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


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


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”

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.


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”

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”