group easel [tutorial!]

DIY painting easel for kids - Ten Thousand Hour MamaPeeper loves to create, so when it came to planning her second birthday party, I knew I wanted to incorporate art. Thanks to getting almost no sleep and leaving most of the party prep till the morning of, I had to scale back some of our painting plans, but one activity made the cut: the group DIY easel.

Peeper and her friends got to paint alongside each other in our front yard, and each kiddo took home a piece of art (or several!). Peeper’s painting is now hanging on our wall above the dining table.

The setup was surprisingly easy—and cheap—and we’ve left it up in our yard for now. Peeper continues to use it, and when we do decide to take it down, we’ll recycle or reuse all the pieces for projects later!

DIY painting easel for kids - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

DIY painting easel for kids - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Want to get in on the artistic action, too? Here’s how to make an easy group DIY easel for your kids to paint their own outdoor masterpieces.  Read more