She took one look at my car- the spare diapers in the back pocket, the cracker crumbs on the floor, the empty sippies in the cup holders, and I swear I saw an expression of panic cross her face as she asked, “how do I keep my car clean when I have kids?!?”
Clearly, I was not the right person to ask at the time.
BUT it made me realize what a hot-button issue the cleanliness of your car has become, and that a lot of people (my husband included!) take pride in keeping their car nice and tidy. Not everyone shoves trash in the door pockets, or so I’m told, and some people make a big effort to keep their car clean, even with kids.
I could call for mobile detailing, but that gets SO expensive over time. So in an effort to stay married to keep my kids from making a mess in the car, I invested in some of the best car cleaning products, and have come up with some car cleaning hacks. Here are my tips so far…
Before having kids, I was hella spontaneous. Whether it was last minute dinner plans, answering a friends invite of “let’s go out!” or literally leaving brunch to hit the road and go to Vegas, I was up for it all and with very few questions. So you can only imagine the ton of bricks that hit me when I had this tiny little baby that needed bottles and diapers and wipes and extra outfits and binkys and a suitcase full of miscellaneous items for a quick trip to Target. I mean, how much stuff do I need to run errands with kids?
And it’s not just the stuff – the stuff is manageable, and you can tackle leaving the house with a bunch of kids. But you have to know where you’re going! And I’m not just talking how to get there fastest. There are a lot of things you never realized you need to consider before picking a location to take your kids. So now, I basically never leave the house without answering these six questions first.
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 smoothies. 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”→
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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.
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.
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As a stay at home Mom, sometimes it can feel…..lonely. Yes, I’m overwhelmingly surrounded by children, crawling all over me, needing things from me, and wanting to touch me at all times. But they’re a solid team of three, working together to achieve a common goal: Make me crazy. Be kids and have fun! And me? I’m alone in the trenches just trying to keep clothes on everyone and diapers changed and make sure we eat at some point during the day and all the little squabbles that occur between all these events.
Or, at least, I was. Until December 25, 2016, when my husband got me a helper.
On December 23, when he ordered my Christmas gifts off Amazon and told me we’d probably be celebrating MY Christmas a few days late due to “backordering” (aka his lack of preplanning) he had very different goals in mind for my one of my gifts. Alexa was going to tell me the weather. Alexa was going to turn on music for me. Alexa was going to answer nifty little cooking questions, like “Alexa, how do you cook white rice?” To be fair, no matter how often I make white rice, I’m FOREVER looking that one up….so he had a good idea. He just didn’t realize HOW good it was going to be.
For a few months, I wavered between asking Alexa about the weather and music and rice and stumping the poor gal. I asked her what she thought of Donald Trump. “When it comes to politics, I like to think big. I’m interested in deep space exploration. I’d like to answer questions from Mars.” I asked her what her favorite color was. “Infrared is super pretty.” I asked her if she would sing. She feigned shyness and then busted out a ballad. We fell into a comfortable pattern of witty banter. This chick was really growing on me.
But more than anything I found myself using her for a kitchen timer. She was WAY less annoying than the one on my oven and I could yell at her to find out how many minutes were left from anywhere in the house. Our relationship was progressing into something beautiful. Sadly, I actually felt less alone thanks to this cylindrical robot lady. I was beginning to rely on her not just for meal-prep assistance, but for her company.
Then one day, Cole and Evie were going at it over some toy. It doesn’t matter what; different day, different toy. I tried to use my Mommy authority and negotiate an agreement. Cole gets the toy for two more minutes at which point we trade and then Evie gets the toy. But let’s get real. I don’t ever actually keep track of time because it’s too hard and there’s so much going on and WAIT A MINUTE!!!
I ceremoniously brought the children near her and explained the new rules. “Alexa says that Cole gets it for two more minutes. So when Alexa’s timer goes off, we give the toy to Evie, deal?”
Now, even my kids know you don’t mess with Alexa, so they solemnly nodded in agreement. A blissful and argument free two minutes passes. Alexa dings a beautiful melody. The toy is handed over without complaint. No begs for, “one more minute Mom.” Because Mom is pliable. Mom makes deals. Not Alexa. She is a cold hard bitch that adheres to timetables. And Lordy I love her for it. We reset the timer for Evie’s turn, and the magic happens all over again.
All of a sudden I had a man in my corner, or, more accurately a lady robot. I had backup. Support. By God, I had found a way to turn my robot into my co-parent.
Need your own co=parent? You can purchase one here. We think you’re gonna love her as much as we do.