Category Archives: Peds


I’m always willing to admit that being a parent is f’ing hard. There are moments/hours/days  when my kids make me want to tear my hair out, scream at the top of my lungs, shed tears of frustration…you know, have an adult tantrum. Thank goodness most of those moments are balanced out by incredibly sweet, touching, heartfelt moments.

One such moment happened this morning while I was dropping off Penelope at school. Rain or shine, her Kindergarten class starts every Tuesday morning with a forest walk, so she was all bundled up in her rain pants, rain jacket, rain boots and knit pumpkin hat, which she insists on wearing inside out so no one knows it’s a pumpkin. As she was talking to her friend by the cubbies, I waved and said, “Goodbye Penelope.” She walked over to me, so I crouched down on my knees to be at her eye level. She picked up my hands and put her beautiful, soft, bright face about 1 inch away from mine.

As she looked into my eyes, she whispered, “Ok, Mommy. Remember. The love I send you? Lock it up right there and keep it safe.” And she pointed to my heart.

I melted. What a wonderful way for Penelope to send me off on my day.



Today Cecilia brought home her latest knitting project: a girl gnome that she has named Gnomia. (She plans to make a Gnomeo and a baby Gnomie to go along with Gnomia.)


It’s intentional that Gnomia has no facial features. This is a technique used to promote more imaginative play. The children can imagine all sorts of facial expressions.





I love the braids and the cape.

Lessons from the 2nd Grade

This past Saturday, Fred and I attended the 2nd grade Parent Meeting at our daughters’ school. Every few months, each classroom teacher holds his/her own parent meeting in order for the parents to come together, get to know each other better, learn about the latest happenings in the classroom and discuss any of our own questions and concerns. These are usually well-attended, even fun meetings, because the parent body is comprised of individuals of all backgrounds who are supportive of the school, the teachers, and the Waldorf curriculum. Most of the meetings also have 1-2 activities in between periods of discussion. The activity is often one that the children do, and the teacher takes the parents through the activity in order for us to experience what the children experience in the classroom. This meeting’s activity: Form Drawing.

Form Drawing  is an aspect of the Waldorf curriculum that helps to develop hand-eye coordination, spatial sense, fine motor control, brain development and flexibility in thinking. Here are some examples of form drawing:

form drawing

Form Drawing 2

Form Drawing 4

Form Drawing 3

Form Drawing 1

Form Drawing 5

Each parent found a spot at a 2nd grader’s desk, unrolled our crayon pouches and watched as Mrs. M demonstrated the form drawing we were to draw ourselves. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. What Mrs. M demonstrated looked like a complex pattern, and drawing of any form is not my strength. It was as if Mrs. M sensed my fear because she then said, “I always tell the children to bring their courage to all that they do. So just bring your courage to the form drawing.”

Bring my courage. I loved that. My form drawing was still mediocre at best, but I brought my courage and completed the 2 form drawings as best I could. The experience reminded of a few of my favorite quotes these days:

“We must walk into the arena with courage and the willingness to engage…we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen.” – Dr. Brene Brown

“Do not live in fear. Dream big.” – Tom Wells

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” -Beverly Sills

I love that my 7-year-old daughter is learning to bring her courage to everything she does, to everything new that she tries. There are several new adventures ahead for me: moving to our new house and starting our mini-farm, raising a puppy, several trail races to complete, and the new adventures that unfold as a wife and parent. To everything ahead of me, I will bring my courage.

L’il Artists

Now and then I like to post pictures of my kids’ artwork. It’s a fun way for faraway friends and family to get a glimpse of one of their favorite hobbies. It is also a way for me to document the progress they have been making as budding artists. I’m always impressed with their progress, especially since I, myself, was never, ever, ever, an artist.  Like, ever.


Me and Cindy in the Garden by Penelope age 4.5

Untitled by Cecilia age 7.5

Untitled by Cecilia age 7.5

For this last one, I think Cecilia drew inspiration from our friend Rita who is a fabulous artist (and mom/cook/wife/photographer,etc) who often draws her inspiration from Hungarian folk art and flower patterns.


Pen and Paper Drawing by Cecilia

Sweet and Innocent

One morning last week, Cecilia was tossing, turning and moaning in her sleep, clearly having a very bad dream. About 10 minutes later, she groggily staggered down the stairs wrapped up in her favorite fuzzy brown blanket. She found me sitting in front of the computer and cuddled up next to me.

“Did you have a bad dream?” I asked her.

“Yes,” she whimpered, still distraught.

“What was it about?”

She sniffled, ” I dreamt…I dreamt… I dreamt that Mrs. Monroe wasn’t my teacher anymore.” She then buried her head in my armpit.

And???? But that was it. That was her very bad dream. During moments like these, I am reminded of my 7-year-old’s innocence.

So what can follow up that story? A sweet Penelope story? Well, in the car the other day, Penelope was telling me all about a sled. It was a sled her friend has, and her friend was telling her all about how they can go sledding and fit a bunch of kids on the sled at one time.

“Can we go Mommy?” Penelope asked.

“Sure,” I said. “We’ll have to make a plan to go.”

She added, “Oh, but Mommy. You can’t go on the sled. You have a too big butt.”

Awwww. Sweet, huh?

They're all sweet and innocent until one of them tells you you have a too big butt.

They’re all sweet and innocent until one of them tells you you have a too big butt.

Hard Times

Cecilia had a week off from school for Thanksgiving break, so she decided to do some writing. Here is the cover of the “book” that she wrote.

Hard Times by Cecilia Bahnson

The text reads as follows:

It was saterday and Sara was bord. ther was nothing to do. She coldint go to Olivia’s bikose [because] she Just moved, knit bikos she ran out of yarn, suwe [sew] bikos her suwing mashein broke…

so thar was nothing to do. So she look’d out her window for a wiel [while]……

Sudenly she salw 3 girls on pogo stiks    she dicidid to go and see if she cold borow one. the next morning it was the 1st day of summer and her Family was going on vicashon to califonia. Sara was so exsided bikos she was going to stay with Olivia and she scrimde [screamed] At the top of her lungs…


at last it was time to go but gus [guess] wat [what]     Thar flit [flight] was canseld. wen thay got home Sara stampt up stars and then fluw [flew] bake [back] down   But then she stumbled and fel hed ferst and landed at the botum of the stars. and it ternd out she brok a leg so she went to the hospidel and about 12 of her freinds sind [signed] her cast. then about a week later Olivia came to visit but then went to the wrong hospidel. then finily Olivia sinde Saras cast and finily she got to take off her cast.

That vary nexst day was fall   the 1st day of school   math was horabel   Saras bran [brain] cold not thingk   finily the school day was finished. for diner thay had orenge chikin.

The next morning Olivia got to visit Saras  school   after school thay went to the airport and flew to california. the ferst thing thay did was go to the beach. it was grate! then they went to california pizza kichin for lunch. Sara was happy to be with Olivia. Olivia gave a necles with half a hart. Olivia had a nekles with the other half and thay fit together. Thay were both RILY happy.

The end.





It was a dark, stormy drive through the deep dark wood of the Suislaw National Forest. We had left Corvallis at 4:00am for the 3 hour drive to Coos Bay, birthplace of running legend Steve Prefontaine. As we crossed the bridge into North Bend, the sky finally started showing signs of daybreak, giving us much needed relief from the 3 hours of rainy, foggy driving.

Three words that came to mind upon entering Coos Bay: REALLY F*$%ING WET. Luckily for me, I wasn’t in Prefontaine’s hometown to run one of his training courses. We were there for Cecilia’s Sectional Meet for gymnastics.

It still amazes me how happy and energetic, yet calm and focused Cecilia is at her meets. Meanwhile, I’m sitting in the spectator seats nervous and jittery, particularly when watching her on beam, which was her first event this morning. No need for me to be nervous, though. Cecilia stayed poised on beam, moved with power on the floor, demonstrated control and strength on the bars, and confidently attacked the vault. She had a fantastic meet, placed in all 4 events and finished 5th overall (out of 20 girls) in her age division. Of course, the scores and placements are just numbers. She simply LOVES gymnastics, loves doing her routines and  loves being at the meets with her teammates/friends.  At the end of the day, she was all smiles and so proud of herself. That is what matters most to us.


C’s inspiration: The Fierce Five. She made this right when we got home from Sectionals.