Dear Third Baby, You Gave Me Life

He made me put three different superhero outfits on the stuffed dog before deciding on ‘Spider Pup.’ Plus, a carrier, one bowl of dog food, a six piece vet kit ‘so I can give him check up,’ and the $2 cookie at the register. Stuff I NEVER would have allowed my first two children to…

“No” Is A Full Sentence

It just happened. There was no additional, “sorry” or a list of reasons why I couldn’t or wouldn’t do what the person had asked. I simply replied with a word that up until now has been difficult for me to say without overanalyzing how it would make the other person feel. But my response just…

What I Learned the Day I Called 9-1-1

It was Good Friday. My 6, 4 and 21 month old were home alone with me on Easter break. I’d had a fever since Wednesday but was waiting to see the doctor when the kids were back at school. Vander, my youngest, slept in until about 8:30 that morning but I didn’t think much of…

Resolutions for the Type-A Mama Bear

Seventeen. I had to rest my spoon on the side of the Nutella jar to keep scrolling, but that’s about when I stopped counting. Seventeen posts with pics of yoga mats, clean eating plates and organized toy rooms. While I’m pleased as punch all my friends hit the ground running in 2017, my resolution is…

6 Reasons Not to be a Halloween Hater

Halloween is around the corner. It’s one of my favorite times of year. Fall weather, pumpkin patches, my kids leaping off furniture dressed as their favorite superhero. What’s been surprising to me lately is a small number of parents who are—let’s call them—Halloween haters. To sweeten their animosity towards this kid-friendly holiday, here are a…

We Bought Our Kids Sheep…and Why You Should Too

I had visions of us all slipping on our matching Hunter boots and walking hand-in-hand to the barn where the sheep are patiently waiting. Five months after purchasing two Shetland yearlings, I’m realizing this will never happen. Ever. Let me be frank: my kids are spoiled. They live in a huge house, have their own…

To My Firstborn’s Kindergarten Teacher

Dear Mrs. Roberto, You don’t know me yet but you’ll notice me at kindergarten orientation. I’ll be overdressed. That’s because I don’t get out much. About a year and a half ago I quit to become a full-time mom. My oldest of three is about to start kindergarten in your class. I was nervous about…

5 Ways to Make Your House Look Like You Don’t Have Kids

“Where’s all your stuff?” It’s a question I’ve treated as rhetorical since the first of my three kiddos was born. We’ve lived in a cookie-cutter suburbia home, an 800 square-foot cottage and a completely open timberframe in the sticks. But one thing remains the same with each location: I’ve learned how to manage the mess….

My Pledge as a Parent on Social Media

Like so many other mornings, we played in the lake. Only this time we let the baby out of his pac n play. Ryker, my oldest, is behind Van making sure he doesn’t fall backwards. Willa is telling him to smile. Van can’t wait for me to take the picture so he can resume sneaking…

5 Lessons Learned from Preschool Graduation

It’s okay not to smile. By the time the hour-and-a-half ceremony ended, the shiny polyester robe had run its course. Ryker was clawing it off when he exited the stage. He wanted to go home, sit in his underwear and eat cake. But mom had no less than 30 pictures to take. As you can…

5 Steps to Prevent a Birthday Party Blowout

“When’s Spider-man coming”? My almost five-year-old asked, matter-of-factly, just a few days shy of his birthday. I immediately bristled at his question. Are you kidding—I thought—what a brat? Until, I started doing a rundown in my head. Two superheroes last year, a costume party for his little sister’s birthday, bouncy houses, hayrides, balloon animals, face…

Travel Tantrum Tips for Kids (Grown and Little)

Paris, Alaska, Canada, Amsterdam and several flights to Florida—almost all before their third birthdays. While I had visions of my toddlers reclined in their seats, sipping chocolate milk as they tapped away on their tablets, our jet setting has been anything but smooth. As a well-traveled parent, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep the…