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

Weekly smile: Rock of ages

Driving home from preschool earlier this week, we got stuck in horrible traffic. A semi and car had crashed ahead of us, and we had no opportunity to exit before becoming mired in the standstill. As my car crept along, idling more often than moving, my impatience grew.

Then Peeper started singing from the backseat.

“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,” she began. She paused then added, “Sing it with me now, Mom!”

We spent the rest of the trip home singing Raffi and Christmas songs at the top of our lungs.

A music-loving family

Music has been central to many smiles in the last week. I brought out a tiny toy piano, which has fast become Kiwi’s favorite toy. She’s clearly a virtuoso, as this video shows.

Tummy time jams from Catherine Ryan Gregory on Vimeo.

Another night, Peeper exclaimed, “Let’s start a band!” The whole family got in on the action—banging drums, strumming a ukulele, tapping piano keys and jingling bells.

If only we’d remembered to break out the mini accordion Nana got Peeper for Christmas!

We’ll announce our tour dates soon. Until then, we’ll keep jamming.

Rock of ages

Trent’s World hosts a Weekly Smile link-up, where bloggers post tidbits of happiness. The internet could use a little more positivity, and I’m glad to share what made me smile in the last few days!

Powered by breastmilk

Powered by breastmilk breastfeedingKiwi is powered by breastmilk.

She rolls, she giggles, she kicks, she chews on anything she can get her gummy mouth on.

She has dimpled cheeks and rolls on her thighs.

She watches her sister play, stares out the car window on drives, listens to books and turns toward any sound to figure out precisely what made that noise.

Up until last week, when Kiwi tried her first food, all that growth, activity, curiosity and learning was 100% fueled by breastmilk—magical, powerful, nourishing breastmilk. Read more

Weekly smile

weeklysmile1
Weekly Smile via Trent’s World

Yesterday Kiwi got a series of vaccinations. I had hoped the shots would make her sleep—after all, after the first round of ’em two months ago she got her longest stretch of shut-eye ever.

Alas, it was not meant to be.

So as I’m feeling like a braindead zombie today, I stumbled across a weekly smile link-up hosted by Trent at Trent’s World.

We must have been on the same page because this week my mom, Eric and I also tried sharing our day’s high and low at dinner. It felt a little silly, but it was nice to hear the highlights and dips of my loved ones’ days.

Here, then, are a few smiles from my week. Read more

Full of gratitude in 2016

I recently read my friend Deb’s post about being grateful, and her spontaneous list inspired me to count what I’m thankful for, too.

Tales from the Motherland is hosting a LinkUp for bloggers to post their own gratitude missives. The instructions are easy:

If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list (the timer doesn’t matter for filling in the instructions, intro, etc). The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog at the very bottom of this post. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4)Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. Please note: the InLinkz will expire on January 15, 2015. After that date, no blogs can be added.

Will you join in? All it takes is 10 minutes!

The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on the many, many good things in my life. I’m looking forward to 2016, but first, here are 50 small things for which I’m grateful.

IMG_4696 Read more

Father’s Day: 10 reasons why my husband is an amazing dad

Toddler and dad blow dandelion father's dayAbout a month ago, I tooted my own horn spoke the truth about how I am a really, really good mother. Well, the same goes for Eric, my forever person and father to our wonderful Peeper and Kiwi.

I know him well enough to be fairly certain that he’ll feel all embarrassed by this post (just as he was extremely awkward when I shared with the world that he’d been awarded the educator of the week—something especially noteworthy, I think, because he teaches special ed and this is his first year as full-time teacher. Heck yeah, I’m proud!). But he can just deal, because I’m going to sing his praises anyway!

Dad hugging newborn dad carrying baby hazelnut orchard Eugene Oregon Dorris ParkDad baby Timbers soccer game PortlandTen ways Eric is a wonderful father barely scratches the surface, but these reasons give a glimpse into how lucky our family is to have him. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in the crazy and rewarding whirlwind of parenthood.

Happy Father’s Day, my love. Read more

23 months

Toddler adirondack chairLately I catch myself staring at Peeper. A lot.

I look up and there she is, and suddenly I’m overcome.

After she goes to sleep, I lose myself scrolling through my Instagram feed or flipping through photos on my phone. I can’t get enough of her, and then I realize I’ve been smiling at her pictures for the last 30 minutes.

Perhaps it’s a side effect of knowing our second child is on her way. The coming arrival of Kiwi makes me savor this time with Peeper even more.

But my absorption with her goes beyond soaking up these last minutes of her as our only child. She is just so damn wonderful.

Toddler yoga downward dogToddler bench Mary S Young Park sheep loveyIMG_1044 IMG_1113 Read more