Maybe they won't need therapy?

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Last week, Brian found an old blog post that I wrote on a family blog when I used to do that sort of thing. He told the girls to listen as he read something he found that day... and when he had finished, we had two little girls beaming in pride. 

"Who wrote that???" they said, "Is that about us?"

He told them it was their mommy that wrote it, and they looked at me with wide eyes and smiles, then Sophie said "Ohh Jack, when you're a big boy, I think mommy will probably write something like that about YOU too!" Both girls hugged me tightly and kissed me and told me they loved it.

The writing was nothing phenomenal or special, and I had no idea that their hearts would be so full from something so simple. I've been writing during their naps and bedtimes since they were born-- some years more than other-- and I realize that they have had no idea, really. They have seen me with a computer occasionally typing, but I just say "girls, I have a little work to do while you play," and they don't really ask questions about it. 

I have often wondered if children of bloggers will need some special kind of therapy when they are grown. We are the first generation of parents inclined to create sites to remember the small details of our children's lives. Kids have SO much time in front of cameras, and parents like me share musings about their childhood on websites... It has made me cautious about how much I share (frankly, not much), and how many pictures I take (frankly, way too many).

I've had moments of mom-guilt while typing (and subsequently deleting) blog posts reflecting on the small and big details of days I thought were special. "These moments don't need to be typed. They were just enjoyed and let that be enough," I tell myself. Less is more, right? People must think I'm the chronic over-sharer. Ugh, I should stop writing. I should simply step away and be vague and skip the sharing-the-heart posting. Maybe "they" are right. 

But there is something inside of me that wants to keep writing. Something that tells me that maybe- just maybe- my children will be... dare I say... thankful  rather than resentful? Thankful for the reflections, thankful for the words? Maybe they will actually appreciate that I share the memories, and their mama's perspective while living those moments. Maybe when they are living similar moments in their future, they will find my words a comfort. Maybe they will understand how deeply I love them through the words typed on a screen.

So I will write. I will write for me, and I will write for them. Here or there, in the quieter spaces where no one else reads, I can write my heart.

xo

Managing Crazy Kid-Hair

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Post is sponsored by SoCozy. All opinions are my own.

I was pregnant for the first time nine years ago, which is a thought that completely blows my mind. When they say time flies, "they" aren't kidding. I was pregnant and deep in the baby product research phase... checking ratings on any and everything that would touch my precious firstborn's skin. As I researched, I realized that the basic baby shampoos often have pretty harsh ingredients, but said products at the time were the best for helping with cradle cap and eczema. It almost couldn't be helped. After Sophie was born, I switched from brand to brand, and never quite found the winning product. When Maggie came along, I tried out the Honest products... I liked their diapers far and above all others, but their shampoo just didn't quite get the job done. The flakiness remained on Maggie's baby scalp far longer than I would like, but I couldn't go back to non-toxic once I knew the ingredients, even if I knew they would be more effective, so I kept it coming to the house.

When I was first introduced to SoCozy, it was a new product on the market. The smell in itself was enough to keep me interested... then there was the fact that it wasn't simply shampoo and conditioner for children... it was non-toxic shampoo and conditioner. They also have lice spray (keep the lice OUT of my home, yes please!), they have styling gels in different holds for all the baby and children's hair textures. They even have products specifically devoted to swim hair. The key to SoCozy: it actually works. It cured the flakiness and keeps hair fresh. We've used everything SoCozy offers except the curls line (my children have the straightest hair!), and now we're using... 

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The sensitive line! YES, SoCozy launched a sensitive line that I so wish I had when Maggie was a baby. The line is called SoCozy Hush, and offers shampoo & conditioner (it's a 2-in-1), a de-tangler, a scalp serum, and a styling foam. 

I am legit excited about the shampoo/conditioner (something only a mother would say). The top of the product cap twists, I give a little squeeze to get the product out, then I use the soft brush at the top of the bottle to gently scrub the shampoo/conditioner on Jacks head. It has worked wonders for getting all that baby cradle cap finally pulled off the surface of his scalp!!! He loves the gentle movement on his head and doesn't try to pull away when I'm brushing. It's a game changer, friends. 

The other standout is the styling foam. I admit that I am THAT mom who uses styling products on my children, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Here's the thing: when I don't, my kids look like they haven't brushed their hair in weeks. Literally, the strings of flyaway hair lay directly in front of their eyes and they won't even notice enough to push it behind their ears! The styling cream keeps those strands away from their eyes and gives a little volume to the overall hair, and it does wonders for all three of my cuties. 

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We like keeping Jack's hair thick and full, not too short and not too long. The front of his hair tends to get in his eyes and the back of his hair tends to stick up straight without any product, so it has been a daily routine to run some product through his hair to keep it tame. The girls get the treatment when I'm feeling less of that before school rush. I used it a lot this week when we were heading to the beach and I knew the wind would be unruly and their manes totally out of hand. Very effective, as usual. The de-tangler is amazing post-bath to get the knots out of their tresses. 

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Target is now carrying the SoCozy Hush line, which makes me so happy. All the best in a store with furniture, food, and mops... there's no reason to make an extra trip anywhere else. Most SoCozy products are with other hair product aisle, but the hush line is placed in the baby aisle, so be sure you're heading to the right department when you shop, OR, just get them online!

I rarely accept sponsored posts on the blog, because I don't want to be the push-the-products site, but this post IS sponsored by SoCozy. I was introduced to SoCozy products about three years ago through blogging, and I've been using them on my children since. It feels natural (and thoroughly beneficial to me AND you) to be able to discuss something I love already in a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. There's a disclaimer for ya.

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Balancing Activities {& Tea Collection Giveaway!}

Activewear c/o Tea Collection

Activewear c/o Tea Collection

Ahhh, spring and all the activities it brings.

Before my kids were in school, I decided I would not EVER be the family that over-schedules. Why do so many things when kids just really want to be kids and play creatively and freely?

My opinion about activities has adjusted through the years. The truth is: kids can really thrive when they take classes, and I am happy to be able to have them pursuing passions and learning new things in a class form. Also, in our case, THEY LOVE IT. 

We discussed so many options for the spring activity list as a family, and then Brian and I had to really talk through it all... 

  • How active is active enough?
  • How active is too active?
  • How many classes should I have my kids be taking?
  • Do I let them pick or do I decide for them?
  • Are these even the right choices?

I don't know the answer to the last question, but we feel good so far.

For us, swimming is the essential... the no-brainer... the safety-first activity. Brian and I want water-proficient kids... not just kids who can paddle mostly without sinking, but kids who can swim laps easily. We're there with Sophie (she's just fine-tuning her stroke form), and Maggie has improved dramatically, but we're keeping them in for a bit longer. We don't want to mess with water hazards and we're near pools and beaches as much as possible during the summer.

All year we put a ton of mileage on swimwear. I'm so glad Tea Collection launches swimwear early in the year. We're at lessons every week, and my kiddos needed some good updates to their swimwear (particularly Maggie, who had a great growth spurt since last summer and was constantly tugging on her suits during class!) We've found some of our favorite suits for class or for the beach, year after year at Tea Collection. Maggie loves one-pieces and Sophie loves tankinis, so we ordered this and this to start the spring summer season (and plan to order THIS for additional beach-day sun protection!).

-- keep reading for a giveaway at the bottom of the post to win any of these!

Side note: THE PHOTOGRAPHY!! I'm loving the new Tea Catalog with all these gorgeous images!!

Side note: THE PHOTOGRAPHY!! I'm loving the new Tea Catalog with all these gorgeous images!!

Sea Fan Rash Guard . Callala Bay Halter

Noosa Swim TrunksEsperance Rash Guard . Snapper Rocks Swim Trunks

Bloomin' One Piece . Curl Curl Baby One Piece . Tallow Beach Swim Trunks

We want our girls to also to do a sport regularly. Neither of them particularly liked soccer (Maggie wanted to bail on every game halfway through), but the Steph Curry/KD Warriors madness around here gets them into basketball, so we signed them right up. Maggie is a little young, so we may just wait a year (she can't reach the basket with the ball and that can be discouraging for her), but Sophie is into it! She's doing her footwork, dribbling, and shooting skills every week, but her favorite part of practice is the competitive sprint time. She LOVES winning the races (and has been telling me that her oversized pants were what were holding her back, haaaa). 

Both girls had a number one activity choice and it was dance. Hiphop, to be specific. We found a class that they can take together twice a week after school. THEY LOVE IT.

They also started getting particular about what they wear those days of the week. "No jeans today, mommy! I need to be able to dance!!" 

The other day, we got a box in the mail with pieces from Tea Collection's new active wear for girls. My girls went nuts. I mean, they love any packages that come in the mail, but this one was like an urgent, "I need to try these outfits right now!" kind of excitement.

Sophie got active leggings and a tank, (which is exactly what she's been wanting and asking me to get for her!), and as soon the box arrived she changed into her clothes and took off sprinting down our SF hallway. "I'm faster mom!! I'll be able to win when we race this week!! And can I please also wear this to school so I can dance better after school?" Yes, and yes, (and looks like we may need to place another order so I don't have to be washing these three times per week)! 

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Maggie changed into her joggers and tee (with a koala on it!!) and started dancing right away, as she does. "These are PERFECT" (I wish you could hear the way she pronounces the word 'perfect.' It is my favorite). 

The joggers really are perfect. They're ideal for transitioning from a cute school outfit to one that moves easily while she practices her hiphop moves. She named the koala on her shirt Rainbow, and has worn it multiple times already this week. 

So much good activewear on the site, so I'm giving you a peek below:

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We're obviously excited about the active wear and that we now have a go-to spot to find athletic gear that fits and breathes as the kids move.

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I always read blogs and have the nagging question about sizing, so here's what I'll give you: As a sizing reference, Sophie generally wears size 5's in jeans, size 7's in leggings, and these we got in size 6 and they fit perfectly. She's tiny in weight and average in height, according to the pediatrician's charts. Some activewear falls as she runs (which drives her nuts because it messes with her running speed! ha!), but these stay up on her waist easily. Her top is a size 7, and fits great, though she also could have definitely worked with a size 6 for a more fitted look. Hoodies are perfectly true to size.

Maggie's sizing is more true to her age-- she's truly average height, exactly 50%, and slightly below average weight at her checkups. Her joggers run slightly big. We got a size 5 and she usually does 4/5 in jeans-- these were on the looser side, but we just folded the waist down once and they look exactly right and stay in place (no bunching. I would tell you if there was). I love it that they're slightly big in this case because it'll keep her wearing them longer, but if you're between sizes looking for an exact fit, I'd recommend sizing down.  

-----GIVEAWAY TIME:

So how can you get in on these goods? Enter my giveaway! I'm giving away your choice of either a Play Set <for boys, girls, baby boys, or baby girls, and there are swim sets as options!> OR your choice of four pieces of the new activewear line. Here's how to enter:

  1. Follow me on Instagram. (one entry)
  2. Follow Tea Collection on Instagram. (one entry)
  3. Comment below OR on my Tea Instagram post (coming soon) to let me know your favorite piece(s) from the Australia Spring/Summer line at teacollection.com. (one entry)

MOST IMPORTANTLY: let me know how many entries I owe you for the follows either below in the comment section OR on my Instagram post. So simple, yes? Happy Monday!

Giveaway ends Sunday, Feb. 5 at 11:59PST and will be announced on this blog post and IG Monday Feb. 6 at noon PST. Check back to see if you've won! If on IG, I'll be sure to tag you. 18 or older only. Not affiliated with IG. Thank you to Tea Collection for collaborating. All opinions are my own.  

 

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