Gift Ideas

Make a Photo Book to Prove you had a Life Before Kids

Our kids are constantly asking irritating questions like, “When you and Dada met, did roads exist or was there still mud everywhere?” I mean, WHAT? Are they asking if we predated pavement!? Perhaps this is a new version of saying someone’s older than dirt. In any case, I’ve been meaning to create a family album series for AGES, and I decided that the best way to start would be to make a photo book. I can now fend off my children’s barrage of questions by handing over tangible proof that Nate and I had a life before they were even a twinkle in our (tired, glazed-over) eyes.

This At-Home Bounce House Upped My Dad Game

Growing up, I never realized that there could be so much satisfaction in being a father. Not just in having children, but in having someone you simply want to take care of and make happy. Having someone right in front of you that just takes you back in time, to when you were also a child, to when you hopped through a bounce house and sprung around trampolines and thought the world was endlessly vast. I didn’t know that being a father meant both being selfless, and also indulging in someone else’s joy.

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.

Transitional Kindergarten

What to Buy for Transitional Kindergarten or Pre-K

My 4-year-old is going into Transitional Kindergarten in a week. Cue the dramatic mom tears! Actually, as a former elementary school teacher, I’m thrilled with the idea. Schwarzenegger signed the Kindergarten Readiness Act into law in California in 2010, changing the enrollment date so that all kids would be at least 5 when they enter school here. The law also created Transitional Kindergarten (or ‘TK,’ which is often called Pre-K or PK in other states) to bridge the gap between preschool and kindergarten for students whose birthdays fall just short of the cutoff date. The idea is that older 4-year-olds need more mental stimulation than a typical preschool or daycare might provide, but they aren’t ready for the full structure of kindergarten.

Practical Mom Gifts

6 Gift Ideas for Practical Moms

My close friends and family will tell you that I am a huge pain in the butt to shop for because I’m kind of a minimalist. I like stuff, don’t get me wrong, but a gift has to meet a certain set of criteria in order for me to really put it to use in my life. I need items that are quality and that serve a purpose. With four kids, our home is simply too busy for stuff that breaks or adds clutter!