12 months

Water, Water Everywhere

It is HOT! A full week before summer officially begins and the heat has finally descended on us…. That is right, I said finally. After one of the longest winters in recent memory I really can’t complain about the heat at all. Besides… It is just going to get hotter as we draw closer and closer to July’s muggy 100+ degree heat waves with ridiculous amounts of humidity. The type of humidity that leaves you feeling vaguely damp all the time despite sitting in an air conditioned room. (This is one of the benefits of living by the ocean… Right?) This year we are prepared… Far more prepared than we were last year after they let us take home a baby from the hospital without an instruction manual.

Sunglasses and a hat... its hard to be this cool.. or is it hot?  Liam's first summer.

Sunglasses and a hat… its hard to be this cool.. or is it hot? Liam’s first summer.

We now own enough air conditioners that the super drafty house that was built in 1890 actually gets cool… mostly. At least the areas where we spend the most time are cool enough that we don’t want to die or hibernate in the basement. (Is it hibernating if it happens in the summer?)  We also have two awesome new additions to our outdoor area for the toddlers in our lives: a water table and a splash pool. The kids are pretty impressed with these additions, especially since we are apparently raising a couple of fish. Sometimes I swear they smear food in their hair on purpose so that they have to take a bath afterwards (it can’t be just a coincidence that they smear food and then immediately run for the bathroom trying to climb into the tub, clothes and all).

I foresee a ton of water play in our future in the upcoming months, which provides different fun learning opportunities for the kiddos. The water table that we purchased is the Fischer Price Step 2 Arctic Splash Water Table.

The reason I got this particular water table is because it comes with a splash tower. Liam already has a watering can for watering his garden with and we have tossed it into the water table for some fun in there.  It is great for transferring water up to the top of the tower so he can watch it run down (cause and effect fun!).  This water table was also pre-tested and approved by Liam’s big cousin M who got one as a birthday present last year.  For a fun activity in the future I have purchased some larger (too big to choke on) rocks from the pet store (in the fish department) to put into the bottom of the table for some texture variations, and because throwing rocks into the water is fun.  For now we are just enjoying the splashing!

I have yet to take pictures in the awesome pool that my sister got Liam for his birthday, but this splash pool is full of activities.  It has a ring toss and a slide… it is a huge step up from the little wading pools we had when I was a kid??!?  This thing is like the BMW of the kiddy pool world.  Once I actually buy a bathing suit I will be spending my summer sitting in it (whenever the kids let me).

In the market for a Water Table for your little one?  I highly recommend this one as it was incredibly easy to set up and stood the test of 2 toddlers throughout the summer.  
You can find it here:

 

The Dreaded Dishes

I have a small secret… I hate doing dishes, but I love to cook.
I grew up in a house where everything went in the dishwasher, so the fight between my siblings and I was actually was over who had to put the dishes away (first world problems). My husband grew up in a hand washing household. We use a combination of those in our house. Because I love cooking and I enjoy using nice things some of the kitchen items we have purchased require a hand wash.  The general rule of thumb in our house, as I imagine it is in most households across the country, is that if I cook, the hubs does the dishes (and visa-versa).  Since Liam arrived, and the arrival of our part time toddler (The Bean), this does not always play out as consistently as it use to.

Sometimes we end up with a kitchen sink that looks like this:

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only half of those are dirty… really.

 

Sometimes it is even worse….

Thanks to the awesome teamwork my husband and I have we usually get the house back to clean before the end of the night…. usually. Last night was one of those “ehh… that is not so much going to happen” nights.

The kids were fighting, and when I say fighting I mean brawling.  They are at an age now where when one gets tired then it is a melt down for both of them (and if the other doesn’t melt down the first one will see to it that they do).  They are more mobile, and SO quick.  They are also at they age where if they want it they take it (If I want it its mine, If I see it its mine, If you have it its mine).  They don’t know how to ask, they don’t know how to share, and so they just forcibly take toys from each other.  Usually this is an easy situation to fix, distraction is a wonderful thing.  Sometimes though it just is better to separate and divide.  Thankfully we have just about two of everything so the situation is usually easily remedied.  Last night however turned into a fight that managed to sap all of my energy.

Liam was sitting on the living room floor playing with a toy fire engine that sings last night and The Bean was sitting next to him playing with a puzzle when the chaos broke loose.  The fire engine burst into a song about the ladder going up and down and it caught The Beans eye.  All of the sudden she had a desperate need to hold the fire truck and push the glowing button that made it sing.  Unfortunately Liam had a pretty good grasp on it.  As she desperately tried to yank it out of his hand she saw me coming to break up the fight.  Desperate to make one final attempt to get the toy for herself and show Liam how very angry she was that he didn’t just give it to her she leaned over and bit his cheek.  Biting has been an issue in this house for a few weeks now.  Both kids are teething badly; molars are coming in and drool is flowing like a river at our house.  Every time one of them sticks an appendage anywhere near the other it gets bit.  The zombie children then have mini meltdowns because it turns out that biting hurts.  No one has broken the skin yet though, including last nights cheek bite.  The cry that let loose from Liam’s mouth after the bite was heartbreaking… so heartbreaking that The Bean let go of his cheek and started crying herself (either that or he has cheeks of steel and it hurt to bite them).  It took a while to calm both of them down, distract them with different toys and get them both in a playing mood again.  It took even longer for Liam’s cheek to loose the redness.  After a long and very busy day full of appointments and errand running with two toddlers that was the straw that broke Momma’s back last night.  The dishes did not get done, but the toddlers lived to see another day and were reasonably happy all day long.  No serious injuries occurred.  They were clean and tired.  I really couldn’t ask for more than that last night.

It has taken me a while (like the entire first year of Liam’s life) to learn how to let go of the little things and focus on the big picture when it comes to the kids.  Yes they had a fight last night.  Yes there were teeth involved.  Yes my house looks like a bomb went off in it.  All of those things together use to be enough to send me over the edge.  But Leroy did so well at his vet appointment yesterday (the biopsy showed that his polyps in his anal glands were not cancerous! his drain is removed!), Liam stayed up through his morning nap like a trooper so that we could get some groceries, both toddlers enjoyed some backyard deck time complete with bubbles and lawnmower races, we had a home cooked delicious nacho dinner, we snuggled and read books, learned and played… all of these things more than make up for a little fight and a messy house.  To top it off Momma and Da got to sit back and relax with a lovely glass of whiskey on the rocks and enjoy some time together after the kids turned in for the night.

Some times the little things in life are far more important that the big picture.  Sometimes you just have to let go of the dreaded dishes, relax and enjoy… they will still be there in the morning.

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Mine?

They may push and shove to get there, but in the end they are best friends.