Guardians for Your Minor Children

Text below is taken from Rehberg Law Group’s February Newsletter. We are excited to have them come and talk to us this March regarding estate planning and wills. Hopefully, the text below would be a good intro to some of the things that us moms should be thinking about. 


Did You Really Mean John and Jane Doe or Did You Just Mean Janeunnamed (1)

If you have minor children, an important part of your estate plan is choosing a guardian and a successor guardian to look after your children if you are gone.  In your Will, you can state who will look after your children if you pass away; and, in your Power of Attorney,  you can state who can look after your children if you are alive, but temporarily unable to do so.

You can choose to name whomever you wish as the guardian for your children. Most people pick someone they trust, who is a good parent, and whose values coincide with their own.  One common choice is to pick a couple, perhaps a sibling and spouse or friend and spouse.  But the question is, did you really mean you wanted both your sister,Jane, and your brother-in-law,John, as your children’s guardian, or did you really just mean Jane.

It seems normal to name a couple to be the guardian of your children; after all, they are married and live together. However, choosing a couple is not always the best choice.  If your sister divorces her husband do you want them to have a custody battle over your children or would you prefer that your sister immediately have custody.  If they already have marital difficulties that may be an important distinction to make.  On the other hand, if your brother-in-law takes your children to the hospital do you want him to have the authority to make medical decisions or do you want to limit those to just your sister?  If John is not named as the guardian he will not have legal authority to make decisions for your children.

Choosing the appropriate guardian for your children is an important decision, one that should be made after considering the benefits and drawbacks to your choices.  Check your estate planning documents and look to see who you have named.  If you named John and Jane, ask yourself if you really meant both, or did you really just mean Jane.


Read and Craft for the Holidays


Read and Create with your little one throughout this holiday season. Check out these books and choose a fingerprint craft from this link to enrich your little ones experience. Display your child’s artwork around the house and use it as an opportunity to revisit the stories read.

Twas’ the Night Before Christmassanta-fingerprint-1024x721
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The Polar Express
Frosty the Snowman
The Mitten
The Nativity
God Gave us Christmas
Dream Snow
A Charlie Brown Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree

Have a Merry Christmas and happy crafting!

Rainy Day Play Date Ideas

The rainy days and grey have settled in comfortably in West Seattle. But not to worry, there are still plenty of places to take the kids if you need to get them out of the house (or if you need to!). Here are a few suggestions for free (or super cheap) indoor activities for our wonderful preschool kiddos. So call another MOPS mom from your discussion group, or post a play date call out on our Facebook page before you go.

Coffee Spots
It was so sad when Sugar to a Tea closed last year, since it was a great rainy day mom and tot spot in the Junction. But luckily, Chaco Canyon popped up just around the corner. They’ve got a little contained play place for kids that has a tool table, books, puzzles and even a chalk wall to color on. Plus, they’ve got a full vegan menu for moms and kids, so you can find healthy eats (and coffee) while you’re there.

Moms can also meet up at Dubsea Coffee in White Center (on 8th Ave. SW, south of Roxbury). It’s another little coffee shop that has snacks and food and a play area for the kids with books, toys, games and a magnetic wall. It’s enough to keep the kids busy while moms catch up for a while.

Story Times
The Seattle Public Library has great story times for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Each story time is about 30 minutes long, and usually involves a craft and some songs in addition to reading a few stories. Get a group together for this one!

West Seattle Branchstorytime
Preschool story time: Weds at 10:30
Toddler story time: Tues. at 10:30
High Point Branch
Toddler story time: Thurs. at 11:30
Baby story time: Weds. at 11:30
Southwest Branch
Preschool story time: Thurs. at 10:30
Toddler story time: Weds. at 10:30 and 11:30
Baby story time: Tues. at 10:30

There’s also a Spanish story time at My Three Little Birds on California Ave., the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 11:30. Sometimes this one even involves some cute vegan cupcakes!

Toddler Indoor Gyms
Seattle Parks and Recreation hosts toddler indoor gyms at all of their community centers in the area. They have tons of ride on toys, climbing equipment, bouncy houses (usually), slides, balls and other toys out for kids ages 1-5. The cost is $3 per visit.

Delridge Mon. & Weds., 1-4pm
Hiawatha Mon. & Thurs., 10am-1pm
High Point Tues. & Thurs., 10am-1pm
South Park Thurs. 1-3pm

There’s also a Kalidescope Play and Learn program at the Delridge Community Center on Thursdays from 11am-12:30pm that features art, music and movement, plus circle time for kids ages 2-5. This is a free program and lead by an instructor.


P1010207Neighborhood House Programming
Right at the corner of Sylvan Way in the High Point neighborhood is the Neighborhood House Center. The center provides programming with a focus on helping diverse communities reach their goals and potential. And lucky for West Seattle moms they have some cool kids’ programming that’s free and open to the public. Check out their Art & Block classes on Mondays from 11am-12:30pm, and their Play and Learn program on Weds. from 11am-12:30pm. Both are for kids ages 1-5 and they don’t cost a thing.

Where do you like to take the kids on a rainy day?

Spa Day!!!

Spa Day, the day us mothers get to relax and get pampered for two hours without the little kiddos. Not that we don’t love our kids, but us mommas needed the break. Thank you West Side MOPS Planning Committee for putting this event together and making us feel special, loved and worth it. The coffee and smoothies were flowing, the music was playing, the yummy treats that were available to be devoured and the oh so lovely pampering. It was a day to remember. (Photos below)

There were a lot of West Seattle Businesses who gave their time, services and gave products away to the moms. We wanted to highlight the lovely women from Forsythe Studio for doing such a fabulous job with our hair, Vanessa of Darling Skincare Sugaring for fixing our eyebrows, to all that gave us the most exquisite massages (Sherry Cejna, Kathryn Boender, Anne Hirsch, and Christina Ralph), and let’s not forget our very own MOPS mom Dianna Clark, for the mini facials. It was all lovely. Thank you!  Thank you West Seattle for loving on the hardworking mommas of MOPS.

Before we get to the awesome photos taken by Lea Patricelli, we wanted to share a complete list of West Seattle Business that made our day so fun and memorable.

Vendor Booths/Services
Forsythe Studio
Stella & Dot
Darling Skin Care/Sugaring
Dianna Clark
Urban Sitter
Jody Chen
Kristi Jacobs
Sherry Cejna
Kathryn Boender
Anne Hirsch
Joan Johnson
Mary Beth Logston
Christina Ralph
Dream Dinners
Malika Siddiq
Karen Pfieffer-Bush
Wendy Peterson

Food Donation Vendors
Starbucks, Morgan junction
Great Harvest Bread Co
Alaska Junction QFC
Alaska Junction Safeway
Morgan Junction Thriftway
Zatz Bagels
Emerald City Smoothie
Claudina–Lulu Cakes

Raffle Donations
Red Cup Coffee
Evo Fit
Dream Dinners
Curious Kids’ Place
Chaco Canyon
Center Studio
Mind Unwind
Jody Chen (Mary Kay)
Dianna Clark
West Seattle Fabric Company
Pure Hair
Stroller Strides
Eco Beauty Salon
Head To Toe Salon
Stella and Dot
Envy (waxing)
Firefly Creperie
Small Clothes

And now the PHOTOS!!!


Benefits of Vaccines

Hello West Side Momskid-flu-shot!! I would like to share some information with you about why it’s a good thing to vaccinate yourself and your family. Despite the fact that vaccinations are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and American Academy of Pediatrics, there is still a lot of controversy surrounding whether you should or shouldn’t’ vaccinate. Let me shares some reasons why you SHOULD vaccinate yourself and your family.

• Vaccinations against illnesses protect you from getting that disease! It’s amazing!! Before vaccines, the only way to get immunity from the disease was to get the disease itself, which then of course meant suffering through all the uncomfortable (and hopefully not deadly) symptoms, yuck! It’s a lot easier to get one little poke that it is to treat a disease.

• By protecting yourself and your little ones from a disease, it means that if there is an outbreak of the disease, you will be protected AND you won’t pass the disease on to others. No one wants to be that person that got everyone sick!! It’s good for the community, public health!!

• We don’t really think of money when we thing of our loved one’s health but it’s much cheaper to vaccinate than it is to treat a disease.

• Have you heard of people that got the flu shot but still ended up with the flu? No it’s not an urban legend, the flu shot protects you from the top 5 flu viruses that are expected to be the most common for that year. So it’s still possible to get sick with other viruses that were not in the flu shot. BUT (and this parts really cool!!) even if you get the flu shot and you still get the flu, it helps shorten the length and severity of the illness. When you are lying in bed with a fever and aching all over, just remember it could have been a whole lot worse if you didn’t get that flu shot.

• Pregnant women can and should get certain vaccinations (especially the flu shot and Tdap) while they are pregnant; it’s like vaccinating your baby while they are still inside of you!!! And no poke for baby, only mom. Moms want to protect their little ones from pain, so go ahead mom and take that shot to help protect your baby.

Vaccinations are a good thing! Go and speak to your doctor about any questions or concerns you have, they can help you make a good and informed decision. Keep up the good work West Side Moms!!!!!

God bless all of you!

Fiona Smith PHN, RN

A Beautiful Mess, Beautiful Stories

Each beautiful mess in this season of motherhood brings so much beautiful stories. We will be posting stories, photos, and maybe even nice and messy recipes (ok maybe not so messy) on this blog section.

We are excited to hear from the mommas of the West Side MOPS. In the meantime, we leave you with a photo of little Desmond who wants to use chopsticks for eating spaghetti.