Today was school picture day for the girls. I took what I consider a totally non-traditional approach to the whole thing. I think the technical term for it would be the Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That Shit Approach. It’s kind of my signature approach lately. I’m thinking of getting it trademarked.
I think it started with a text I got from another momma alerting me to the insane price gouging on the photo packages (which reminded me of this hilarious meme I shared on Facebook a couple of weeks ago). School picture prices are totally out of control—especially when I can guarantee that at least one out of two daughters will have no interest in being fake happy for a stranger.
But, maybe even more importantly, how much worth am I actually going to assign to a stuffy, sure-to-be-awkward photo five years from now? Sure, it might be giggle worthy. But will it really tell me anything about my daughter’s personality when a stranger combs her hair the way he or she sees fit and then spends roughly ten seconds with her before moving on to the next kid in line?
This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.
I’m not going to lie to you. There’s nothing that I find cuter than a really messy kid. I mean, bonus points if I’m not obligated to clean the kid, but even that is kind of irresistible. Take a look at Ellie up there. She’s a drippy, sticky mess. There’s ice cream in her hair, her eyebrows, and I even found some smudged on her chunky little ankles. And do you know what? The kid could not care less. She’s completely lost in a moment of pure bliss. There’s really nothing more enjoyable for a momma to watch.
That said, the whole cleaning her up part is much less enjoyable. First, there’s the enormity of the task at hand (what is the best way to make a kid stand when almost every inch of her is covered in chocolate?). Then there’s the fact that I’m becoming more and more neurotic about the products I use. It started out with our cleaning products and has slowly moved into products that we use on our bodies. I find myself wanting to use the most gentle, natural products I can find.
I love a good kids book. My girls love a good kids book. But let’s be honest. Not everyone feels the love as much as we do. There are plenty of reluctant readers out there and whether they struggle to read or struggle to find something they like to read, it can become a major issue.
Do you know what kids really like though? Stories about themselves.
Enter Lost My Name, a company that makes personalized kids books designed to inspire kids by making the story all about them. They sent us a copy of The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name for Ellie and both of my girls thought it was just about the coolest thing ever.
This post was sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
This year, Samantha’s 10th birthday coincided with the last day of school. We surprised her with a (refurbished) iPad and it was clear within a few hours that we would have to put some serious restrictions on her usage of the thing this summer. If it were up to her, girlfriend would be on musical.ly 24 hours a day until the bus comes back to drag her to fifth grade.
But this is not a blog post about the evils of screen time. Because, to be honest, I don’t think all screen time is evil. Ellie has been doing yoga almost daily lately, thanks to DVDs we picked up at the library. Yes, there’s a screen involved, but she’s up and moving her body in ways she might not have been.
While I don’t want my girls glued to glowing screens all day, I’m no fool. Technological savvy will be a major asset to them in the future. By 2018, jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are expected to grow almost twice as fast as jobs in other fields in the US. Plus, there are ways to have them use tech positively so that they’re learning without even realizing it. Samantha is obsessed with apps like Scratch and Hopscotch, which teach kids basic programming and coding skills. I like that they stimulate her and encourage her to continue learning—even while on summer vacation.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved a good road trip. From driving a couple of hours to the Jersey shore with my grandparents every summer to driving to Florida on spring break while in college, I have always found road trips incredibly exciting. Killer playlists, hilarious conversations, and a whole lot of open road is my kind of adventure.
And then I had kids.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still the first to jump at the idea of adventuring to a new place by car, it just takes way more preparation now. Like, way more. And along the way, I’ve become pretty good at keeping my kids entertained on road trips. In fact, I have a list of five tips that I consider essential when road tripping with kids.