momlife, Tips & Hacks

Get Better Sleep in 5 Easy Steps

This post was sponsored by VitalSleep. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. Also, this post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal page. Thank you!

As a Mom, getting quality sleep is like the Holy Grail. Elusive, hard to find, and just when you think you’re about to get it – someone pees their bed. Okay, maybe the analogy went a little off the rails there, but you know what I mean. Between our kids’ nightmares, midnight feedings, bed wettings, growing pains and the classic “need to snuggle,” we are fighting an uphill battle. We just end up more tired and more desperate to get better sleep.

Then I realized that I was not helping the cause with my own bad habits. I thought to all the times I begged for advice on how to get my babies to sleep and came to the conclusion that I didn’t follow any of that advice for me. I had no routine. My sleep space wasn’t ideal. I just wasn’t setting myself up for success. All the things I did to help my baby, I should have been doing for myself as well.

So here are our top tips to help you sleep like a baby. Or at least how we dream our babies will sleep. Continue reading “Get Better Sleep in 5 Easy Steps”

Bouncing Babies, Effing Four Year Olds, koefoe party of 5, momlife, Momsquad, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

Tips for Leaving the House with Multiple Kids

I was at the Aquarium, Izzie on my hip, one eye on Cole and the other on Evie. Wait – where’s Evie? Oh, there she is! Yes, one eye on Evie. Check. A woman with a toddler caught my eye and exclaimed, “Wow! I’m not even brave enough to bring both my kids to the Aquarium and you’re here with three!”

I never know how to respond to these confessions from other Moms. As a Stay-at-Home-Mom, if I didn’t brave the outside world and leave the house with three kids, I’d never leave. So hiding inside doesn’t seem like much of an option. And sure, some places we go are much more painful than other places. (Yes, I’m looking at you Costco and Trader Joe’s). But a place specifically made for kids? It’s not always fun and it’s basically never easy, but I promise you that if I can do it, so can you.

Here are some tips to help you get through it. Continue reading “Tips for Leaving the House with Multiple Kids”

koefoe party of 5, Married with Children, momlife, parenting, The Daddys

Work Trip Martyr

This morning, I got up early, hunted around the house for clean socks and underwear and jeans, and helped pack up my husband for a work trip. I loaded the kids in the car, drove him to the airport, watched tearful goodbyes from the kids and drove home with cries of “I miss Daddy” ringing in my ears. He’ll be back in three days, but for these kids, three days might as well be three weeks. They should be used to this. They should understand the routine. Daddy has to travel at least every other month or so and has since they were born. But still, they take it hard. And so do I. At least…some of the time

But can I be honest with you for a minute? It’s not ALL bad….

The reality is, I’m parenting alone from about 6am to 6pm anyway. The kids go to bed by 8:30 at the absolute latest. So yes, while having help during those couple hours a night is hugely helpful, the net gains aren’t too shabby. Continue reading “Work Trip Martyr”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, Terrible Twos, The Salties, Threenagers, Tips & Hacks

5 Tips for Processing Death with Your Preschooler

‘2017 was a tough year in the KoeFoe house. My husband’s uncle passed away from terminal cancer. My husband’s grandma passed away from complications from surgery. And then my Nana….just…..passed away. Wave after wave hit us, but seemed to miss our children, who weren’t close to these family members. Until Nana.17554077_10212883284503227_440700337261823782_n

Every Tuesday night, since before our son was born, we had Taco Tuesday’s at Nana’s. We ate, watched Jeopardy, the kids did somersaults, sang into microphones, performed and were given chocolate and ice cream and cookies, oh my! At 93 years old, Nana even “babysat” Evie (with the help of her home health nurse) every Friday for a couple hours. She was a constant fixture in our lives, until one day, she wasn’t.

We knew we had to talk to the kids, but didn’t know quite how. Izzie, at 8 months was too young to know anything was going on. Evie, at 2 years, knew something was up, but certainly couldn’t comprehend. But Cole? Cole, we found, was a wise – albeit brand new – 4 year old. He had questions, and we didn’t always know the answers.

When the end was eminent, I remember sitting with Nana. Tears in my eyes, she told me that crying was okay, that she was going to be fine, that this was God’s plan. I told her, “I know it is….I just don’t know what I’m supposed to tell Cole and Evie.” My pain was so profoundly compacted by the idea that I would also have to manage their loss, that at times it felt suffocating.

I’m not sure what we did was best, or right, but here are some tips that worked for us. I hope that you don’t need them, but if you do, that they help. Continue reading “5 Tips for Processing Death with Your Preschooler”

Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, momlife, Momsquad, Tips & Hacks

Micro Hustle Monday: Something to Look Forward To

As Moms our lives can be so. incredibly. repetitive. It’s a never-ending cycle of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, tantrums, laundry, dishes. When it’s done? Rinse and repeat. Because joke’s on us: It’s NEVER done. And some days you can just get lost in that feeling of the endlessness of it all. And we desperately need to not get lost in that feeling.27484835_10215778792769124_1484461797_o

A few weeks ago, Jaymi and I booked our #Momsquad Booze Cruise, and I think just booking it changed my life. I added a countdown clock on my phone. I put a post-it on my refrigerator. I ordered a couple super cheap dresses for lounging on the lido deck or for dinner with my girls – and without my kids. I dropped little reminders around my life so that when I’m up to my elbows in dish soap I recall that it’s one sink full of dishes closer to sweet, sweet freedom. Continue reading “Micro Hustle Monday: Something to Look Forward To”

Bouncing Babies, momlife, parenting, They Said WHAT?, Why We're Salty

My “Boy” Looking Baby Girl

As Moms we have a thousand “WTF just happened???” moments. Whether they happen in a kids play area with strangers or at our own family functions, we’re constantly exposed to other people’s opinions. It happens so often we need to become ducks and let that ish just roll off our back. Or we’d never make it. But some stories stick with us months later. And we just. can’t. let them go.

This is one of those.

This story starts as most annoying ones do….with me, minding my own business, trying to check out of a Target. Cart full of diapers and impulse purchases, Izzie in one arm the other just trying to scan my stuff so I could pay and get on my way.

Enter Nosy Lady of the Day: 

Nosy: Cute baby. How old is he? Continue reading “My “Boy” Looking Baby Girl”

koefoe party of 5, momlife, parenting, The Daddys, They Said WHAT?

The Daddy Decree

In our house, Mommy is home with the kids all day, every day, and Daddy goes off to work every morning. Like a man going off to war, mornings are full of hugs, tears and promises that he will return soon. After the last hug, the last kiss, the kids rush together climbing up the couch – and over each other – to press themselves against the window to get one last glance of Daddy as he heroically drives off to his job. Then they turn and look at me as if to say, “So it’s just you and us again?” Mommy No-Fun is here. I enforce breakfast rules, make everyone change out of pajamas and into clothes and chase them around with shoes and lunch bags and beg them to just please get in the car already. It’s often chaotic, but for the most part we have our routines down.

We repeat this process for the next five days until finally the weekend hits. We fall into our Saturday routine – breakfast, errands together, something fun as a family. But eventually we hit a bump in the road. Maybe the kids spill some crackers, make a mess, and have a total freakout. Maybe Cole and Evie get into an epic swordfight over who gets to pick what show they watch while I’m cooking. Maybe Cole REALLY doesn’t want to ride in the shopping cart and throws an epic fit.

And that’s when the Daddy Decrees begin: Continue reading “The Daddy Decree”

koefoe party of 5, Married with Children, momlife, The Daddys

The Romance is Dead. Sort of.

Once upon a time, when it was just the two of us, my husband and I were younger people with lots of energy. We could stay up late, watch TV, talk to each other, enjoy a cocktail and, well….you know what happens next in the RomCom that was our “Once upon a time.”

Then we got married. Had kids. Became chronically exhausted. And some elements of those younger people’s lives slowly fell off the radar. We stopped watching multi-season television series and settled for single season commitments like Survivor or American Horror Story. We were maybe the only people NOT pissed off about Game of Thrones being only seven episodes this season because it was manageable enough that we could finish it. Half the time one of us is asleep by the time the other gets back from putting the kids back in bed after their philosophical inquisition/demands for water/”one last hug.” Conversations are often about said kids, our upcoming schedule, or what needs to get done around the house. I’m too tired to even drink wine, so I’m not going to spell out for you what else I’m too tired for. Continue reading “The Romance is Dead. Sort of.”

Chick-Fil-A, Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, They Said WHAT?, Why We're Salty

The Apology Tour

Confession: My favorite part of fast food lunch is the part where my kids play in the play area while I relax with a soda and, hopefully, one of my besties.

This is about as close as I get to a vacation day hour.

And as luck would have it, I got to spend some wonderful time doing just this thing today. As I sat down watching all three of my kids playing happily, I thought, this is the life. The Cherry Coke was perfection. The French fries, life changing. And the conversation with my friends – PRICELESS.

So imagine my horror when a Mom popped her head out of the play area today and asked, “Is one of you the Mom of the boy in the yellow shirt?” Continue reading “The Apology Tour”

Effing Four Year Olds, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salty Mamas Bookclub

The Magic of Reading with Your Kids

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about it at our Legal & Disclosures page. Thank you!

From the time my kids were little little, I had dreams for them. All the usual things – I wanted them to be happy. I wanted them to follow their dreams. I wanted them to be good and decent and kind human beings.

And I wanted them to love reading.

I know how much I’ve gained from falling back in love with books. From the practical – expanding vocabulary, being well-read to engage in conversations with others, having a good and purposeful hobby – to the fantastical. That feeling of getting completely lost in a book, expanding my imagination, exploring new worlds, ideas, feelings. All of it.

I wanted that for my kids.

So for the past four and a half years, I’ve surrounded my kids with books. Story time at the local libraries, reading as many books as we can every night before bed, sitting and reading a book in front of them while they play, teaching them to take a book everywhere, and basically never saying “No” when they ask for a new book.  Continue reading “The Magic of Reading with Your Kids”