Madre FAQ: 4 years a madre

I often get a lot of the same questions thru DMs or IG comments about life with Momo. So thought it might be about time to do a little FAQ to direct people to in the future.

1) What is Momo’s day to day schedule like?

Mario goes to a half day pre school in our neighborhood five days a week. Some mornings I take him and some mornings Mike takes him. It is close enough that if time allows we will walk him over to school. Most days my mom picks him up after school and he goes to her house for a ‘second lunch’ and sometimes a nap. In the afternoon’s it is a collection of cousins at her house and they all hang out and play until everyone comes home from work and breaks for dinner.

2) What is your childcare situation?

My mom has been Mario’s primary childcare ever since he was born and my mother would not have it any other way. We live about a mile from my parents and that makes it super duper ideal. Thanks mom!

3) When did Momo move into a big kid bed?

Mario stayed in his crib until we moved into our new house so up until he was 3.5 years old. The only reason he didn’t stay in the crib longer was because of the move. Our crib stayed at the old house while it was on the market as it was ‘staged’ in his room. I knew it was silly to buy another crib and we opted to get him a ‘real person’ bed versus a toddler or twin size bed. The week of us moving into the new house I had seen a full size vintage wooden spindle bed at a garage sale down the street. It was so classic looking and a great price, I could not pass it up.

4) Does Momo still nap?

When we are lucky (or he is exhausted).. I really dropped the ball and gave up on enforcing the nap over winter break. He was off school and we were at home a lot more as work was slowing down for the holidays. He was becoming more adventurous during nap time and would get out of bed, come downstairs, find any excuse to sneak out of bed. I was getting really tired monitoring this and ultimately got lazy. Most often he would get a car nap between outings and a car nap is better than no nap at all.

Nowadays he naps maybe two or three days during the week after school when at my mom’s house and on weekends it is really a draw.

One benefit, he falls asleep earlier on the evenings when he has skipped his nap. And by the time it comes to 8pm or so I am ready for him to turn in. Four year olds are a whole other level of exhaustion and challenge that I have not experienced before.

5) Is Momo a picky eater?

Until recently I would say no. He loves beans, rice, eggs, carbs and fruit. But I am realizing that vegetables are becoming harder and harder to get off of his plate and into his tummy. I often make brussel sprouts, kale and squash and they are all really hit or miss. Please share any recipes or tricks that work with your own picky eaters.

6) What is your current screen time policy?

Ever since a young age we have been a pro screen time family. It serves as a great distractor and babysitter when you are lazy or busy. Mario has learned so so so much from videos on youtube, his favorite channel is ‘kids learning tube’ which has taught him all of the planets in the solar system- plus dwarf planets and many moons, national geography like state capitols and state names, international geography and most recently of course all about the human body. Mario uses the YouTube kids app on the ipad most frequently on the weekends. If that aforementioned nap didn’t happen or if we are a bit tapped out from parenting.

We use the timer feature that can be used directly from YT app or thru the guided access mode on the ipad to limit his time to 20 minutes or so in each sitting. I have found that the timer helps immensely with him understanding and not pushing back on when the ipad has to go away.

We also watch shows like Daniel Tiger and Llama Llama. Wholesome and age appropriate programs that teach lessons about your feelings and emotions.

7) Are you for sure an only child family?

I used to get this question a lot more frequently. Now that our boy is clear out of baby stage I think the question has sort of answered itself. Over the holidays we spent a fair amount of time actually discussing the option of an addition but think we landed back where we always have been, its not for us. But to my surprise I continue to get little suggestions or reminders from the universe that bring this question back into my head. Full post about this coming soon, I promise.

8) You have such a supportive set up in Portland, will you guys ever move?

This is a frequent topic of discussion between Mike & I. In a perfect world we could live in a lot of places at once. Maybe Barcelona, LA, Portland and Mexico City and be raising a bilingual boy with roots and connections between international cities and timezones. Our work has us in LA A LOT. But we are iffy about being permanent residents in that type of permanent sunshine. Over the next year or so a few things should shake out and some potential opportunities will hopefully become a bit more clear. From there we shall see. Portland will always be home but we love the idea of taking off for a bit and always being able to come home.

9) What activities keep Momo busy these days?

As a four year old, Momo has a lot of opinions about what he wants to do. On the weekends we do a lot of art: coloring and painting specifically.

We want to get him into some more physical activities, soccer didn’t go great over the fall but we should give that another try. Little walks thru the neighborhood are always a hit and we have rebranded ‘hikes’ as ‘rock walks’ where he gets to pick up and collect as many rocks as possible up in the trails near our house.

Legos have become a very real thing in our house. He got a set from my sister in law for Christmas and we have slowly added a few more sets so he can build build build. Personally legos have become something I enjoy as well. I liken it to adult coloring books. Spending time trying to build a little tower or creature is really rewarding and a great way to detox from technology.

Thanks for reading friends, hope this helped! Always here to share more from our experiences.

xx ly