Holiday gift guide: Books for babies

Halloween has come and gone, which means Christmas is right around the corner—at least if you’re listening to radio commercials and shopping, um, anywhere. (I swear the Christmas displays were up before I could stalk the aisles for discounted Halloween candy.)

But with all the tasks I’m juggling, I’m a big fan of getting holiday shopping done early. You too? Well, good news: here’s our baby-tested holiday gift guide, books for babies edition.

The 10 best books for babies: This gift guide makes your Christmas shopping list easy for kids in the family! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

(This post contains affiliate links, which means clicking and buying gets me a few pennies.) Read more

Fill a stocking for the homeless: Kids doing good

“Everyone has a home, right, Mom?” Peeper asked me the other day.

“No, sweetie. Some people don’t have homes.”

Peeper’s question opened the door to talk about homelessness—and what, exactly, it means. Even better, it inspired us to do something.

Her question prompted us to fill a stocking for the homeless with the most in-demand items that help people without reliable housing. We’ll give the stocking, which was sewn by volunteers at the local nonprofit Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart, to a business collecting them for people who don’t have enough. When reading about Fill a Stocking, I learned that the stockings go to lots of people, including homebound seniors and kids in foster homes. I also learned that many of the people who receive the stockings won’t get any other present this holiday.

For at least one person, my kids and I will give back this Christmas.

This holiday, it's easy to do good and give back—with your kids. Fill a stocking for the homeless with the most-needed items, like a blessing bag. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Trick or treat sign: Free Halloween printable

This is my first year as a mother when I’ve actually felt on top of Halloween. And that’s 100% because I decided to not go all DIY.

I’m so glad I’m half-assing Halloween.

When Peeper said she wanted to wear a Cinderella costume, my inner feminist cringed—but then I hopped on Amazon and ordered her a damn Disney dress.

Kiwi is still too little to have much of a preference or even know there’s a holiday coming up. So I figured that hey, she has fleece giraffe-print pajamas, so why doesn’t she dress as a giraffe? #twoforonepajamas

Now I have to get out and show off these top-tier costumes. And if you’re like us, you won’t be spending all of Halloween at home, either, waiting to give out tiny chocolates to almost equally tiny Elsas and Pikachus. We’ll be taking the girls out to get their own candy (which we’ll quickly appropriate, obvi). So I wanted to set out a trick or treat sign welcoming the neighborhood kids to help themselves to the treats I’ll leave on the front porch.

And hey, so can you, because you can download this Halloween trick or treat sign for free!

Download this free trick or treat sign printable to leave with a candy bowl on your porch this Halloween! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Download your free Trick or Treat Sign!

Simply submit your name and email to download your free Trick or Treat Sign and join The Ten Thousand Hour Mama mailing list. I won't spam you, and I never share your information.
(Sorry, the free printable does not come with free candy.)

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Happy Independence Day – the meaning behind the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Happy Independence Day!

My aunt and godmother just sent around this photo. My Grandpa Ryan is the tyke in front with the flag. He was also a WWII veteran.

The email from my aunt came shortly after I was complaining about fireworks. Our neighborhood is full of kids, which I absolutely love: They play tag, ride bikes and zip in and out of each other’s houses from breakfast until dusk. They even knock on our door to see if Peeper can play, and they take turns jumping on our mini-trampoline with her. We have a beautiful community.

But they also light fireworks. Perhaps the local fireworks tent had a buy-one-get-five-hundred-free deal, but good grief the explosions. Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to me: I see you

This is the final post in my Happy Mother’s Day to Me series—written by yours truly. I have been inspired, humbled and and motivated by the many mamas who have contributed their stories and messages to themselves. Check out all the posts in the series, and don’t forget to wish your mom a happy Mother’s Day!


Dear Me,

Happy Mother’s Day! You will be hearing this greeting from all corners—family, relatives, friends. But I wanted to tell you again. After all, I see every moment you spend with your kids—the good ones and the ones you wish you could take back. And I’m here to say, you are a good mother. 

I am that voice in your head. Not the one that whispers, “You are messing this up,” “Why can’t you get it together?” or “What’s wrong with you?” That voice if full of shit.

I may be quieter, but I am honest. I am true. I am the one you should listen to.

I am the cheerleader who is rooting for you especially on the days you think you just can’t for one more minute. I am the one giving you high fives for getting both kids out of the house before 9am, or for that killer read-aloud voice, or for simply making sure everyone is fed. I am the one telling you that you are enough. 

Happy Mother's Day stroller Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: What I Want for Mother’s Day

This guest post is by Janica Larson, an encouraging and supportive blogger studying to become an integrative life coach. She shares healthy lifestyle hacks at Simply Living with Janica. In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Check out all the posts in the series!


What do I want for Mother’s Day?

That is a question that my husband asks every single year, but I never know what to say. The things I want these days aren’t really fun gifts.

What I want for Mother's DayI need a haircut, my blender is getting really old, and there is a new line of workout gear I’ve been eyeing up, but haven’t pulled the $29 trigger. I guess what I really want is a vacation (then I need to find a sitter or plan a vaca around kids activities) and so then it really isn’t a vacation for me, but another task on my to-do list. Maybe someone to come in and clean the house would be awesome!?

Fun, right? I have a list of all of these things that I want, but they are just things. They aren’t really a show of real, deep appreciation of what I do as a mom or thoughtful and romantic gestures to show how much my family needs me. Isn’t that the point of Mother’s Day? Show Mom how much you care! (Also, when did Mother’s day become another “holiday” for buying stuff?)

I definitely don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I know he just grabbed that card at the gas station on his way home from work. And asking me, “What’s for dinner or did you want to go out?” isn’t my idea of thinking about what would be nice for me.

I don’t want a gift for Mother’s Day this year.  Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: Loving myself more

This guest post comes from Selena Maestas, an integrative nutritionist who is super-serious about helping women accept, love and cherish themselves—as they are. Her Love YOU More Project is inspiring women across the internet to adopt radical self-love. In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, Selena 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!

Happy Mother's Day to Me: Loving Myself More - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Selena,

You are an amazing woman who has been through so much.  You don’t like to complain or whine about what has happened, because without it, you wouldn’t be YOU. You wouldn’t be who you are today. You wouldn’t have the insight and knowledge to help women the way you do.

But it still hurts.

And you cry. A lot.

As strong as you are, you are still soft.  You are full of emotion.

Tears are just your way.

Feeling is something you embrace.

You’ve learned that if you don’t feel it, it will eat you alive.

You used to hide those feelings.

You used to conform to what others expected of you and demanded of you. In fact, you lost yourself so deep, that you become physically ill.

But guess what?

What did that teach you?

It taught you to BE YOU. No matter what people think. Read more