Family

Every family has a story to tell. Welcome to ours.

Going Back to School was Surprisingly Painless this Year!

Our big boys started back to school last week. Second grade and kindergarten! To be honest, I was anxious after a couple of bumpy years. I've shared that we do sort of a "modified" schooling situation, pairing long stretches of independent study with a more traditional elementary school setting. This summer took us on a new homeschool adventure, with an educational consultant and lots of fun curriculum, but we ultimately decided to continue with the part-time classroom situation for at least another year. I was nervous that the kids wouldn't want to head back.

A Minions Oral Care Setup for your Movie-Loving Kid

To say that we have some BIG Minions fans in our household would be an understatement. We’ve dressed up as the characters for Halloween, our third son is nicknamed “Minion”, and they’re all over our kids’ favorite jammies! So when our dentist said we needed to motivate our kids to brush their teeth more consistently, I knew exactly what approach to take. A Minions toothbrush, all the Minion-y gear I could find to go along with it, and the new augmented reality brushing experience from Colgate on the Blippar app!

How I Ditched Postpartum Acne for Good

My 4th baby gave me lots of joy, sleepless nights, and SERIOUS postpartum acne. It took me a lot of trial and error, but I finally ditched those blemishes for good. Here's how.

Addressing Learning Differences at a Young Age

I'll never forget the day that my oldest son's preschool called me in to talk about addressing his "learning differences." As an involved parent and a former teacher, I was acutely aware from infancy that he processed things differently than his peers. I was just surprised to hear someone else acknowledge it. Worry wasn't top of mind during that conversation, when they suggested we have him assessed by the county for an IEP and start making minor adjustments to his day at the learning center.I was relieved to be getting help.

Here’s the Booster we Take Along When we Travel

My three-year-old is in a booster seat, and I don’t even know how this happened. Basically, I blinked, and now he’s a walking-talking-functional human being with independent thoughts and ideas. I’ve mentioned how buying clothes for him is a little weird because he’s huge for his age. The car seat situation is the same. He’s too big for most harness seats, but he’s still mentally immature and needing something SOLID that keeps him contained in one spot if he wiggles a bit. With our frequent travels, we also need something that can go from car-to-train-to-Uber without much fanfare.

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

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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.

Making Lemonade Meaningful

Some Boy and Sidekick have been obsessed with lemonade stands lately. Their school is in an apparent budget crisis so they keep doing fundraisers, and a fellow classmate mentioned that a lemonade stand might be a good idea to raise money. Now, all of the kids want to dole out drinks to the neighborhood. The problem with this plan is that we live in a farm town, so there are approximately five neighbors who drive by our dirt road each day, and they tend to go 50 miles per hour because it's the middle of nowhere. Since none of this lends well to the fundraising experience, that idea was vetoed. Fortunately, there happens to be a very meaningful lemonade stand opportunity going on right now, so I took the chance to show my kids the real potential of a fundraiser.

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.