Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Great Toy Wash

Last summer I did a car wash for all of the Hot Wheels (read post here:, this year I did a toy wash. Okay, so it wasn't quite that simple. It's nearing the end of summer and the outside toys have gotten A LOT of use this summer. They're dirty, grassy, and buggy (ants even made a home inside one riding toy that had to be thrown out after numerous unsuccessful attempts at removing them). The past few weeks the kids have been asking me to clean I have time for that!

That's when I came up with the brilliant idea of a kind of car wash for the outdoor toys. This idea worked marvelously: it kept the kids entertained all day (with the exception of naps), cleaned the toys, and made everyone happy. That's my kind of activity!

I made it easy for the kids and lined all of the bikes, trikes, cars, scooters, and everything in between in the middle of the yard with rags and buckets ready to go.

I also filled up the water table with smaller outside toys (such as the outdoor Hot Wheels, sand shovels, plastic golf balls, etc.) to be cleaned by toothbrushes. I had to stand watch to make sure no one tried to use a dirty toothbrush on their teeth!

Some kids used rags, others used sponges, and one little girl (I claim her as mine) used her hands to clean the dirty toys.......and then had a meltdown because her hands were dirty.
Max was the official "hose sprayer" to clean off the soap on the toys. Harrison got his hose spraying revoked when he decided to spray everyone in the backyard instead of the toys.

The outdoor toys suddenly look brand new and the kids are no longer asking me to clean the toys. Totally winning!

Superhero Day

The girls had Princess Day on Monday and on Tuesday the boys got their Superhero Day! All of the kids loved Superhero Day because they dressed up in costumes and ran around the backyard. All. Day. Long.

My little Superheroes. Elizabeth (who was miffed when I didn't buy her a Ninja Turtles t-shirt like her brother's) sported one of H's t-shirt. Since it was 4 sizes too big, she wore it as "a turtle dress." H sported numerous superhero t-shirts (one benefit of being the middle brother: tons of hand me downs and new shirts to choose from) throughout the day. His first choice was Superman, then Avengers, the Ninja Turtles, then Iron Man. Yay for extra laundry.....

The kids set up all of the superhero figurines for "a great battle between good and evil." Their imaginations were in overdrive during this theme day!
The kid's favorite part of the day: dressing up like superheroes and running around the backyard, fighting each other, "shooting," playing prisoner, and practicing their ninja moves.

The tree house become "the house of Asgard" as they re-enacted Avengers.
The Superhero cake didn't turn out anything like I had planned, but the kids didn't mind one bit.
Little superheroes eating their cake that left them with blue lips and mouths....which created a whole new scenario for them to act out.

The kids worked up a super appetite running around the backyard for a few hours. They enjoyed a Superhero picnic lunch on a superhero sheet while watching "The Avengers."
After naps, the kids were eager to put on the superhero costumes again, but first they made their own superhero masks. I helped the older kids cut them out from paper plates. The kids enjoyed these but were destroyed within minutes of their superhero play time.

I have been asked to "redo" Princess and Superhero Days this winter because the kids had such a blast dressing up in costumes. Instead, I'm planning on doing costume days during the month of October. This should spark their imaginations even more with all of the different costumes we have to choose from!

Princess Day

All of the little girls let out squeals when I announced our Princess Day theme at daycare. Everything was pink and purple, complete with Disney music to dance to and princess dresses to twirl in. The boys went along with our girlie day, even partaking in the tutu wearing and princess dancing.

Pink and purple layered pancake muffins, complete with strawberry syrup for dipping.
Elizabeth's Little People Princess collection made it's way outside.
Even princess dolls made their way outside. Max was a good sport and helped Elizabeth's Cinderella doll enjoy the teeter totter (there was a minor freak out when Elizabeth found Cinderella couldn't hold onto the handles herself, so big bro came to the rescue).
There was even a Princess picnic that the boys set up.
Princess Cupcake, minus the Snow White and Jasmine figurines.....I failed to take a picture when the cupcake were actually complete. The kids dove into the cupcakes too quickly for me to snap more photos!
YouTube and Pandora provided the kid's Disney music to dance to. The kids turned the music into a game, seeing who could name the Disney song first. Dancing to Disney music and naming the song took up most of their morning.
All of the little Princesses dancing and twirling.

So, one boy was NOT amused by Princess Day. He was anxiously awaiting Superhero Day!
The kids watched part of "Beauty and the Beast" while wearing their Princess crowns they made (using paper plates and markers).
Our Princess lunch: pink and purple Princess pasta, spinach, carrots, and watermelon.
Princess Play Doh. Okay, so it's just the regular Play Doh stuff plus two Disney Princess cookie cutters, which made this Princess Play Doh to the kids. On a side note: Play Doh outside=very messy!! All of the Play Doh had to be thrown out afterwards because every time it was dropped on the ground (which was frequently) it picked up grass, dirt, sand, and bugs.
Playing Princess Play Doh in the sprinkling rain.

It should be of no surprise that all of the little girls asked for another Princess Day soon!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This Is How A Real House Looks

I'm done walking into my mommy friend's houses, only to have them instantly apologize for the state of their house. I feel silly when I have to console my mommy friend about how her house looks. To me it looks real, lived in, loved, and has an untold story.

Here is our love seat, also known as my clean laundry holder. The top picture is what the couch looks like when I finally get all of the clothes "put away" (you will see what I mean by "put away" in a few moments). It looked this way for 2 hours before......

Four loads of clean laundry made their way from the laundry room to the couch. I got most of the clothes separated and put away......

In the mesh laundry baskets in each bedroom. From here, they'll get put away in dressers and closets as soon as I make time, which will mean missing sleep or not playing a game with my kids or skipping a bedtime story.

Oh, and when I do fold and put away the clothes, they all get dragged back out the minute I say "go find a shirt to wear" in the morning.

This is the scene under said love seat. Books, play food, cat toys, a sucked on Skittle, a dried up fruit snack, and school papers from last school year greeted me when I moved the sofa. I cleaned up and saved our other sofa for another night.

Maybe a black t.v. console wasn't the best idea with three kids and two white cats around. The last time this got dusted....well, I spare you all that shock. But I do know I handed the kids rags and told them to wipe anything they could touch. Therefore, I blame this dust build up on my two year old.

Wipe any surface in my house (other than the kitchen counters and table we eat at--those get cleaned quite frequently) and this is the result.

None of our beds have bed skirts on them (you've also discovered my stash of wrapping paper and our cat hiding from me) anymore. Bed skirts around here are taken off and used to make forts, play hide n' seek, or roll up a little brother. The last time I caught a glimpse of my bed skirt was as I check on the kids in the backyard and realized it was being used as a roof for a cube climber fort.

Toys in the dishwasher is a common least those are clean!

Embrace your mess mom's. Embrace every crumb. Every ball of dirt that doesn't get cleaned up. Embrace your mommyhood. This is what a real mom looks like at the end of the day:

 Please note the sweaty forehead, no make up on the face, as I quench my thirst and regain my adult mental state with a beer as I hold my two year, who won't go to sleep because she wants to try to "poop on potty" and watch "Elmo's Potty Time."

This is a real house being kept by a real mom with a real family. Life is grand.