Friday, January 13, 2017

Counting for hide-and-seek

I just need to preserve the cuteness.

(Dit-do is the name Karsten has given Alrik. We have no idea why. Dit-do decided on counting to 13 for hide-and-seek. Also no idea. I just go with it.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Why we treat our oldest & youngest children differently

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As a mother of three kids, I've had a lot of opportunity to reflect on how the truisms about sibling order come to pass seemingly by accident.

For instance, I find myself expecting ever more grownup behavior from Mikko, my oldest at nine years old, and considering my youngest, now two, as still a baby. But when I look back on my days with Mikko at two, I recall thinking how grownup he was even then.

Here's the explanation, and I think it's a simple one. It's not that we're callous and indifferent parents who can't let our older kids be kids and who can't have adequately high expectations for our younger ones. It just has to do with our experience of their growth.

When our first child is born, it's our first child. This might not apply to those of you who extensively nannied or babysat or co-raised siblings before parenting, but for the rest of us, we're experiencing each milestone as the first time it's happened.

When our firstborns smile, Whoa! Before they'd just gurgle and poop! Now they're social. When they sit up, Holy motor control! When they stand and talk and wave, everything's an obvious big leap forward, bringing them ever more distant from the last stage they were at.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year + a reminder!

Another turn around the sun with these three:

Feeling a lot of love and passing it along to you as you await
what joys and surprises 2017 will bring!

As we leave the cares and memories of the old year,
may the new one grant you peace and happiness and light!

Happy New Year from my family to yours.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

A love- and light-filled day to you and yours!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Make handprint snowmen ornaments for a last-minute handmade gift!

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I first saw these adorable handprint snowmen ornaments on Natural Parents Network, which linked to the full tutorial on Little Bit Funky, which linked to the original (maybe?) tutorial at Full of Great Ideas. It's a holiday chain o' awesomeness! These are my favorite ornaments on the tree each year, so I think it's time for a reprise!


  • Plain ornaments: We had two kids at the time, so I bought a box of eight ornaments at Michael's in a neutral pale green and had two for us, two for one set of grandparents, two for the other, and two to get messed up.
  • White acrylic craft paint: The first year, I tried to get clever and bought white glitter paint to look more like snow. It wasn't opaque enough to show up. Make sure you buy opaque white. If you like the glitter idea, you could always paint over the snowmen with clear glitter paint after the first layer dries.
  • Sharpies: I highly recommend the Ultra Fine Point for ease in drawing teensy designs. If you don't have a set handy, craft and office-supply stores let you buy individual colors. Make sure you have orange for the carrot nose and black for the coal eyes and buttons. Other colors are fun for decorating the snowpeople's clothing.
  • Foam craft brush: I found this the easiest way of spreading the paint evenly on a child's hand.
  • Drying surface: Ideas include an empty dish drainer, an egg carton, or the box the ornaments came in. You could also use several sturdy cups.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Are we the only ones who can understand him?

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And you'll see in the video that's only with about 70% success as it is.

I love the so-called terrible twos. Two-year-olds are adorable, and everything they do seems clever. Here's a video we uploaded mostly for the grandparents of their genius grandkid knowing his colors. And objects! And letters! Whut!

This is the "odd one out" color book we were reading. You can get it for cheapo used. But if you don't already have one bazillion books of colors and desire a new one, here's a link for your shopping pleasure.