Big Family

Mix-and-Match Clothes for Boys

What to do when your ‘big boys’ and ‘little boys’ are the exact same size? There’s a four-year age gap between our oldest three kids, but they’re currently ALL wearing a size six! With a 6’4″ former NCAA football player for a dad, this isn’t shocking. Our kids tend to grow in awkward spurts. They go through husky phases and string bean phases and it all levels out in the end. It does make shopping a bit of a challenge, though. We need cool colors and graphics to make the big boys happy, and awesomely-rugged play gear to keep the little one going. How to solve this problem? Mix-and-match clothes for boys!

Cat Ruining Couch? Here’s What to Do

I mentioned in my 4th of July pet post that I adopted some more cats recently. Thanks to my friends who know we have space on the farm and like to send me notices of a nearby shelter closing down, knowing I have zero self-control! We brought in three ladies who we call Smoky, Penelope and Twinkle. Twinkle here was named in part because she likes to tinkle everywhere in the house. Particularly in our living room, she pees and poops and scratches and claws. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she would be the death of my go-to hangout spot in no time flat. This cat was ruining my couch.

How we Manage 4 Kids in 1 Room

We fit all four of our kids in one room. True story. It’s not that we don’t have space to split them up – the kids have a dedicated playroom that could easily be converted to another bedroom. For our family, however, keeping one room dedicated to all the kids sleeping and one dedicated to all of their playing? Well, it’s worked perfectly. There have been just a few hiccups along the way, like when we transition each dude out of the crib. Not gonna lie, that part is always chaos.

The Graco Uno2Duo Stroller Goes from One Baby to Two

What kind of stroller should I buy? This is definitely one of the most frequent questions we receive from our active readers who are looking to start a family. Most soon-to-be moms and dads have a litany of requirements. They tell me that they plan to baby wrap or babywear when hiking through rugged terrain, but their stroller needs to keep pace from city errands to theme parks. They want something that can have a car seat clicked in and fold without a ton of fuss, and that can grow from one to two babies. That last specification is the real kicker that throws a lot of options out of the running. The Uno2Duo stroller manages to check every single box with ease.

Wrangling Pants for Picky Kids

Taking four little boys out in public on a regular basis means that there are inevitable meltdowns. People often ask how we keep it together all the time, and I answer honestly: we don’t! For the most part, we let kids be kids in all their messy, creative, effusive glory. That’s how they learn about their world. We do, however, try to pick up on mood trends and adjust accordingly. If there’s one thing in particular that’s causing an issue, we talk openly with them about how we can make things better. The latest thing to be addressed for our picky kids? Pants!

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.