Signs of spring at my house are sun, warmth and the sound of a quiet house. THEY’RE ALL DYING TO GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY! And, after a long winter, I’m willing to give them whatever tools they need to do just that.
Wheels are a must. And balls and bats and baskets and goals and jump ropes. And a clubhouse. Ours is a treehouse, inspired by this. They’re getting exercise, vitamin D, fresh air, sunshine…and all is good.
Inundated. That’s how I would describe my house right now. With toys. And more toys.
We scaled back this year, really. It’s just that, with three kids still of toy-playing age, it adds up. Factor in grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles…
It’s time to purge. And I do mean PURGE. Gone is anything broken, incomplete or totally random and ridiculous. Gone are all things baby (a little tear here) and toys they’ve outgrown. Gone are the toys given with good (but way too hopeful) intentions that I kept around in the off-chance that maybe one day they’d WANT to learn the capitals of all the states (who am I kidding?). What remains is getting organized. This should do the trick!
And the kids are in on it! Armed with trash bags and bins, they are going through and finding things to throw away or donate to needy children. Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Children’s Hospital, inner-city preschools…they get to decide where their toys go. They’re all 100% on board, and excited to be there!
My goal is twofold: 1) Find places for the new stuff (part of the “organize” resolution – see last blog post), and 2) Instill the spirit of sharing our blessings. Oh, and 3) Do something good for the environment by keeping used, but still functional, toys out of a landfill.
Well, that’s three. But that’s OK. I feel happy, the kids feel happy and the planet is a little happier too. It’s a great start to, hopefully, a very good year.
Our annual holiday baking frenzy took place this weekend. I say “our” but it’s really just “my.” Here’s hoping that one day the whole fam will want to get in on the action. This time, it was just the boys. For about, oh, um, two minutes. Oh well, it’s a start. I enjoyed it while it lasted.
They’re old enough now to help, and now that they are, I think they might be less interested in doing so than they were a few years ago. I used to set up their play kitchen in our kitchen, so that we could all “bake” together. Sigh. My cute little memories of cute little munchkins. They’re too big now for the play kitchen, or so I thought…
Later, I stumbled upon a baking frenzy happening in the playroom with the (what I thought was) long forgotten play kitchen. Aprons and oven mitts donned, they were getting things done, and having a ball.
As it turns out, they like making their own little Christmas memories!
Growing up and sharing a room with my sister, I longed for a space to call my own. I even tried to rig a blanket between the wall and my bed to create a cave where I could shut out the world around me and read a book without distraction. Of course, the little caves I made never remained mine for long. But after the initial sister invasion and the ire that ensued, inevitably we’d snuggle in there together and whisper our secrets to each other. Completely cut off from the rest of the world. Or, at least, OUR world.
Now that I’m a mother, I recognize the importance of my children having their own space, and we are fortunate that our house allows this. However, that doesn’t prevent them from making little “caves” of their own from time to time to shut everything out. Even in the quiet of their own room, all that stuff — the furniture, the toys and books and pictures — can be so loud. And while they crave space without distraction, I just want to find the throws for the living room (that they use for their caves) when I feel cold.
These teepees are the perfect compromise. A secret hiding spot with a door to block out the world, even for just a little while. They love the coziness and the privacy — I love the fun designs. (And being able to find my throws!) The best part is that they collapse and stow away, nicely, into the closet.
Making them not just a secret hiding place, but a magical secret hiding place.