momlife

Got a Picky Eater? How to End Food Battles Like a Pro

When Abram was a baby, he was an EATER. Whatever we threw at him- avocado, sweet potato, squash, carrots, cereal- you name it, he ate it. We were so proud of our adventurous eater, a baby who participated in baby-led weaning with gusto. As the months went on, that adventurous palate faded and we were left with a picky eater.

He still ate copious amounts- he had the chubby cheeks to prove it!- as long as it was chips, or something else he loved. When it came to his old favorites- avocado, sweet potato, squash, carrots, cereal- you name it, he took whatever we threw at him, and threw it back at us. Like, literally.

Abe’s pickiness really came to a head one night at dinner. Convinced that we had to get some food in him one way or another, we tried to force him to take some bites of his food. He stalled, we stalled. He cried, we cried. We tried to put the food in his mouth, he tried to take it out. It was a twenty minute battle of begging him to eat before we threw in the towel. The dinner went uneaten, and all we felt was defeated, and sad.

I wracked my brain to try to figure out where we’d gone wrong, and more importantly, where we could go from here. Lila was, and IS, picky, but we’d never had these battles with her. Why was that? And how could we replicate those results?

I hit the internet, scouring for the best tips to help picky eaters, and remembered all of the best practices we’d used to help our picky toddler the first round. It’s been a month now, but I’m happy to say that things with Abram have come a long way. If you, too, find yourself with a picky toddler on yours hands, here’s what research (and first hand experience!) recommend you do.

Got a picky kid on your hands? We've got tricks to help you end the food battles once and for all, at TheSaltyMamas.com. #picky #pickyeater #pickytoddler #toddler #meals #toddlermeals #parents #kids #foodbattles
Continue reading “Got a Picky Eater? How to End Food Battles Like a Pro”

Kids' Activities

Chuck E Cheese Hacks

Ohhh, Chuck E. Cheese. If you were a child in the 80s or 90s, you can likely remember the joy, the excitement, and the thrill of this place. They had pizza. They had tokens and games and tickets. And the prizes, good grief, THE PRIZES. It was like heaven for kids. And now that I am on the other side of it, I know the dark, seedy side of the Chuck. Namely, that parents hate it as much as their kids love it.

Not everything is awful about Chuck E. Cheese, of course.  Their pizza has improved greatly, and the ball pits only exist in the nightmares of germaphobes everywhere.  But as they have improved, we’ve noticed that their prices have crept slowly up.  Which, if you’re trying to limit the amount of time you have to spend there, might be a good thing. But if you’re desperate to show your kids a good time, the cost of the place can be a problem.

Lucky for you, we’ve scoured the internet and our local CECs to find the best collection of Chuck E. Cheese hacks, money saving tips, and upgrades to help make your trip to Chuck E. Cheese a little more bearable- or at the very least, a little less expensive.

Kids LOVE Chuck E. Cheese- but parents? Yeah, usually not. Hacks to make your visit easier (and cheaper!) from TheSaltyMamas.com.

Continue reading “Chuck E Cheese Hacks”

Mom Humor

Laugh Your Way Through the 10 Levels of Parenting Desperation

Being home with my kids is a blessing.  I know it. Most days, I’m grateful. Most days are fantastic. And then there are those OTHER days. The days where you’re bored, and the kids are bored, and everyone is just a little bit off. The fact that the day is SUPPOSED to be a blessing somehow makes the whole thing worse, and you find yourself with a case of the Mondays on a Wednesday morning.  The toddler schedule isn’t working, you’re not the fun and funny mom you usually are, and you’re questioning your ability to actually parent these tiny little monsters. You start to spiral, and then decide that, come Hell or high water, this day will be salvaged. You will BEAT these stay at home mom problems. You pour yourself a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and begin your journey through the various levels of parenting desperation.

Looking for a way to turn your bad day around? Come laugh through the 10 levels of Parenting Desperation with the funny mom behind TheSaltyMamas.com. Continue reading “Laugh Your Way Through the 10 Levels of Parenting Desperation”

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”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, Why We're Salty

Disaster at the Dentist

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”

Kids' Activities, koefoe party of 5, momlife, parenting, Tips & Hacks, vacation

5 Tips to Survive Your Next Flight with Kids

This post contains affiliate links, , but as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more at our Legal & Disclosures page. Thank you!

When Cole was a baby, we went on a lot of trips. Before he was a year, he’d flown to Seattle, New York, Baltimore, and Hawaii twice. And generally, it went really well. Then we had Evie, and when she was about 4 months old we decided to try a flight as a family of four. But after a 45 minute flight to Reno, we swore off air travel. It wasn’t for us. We would drive, we would cruise, but there was no way in hell we were getting back on a plane.

Until now.

As a family of 5.

Going across an ocean.

It was time to get strategic. This isn’t a simple toss a baby in an Ergo, bounce and provide snacks type of production. And lots of the tips for road tripping with kids is applicable, but a plane has all. Those. Other. People. So here are plane specific tips for traveling with your band of misfit monsters darling children.

Continue reading “5 Tips to Survive Your Next Flight with Kids”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, The Salties

Torrez of the Day

A few weeks ago, in a fit of desperation, I had a rare stroke of genius.

“The kid who cleans up the most blocks gets to be the Torrez of the Day!”

My son, aged one and a half, pretty much did nothing. Because…aged one and a half.

But my Four Year Old? Whoa. Continue reading “Torrez of the Day”

Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting

Why You Need to Play Outside with Your Kids

According to experts, kids are supposed to play outside for at least two hours a day.

Stop and take that in for a second. They need to play outside for TWO. HOURS.

Now this may seem crazy when you think about the amount of time your kids are at school, or the amount of time you are at work. But when you think back to when you were a little kid, it might not seem that ridiculous.  I remember getting home from school and taking off on my bike with my friends. Or exploring the creek next to our house for hours.  Or playing endless pretend in our backyard, or gardening with my mom, or swimming in our (above-ground) pool. There was SO much time outdoors, that it wasn’t even a thing. It was just something that we did. Do I think my mom worried about meeting the required two hours each day? Uh, no. Because that was not a thing back then. You just sent the dang kids to play outside.

And we (I’m talking societally here), just don’t do that anymore.

Even when you talk about going “screen free” or unplugged, it usually means board games and books and hours of playdough play.  It’s not considered safe for kids to roam around on their own, and our green spaces are kind of being eaten up.  So we have to make up for it somehow, as forced as it may seem at times.  Because yes, it is another “requirement” of childhood, but from a scientific perspective, it is crucial (check out this article from the New York Post if you want to read more about this). Kids who play outside more are less likely to be obese and are less likely to be diagnosed with attention-related disorders.  Time spent in green spaces is good for anxiety and depression, and reduces stress-and that goes for little kids and grown ups alike. We were biologically just meant to spend time outside, and we have to make sure that’s happening for our little ones, and our bigger kids, too.

Did you know kids need to play outside for TWO HOURS every day? Why it's important- and easy ways to make it happen!- from thesaltymamas.com. #playoutside #letthekids #freerangekids #outsideplayforkids

Are your kids getting enough time outside each day? Find out here, along with a list of great ways to play outside with your kids!

Continue reading “Why You Need to Play Outside with Your Kids”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, Why We're Salty

Taylor Swift: Look What You Made ME Do.

 

My daughter is a Taylor Swift fan. Like, a big fan.

She knows the words to pretty much every song on the 1989 album.  She knows what each song is about. She loves her music videos and her “fashion” and her pretty hair and she especially loves to dance to her TS jams. She loved Taylor Swift in the way that only a four year old can.

And now she doesn’t.

I let her listen to the song “Look What You Made Me Do,” recently, thinking she would be excited to hear something from her favorite singer. I thought the beat was catchy, and she could dance to it and learn the words easily.  I knew the video was dark, but I thought as long as I just played the song, the lyrics would be subtle enough to fly right over her head. I figured she’d be bopping and singing along in no time.

But you know what she said? “How come Taylor Swift got mean?”

If you haven’t heard it or seen the video yet, you’ll need to know that it is dark and edgy and the lyrics are full of bite. There are zombies and burglaries and car crashes.  The song is a lot more bitter and a lot harder than anything she’s put out before.   Clearly, she’s trying to reinvent herself.  And look, it is not up to Taylor to be anything for anyone but herself.  It is her life, and her brand, and she can do what she wants with it. That’s her right, and I stand by that. But Lila? Lila doesn’t.

And you know what? I’m kind of with Lila on this one.  You don’t have to get edgier, and sexier, and darker with each album. It’s okay to be kind, and sweet, and keep your optimism no matter what life throws at you. I’m tired of artists feeling like they have to constantly evolve.  You can have a truth and stick to it. You don’t need to keep up with the  Joneses Katy Perrys.  You don’t have to get mean in order to stay popular.  In fact, it may just end up costing you, and some of your fans, a little something in return.

So we’ll keep rocking 1989 in the car, and we’ll keep Shaking it Off. But otherwise, I think we’re done here.  Thanks for the fun, Taylor. It was good while it lasted.

How Taylor Swift's new song,

 

School

A Teacher Gift You Should Start on NOW

No matter where you are in the school year, I’m sure the pressure is on. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day to day that you forget to prep for the big events ahead.  End of year teacher gifts are FAR off of our radar. We are miles away from Teacher Appreciation Week (which, WHOA. Could we possibly make that a bigger deal? I don’t think so.) The last days of school? Please. Let’s just get through Back to School Night first, am I right?

My teacher has a voice like a buffalo

Except on the first day of school last year, when I asked Lila how her first day of school was, she said “I need three popsicles. And a nap.” The second day, she said, “When Mrs. D gets mad, she sounds like a buffalo. It’s AWESOME!” I made a mental note to tell her teacher about it, but frankly, there just isn’t that much time to touch base every day. And let’s be honest. My memory ain’t so good these days.

Looking for a printable teacher gift with WOW factor? You've come to the right place! Get your FREE printable teacher gift at TheSaltyMamas.com. #teachergift #printableteachergift #kidsschoolquotes #schoolquotes #kidsquotes

I spent many years as a teacher, and I’m sure my students must have come home with some whoppers about me. Hearing Lila’s version of events made me think about all the funny/silly/sweet things my students must have told their parents about me and my classroom. I desperately wished I could have heard what those things were. (I mean, the nice things, of course. I’m not a glutton for punishment. I don’t want to hear about how the kid said I’m a monster, obviously.) Continue reading “A Teacher Gift You Should Start on NOW”