When I was a kid, my grandma would give the whole family a new set of matching pajamas every holiday. We'd all get decked out in our footies or silk top-and-bottoms (it changed every year depending on her mood) and take the obligatory photo. I LOVED THIS TRADITION. I loved it so much, in fact, that I've continued it with my own family, getting new matching pajamas every single season and insisting that we all wear them on vacation.
We've gotten a lot of questions about our truck and child safety. Friends have questioned if it's even possible to fit six people in a crew cab without putting someone at risk. It seems to be a long-standing belief that trucks aren't family cars and therefore can't properly handle car seats. I'm proud to say that our truck gets the highest crash test ratings in its class, but I'll admit it's not without its issues. As a one-ton vehicle created more for hauling gear than for hauling people, there are certain comfort and ease-of-use features that are missing. That said, it IS possible to safely and securely install a car seat in a truck.
The boys have hit that point in school where they start learning about money. Instead of adding ones and tens, they've started calculating pennies and dimes. Naturally, this prompted ALL sorts of questions. The day our 1st grader asked if he could purchase a house with a handful of change, Nate and I realized it was time to show them that coins are more than just numbers and placeholders. How to teach kids the value of money? For us, a piggy bank was the obvious first step!
We've still been traveling and working a ton. As awesome as it is to have a steady stream of projects that we enjoy, it's easy to get overcommitted and exhausted. I'm sure everyone does it: we get caught up in the MORE MORE MORE mentality and catch ourselves striving. For some reason we're compelled to prove that we're capable, good, efficient, successful, worthy. As creative people in a competitive industry, Nate and I need to constantly check in on our mindset and energy level. We've learned to give ourselves the flexibility to hit the reset button and weave more mindful habits into our lives.
This post is sponsored by Welch’s® Fruit Snacks. I am being compensated for this post. All comments and opinions are my own.Our oldest dude is turning 7 years old! I'll save you from my "time flies" or "how did we get here" mama moaning, and get straight to the point. Some Boy picked a slightly odd party theme this...
We've talked about a few different kids party ideas, and received an email or two from readers wanting to know how we plan parties when so much of our time is spent traveling. Our festivities are quick and nimble. We try our best to grab a few decorations and on-the-go activities even if we're headed to a hotel. That being said, there are times when we have something to celebrate and ZERO time beyond a quick sit-down meal. Oh yes, people, restaurant celebrations are a serious party tactic around here!
With all our independent study lately, the big kid has been looking for ways to dig through a book as a group when he doesn't have access to the reading circles that are often found in a classroom. We read one-on-one, but a ton of learning and connection comes from reading with your peers. A kids book club was needed to help him solidify what he was reading and and really get engaged!
We get this question from readers a lot. What are good first shoes for a toddler? Having had four boys in 5 years, we know a thing or two about little baby feet and MAN, some companies really get it wrong. Nate and I initially tried buying our own favorite shoe brand and simply getting "baby size." That resulted in an irritating experience attempting to smoosh tiny toes into kicks that were WAY too narrow. This is one of those purchases where specializing really pays off!
People often ask how we juggle the kids' school work when we travel so much. Living in California, we're able to do a blended approach with independent study AND local elementary school enrollment. I've explained a bit about how we meet our children where they are in the learning process and supplement with different tools at home. An online tool is actually what helped our son breakthrough and figure out phoneme blending when his school's traditional approach failed!
Teaching our oldest son how to read was a winding road. We shared a bit about our IEP process, how we dug into school choices for him, and how we set up an educational tablet to give him independence and gamify independent reading. Thanks to some amazing teachers and tools, he did eventually learn to read! However, he stuck strong to his claim that he "hates books." Library time at school remained a problem. He couldn't envision the characters, and kept getting distracted. We asked around for recommendations to help get him really involved with a story, and a friend suggested augmented reality books.