parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?

7 Things You NEVER Thought You Had to Teach Your Kids

Having kids is a big responsibility. You hold your tiny baby and think, “I’m going to teach you letters and numbers and colors, how to throw a ball and how to read” and it can feel overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. Kids are constantly learning and part of our job is to facilitate this amazing experience for them. And then they take off their pants in a Chick-fil-A and you realize you’ve been focusing on all the wrong things. And there’s a whole world out there of things you NEVER thought you’d actually have to teach your kids.

So here are seven things we learned the hard way that you absolutely MUST teach your kids.

#whattoteachyourkids #stuffkidssay #funnystuffkidssay #momlife #kidssaythedarndestthings #theysaidwhat #whattoteachkids #teachingkids #whatshoulditeachkids #whatdokidsneedtolearn

Continue reading “7 Things You NEVER Thought You Had to Teach Your Kids”

MicroLuxuries, momlife, parenting, Saturday Six, The Salties

Saturday Six

Have you ever done that thing where you want to do ALL THE THINGS, so you tell everyone yes and you don’t tell anybody no, and then it looks so PRETTY in your color coded Bullet Journal, but then when it comes to actually living that plan, you are EXHAUSTED and wondering what the hell you were thinking?

No? Just us?

At any rate, it was a busy, fun, exhausting week, and in the end we wouldn’t change a thing.  Here are a few of our favorites.

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1. Impromptu Playdates

What do you do when you have leftover supplies from the preschool Easter Party, and are wondering what to do with all of those pudding cups? Invite over your besties and throw yourselves a party! We made these adorable handprint chickens (Ducks? Whatever. Birds.), ate pudding, and then the kids spent a surprisingly long time coloring these adorable Easter Egg Coloring Pages from Real Mom Recs. So if you’re looking for a last minute Easter activity, she’s got you covered! Just print, cut apart, and set them out for some kid-friendly fun that will (hopefully!) keep them occupied for a good, long time.

2. Being Prime Moms, Not Pinterest Moms

Okay, we take that back- we are a little of both. But Jaymi got so busy making cutesy projects (that she actually enjoyed making) for Abe’s upcoming second birthday that she couldn’t stomach the thought of one.more.project. So when it came time to decide what he’d wear to his party, she thought she’d check Amazon real quick and found out that they actually have a PERFECT shirt for a sports themed second birthday party. How amazing is this cute little tee? And it cost about the same as it would to make it yourself, and saves about 7 hours worth of work probably, so WINNING.

3. Gluten Free Cookies

Jaymi hasn’t had a ton of luck finding a Gluten Free flour substitute she loves, so she finally decided to google “flourless cookie recipe.” Which brought her to these AMAZING chocolate meringue cookies that somehow manage to have that real-cookie texture with none of that floury nonsense.  We’ve got more recipes (both GF and regular!) for you to check out on our Baked with Love Pinterest board.

4. Wandering Wednesday

We participate in a link up party over at Confessions of Parenting called “Wandering Wednesday.” Every week, bloggers drop their best posts on the page, and this week our post “Open Letters to the People that Make Us Salty” was chosen as the featured post.  The link up is open to new bloggers as well- you can find out how to contribute your own piece here.

5. Have You Had That Baby Yet?

We have a few close friends expecting babies soon- like, YESTERDAY kind of soon.  And yes, they are getting sick of hearing “have you had that baby yet?” and “any baby news?” We humbly suggest that they refer all inquiring parties to HaveYouHadThatBabyYet.Com.  Try it- it’s fun.

6. This Wine Glass

Because honestly, it’s been a week, and this wine glass makes us smile. Especially when it’s filled with our favorite white.

 

 

Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, School, The Salties, The Salty Mamas Bookclub, Tips & Hacks

How to Teach Your Toddler (or Preschooler!) to Read

With kindergarten becoming increasingly academic, I’ve noticed a push for parents to teach their kids to read before school even begins.  As a certified teacher, I can say that I  do think there are other skills that are more important– like independence and kindness, to name two-but the need for early reading skills cannot be ignored.  The Salty Mamas are all about raising readers, which means that we start them young. But rather than focusing on just letters and phonics, we encourage you to teach your child to be a reader– and that means going beyond the basics. Here are 8 easy reading strategies you need to teach your toddler to read- or teach your preschooler to read! We promise their future teachers will thank you for it.

Trying to teach your child to read? Might we suggest that you teach them to be a READER instead. Find out easy tips to make it happen, from thesaltymamas.com. #learningtoread #teachingkidstoread Continue reading “How to Teach Your Toddler (or Preschooler!) to Read”

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

How to Brush Your Child’s Hair (Without a Battle)

I used to LOVE styling Lila’s hair.  It took just a minute to brush, and then we’d spend some quality time putting it in the cutest little updos.  I’d section it off, put it in cascading ponytails, or braid it. At the very least, she had sweet little pigtails (with matching bows, obvi). I was pretty sure I would be that mom- you know, the one whose daughter always has perfect hairstyles, the mom who doles out hair brushing tips for kids to all the other moms. I was going to NAIL this kids’ hairstyles thing.

Then her hair got longer. And wavier. And drier. And more tangled. All those sweet memories of styling? They were replaced with a fight equivalent to trying to wrestle an angry baby possum. And at the end of it, her hair still looked like this.

I found myself with no choice but to up my game.  You can spend a year or two figuring it out, or you can do yourself a favor- follow my tried and tested hair brushing tips for kids to get your little lady’s hair in check without the fuss.

Tired of fighting with your son or daughter every time you need to brush your hair? We've got six hair brushing tips for kids that will end the battles once and for all! Check out the best products and strategies to make hair brushing easier, from thesaltymamas.com.

Continue reading “How to Brush Your Child’s Hair (Without a Battle)”
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”

Mama Mojo, Saturday Six, The Daddys, The Salties

Saturday Six: Olympics Edition

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The Olympics have kicked off and Christine’s family is ALL about it! So here are the six things we’d give our Gold Medals to this week!

  1. We hate saying we have a favorite kid, but sometimes you can prove it based on things like how long they sleep or which one’s being moderately rational that day. And sometimes they do something so incredibly sweet. Like when Cole kept stalling like he didn’t really want to finish reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (Which is ridiculous, because when we finish we get to go to Universal Studios!) But the truth is that he was okay with that book being over, but he didn’t want the snuggling in Mommy’s bed for some quality time with a good book to be over. Lucky for you little man, there’s a whole world of books for us to work through! But we’ll start with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for now.

2. We may be The Salty Mamas, but we can admit that we’re equally into sweets. So we give a gold medal to these Chocolate Fruit Cups from the Peachee Pear. You’ll want to check out this adorably easy and beautiful dessert – and probably make it this week. Bonus points: It’s so easy even your kids can help!

3. We’ve been doing a LOT of online shopping for bathing suits for the cruise, and while we found some super cute ones (like this one and this one and this one) Christine can’t help but have this one be her favorite. Because it literally makes her laugh every time. And we take the use of the word “literally” very seriously.

4. The Daddy’s are working crazy long hours right now and Christine and Jaymi are sucking it up like champs counting down the hours every night until The Salties are asleep so we can drink budget Moscato and PM each other for company. So we have a lot of time on our hands to reflect on what we miss about life before kids. Thankfully, we don’t need to detail it because someone else took care of it for us. ShesthehonestMom so you know she’s keeping it real with this list of 10 things she misses about her pre-baby life! 

5. There are prescriptions for EVERYTHING, so Christine and Jaymi were thinking there should be a pill to cure chronic grumpiness. We’ll take two, thanks.

6. And finally, in the spirit of the Olympics, this cautionary tale: If your husband is on a ski trip during the Olympics and your son knows that there’s skiing IN the Olympics, he may go around telling everyone that his Dad is skiing in the Olympics. So be warned.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the Olympics!

Bouncing Babies, Cheapskating, Crafty Mamas, momlife, The Salties

Abram’s Blue and Gray Nursery

I’m not gonna lie- maybe my favorite thing about having a baby (besides getting the baby, obviously) is decorating that sweet baby’s new room. Is it necessary for an eight pound person to have a space of their own? Of course not. But when you’re a creative person, there’s something magical about prepping for your baby by getting a space ready that’s just for them.  When Abram was born, we knew he’d be sharing a space with our guest room (and my crafting space- yeah, there was a lot going on in there), so we decided to go for a feel that wasn’t too “babyish.” We chose to make a blue and gray nursery for him that used lots of letters and sweet, homemade touches.  We finished the space just in time for his newborn photo shoot, and were lucky to have Biancca Wallace Photography capture them for us.

 

Blue and Gray Nursery Continue reading “Abram’s Blue and Gray Nursery”

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”

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”