The Best Kids’ Birthday Party Ever

Chuck E. Cheese's Birthday Party
Our sweet little Sidekick is 4! His special day falls in the middle of what happens to be a really busy time of year for us, and it seems to always be kind of a last-minute celebration. This year, we decided to change that and celebrate by giving him the best kids' birthday party ever! Truth be told, I'm having a hard time understanding how my children keep getting older, I seem to be perpetually stuck at age 29. Weird.

8 Tips for Introducing Baby to Water

Water baby
It's my fourth baby's turn to learn to swim! I've always lived near the ocean, so swimming has been a huge part of my life. For our family, it's important to start water play with the kids at a young age so that they're comfortable and happy during all of the time we spend poolside (and lakeside, oceanside, riverside, you name it!).

9 Tips for Minimizing Dog Messes

Minimize dog messes
Our last post about Kraken elicited a few emails. "Where on earth is Bjorne?"Calm down, Bjorne's still around! We shared that Bjorne had some behavioral and health problems right off the bat, and some of that has continued. Long story short, he gets out as much as he can but he's not really up for tagging along on photo shoots as a work dog the way Kraken does. He's more of a house dog, really.And by simple virtue of the fact that I work from home, he's become my dog. Which means that his messes are my messes. And he's a big dog, so he makes big messes!

This Infant Car Seat Clicks with our Family

Easiest car seat to installvideo
With baby number four, I didn't feel the need to buy a bunch of new stuff. I had my first son six years ago, then my second two years later, number three two years later and the littlest dude two years after that. I'm nothing if not predictable. I honestly bought well the first few times and felt like I really honed in on most of the necessary baby gear LONG before this dude arrived.But I learned some lessons along the way, and it seems that manufacturers did as well.

What to do about Nighttime Wetting while Traveling

Bedwetting at a hotel
I kinda just dropped that on ya, didn't I? Yup. Happy Friday, we're talking about pee! Seriously, though, this is a question that a LOT of readers have emailed me about. We travel so often with such little kids, and this is the burning issue on everyone's minds when they've finished the potty-training phase and they're staring down the barrel of a vacation. What if my kid pees on someone else's expensive, fancy, fluffy white sheets?

What Does our New Car have to do with a Kids’ Movie?

New car kids
Some of you have already noticed on Instagram that we bought a new vehicle. We have an Elantra that has served us well for years as well as Nate's big adventure truck, the F-350. When Bam came along, we ran out of seats in the sedan and decided it was time to get an everyday family hauler. We're trying to raise the boys to be responsible, independent thinkers, so we do our best to involve them in all our big important decisions. To help prompt a discussion about vehicle decision-making, we took them to see Cars 3.

Congratulations – it’s a Dog!

I recently received an invite to a "dog adoption party," complete with gift registry. Apparently, dog registries are a thing! Now, you all know I'm not a complete dog person. I tend to turn into Judgey McJudgerson when I see puppy purses and all manner of excessive-seeming pet accessories. I grew up with cats. Simple, aloof, self-satisfied cats who did not leave my residence and didn't require leashes, exercise or entertainment. I never understood canine things.

I Failed at Breastfeeding my Fourth Child, and he’s Healthy Anyway

Breastfeeding failure
"You shouldn't say that," Nate admonishes me. "You didn't fail at breastfeeding so much as you moved to a different feeding approach."Nate comes from a family where failure isn't an option. Failure, if ever the word passes his lips, is merely a teacher along the path to success. I'm more of a realist. Where Nate sees possibility and hope, I see brutal facts exactly as they are. I nursed my first three children and I intended to continue with the fourth. That didn't happen.The goal I had in mind was not attained. That's pretty much the definition of failure.

12 Summer Stains – and How to Treat them

Summer stains
It's summer!I've always liked the idea of summer, and all things hot.In our family, summer is the season of rolling in the grass and plowing through the sand. The season of smiles and messy food and vibrant colors. When it comes to our clothes, though, those last two don't always mesh well together. Things get sloppy real quick, and we find ourselves changing and washing and switching up all the outfits fairly often.

How we Save Money by Acting like Children

Save money by acting like a child
Friends and family often ask us how we can afford to travel so much. I usually give them the simple explanation that, in most regards, I'm cheap! I scrimp on many things in order to have money for adventures.There's more to it than that, though.