About The Checklist Family


CHK 20x20 headshot

  • Is a writer living in LA whose real name is Sarah Kate Levy.
  • She was once told by a high school teacher that she would never find a husband, because she talks too much.
  • Has a few expensive, fancy degrees of higher education. And a trophy from her kids proclaiming “World’s Best Mom.” Trophy has proved itself more useful than fancy degrees, because at least it can be used as a paperweight. It cost a lot less, too. And no, she doesn’t believe she is the World’s Best Mom. She is satisfied with being Not The Worst.
  • Once upon a time she wanted to be a novelist.
  • She is not a novelist. She is a screenwriter (most recently of this movie)  / blogger who also writes essays, short fiction, and the odd TV spec.
  • Also, she can get all four of her kids to nap at the same time. That counts for something.
  • She would like to think she is a fairly pragmatic person.
  • That said, she does not adjust well to surprises. Or bedrest.
  • She is really really really into making lists. She is trying to get better at delegating.


chk big ideas

  • Professional Schemer. Imaginative and ballsy entrepreneur. Has the bad fortune to be married to ChecklistMommy, who is none of these things (her own business being fairly un-ballsy), and has been known to tell him some of his Big Ideas are not so hot. Those Big Ideas almost always are huge winners for other people, two or three years later. Which is why he is an imaginative and ballsy entrepreneur, and ChecklistMommy is not. Also, this is why ChecklistMommy is the one in charge of QuickBooks.
  • ChecklistMommy is also not nearly as playful, adventurous, flexible, or loyal as MrBigIdeas is.  She should probably try to learn from his example, but is mostly fine with letting him do those things for / instead of her. She considers this delegating.


CHK e diddy

  • Our first-born. Has a very rigid black/white sense of Justice and Fairness — she gets this from her father.
  • Is habit-oriented and bossy — she gets this from her Mom.
  • Looks before she leaps. Is very proud of herself for mastering the rings at gymnastics, but dude, spent the first three months of gymnastics screaming her head off about how much she hated gymnastics, especially the rings. She gets this sort of behavior from her Mom.
  • Fantastic storyteller. At school, her stories are always the longest ones with the most specific details. Bet you didn’t know the Pilgrims brought Diet Coke with them on the Mayflower. She gets the Diet Coke references from her Dad.
  • Makes friends more easily than anyone ChecklistMommy has ever known. Never met a kid at the playground she didn’t like.
  • Has an incredible memory. For everything you have ever told her, or she has ever done. If ChecklistMommy could bottle this, she could make a million dollars and also drink the stuff for breakfast and stop with all the lists, already.


chk gaga

  • Would like you to know she is not a Baby. She is a Big Girl. Like Diddy.
  • Never saw a couch / chair / stool / table she couldn’t climb / fall off of. Spent the first two years of her life with an enormous purple bump on her head. Loved gymnastics from the moment she walked into the gym.
  • She Can Do it Herself!
  • Total drama queen. Have her show you her Angry Face. Can turn on the tears in an instant, too … especially when you’re yelling at her. Then, through the tears: “But Mommy, I love you!” Yep. She’s that good.
  • Insists on sleeping with a huge collection of stuffed animals, dolls, and a piggy bank. She calls these things her “kids.”
  • Cuddliest. Child. On. Earth. Is always good for a hug. And completely indiscriminate about it. Will hug cats, dogs, children, adults, complete strangers. You would think, watching her race across the school playground to hug her teachers at drop-off, that no one ever hugs poor Gaga at home.
  • Has impressive rhythm and perfect pitch. She gets this from her Aunt Checklist.


chk pancake

  • So-called because he is constantly being flattened. In his first six months of life, this child was stepped on and jumped on. He was smushed in the womb, too — Pancake was Baby A, packed down into Mommy’s pelvis by his twin brother.
  • Emotionally, Pancake is an open book. He lets you know when he’s hungry or tired. He smiles easily, and intensely — this is a kid who feels everything to extremes.
  • He is fascinated by color, or by toys that move. He’s the one who stares hard at the pictures in his bedtime books. ChecklistMommy thinks he’s going to be an artist.
  • Quick to cry, quick to calm — all this one needs is a hug and he’s happy.
  • ChecklistMommy worries that all of these qualities are going to make high school difficult for him. He seems a lot like her.


chk sausage

  • Because his thighs look like … well … sausages.
  • Keeps things close to the vest. Rarely cries. Doesn’t let anything bother him too much. He’s a chill kid. He doesn’t smile as easily as his brother, but when he does … He seems a lot like the boys ChecklistMommy was into in high school.
  • Also, he’s probably going to be the one selling weed.

16 Responses to About The Checklist Family

  • My
    July 21, 2013

    I found yr website while researching on flying with children….I love your website and writing, above all –the way you think (superorganized)– I lov lov it– marry me! Lol

    • checklistmommy
      July 22, 2013

      Thank you! This has been one of those months where I feel COMPLETELY unorganized with work and kids and summer and JEESH … but it’s nice to have this blog to look back on and think, Ah well, I have moments of near-org, at least! Here’s to slowly getting it back together …

      What ages are your kids? I have tips-a-plenty and I’m happy to share!

  • Kaye Kittrell
    September 27, 2012

    I’m glad I found your site via Green Momma Adventures. I wish I’d had some of your kid safety info a decade ago. Somehow we got through all that and my sons are 17 and 21. I am sure I will benefit from some of your checklists. Would like to ask about blacking out the eyes of your kids. My niece just had a baby and they put lots of photos on FB and their blogpost. Is this not recommended? Please advise and I will pass along. Thank you! And please visit latebloomershow.com, urban garden web series and blog. I’m a new gardener and recording my experience. Thanks! – Kaye

    • checklistmommy
      September 27, 2012

      Hi Kaye —

      I put un-edited photos of my kids on my private FB page, but on this blog and the ChecklistMommy blog — or for any purpose that isn’t entirely private — I try to mask the kids’ identities for a few reasons. 1) They didn’t ask to be on the blog, so I don’t want to feel they’re being exploited. 2) I don’t want photos of them being re-purposed by other people — and it’s REALLY EASY to grab images on the web and re-purpose them. So, my solution was putting black bars over their eyes (using Picmonkey.com) — or shooting them from behind. I know of another blogger who only shoots her kids from the neck down.

    • Lisa
      March 15, 2014

      You can always tell an expert! Thanks for coitinbutrng.

  • Anne
    September 6, 2012

    BTW, I am a different Anne than the one from May 9th.

  • Anne
    September 6, 2012

    I believe your Baby Gaga and my Twin B were separated at birth, except that would mean I was supposed to have had triplets…good thing they gave one to you. Seriously though, every single thing you said about her I have said about mine.

    • checklistmommy
      September 6, 2012

      How cool! (And: triplets? Yikes. Can you imagine?)

  • Ally
    August 31, 2012

    I think it’s cool you’re not afraid to use swear words or talk about things like weed.

  • Esther B
    August 19, 2012

    You didn’t have to do this, but am so glad you did! Thanks for sharing write-up. To write family synopses, on my list now too…

  • WorkInProgress
    August 17, 2012

    Too funny! I love how you describe your family!

  • Wendy
    May 9, 2012

    Love your new photos on the site!

    • checklistmommy
      May 9, 2012

      Thanks! I was just thrilled to catch all four kids in the same place at the same time …

  • Anne
    May 9, 2012

    I had the pleasure of attending the UCLA Commons Mommy Blogger event last night…which drove me to your site (and more)..
    I love your writing! Hilarious! XO Anne

    • checklistmommy
      May 9, 2012

      Anne! Thank you! It was such a fun night — so glad you had a good time too. Keep in touch — especially if you start blogging (or maybe you already do?).

  • jen silbert
    November 17, 2011


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Sarah Kate Levy

Once upon a time I wanted to be a novelist in NY. FOUR KIDS LATER I'm a
screenwriter in LA who blogs about parenting, partnering, and the decline of civilization / my home.

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