• kids doing laundry
    gift and learning

    The Age Our Kids Start Doing Their Own Laundry Plus a Laundry Hamper Makeover

    Our kids start doing their own laundry when they start middle school. Why? Why not? 11 and 12-year-olds are perfectly capable of starting the washing machine. It’s true! Psst! They can run the dishwasher and vacuum too!  Plus, learning how to do laundry is a great way to teach kids responsibility and time management skills. If you want a clean shirt for school, then you need to plan ahead and wash and dry a load of clothes. It’s that simple. I did not do my own laundry until I went to college. COLLEGE! I can’t believe my mom didn’t even show me how to do laundry until then. Of course…

  • Parent Tips for Transitioning Kids to Contacts

    9 Parent Tips for Transitioning Kids to Contacts

    Disclaimer: I am not qualified to give you medical or health-related advice. I’m just a parent sharing our experience. My husband and I both have terrible vision, which means our kids had little chance of navigating life without glasses or contacts. Sorry, kids. My son switched from glasses to contacts at 8 years old. My daughter started wearing contacts at age 11. That’s young! Our eye doctor said it was less about the age and more about if the child was ready for the responsibility. My kids both got glasses in kindergarten, but convincing them to wear them was always a battle. I think at 6 years old, their vision…

  • Family

    That Time My Son Broke a Window

    It was bound to happen. The only thing that surprised me was that it took almost 9 years to occur. Since we’ve moved out of our rental and got our security deposit back (because priorities!) I can now tell you about that time my son broke a window in our house. It was what happened AFTER the window broke that has me wondering who learned more from this situation: him or me? How did my son break the window? With a ball, of course. *sigh* He threw a ball in his bedroom and with either extreme accuracy or supremely bad luck he launched that ball through a window. Now, in his…

  • howth head ireland boy looking at irish sea on the happy list

    Mom? Do Bad Things Happen to Everyone?

    97.8% of being a parent is answering an endless stream of questions. Most of them come in the form of… “Can I have…?” Or “Why?” Or my favorite, “Why not?” Sometimes there’s just a long “mom” or “dad” with a question mark at the end repeated over and over in increasing volume. Mom? Mooom? Mooooommmm??? When kids discover their voice they sometimes forget they have two legs and can get up to come find you. Then there are the weird questions. Case in point, I was recently asked, “Mom, how does a person become a god?” Uh… That’s what I get for letting my kid read a book at the…

  • Family

    What a Broken Pitcher Taught Me About Empathy

    On Sunday I was bustling around the kitchen making bread and granola. In the middle of that chaos the humans in my house wanted lunch, so I had a lot of different food projects going on at once. I pulled open the vegetable drawer in my refrigerator to get some carrots and thought it was odd that the drawer had liquid sloshing around in it. That’s never a good sign. Maybe the water in the bag of baby carrots had leaked? I wasn’t sure, but it seemed like a good time to clean that drawer out. And while I was at it, I might as well clean the other vegetable…

  • Family

    Teaching Kids Life Skills Takes ALL The Patience

    Here’s the thing about parenting. You have to teach your kids stuff. WHAT?!?!  And not just the basics like walking, talking and avoiding yellow snow. Practical, fend-for-yourself things too. If you don’t, they’ll never have the life skills to live on their own. Let THAT sink in. But here’s the thing people don’t want to say – especially online where we all have a tendency to put our best foot forward. My life is super-duper perfect, by the way. Patiently waiting three lifetimes EVERY SINGLE MORNING while your kid ties his or her shoes (or insert any other thing here) is excruciatingly painful. Especially since you know that shoelace is…