Give the boy a hammer

I wish I could remember where I got this idea, it certainly wasn't an original one but I knew I was up to something good when even my husband remarked, "That is clever."

And indeed it was hit.

What was it?

A tupperware container + water + plastic toys + 24 hours in the freezer =

And if you are wondering about the real looking tools, you are correct. They are real, just smaller, made  for a child's hand, albeit an 8 year old hand and not a 3 year old one, but I believe you can teach children to have respect for real things. You can see, he didn't waste any time with the proper safety precautions. And yes, proper supervision is required. 

As for next time, I will get new little toys. Freezing things he recognized was less exciting. I like the idea of putting dinosaurs in and making it an archeological dig!

Red Toolbox Kid size tool set available here.


My version of "No spend month"

Do you know Rachel Meeks and her wonderful blog Small Notebook? It is one of my favorites because it if pertinent and real and simple. Since baby number two arrived in January, I have been far away from writing or reading but during a late night perusing of my Google Reader account I stumbled upon a post of hers that has changed everything.

Rachel and her family did their 4th annual No Spend Month and it inspired me to do the same. I wasn't organized enough to set up a budget and plan for a whole month of not spending or get my husband totally on board (for now) so I started with the simple act of not buying anything except groceries and gas.

And after about 15 days (I didn't start exactly on the 1st), there a bit more money in the bank, but there is a lot of awareness and awareness of one's habits, especially around money, can only lead to good things.

What I realized:

From Groupon to Craigslist, Mini Social, I realized how much of my spending was reactionary or circumstancial - justifed with a "This is a great deal" or "It's used" or "It's at the second-hand store" or "My baby needs this to sleep through the night" or "This will help my 3 year old sit at the table and eat all my himself."

What I did:

1. Removed my email from lists like Groupon and Living Social
2. Removed the craigslist, ebay and Joss&Main apps from my iPhone
3. Donated several bags to the local charity shop
4. Sold several pieces of furniture I was saving for "someday"
5. Let every online purchase sit in the shopping cart overnight. By the next day, I didn't go back to buy.

All in all this was an incredibly eye opening experience and I will get my act together to do this again next summer.


The train table gets a face-lift

A close friend remarked a few days ago "I miss the creative me, even if that creative me was showing up while making play dough."

And I realized that is how I feel. People keep asking how life is with two. But really it should be "how is life with a 3.5 year old and an infant? It's exhausting and all consuming. I forget that I have a 7 month old baby and that we are still in that tumultuous and topsy turvy time known as the 1st year of life because my ideas don't care if I am too tired. They just keep on coming and I have to choose to let them pass or find the time and energy to make them happen.

Well, I made this one happen.

Remember our train table?

It was time for a switch-a-roo. We did clean up with Thomas and Friends and tucked them away in the red chest for another day. I cleaned off the Lack Table...

and got out the Autobahn Tape that I bought last summer and shipped to Oma and Opa's house in Germany. And 30 minutes later...

And if you are wondering how I found the time. It goes like this: send 3 year old to swim class with papa on Saturday morning, put 7 month old down for the morning nap, make a cup of tea, get out the scissors, take pictures with my iPhone, send them to Blogger via an app called Blogger+ and then wait for a 10 minute window (days later) to add some text and hit publish.

And now, it's nap time for me.