He turned four. I cried a little.
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I took A with me to Pilates a few weeks back. When I got in the car I sighed, “She really kicked my booty.”
A few days later we were in the car. Just chatting about things the way you do.
“Hey Mom. Remember when we went to that girl’s house and she kicked you?” He asked.
I had no idea what he was talking about.
“When we were at Ms. Sadie’s? Did one of her daughters kick me?”
“NO, Mom. That girl’s house.”
“When we are the cabin?”
“NO!! That girl. She kicked you.”
This went on for about five minutes. I couldn’t figure out what girl had kicked me. He was getting so annoyed with me.
“You know, Mom, that girl. Where she had the lifty thing and the back and forth thing, and that other thing.”
The lightbulb went off.
“You mean Sheri’s?”
“YES! She kicked you in the booty.” Pause. “Was it because you like to shake it?”
I love that kid.
When it comes to toys, I’m a big fan of the go outside and use your imagination variety. But we have stormy days in the summer and below zero days in the winter and it’s always good to have a few go-to playthings ready. With A’s birthday just around the corner and V’s the following month, I’ve been thinking toys. Here are a few of our favorites:
We received our first set of MagnaTiles for Christmas this last year and when I decided to add more to the mix, I was surprised at the price tag. They aren’t cheap, but I still bought them without hesitation. Why? Because they are my kids’ absolute favorite toy. They are played with almost every day and it’s amazing the different ways kids find to put them together.
Another Christmas gift that gets regular play is the Brio train track. I love that in an era of plastic and easily breakable toys, this has heirloom possibility. My brother still has his set from 20 years ago and with the track, trains, and most pieces made out of wood, I know that A will be able to share his set with his own kids one day.
Calico Critters are a favorite of V’s. She loves setting up the furniture, placing the little pieces (soda bottles, flowers in vases, throw pillows) just so, and enacting little stories. You can find an endless array of kits (grocery store, dress shop, camper) or just use your imagination with things around the house (V uses one of my small jewelry boxes as a table) to create houses and expand villages. I especially love that she gets to enact stories like she would with Barbie, but without the whole body image thing of Barbie.
Is any list complete without Lego? We just recently packed up all the big old Duplo bricks (sniff) when V bought a Lego set with some reward money and they both decided “small Legos” were the way to go. We added a few of Dad’s old kits to the mix (heirloom toys…love them) and have our eye on a few pieces from Lego City and Lego Friends for birthdays this year.
As you can tell, we’re big fans of expandable kits. By doing it this way, the kiddos get to add the excitement of a new toy but without adding a slew of different “stuff” to be corralled and stored.
What are some go-to toys in your household?
It isn’t sketched out on the (nonexistent) chalkboard wall. It isn’t hanging prettily from our fridge or thumbtacked to a corkboard. I had all these plans for a twee doodled list displayed in some twee crafty way but my summer scrooge got the best of me.
Our list looks like this:
It’s a short, brainstormed list written on the back of the month of May in my planner. We did it at Fantastic Sam’s while trying to keep the kids from getting bored while waiting for haircuts. When they got tired of thinking, I handed them the pen and paper and they drew on it. The heart doodle is mine though. (I’m quite the artist)
Our list isn’t chock full of every summer activity we could possibly want. It has a few big things, a few certain things (a trip to Michigan wouldn’t be complete without a rollercoaster ride or two), a few simple things. We might do all of them, we probably won’t, and I’m sure we’ll do lots of other things as well.
I love lists. I always have. And the idea of a full on comprehensive summer list a la Meg Duerksen sounds heavenly. But you know how long it took to make last year’s? Three hours. Not the list. The list took hardly any time at all. But making the pretty? Took forever. Jesse took the kids to the park and on a boat ride. I made a pretty list.
So this year we have a simple list. Made while waiting for haircuts.
And then we went out for ice cream.
Seems like a good way to start the summer.
It may not ever turn into summer here, but life is full of goodness anyway.
I had some friends over for bagels and coffee. Our kids played and we caught up.
I got to hold and rock a baby-baby which I absolutely love – particularly when I know I’m not the one who has to get up at 3am to feed him.
I played Legos and had snuggle time with A which turned in to nap time.
V came home pukey-sick from school so we are all snuggled together sipping ginger ale, nipping at saltines, and watching movies.
Besides V feeling better, I really don’t think life could get much better.
This clock got taken down about the time I bought my treasured card catalog. In our little house we only had so much wall space and while I always intended to get it back up, I think my husband was just as happy leaving it on a shelf in the basement. Then we moved and it sat on another shelf in another basement. Dusty. Batteries dead. A few water spots on the wood.
The clock was my grandparent’s. And it’s loud. You hear the mechanism with every back and forth of the pendulum. You hear the chime set at three minutes to the hour. And then the hour strikes. Jesse misses the first few moments of dialogue on his show and sighs, “Every single time.” he says. Every single time, I smile.
I miss my grandparents. My grandpa’s stern but kind heart and the way he called me “kid”. My grandma who cried any time she saw someone else cry and added ice to her coffee. I wish I could bring them back. But I can’t. I have however, returned their clock to it’s former glory.
I took it off the shelf. Dusted it. Put in new batteries. Repaired the water stains with a little olive oil and baking soda. Set the pendulum to swinging. And every single hour I hear it chime, I smile.