Archive | FAMILY

SEATTLE CITY GUIDE: ALKI BEACH WITH KIDS

TRUTH: There are five activities my kids will always be up for 1. playdates with friends 2. sleepovers 3. Disneyland 4. swimming 5. making (and eating) treats. Anything outside of this short list and chances are at least one of them will gripe, lay on the floor in protest and whine about how awful their day is going to be. They can be a little dramatic and I don’t mention it to complain or throw my kids under the bus, but because it’s exactly how our day started when we let the kids know we were headed up to Alki Beach after church. I also wanted to let you know because pictures have away of making things look easy and effortless and  despite how much fun we have once we we’re out, making our plan, getting everyone on the same page and following though doesn’t always look so pretty.

Now that you have a little bit of the BTS info (always want to be transparent with you guys!), here’s a photodump of our skyline looking, beach running, scooter riding outing to Alki Beach… It’s one of my favorite places to visit!

(I’ve been sharing fit pics on Instagram Stories if you’re interested! Tap the “#ootd” highlight button.)

You really can’t beat the beach town vibe of West Seattle paired with the skyline of the city. As small as Seattle is, it looks relatively big from across the puget sound. Hop on the water taxi and you’ll be at waterfront park, Seattle aquarium, the Great Wheel and Pike Place market!

If you’re visiting Seattle and would like tour guides, Espen and I are up for the job!!! Ha!

These pics of my babes! Oz met up with us later… just in time to get money for tacos as we were leaving, ha! JK, he and his girlfriend tried to meet up with us earlier but we kept missing them on our walk. Guess we’ll have to go back sooner than later (not mad about it).

The weather’s been in the upper 60’s to low 70’s and I know some of you would gladly trade us but I can’t wait til’ it’s hot enough to be in swimmers and jumping in the water… at least for me because I’m such a wimp about getting cold. The kids could care less of course!

How is she getting this big and independent!? Guess it means we’re doing our job though :)

Marination Ma Kai is the best place to grab street style tacos, but since we packed lunches this time we opted for shave ice instead and it did not disappoint. A very different treat compared to the kind you get at a concession stand or farmers market. In other words next time you stop in for tacos, stay for shave ice!

Back to the beginning of this post, and it might sound obvious but one of the best parenting lessons I’ve ever learned is to not let the kids call the shots. Especially not in the moment, because those moments are driven by how they feel and if how they feel is tired, comfortable, lazy or just “anti-everything”, those feelings will change once they start moving, seeing, and playing. Sure, we make adjustments based on our kids needs and likes – and sometimes we’ll call it a day earlier or stay closer to home to accommodate friend time, but there is always a greater purpose for getting out and exploring with our kids and I try to never lose sight of that for the sake of doing what is easy.

Do you know what happened when we got home from the beach (and after most outings)? ALL of the kids raved about how much fun they had. How much they loved riding scooters and playing on the beach and eating shave ice and spending time together.

It’s true what they say… parents know best. You’d think my kids would catch on by now, LOL.

How are your kids about going on outings!? Are they homebodies or do they love being out and about?

XO, Rae

P.S. – You can see other visits to Alki Beach here and here too.

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A DAY IN THE LIFE: 5 THINGS THAT MAKE OUR BEDTIME ROUTINE EASIER

Some nights (especially during the summer) we are carrying kids from the car into bed without tubs, jammies or brushing their teeth. Other nights, bedtimes are a full-blown process that I love and look forward to.  And then there are those nights every once in a while that I’m just really ready to be “off-duty”. That being said, I didn’t think our routine (or lack there of) would be all that helpful. So instead I thought I’d share the 5 things that we wouldn’t want to do bedtimes without! Would love to know what your must-haves would be, too!

1. A GIANT FAN IN THE HALLWAY – more often than not, the kids are all at different levels of tired when bedtime rolls around so the fan does wonders to muffle the noise coming from the more energetic or overly tired kids. So I usually turn it on once we are upstairs for bedtime until everyone is asleep and then plug it in once I get up in the morning until everyone is awake. We have the Patton three speed floor fan and keep it on the lowest setting — unless of course we’re using it to make a fort :)

2. ESSENTIAL OIL BEDTIME BLEND – Another thing I turn on as soon as we head upstairs is our diffusor! Wouldn’t say it magically makes my kids fall asleep, but it does help set the tone and smells delicious. My favorite bedtime oils are: lavender, wild orange, frankincense, cedarwood (if the kids have a stuffy nose or cough), and bergamot.

3. A BLUETOOTH SPEAKER & LULLABYS – I guess we need a lot of white noise in our house, lol, but it’s so nice to have soft music on and is another way to set the tone. We have an older version of this speaker (this is a good option too!) and then i usually play a lullaby mix on pandora.

4. AMAZING BOOKS – This is a given, but I think it’s also nice to stock up on books that non-reading kids can flip through (we love this hide and seek book) while they wait for you to be done tucking in someone else, etc.. Audio books are a good idea too!

  

Last but not least, it’s always good to have a running list of seemingly spontaneous bedtime activities. A few that work for us…

5. A BAG OF TRICKS

  • Yoga or mindfulness: I’ll either make things up as we go (balance poses, stretching or laying down poses are best at bedtime!) or turn on cosmic kids on youtube which is amazing! For mindfulness or guided meditation I’ll hop on go noodle (look in the “flow” section) or search youtube.
  • “Plan” something fun: like a special bath bomb, animal face masks, painting with watercolors or eating popsicles in the tub, making a fort to read books in, etc.
  • When you need a break: not every bedtime has to be magical and despite all the studies, you can still raise kids that love to read without reading to them EVERY night. Opt for a quick show (my kids love when it’s in our bed), a few minutes of tech time, an audio book and if certain kids are extra wild I’ll ask if they (mostly Tilly) would like a melatonin :)

One other thing I do that I think helps is making sure all the overhead lights are off in the kids’ rooms and instead turn on their reading lights. Since it’s so bright at night in the summer it doesn’t make as much of a difference, but the rest of the year I swear by doing this!

There is truly nothing as sweet as spending that last hour or so of the day with my kids — it’s a sacred time that I rarely want to miss… Now if we could just get everyone to bed before 10pm that would be great. Although, who has time for early bedtimes in the summer?

Would love to know what works for you at bedtime!?

XO, Rae

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THINGS WE LOVE: DANCE PARTIES + DONUTS

RECIPE FOR A HAPPY MONDAY:

  1. pump up music
  2. booty shaking
  3. donuts. 

Press play and see if you can spot Griffin’s fortnite dance move, paper-rock-scissors for the maple with chocolate chips donut, the hair flip, Tilly’s cute bestie Londan, Johan trying to spin Poppy and then Espen, and my embarrassing solo (hashtag mom-moves)!? HA!

Sent the kids off to school for the last Monday of the year and it feels so good to be almost done (last day is Thursday!).

Hope you’re having a good Monday but if not, follow the recipe above :)

XO, Rae

PS – if you aren’t already following us on youtube, CLICK HERE! 

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TILLY LATELY AND A Q&A

I always tell Tilly she was my best surprise ever, and it’s true. Since we didn’t find out gender while I was pregnant with her, I had very similar pregnancies with my two boys, and always felt like I’d be a boy mama, I assumed she would be a boy and boy, was I wrong. It was a magical moment when the Dr. yelled out, “It’s a girl!” and laid her on my chest. I’m learning more and more everyday, how to be a girl mom to such an incredible human… She is fiercely independent, a total overachiever, super helpful when she wants to be, makes life exciting, loves crafting and making, and has the biggest sweet tooth… you’ll see more about that in the video.

I had the best time listening to her answers and hope it’s entertaining for you too… press play!

Her “special thing”, HA! She tends to need a few minutes to cool off when she’s upset,  but when we’d ask her to go to her room until she’s ready to chat, she would throw a fit on her way up. Then one day about a year ago she quietly walked up to her room without a fuss when we asked. I was shocked so followed her up a minute later and saw her snacking on a small handful of m&m’s. When I asked her about it the next day she spilled the beans and said a little bit of sugar made her feel better, LOL. Mostly amazed at how self aware she is but also realize that I’m raising an emotional eater — kinda figure that we’re all emotional eaters on some level and hope that as long as we workout the problems it won’t get out of hand!

Excited to do a Q&A video with the rest of the kids… next up will be Griffin I think :)

Happy Monday you guys!

xo, Rae

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