Goose eggs and gratitude

It’s been a hard week ’round these parts.

It started one day with Peeper throwing up at breakfast. She must have caught the GI bug that’s going around lately. I didn’t feel great, either, but powered through and managed to get some work done.

The next day, while she and Nana were at the grocery store, she bumped into a wire rack at the end of one of the aisles. The whole thing crashed down on her, and she ended up with two big goose eggs—and a trip to the doctor.

She’s fine, thank goodness, despite the bruises and bumps.

doctor's office Ten Thousand Hour MamWe then had a few nice days where we both felt fine, so we spent the weekend hiking, throwing sand in the Willamette River and enjoying the sun.

Milo McIver State Park hike toddlerThen a few nights ago I became violently ill. I was sick all night and still can’t eat or hardly drink anything—a condition that’s especially rough when you’re pregnant.

Throughout it all, though, I can focus on what I’m grateful for. Read more

4 ways to smile through your toddler’s cold

It seems as if Peeper *just* got over a cold, but here she is, snotty and congested and sneezy all over again.

Being sick is rotten, and I wish I could take away my munchkin’s discomfort. Since I can’t, though, I’m looking on the bright side. Here are my top four reasons to smile in spite of—or because of—Peeper’s cold.

1. Happy! She’s no Pharrell, but much of the time she apparently feels like a room without a roof, if you know what I mean. Sure, she gets cranky and clingy, but for the most part she’s like this, drippy nose or not:

Happy! from Catherine Ryan Gregory on Vimeo.

2. Story time. Peeper always loves a good book, but when she’s sick, we spend long stretches cuddling and reading. These days her favorite books are ones that have pictures of everyday objects. I name everything for her—over and over and over and over—and her pointer finger gets a real workout.

Reading and dog cuddles - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Finn, not to be left out, joins us, too. And this week we were in luck: My aunt sent a package of books my cousins (the oldest of whom is now in college—what?!) used to read. Thanks, Aunt Anne: You’ve doomed me to page through My First Word Book a million times a day for the rest of time.

3. Laughter. When you don’t know how to blow your nose and adults are constantly swiping at the snot collecting on your face, a sense of humor definitely helps you get through the day.

Sick toddler - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

We do just about everything we can to laugh, including wearing pants-hats.

4. The outdoors. Eric’s dad abides by the philosophy that few things can’t be improved by getting outside and blowing the stink off ya, and I couldn’t agree more. Fresh air and a little exercise may not typically be prescribed for a cold, but we think it’s a pretty good Rx.

Sick toddler - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

When you look on the bright side of being sick, what do you see?

What to do if you’re sick and have a baby

As my husband observed, being a mom means taking care of everyone else while you’re sick.

So true.

After all, when moms get sick, they still have to be moms.

Last week, I caught the flu or norovirus or plague. On the first night, I finished puking my guts out, fed Edie and then went back to hugging the toilet. That cycle repeated itself for her five wakings. Later in the day when I couldn’t get her down for a nap (just try to bounce a 14 ½-pound baby to sleep when your insides are like a Tilt-a-Whirl) I lugged her and her car seat, along with our dog whose ear infection was so bad it ruptured his ear drum, down to the car in the hopes that driving around would end her nap strike. (No dice.)

Yeah, it was a fun week.

When moms get sick, they still have to take care of the baby. Here's how to survive cold and flu season, mamas! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more