Hello ice cream truck, goodbye summer

“Hey, what’s that noise?” I asked. Peeper looked up, her eyes wide. She turned to look out the window. “Let’s go see!” I said. I figured we had to do this one thing before we said goodbye summer.

As quickly as I could, I got our shoes on, picked up Kiwi and dashed outside. The metallic tinkling tune was fading as its source moved farther away. Undeterred, I hurried us along the quiet street.

Then, to my relief, the cheerful song got louder. And then we saw it: the ice cream truck.

Visiting the ice cream truck and saying goodbye to summer inspires me to take stock of what I learned about my daughters—and myself. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

A few times this summer, the ice cream truck has stopped in our neighborhood. The driver must have known about the groups of kids who rove through our block. They play chase, ride scooters, flirt and let the summer afternoons drift by as if time did not exist.

Yet I hadn’t taken my girls out to have their first ice cream truck experience. The truck always seemed to come right before nap time. Or, more honestly, I just didn’t want to deal with the sugar buzz, no matter the time of day.

But summer is coming to a close. Before we said goodbye summer, I wanted the girls to say hello, cream truck! Read more

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

Nature painting

Lately, Peeper is fascinated by combining complementary things. “Together!” she cries, popping a bite of cheese and hot dog into her mouth, or “Pomegranate on top!” while balancing a seed on a forkful of peas and tofu.

Her enthusiasm makes me think of the scene in Ratatouille when Remy discovers how two tastes together can pop like fireworks or melt together for a transcendent out-of-body experience.

ratatouille-gifs-3142-19317-hd-wallpapersThe other day, I followed her lead. Peeper loves art, and she loves the outdoors. So voila: nature painting!

Toddler Nature Painting - ten Thousand Hour MamaWith a bucket in tow, we set out on a walk in our neighborhood. We picked up bits of this and that, dropping rocks and fallen pine boughs in with a plunk. Peeper soon caught a taste for collecting, and before long her bucket held an abundance of nature’s detritus.

Toddler bucket walk - Ten Thousand Hour mamaToddler Nature Bucket - Ten Thousand Hour mama Read more

19 months: New House

Eric and I stood in the bare living room, grinning at each other. We had just received the keys to our new home, the first property either of us has owned. We were saying good-bye to cramped apartment living, chain-smoking neighbors and car alarms that consistently blared in the middle of the night.

We had ordered pizza because that’s what you do the first night in your new place. Finn and Edie had been sprinting in circles, taking advantage of all the space and complete lack of furniture.

We weren’t going to spend the night; we had hardly begun packing, in fact. We were just about to head back to the apartment when we changed Peeper’s diaper.

Then—but of course—she peed on the floor.

The house was officially ours.

Moving with a toddler - Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more