April Showers

So much green everywhere is making me so happy!  Which is especially nice on a day that is somewhat somber after the passing of Prince.  I wasn’t a massive fan, but he was a talented artist and driving by his home seeing the flowers and many people there is just sad.

I’m holding off for another weekend or two until we go pick out flowers and stuff, but we’re all excited to get outside and work on the landscaping some more. There are so many things I’d like to get done inside and out of the house including little things like upgrades to flooring in the kitchen and even the faucets. In the meantime, though, we wait for the Spring rains to let up.

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Thankfully we have lots of games to play inside and we’ve been pulling out the board games more often.  Do ignore the fact that this picture was clearly taken in December. We really did play it the other day!

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Phoebe doesn’t usually have the patience to sit through games yet, but Enzo is catching on quick to so many games and is still greatly loving Poopy Head. We like to team up and try and get Josh to end up with all of the poops while he’s distracted by Phoebe.

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Another great find I came across are these awesome window markers that Crayola makes that crystallize on the window as they warm up.  They are so fun to watch as they change, plus they clean up easy and we don’t end up wasting any paper. Considering Enzo reminded me it’s Earth Day today, I felt this was worth noting. 😉

Happy Earth Day everyone and have a wonderful weekend! Do something that brings and spreads joy.

Big Girl Room: Take 1

Well, it seems like I can’t stop changing stuff in the house, and even though these pictures weren’t taken that long ago, they are now outdated as I’ve already moved stuff around in Phoebe’s room and will probably do so again.  As for Enzo’s room… well that time will probably come too.

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So far Phoebe is loving her new big girl bed and I really like it as well.  The drawers are nice and with an extra mattress, it can also be a trundle bed too… however I’m not really sure where one is supposed to store said mattress.  As you can tell from the pictures there isn’t exactly room for it anywhere, so I don’t know what Ikea had in mind.

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Enzo and Vega also like Phoebe’s new bed.  We’re still working on storage issues and toy placement, but this brown cube shelf is gone and now I just need to either get rid of some toys or figure out a better method of storing them. I think our real problem is too many large toys and also the fact that Phoebe forgets there are toys anywhere she can’t immediately see, but Enzo is also that way so January will be filled with more rearranging and storage switching so that we can get a feel for what the kids actually play with and what can head out the door.

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It’s probably just a good thing neither kid messes with cords or electrical outlets all that much because I have yet to figure out a good way to keep those from being in the way since the outlets seem to be in all the wrong places… that or we have way too many things that need to be plugged in. I have a thing with lights, though… it can’t be helped.

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Ah, here’s a good example of something that is gone – the panda.  While Enzo has always been a fan of his giant bear, Phoebe never really bonded with her panda, so we gave it to a new home and she never even noticed it was missing.  In general the kids aren’t big on stuffed animals, so I think we’ll probably let more of those go. I bought too many before they were born and thought they’d enjoy them more than they actually do. Instead they have a select few dolls and animals that they really love, and for those I’m thinking one of those wall hammocks would work great and would definitely free up shelf space.

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Now to go take updated pictures of what her room looks like now, or maybe I’ll wait until January since several rooms will have changed by then.

Those imaginations!

Both kids have such great imaginations, and I love sneakily watching/listening to them as they pretend. Enzo is a little harder to get pictures of lately as he tends to notice the camera more and doesn’t always want his picture taken (which I completely respect). Phoebe, however, is still at that age where it’s very easy to just quietly watch her.

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Lately she has been enjoying all of the typical games you associate with young girls. She has a baby doll she carries around as well as a purse, but she also loves playing with various toy houses. When Enzo was this age he had a great imagination as well, but he always tended to be more active whereas Phoebe channels her imagination differently. I love seeing their differences and similarities in all aspects – it’s so much fun.

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Enzo always enjoys sending cars crashing off ledges or superhero/villian scenarios where someone needs saving, and while Phoebe also enjoys similar play she’s a bigger fan of playing “house.” She has a little Minnie and Mickey house and also a bigger Minnie play house (she really can’t get enough Minnie and Mickey) and I’ll watch her as she pretends to put Figaro in the bath or tuck them all in their beds.  She was majorly stalling at bedtime last night and mostly because she couldn’t find all the beds for everyone in Minnie’s house.

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I confess, I’m kind of thrilled that she gets such a kick out of playing with dollhouses and the like because if it keeps up I will probably end up getting her the dollhouse I always dreamed of having as a kid.  The hardest part will be actually letting her play with it. Ha ha. I know, I know, one should never live vicariously through their children. I can’t help it if there are some really fun toys out there today that I can finally afford, though. 😉

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Getting Back to Basics

Okay, that brief taste of warm Spring weather was really just a mean tease since we’d been mostly in the 30s and 40s ever since.  Then we’ll get hit with one or two nice days just to have Mother Nature laugh in our faces and send more cold wind our way.  It makes me wonder how on earth mothers didn’t go crazy way back in the day.  It seems like it would have been dull and each day would have been filled with drudgery, plus small children underfoot without much to do. Yeah, I’m kind of thankful for all of the comforts we have now.

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That being said, kids really don’t need as much as we give them.  For instance, give them a ton of blocks to build things with and they will inevitably empty the blocks onto the floor so they can play with the bin/box that was holding them. Plus, the bin becomes even more fun when they have someone else to play with.

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I think my favorite part is that Enzo has just as much fun pushing Phoebe around as he does when being the one receiving the ride.  I always worry about potential boredom, but I didn’t use to.  The kids are always amusing themselves in various ways, and I remember once doing so as well, but at some point that changed and I’m not sure why.  The more I think about it, I think the problem may be because there are in fact too many choices. There are so many options when it comes to things I could/should do, that it becomes hard to actually make a decision (which I always have a hard time doing anyway).  We sometimes run into this problem when trying to pick a movie – we have so many options that we spend all this time trying to agree on one only to then find out we don’t really have enough time to watch the one we picked.

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The more I think about it, the better minimalizing sounds.  I think it would be hard to get used to, but in the end would allow us to not feel so overwhelmed by choices, distractions, and general clutter.  Creativity is important to both Josh and I, but I think we get too distracted and forego some of our hobbies for mindless timewasting videos and internet surfing or social media.  The kids are developing such great imaginations, and I really want to foster that. I think that also means cutting back on TV and technology in general and getting back to basics more.

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Legos and Development

Legos are one of those timeless toys.  I have fond memories of a little red Lego case, and even now we have a pretty good collection of them, but they haven’t seen the light of day in quite a while because they are potential death traps aka choking hazards. Enzo has finally gotten to enjoy the awesomeness of these little building blocks, though, and he rather enjoyed it.

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Phoebe was napping when the boys pulled out the blocks, so we crossed our fingers she’d sleep long enough to create one or two things before they’d most likely need to put away.  She’s still in that stage that requires everything be tasted and carried around in her mouth.

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I admit, I wasn’t sure how interested Enzo would be, but he did really well following the instructions with some pointers from Josh.  We know they’re working on sitting still and listening in pre-school, so we’re trying to focus on that a bit at home… sort of. Okay, mostly we just fail at that, and it’s a good thing we only have 2 kids otherwise I can’t even imagine the kind of chaos we’d have then.

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We do need to work on a few things in the evening and on the weekend, though. Honestly, I have no idea what he “should” know at this age, so I looked it up quickly and it seems like he’s well on track (and ahead considering the list I looked up was for 3-4 year olds and not 2-3 year olds.  I suppose I should bookmark his next developmental milestones just so we know what we should work on this upcoming year – we kept track of that when he was younger, so we probably should now too. :p  I guess that’s the great thing about day care and also the bad thing. He learns so much at day care, but working full time leaves us with so little time to spend with them on the weekends that we don’t always focus on educational or even crafty things very often because when we’re not hanging out with them we’re tidying up or cooking or doing various things that need to be done.  It’s definitely made me start to rethink priorities lately and makes me realize we need some shortcuts in our lives so that our free time with the kids isn’t wasted.  I’d much rather have more time to play and explore rather than clean and whatever other boring adult-like things we must do.

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