Big Family

Learning with Movies the LAIKA Way

Living in Southern California, we’re big movie buffs. I used to teach the children of movie stars when I worked at elementary schools in Los Angeles. My own kids have been immersed in Hollywood through numerous trips and even had a couple cameos in commercials. As viewers, we absolutely love film, so learning with movies is just one of the many ways we use our kids’ passions to broaden their horizons.

Open Water Safety with Kids

Hooray, it’s summer! The season of pool parties and beach bashes. In the midst of everyone’s celebrations, however, it’s a sad fact that this is when the majority of childhood drownings occur each year. Most tragedies surprisingly don’t happen in pools or bathtubs but rather in lakes, streams and oceans. Open water safety is a critical consideration this time of year.

I’m Not Worried About Coffee Causing Cancer

I’ve been struggling to write anything of substance these last few weeks. Still working, because I enjoy the familiarity, but struggling with meaning. I take photographs of everything in an attempt to capture every delicate, fleeting moment. I contemplate the things I’ve been afraid of, and how recent years have altered my perspective, and I find myself repeating a blunt new mantra to people from time to time. “I’m not worried.”

Helpful Tips for your Kids Eye Exam

I’ve worn glasses or contacts since I was in third grade. Prior to that, nobody knew I had vision issues because my parents didn’t realize that comprehensive kids eye exams needed to be scheduled for my sister and I. To be fair, this was back in the day when many screenings and vaccinations were handled directly through the school nurse.

Finding the Right Preschool for You

My baby is about to start preschool. I have to admit that typing those words makes me feel a small bit of shock. Wasn’t he a baby yesterday? Didn’t he JUST figure out how to walk? Then I realize that we’re far beyond that point. He’s already begun loudly sounding out complicated words like “truck” (his tr sounds come out like f sounds, so that’s pretty amusing in the grocery store). One thing that makes these milestones easier is that we already went about finding the right preschool with our first son, four years ago.

My #1 Baby Registry Must-Have

Having had four babies back-to-back (to-back-to-back), we get a lot of questions about baby gear. Tons of emails have asked which products we find essential, as traveling parents with a minimalist sensibility. What makes life easier? Which picks could we not do without? We’ve been all over the board with baby stuff as our family has grown and changed, but I do have a baby registry must-have that’s been on my list since baby number one. The brand has improved and tweaked this item over the years to the point that I can easily say it’s my top pick, hands-down.

Incredibles 2 Costumes and Our Unconventional Roles

We were invited to the media premiere of Incredibles 2 last weekend, which naturally called for some epic Incredibles 2 costumes (you know we love coming up with creative family Disneybounding outfits). I left the toddler and baby back home with Nate since they don’t do too well in theaters yet, which meant that I had to get creative with the characters that the big boys and I channeled. It also meant that this film hit home for me in more ways than one.

Giving Something Back to Father

It’s almost impossible to imagine what it’s like to be a father before you become one. There’s an obvious understanding that it is a large responsibility. There’s even a sense of some type of stored up wisdom gathered over the years to be passed down. The role of being the rock, the hammer, the fixer, the teacher, and the source of reassurance all in one. It’s easy to assume that all these things happen innately once the first child comes.