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”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?, Why We're Salty

The Sass is Strong with This One

Raising a bilingual child is so important these days. Many of our friends are choosing dual immersion schools for Spanish, and some are even sending their kids to school to learn Mandarin. For some, it’s about preparing kids to participate in a global economy. For others, it just happens to be the best program around. In many cases, parents just want children to be able to converse with their families.

Which is why Lila is learning the language of sarcasm VERY early on. Continue reading “The Sass is Strong with This One”

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”

Mama Mojo, momlife, parenting, Tips & Hacks

Say NO

Kids are busy.

I know, I know, understatement off the year. Not only are they just busy little people, but then they do all the things! Sports, school events, and the birthday parties. Holy God the birthday parties! And if you have more than one kid, it just gets exponentially more insane. If you don’t watch out, you can become completely overwhelmed,  discombobulated and burned out. Weekends that you used to spend as a family or getting stuff done become a complicated dance of getting the right people to the right places and I lose any sense of recharge that I strive for on those two special days.

Midweek, frankly isn’t much better. After a few consecutive weeks of this…

Continue reading “Say NO”

Holidays, Mama Mojo, momlife, parenting, They Said WHAT?

New Year’s Resolution: Drop the Just

One of the hallmarks of any small talk situation is the standard question, “So, what do you do for a living?

It used to be a question I was really comfortable with. I was always so proud of my answers. Whether I was “bartending my way through grad school,” “being a teacher’s assistant and leading my own classes at Cal State Long Beach,” or “working in fundraising for a non-profit” I always felt like I was doing something good. Something important. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution: Drop the Just”

Cheapskating, Crafty Mamas, Holidays, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salties

Cheap and Easy Class Gifts

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

You think you’re done with your holiday prep. You’ve baked. You’ve shopped. You’ve even wrapped. You have done the impossible- you’ve finished Christmas a full week ahead of time. You pat yourself on the back for a job well done and prepare yourself for a blissful evening drinking a glass of wine and watching “Love Actually” one more time.

And then you get a sweet little note from your child’s lovely teacher (and I mean that. She is SO wonderful), asking that you send twenty identical wrapped gifts to school the day after tomorrow. And since said teacher is seriously SO wonderful, you decide to oblige her one last request.

I mean, you cry first, of course. But then you get to brainstorming. Continue reading “Cheap and Easy Class Gifts”

Effing Four Year Olds, Holidays, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

The Elf on the Friggin Shelf

It’s easy enough to pretend the Elf on the Shelf is not a thing when your kids are little. Maybe you pass by them in the store, tell your kids those are dolls, and move on with your life. Maybe you have vowed never to take up with that foul creature. Maybe you’re just bitter you aren’t the marketing genius that came up with that thing. Whatever the case may be, you’re probably okay skipping the elf without anyone knowing the difference.

Until someone starts school. And then get ready to hop up on that bandwagon sleigh.

I knew “all the kids” in Lila’s class had elves, and had even successfully fielded some questions about why we didn’t get one at our house.  Santa knew Lila was nice enough already without sending an elf to spy on her, and all the elves were visiting other kids this year. She accepted it cheerfully enough and I thought we were out of the woods.

And then we had a friend from school over for a playdate, and they asked to see her elf, and Lila was like, “oh she’s on the roof today.” I was a Hill, “silly Lila, we don’t have an elf,” and she burst into tears, and I found out my daughter sits on a throne of lies (see what I did there?). She felt super left out when the other kids were talking about elves, and so she had told them she had one, too. She’d even told them stories about her elf’s exploits. So when she got busted? Yeah, she had all the feelings.

So we wrote a letter to Santa asking what the hold-up was in the elf department. Lila requested he “find a solution and send an elf to this house by Friday.” (She told me to write that part in a stern voice.) So it looks like I’m heading to Target and trying to find an elaborate backstory as to why her elf took so long to get here.

*******

So for others who might find themselves in a similar situation…we’ve compiled this list of resources to help you.  Or not. Because, despite what our kids would have us believe, you are still in charge and you can do what you want to.

And if you decide to take on the Elf on the Shelf

…Check out the Paper Heart Family’s Elf on the Shelf for Busy Mom’s Guide for the easiest way to accomplish the whole elf thing without driving yourself bananas

…And follow our Easy Elf Ideas pinterest board so you’ll be prepared

…Or read why it’s okay to love the Elf on the Shelf at A Modern Mom’s Life

… But don’t forget to have some handy excuses prepared for when the Elf Forgets to Move.

And if you are never doing the Elf, never not ever…

…Prepare yourself with this List of Reasons Why You Don’t Have an Elf 

…Or simply Indulge Your Hatred with TheEverydayMomLife.com.

And if you started Elf on the Shelf and regret it every day…

Do what this mom or this mom did, pat yourself on the back, and pour yourself a margarita. It’s the Salty Mama way.

 

The #ElfontheShelf- Love it or Leave It? Read the pros and cons- and tips for either approach!- at thesaltymamas.com.

 

Chick-Fil-A, Effing Four Year Olds, parenting, They Said WHAT?

#GirlBoss

So it’s no news to you that I love Chick Fil A. And, since I consider myself a feminist, I was even more eager to support the new Chick Fil A location when I found out it was owned and operated by a woman. And by support the new location, I mean go there alllllll the time (I mean, it is free after all). I go there so much that the staff now recognizes me, even said lady-owner-operator. My daughter calls her by name, and even talks about her outside of the restaurant.

So when she asked me if Ms. K liked working at Chick Fil A, I just HAD to point out that she was the owner. “She owns the whole place, Lila. She’s the boss. The #GirlBoss!” (I mean, I didn’t SAY the hashtag part out loud, but better believe I thought it.)

And my daughter gave me maybe the biggest eye roll I’ve ever seen. Continue reading “#GirlBoss”

Effing Four Year Olds, Holidays, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks, Traditions

Teaching Kids the Spirit of Giving This Holiday Season

Last year at Christmastime, I had everything. I had a beautiful Christmas tree, home baked goods, the love of my family and friends…

And an entitled three year old who thought SHE should have everything, too. Everything from the Target toy aisle, anyways.

No matter how I tried, I could NOT convince her to pare down her list. Every catalog that came in the mail, every trip to Target for diapers, even phone calls to the grandparents seemed to unleash her inner Gimme Monster. On one particularly bad, trying-to-make-a-list-for Santa Claus day, this Mama had had enough. Continue reading “Teaching Kids the Spirit of Giving This Holiday Season”

momlife, parenting, Tips & Hacks

Four Family-Focused Things to Consider When Buying a Car

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This holiday season, The Salty Mamas are going to be logging a LOT of car hours. We’re only one holiday in and we’ve already driven hundreds and hundreds of miles. (Okay, Christine’s family is maybe at nearly 100, but Jaymi has totally made up for it). Between Christmas tree and present shopping, schlepping to holiday parties, and visiting out of town friends and family, we spend a lot of time in the close quarters that are our cars. All the more reason to make sure we LOVE our cars!

Last year at this time, we were trying to decide on what car we needed for our new family of 5. Here are some of the unique things to consider when picking out your perfect family car: Continue reading “Four Family-Focused Things to Consider When Buying a Car”