Things I Love Thursdays

And now for your latest installment of TILT!  Just so you know, these aren’t affiliate links, I just like this stuff.

MagnaTiles – These flat, magnetic blocks are awesome. My children play with these just about every day.  We build buildings, make pizza, make rockets, the options are unlimited, and they really encourage creative play. They are even fun for parents.  Downside? Super expensive. 

Image from MagnaTiles.com. Click on the image for to go there.

Image from MagnaTiles.com. Click on the image to go there.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee – I know I’m not alone in my love of this book.  It is a simple (and not too long! Major perk at bedtime – I’m looking at you Mike Mulligan) book about sweet friendship and the illustrations are just lovely.  We have a lot of books, and this one consistently ranks among my favorites.

Amos

Image from Amazon.

Max Daniel Security Blanket – Pickle and Plum chose Angel Dear Blankies as their security blankets/lovies. I thought Pistachio would do the same.  But this soft, silky blanket gifted by my sister is his lovey of choice.  I can’t say I blame him.  It is cozy and luxurious, and a nice size.  It is pretty darn expensive for a lovey but it is his favorite. 

Image from Amazon (click on photo to link there).  You can also see these at maxdaniel.com.

Image from Amazon (click on photo to link there). You can also see these at maxdaniel.com.

Boo! A little bit late.

Halloween 2014 – A Recap, about ten days late

The Costumes: Batman (with muscles!), a lamb (pronounced “yam”), and a bat.

dressedup

The Numbers: 60 Trick-or-Treaters visited our house. So I suppose the 480 pieces of candy I bought was a bit excessive.

The Good: A really amazing tree costume.  He may have actually been a tree stand, now that I think about it.  And his buddy was a squirrel. The best part?  The costumes were clearly homemade, and the kids were 9-year-old boys.  Nice. 

The Bad: The mom wearing her costumed 14-month-old and trick-or-treating.  Really?  She’s too little and you’re too big. I give the kids 3 pieces each, but you? You get ONE.

The Icky: Plum thought the carving was vastly overrated.  Pumpkin guts? Ew.  Pickle loved it.  Pistachio? He munched on some chicken and puffs and watched us, amused. 

The Strange: A 50-year-old woman trick-or-treating with her dog.  The dog wore a cape. The woman wore a Mickey Mouse costume.  She pushed a loaded up baby stroller.  No baby, just lots of stuff.  Still confused by this one.

The Philosophy: Eat it all, as fast as you’d like.  It gets rid of the candy faster, only coats those teeth with caramel for one or two days (sorry dentists!) and perhaps helps with the “you eat too much candy, you feel ill” self-restraint lesson. 

score

The Boss: Pickle liked his costume and his candy, of course.  But I think he liked handing out the candy the best.  “Take two!” he would instruct seriously.

The Awesome: The very concerned 8-year-old who seemed so sad that Pickle was handing out candy and wasn’t out in costume, having fun and trick-or-treating.  I assured him that Pickle had already made the rounds. Three cheers for caring, thoughtful kids. 

The Verdict: Halloween is awesome. Thanksgiving?  Not nearly as cool. 

 

Great Expectations

Birthing babies is incredibly complicated and incredibly simple all at once. And while it is pretty freaking amazing, it rarely goes exactly according to (the meticulously researched, single-spaced, holistic birth) plan.

My guess is that it is just the universe’s way of saying, “You know how you thought you were prepared and in charge? You’re not. Welcome to parenthood. Neener neener.”

Parenting is full of a whole lot of unexpected events and feelings – some good, some bad, many hysterical and enlightening.

Some things I didn’t expect as a parent…

… how much I would simultaneously love and fear finger paints, stickers and silence.

… baby neck and armpit cheese.

… how very tired I would be.

… how happy and how sad I would be to see myself – traits both good and bad – reflected in my tiny people.

… how big a 2-year-old’s feelings are.

… how much it feels like failure or just getting by sometimes. And how universal that feeling is.

… how much work bedtime would be. And how lovely a quiet, full, sleeping house can be.

… how delicious baby cheeks, elbows, bellies and toes are.

… how much I would need to nurture my friendships. And just how much effort and scheduling that takes now.

… how amazing human development really is. From a helpless, little, human blob to a walker and talker in just about 365 days?! Unreal. Really.

… how much I love to be silly, to play, and to laugh with my children.

… how much I love whole milk yogurt.

… how much I feel like this is something I was supposed to do with my life, even in the hardest moments.

Smooches.

The Sweet Spot

It is 9:30pm. My family is sleeping.

I’m sitting in low Sunday night light, looking forward to climbing into my clean sheets.  The dryer is running downstairs, and I can smell the moist clean laundry smell. My children are clean, brushed, cozy, and sleeping that deep sleep of childhood.

 

My sweetest little one has learned to love sleep.  He sighs as he rolls to his side, pulls his silky blanket up to his face, and closes his eyes.  And I have sighed, too. I have felt my shoulders relax, my mind calm, as I slowly, slowly start to catch up on nights of sleep interrupted.

 

I made applesauce today from bright fall apples. My son told me he liked it better than chocolate pudding. High praise from a 4-year-old.

 

I pulled out a tiny ceramic tea set for Plum this morning. It was a leftover Christmas present; she was too little for it last year.  She dropped and broke one of the teacups this morning – she’s probably still too little. But she loves it, and loved making tiny cup after tiny cup of tea, coffee, and some other creation that included peppermint and salt. We played all morning, sipping delicious drinks from those thimble cups, as she poured the teapot, holding the top as she poured, always adding lots of sugar.

 

The sun was out today.  Leaves turning, falling.  The chill I love was back in the air after a stretch of rare October humidity.  And we had nowhere we needed to be.  We have many years of busy weekends to come.  Friends, sports, activities, adventures, all of these will fill our calendars too soon.  It has already started. But this weekend, today, I got to spend the day enjoying my cozy house and my favorite small people.

 

They are big, big enough to sleep, to play, to imagine, to inquire.

 

But they are little, too.  Little enough to snuggle, to need reassurance that monsters are never allowed in our house, and to love pudding more than just about anything.

Admissions of a Tired Mom – Part Two

1. I just noticed I hung the kids’ curtains upside down. They’ve been that way for years.  I may need a remedial course in drapery.

2. I recently cleaned out my purse.  You wouldn’t know this by looking at the contents, which include: stylin’ sunglasses for the 2-year-old set, a Chuck E. Cheese whistle, a kazoo, a Batman band-aid, lollipops, a bright green necklace that doubles as a teething toy (Chewbeads!) and, of course, a binky.

Mom Purse, Clean

Mom Purse, Clean

 

3. Clearly, Pickle has been watching too much Wild Kratts lately. He wants to be either a Peregrine falcon or a Harpy eagle for Halloween.  I’m pushing Spiderman cartoons, because that costume is much easier.

4. On everyone else the hairstyle is “beachy” or “tousled” but on me it’s just “messy.”

5. I already ordered my Christmas cards. I am equal parts happy and ashamed.

6. As part of our bedtime routine I spray “Sweet Dreams Spray” in the big kids’ bedroom.  Last week I ran out of the chamomile and lavender pillow mist I usually use, so I used Elnett instead.

Hairspray away the monsters!

Hairspray away the monsters!

Things I Like Thursdays

I’m thinking I should rename this blog feature “Things My Kids Like”…

Skip Hop Zoo Packs

Skip Hop makes great backpacks for kids. My children love them, and they are the perfect size. They are great for day trips, car rides, and flights.  Roomy enough to fit some toys, extra clothes, lovies, but still small enough that a toddler can comfortably carry it. Plum has the bee, Pickle has the zebra, and Pistachio has the giraffe waiting for him when he is big enough to carry it/care. Bonus: these make great and inexpensive gifts!

Image from Skip Hop.

Image from Skip Hop.

 

Kleynimals

Babies love keys. They just do.  But those silly plastic key-wannabes just don’t cut it. Kleynimals are lovely, jingly, well made, and safe for chewing, unlike the key to my minivan. They are bit pricey, but are a favorite of Mr. Pistachio. Bonus: you can put them in the dishwasher, and you can have them engraved for a lovely baby gift.

Image from Kleynimals

 

Note: I have no affiliation with Skip Hop, Kleynimal or Amazon.  I don’t receive anything for liking them, or linking to them, I just like their products.  

Admissions of a Tired Mom

Croak?

Croak?

1. The other day, I actually thought that it might be nice to get sick. But only sick enough that I would feel justified in staying home and sleeping all day.

2. There is a dead frog in my car. Somewhere. Thankfully (?) it is flat and dried.

3. I sometimes feel bad about:
a. not reading The New Yorker;
b. not eating enough fish;
c. sometimes writing “congrats” instead of “congratulations,” because that’s just lazy.

4. I don’t watch much TV, except for Wild Kratts and Curious George, so I’m woefully behind in my knowledge of news and pop culture.  And I don’t really go anywhere interesting anymore.  This paired with my usual state of exhaustion means that I am, in fact, only able to talk about my children.  I do recognize how annoying this is.

5. My children think they have the power to change stoplights and songs on the radio using only their minds.  This is going to come back to bite me, I’m sure.

Pickle trying to exert mind control over his unsuspecting little sister.

Pickle trying to exert mind control over his unsuspecting little sister.