Category Archives: toys

Boys and Girls

I thought for sure when we found out we were having a girl that we’d have a little lady who would be a balance to Enzo’s high energy, all-boy nature. Nope. Phoebe is definitely sweet-natured and more of a cuddler than Enzo, but she is just as rough and tumble as he is.


Before she was even walking, she was trying to climb up on everything and she has to follow her big brother wherever he goes. They also love climbing all over each other and wrestling and tumbling. We sometimes have to remind Enzo that he has to be gentle with her, but she’s pretty tough. If anything we have to sometimes tell her to be gentle with him.


In reality, I like that they’re both a healthy balance of… whatever you want to call it. Phoebe is kind of tomboyish like I was, and hopefully will stay that way because I won’t know what to do if she starts asking me to do something fancy with her hair in a few years. Now, give Enzo a mohawk? Done. Curls and symmetrical ponytails and braids? I get clammy hands just thinking about it. I also do a really bad job of painting fingernails and toes (my own included).


While we do sometimes tend to buy standard boy/girl gifts for the kids, we fully encourage them to both play with whatever toys are available. Phoebe often just wants to play with cars and trucks and Enzo can frequently be found having a tea party and has started requesting to watch Frozen again.  Sometimes I do find it annoying how so many toys are still geared towards boys or girls with lots of pinks/purples v. reds/blues, though. Why can’t there just be a mix of any and all these or rather why does there need to be a pink version of a garbage truck?


But then again, sometimes my son likes the purple or pink version and maybe it’s grownups who have it all wrong.  I mean, it’s not kids who are deciding what are boy toys or what are girl toys. I made the assumption that the pink garbage truck is for a girl when a little boy could easily like that color just as much, so the option should be available.

I do think there should be a better mix of colors with toys, though. A little blue/purple/red/pink/green mashup, and also that toy companies should stop ruining good classic designs.  That’s a topic for another day, though. 😉

One day I’ll get stuff done…

While it’s fantastic that baby girl is getting around all by herself, it also means I have to be that much more on my toes and constantly have one ear and one eye on her and her brother.  Enzo is perfectly fine running around and causing chaos, but wherever he goes, he has a shadow and that shadow is still unsteady on her feet and trying to pull herself up on everything.


She also has the cutest pout ever.


Just kidding – I’m totally happy.

She used to spend more time in her bedroom, but has decided that the real action is in her brother’s room or our room… or the living room, or anywhere other than her room.  While I don’t mind if they happily play together in whichever room, there is always something around for her to get into that big brother has left out.  Like stickers, or small pieces of plastic that I have no idea what they’re from or for. Thankfully right now she mostly sticks with cars and trains and books.  All fairly harmless.  Our house will never look the same again, though…

Life2  Life1

And this is on a good night/afternoon.  Usually there are balls everywhere and all kinds of hidden surprises.  Perhaps those minimalists have the right idea…

Elmo, Thomas, and Mickey

It’s amazing how much quickly a toddler’s interests can change, and also funny how some things they will never tire of.  I’m trying to think of what his first real “obsession” was, and I think it was Elmo.  We got him a plush (non-talking version – I’m not crazy), shoes, shirts, books and other paraphernalia and he was happy as a clam.  But then along came Thomas.


All we heard about was Thomas and how he wanted to watch Thomas, so we gave in and watched so much Thomas. His next pair of shoes were Thomas and he got a blanket that he still loves as well as plenty of shirts.  After some time he got his beloved train table and finally some track and trains, which we’ve slowly added onto.  And what little boy doesn’t love hot wheels?  Or grown boy for that matter.



Then came various Disney movies (right now happens to be Tangled) as well as his new obsession – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I had to break down and buy him a couple of DVDs so we didn’t have to keep re-watching the only MMC movie available on Netflix.  We also got him a plush Mickey that he happily carries around with him. The first day he insisted on bringing him to day care, which was pretty cute.

We also have a new obsession with bubbles, which has made bath time even more fun.  Phoebe doesn’t really care one way or the other; she finds Enzo’s antics more amusing or just splashing everything in sight.



And then you have the ridiculously random things that toddlers and babies like such as boxes, bags, balloons, and shoes.  I catch Enzo in my shoes fairly often.  He thinks it’s hilarious to clomp around in them.  It’ll be interesting to see how long Phoebe’s interests stay the same as her brothers.  Obviously right now we have a house full of gender-neutral toys as well as toys geared towards boys or girls, so I wonder if/when she’ll decided she watns to dress like a princess or play with dolls and houses rather than trains and cars.  Maybe she’ll do both like her mama. 😉

MamasShoes MamasShoes2

Polar Bears Turned Puppies


When it comes to toddlers, sometimes you need an old priest and a young priest.  I have yet to capture one of Enzo’s spectacular examples of stereotypical toddler behavior on camera, and I don’t know that I ever will.  Usually we’re all too caught up in the moment and part of me feels horrible even thinking about pulling out the camera while he tries to navigate growing up and dealing with how frustrating life can be.  Would I want someone to snap photos of me while dealing with something distressing/confusing/aggravating?  Probably not. Instead, I’ll stealthily try and capture the moments that make us smile or laugh in the moment rather than later on when you laugh only so that you don’t cry. 😉


For some time now Enzo has been obsessed with big trucks and he really loves fire trucks and likes to copy the sounds the sirens make, “Wee yoo, wee yoo.” Thankfully when he spotted this fire station in Target it was on sale and I had a coupon as well. Score!  Because the boy doesn’t have enough toys already!


It’s always amusing to me to see what toy will grab his attention or become his favorite.  Some of his favorites will change week to week or month to month, while others never do.  He originally picked out a polar bear for Phoebe, but quickly grew to love it himself, so we got her something different and let him hang on to his “Puppy.”  We’ve told him it’s a bear, but he just looks at you sideways as though to say, “A bear? I think not,” so Puppy it is!


One day it won’t rain on the weekend…

One day it won’t rain on the weekend, and when that happens, I want to be ready.  Now that Enzo is really mobile, we’re trying to think of some fun things to do on the weekend to get out of the house.  Granted, there are a few parks we could go to, but I realized we’re going to have to work up slowly to that because we failed at introducing Enzo to grass when he started crawling.  Why would this be an issue?  Well, last night when we got home, he wanted to explore, so I set him down on the sidewalk and he toddled his way toward the front door and pointed out some plants, but when I picked him up and put him in grass he gave me this look and his face went from pouting to “Mom get me the hell of this stuff!” in about 2 seconds.  I tried to hand him some and show him it was okay, but he wanted nothing to do with it.  I feel bad for really only going out on the deck now.  Whoops.


We’re also debating whether or not to get a Zoo membership this year.  It’s kind of a hike from our house, but with Enzo’s interest in animals and his love of being outdoors, it seems like it would be a worthwhile purchase and would always give us something to do.


I’m not sure if we’ll go to the zoo this weekend or not since it’ll just be me and Enzo for the majority of the weekend, and there is a chance of thunderstorms, but I’m thinking of taking him to one of the splash pads at a near-ish park if the weather looks like it might hold. I suppose if it doesn’t we can try coloring again.  So far he just likes to chew on the crayons, so we got these cool little plastic animal dudes that have a marker on the bottom (like in the picture) so that way you have no chewing, and he has something easier to hold onto.  Oh, what will they think of next.