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!

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”