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”

momlife, parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?

Excused Absences

“Please excuse Lila from school yesterday. She was home due to Potential Judgement From Other Parents.”

I mean, I didn’t actually write that on the note. But I SHOULD have. Continue reading “Excused Absences”

Holidays, Mama Mojo, Married with Children, momlife, parenting, Saturday Six, The Daddys

Saturday Six- Valentine’s Edition

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Valentine’s is just around the corner, and we’re gonna be honest…we’re just not as into it as we were pre-kids.  Nowadays it’s more about cutesy crafts and heart-shaped snacks, and honestly? We’re mostly fine with that- but everyone once in a while we want to kick up the romance, too.  So this week we’ve got a few tips for your sweet, kid-friendly Valentine’s day- but we’ve also got a few ways to take it up a notch (if you’re into that kind of thing).Six Ways to Have Your Best Valentine's Ever- from thesaltymamas.com.

1. When Jaymi was younger, a local pizza place would sell heart-shaped pizzas as part of their VDay celebrations. She no longer lives close enough to run in and grab one, so now she makes heart-shaped pizzas with her kids every year. Sometimes it’s just shaping pre-made dough into a heart, and sometimes it’s cutting English muffins with cookie cutters and layering on the toppings. Either way, it’s a fun and very simple tradition to start with the kiddos.

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2. These DIY Love Coupons are perfect because they are 100% customizable for you and your partner.  They can go from practical (Good for One Extra Morning of Sleeping In) to Saucy (fill in your own blanks here mamas 😉 ). Plus the kit comes with enough that you can give some to your kids (Stay Up Late, Choose the Restaurant, etc) or for your main squeeze…but PLEASE don’t mix up the two!

3. Lila’s very favorite cookies are these easy Funfetti Sugar Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction. They are soft, fluffy, and SCRUMPTIOUS. For a Valentine’s Day Twist, use only pink and red sprinkles, which you can purchase here.

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4. Paper Heart Family created these awesome Emoji Keychain Printable Valentine‘s. They are a candy-free, super creative option for Valentine’s that stand out from the rest, and the best part is that they aren’t super expensive or tricky to create.

5. Show of hands- who wants to drag their toddler into a lingerie store to try on some skimpy outfits? Anyone? Yeah? NO.  So here’s a little romance hack- you can actually buy adorable lingerie on Amazon. We’re not even kidding.  You should check it out- the reviews are actually really good!

6. As you may know, we are very partial to the Daddies, and we love them every day in (almost) every way. Even though they drive us nuts sometimes (like this time. And this one. Or that one time.) But at the end of the day? DANG are we glad they are ours.

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Salty Mamas!

Six Ways to Have Your Best Valentine's Ever- from thesaltymamas.com.

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”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?, Tips & Hacks

Smoothies

Once upon a time, when Lila was a littler girl, she became obsessed with all cold drinks. First it was the condensation on our soft drinks, and then we transitioned to Jamba Juice IMG_20140721_112451092smoothies.  Pretty soon, we introduced our family’s favorite summer sipper- Icees. And slurpees, and freezes. Whatever you wanted to call them, it didn’t much matter. She was in love with the icy cold sweetness, and at about a dollar a piece, they were a cheap and easy treat on a hot day. I have given her far more Icees in her short little life than I would care to admit. Somewhere along the line, the differences between Jamba Juice whole fruit goodness and sugar-filled-crushed-ice got blurred, and she decided Icees/Slurpees were called smoothies, too. It wasn’t something we did intentionally, but my GOODNESS does it make me look like a better mother. Continue reading “Smoothies”

Effing Four Year Olds, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salties

Alertness

From an early age, I have always been both a teacher’s pet and an overachiever. I passed all the tests. I got all the awards. I always often came in first.  For years, I’ve eagerly been awaiting my own kids’ turn. I told myself that I wouldn’t be pushy, wouldn’t assume my kid would be the best and the brightest, and was determined to let her go her own way. When the first few award ceremonies went by and Lila didn’t get an award, I tried my best to shrug it off. That’s okay! Everyone can’t get an award, or they would be meaningless!  I mean, she has her moments, but she is fiery and passionate and smart and funny and AWESOME. Her day will come!

And today, when I opened up her homework folder and saw that slip of fancy copy paper, with the hint of a fancy border showing- well, I just knew. Our Her day had finally come.

“Congratulations! Your child has been selected to receive an award. Please join us for a ceremony on Tuesday, as Lila is recognized for… Alertness.”

I’ve never been so proud confused. Continue reading “Alertness”

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”

Crafty Mamas, Holidays, Kids' Activities, Kids' Art Projects, momlife, parenting, The Salties

Valentine’s Day Marbled Print Art

As a preschool art teacher, I have to say that I strongly favor process-based art for kids. The research all shows that the true benefit of art for kids comes from the process of making something- mixing colors, experimenting with lines and swirls, and getting hands-on experience with creative expression. Your average Valentine’s Day art projects, with their prescribed colors and shapes and outcomes, are typically not in line with process-based activities.

But.

I’m also a mother. I want some art for my dang refrigerator, gosh darn it.

So I’ve created this fun, process based art activity that will end with a product that you can display.  By limiting the colors you present the kids with (pink, purple, and red for example), you can ensure that the project stays on theme- and the kids will be none the wiser. (Or feel free to go rogue here- this project can be accomplished with any colors and any shape of paper- including a plain old rectangle.) Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Marbled Print Art”

Mama Loves a Party, momlife, Momsquad, parenting, Recipes, Salty Mama Lists, Saturday Six

Saturday Six

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal Page. Thank you

Whoa! This week was full of ups and downs for The Salty Mamas, but it’s the weekend now and we are gonna have FUN, gosh darn it.  So let’s start the day off with some positivity- here’s what’s making us happy this week!

1. With Love and A Little Self Deprecation wrote this post about how to know when your child is ready for a toddler bed, and it A.) Had us in stitches and B.) Had us vaguely terrified about having to move children into Big Kid Beds soonish.

 

2. It is CAMELIA SEASON.  These little flowers have brought me so much joy over the years, especially because they bloom right around Lila’s birthday each year.  I was kind of obsessed with having fresh-cut flowers in the house when Lila came home from the hospital (because irrational pregnant woman) and they’ve been part of the centerpieces at her birthday parties ever since. She turns five today, and she loves the camelias as much as her mama does (well, she loves tearing them up, but STILL.)

3. This simple, pretty swing dress from Amazon. It was on a lightning deal this week, but even when it’s not the price is right. And it has POCKETS. Dreaming of the day when I can wear it on my MomSquad cruise! (Hey MomSquad- you should all get one, obviously, so we can be matchy-matchy.)

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4. If you haven’t tried this Balsamic Pork Tenderloin that’s been floating around Pinterest lately forever, please cook it up this week. It’s so simple but SO full of flavor.  Serve it up with roasted potatoes and a green veggie, and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal that is gluten-sensitivity-friendly. (Which, don’t even get me STARTED on my beef with gluten. It’s a whole post for a whole ‘nother day.) As a bonus side note, the whole meal costs about $5 to make, assuming you are buying your ingredients at the right time. Looking for more simple meals? Check out our post here and our Pinterest board here.

5. We are currently crushing on fellow mom-blogger Lindsey from Every Day Above Dirt. She is so sweet and so real, and her Instagram feed is full of cute babies and puppies and real life. Check her out!

6. Finally, this little video. Because YES, and because we needed a giggle this week.

 

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What took YOU to your happy place this week? We want to hear about it!