When we planned on having our first two kids rather close together, I didn’t take a minute to do some light math and calculate that we ran the risk of a December baby. So I think I made the ultrasound tech a bit nervous when she estimated my due date as December 18th and I looked “what have I done” levels horrified. YES, I was excited but OMG do you know how busy I am in late December? Continue reading “The December Birthday”
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
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…
Yes, the internet is full of tips and advice for what NOT to say to a new Mom. Don’t give your advice on decisions she’s already thoughtfully made. Don’t tell her you once knew a girl in high school that was a total B that has the same name as her brand new perfect little baby. And of course say NOTHING about her appearance – except that she looks beautiful.
And yes, despite all those warnings, I have one more for you: Continue reading “Yet ANOTHER Thing You Shouldn’t Say to a New Mom”
I feel like I hear a lot of “my friend that doesn’t have kids just doesn’t ‘get’ me anymore!” And you’re right. There’s probably lots of stuff that they don’t understand about your life as a Mom. But do yourself a favor, and DO NOT push that friend away. It is easy to let those friends fall by the wayside, but four years into Motherhood, I am so absolutely grateful for my childfree BFF. Here’s why:
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”
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”
When my husband asks me what’s wrong, there’s about a 97% chance that I’ll say, “I’m just tired.” And God bless him, 61% of the time he responds with, “I got this – go take a nap.” Then, being the tired complainer I am, I get irritated. Because I don’t want to nap when you decide to give me permission! I want to sleep when I want to!
Which isn’t fair. He’s being nice. And I go and be nasty in return. And then it dawned on me, I’m not just tired. I’m exhausted. And it’s a kind of exhaustion that all the sleep in the world won’t solve. Because I’m not tired of not getting sleep. I’m tired of the Mom jobs that I’m saddled with. They aren’t going away anytime soon, so maybe if I vent them out – hear what makes you exhausted – and hide with my tribe for a few minutes, I can slam a cup of coffee, shake it off, and push through.
Until I cry because they’ve all left me for college.
But for now, here’s why I’m tired:
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You know those times when your kids have to just sit quietly for a really long time, and you are out of data and/or don’t have enough phones to go around and/or they’ve already watched 75 hours of TV today? Like when the doctor is running behind, or if you’re flying to Hawaii, or when your husband sends you and your two children to stand in line for a few hours at a Best Buy for a video game system at 6 am on fifteen minutes notice?
No? Is that one just me?
Well at any rate, I don’t always feel like a super mom, but the thing that is sure to make me give myself some major kudos is my fully-stocked, always-so-ready-it-lives-in-the-trunk Busy Bag. My bag of choice is the Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty One (which I love because ALL THE POCKETS), but it can be done with any similar bag.
(Side Note: A fully loaded Busy Bag makes an INCREDIBLE family gift for Christmas, or when a new baby is on the way. If you are giving this as a gift, I would definitely go with the Thirty-One Tote. It definitely gives it an extra polish, and can be embroidered. Yes, Christine sells Thirty-One. But I’m being completely objective here- it’s got Wow Factor.)
The most crucial aspect of the Busy Bag, besides the bag, is the little tray that lives inside of it. It’s just a cheap cookie sheet from the Dollar Tree, but it operates as a desk, magnet board, flannel board, and snack tray when we are out and about. And as a bonus, it fits PERFECTLY across the armrests of my kids’ carseats during road trips.
So once you’ve got your bag and your tray ready, it is time to fill it with all sorts of cheap, won’t -break-my-heart-to-lose-it, engaging little activities for your youngsters. What’s in mine changes constantly, which is probably part of the allure of the bag for my kids. I am always on the hunt for little Dollar Bin finds to fill it with, and dollar stores are a surprisingly rich treasure trove of everything-included projects.
Here are a few of the items that make regular appearances or are permanent fixtures in our bag:
• Coloring Books and Crayons
• Color Wonder Markers and Paper
• A PlayPack or Two
• Magnet Letters and Numbers
• A few magnet puzzles, or small puzzles with magnets attached to the back.
• Beads and pipe cleaners for lacing
• Sticker Mosaics
• Stickers and Blank Paper
• A Magna Doodle
• Activity books
• Water Wow Books
• MagicInk Books
• Non-Perishable Snacks
• Laminated Eye Spy Pages, Connect-the-Dots, Finish-the-Picture Prompts, Tracing Pages, etc. with a dry erase marker
• Color By Number Pages
• A few pre-prepped craft activities and a glue stick
• Some of these Melissa and Doug “On the Go” sets
• Memory games
• Magnetic tic-tac-toe
• Paint-With-Water Books/Pages
• Duplo blocks for younger kids, or small bags of Legos for older kids
I’m telling you, this bag makes me look like I have my stuff together. And after the initial setup, it just takes a little refill here and there to keep it fresh and exciting. Beyond that, I am ready to look like one of THOSE moms at any time, in any place. Like while watching the sunrise in a Best Buy parking lot.
Want to see the Busy Bag in action? Head over to Facebook to watch a video that shows the bag’s features and what I keep inside!
Once upon a time, I was a fully functioning adult. I could remember all sorts of things without a thousand reminders. I
never rarely lost my car keys, stored non-refrigerator things in the refrigerator (I’m looking at you TV remote), or forgot how to drive to my house.
Then I got pregnant. And had kids. And never slept. And Mommy brain took over and ruined me. So I owe a few people my sincerest apologies.
Back in the day, when I knew everything about raising children, without actually having children, I just knew how my kids were going to behave. I knew that they would never dare to defy me, that they would have occasional tantrums and the like, but that they would always know who the boss was, and that ultimately they weren’t gonna get away with nothing. And they’d eventually give in. After all, I literally spent years as a trained behavior therapist. I understand behaviors and their root causes, I know how to troubleshoot them, to identify them, and to fix them. As a special education teacher, I always said I could outstubborn a rock, and there was no behavior that I couldn’t solve eventually, with my determination and patience. I was known for getting through to tricky kids, kids with off-the-wall behaviors, and kids who were simply defiant or stubborn. I like to say that I have a Master’s Degree in getting kids to behave, and although the piece of paper says something fancier than that, it’s basically what it amounts to. So my own kids, of all people, would absolutely know better than to truly test me.
Ha. Ha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
So the other day at the dentist. Continue reading “Disaster at the Dentist”